Tweaks could be made to the new Te Manawa shared space depending on feedback - with the placement of shade sails one of the possible changes in store.

The former City Focus has been a controversial topic among locals since the plans were announced and since it opened a week ago, many have taken to social media to share their thoughts on the end product.

Te Manawa was officially declared open to the public last Sunday by mayor Steve Chadwick, who said the Rotorua Lakes Council would consider tweaking the area based off feedback it received.

Infrastructure group manager Stavros Michael said the council would monitor how people were using the space to identify any issues that might need addressing, but it is "still early days".


"A safety audit of the design was conducted prior to construction and a follow-up audit will be conducted soon," he said.

One concern some locals have is whether a sail will be installed at Te Manawa as it moves into summer.

Michael said the placement of a sail which was originally included in the design is still up for consideration.

"It will be considered once we have had time to observe the use of Te Manawa so we can ensure it goes in the right spot."

He also said there are plans to install a mobile stage.

The work on Te Manawa was a fixed price contract and cost $1.135 million.

The only upgrade which was not included in this cost was the renewal for the existing plants in the area, which were covered by annual renewal budgets.

Michael acknowledged it would take a while for locals to get used to the shared zone concept, but said it's not a new idea and it had worked well elsewhere in New Zealand and around the world.

There are signs up at Te Manawa indicating the rules and urging all users to be courteous and share the area with care.

"The key thing for people to remember is that people come first in Te Manawa. Motorists and bike riders are expected to treat the area as a low0speed environment, to travel at walking pace and give way to pedestrians," Michael said.