Long kindergarten waiting lists at Mount Maunganui are unlikely to be solved by the generosity of the Tauranga City Council.
The council yesterday agreed to assess its land holdings at the Mount even though Mayor Stuart Crosby said the chances were minimal of finding a site that met all the criteria.
Pressure at the Mount where the Gwen Owens Kindergarten now had a waiting list of 120 children was highlighted by the Tauranga Regional Free Kindergarten Association principal Peter Monteith.
The association currently had four kindergartens serving a population of 60,000 at the Mount and Papamoa, with a total waiting list of 230 children.
"Our problem is the coastal area," Mr Monteith said.
Agreement in principle had been reached to buy land for another kindergarten in Papamoa but the cost and scarcity of land at the northern end of the Mount meant there were few options to reduce the waiting list at the Gwen Owens Kindergarten.
"We have been looking for a site for two years."
The waiting list at the Mount meant children were not being enrolled at the kindergarten until they had reached the age of four years and three months.
Yesterday's meeting instructed staff to assess possible sites for a new kindergarten, with councillor Larry Baldock suggesting the northern end of May St Reserve.
The association had suggested the land next to Zespri's head office in Maunganui Rd but a report to the meeting said this was generally perceived by the community as being green space.
Other sites excluded as not being suitable included the old Mount Fire Station in Totara St, owned by the Office of Treaty Settlements, and the old Cosmopolitan Club, owned by the council.
Mr Crosby said there was a tradition of local government supporting free kindergartens although he did not have high hopes that the council would find a site at the Mount.
Councillor Rick Curach said private childcare operators paid rates to the council and providing a site to the association would compromise their businesses.
Mr Crosby said that kindergartens were in competition with the private sector, but that was a discussion for another day.