Latest News & Public Notices

Staying strong during Delta plus more Economic Development news

23 November 2021

Stay up-to-date with the latest Economic Development projects and initiatives at our Council.

New data shows Delta disruption

Quarterly economic data for the Coromandel shows disruption from the Delta lockdown with tourist spending predictably dropping off the previous high. 

Provisional estimates from Infometrics show our district took a 2.4 per cent hit in the September 2021 quarter – but a lesser blow than the national average.  

This slowed our annual economic growth in tourism to 4.7 per cent per annumbut still above the national average, as stronger prior quarters boosted growth. 

Our tourism sector was having a strong period up until Lockdown 2.0, but with the Level 4 lockdown and Auckland border control, this saw annual tourism spending growth slip from over 20 per cent in the year to June back to around 12 per cent over the year to September.  

Our other key area, the primary sector, has provided sustained support. The total dairy pay-out is expected to top $67 million this season, a $6 million increase on last season.  

Other upbeat economic fundamentals for our district should set the stage for a firm bounce back again. This includes local residents in employment rising 3.2 per cent in September, taking year-end growth to 0.6 per cent, in line with the national average. Construction employment led this growth, as building levels rise, and professional service employment also increased, as working from home and remote working trends continue. 

More people continue to move here, with health enrolments growing above the national average. Recent Statistics NZ estimates back up this trend, with a high level of net regional migration inflows into the area, totalling 560 people in 2021. Higher population levels have supported spending activity.  

The rising population also continues to support rising consents. Nearly 100 residential consents were issued in the September quarter, taking annual growth to 22 per cent per annum. 

Sustained higher building will be needed to address housing concerns, with prices in the Coromandel rising 29 per cent in the last year to an average of $1.126 million. 

View the full report here.

Our businesses are COVID-cautious but ready-to-roll

Businesses around the Coromandel are gearing up for the return of Auckland and Waikato visitors, and hopes are high for a safe and profitable summer season. With holidays approaching, summer spending activity will provide a bellwether for 2022 activity. We asked three of our business leaders for their thoughts. 

Hadley Dryden, Destination Coromandel General Manager 

haydenWhat’s your reaction to the decision to reopen Auckland’s border? 

From a tourism perspective some businesses would argue that we may as well have been in lockdown with Auckland and Waikato, and this is reflected in visitor spend to the region. We’ve seen a 34 per cent drop in visitor spend for the last 3 months compared to last year.  

So, the upcoming summer will be crucial for their survival. This is the optimum time to be open from an economic perspective. It will also be a huge relief for our neighbours who are keen to escape and enjoy everything that’s good for your soul. 

Naturally there’ll be some apprehension regarding the health of our communities.  For this reason, it's more important than ever to follow official advice with respect to safe health practices with our visitors. Another one of the more immediate challenges is having sufficient staffing. 

What’s your advice to business owners? 

Be consistent and clear about your procedures and processes. Whether that’s via websites, social media or sandwich boards. Visitors will want to know what safety steps you have in place. If you have contactless payment options or more frequent cleaning routines - it’s worth sharing this information so customers can feel comfortable and safe. 

Ideallywe’ll see a buzzing season right through until the end of April. We’ll all need a bit more patience, being safe on the roads and allowing a bit more time when travelling as businesses deliver increased health and safety procedures. 

You can find out more about Destination Coromandel and its marketing campaign for the Coromandel, promoting local businesses and activities 

Sue Lewis-O'Halloran,  Thames Business Association Chief Executive 


What’s your reaction to the decision?  

We’re keen for our Thames, Kōpū and area businesses to increase their revenues, particularly for the retail and hospitality sectors and local attractions, however, we must ensure that everyone adheres to the mask and scan protocols. Our businesses are both anxious about COVID spread, while also anticipating improved revenue from the borders reopening.  

What steps are being taken to prepare? 

Our businesses are already doing everything to keep themselves and their customers safe. I am not sure yet whether or not they will be insisting on proof of double-vaccination prior to serving, just as I’m not sure how many businesses are requiring staff to be double-vaxxed. It is a tough call – and, when a business is busy, as they hope to be in the coming weeks, it is difficult to oversee and monitor everyone who enters it.  

 What are your hopes for summer? 

