A petition against a proposed shared library and child health hub has received almost 1400 signatures, but whether it will have an impact on project plans is yet to be seen.

The petition was delivered to Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick yesterday by organiser Rosemary Michie.

Mrs Michie told the Rotorua Daily Post it contained "just under 1400" signatures.

Chief concerns of those who had signed - including the amount of ratepayer money being spent, accessibility to the first floor of the building, parking and the reduction in space and number of books - were discussed, Mrs Michie said.


After the meeting at the Rotorua Lakes Council with the mayor and councillors Janet Wepa and Glenys Searancke, Mrs Michie said the discussion "all went very well".

"They still think it is a marvellous idea and I don't."

Mrs Michie was supported by three friends who also worked on the petition - Anita Stanley, Elva Anderson and Jan Turner.

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"At least we had the opportunity to discuss it with the mayor and a couple of the councillors," she said.

"It was good meeting with the mayor and they did listen, but I don't know how much change there will be in the council's decision to have a medical centre there."

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She said she had expressed her concern the children's library would be reduced.

The proposal is to provide the library and some Lakes District Health Board child health services in an integrated way in the council-owned building in which the library is housed.

Mrs Chadwick said the council was faced with having to carry out major maintenance and earthquake strengthening work on the library building while the health board was looking to establish a child health facility in the central city.

"The costs have yet to be finalised and will change as we go through the different stages of the project " that's normal for a project like this. The council has made it very clear to staff that the cost must be met within available funding."

Mrs Chadwick said ratepayers would not be funding health services.

The health board would be funding its share of the refurbishments and would become a paying tenant in the building so its contribution would be ongoing, Mrs Chadwick said.

"The concerns raised with me today are matters already being taken into consideration. We were happy to hear what the group had to say and answer their questions and their concerns will be passed on to the project team.

"It shows there is a passion for our library and we share that passion," she said. "We are trying to meet the needs of the whole community, now and into the future. This project is still at concept stage and we have very experienced staff from both the council and Lakes District Health Board involved."

She said the final proposal would be shared with the community.