Tauranga's population has grown 2.3 per cent in the past year, making it one of the fastest growing spots in the country.

Statistics New Zealand's latest population estimates have the population of Tauranga City growing from 121,800 people in June 2014 to a population of 124,600 at the same time this year.

Population growth comprised net migration gain (more arrivals than departures, internally and internationally) of about 2400 and a natural increase (more births than deaths) of about 500.

Western Bay of Plenty District's population rose 2 per cent in the same time frame, from 45,900 to 46,800.


Tauranga, Auckland, Wellington and Hamilton together accounted for 78 per cent of the North Island's growth in the past year.

Tauranga City was the seventh-fastest growing territorial authority in the country, with Selwyn and Queenstown-Lakes coming first and second and Auckland, fourth.

Priority One projects manager Annie Hill said the growth in the employment market meant new residents had jobs to go to.

"Tauranga for many years has been a place people want to live in but job growth hasn't kept up."

Ms Hill cited recent Trade Me Jobs figures that placed Tauranga at the top of the country for growth in the number of jobs advertised.

"Businesses are growing here, businesses are moving here. We're increasingly being seen as a viable place to base a business; it used to be seen as a holiday place or retirement place."

Tauranga was also leveraging off Auckland's problems with housing and congestion. The region was not as affected by dairy prices as elsewhere in the country and the kiwifruit industry had recovered and was in a better space now than before Psa, Ms Hill said.

Tauranga Mayor Stuart Crosby said the growth was consistent with planning. The city generally grew by between 2000-2500 per year, he said.

"We would expect a similar figure going into 2016 as well."

Most of the growth came from new residents, rather than births. Mr Crosby said residents were coming and going from Tauranga all the time, but with a net gain.

"The growth is good for the city and in line with our planing. People can have confidence we will continue to grow in a managed way. We don't want to have peaks and troughs. What would be good, although we can't plan this ourselves, is consistent, steady growth both from a population basis and the economy as well."