Bay confidence 'no surprise'

Rotorua Lakes Council Economic Growth Portfolio leader and deputy mayor Dave Donaldson.
Rotorua Lakes Council Economic Growth Portfolio leader and deputy mayor Dave Donaldson.

Rotorua and the Bay of Plenty residents have been shown to be the most economically confident in New Zealand.

The latest Westpac McDermott Miller Regional Economic Confidence survey saw the region's residents ranked as the most positive in the country for the third quarter in a row, with 41 per cent of households upbeat about 2016 - the highest level since December 2009.

Westpac industry economist David Norman cited the recovering kiwifruit industry, strong house price growth, falling unemployment, high electronic card sales and increasing guest nights as contributors towards economic optimism.

It is the third time in a row the Bay has topped all other regions in the survey.

Rotorua Lakes Council Economic Growth Portfolio leader and deputy mayor Dave Donaldson said he was not the least bit surprised that Rotorua people had good confidence in their economy.

"I'm aware of numerous developments in the pipeline and there is a reason Rotorua people are feeling confident; it's very pleasing to hear that they are."

He said the council was working on a number of initiatives regarding infrastructure.

"It's good pressure on the council to make sure we have infrastructure in place to support the growth in our community. We need to keep cracking on ... it's a great problem for us to have," Mr Donaldson said.

Rotorua Chamber of Commerce chief executive Darrin Walsh said the survey results reinforced what Rotorua already knew.

"The economy is good, the level of confidence is growing and businesses are reflecting that.

"We have lagged behind the rest of the country, but now we are going ahead. I think that's what is causing the confidence."

He said 2015 started the sustainable foundation, but more residential development was needed.

"I think 2016 is going to be a strong year," Mr Walsh said.

Darren McGarvie, chairman of business networking group Rotorua X, said new and old businesses were doing well.

"In terms of our community of Rotorua X, supporters are relatively easy to attain and renew confidence in at the moment."

Mr Garvie said he couldn't put it down to one industry leading the way but that there were many taking charge.

"Tourism is very strong, engineering, manufacturers, the Auckland property market, anyone who is involved in any of these is confident.

"In the six-and-a-half-years we have been running, I don't think I have ever seen it this good since starting."

- Rotorua Daily Post

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