A simple suggestion on Facebook for a new feature at the Mount has locals buzzing on social media.
Mount resident Stephanie-Jo Bevington was running around Mauao when she thought how great it would be to have an ‘ocean pool' somewhere at the base, or at Leisure Island.
Ocean pools are popular in Australia, and involve walling off a section of the sea near the shoreline with concrete or rocks, to create a calm saltwater pool.
Stephanie-Jo shared her idea on the Mount Maunganui Noticeboard page, and within a few hours had received more than 500 reactions and over 100 comments.
She says the feedback has been mostly positive.
“There are obviously a few people concerned with the impact on the natural environment. But it's just an idea I had. I thought it would be so nice to have a little pool to jump into, like they have in Australia.
“I think it would great for families with young children worried about swimming in the open sea. In Sydney they're so popular, everyone hangs out by the pools.”
She says she was simply putting the idea out there to see what other people think.
“It'll be interesting to see what happens.”
She's started a petition on toko.org.nz to get the council to look into it. However, Mayor Greg Brownless doubts it will get off the ground.
“Council receives all kind of ideas, usually from people wanting to spend other people's money, which is what this is. We consider whatever comes up, although personally it wouldn't be a priority.”
He says with the different authorities involved, including iwi and the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, gaining resource consent would also be a ‘nightmare'.
He believes past experiences with these sorts of projects have not been successful.
“We had an artificial surf reef a few years ago. Think of what that cost the community, and what it achieved – absolutely nothing. Where are the promoters of that now? Those responsible for it are nowhere to be found.”
He says the council would have to look at both the true support for an ocean pool, as well as the feasibility of such a project. But he's not much of a fan.
“I also prefer to leave things natural – I'm anti-concrete.”
A previous petition to Tauranga City Council, seeking to make Leisure Island a water fun park once more, was unanimously rejected by councillors in 2015.