Wrap-up: Future for Local Govt, recovery updates, Tairua Skate Park
Published on 10 November 2023
The latest from Mayor Len
This week Hamilton City Council announced it was facing substantial cost increases in coming years to continue delivering its current services for the community.
The same is true for councils across the Waikato region and the entire country – and for us too – as we all go through the process of preparing our Long Term Plans for the next decade.
The inflation that has hit householders is also affecting local government. Interest rates are up, as is the cost of funding depreciation of assets.
That’s why it’s important we as a Council make sure our voices and our communities needs are heard by central government in these pressure-cooker economic times.
One forum we’ve been able to do this is through the Future for Local Government conference last week, which brought councils together to agree on what we would like the new government to address. How local government is funded and addressing the critical gaps in what the central government requires councils to do and how this is paid for are top of the list. We don’t want any more unfunded mandates, where central government requires councils to deliver something but doesn’t provide the funding to pay for it, thereby devolving the cost to ratepayers.
We also agreed that there needs to be multi-party consensus on long-term major policies and infrastructure projects so we can avoid the chopping and changing that comes with election promises.
We urgently need clarity around three waters and what will replace the current legislation once it is repealed. Also required is clarity around councils’ access to water infrastructure funding as the new water services regulator Taumata Arowai begins to enforce requirements for water treatment upgrades.
We’re continuing to discuss with our partners in the Waikato Mayoral Forum and Waikato and Hauraki iwi leaders what options might be available around forming regional or sub-regional water entities, if that is the direction the new government gives. Council chief executives in the region will be doing some preparatory work on what these entities might look like.
This week we also had good discussions with our local business associations around collaboration and partnerships. The associations gave updates on the significantly increased activity they’ve been able to carry out as a result of the recovery funding provided by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and channelled through our Council. We all talked about the rough year we’ve had, how we’ve still got challenges ahead of us, but there is a feeling around the district of optimism. There’s renewed energy going into planning for events and celebrations across the district. We’ve got a brighter summer ahead of us.
In other news, Councillor Deli Connell has been selected to attend the Local Government Exchange and Cooperation Seminar, hosted by the Council of Local Authorities for International Relations (CLAIR), in Tokyo, Japan. This event only allows five people from Australasia to attend, and Councillor Connell was fortunate to be selected. This is a great opportunity to learn and share experiences with other local government representatives on a range of issues facing us such as emergency preparedness, infrastructure and solid waste. I’m looking forward to hearing about Cllr Connell’s experiences when she returns. This trip has been entirely paid for by CLAIR and Cllr Connell herself.
Mayors Taskforce for Jobs planting seeds for success in young people
A planting project for storm recovery in Fletcher Bay is giving rangatahi opportunities in horticulture, as part of a grassroots employment programme in our district.
Four young people have been working in Fletcher Bay on a planting programme to help with the area’s storm recovery. The project at is focused on the local campground’s flood resilience, following the impacts of the North Island weather events in early 2023.
“The first thing I thought when I arrived at the planting site was ‘What a magnificent view’,” says Tama Reuban. “The best part is seeing how much the plants are growing – some of them are up to 30cm now.”
The work is the result of a collaboration between the Department of Conservation, the Pare Hauraki Native Nursery, and the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs (MTFJ) Community Employment Programme and delivered in partnership with Local Government New Zealand.
The plants used in the project were grown at the Pare Hauraki Native Nursery in Thames by another MTFJ employee, who helped nurture the 75,000 seedlings required for the work. Seeds were collected from the locations where they will be planted, meaning they’ll be well suited to the conditions.
Our Mayor Len Salt visited the Pare Hauraki Native Nursery in Thames recently, describing the programme as one of the great examples in our region of localism in action.
“It’s clear from talking with these young people that this on-the-job experience is crucial to their success," he says. “They’re able to put their skills and interests into practice, and it’s fantastic to see how much they’ve enjoyed the outdoors work and seeing the end results of the efforts in the nursery. Plus, this sort of resilience planting work is of such long-term value to our wider community.”
Coromandel Cure summer campaign
Caption: Kūaotunu Bubble Festival, Felicity Jean Photography.
Our regional tourism organisation Destination Hauraki Coromandel has been hard at work on their biggest ever summer campaign, designed to build back confidence in The Coromandel as the place where Kiwis holiday.
Phase one of the campaign has almost wrapped up and phase two, The Coromandel Cure, will be kicking off at the end of this month with a focus on PR activity to raise nation-wide awareness of The Coromandel.
“During this phase we will feature the products and packages on offer from participating businesses - and there's still time to add yours,” says Destination Hauraki Coromandel marketing manager, Megan Nunn.
