Rotorua is a bi-cultural district with a multi-cultural population of around 70,000 people.
Founded in the early 1830s, Rotorua city has a unique personality with a harmonious mix of European, Maori, Asian and other people. The Maori people are a large part of the history of Rotorua. They are also the original settlers in the area. The Te Arawa tribe has contributed greatly to the development of the district as both a tourist destination and a great place to live.
It has a diverse population base with a dynamic ethnic mix and is the world-renowned heartland of Maori culture. While there is a strong cultural base and identity in Rotorua, it is also welcoming and accepting of new peoples and different cultures.
The population profile is currently quite young but is gradually ageing as the ‘baby boomer’ generation nears retirement. Other key trends include an increasing number of Maori residents and an increasing number of residents in other non-European ethnic groups.
Each year the Rotorua District Council holds a number of New Zealand Citizenship ceremonies to recognise new members of the community. During the last year 132 people from 27 countries became citizens of New Zealand at ceremonies organised by the Department of Internal Affairs and Council. This developing ethnic diversity in the community provides challenges and opportunities for planning and creating a socially inclusive community, which is the future Rotorua.
The district’s Ethnic Council meets regularly and its component organisations celebrate their cultures in events throughout the year.
Compared to other districts Rotorua has a high level of perceived community spirit and an active social and sporting scene. Also, many residents commit time and effort to working in the community, taking part in activities such as fundraising, attending meetings, training and coaching.