The owner of a Rotorua women's gym says she has closed it because users of the homeless shelter next door intimidated her customers.

But the man behind the shelter says he is doing all he can to prevent the issues.

Mariana Morrison ran Forme Fitness and a 24-hour laundromat in the building beside the shelter on Pukuatua St but said she was forced to close the gym because of loitering and anti-social behaviour.

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The closure follows complaints Morrison made in July of spitting, urination, aggressive behaviour, vulgar language and people "running around high on synthetics".

Morrison said she went on maternity leave and when she came back half her clients had left.

"I did a survey of my past customers and I had some of them telling me the only reason they left was because of the people from the homeless shelter.

"I had women saying they were intimidated and even staff have told me, they had drunk people chasing them into the gym."

Mariana Morrison has been forced to close her women's gym Forme Fitness due to what she says is the behaviour of homeless shelter patrons. Photo / Supplied
Mariana Morrison has been forced to close her women's gym Forme Fitness due to what she says is the behaviour of homeless shelter patrons. Photo / Supplied

Shelter organiser Tiny Deane said inside the shelter everything was going well, but he was now being blamed for "a lot of stuff" that originated from other places.

"I've been feeling really bad about how the street has gone because it has been bad."

He said he had been asking shelter users to respect other people who used the street.

"I am addressing these issues whenever I see them and we have discussed with them not doing this on the street.


"I'm doing the best I can, but it is such a hard job ...''

Deane said people urinating and vomiting had been drinking elsewhere.

He said he was happy to work with the neighbours and with the council to come up with a solution and to improve the street's atmosphere.

Rotorua Lakes Council kaiwhakahaere Māori Gina Rangi said the council knew there were concerns about loitering and anti-social behaviour on Pukuatua St and had been working closely with local businesses and organisations to see how they could work together to address the problem.

"Council received one complaint about loitering on Pukuatua St which prompted the council staff to visit businesses in the area and assess the situation.

"This resulted in further concerns being shared and a community safety group coming together."

She said progress was being made.

"Council's primary focus is to ensure Rotorua is a safe and enjoyable place to be.

"We will continue to work with businesses and the police, but also encourage anyone who feels their safety is at risk to call the police on 111."

Ministry of Social Development Bay of Plenty regional commissioner Mike Bryant said it was aware of the concerns and understood these were being worked through by the council, Visions of Helping Hands and neighbouring businesses.

"Our focus here is doing our best to help anyone that may be homeless or sleeping rough in Rotorua.

"We support the work Tiny and the team at Visions of Helping Hands are doing and continue to have a good relationship with them.

"We've had a case manager working out of the premises as required, and are happy to continue to do this if the need arises again."

MSD has contributed about $66,000 so far this winter for night shelter-related services in Rotorua.

"This helped with the costs of upgrading a property to operate as a night shelter as well as operating costs for support services," Bryant said.

"We are continuing to fund on-going costs and support services for homeless people at the night shelter."