Rotorua Mayor Steve Chadwick says a Maxim Institute report released today uses data that she has been aware of for four years.
She saw the lack of growth when she began her mayoralty, and decided to act.
"We knew those statistics of the 2013 census and Natalie Jackson's demographic data from Waikato, which they've based the report on, when we were elected in 2013. I was elected in a time for change, a perfect storm really, leadership and having a set plan.
"We embarked on a very ambitious journey then called Vision 2030, and the key of that approach was to look at partnerships with the community, with the chamber, with the tribe, so that we could unlock all the potential that I could see in the community."
The council was the first to implement portfolios run by local government elects with community-driven steering groups also involved.
"For us it reminds us that you don't put all your eggs in one basket. You don't just say economic drivers and population demography is the answer.
"You actually have to look at the social drivers in your community that will instill confidence, a sense of belief in ourselves, but also a sense of a plan and a journey that we are going on."
"With migration gain in Auckland, people were coming down to the provinces, and that's where you've seen it in Hamilton, Tauranga and now Rotorua. Relocating and being able to buy a house that is much more reasonable and good schools.
"It means we are getting families moving down here. From there, families talk to other families and that's where we really get that diverse economy that will help buck the trend."
Mayor Chadwick says the council are welcoming community feedback on their long-term vision.