“This campaign is about inclusivity for all: operators, businesses, business associations and other community groups. Now is the time to align your Coromandel Cure with the campaign and make sure it gets good coverage during the launch phase.”
Find out how to showcase your cure
Destination Hauraki Coromandel’s website thecoromandel.com will be the campaign home where people can find all The Coromandel Cures. Your Coromandel Cure could be one of two experiences:
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 them know what your special product cure is, when it is available and how you are presenting it, and they 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 the Destination Hauraki Coromandel website.
This second phase of the new campaign will run until Christmas, and will resume in January after a brief pause, with phase three running until the end of March. Any questions or ideas you'd like to discuss, please email Megan at Destination Hauraki Coromandel.
Our Road to Recovery
This week on our Road to Recovery:
Waka Kotahi recovery works on SH25
Ruamahunga Bay boat ramp closed next week: Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is about to start work to stabilise the slip site over State Highway 25 at Ruamahunga Bay on the Thames Coast. Their contractor will need to use the boat ramp parking area to park equipment and a container and there will also be a helicopter working in the area. For this reason, the boat ramp parking area and access to the boat ramp itself will be closed from Tuesday 14 November to Thursday 16 November.
The contractor will stabilise the slope with anchors and mesh, working on three areas, labelled A, B and C on the map, starting with A and aiming to finish there before Christmas. Areas B and C will follow after the Christmas break. During this time, SH25 Ruamahunga will be open to stop/go traffic management most of the time, with the occasional 'stop/stop' for a few minutes at a time, when helicopters are operating overhead.
SH25 Thames: Road resurfacing begins Sunday 12 November on SH25, south of the Goldfields shopping centre. The work will take place at night for two weeks, and during this time stop/go traffic management will be in place. From time-to-time, side roads will be closed to help finish the work as quickly as possible. The affected side roads include Willoughby Street, Richmond Street and Sealey Street, access for residents will be provided from Pollen Street. Access to Richmond Street West will be maintained at all times.
The latest on our local roads
In the wake of ex-Tropical Cyclone Lola, we experienced multiple flooding sites, overslips and trees down, but there were no additional permanent road closures. We're preparing details for an out-of-cycle budget request to meet repair costs. Of our local Council-managed roads, only Tapu-Coroglen remains closed as repair works continue to reopen the road in December.
Works are also ramping up as summer approaches, with our tender and construction programmes meeting the target deadlines. We're aiming to complete the 70+ repair sites we identified across the district within the next financial year (before 30 June 2024), based on our current resources.
Grass seeding has also been applied to 5000m2 of exposed slip surfaces across the district to allow growth during summer and to protect exposed soils.
Watermain Upgrade – Tiki Road Coromandel Town
Our contractors Hydra-Care are currently working to replace a section of the watermain on Tiki Road, Coromandel Town. The main had reached the end of its useful life and this will solve issues with leakage. The project includes new fire hydrants, sluice valves and the re-connection of properties to this new main. The replacement is shown in the picture left, running from the intersection of Strongman Road to Wharf Road, on the left side. The project will use trenchless technology to minimise disruption. This is scheduled to be completed by the end of November.
On Monday November 13 from 10am-2pm, water will be shutdown at the following addresses in Coromandel Town while this work is carried out:
- 430–2995 Tiki Road
- 6–32 Whangapoua Road
- All Of Koromiko Drive
- All of Strongman Road
- All of Seabroke Place
- All of Mahi Place
- All of Huaroa Street
- All of Kingston Street
- All of Preeces Point Road
- All of Mcquoid Road
For more information, contact Hydra-Care on (07) 868 1129.
Tairua Skate Park build ahead of schedule
The skatepark is tracking well (a few days ahead of programme) even with road closures from the recent storm. The works are still in the early stages with plenty of hard mahi left to go.
All the remaining wall footings are completed and the walls for the quarter pipe have been poured. The “down and flat ledge” feature for tricks has also been poured.
The drainage works have progressed well and all the works in the tennis court area have been completed with concrete repairs finished and grass starting to strike.
The footpaths from Hornsea Road have already been poured leading up to the skatepark – ahead of schedule. All going well, the target is to have the footpath from Hornsea Rd to the tennis court completed and both tennis courts available for use before Christmas.
See tcdc.govt.nz/tairuaskatepark for more information on the project.
Mercury Bay Boat Club relocation
Our Council has been working with the Boat Club for a number of years on their options to relocate their building. Our Council is supporting the club as it works through discussions with other parties involved to find a way forward.
