Latest News & Public Notices

Coromandel's building boom - tradies race to keep up

13 November 2020

Waiting weeks for a tradie? Or perhaps you’re in the building trade and feeling stressed to the eyeballs about getting through a long list of work before Christmas.

Builders and associated trades industries across the Coromandel have been flat out since the COVID-19 lockdown ended in April, and it’s showing no signs of easing up.

Low interest rates are helping counter the COVID-19 impact and with people not travelling overseas, many home-owners are investing money into extensions and renovations, spa pools, new appliances and landscaping  – with many wanting the work done by Christmas.

Our Council’s building and regulatory team confirms the Coromandel is experiencing a surge in building work, with October delivering our Council’s busiest month for consents (building and resource) being lodged.

Read more about the boom times for construction later in this update.

A reminder that next week is the Auckland Food Show where our Council is supporting five local artisan food and beverage businesses representing the Coromandel Food Collective at this premier event for food lovers.

Find out who's attending the show and how you can show your support below.

Also in this Economic Development Update:

  • Learn more about the Te Ariki Tahi/Sugarloaf Wharf development
  • Create the Vibe Thames - design options to consider
  • Free business advisor sessions available
  • Economic intelligence - Waikato region
  • Fullers Ferry Coromandel service back-in-action 
  • COVID-19 business support funding
  • Looking for staff? These leads could help
  • Funding available for arts and culture recovery
  • Our Coromandel magazine - out now
  • Events update
  • i-SITE and Visitor Information Centre hours

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Under pressure - building trades struggle to meet post-COVID boom


Labour Weekend onwards is always a busy time for people working in the building and trades industries on the Coromandel, but this year is proving to be busier than most.

Tradespeople we spoke to this week confirm they are working around-the-clock to meet post-COVID demand as residents and holiday home owners are investing in their properties, with Christmas deadlines fast approaching.

A plasterer in Kuaotunu says he turned away seven jobs this week as he was already fully booked.

Electricians and plumbers we spoke to confirm there has been a surge in demand since April, and many have had to close-off bookings for Christmas now.

Many agree there has been no slowdown for the industry this year.

A common frustration for local tradespeople is the tendency for holiday home owners to phone to request work to be done at short notice.

“Gone are those days where you can arrive for the day or the weekend and expect a tradesperson is available to do your work on-the-spot,” says an electrician.

Whitianga-based Percival Construction says the industry did not catch its breath after the first lockdown, when worked picked up almost immediately.

Managing director Damian Percival says the second lockdown in Auckland also had a big impact, slowing deliveries from specialty suppliers in Auckland, which delayed work being finished.

High demand for building has meant it’s also difficult to secure various sub-contractors in time for deadlines.

“It’s a constant juggling act,” Damian says. “But we are all very fortunate to be in this position with the amount of work on the Coromandel,” he says.   “Long may it last.”

ITM Kōpū store manager Leon Zazulak says one of the biggest issues for the industry is getting materials.

“The whole supply chain is really being tested at the moment. It’s not any one area – it’s affecting timber, plywood, decking, screws – anything that’s imported is really strained for supply,” he says.

This creates a lot of uncertainty and stress, as builders try to schedule jobs but then find out there is a month’s delay on supplies.

The store’s sales are up, particularly for decking and fencing products, he says.

“Construction was pretty buoyant anyway before COVID, so with people now doing renovations instead of going on holidays – that’s put that extra pressure on the industry as a whole.

“I know of at least a couple of builders booked for all of next year already,” he says.

Our Council’s regulatory team confirms the last few months have been extremely busy for building consents applications – defying early expectations for numbers to drop-off post-COVID.

Although the number of consent applications lodged is generally at the same level as last year (1150), the majority have come in since lockdown lifted in April, which has caused a busy time for processing nine months’ worth of consents in a shorter timeframe.

“We have been excited with the bounce-back after the initial COVID lockdown,” says Brian Taylor, our Council’s regulatory manager.

“We noticed a drop in consent applications in March, April and May, however, that has picked up since, and we are on track to have a similar number of applications as last year," Mr Taylor says.

“Because the applications have been pushed into a shorter period of time, with August and September in particular being much higher in comparison to last year, the team are under some pressure to keep things moving within our normal timeframes,” Mr Taylor says.

“It is great to see the industry continue to perform strongly and we are hoping to see that continue long-term."

Statutory timeframes to be aware of

Statutory timeframes for processing applications for consents, Land Information Memoranda (LIMs) and alcohol licences pause over late December to early January. Make sure you get your application in on good time to have it processed before the Christmas holidays. See for the specific deadlines and more information. 

