A sports ground in Whangarei may be sold to build a shopping mall, following a district council hearing.
Public submissions are being heard on a developer's offer to buy almost six hectares of land next to Okara Park for $20 million.
The council land is currently leased by the Whangarei High School Old Boys Rugby Club, but the lease expires next year.
A consortium headed by Hill Construction wants to turn the land into a commercial site for retailers.
The council says $20 million is more than twice the market value and the development would create jobs and new rates income.
Objectors say a new mall would hurt businesses in the city centre and destroy a useful park.