Regular bathers at the Mount Hot Pools have complained at new Hawaiian-style uniforms being worn by lifeguards.
The traditional red and yellow uniform worn by lifeguards has been changed for a blue shirt adorned with hibiscus flowers. They retain their red shorts.
Council aquatics chief executive Tania Delahunty said the surfie look fitted the latest refurbishments and the location of the hot pools, several regular bathers complained to the Bay of Plenty Times that the lifeguards no longer stood out.
Kevin Akroyd said the yellow and red lifeguard colours were common all over the world, except at the hot pools.
"They don't stand out as lifeguards any more. Looking at them, they look like anyone else at the pools."
Another regular, who asked not to be named, said people could not be sure whether they were seeing a lifeguard or not.
"It looks like a member of the public walking around."
He said the word "lifeguard" printed on the front of the shirt could only be seen three or four metres away, whereas the way the word had been printed in big bold letters on the back of the old tops left no room for doubt.
Ms Delahunty disagreed. "The uniforms are in high viz colours. We are comfortable that they look like staff."
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