Wai Ariki Hot Springs & Spa



Pukeroa Lakefront Land Holdings


Rotorua Lakefront

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Project Management

Project overview

The Veros brief was to provide project management services for the design and delivery of the $50m lakefront Wai Ariki Spa development. The brief was to provide a five-star quality building that attracts visitors from around the globe.

The building is to be situated on the Rotorua Lakefront in central Rotorua. The site itself presents various challenges in terms of ground conditions and geothermal conditions.

Following a ground remediation preload period in the order of 9 – 12 months, an architectural building containing various spa, sauna, and wellness services will be constructed. The resort will provide a range of activities that are bespoke to Rotorua and Wai Ariki, as well as those typically reserved for international quality resorts, resulting in what will be a new level of experience in the Rotorua region.

The Wai Ariki Spa will be infused with a cultural experience from the Ngati Whakaue people, leaving visitors with an appreciation of local culture and a deeper experience than the traditional spa process.

Pukeroa Oruawhata chairman, Malcolm Short says Ngāti Whakaue, Te Arawa and Māori culture sit at the heart of the project, with the 650-year history of the tribe and Rotorua’s spa heritage forming an essential part of the development. “Our vision for a health and wellness campus at the Rotorua lakefront includes a range of different services and offerings, including dedicated space for a clinical and rehabilitation provider.”

craig services

We are thrilled to be leading the delivery of the state-of-the-art QE Health facility, being a part of a project that achieves a great outcome for the Rotorua community in an otherwise trying time for New Zealand and the tourism sector.

Craig McMichael

Project Director

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Project outcomes

Three months after the appointment, our experienced Project Management team successfully delivered and shaped the concept into a shovel-ready project. This involved the completion of:

  • A project execution plan
  • Fast-tracked design progressing through concept design, preliminary design, and developed design
  • Geotechnical and structural design response to challenging soil conditions
  • Pre-application consent meetings with Rotorua Lakes Council and stakeholders with a true collaborative partnership approach
  • Base build detailed design including architecture, structural engineering, geothermal water use, services engineering, and civil engineering
  • Funding partnership milestone reporting.

With a short timeline to advance the project, we had to think outside the box and employ multiple teams to advance the project at pace. Using a collaborative Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) allowed for front-end pricing decisions to constantly balance design objectives, and ensured the project stayed on-course and on-budget. The design process and technical team performed outstandingly under pressure to deliver an exceptional result to the client.

Situated on Rotorua Iwi Ngati Whakaue land, and in a high profile and prominent position on the Rotorua Lakefront, the project is a true partnership that will deliver a state-of-the-art health and wellbeing facility for the community and will serve as a major destination for overseas visitors.


  • Designers Institute Awards – Purple Pin for Best Overall Design in the Spatial Section, and two Gold Pins in the Public, Private & Institutional, and Healthcare and Wellbeing categories.
  • Spa & Wellness Awards 2023 – Best New Spa for 2023.
  • Property Council New Zealand Central Property People Awards – Harkness Henry Judges’ Choice Award.
  • Best Awards – Winner of the Purple Pin.
  • Retail Interiors Association Awards – Supreme Award
  • In July 2024, Wai Ariki Hot Springs and Spa was selected as a finalist for the World Architecture Festival,  alongside some of the world’s most innovative projects. The awards will be held in November in Singapore. 

Wai Ariki Spa

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