Rotorua's mayor has urged the New Zealand Property Council to bring in more investors, saying the city's growth needs to continue.

Steve Chadwick gave a presentation at a lunch held by the Property Council yesterday encouraging it to find investors for Rotorua.

She spoke about how much Rotorua had grown since 2013 and what the next step was.

"In 2013 we set a long-term vision, we said 'what do we want this place to look like?', if we hadn't made the changes on rates we would have had to increase them to 19 per cent to get to the point where we were not borrowing, that was a scary prospect for a new mayor."


She said the council had been able to bring down some debt last year, for the first time in 10 years, and it was no longer having to borrow for operating costs.

"We are in an area where we have got some wriggle room."

Mrs Chadwick said retailers were enjoying increased profits and saw in last year's December quarter an 11 per cent increase in retail spend and a 15 per cent increase in transactions compared with December 2012.

"This is good, but not good enough. We will continue to invest in and improve our inner city and encourage others to invest.

"When you've got a good plan, you keep going, you don't get nervous."

Mrs Chadwick said population growth was a big part of Rotorua being able to get back on the right track.

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"Rotorua district experienced a permanent and long-term net migration gain of 571 persons in the year to September 2015.

"This compares with a gain of 297 a year ago, and a 10-year average of 128 (loss)."

She said it was now time to change the council's focus from getting Rotorua ready for business, to achieving sustained growth.

She finished her presentation by urging the Property Council to bring in more investors or put any ideas it might have forward.

Phil Kai Fong, spokesman for the Bay of Plenty branch of the New Zealand Property Council, said he was excited about seeing the growth in the city.

"We need a strong council that's going to facilitate growth and I think that we are starting to see that now," he said.

"I think Rotorua is undergoing a re-invention."