Summer Rules and Tips

Head to the Coromandel this summer? Check out our list of summer tips and information now.

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Safer Summer with Len Salt and Inspector Mike Henwood

Our Council Summer Office Hours

Our Council offices will be closed on Anniversary Day, Monday 30 January, and Waitangi public holiday, Monday 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 Day, Monday 30 January, and Waitangi public holiday, Monday 6 February.

For more information on our District libraries (Thames, Tairua and Mercury Bay) hours see our Library page and follow them on Facebook.

Thames Centennial Pool

The pool is:

  • closed on Anniversary Day, Monday 30 January, re-opening as usual on Tuesday 31 January
  • closed on Waitangi public holiday, Monday 6 February, re-opening as usual on Tuesday 7 February

Visit our Pool page.

Kerbside Collections, Refuse Transfer Stations (RTS) and Compactors

Kerbside collections will take place on the Monday public holidays of Anniversary and Waitangi weekends, as per our summer Kerbside schedule. Please put your materials kerbside on your usual collection day.

Our peak period summer kerbside rubbish and recycling collection schedule for the Eastern Seaboard and Northern Coromandel begins Monday 26 December 2022 and ends Friday 10th February 2023. Depending on the service area, the collections will be Monday to Friday (no weekends), with collections commencing at 7.30am (not 9am)

The schedules for Thames Coast and Manaia south to Hikutaia remain the same as the non-summer period.

For more information about rubbish collection during summer and our full kerbside schedule, visit our kerbside page to see collections for your area. 

Our seven Refuse Transfer Stations (RTS) will also be operating with extended hours during the summer period. They will be open as usual on the Monday public holidays of Anniversary and Waitangi weekends.

If you miss your rubbish day or you're leaving the area before your collection day, just take your blue bags and recycling to your nearest Refuse Transfer Station free of charge.

Check out summer hours and locations here.

We have transportable rubbish compactors in some parts of the district where we get increased visitor numbers. Check their locations here 


Summer rules about where you can walk your dog are in place from Labour Weekend to 1 March, with additional restrictions and prohibitions from 20 December to 31 January. These rules help to protect dogs, humans, and wildlife during peak periods and important nesting times for our precious manuori.

On all long holiday weekends, dogs are restricted on the beach in some areas from 9am–6pm.

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

Our bylaws team will be spending time talking to dog owners about our local rules, especially if dogs aren't on lead where they should be. If your dog is off-lead in an area that's not designated as off-lead, you could be fined $300. But don't worry, you'll get the chance to make it right. Our aim is to educate people about our rules and to encourage voluntary compliance by giving out free dog leads. Multiple instances of non-compliance can still result in a fine.

For more information, call and ask us, 07 868 0200. Or visit our Dogs page.


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 - exercise your horse in a less-crowded area please.
  • 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.

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.

Remember, you cannot consume or carry or possess opened bottles of alcohol in a ban area, or in a vehicle in the ban area.

Check the maps showing the alcohol ban areas, locations and dates check here

Fire Bans/Permits

Our Council no longer issues fire permits, Fire and Emergency New Zealand does. Go to their website if you wish to apply for afire 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, submit it here.

Freedom Camping in Public Places

If you’re camping on Council land, your vehicle must be certified as self-contained by a certifying agency such as the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association, check their website for details. Freedom camping is prohibited in some specific areas or restricted to designated zones in our district - both are clearly sign-posted.

If you intend to camp or stay overnight on a reserve or in a public place and your vehicle is not certified as self-contained, please look for a commercial or Department of Conservation campground. There is a $200 instant fine for offending on Council land.

Boat ramps, harbours and wharves

Boating is an important leisure and commercial activity on the Coromandel. Find out about boat ramps and wharves, where they are located, the costs to use them and some of the rules here.

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 (wharf jumping/diving, fishing, mooring, charter operations) by ensuring that all users – leisure and business - undertake their activity in the designated areas in a safe way.