That the recovery will begin, a sense of normality will return, and that all the anxiety and fear that have had such an impact on our community will start to dissipate. It will take a good long time for us to get “past” this and I suspect we have all been changed by this experience. 

 We often talk of how resilient our business community is here in Thames, Kōpū and area – there is still a lot of that #8 wire mentality in this wonderful town and surrounding area – people here work so hard and put so much into their businesses – it really is survival of the fittest and there’s a lot to be said for how “fit” our business community is. Having said that, businesses cannot continue to survive if we don’t allow more freedom of movement so that they can once again grow their bottom line.  

Milan LukicMercury Bay Business Assocation Chair 

milo1How are you feeling about the end of the closed border with Auckland? 

I’m particularly pleased to know that this summer local businesses are going to have the opportunity to trade at hopefully their maximum capacity in terms of throughput. Last year without international travellers, many businesses were nervous, however it turned out that the domestic market, particularly Aucklanders, were happy to splash out with their saved international holiday money and it was a surprisingly good summer. 

What’s your advice to businesses? 

Everyone is preparing a little differently. From ensuring good contact tracing is enabled, to splitting staff into shift bubbles so that should a group need to self-isolate, the business can continue to operate. My advice is to be mindful and remember that Aucklanders have been in lockdown for over 3 months. Their people skills might have slipped a little, so a little (maybe even a lot) of patience and understanding is going to go a long way to making everyone feel welcome. 

How important are the coming months? 

This upcoming summer is vital to seeing some of these businesses continue to exist. While peak summer is great for drawing the masses, it's the shoulder months that really help businesses survive the winter. International tourists used to fill the week days, with city folk escaping to the baches on the weekend. So, I'm hoping for great summer and autumn weather.  


Wharf projects progress - Kōpū Redesign Update 


This week we will be updating those involved in one of our two major commercial wharf projects. 

The Kōpū business and marine precinct wharf build is now going through the Fast Track process, after being resubmitted with a revised design. This will ensure we retain a mangrove area which is now deemed by the National Policy Statement – Freshwater as a “natural wetland”.  

The redesign retains the commercial working wharf but removes the recreational boat ramp from scope and slightly reduces the carpark to avoid what is now deemed to be a wetland.  

The roading and earthworks components on the landward side of the stop bank did not need a fast-track consent and have been approved and consented for. We will proceed with this work once we are certain of gaining resource consent through the Fast Track process.  

If the consent is approved, we will still be delivering on the most significant parts of the build, the commercial working wharf and pontoon, slipway and King Street access.  This is where the majority of the economic benefits will be realised with a focus on marine servicing.    

Boat launching access for recreational users will be managed through an Operational Management Plan once the facility is built.  

The second project is the redevelopment of the commercial wharf and recreational boat ramp at Te Ariki Tahi/Sugarloaf Wharf. An application to the government’s fast track consent process has recently been lodged.  

Both projects are thanks to the financial support of the Provincial Growth Fund. 

Your Thames, Tomorrow

spacial plan

your thames tomorrow logoWe will shortly be announcing a series of public meetings to discuss the Thames Spatial Plan. 

The Plan is an evidence-based, future-focused strategy that outlines an agreed vision and direction for Thames and surrounds over the next 30 plus years 

Community feedback at this stage in the project will help us plan for future prosperity, identify areas for growth and change, and support the aspirations of iwi.  

“Your Thames, Tomorrow sets out the long-term vision for how, why and where we want Thames and our surrounding areas to grow,” says project lead Mitch King.  

“This Spatial Plan is an important umbrella project which brings together our efforts to accelerate housing growth for Thames with our critical Shoreline Management work that will help us adapt to the coastal inundation and erosion risks that our district is facing,” he says. 

Early conversations with iwi, agencies and community and business focus groups have shaped the initial stages of the Plan. Dates and opportunities to review where we’re at, and for the public to provide feedback, will be publicised on our website and social channels in the coming weeks. 

Read more here

Food trucks to fire up your taste buds


We’re all about supporting local businesses – and the Coromandel is packed with exciting eateries and well-known watering holes, but some of our smallest and most mobile food options sometimes fly under radar. 

Here are four of our most fabulous food truck options to seek out this summer, which we have also promoted in Our Coromandel magazine, which was printed last month. Read it here