Backing our food producers at the Food Show

Our Council is promoting local artisan food and beverage businesses by supporting the Coromandel Food Collective stand at the Auckland Food Show being held at the ASB Showgrounds from 19-22 November.

“This is part of our economic development activity to support and promote local businesses, as well as marketing out district as a food destination,” says Laurna White our Council’s Communications and Economic Development Group Manager.

The five exhibitors representing the Coromandel Food Collective this year are:

Mercury Bay Winery

Mercury Bay Estate is owned by Simon and Veronica Ward and was formed from the vineyard established by Alex Morcom in 1996 (named Shakespeare Cliff Vineyard which later spawned Cooks Beach Vineyard). Their remarkable wines have been delicately crafted to resonate the vibrant beauty of the Coromandel's Mercury Bay. Their harvest is hand picked to make sure the grapes reach the winery in the best possible condition with the highest possible quality.

Uncle Dunkle’s

Uncle Dunkle’s uses locally-sourced ingredients to make its wood-fired chilli sauces, slow-cooked and smoked in a wood-fired oven with NZ tea tree wood. Flavours include chilli, chilli BBQ, and extra hot chilli sauce. Visit the shop at 20 Black Jack Road, Kuaotunu.

Blue Fridge Brewery

Blue Fridge Brewery stays true to its roots by minimising its environmental footprint as they craft their beers: they use quality local ingredients, sell locally, reduce waste by giving their spent grain to animals on their lifestyle farm, and clean their equipment and brewery with eco-friendly products.​

Their  well-balanced, ultra-drinkable beers cater to different tastes, but they’re all made with heart. Blue Fridge Brewery is located by the beach in Kuaotunu.

The Cheese Barn at Matatoki

The Cheese Barn, has been a local family business for over twenty years owned by cheese makers Kelvin and Cathy Haigh.

They are makers of BioGro certified organic cheeses, yoghurts and more products that are unhomogenised and free from gluten, GMO, artificial additives, antibiotics, growth hormones and chemical sprays. They make a range of cow milk cheeses including: traditional Dutch gouda, feta, camembert, brie, halloumi, blue, mozzarella, natural liquid yoghurt, lactose-free yoghurt, kefir yoghurt, buttermilk, greek yoghurt, quark, cottage cheese, sour cream ​and ghee.

Omahu Valley Citrus

Omahu Valley Citrus is a family business run on a small farm where they produce high quality, artisan citrus preserves and fragrances, claiming both national and international awards.

The preserves are made from fruit grown in the farm's orchards and hand-crafted in small batches in the commercial kitchen on the property, with no artificial ingredients


The Auckland Food Show runs from 19-22 November and is the premier event for food lovers. It is loaded with the latest trends in food and innovative ingredients, so expect to uncover new inspirations while sampling delicious food.

Tickets are also on sale and can be booked online at


Join us next week to learn more about the Te Ariki Tahi/Sugarloaf Wharf development

Te Ariki Tahi Sugarloaf Wharf Development - Ariki Tahi Sugarloaf Wharf Limited (a company comprising Coromandel Marine Farmers Association (Coro MFA), our Council, and the Ministry of Business and Innovation and Employment (MBIE),  is redeveloping Te Ariki Tahi/Sugarloaf Wharf to provide separate commercial, and recreational activities.

Everyone is invited to two open day sessions to talk to the project team about the project and the detailed design (see image above).

• Monday 16 and Tuesday 17 November, 2pm – 8pm in our Coromandel Office, 355 Kapanga Road.

If you are unable to attend the open days and would like more information about the project, please contact Nicky Sedgley at Mitchell Daysh, 021 246 0330 or

 Thames - your place, your choice

It’s time for Thames to vote on two design options to create a dynamic, people-focused, safer heart for Thames at the intersection of Mary and Pollen streets.

We had 270 responses to our survey, 480 visitors to Create the Vibe – Thames container HQ when we had it open for two weeks in September, feedback from 100 of our school students, and insights from a group of 20 community champions.

We’ve taken everything you’ve told us and there are now two design options to consider to create a people-friendly civic hub in Thames.

Some things to remember: this project is 90 per cent funded by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency; this is a trial that will utilise cost effective, temporary interventions to test what works and what doesn’t work; whatever we put in, we can move around or take out.

To check our the design options and vote on them come to the Create the Vibe – Thames container HQ at the corner of Mary and Pollen streets between 16 – 21 November, open Monday to Friday 10am – 3.30 and Saturday 9am – 1pm.

Destination Coromandel webinar update on summer marketing projects


Invitation to webinar update:

With the Coromandel region's first ever summer campaign "Where Kiwis Holiday" in the second phase, Destination Coromandel our regional tourism organisation says it's time to update you on progress and opportunities coming up.

