Summer Rules and Tips

Heading to the Coromandel this summer?


Our Council Summer Office Hours

  • Our Council service centres will be closed on Anniversary Monday 29 January and Waitangi Day Tuesday 6 February.
  • You can still contact us 24/7 on 07 868 0200 or email

District Libraries 

  • Our district libraries will be closed on Anniversary Monday 29 January and Waitangi Day Tuesday 6 February.
  • For more information on our district libraries (Thames, Tairua and Mercury Bay), see our Library page and follow them on Facebook.

Thames Centennial Pool

The pool is:

  • Closed Anniversary Monday 29 January and Waitangi Day Tuesday 6 February.
  • For more information, visit our Pool page.

Kerbside Collections, Refuse and Recycling Transfer Stations (RTS)


Kerbside Collections

  • During the peak summer period, the Eastern Seaboard and Northern Coromandel have special summer collections to cater for the increased numbers. These are continuing until Friday 9 February.
  • For Thames Coast & Manaia, and Thames Rural South and Thames & Surrounds, the year-round collection schedule remains in effect.
  • Our contractor Waste Management’s crews will be collecting on the Auckland Anniversary and Waitangi Day public holidays on Monday 29 January and Tuesday 6 February. There are no delays in collections those weeks because of the public holidays, materials are scheduled to be collected on their usual collection day.
  • Due to the high volumes of material being presented for collection, there has been the odd delay. If your bins aren’t emptied on your scheduled day, the crews will get to them the following day.
  • For more information about our summer kerbside collection services, visit For year-round kerbside collection services, visit
  • Hard copies of the collection calendars are available at our Council offices.

Refuse and Recycling Transfer stations

  • We operate seven Refuse and Recycling Transfer Stations – at Thames, Coromandel Town, Matarangi, Whitianga, Tairua, Pāuanui and Whangamatā
  • They're open to standard hours, seven days a week, including most public holidays.
  • During daylight saving hours (until 7 April 2024), they are open Monday to Sunday, from 8:30am - 5:30pm.
  • They are closed Christmas Day, New Year's Day, Good Friday and until 1pm on Anzac Day, 25 April.
  • Find out more at our Refuse Transfer Station page.


Some dog rules change for summer - it's crucial to be aware of your responsibilities and observe our local dog bylaw rules. 

Look for our traffic light signs to understand the rules about when your dogs should be on a lead:

  • Green signs denote exercise areas: You can have your dog off-leash but it must remain under control at all times.
  • Orange signs denote on leash areas: Your dog must remain on leash for times noted on the sign. This is most often temporary and in place at beaches during the summer period from 20 December to 31 January & holiday weekends, from 9am to 6pm.
  • Red signs denote prohibited areas: This means no dogs at all. Most beach area prohibitions are either during the dotterel nesting season from Labour Weekend to 1 March, or over the summer period and holiday weekends. We also have areas that are prohibited all year round.

The most important rule to remember is that dogs must be on a lead unless specified otherwise. So, when in doubt, it's best to put your dog on a lead.

For more information, call and ask us on 07 868 0200. Or visit our Dogs page for a summary of the rules for each Community Board area, and more about our Dog Control bylaw.


Here are a few things to remember when taking your horse down to the beach for some fun:

  • You can ride your horse into, on or over a public place (including beaches) if it is safe to do so and you aren't causing a nuisance to other users. A crowded beach in the height of summer isn’t the best time for a canter - please exercise your horse in a less-crowded area.
  • Share the space and remember not everyone loves your horse as much as you do, give other people room and consider using the beach when there are fewer people about
  • Make sure that you have control of your horse at all times.
  • Pick up any deposits your horse might make; dog owners have to do it, so do you.
  • Obey the road rules – if you are taking your horse on the road to get to the beach, you will need to obey the rules of the road. This will ensure your and your horse’s safety as well as that of other road users.
  • There are some reserves where horses aren't allowed, so please be on the look out for the 'No Horses' signs.

Alcohol Bans in Public Places

  • Our district has year-round, 24/7 town centre alcohol bans, plus additional bans over Christmas, New Year, and long weekends, on many of our beaches and seaside reserves.
  • This means a person must not consume, carry, or possess alcohol in these areas unless an exemption or special licence applies.
  • Alcohol bans are in force over all long holiday weekends from 4pm Friday to 4pm Monday and over Easter from from 4pm Thursday to 4pm Tuesday each year. This means you can't consume or carry or possess opened bottles of alcohol in a ban area, or in a vehicle located in the ban area.
  • View our full Alcohol Control Bylaw here, and check out our maps to view alcohol ban areas throughout our district.

Fire Bans/Permits

  • Our Council no longer issues fire permits; Fire and Emergency New Zealand does. Go to their website if you'd like to apply for a fire permit.
  • A total fire ban applies in the Coromandel from late December to early February each year. It may be extended if weather conditions dictate.
  • The ban includes: open fires in public places, beaches, public conservation land (DOC) and on private property. Fires include: traditional cooking fires, bonfires, solid-fuelled BBQs, braziers, fireworks, Chinese lanterns, and any incinerators that have not been pre-approved by a warranted fire officer.

