The Maxim Institute may predict a declining population in many parts of


regional New Zealand - but Hauraki Mayor John Trigidga says because his district falls in the


so called "Golden Triangle" - between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga - the opposite is true.

The mayor says 2015 GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth was 8% compared with
national growth of 2.4%. Productivity growth was 6.2% compared to 1.3%
nationally and population growth was 2.4% compared to national growth of
2.1%.

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"So its all looking really good," he says.

Mr Trigida says he spotted the population potential for decline a decade
ago.

"I've been working on this for 10 years and we've [the Council have]
been working on an enabling development strategy, working with trade and
enterprise, working with immigration New Zealand"

International investment relationships that have been built with China
over the last 19 years and saw a Chinese owner ice-cream factory open in
Kerepehi in December last year.

"So we've done things like rolling out the red carpet and not the red
tape."

Harcourts agents in Paeroa say they are struggling to find homes for
tenants. They manage 126 properties - and none are available. Houses start at $280,000 - and demand outstrips supply.

Mr Trigidga says they have been caught of guard by the increase in
housing demand and building consents have increased by about 20% in the
last three years.

To help curb the declining population in rural areas which Mr Trigida sees as
inevitable he wants central Government to consider de-centralising.

"I talk about the old days where the government agencies used to be in
our rural communities. This town of Paeroa had all the major government
agencies here, which serviced the area, [they're] all gone , there's no
reason why some government agencies and departments can't be bought back
into our rural and provincial New Zealand."