Rotorua Lakes Council's Strategy, Policy, and Finance Committee meeting discussed three reports at its first meeting of 2019 yesterday morning.

Pay by plate parking technology

The first report recommended updates to the Traffic bylaw to better suit the new 'pay by plate' parking changes.

The committee approved the recommendations, which will go out for consultation.

Councillor Peter Bentley said shops had complained to him about reduced free parking outside their premises.

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Acting group manager Henry Weston confirmed, "There wasn't individual approval sought from every shop owner".

Committee chairwoman, councillor Merepeka Raukawa-Tait said "there's no way you're going to getting everybody's consent".

"For some people, any change to their routine, to what they know, can be confusing. It takes a bit of time, they get anxious, that's understandable, they get peed off, those are the reactions we're going to get."

Freedom camping amendment

The committee approved going out to consultation on proposed amendments to the Traffic Bylaw -- including those relating to freedom camping.

The current bylaw stops people from sleeping in a caravan, camper vehicle, house bus or mobile home on any road.

The change would allow people to sleep in these vehicles, but not for a continuous period exceeding seven days without prior written consent from the council.

Living Waters of Waikite Valley lease

The next report focused on the Waikite Valley pool and campground lease.

It recommended entering a new lease for 20 years from June 2020.

The business plans to extend and upgrade its outside seating and paths, the cafe and reception, and some pools.

Reigniting Rotorua partner support

Acting Group Manager Operations Henry Weston presented a report to staff about reigniting a partner programme for those wanting to offer small amounts of volunteering time or money for Rotorua community projects.

He said various businesses and organisations had expressed interest, and the committee was enthusiastic about the proposal, as long as there was full public disclosure of support received.

Council staff will come back to the committee with a framework.

Public excluded

The committee then discussed a recommendation regarding admission charge increases at the Polynesian Spa, in confidence.