A big turnout is expected at today's Rotorua Lakes Council meeting as councillors vote on whether or not to go back to the drawing board when it comes to the management of the city's Aquatic Centre.
The council's Operations and Monitoring Committee has recommended the council "go back to the drawing board and properly consider all management options including the staff proposal and development opportunities for the Aquatic Centre".
It comes after months of controversy over the council's decision to outsource management to Community Leisure Management (CLM).
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Rotorua Aquatic Centre management may go 'back to the drawing board'
Aquatic Centre staff were allowed to compile and present an initial proposal to the committee earlier this month after the Amalgamated Workers Union complained to the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) the process of engagement with the union was inadequate.
Council chief executive Geoff Williams said in a statement yesterday there had been a lot of public interest and a lot of lobbying of councillors.
"Unfortunately, there has been a lot of misinformation circulated which has raised a lot of anxiety among staff and the general public.
"It's important we bring this matter to a conclusion and provide certainty to all parties involved regarding the way forward. In saying that, council has a clear obligation to ensure the best services are provided to the community, and that this is done in the most cost-effective and efficient manner while also maintaining the organisation's commitment as a good employer."
He said he was confident there would be a "good airing of the issues" at the meeting, at which he expected a larger than normal public turnout.
Awunz Construction and Infrastructure union organiser Rob Popata represents Aquatic Centre union members, many of whom will attend today.
"Every worker would love to be in that room, but those that can't will have family there for them.
"We've been ready to go back to the drawing board for a while. We've been doing a lot of work in the background. Everyone would be disappointed if the outcome of the vote changed from that of the committee meeting.
"At this stage it is usually a matter of rubber stamping. I'd be shocked if there was robust debate from the councillors."
CLM chief executive Craig Carter said yesterday he "100 per cent" believed there were still opportunities to work with the council.
"Collaboration would only take this facility forward. We want to be able to continue the great work being done, as well as bring some of our best practice to the table. We work on an ask, not tell philosophy.
"We will be waiting, like everybody else, for [today's] decision."
Councillors will also be presented with the Long Term Plan consultation document. If approved, it will be released to the public for consultation.
The final Long Term Plan must be adopted by June 30.
The meeting begins at 9.30am in the council chamber and is open to the public. It will also be live streamed at rotorualakescouncil.nz.