Angry Rotorua residents, terrified their property values will plummet if a regional airport runway is extended, have clashed with Rotorua District Council officials.

About 80 residents from the Hannahs and Holdens Bay areas turned out to a public meeting last night to discuss the proposed extension.

Residents slammed the council for the lack of consultation and changing information - saying they were taking an "arrogant" approach to consultation. A furious Tony Renshaw led the charge against the council, saying it was a question about people's livelihoods.

The council wants to extend the runway 487m to the southern end, nearest to town, to better allow for five to eight transtasman flights a week, increasing to up to 18 flights by 2025.

To do that, they need to change the zoning of nearby land. As the owner of the airport's asset the council has lodged for the changes and submissions are now open.

Mr Renshaw, who lives in Willow Ave, said it could see his property value drop more than $150,000.

Last night's meeting at times deteriorated into a scrap between the residents and councillors and council staff. When mayor Kevin Winters said he "didn't want it to turn into a bun-fight", Mr Renshaw replied "well we do, because you're ruining our property prices".

Mr Renshaw said he would "never forgive [the council] for trying to pull the wool over our eyes" by giving contradictory information about whether any jets would be flying at night.

The council originally told residents no jets would fly in after a certain time, later changing their stance to "no scheduled jets", which meant charter flights could come in.

Another resident said the council could not expect any response other than a "tetchy" one.

"These people are not very happy. If you had've been a private company you would have been prosecuted because of your behaviour. It's time you brought some of your officers to account."

A representative of the Ruamata Marae said there was a kura kaupapa (school) as well as an adult training school at the northern end of the runway.

She said planes flew so low over the area at the moment that visitors actually ducked.

"We put our finger over our ears but visitors duck. Now that is shocking."

Strategic Planning and Resource Engineer Paul Cooper said the council was not actively pursuing the purchase of any more houses until after the outcome of the district plan change.

"Essentially homes closest to the runway are of specific interest."

Submissions on the proposal to rezone the land will close on March 17.

They will be considered by an independent commissioner. Another public meeting will be held tomorrow in the Rotorua District Council chambers.

- DAILY POST (ROTORUA)