If the experts predicted a dismal future for regional New Zealand, no one told Hauraki.
In a climate of expected population and economic decline, the district is booming, say Council.
In 2015, Gross Domestic Product growth was 8 per cent compared with national growth of 2.4 per cent. Productivity - GDP per employed person - growth was 6.2 per cent compared to 1.3 per cent nationally.
Population growth was 2.4 per cent compared to national growth of 2.1 per cent.
Council's Economic Development Committee Chair Toby Adams says a well-thought-out Economic Development Strategy, together with the district's location in the Golden Triangle between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga is proving to be a winning combination.
“We've set out to be a leader among New Zealand Councils in encouraging and enabling international investment and adopting a business friendly focus. Now it's really paying off.”
The country's first Chinese-owned ice cream factory officially opened in the district last week. Due to start production early next year, the factory will produce 5 - 10 tonnes of ice-cream per day for export to China and employ about 50, mostly local, people. It has already breathed new life into the small, rural community of Kerepehi.
In the same area, only one section is still for sale in a council-owned industrial subdivision, while sections in a recently developed residential subdivision in nearby Ngatea are also well.
Plans to build a 600-unit retirement village in Paeroa are also on the table, following the purchase of the Paeroa Racecourse by a private developer.
Council's Economic Development Manager David Fielden says Hauraki is fast matching up to Council's vision of a place where business locates, talent lives and people visit because of vibrant communities, great lifestyle options and an enabling business environment.
“It shows that you shouldn't listen to the predictions of experts. Over the last four years Council has worked hard and committed itself to creating an environment of confidence for companies to invest in the district. This has been recognised in both the domestic and international markets.”