Concern is growing after 36 reported thefts from Rotorua motels in just over a month and a suspicious "door knocker" asking guests for money in the early hours of morning.

Rotorua area prevention manager Inspector Stuart Nightingale said the thefts were reported between July 11 and August 18, a spike that had created a great deal of concern.

"Rotorua has a significant tourism industry and it is unfortunate that certain people take the opportunity to steal from our visitors."

Mr Nightingale said a significant portion of the offending was happening within the motel strip on Fenton St and its side streets.


"Moteliers and members of the public are urged to remain vigilant as to suspicious activity, particularly during the hours of darkness.

"I can confidently say that a person carrying an unboxed television set away from a motel or loading one into the back of their vehicle could be considered to be suspicious.

"If in doubt call 111, we want to respond to suspicious behaviour and to attend before offences occur as opposed to attending after the event."

He said police had received many other reports of crime in and around city motels including burglary, wilful damage, threatening behaviour, theft from cars and domestic incidents.

Palm Court Rotorua manager Glenn Stafford said this week his motel had a "door knocker" knocking on guests' doors in the early hours of the morning saying his car had broken down and asking for money.

"It's disturbing the peace, it's not very good for the visitors to Rotorua.

"We are known as a safe city, but I know a lot of other motels are having problems."

Another motel manager from the Fenton St area, who did not wished to be named for privacy reasons, said she had also encountered the "door knocker" recently.

"Apparently he's a young man, looks to be in his 20s, European, and guests say he dresses very well."

RotoVegas Motel manager Phil Wilson said his motel also had a man door knocking in the early hours recently but he had told guests to ignore him.

He said there had been several issues with motels in the area but they had a strong community and liked to work together.

"Having security cameras is vital, I'm actually pretty happy with how our motel has been running. When we call the police they get here really quickly," Mr Wilson said.

The Rotorua Daily Post spoke to some tourists at the i-Site about their perceptions of safety in Rotorua.

Brittany Szlezak, 26, from Australia is currently travelling through New Zealand and said she had only heard good things about Rotorua.

"We were told that it was very touristy, but not that it was unsafe or anything," she said.

Mara Wicht, 19, from Germany, had just arrived on Tuesday.

"I'm still deciding, but I feel safe here," she said.

Brian Kenneally, 20, from New York, is also sight seeing in Rotorua.

"I had a flatmate who had been here and he said it was a goof place to visit. I've never heard anything about it being unsafe."