Road to Recovery: Coastal protection and employment support
Published on 12 July 2023
Buffalo Beach ‘Shark Bite’
Our Council has started the resource consent process with Waikato Regional Council to extend the rock wall at Buffalo Beach near the public toilets, roughly opposite Halligan Road. Following this year's storms, erosion is approaching Buffalo Beach Road, in what locals are calling the ‘shark bite’. The plan is to extend the rock protection about 30 metres north while gradually tapering it to help minimise the ‘end effects’ of wave action on the end of the proposed wall.
The consent and resulting construction could take until the end of the year to complete.
Push-ups of sand may still be required until then to keep the erosion away from the road.
These sand push-ups act as a sacrificial buffer during storms by absorbing wave energy and are relatively inexpensive to carry out.
Our Council has finalised a design with Tonkin + Taylor engineering consultancy and Geofabrics NZ to repair the storm-damaged geotextile sandbag structure protecting Brophy’s Beach.
The design sets the pathway back from the shoreline and adds an extra row of geotextile sandbags on the landward side, while retaining the height of the existing structure. The materials have been ordered and we expect delivery in August, after which construction can begin. We’re also planning to hold a drop-in information session about this work, so keep an eye out for details on this.
Our contractors have been working on stream realignment in Onemana, helping the dunes and coastal habitat north of the stream to recover.
Over the last three years the stream has been moving, and slowly but surely eroding the foredune landward and into the reserve.
We expect the stream's previous path will fill up with sand and begin the self-repairing process, building the dune seaward to protect the reserve.
Employment programme for rangatahi continues after successful pilot
The Mayors' Taskforce for Jobs is a community employment programme which offers subsidies, support and training to assist employers and job seekers.
With a goal of Zero Youth Unemployment, the initiative is a partnership between rural councils and the national Mayors' Taskforce for Jobs network, and is supported by the Ministry of Social Development.
After a successful local pilot last year, run in partnership with Ngāti Maru, our Council has secured funding to enable the participation for a further two years.
The programme is designed to enable local organisations and businesses to work together and help rangatahi to take up fulfilling work. Click here to read more about the programme.
Next month, we're helping to host the annual jobs and careers event to communities around the Coromandel, to provide information to those looking for training or work opportunities.
The roadshow is scheduled for the week of 28 August to 1 September travelling to Whangamatā, Whitianga, Coromandel Town and Thames.
The event has previously been held in Thames, but due to impact and disruption of the roading network our communities it’s important employers and skill providers visit our main centres.
To make this happen, our Council is working with the Connected – Employment, Education and Training team, Te Huarahi, the Ministry of Social Development and our four local Business Associations in Thames, Mercury Bay, Whangamatā and Coromandel Town.
The events will be hosted at local schools, and are open to students, whānau and the wider community. We will provide more information in the coming weeks about times and locations.
A Recovery Plan for our district has been drafted and will be available once we've finished gathering final feedback from those involved.
The Plan guides the medium and long-term social, economic, infrastructure and environmental rebuilding of the Coromandel following the 2023 extreme weather events.
We are now in the consultation phase and are hearing from organisations directly involved in the delivery of the recovery actions before the plan's wider release.
Funding and other support available
Regional Events Fund
The new Hauraki-Coromandel 2023/2024 Regional Event Fund (REF) aims to support our region's vibrancy and economy by attracting visitors.
The fund has been set up by our regional tourism organisation Destination Hauraki Coromandel. Event organisers who apply and will need to show that they have a clear plan to attract out-of-region visitors and make a commitment to sustainability.
Events are important to bring back to our district – many had a hiatus due to COVID and have been impacted by roading network issues following this year's weather events.
Applications close on 25 July at 5pm. Click here for more information or contact email@example.com
Cyclone Gabrielle Welfare Support Grant
If your marae, iwi or community organisation incurred costs or used resources helping people affected by Cyclone Gabrielle, you have more time to apply for reimbursement funding. The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has extended the deadline for applications to 31 August.
Find out more and apply at: civildefence.govt.nz.
Rural Support and Primary Producer Finance Scheme
Find out more about the Government's support package for growers, farmers and businesses affected by North Island weather events.
There is also a finance scheme available for Primary Producers affected by the North Island Weather Events.
Visiting the Coromandel: Winter Our Way
Destination Hauraki-Coromandel have just launched its Winter Our Way campaign, sharing ideas of how locals and visitors can spend the cooler months in our beautiful region.
It describes the many seasonal drawcards, including that "there are fewer people to share the wide beaches and green bush walks, and some special activities that come into their own in winter, with plenty of sunny days after a frosty start in the mountain valleys."
Find ideas for things to do, as well as guides and maps, on the Destination Hauraki-Coromandel website.
Hopefully the weather will be nice enough to be outdoors this weekend, but if you have a little time on your hands, we can recommend exploring Waikato Regional Council's suite of environmental monitors.
Some of the graphs might tell you what you already know – that we've experienced high levels of rainfall this year.
Graph: Waikato Regional Council.
The data is taken from the Kauaeranga River - Pinnacles rainfall gauge, with the median data (the green line in the graph) being recorded since 1991.
Tips for combatting driving fatigue
With some roads being closed, many of us have longer drive times at the moment, which may increase the likelihood of driving fatigue. Fatigue-related accidents pose a significant threat to both drivers and other road users.
Fatigue can decrease reaction times and concentration, increasing the risk of accidents. East Waikato Road safe have put together the following tips to combat driving fatigue:
1. Prioritise sufficient sleep before you travel
2. Plan for breaks, especially for journeys over two hours
3. Avoid driving during sleepy hours: early in the morning or late at night
4. Share the responsibility and take turns driving
5. Avoid driving with medication that causes drowsiness as a side effects
6. Listen to your body and stop for a nap, snack and stretch if you're feeling tired
Click here to read more, including how to notice the signs of fatigue.