A group opposed to a children's skatepark at Cory Park Domain has initiated a legal challenge in the High Court against the Tairua-Pauanui Community Board's decision to locate the facility there.
Mayor Sandra Goudie said council lawyers were negotiating with the challengers.
But the council would still back down and start again with the process - a decision being disputed by community-led skatepark backers.
"Irrespective of what the society decides to do, council and the community board will be asked to consider a staff report at their May meetings, recommending that all previous decisions relating to the skatepark at Cory Park be revoked and that the council starts the process afresh.
"This would involve assessing all of the possible locations for a skatepark in Tairua, deciding on a preferred option, and then consulting with the whole community on their preferred option.
"This process would be run from the council's Thames office and the final decision made by council."
The Preserve Cory Park Domain Incorporated Society launched its legal challenge on March 11, after the Tairua-Pauanui Community Board resolved at its February 17 meeting that the skatepark project could proceed at the domain.
Jacqui Gage-Brown, chairwoman of the Tairua Sports and Recreation Trust which has raised $150,000, a third of the costs of the skatepark, says the legal challenge represented only a small sector of the community.
"I'd say less than 20 families, and they are discriminating against tamariki and what sports can be played in our sporting zone."
The trust is investigating the legality of the council's requirement for a backdown.
"The council has said it wants to start again with a feasibility study on a location when as far as we can see there's only one location in the town that meets zoning and consent requirements, and this is Cory Park Domain."
The skatepark at Cory Park Domain was subject to noise mitigation measures being incorporated into the design and confirmation from the Tairua Sports and Recreation Trust that their funding contribution of $150,000 to the construction costs had been achieved.
Both conditions have been met, with the community-led trust raising the money in less than four months from local donations.
"Our lawyers are negotiating with the society to try to avoid spending ratepayers' money on a legal process, but the matter has not been resolved," says mayor Sandra Goudie.
"This is disappointing. We'd much rather spend ratepayers' money delivering a recreational amenity for the town's young people."
The council confirmed there has been long-term demand in Tairua for such a facility.
In the 2018-2028 Long Term Plan, the Tairua-Pauanui Community Board budgeted for the investigation and construction of a skate facility, the council states.
There was no comment from the Protect Cory Park Domain Society at this point.
- HC Post Editor Alison Smith is a trustee of the Tairua Sports and Recreation Trust.