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Latest Infometrics update
24 August 2018
Latest Infometrics update
According to the latest Infometrics quarterly economic report, Rotorua’s economic momentum continues to support the district’s growth and development goals, particularly in residential building consents, says Acting Mayor, Dave Donaldson.
 
“It’s really positive to see Rotorua’s GDP continuing to track in the right direction,” says the Sustainable Economic Development portfolio lead. “The Infometrics report has our GDP increasing by 4.0% in the year to the end of June, well ahead of the national average of 2.7%. This is a good indicator of economic growth in our district and is reinforced by local business sentiment expressed in a number of business forums and workshops I’ve attended recently.”
 
The latest Infometrics report also shows Rotorua district experienced a permanent and long-term net migration gain of 820 people in the year to June 2018. This compares with a gain of 816 a year ago, and a ten year average gain of 203.
 
“Population and economic growth provides great opportunity and diversity for the district. It has the potential to increase the demand for local goods and services, providing our current businesses with support and offering the opportunity for new businesses to emerge. Increased diversity can enhance the range of skills, ideas and wealth in our district, contributing to a vibrant economy, and helping our communities thrive. Our 2018 – 2028 Long Term Plan supports this on-going progress.
 
“Population growth also contributes to our on-going challenge of meeting the increasing demand for housing in our district.”
 
Updated Statistics NZ urban growth projections of 7.2% for Rotorua to 2023 have moved the district to medium growth status under the National Policy Statement (NPS) for Urban Growth Capacity. Under the NPS responsive planning policies and ensuring capacity for housing and business in the short, medium and long term are key requirements for areas expected to experience growth.
 
This ensures urban areas can grow and change in response to the needs of their communities. Council is already working towards the NPS for Urban Growth Capacity purpose through the Draft Spatial Plan and signing of a Housing Accord with the Government.
 
Council mechanisms to encourage residential development include zoning, effective and efficient consenting processes, a housing accord that sets targets, and a spatial plan which, when adopted, will guide how and where we grow. Council is working on all fronts to help unlock land and encourage development, Mr Donaldson says.
 
“Our focus and our commitment in this area is to ensuring our housing and infrastructure is in the best condition it can be to meet the present and future needs of growth, as well as being resilient in an era of climate change.”
 
The Infometrics report shows on an annual basis, the number of consents in Rotorua has increased by 37% compared with the same 12-month period a year ago. The number of consents in New Zealand increased by 7.9% over the same period. A total of 46 new residential building consents were issued in Rotorua in the June 2018 quarter, compared with 35 in the same quarter last year.”
 
The total value of building consents issued by Rotorua Lakes Council for the 2017/18 financial year was $129,459,479 compared with $109,067,091 the previous year, 153 building consents were issued for new dwellings for 2017/18 compared to 92 the previous financial year, 7 new dwellings were consented during June, and 19 consents for new dwellings are still being processed. Our consenting team is working with a number of developers and we look forward to reporting on this work in the near future.
 
Mr Donaldson says “Great progress is being made in our district, and Council will continue to focus on development and growth in these areas.”
 
Other points to note from the Infometrics report include:
 
  • GDP growth remains steady at 4.0%, while growth across the Bay of Plenty region as a whole slipped back to 3.6%. Rotorua’s growth is also well ahead of the 2.7% national average.
  • The tourism sector continues to expand with Rotorua guest nights up 6.6%, ahead of national average of 2.4%.
  • The annual average unemployment rate was 5.8%, down from 6.8% a year earlier.
  • Traffic flows increased by 3.2%. This compares with an increase of 3.1% in New Zealand.
  • The average current house value in Rotorua was up 8.2%. Growth outperformed relative to New Zealand, where prices increased by 4.9%.
  • In Rotorua district the average current house value was $415,970. This compares with $667,792 in New Zealand.
  • Car registrations increased by 15%.
 
To see the full Infometrics report, click here.