"We were promised a green space that the community did not want, they went ahead and did it anyway and now it's a concrete pad."

The saga continues for the $2.5 million green space, located in the heart of Mount Maunganui.

Te Papa o Ngā Manu Porotakataka, formerly known as the Phoenix car park, has caused controversy since it opened earlier this year.

Now locals are rallying together to stand up to the council.

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"What the community want and what the council are going ahead and doing is completely different," protest organiser Dawn Kiddie said.

"I don't understand how that divide is there when you have a community who is dead set against something and you go ahead and do it anyway. I don't understand the logic behind that."

On Monday evening, 100 people attended a meeting in support of forming a new association for Mount Maunganui.

Dawn Kiddie and Andrew Hollis spent hours knocking on doors and getting feedback. Now they've formed a group for residents, ratepayers and retailers.

"We've added retailers in there as well because they have a voice of their own," Kiddie said. "I would be very concerned if I was a retailer in Mount Maunganui right now.

"We do have a strategic plan coming up in the next two weeks - something we can offer the community retailers in that space."

Hollis said the association coming together meant the community had one voice to touch council with.

"It means that when council calls for ideas, the community's engaged and that's the purpose of forming it."

The next step is finding a venue for their first official ratepayers', residents' and retailers' association meeting, next month.

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