Noise Control

  • It is important that you consider neighbours when making any noise. Noise must not interfere with the peace, comfort and convenience of any person.
  • If any noise is considered excessive by a Noise Control Officer then a notice to cease the noise may be served. A notice to cease the noise is valid for 72 hours.
  • If the notice is not complied with then a Noise Control Officer and the police may enter any property and dwelling to seize any equipment used to create the noise.
  • Call our 24/7 Customer Service number 07 868 0200 if you have a noise complaint, or submit it online here.

Freedom Camping in Public Places

If you want to freedom camp in our district:

  • Please be a responsible camper and clean up after yourself.
  • Freedom camp only in a certified self-contained vehicle.
  • Use proper toilet facilities such as public toilets and campervan dump stations.
  • Look for our signs showing where freedom camping can take place.
  • Leave freedom camping sites by the required time.

Our Freedom Camping Bylaw and maps and lists of areas where freedom camping is prohibited, and restricted (allowed within sign-posted areas), can be found on our Freedom Camping page.

Boat ramps, harbours and wharves

Wharf ambassadors

Our Council’s Wharf Ambassadors will be operating over the Christmas/New Year holiday and through the peak summer season at Whangamatā and Whitianga wharves.

They help our Council to manage activities at the wharf (jumping/diving, fishing, mooring, charter operations) by ensuring that all users – leisure and business – use the designated activity areas in a safe way.

Parents, please be aware of where your children are and make sure you supervise them while they are playing at the wharves. Comply with any instructions you receive from our Wharf Ambassadors and help make this summer a safe and enjoyable one for all groups using our wharves.

Remember these simple safety messages:

  • Only jump in areas dedicated for recreational swimming at the wharves
  • Listen to instructions from the Wharf Ambassadors so our wharves can be a safe environment for everyone to enjoy
  • Jump safely – look out for moving boats and other people 
  • Jump well away from vessels
  • Please ensure your children have adult supervision at all times. 


Water conservation

The long-term forecast is for hot, dry weather this summer.

Please remember:

  • Reducing our need for water restrictions over our longest, driest months starts now.
  • Breaking bad habits will set us up for success when our water levels dip in the sun.

Find out more at and keep up to date with water restrictions in your area at

Water tanks

When it comes to summer, we can often go weeks without heavy downfall, so adding a water tank is a great way to get ready for our long, dry summers. Rainwater tanks allow you to capture rain off your roof and store it for use during hot summer days, when water restrictions may be in place. Stored water in your rainwater tank is perfect for cleaning the car and boat or keeping the flowers, vegetables and lawns alive.

The process is simple - decide where you want to put your tank, talk to your local manufacturer about colour, size, cost and delivery, and check if your tank needs any Council consents.

A building consent is not required if the tank meets the requirements for capacity and height-above-ground. For example, the NZ Building Act allows tanks without building consent as long as they:

  • Do not exceed 35,000 litres
  • Are not plumbed into a house for use as drinking water or connected to your toilet or washing machine - find out more here
  • Are on firm ground with proper support
  • Are installed at least 1.5 metres from the boundary.

If your tank will be plumbed into a house and connected to your toilet or washing machine, a building consent is required. This is to protect both your water supply and our public water supply from potential contamination. You'll need a registered plumber to carry out this work for you.

Find out more at and for more information on collecting and using rainwater, see

Wastewater Care

Wastewater, also known as sewage, is the used water that goes down sinks, washing machines, showers, baths and toilets. Most of it is water. The rest includes organic matter such as human waste, food scraps, cooking fats, oil and grease, and debris such as sand, grit and plastic.

If you haven't been to your property for some time and find wastewater isn't getting cleared away quick enough, it could be due to root intrusion around the pipes. Take a look to see if any plants or weeds need to be cleared on your property. We can come and clear the pipes, but the householder will receive a bill for this service if it is on the property.

Read more about wastewater management here.

Stormwater Care

Stormwater is the runoff from land generated by rainfall or melting snow. If stormwater is not managed properly, it can flood streets and pose a threat to public health and safety, property and our oceans and waterways.

As a rule, don’t put anything down a stormwater drain that you wouldn't want to drink or swim in.

Stormwater grates are only supposed to drain rain. If any pollutants get into our stormwater, they will also end up untreated in our waterways.

Do not:

  • tip unwanted chemicals such as paint for example down the drain 
  • wash your car out on the road
  • let your swimming pool water run into stormwater drains
  • store chemicals outside where they could leak and be washed into a drain.
  • use the gutter as a litter bin.

Read more about stormwater management here.

Swimming safely through summer

Surf lifesaving patrols

The warmer weather attracts large numbers of beachgoers in our District and we are thankful for Surf Life Saving New Zealand (SLSNZ) lifeguards to patrolling our beaches.

