Rotorua is like no other place in New Zealand. The growth of our city and district is reflective of the diversity of the people who live here, and the changing environment of this unique place.
When I became Mayor of Rotorua following the October 2013 local government elections, I came in on a mandate for change. Like me, people were concerned at the state of affairs. They wanted to see economic development and population growth for their city and district and financial accountability from their council. Most of all they wanted to have a say in the future of Rotorua.
Very early on in this council’s term of office we developed a 2030 Vision for Rotorua and a strategy for council to achieve a group of goals and priorities, that if achieved, we believed would go a long way towards creating a Rotorua that was better for all our people. To deliver these goals and priorities, councillors worked with the organisation to establish a clear focus and new direction.
Change has happened. Rotorua Lakes Council is a smaller organisation with a sustainable financial framework and less debt. After ten years of stagnation Rotorua’s population is growing. Tourism is booming and tourism operators are once again investing in their businesses. Houses are selling and Rotorua’s GDP is consistently above the national average.
Over the last two years we have focused on working in partnership with the community through councillor led portfolios. Community stakeholder steering groups are a valued component and central to the decisions made within each portfolio. Additionally, the opinions and ideas of the community have been sought and welcomed through channels such as The Ideas Shop, meetings and hui.
We hold ourselves accountable by regularly reporting on our progress towards our 2030 Goals and 2016 Priorities. Our progress reports show where we have come from, what we are focusing on and where we are going.
Rotorua is once again a vibrant and growing place. The challenges ahead will be related to our city and the
district’s growth rather than its decline. Together in partnership we will find solutions to any challenges ahead.
Tatau Tatau – we together.