It's not a skate park. And it's no longer a car park. It's Mount Maunganui's brand new $2.5 million green space.

And it's gaining attention for all the wrong reasons.

First it was the name - Te Papa o Ngā Manu Porotakataka. Or, in English, the place of the circling birds. Three-quarters of people surveyed rejected the name, many saying it was too long.

Then there's the issue of shade, with members of the public nicknaming the space "fifty shades of grey".


"During the summer we couldn't even come down here," Adam McLean said. "Having kids, you want to have greenery and somewhere for the kids to run around in."

But the biggest problem? Many people thought the place was a skate park, despite many "no skateboarding" signs.

Tauranga Deputy Mayor, Kelvin Clout says the council was doing everything it could, putting up the signs as well as "special studs" on concrete edges and initially hiring security guards to discourage skateboarders.

But locals still aren't happy.

Retail owners said the loss of 55 carparks to make way for the space, has been bad for business.

"For the council to take out all the parks and to replace it with absolutely nothing is beyond belief," Heather Brunsdon said.

The council urged the public to reserve judgement as there was more to be done with the area.

"What people don't realise just yet is that the park still hasn't been completed," Clout said.


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