"Excuse me; you can't skate here."

Sue Hatchwell tells off two young skateboarders doing tricks off the concrete seats in the old Phoenix car park.

The boys mimic her and continue to skate in the new "urban green space" now named Te Papa O Ngā Manu Porotakataka, which opened to the public this week before final completion.

"That is exactly what's going to happen," Hatchwell said. "It is going to be destroyed with skateboarders."

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The Mount Maunganui resident feared skateboarders would become a nuisance in the new space.

"I am worried they might knock somebody over," she said.

Hatchwell was "horrified" with the design of the old Phoenix car park, saying there was not enough shade which meant the concrete would heat up fast.

"We had a nice car park here, and the car park was needed for the retailers. Parking was great."

Tauranga City councillors voted to call the old Mount Maunganui carpark Te Papa O Ngā Manu Porotakataka on December 19, which was opposed by 757 people in an online consultation.

What the proposed Phoenix carpark was supposed to look like. Photo / Tauranga City Council
What the proposed Phoenix carpark was supposed to look like. Photo / Tauranga City Council

Mount Maunganui/Pāpāmoa ward councillor Leanne Brown said the controversial $2 million project was not yet complete.

However, the council would look at whether any modifications were needed once the project was finished.

Brown said a water feature would be a deterrent to skateboarders and as for more trees, "Shade takes time".

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"I was expecting more greenery," Deputy Mayor Kelvin Clout said.

However, he expected the pohutukawa trees planted in the area to provide shade once they grew.

Clout said the newly opened space differed from the original plans after the council had to cut back on the initial budget.

"We did make some savings. I suspect that is where some of the greenery has been sacrificed."

The refurbishment of the neighbouring public toilets was also sacrificed, he said.

Clout acknowledged the space could attract skateboarders but said there were steel studs on the edge of the seats to help to deter them from riding where people sat.

"It is very open to the public, so I doubt there will be any trouble."

Water fountains would help to take the heat off and provide a place for the children to cool off during the summer, he said.

He said the restaurants at the northern end also provided a "good vibe".

"It is very spacious. When it is activated, it with markets and events it will be well utilised."

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE NEW URBAN GREEN SPACE?

Mike Cook. Photo / Andrew Warner
Mike Cook. Photo / Andrew Warner

Mike Cook

"In summer nobody is going to sit on the concrete walls. It is going to reflect so much heat. This place [Mount Main Street] is humming, but this is empty."

Sabine Cook. Photo / Andrew Warner
Sabine Cook. Photo / Andrew Warner

Sabine Cook

"It is just a huge space. There is no shade. But maybe there is hope that something is coming because they haven't yet finished it."

Fiona Holmes. Photo / Andrew Warner
Fiona Holmes. Photo / Andrew Warner

Fiona Holmes

"I was all for it. It is quite modern, it was looking quite dated, and a car park is a car park. You can't get excited about that. It is nice to see the kids playing around in it, and I like the new restaurants at the end there."

Sandy Lancaster. Photo / Andrew Warner
Sandy Lancaster. Photo / Andrew Warner

Sandy Lancaster

"I like how the community is able to use it. It will be so much better too when the trees grow."

Laura Boucher. Photo / Andrew Warner
Laura Boucher. Photo / Andrew Warner

Laura Boucher

"It is a cool concept, but they definitely need more shade."