Wharf Ambassadors (Whangamatā and Whitianga)

The Wharf Ambassadors will be operating over the Christmas/New Year holiday and through the peak summer season. They manage and maintain activities at the wharf (wharf jumping/diving, fishing, mooring, charter operations) by ensuring the respective interest groups undertake their activity in the designated areas, to create a safe and enjoyable environment.

Building and Planning Consent Christmas processing times

Both the Building Act 2004 and the Resource Management Act 1991 stop the statutory processing clock over Christmas and New Year. The period beginning 20 December and ending at the close of 10 January is excluded from the 20-working day timeframe, which means that during these dates the processing clock stops.

Any Resource or Building Consent submitted on or after Wednesday 20 December 2023 will not be processed until Thursday 11 January 2024 due to the Christmas/New Year break.

If you want your Resource or Building Consent to be processed before Christmas (barring any further information requests which also stop the processing clock), please submit your application prior to Wednesday 22 November 2023.

LIM (Land information Memorandum) Requests

Christmas/New Year

The Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act specifies that LIMs must be completed within 10 working days. However, the period commencing 20 December in any year, and ending 10 January in the following year, is excluded from the definition of working days.

This means for customers wanting to apply for and receive a LIM before Christmas:

  • Applications for standard and commercial LIMs must be submitted by Wednesday 6 December 2023.
  • Applications for urgent LIMs must be submitted by Friday 15 December 2023.

Any applications arriving after the above specified dates, will be delivered after 11 January 2024.

We'll return to normal service on Thursday 11 January 2024.

Find out more about LIM requests here.

Roading and transport

State Highways

We encourage you to check Waka Kotahi/NZTA's website before you travel for the latest information about road closures, delays or work underway.

Follow Waka Kotahi/NZTA Facebook and Twitter for further updates.

You can also call 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49) to speak to the call centre team, who can provide traffic and travel information.

Council managed roads 

Our Council is still working to repair more than 70 sites identified as needing recovery work following the severe storm events in early 2023 that included Cyclones Hale and Gabrielle.

As far as possible, we'll be making every effort to keep roads open as we carry out repairs.

Any updates on the status of our Council's local roads, including road closures, storm recovery repairs and scheduled maintenance work, will be posted on our Roads website page, our Facebook page and via our e-newsletters.

For more information: 

Hāhei parking and Cathedral Cove

Visitors to Hāhei are reminded that the walking track to Cathedral Cove is closed for this summer, due to storm damage in early 2023. Check the Department of Conservation website for updates on the track. Cathedral Cove is accessible by boat but please be aware of the ongoing risk of rockfall in the area.

All visitors to Hāhei are encouraged to park at the Visitor Car Park at the entrance to the village.

Thames Connector public bus service

  • Thames Connector provides low-cost transport from Monday to Friday, stopping at convenient locations in the Thames town centre between Tararū and Parawai.
  • Stops include Centennial Pool, Pak 'n Save, Rolleston Street Medical Centre and Thames Hospital.
  • Check the route and the festive timetable here

Trial Connecter bus between Coromandel Town and Thames this summer

Our Council has been granted recovery funding from the Ministry of Social Development to trial a Connector bus service between Thames and Coromandel Town. The aim is to reconnect our communities with healthcare, education, appointments, work opportunities and whānau. 

From Monday 18 December, the service will run on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays (see the full schedule below). Tickets are free, but booking is essential. The trial will run for 13 weeks, from Monday 18 December 2023, until Monday 18 March 2024. 

The vans hold up to 11 passengers, so please make sure to book your place ahead of time. To book, please text the correct provider shown on the schedule below. Please include your name, the service time and the town you are being picked up from. 

thames coro bus service.png

Road Safety Information

Vehicles on Reserves and Beaches

We actively discourage, and in some areas prohibit, vehicles* from beaches and reserves. Beaches should only be accessed in a vehicle to launch or retrieve a watercraft and only at designated locations. Please use common sense: vehicles and busy beaches don’t mix. Also, check our Reserve Management Plans for vehicle restrictions on specific beaches and reserves.

Vehicles and trailers should not park on any beach. Vehicles must not damage any vegetation or be used in a manner considered to be dangerous or inconsiderate to pedestrians.

* “Vehicle” shall include any conveyance equipped with wheels, rollers or tracks.


  • Civil Aviation Authority regulations require that landowners give permission before unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), including drones, are flown over their property - this includes Council land.
  • Flying UAVs over Council land, such as reserves, is generally permitted so long as the operator complies with the guidelines on our website here.
  • Make sure you're aware of UAV regulations around aerodromes, as most of our towns are within 4km of an aerodrome - visit


Safer Coromandel - Plan B4 U Party

  • The Coromandel is a guaranteed good time; however disorderly behaviour is never acceptable. Please follow the rules, plan before you party, show respect for others and look after your friends and family.
  • Check out for more tips on keeping safe this summer

Civil Defence - Be Prepared

In New Zealand, we are all exposed to the risk of disasters that can include weather events, flooding, earthquakes, slips and other emergencies. We all need to understand these risks and their impact so we can keep ourselves, and our family and communities, safe.

Here are some measures we can all take to reduce the impact of disasters and be better prepared to recover quickly: