Thousands of Christmas parcels are being delivered across the Bay of Plenty each week as NZ Post hires more staff and courier vans to cater for the demand.
One Tauranga courier delivered more than 300 parcels to one residential area in just one day while Rotorua staff had their busiest day with 146 cubic metres of freight for its customers.
The news comes as shoppers in the Bay of Plenty spent a record $67 million in the first week of December according to new figures from Paymark.
It also follows a new survey showing spending appetites heading into the festive season have helped to boost the Bay's consumer confidence post-Covid-19 lockdown.
NZ Post Bay of Plenty regional manager Jenny Nikora said staff delivered about 132,000 items across the region during the second week of December, including 75,000 items in Tauranga alone.
"We're very busy. On Monday [December 14] we collected in excess of 11,000 items from our customers."
December 15 was a "huge day" in Tauranga with just over 16,000 parcels delivered, she said.
"One courier delivered 339 items on his own just in one residential area."
Rotorua also recorded its busiest day on December 15, with 146 cubic metres of freight to deliver.
"Normally a busy day would see 75 to 80 cubic metres to deliver."
Staff were delivering an average of 300 items per day in Rotorua, Nikora said.
Nikora said the demand confirmed an increase in people shopping online.
"It really affirms the patterns of spending through Covid have continued on."
Extra staff have also been hired to cater for the demand and there were more courier vans on the road.
"We've increased our poll by around 30 processors who sort the parcels and it's fair to say we've got an extra 20 vans on the road."
Staff were working seven days a week as a nearly 24-hour operation, she said.
The region ranked fourth on the latest Westpac McDermott Miller Consumer Confidence survey behind Northland, Auckland and Waikato, with Bay households' confidence at 107.4 per cent.
That was a 4.8 per cent lift in consumer confidence since September.
Senior economist Satish Ranchhod said Bay households, much like other parts of the country, were feeling much more upbeat about the economic climate.
Ranchhod said domestic economic activity had rebounded since the September survey and there were signs of a growing momentum heading into the New Year with increasingly positive news regarding Covid-19 vaccines.
Spending appetites have also picked up heading into the holiday season, with a strong lift in spending on entertainment activities, he said.
"What's noticeable is with the Bay of Plenty is there's been a boost in recreational activity locally and with the Bay being a domestic tourism hotspot I think the region will really benefit from that."
Ranchhod said the developments had left households feeling much more optimistic about the state of the economy over the next few years and Kiwis were also feeling more secure about their personal financial position.
"Places like the Bay of Plenty were already doing pretty well, but combine that with a better sentiment in households and a booming housing market, I think 2021 is looking like a pretty solid year."
Retail NZ chief executive Greg Harford said retail spending was up substantially in the Bay of Plenty as consumers remained confident.
Harford said home owners were feeling wealthier because of increased house prices, and interest rates were low, which was encouraging people to borrow.
"Additionally, because the borders are closed, many BOP residents are spending at home, rather than travelling overseas."
Tourism Bay of Plenty chief executive Kristin Dunne said domestic visitors were the Coastal Bay of Plenty's most significant market and summer was "undeniably" the region's busiest season.
"Anecdotally, we are in for a very busy summer. The combination of being one of New Zealand's favoured tourism destinations, a raft of fantastic events and the apparent keenness of New Zealanders to get out and explore bodes well for the season ahead.
"Additionally, there has been a raft of marketing activity driven by Tourism Bay of Plenty to boost interest for New Zealanders to travel to the region."
Destination Rotorua interim chief executive Andrew Wilson said rising consumer confidence in the Bay was a good way to see out the year.
"While Rotorua is fortunate to have an economy built on a diverse range of industries, at this time of the year the increasing confidence is likely to be driven by tourism, hospitality and retail sectors looking forward to a busy summer holiday season.
"Optimism will also be stemming from talks of the pending transtasman travel bubble.
"Continued strength in many of New Zealand's primary sector exports is also helping to fuel local confidence, with gains in log prices, in particular, helping to boost forestry."
According to OneRoof's latest Covid-19 index, Tauranga's median property value was $795,000 and Rotorua's was $555,000.
OneRoof editor Owen Vaughan said Rotorua was well and truly over the half a million-dollar mark in terms of property values and Tauranga house values were also pushing upwards.
"We'll see how long it takes for the city to get to a million-dollar median."