The fate of Rotorua's Springfield Golf Course was among hot topics at a public meeting on Wednesday evening.
The meeting, held at the council chamber, was the first of a series of seven, as part of consultation on the council's 2021-2031 Long Term Plan (LTP).
About 13 members of the public attended Wednesday's meeting.
Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick opened the meeting, saying elected members present wanted to listen to the public's views, although "we might have different views on what progress looks like".
"It's time for you to tell us what to think."
Councillors Fisher Wang, Reynold Macpherson, Sandra Kai Fong, Trevor Maxwell, Mercia Yates and Raj Kumar were also present, as well as deputy mayor Dave Donaldson, Rural Community Board member Bryce Heard and Rotorua Lakes Community Board member Jennifer Rothwell.
Council corporate planning and governance manager Oonagh Hopkins said the "cafe-style event" was an opportunity for members of the public to speak with elected members, who would rotate around four tables to discuss various topics including the Aquatic Centre, housing and finance.
One member of the public, Grant Chapman, said he wanted to address the meeting, but Hopkins said that was "not the purpose" of the evening.
Issues raised in the groups by members of the public at the meeting were the future of Springfield Golf Course and the Westbrook sports precinct proposal's impact on that, and the impact of a proposed 9.2 per cent rates rise for 2021 on households and businesses, particularly tourism.
Attendee Robert Lee said it would be better for the council to invest money upgrading existing parks, rather than going ahead with the Westbrook sports precinct proposal.
The LTP proposed a spend of just over $61 million on the project over the 10-year period, over a third of a proposed spend on sport, recreation and the environment of $159m.
One member of the public told Kai Fong and Kumar there was "a lot of fat to be trimmed" in the proposed plan, and "core business" needed to be a focus.
"These are extraordinary times. You cannot move forward in a normal way," she said.
Attendee Trish Hosking expressed support for some measures to improve the Aquatic Centre, such as a shade sail, and she supported the idea of high-density residential options in the inner city.
Another attendee, Justin Adams, said community programmes like Green Team, a school holiday programme with environmental activities, helped community safety in the long term as children were invested in the town as they had a part in shaping it.
After the meeting, Adams told Local Democracy Reporting he was disappointed with the public turnout to the meeting.
"It's one thing going on Facebook and writing some comment, and [another] standing up and doing something about it."
Consultation opened on Tuesday last week and will run until 4pm on April 30.
Hopkins said members of the public are welcome to come to multiple meetings if they wish, and told people to encourage friends and family to provide feedback on the draft LTP.
Long-term plans, undertaken every three years, set out what the council proposes to achieve over the next 10 years and how those goals are funded.
The council's proposals are laid out in full in its consultation document, titled "Mahi" and available on the council website.
Feedback session dates:
April 12: Rotoiti Sports Club, 6pm - 8pm
April 14: Mamaku Hall, 6.30pm – 8.30pm
April 20: Te Ao Marama, Ōhinemutu, 6pm – 8pm
April 22: Rotorua Lakes Council chamber, 6pm – 8pm
April 27: Te Tākinga Marae, Mourea, 6pm – 8pm
April 28: Tangatarua Marae, Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology, 6pm – 8pm
Submit on Rotorua Lakes Council's 2021-2031 Long Term Plan here.
The consultation document is available here.