It's the $2.5 million green space project that's continuing to cause controversy.

Te Papa o Ngā Manu Porotakataka, or the new Mount Maunganui "skatepark" as some locals call it, has sparked widespread debate since it opened earlier this year.

Local businesses have claimed the loss of 55 carparks to make way for the space has hit them hard.

Latest revelations include several shops in the Mount area closing down or choosing to not renew their lease, blaming the new space for significant loss in customers and revenue.

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Business owner Emma Brandt said the new park is "a slap in the face" from Tauranga City Council.

Saya Suka is relocating to the South Waikato due to lack of parks. Photo / Shilo Kino
Saya Suka is relocating to the South Waikato due to lack of parks. Photo / Shilo Kino

Her shop Saya Suka has been open for three summers but is now relocating to South Waikato - and Brandt blames the lack of carparks.

"Nowhere to park meant loss of customers and, with local businesses already paying a high amount of rates, it's too much," she said. "The Mount has so much potential, the council have cut the potential off."

Nearby, in the Cruisedeck Mall, is tattoo artist Skye Carson-Wilson. Born and bred in the Mount, she's now struggling to keep her business going.

"We like our customers to come in for assessments but instead they are now messaging us because they can't be bothered coming in, because there's no carparks," she said.

"They can't even come in on their lunch break."

Customers have also blamed the lack of carparks for arriving late, disrupting bookings and having to reschedule.

"Everyone's so proud of the Mount and where we are from, but we've got nothing to be proud of with that space."

Deputy mayor Kelvin Clout said the council took the impact on businesses into consideration .

"Within 200m to 300m of this site, there are replacement parks down Nikau Cresent and Prince Avenue. We've got more carparks than before."

Resident Dawn Kiddie held a hui last week with 100 residents turning up to discuss the park. Photo / Shilo Kino
Resident Dawn Kiddie held a hui last week with 100 residents turning up to discuss the park. Photo / Shilo Kino

Resident Dawn Kiddie held a hui last week with 100 residents turning up to discuss the park.

"We delivered 200 brochures to different retailers and there wasn't one positive response about the green space," she said.

Kiddie said the next step was to reinstate the Mount Maunganui Ratepayers Association to fight Tauranga City Council.

Construction at the space was still under way. with extra grass beds, LED lights and CCTV cameras being installed.

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