Summer forecast released, Caulerpa info, jobs at our Council

Published on 01 December 2023

Utilities engineer (1080 x 800 px) (1).png

The latest from Mayor Len

We had a changing of the guard here at Council this week, with Councillor Martin Rodley taking over from former Thames Community Board Chair and ex-Councillor Strat Peters as our Council’s representative on the Hauraki Rail Trail Board of Directors. Well done and thank you Strat for representing our district on the governing body of the Rail Trail and thank you Martin for stepping into the role. 

Thames Community Board and Strat Peters 29 Nov 2023.jpg
L-R: Cllr Peter Revell, Cllr Robyn Sinclair, Mayor Len Salt, former Thames Community Board Chair and former Cllr Strat Peters, Cllr Martin Rodley, Community Board Member Kishan Raikwar, Board Chair Adrian Catran, Board Member Holly MacKenzie, Board Deputy Chair Rob Johnston.

In case you don’t know, the Rail Trail is one of the easiest and most scenic cycle trails in New Zealand. It runs from Kaiaua to Thames and then down to the Karangahake Gorge and finally to Matamata. Along the way it takes in shorebird nesting grounds, the heritage and amenities of Thames, the scenery of the Karangahake Gorge and the Hobbiton movie set.  

On the Ngāti Maru Highway (SH25) section of the Rail Trail, as it passes Sir Keith Park Memorial Airfield, over recent years the Thames Public Art Trust (TPAT) has worked with Thames Community Board to have a series of art installations put in. The latest is 'Interwoven', which was installed last weekend. The official ‘unveiling’ is tomorrow, Saturday 2 December. 

The works of art that TPAT has procured and put in place in Thames is growing. With murals in place in several locations and with information signage Thames Community Board is working on putting in place, they will significantly enhance the visitor experience in the area. It's a good example of local volunteerism working with local government to get things done. 

The latest on our Road to Recovery

SH25A - Rendered bridge image_August_SMALL.jpg

In this week's Road to Recovery newsletter:
• We'd love to hear your celebration plans for the reopening of SH25A. Plus, we have the latest progress update from Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.
• At Tapu-Coroglen Road, Kelsey Construction is progressing well. We anticipate having the route open by Friday 8 December, earlier than originally expected.
• Destination Hauraki Coromandel have launched their ground-breaking summer campaign 'The Coromandel Cure'.
• Find out what initiatives are available for businesses from the Ministry of Social Development NZ and ServiceIQ.
• See the Mental Health Foundation's latest resources for coping in the aftermath of weather events.
Find out what events our business associations are planning this summer.


NIWA releases summer forecast


That real summer holiday looks more certain following the latest NIWA Climate forecast released today.

It is going to be a long hot summer with above normal air pressure and temperatures, warm ocean waters and persistent westerlies, extending through into autumn.

A spell of wet weather over the next 5-7 days is forecast to be the end of the spring weather. Drier than normal conditions will then set in through to Christmas.

Periodical rainfall throughout summer, some of it heavy, is on the cards for the Coromandel. NIWA have noticed that unusual ocean heat in the Western Pacific has contributed to circulation patterns not typically associated with El Nino; so again, expect the unexpected.


Mayor Len has welcomed the latest forecast.

“It’s been one heck of a year; everyone is tired and in need of a decent summer break, so fingers crossed it is going to be a beauty and a welcome boost for our economy." 

Updated fishing and anchoring controls for Ahuahu Great Mercury Island in force 

Caulerpa MPI graphic Dec 2023.png An updated Controlled Area Notice (CAN) comes into force today for Aotea Great Barrier Island and Ahuahu Great Mercury Island, replacing the one that expired last night. 

In recent weeks the Ministry for Primary Industries has held discussions with affected people from mana whenua, local authorities, the fishing industry and local communities about the most appropriate measures to control the spread of exotic Caulerpa. The update to the CAN reflects those discussions and manages the risk of human spread of Caulerpa, while minimising the impacts on local people as much as possible. 

There are two species of this pest seaweed which can spread spread rapidly, forming vast, dense underwater fields. They compete with other species, including our own native Caulerpa species, for space and upset the balance of local ecosystems. This presents a risk to recreational, cultural and commercial marine activities. 

  • The geographical area under control at Ahuahu Great Mercury remains the same as under the previous CAN 

  • Anchoring restrictions will remain, with anchoring prohibited in the controlled area unless in an emergency or with a permit from Biosecurity New Zealand 

  • Less risky forms of fishing that don’t come into contact with the seabed, for example drift fishing from a boat or kayak, spear fishing, shore-based long-lining (e.g. using a kontiki or drone) and line fishing will be permitted. 

