Rotorua is not getting an urgent boost to the number of police officers despite the mayor's plea following brutal attacks on two teenage girls in the central city.
The beatings happened within days of each other outside the city's library while the teenagers waited for a bus.
Mayor Tania Tapsell said she had spoken to the police minister and the police district commander and said the question of more officers was being worked on. In the meantime she announced a new community safety hub.
"This is not just about providing security guards, it is actually ensuring we have a place in the middle of the CBD focused on safety but also focused on community support," Tapsell said.
She said the hub would co-ordinate community patrols, security guards, police, and Māori wardens in one place.
"We are looking to establish this in about two months, so we will stand it up very quickly, we are just confirming a location and further community support partners."
In the long term the safety hub was unsustainable without more police, she said.
Rotorua had one of the highest crime rates in the country and resources were stretched thin, she said.
"We are having to go above and beyond here in Rotorua, we are already spending $1.8 million of local ratepayer's money to fill the gap of community safety," Tapsell said.
Tashita Morey, the mother of the first girl who was attacked, was shocked when she first saw what happened to her daughter.
"It just felt like I was stabbed in the heart. It's just something you don't expect as a parent," Morey said, "seeing her face like that, she just had blood all over her face."
She was disappointed in the outcome.
"I was here with a lot of hope, it's just real heartbreaking and quite sad just knowing that there's no help for the safety of our children on the streets," Morey said.
Others were angry, like Jenny Peace, secretary of the community lobby group Restore Rotorua.
"We need help here, we have a problem and it's just absolute head in the sand stuff."
She said crime in the city had taken off and questioned whether the proposed community safety hub would change anything.
"I'd like to know what that actually looks like, where they're going to operate out of, and how it's actually going to work, and forgive me for being sceptical," Peace said.
Tashita Morey said it was sad there had not been immediate action from either the police minister nor the area commander.
"It kinda just makes me feel like we don't have a say as people. I'm just a mum that works and I guess my little voice isn't big enough," she said.
Police said three young people had been referred to Youth Aid in relation to the attacks on the two girls.
* This story has been corrected. The original version said the police minister had promised more officers.