Global firm Deloitte has announced it will establish a Rotorua office, merging with local accountants Hulton Patchell.
The move, effective from March 1 next year, is expected to bring more skilled workers to the city and provide a boost for the Rotorua economy.
Deloitte, one of the world's `big four' pro fessional services firms, said in a statement the merger would enable it to expand its capability in the Maori services sector and extend its Central North Island services.
Hulton Patchell principals Murray Patchell and John McRae will become partners in Deloitte New Zealand with Ian Hulton retiring from the practice.
Mr Patchell said the decision to merge would benefit clients, staff and the wider Rotorua community.
"Merging with Deloitte gives us the capability and resources to help our clients with solutions to their increasingly
complex needs. It also means we are well placed to continue to grow our own business and provide the best
opportunities for our staff,'' he said.
He said it would be business as usual for the firm leading up to the merger.
Mr McRae said at a time when Rotorua had seen the impacts of the recession the merger was positive news.
"The addition of Deloitte to the local economy is very significant and will bring more work and skilled workers into Rotorua,'' he said.
Rotorua District Council chief executive Peter Guerin said having a firm such as Deloitte with an office in Rotorua would reassure others there were opportunities in the city.
"It's great to see this sort of firm recognising the potential of Rotorua.''
Deloitte chief executive officer Thomas Pippos said the firm had seen an increasing demand for assistance
from Maori organisations so it made sense to bolster its resources in that area.
"This merger enables us to further strengthen the services we provide by augmenting our existing Deloitte national Maori Business team and by having a dedicated office servicing the Central North Island out of Rotorua.
Deloitte New Zealand employs more than 800 professional staff in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin while the Deloitte global network consists of 182,000 staff in more than 150 countries.