Parents, please be aware of where your children are and ensure that you supervise them while they are playing at the wharves. Please 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 stay 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. 


We’re surrounded by water on the Coromandel. It’s easy to think of it as a free resource that will never run out. But the population in some of our communities multiplies 10-fold in summer and if we are smart about our water use we can delay costly new infrastructure. There are other good reasons to be smart about your water use.

Water conservation

The long-term forecast is for hot weather this summer. Please think about your water use – plan ahead in case there are water shortages and practise water conservation wherever you can (e.g. reusing washing up water to keep your garden watered).

See our Water Conservation Campaign for more information and water conservation tips.

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. Stored water in your rainwater tank is perfect for cleaning the car and boat or keeping the flowers, vegetables and lawns alive. Having this stored water reserve means that you'll have less dependency on community water supplies. 

There are several building consent exemptions for tanks that are not plumbed into a house – i.e. only used for the garden, to wash your car, boat and house. Find out more here.

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 will need a registered plumber to carry out this work for you. If you want to use it for drinking, remember you’ll need to have the water treated or purified. 

For more information on collecting and using rainwater, see


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.

Stormwater Care

Don’t put anything down a stormwater drain that you would not 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.

For more information, click 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.

This means that any new Building or Resource Consent submitted on or after Tuesday 20 December 2022 will not be processed until Wednesday 11 January 2023 due to the Christmas/New Year break. You are welcome to contact us if you have concerns with your project or want to discuss ways that we can work better together.

LIM (Land information Memorandum) Requests

Applications for Standard and Commercial LIMs must be received by 5 December 2022. Applications for urgent consideration must be received by 15 December 2022.

Any applications arriving after the dates specified will be delivered after 11 January 2023. There may also be delays in the processing of LIM requests between 3 December 2021 and 11 January 2022.

This is due to the observation of non-statutory working days in accordance with the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987. 

More information here.


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 roads

  • In drier weather on unsealed roads like The 309, Tapu-Coroglen and Kennedy Bay roads, drivers may experience some dust nuisance and corrugation/rutting - so please drive to the conditions.

Any updates on the status of our Council's local roads will be posted on our website, Facebook page and via our email newsletters.

Hāhei parking and the Cathedral Cove park and ride service

The popular Cathedral Cove park and ride shuttle will be operating over the summer holiday season in Hahei. For the safety of other road users and locals living along Grange Road and neighbouring streets, visitors are strongly urged to use the Hāhei Visitor Car Park at the entrance to the village. The Grange Rd car park is drop-off only from 1 October to 30 April every year (except for the mobility car parks) and freedom camping is not allowed there.

Thames Connector public bus service

Thames Connector provides low-cost transport Monday - Friday to convenient locations in the Thames town centre between Tararū and Parawai.

Road Safety information

The Coromandel has the most awesome coastal roads in New Zealand - but please take care. Sadly, the crash rate on the Coromandel Loop is too high, so a road safety campaign – 'Stay Alive On 25' – has been designed to try to prevent serious injury and fatal crashes on this highway.

For tips on getting around the Coromandel safely, see here.

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; however, please be aware of UAV regulations around aerodromes, as most of our towns are within 4km of an aerodrome (


For more about events including registering your own event click here.

You can hire one of our parks or reserves for weddings or other functions. Choose your intended location and fill in the application form on our web page here.

Safer Coromandel - Plan B4 U Party

The Coromandel is a guaranteed good time; however disorderly behaviour will not be tolerated. So follow the rules, plan before you party 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 constantly exposed to the risk of disaster. It is important that we understand these risks and there impact. However, there are measures we can all take to reduce the impact of disasters and be better prepared to recover quickly. See for up to date information about staying informed and being prepared for an emergency and familiarise yourself with our community guides to emergencies. 

For more information sign up to our e-newsletters here, follow us on Facebook. Alerts for the Coromandel (weather warnings, road closures etc.) can be found on our homepage.