Mercury Bay Community Board decides on grants and Sherriff Block recreation area 30 September 2021 Not-for-profit groups providing recreation and community services have been allocated Community Grant funding by the Mercury Bay Community Board. Community Grants The Board made the allocations at its meeting this week, and also decided on the final concept for the Sherriff Block recreation area. The recording of the meeting is on our website at www.tcdc.govt.nz/meetings and the full agenda including reports is here. There were 18 applications totalling $60,610 for the Board’s $24,000 Community Grant fund for 2021/22. Some successful applications include: The Friends of Te Whanganui A Hei Marine Reserve - $900 to provide the experiencing Marine Reserve Programme for Whenuakite School Whitianga Community Services Trust - $2,000 towards the cost of their programme helping young people earn their driver licence Hahei Volunteer Fire Brigade - $2,000 toward the cost of an ATV-style vehicle to access rough terrain and transport injured people The full list of allocated grants will be uploaded as soon as possible to tcdc.govt.nz/communitygrants2021. Sherriff Block recreation area After considering the 56 submissions received during the public consultation on the proposals to develop recreation facilities at the Sherriff Block on Moewai Road in Whitianga, the Board decided on changes to the concept plan that will guide the development over the next 10 years. The concept plan includes outdoor events areas (for circuses, markets, fairs, festivals, and competitions), equestrian use, concert venue, walkways, stormwater management/wetlands area, and speedway and motocross facilities. The Board noted that the motorised activities would be restricted to limited days and times only and be subject to any consenting and noise restrictions of our District Plan www.tcdc.govt.nz/districtplan. Existing users of the land, including the Coromandel Rescue Helicopter Trust and the Whitianga Scouts, would remain. Our Council and Greenstone Entertainment Ltd have agreed a Licence to Occupy for a future venue on the Sherriff Block for the Whitianga Summer Concert, which is usually held annually on Auckland Anniversary weekend. This would form part of the development. The 2022 event will be held on the Waterways site for the final time - but in March, not late January – before moving to the Sherriff Block site in 2023. See the full report to the Board here. Also at the meeting Public Forum: Two Whitianga residents objected to the inclusion of motocross and speedway facilities at the Sherriff Block recreation zone on the belief that too much noise might be created. A Wharekaho resident told the Board a footpath along State Highway 25 in the community should be included in the footpath programme for Mercury Bay. Renewal of funding agreements The Board confirmed its funding agreements for the next three years for groups that run facilities such as community libraries, halls and the Mercury Bay Community Swimming Pool. In order that a footpath be constructed between Cook Drive and Meadow Drive in Whitianga, the Board recommended that our Council approve the transfer of $15,000 from the Mercury Bay Parks Minor Budget to the Mercury Bay Roading Footpath Budget. Read more here. The Board decided to defer setting priorities for footpath construction for the 2021/22 financial year in order for staff to clarify funding levels with Waka Kotahi/NZTA. Waka Kotahi generally co-funds footpath construction by about 50 per cent this may not be available this financial year. The comprehensive report to the Board on footpath construction is here. Work Programme The Board was also updated on the work programme for the area. Some of the main projects are: Whitianga Refuse Transfer Station replacement: Civil design is completed. Structural design has started and the mechanical equipment has been selected. Streetlight improvements: quotes have been requested. Hot Water Beach Domain Road toilet: This is to replace the existing toilet with a new two-pan unisex toilet. The location has been agreed, an archaeologist has been engaged, Heritage NZ have given their approval and iwi have visited the site. The toilet block itself is being built off-site and is nearly finished and installation is expected to take place in October. The full work programme is here. Members' Reports Board Member Deli Connell has had conversations with community members about anti-social behaviour in Whitianga and been asked about the government’s three waters reform proposals. Board Chairperson Rekha Giri-Percival also noted the community concerns over anti-social behaviour and suggested the Board meet local police and the principal of Mercury Bay Area School to discuss the issue. Councillor Murray McLean will bring up the issue of bus parking at Hot Water Beach at the next Council discussion on concessions, which is scheduled soon. Board Member Bill McLean went to the recent community meeting on the government’s three waters reform proposals (see more on our website at tcdc.govt.nz/threewatersreform) and noted a great deal of concern among attendees about the proposals and a general opposition to them. Councillor Tony Fox went to the same meeting and noted the same lack of support for the proposals. Mr Fox also said Whitianga residents have expressed concerns about youth anti-social behaviour in town.