Sustainable Economic Development

About this portfolio

Work undertaken to date as part of this portfolio has focused on strengthening the links between the council’s various economic growth activities and responding to opportunities as they arise.
In April 2015 a Business Leaders' forum was held. This was an opportunity to share thinking and hear the concerns of the business community. Photo of Cr Dave Donaldson, RLC Strategy Manager Aimee Mcgregor and groups at the Rotorua Business Leaders Forum Top: Rotorua Lakes Council strategy manager and Business Leaders Forum chair, Aimee McGregor, with deputy mayor and forum host, Cr Dave Donaldson. Bottom: Discussion groups during Rotorua Business Leaders Forum.

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Following on from the forum have been plans to establish a small advisory group and to stage another forum in 2016.

The council played a significant role in the attraction and staging of the first Crankworx mountain biking event which took place in Rotorua in early 2015. Crankworx is the world’s largest mountain bike festival and Rotorua has secured the rights to host the annual event in 2015, 2016 and 2017. The 2015 mountain bike festival had an international viewer audience estimated at 2 million and the direct benefit to the local economy was estimated at $3.68 million.

Other work completed or underway includes the following:

  • Reviewing the Rotorua Sustainable Economic Growth Policy
  • Building relationships to ensure ongoing access, recreational management and development within Tokorangi and Whakarewarewa forests with iwi and other partners
  • Adoption of a Wood First Policy aimed at showcasing  and promoting wood as construction material
  • Final phase in development of the Rotorua District Plan – currently at the appeals stage. It is hoped to have a fully operative district plan in early 2016.
  • Funding applications to central government’s Rural Broadband 2 Initiative and Mobile Blackspot Fund.
  • Supporting development of a digital strategy in partnership with the business community
  • Developing a sustainable solution for Rotorua’s wastewater treatment that supports the council’s long term growth ambitions
  • Investigating development of a new resident attraction campaign
  • Tourism sector increasingly popular recording 3.5 million visitor nights and $593 million visitor expenditure in 2015, up from 3.2 million visitor nights and $468 million visitor
    expenditure in 2014 and well on the way to its $1 billion goal.
  • Increasing levels of investment across a range of industry sectors including the recently announced $24 million by Central Government for critical improvements to Te Ngae Road.
  •  District Plan becomes operational providing business and residential certainty. 

Portfolio Lead Councillor - Cr Dave Donaldson


Council contact person 

Michael Hancock - Senior Strategic Advisor - Economic Development 
Email: ​
Phone: 07 351 8122 


Page reviewed: 03 Jul 2019 10:14am