Rotorua's ratepayers will pay an average 5.7 per cent more on their rates bill, which is due to hit letterboxes in August.
Rotorua Lakes Council voted to adopt its 2022/23 Annual Plan, in a full council meeting on Thursday.
Mayor Steve Chadwick – who was present for that part of the meeting before leaving early – said she was "happy" and proud the council had held its "line" and "nerve".
She said the rates rise was not "eye-watering" such as neighbouring councils' - including Tauranga's 13.7 per cent.
"Nobody likes to see rates go up but people will bark when services are cut."
While some councillors – such as Tania Tapsell and Sandra Kai Fong – queried whether the council had adjusted its strategy to cope with future challenges, particularly inflation, council chief executive Geoff Williams said the council had not directed officers to do that.
Tapsell also took issue with part of the mayor's statement in the Annual Plan labelling calls to "cut the spend" as "noise".
Tapsell said it was "ignorant" and "disrespectful" and the views of the community shouldn't be "disregarded".
Council organisational enablement deputy chief executive Thomas Colle said he had confidence the council would deal with challenges as they arose.
Councillor Reynold Macpherson said to some ratepayers the Annual Plan was a "grossly imprudent strategy".
Deputy mayor Dave Donaldson said he supported the Annual Plan and the council had prioritised and "mothballed" the Blue Baths – which was currently closed due to seismic strength concerns.
Chadwick moved the motion to adopt the document with Donaldson seconding. It passed with councillors Kai Fong, Kumar, Macpherson and Tapsell voting against.
Rates were also set, locking in a 5.7 per cent rates rise, with the same councillors opposed.
Local Democracy Reporting is public interest journalism funded by NZ On Air.