Council collaborates with business and agencies for recovery
Published on 08 November 2023
The five local business associations from around the district, along with representatives from our district’s information centres met with partner agencies like Destination Hauraki Coromandel, Waka Kotahi/New Zealand Transport Agency and our Council on Tuesday to talk about the district’s ongoing recovery from the weather events, progress on our roading network and how business associations are putting the funding they have all received to use.
Items on the agenda included our Council’s Recovery Plan, Business Association work programmes, partner agency work reports, and group discussion on further collaboration opportunities.
This meeting was a follow up from a Business Association Recovery Forum held in June this year, hosted by our Council’s Economic Development Team. It's representative of an ongoing and productive partnership between all parties.
Mayor Len Salt opened the meeting by acknowledging the tough times, but reporting on growing a sense of positivity in the business and social sectors.
“We’ve had a rough few months,” says Mayor Len. “We’ve still got challenges ahead of us, but there is a feeling around the district of optimism. We’ve got a brighter future ahead of us.”
Our Council’s Chief Execuive Aileen Lawrie said that while Cyclone Gabrielle created chaos, it also allowed our district to shine a spotlight on issues that have been under-funded for a long time.
“We’ve had a whole lot of wins,” she says. “$25 million came into the district from central government support and we’ve been putting it to good use.”
For our Council, this has meant repairing much of our roading system and providing support to economic and social recovery efforts. For business associations and and struggling businesses, this has meant funding to help ride out the hard times and come back strong as we move through recovery.
Business Association work programmes
All five Business Associations received a total of $330,000 from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) that was allocated through our Council and is being put to great use. Some highlights:
- The Mercury Bay Business Association (MBBA) has run several events to keep businesses buoyant through winter, and also supported 11 locals achieving their LCQ (the legal qualification everyone must have before applying for a manager's certificate) qualifications. Find out more about the MBBA here.
- The Thames Business Association (TBA) dedicated some of its funding to providing business advisors and supporting events including Wings and Wheels, an Advent Adventure, and Santa Parade. Find out more about TBA here.
- Coromandel-Colville Business Association (CCBA) has just recently reformed. It‘s helped bring businesses together for guest speakers networking opportunities and is now playing a part in the local Christmas Parade and Keltic Fair. Find out more about the CCBA here.
- Tairua Business Association is putting on an Amazing Race style event, and are working hard to developing a new brand for Tairua.
- Enterprise Whangamatā (EW) has dedicated some of its funding to the successful Spring Fling which took place in September. It’s also established the Paradise Coast Golf Classic which is coming up on 1-3 December. Find out more about Enterprise Whangamatā here.
Our Council’s Recovery Plan – State Highways and Local Roads
Our Operations Group Manager Bruce Hinson gave an update on the state of local roads heading into summer, with plans in place to ensure important roads will be repaired before Christmas.
- Tapu-Coroglen Road is progressing well despite recent incidents of vandalism. The road is scheduled to be reopened before Christmas.
- Work on the first slip damage site at Black Jack Road will kick off next week and is expected to be complete ahead of the holiday season. Work on the second site will begin mid-January 2024.
- The first of seven repair sites on Colville Road has been started with four more sites in the market for pricing, and the remainder in the market in the next few weeks.
- Tender evaluation is underway for Kennedy Bay Road.
- Stay up to date with developments on these local roads here.
Andrew Wharekawa Smith from Waka Kotahi/New Zealand Transport Agency delivered a promising report in regards to the important works happening on SH25A.
“Everything is going smoothly – we’re progressing really well,” he reported, noting that the only anticipated roadblocks may be the high El Niño winds. However, the team are currently working 24/7 on-site - thanks to all of the people doing the mahi.
The completion date for March 2024 is achievable, and Waka Kotahi may be able to open earlier but this will be subject to no unforeseen issues arising, including more bad weather.
Our Council’s Recovery Plan – Social and Economic updates
Our Community Partnerships Coordinator Helen Flynn spoke about the focus on social recovery, particularly in relation to retaining and seeking new employment.
- Mayors’ Task Force for Jobs: MTFJ is a movement of mayors around New Zealand/Aotearoa who advocate for a bottom-up approach to employment solutions to deliver the Community Employment Programme (CEP) along with broader initiatives. In particular, CEP is a nationwide partnership between Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) and the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) that’s delivering great outcomes in our rural and provincial communities. It’s championed by mayors who are working together towards the vision of all young people 16-25 engaged in employment, education, or training in their communities. Here in the Coromandel we’re aiming at placing 40 youth, with 10 already working. Find out more here.
- Careers roadshow: Our Council is supporting more careers roadshows early next year for each of our communities. These roadshows give young people access to jobs and careers information with a focus on local pathways – and Business Associations and High Schools will be involved.
- Workforce planning: Significant emphasis is being put on workforce planning with focus on civil construction and roading. Our Council is looking to answer the question: what are our workforce needs? What are the current issues? And how do we rethink our local workforce?
Our Economic Development Lead Mitch King acknowledged the time and effort everyone working in Business Associations has put in over the last 11 months.
Our latest business sentiment survey revealed that the outlook from business owners in our district has not changed much in the last three months with 40 per cent of people expecting things to get worse. Read more about this here.
“Things are patchy out there – retail, hospitality, and tourism are hurting, while other sectors are ticking on,” says Mitch.
Everyone is looking forward to the months ahead and doing what they can to guarantee a bumper summer for our local businesses.
Our Regional Tourism Organisation Destination Hauraki Coromandel (DHC) has been able to develop an exciting new summer tourism promotion which will launch in November, thanks to external funding from MBIE and further support from Hauraki District Council.
The three-phase campaign aims to reinstate the Coromandel’s reputation as a great place to visit and encourage national and international markets to return to our district. The campaign will run from November to April and allows businesses to actively be involved.
How businesses & communities can get on board - Either businesses individually or communities can band together and form a local ‘cure’ experience, package or offering, which can be included in the marketing activity of the campaign. To align your Coromandel Cure with the campaign and make sure it gets good coverage during the launch phase your Coromandel Cure could be one of two deliverables:
- A special product (e.g limited edition product, dish on a menu, experience)
- A combo, package, add-on, anything that's good for your soul.
Product: Let DHC know what your special product cure is, when it is available and how you are presenting it, and we will send you the official campaign brand and other creative assets for you to use in marketing your Coromandel Cure.
Package: Upload details of your Coromandel Cure with campaign lockups to their website.
At the hui, HDC General Manager Hadley Dryden reported that the international tourism market is recovering in terms of core markets to Hauraki Coromandel like Australia, UK, and USA. However South East Asian markets, particularly China, have been slow to return to New Zealand.
Research also showed that tourism sentiment and perception of the Coromandel dropped significantly over the storm period, but planned marketing campaigns will help to change these perceptions and entice visitors to return. Find out more at their website.
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