Over the last six months I have been vocal on our economy and local business confidence.

Both have been trending upwards and it has been encouraging. In fact, the increase in business confidence has led to a number of development opportunities being unveiled. New businesses are coming to town and things are looking good for 2015.

I have also been vocal about what I believe has been the main driver behind local business confidence.

The Rotorua Lakes Council has been active in this regard -- cutting back some of the red tape to allow the consent process to flow a lot easier. It has been proactively promoting Rotorua on the international stage and attracting investment and a qualified workforce to relocate to Rotorua.


Over the last 12 months, we have seen a lot of change in the council, which has been delivered positively.

It was concerning to read Saturday's Rotorua Daily Post and the very public throwing of toys that is currently taking place in council.

I do not wish to go into the Te Arawa debate -- we all know the issues and we all have an opinion but the public mudslinging that has become part of the sideshow to this debate is undoubtedly going to affect local confidence.

There is a very real threat here to opportunities like Maori TV relocating to Rotorua or any business seriously considering opening its doors here.

This was the topic of an email from the deputy mayor to the councillors that was leaked to the press.

Maori TV employs a significant number of people. The chamber recently asked for local businesses to get in behind the submission and make an offer of support to assist getting them to seriously consider Rotorua as their new home. I was surprised with the support we received.

There is a lot of similar cases where council, Chamber of Commerce and Grow Rotorua are all working to attract investment in our city and get new businesses to relocate.

A public spat could be the undoing of a lot of this work. Would you invest in a company where the directors were publicly at war with each other?


A council at war is not a good look. I am sure there are processes to follow even if it is to lock them in council chambers and let them air their differences behind closed doors.

Their disagreement over any issues should show in the way they vote and should not be in the form of public attacks on each other.

Darrin Walsh is chief executive of the Rotorua Chamber of Commerce