  • Methods that come into contact with the sea floor such as set netting and dredging will remain prohibited. 

The new controls are in force until 30 June 2024. 

Anyone planning boating or fishing at Aotea or Ahuahu this summer can visit for precise boundaries and maps of the zones and actions required. 

New summer campaign to help stop the spread of exotic Caulerpa 

A new summer campaign launched this week to inform boaties, fishers and divers about the simple actions they need to take when at sea to avoid spreading Caulerpa.   

MPI knows that exotic Caulerpa is able travel short distances naturally as small pieces adrift in the water, but it is spread primarily by people, snared in boating and fishing gear. 

For this reason, MPI is asking boaties to check their anchor, anchor chain and any gear that’s been in the water before they move on to a different location. 

If any seaweed is found attached this equipment, they must remove it and securely bag it or contain it and take it ashore for safe disposal on land – for example in a rubbish bin or compost. 

The key is ‘securely’ containing it. Any seaweed removed from gear needs to be in a bag or container that stops it getting back into the water at a different location. 

If this can’t be done, people are asked to return it to the waters it came from. There will already be exotic Caulerpa below and putting it back in this area will not pose a significant risk of spread. 

Supporting the environment and tamariki through Paper4Trees

Central Kids Tairua Kindergarten 1 2023.jpgOur Council's waste levy fund supports several local environmental education programmes. One of these programmes, Paper4Trees, has been running in schools and pre-schools in our district since 2009. Paper4trees supports schools and pre-schools to set up a functional system that allows them to separate their paper and cardboard effectively.

This decreases the amount of waste that is sent to the landfill and avoids contamination of paper and cardboard recycling. Our Council's support helps to provide participating schools and pre-schools with classroom recycling bins which make this possible. 

Every year, schools and pre-schools log into their account on the Paper4Trees website, where they record their recycling volume of the previous year. This is a great way for them to track how their recycling volume differs from year to year. We also communicate with schools and pre-schools directly where necessary to provide advice and support.

As a reward for schools' and pre-schools' recycling efforts they receive native plants on an annual basis, from Te Whāngai Trust. 

The team at Central Kids Tairua Kindergarten describe why they love being part of the programme:

"Tamariki at Central Kids Tairua Kindergarten just love the deliveries of rākau (trees) from Te Whangai Trust.  They get so excited to see the little plants and manaaki the delivery people with excitement and interest. Tamariki lovingly water the rākau (pictured) and grow their knowledge of how to take care of the living world.

"We have a Paper4Trees paper bin in the space where tamariki create mahi toi (artwork) and they are so competent and confident with transferring their paper waste into the Paper4Trees recycling bin. 

"We run a para (rubbish) sorting system at kindergarten for lunchboxes and work in reducing the waste we send to landfill. We also run terracycle programmes for example with brands like Colgate and Schwarzkopf. We are a community drop-off centre for these systems with the kaikōhau (aspiration) of teaching environmental practices in the early years which will stay with our tamariki through their lifetimes.

"Ngā mihi mahana TCDC, we appreciate your commitment to Te Taiao!" — The team at Central Kids Tairua Kindergarten.

New Hauraki Rail Trail sculpture

Interwoven installed different angle.jpg A vibrant new sculpture, ‘Interwoven’, has been installed on the Hauraki Rail Trail and is due to be officially launched on Saturday 2 December.

The sculpture Interwoven (concept model by Chris Budgen) was an entrant in the Thames Public Art Trust community sculpture competition in late 2017.

At just over three metres high, made of macrocarpa beams, it is installed on SH25 Ngāti Maru Highway, not far from the junction with Maramarahi Road. 

Thanks for generous donated support from the following:

  • Saunders Mitsubishi and Kōpū Engineering for the donated use of a vehicle and heavy trailer for the pick-up of the timber from Cypress Sawmill, Waitoki
  • Adept Engineering for connection calculations, design and bespoke toolmaking
  • Wintec for the use of their premises to construct the work
  • Kiwitrans Ltd for storing the sculpture
  • TPAT volunteers and supporters who built the work
  • Community members who assisted with painting
  • Thames Valley Crematory (owned by Thames Community Board Chair Adrian Catran) for funding the foundation concrete and placement (around $2,000)
  • Paul Green of All Garden Works for landscaping design, labour, equipment and supply of materials ($2,500–3,000)
  • Watson Engineering for lifting the sculpture into place.

