Whakatane is positioning itself to challenge Tauranga as the new retirement destination of choice.
But locals are raising red flags. They question whether it's safe, or even possible, to remediate contaminated land.
Sawmill workers who live with the ongoing effects of dioxin poisoning are concerned the regional council is looking to let developers build on sites that were used to dump PCP.
Semiramis Holland has this report, and it comes with a warning.
It contains graphic images which some viewers may find disturbing.