"We will all have seen that other regions have increased their promotions to our core drive markets and main source of domestic visitors, so working together over the coming weeks will be crucial to ensure we retain our share over summer," Destination Coromandel says in a media release this week.

If you're in the tourism industry, here are is the information to join the online meeting:

When: Thursday 19 November 2020 12:00 Noon
Where: Zoom
Join the meeting:

 Free business advisor sessions available

Free business advisor drop-in sessions are held regularly in Thames, Whitianga, Whangamata and Coromandel Town.

Te Waka, in partnership with our Council, organises for business advisors to visit our district for these free, one-on-one sessions. The advisors take a birds-eye look at your whole business then help you connect with the right resources and experts so you can build capability and thrive.

Advisors can offer assistance in cashflow management and finance, human resources, health and wellness and business continuity planning and any other areas of need. They will refer business owners to helpful resources including where to go for government assistance.

Upcoming sessions. 

  • Thames: (Monthly) First Tuesday afternoon of the month. Next session: 1 December from 12pm to 4pm at our Council’s service centre at 515 Mackay St Thames.
  • Whitianga: (Monthly) Second Wednesday morning of the month with the next session on Wednesday, 9 December from 10am to 12pm at our Council’s service centre at 10 Monk St, Whitianga
  • Whangamata: (Monthly) Second Wednesday afternoon of the month with the next session on Wednesday, 9 December from from 2:30pm - 4:30pm at our Council’s service centre at 620 Port Rd, Whangamata
  • Coromandel Town: (Monthly) on the second Tuesday of the month with the next session on Tuesday 8 December from 12pm-5pm at our Council's service centre at 355 Kapanga Rd, Coromandel Town.

In the meantime, the advisory service is still offered online via ZOOM.  To secure a slot, visit or call 07 857 0538 or email


Funding available for arts and culture recovery

Funding is available through the Ministry of Culture and Heritage (MCH) for the cultural sector.

Ten funds have been released in the Arts and Culture COVID Recovery programme, as listed below:

  • $2 million Museum hardship fund
  • $18 million Te Papa
  • $25 million to support the creative sector through their Emergency Response Package
  • $70 million for Creative Arts Recovery and Employment Fund
  • $60 million for Cultural Innovation Fund
  • $20 million for Cultural Capacity Fund
  • $7.9 million for programme supporting people back into the creative sector and sustainable work
  • $16.5 millionfor New Zealand music fund
  • $12 million for Pasifika Culture and Heritage Fund
  • $20 million for Mātauranga Māori initiatives

The rest of the money in the recent MCH announcement will be divided among the four new funds:

Creative Arts Recovery and Employment Fund: $70 million over three years for supporting the rebuild of the creative industries by commissioning and supporting creative projects at a national and local level.

Cultural Innovation Fund: $60 million over three years for a contestable fund to support new ways of operating, cross-sector partnerships, and create new ways to add value to the economy, particularly through digital exports. This will include supporting innovative approaches to Māori art forms and traditional knowledge.

Cultural Capability Fund: $20 million for a focus on immediate needs in response to COVID-19, such as legal services, online delivery and audience development.

New Zealand Music Recovery Fund: $16.5 million specifically directed towards the contemporary popular music industry (including $7.1 million to boost NZ on Air's New Music programmes, $5 million for a Live Music Touring Fund, $3 million immediate support for safe music venues which will be administered by the NZ Music Commission, and $1.4 million to help musicians recoup lost income via Outward Sounds and NZ Music Month.)

The government expects the New Zealand Music Recovery Fund to help sustain 2900 jobs over two years, produce 455 new song releases and 150 live music tours throughout New Zealand.

To find out more visit this link.

i-SITE and Visitor Information Centre hours

All our visitor centres are open, with the following hours:

Thames i-SITE:  Monday to Friday 9:30am – 3pm. Saturday and Sunday– closed.

Whitianga i-SITE: Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm, Saturday 9am – 4pm. Sunday – closed.

Coromandel Town Visitor Centre: 7 days a week, 10am-3:00pm.

Tairua Information Centre:  Monday-Friday 9:30am - 4pm. Saturday 10am-1pm. Sunday – closed.

Pauanui Information Centre: Monday – Saturday 9:30am-4pm. Sunday – 10am-4pm.

Whangamata Information Centre:  Monday – closed. Tuesday – Sunday 9am – 2pm.

For more information on our visitor centres and on visiting the Coromandel, go to the website of Destination Coromandel, our regional tourism marketing organisation.