Plans to redevelop Kulim Park in Bureta have been put on hold after residents told councillors a community backlash was brewing.

Tauranga Mayor Greg Brownless confirmed yesterday construction on the redevelopment would not begin as scheduled in early March.

He said the project was among those under review at the request of new chief executive Marty Grenfell.

Grenfell has instigated investigations into a handful of projects, such as the Phoenix carpark redevelopment, where the result or plans did not appear to meet the community's expectations. The review does not extend to the technical design elements.


Brownless said the "pause" would allow more time for the investigation and further discussions.

He said he had his own doubts about the proposed design of the park, including the removal of waterfront parking spaces.

On Thursday Bureta residents John Little and Paul Clark told the council's Community and Culture Committee they believed designs for the waterfront park were "seriously flawed", as was the community consultation process the council used.

Little said they knew of around 50 other residents who were also concerned.

Clarke said there was not that much wrong with the park: the grass needed protection from hoons, drainage issues needed fixing, there was too little parking and bike/foot traffic needed to be separated from vehicles.

"The park isn't broken, it just needs a few tweaks."

He said their main issue was the plan to rip up a "perfectly good" road and move it away from the waterfront back alongside the railway lines and add parks for campervans.

"This is a ridiculous place to park vehicles and will be scary and intimidating for drivers," Clark said.


He said at least 80 carparks were needed, double the 40 in the plan.

The pair, both building industry professionals, proposed an alternative plan that retained the existing green belt and open space as well as the road. More parks would be added along the road.

"We would like to work with the council to get the best outcome for Kulim Park," Clark said.

The council's current plans were developed by consultants over 2017 and 2018 in consultation with Ngai Tamarāwaho and the local community.

The design, which went out for a construction tender late last year, aimed to reinstate the coastal edge and beaches, resolve drainage issues, connect shared paths and consolidate vehicle access.

Little said yesterday he was "chuffed" to hear the council had paused the construction start date and he looked forward to seeing the council work through the issues with the community.