Funding was gratefully received for the project from the following:

  • Trust Waikato
  • Thames Community Board
  • Creative New Zealand via the Creative Communities Scheme (administered by Creative Coromandel)
  • We Care Community Trust Ltd

The following businesses are also thanked for their quality work:

  • Cypress Sawmill for the macrocarpa
  • Kōpū Engineering for connection bracket and steel ties manufacture
  • Stainless Specialist Installations for bracket and support steel manufacture
  • TLL Engineering for structural calculations
  • Fencing by Valley Fencing Ltd
  • Foundation work by Wade Andrews Landscaping
  • Reon Signs for signage

It will require painting every few years. Last year Thames Community Board voted to commit $5,432 needed to maintain and insure this and another sculpture, Miners’ Gates, for the length of their ‘useful life’.

What's on?


Our local business associations are hosting a series of local summer events, supported by our Council's Recovery Fund. Here's what's coming up:

Mercury Bay Business Association

Thames Business Association

Enterprise Whangamatā and Tairua Business Association

Exciting Pāuanui

December update from our libraries

Picture5.jpg Our libraries are ready for Christmas. Check out our massive box tree next time you visit Thames Library – there are a few hidden surprises to find.

This Christmas, Thames Library is teaming up with Rotary Thames to bring Christmas joy to children in need in our local community.

You can donate unwrapped gifts that are new or in good condition, by leaving them under the Christmas tree at Thames Library for Rotary Thames to collect.

Check out our libraries' Facebook page next week to find out more. There will also be an announcement about the January school holiday programme very soon. 

Thames, Mercury Bay and Tairua Libraries will close for the Christmas and New Year break. Their final day for the year will be Saturday 23 December, when we'll close at 12pm. Free WiFi will be available as usual outside of our buildings during the break.

The returns bins will stay open over the holiday period and you're welcome to return your items (except kits) at any timeYour items will sit on your library account until our staff return to check them in on the morning of Wednesday 3 January. 

The libraries will reopen for 2024 at the later time of 10am on Wednesday 3 January (this gives our staff a little extra time to empty the returns bins before we open), and we'll be back to our usual hours on Thursday 4 January.

Get summer ready: Know your zone

zone.jpg Today's the official start of summer. As the weather gets warmer and the days get longer, many of us will be heading to the beach more often. The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) have put together some handy summer information to make sure you're prepared, including a few reminders:

• Remember, all of New Zealand's coastline is at risk of tsunami. If an earthquake is "long or strong, get gone".
• If you are near the coast and feel an earthquake, drop, cover and hold during the shaking.
• Protect yourself from the earthquake first. As soon as the shaking stops, move immediately to the nearest high ground, out of all tsunami evacuation zones, or as far inland as you can.
• Check if you work, play or holiday in a tsunami evacuation zone using the map on our website, and look out for any signage near your beach.
• Make sure you know where to go, whether enjoying a staycation or heading away.

Job opportunities at our Council

hiring crop.jpg We have an exciting range of opportunities currently being advertised: 

• Water Services Operations Lead
• Strategic & District Planning Team Leader 
• Corporate Policy Team Leader
• Senior Resource Consent Planner 
• Community Development Manager 
• Customer Services Rep (Thames office) Fixed Term 

At our Council we ensure work-life balance is not just a dream but a reality.

We offer an array of staff benefits including; flexible work arrangements, relocation allowance, free parking, sick leave on commencement of employment and more. 

Adoptable dogs

We have some beautiful dogs up for adoption, including:



Roxy is a very gentle, placid, well-natured dog.

She loves to cuddle just as much as she loves to play.

She has come from a family environment and loves pats and attention.

If you're interested in knowing more about Roxy, please contact our Council on 07 868 0200.


Theo is a handsome young chap who loves pats and to play with other dogs.

He is a gentle soul and would be well suited to most homes. Very trainable, he just needs someone to show him the ropes and get used to being on-lead. 


MicrosoftTeams-image (2).png

Isabella is a good-natured, very friendly, and energetic husky. Would suit an active and outdoorsy home. Well-mannered and responds to basic commands.

If you are interested in adopting a dog, please contact us on 07 868 0200. Once your interest is known, a Dog Control Officer will be in contact with you to discuss the adoption and carry out the appropriate checks; this may include a visit to your property.

Please note that some people may not be acceptable for adoptions and that we reserve the right to make decisions on the most suitable homes for any dogs available for adoption.

If your adoption is successful, you will be required to register and microchip the dog prior to taking it home.

Keep up to date with the latest news, events and opportunities by signing up to our Council's email newsletter. 

Tagged as: