Homelessness, unemployment and infrastructure are key challenges facing one of the North Island's tourist hot spots.

First-term mayor Steve Chadwick said Rotorua needed infrastructure to manage growth from out-of-towners as well as supporting sustainable tourism and attracting big events.

She hopes an increase in tourism will further assist young people in employment.

Another challenge is having direct flights from Rotorua to other tourist destinations such as Queenstown and Christchurch.


Rotorua Chamber of Commerce chief executive Darrin Walsh said the economy is booming for businesses, but more land is needed for development to aid further growth.

"For Rotorua we are going gangbusters and there is some good development going on but there is an issue around availability of land."

While he was generally happy with the direction of the city, he said the current council's controversial Te Arawa partnership which saw iwi have a much stronger input into council business had become a major election issue as the community is divided over it.

But unemployment and beneficiary rights activist Paul Blair said homelessness and poverty is a major issue facing the city which is exacerbated in the high tourism season. "The motels are filling up with homeless people and they will all be kicked out. As summer comes, they will all have nowhere to go. Someone needs to start building houses."

Waiariki Institute of Technology Students Association president Virgil Iraia agreed the lack of housing in Rotorua is a growing issue and said competition for rental accommodation was putting pressure on students.

Better transport was also needed for students, he said.

22 Sep, 2016 3:00pm
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21 Sep, 2016 2:09pm
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He also wants to see the business community work closer with graduates and offer them good quality jobs rather than seeing students leaving to work for higher-paying jobs in Auckland or Wellington.

Rotorua Youth Centre manager Steve Holmes said the city needed a better connection with youth and to encourage employers to help young people into their industries.


Current mayor:

Steve Chadwick

Number of enrolled voters:


Voter turnout last election: