The rivalry between Tauranga and Rotorua could be seen again this week with Tauranga missing out on hosting one of the Chiefs pre-season rugby matches.

Both cities are always battling it out for the right to host events or be home to new amenities and attractions.

The long-running rivalry is healthy for the region.

Last year both areas fought to get Jetstar's attention when the airline announced it would start flying some regional routes.


The rivalry also reared its head as the debate raged regarding the merger of Bay of Plenty Polytechnic and Waiariki Institute of Technology.

Understandably both cities were concerned at the prospect of the new tertiary provider being based primarily in one city.

Residents and politicians in both areas put up fierce arguments about why it should be based in their patch.

Most recently, it was the Chiefs rugby game.

This week it was announced one of the Chiefs pre-season games would be held in Rotorua. Tauranga dipped out because it didn't have the facilities to host it.

It is a loss for Tauranga but will undoubtedly be good for Rotorua.

Read more: Tauranga misses out on Chiefs game

Tauranga Mayor Stuart Crosby explained it would have been too expensive to install temporary seating for the match saying that was why he supported an "appropriate upgrade" to Tauranga Domain.

The fact Rotorua got the match over Tauranga could well help the case for a stadium of some sort at Tauranga Domain.

It's good for both cities to have something to compare themselves against and aspire to.

They both have strengths the other can learn from.

Tauranga is the bigger city and relies heavily on industries such as the port and kiwifruit, as well as its beaches.

Rotorua thrives on tourism with its lakes, the Skyline and luge, its geothermal attractions and cultural experiences.

Tauranga is busy trying to draw more tourists and improve its offerings so having the tourist-mecca of Rotorua right over the hill gives us something to strive towards.

Every set-back gives us more reason to improve.