The latest update is that the club is considering two sites: moving landward from their current location at Taputapuatea and more recently Dundas Street south of the marina. Consent and concession applications have been prepared in respect to the Dundas Street site and public consultation is anticipated as part of those applications.
Updates on our Council’s involvement have been provided at recent Mercury Bay Community Board meetings. Recordings of these are available on our website at www.tcdc.govt.nz/meetings and local media often attend these meetings.
If anyone would like to know more about what is going on, they can always contact the Boat Club and ask. Similarly, anyone who would like to know more about our Council’s role in any activity we carry out, please contact us on 07 868 0200 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kerbside: Wheelie bin latches and RTS maintenance
Having trouble with your bins being blown over on windy days and the contents spilling out?
From Monday 13 November we’ll be selling latches at all four of our Council offices which you can use to keep your bin lids secure.
They’re $8 (including GST) and fit both your red rubbish wheelie bin and your yellow mixed recycling bin.
The latches are secured through the handle of the bin, and auto-release when the truck lifts the bin, so the contents can be emptied. After emptying, the latch stays in place on the handle of your bin.
Find out more at tcdc.govt.nz/binlatch
RTS maintenance work in the next three weeks
We’re doing some maintenance work in November and early December on the compactors at our Refuse and Recycling Transfer Station (RTS) sites ahead of the busy summer peak.
The sites will remain open and there should be no disruption to customers, but there will be temporary skip bins in place for rubbish at both Matarangi and Coromandel Town. We recommend people with trailer-loads of waste come the day before or after the scheduled maintenance work days below:
- Matarangi RTS: Tuesday 14 November
- Whangamatā RTS: Wednesday 15 November
- Tairua RTS: Tuesday 21 November
- Whitianga RTS: Thursday 23 November
- Thames RTS: Friday 24 November
- Pāuanui RTS: Tuesday 28 November
- Coromandel Town RTS: Monday 4 December & Tuesday 5 December
Congratulations to the Waikato Sport & Active Recreation Award finalists
The fourth year of the Waikato Sport & Active Recreation Awards has seen a record number of nominations. The awards celebrate those in the community who go above and beyond to deliver programmes and initiatives that help to create a more active region. This year saw over 120 nominations from across the region, including two from the Coromandel.
Among this year’s finalists there are some innovative initiatives from around the region including dance, surfing, historical cycle tours, virtual challenges, boxing, judo and skateboarding.
Thames-Coromandel finalists are:
Commitment to Youth Engagement:
Outstanding By Youth For Youth Initiative:
Congratulations to all the nominees – we value and acknowledge all the incredible work you do to keep our communities active. Finalists will be published on Sport Waikato social media channels, sportwaikato.org.nz and you can view all nominations at www.wsara.co.nz.
Finalists and their supporters are invited to a special event on Thursday 15 February 2024 in Hamilton where winners will be announced.
Community Waka Ama in Whangamatā
Whangamatā Community Marae Committee Te Whānau Waka Ama o Whangamatā are offering free community Waka Ama for the next four weeks. It's open to all ages and abilities and is a chance for the community to come together to experience Waka Ama.
It will be held on Mondays from 13 November, from 5-6pm followed by a free BBQ. Lifejackets and paddles are provided. Bring a towel, warm clothes and wear clothing you don't mind getting a little wet. Meet at the Waka Site, Beach
Road, next to the Marina. Click here to see a map of the location.
These sessions are free, through support from our Council's Mayoral Relief Social Recovery Fund for community events and wellbeing initiatives: tcdc.govt.nz/socialrecovery
Hauraki Cyclone Response – Mindfulness Sessions
The Pinnacle Midlands Health Network are running group therapy for residents whose mental health has been affected by cyclones and severe weather events.
Over four weeks, whānau can come along to 1.5-hour sessions to learn valuable skills and mindfulness techniques to help them manage feelings of anxiousness and distress. Mindfulness can help to improve aspects of your mental health wellbeing such as anxiety, depression, stress, and sleeping patterns.
Referrals can be made through your doctor or via by contacting Maraea Parangi 027 3753 017 or emailing Maraea.Parangi@pinnacle.health.nz. You can also drop into the Thames Community Centre on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9–11am (609 Mackay Street, Thames) to see Maraea and discuss if you are eligible.
These sessions are for those experiencing mild to moderate mental health impacts. If you’d like to find out more about accessing mental health services, speak to your GP, or visit the health.govt.nz website for more resources and information.
Citizens Advice Bureau call for volunteers
Citizens Advice Bureau in Thames is looking for people to join our team of volunteers. Volunteers usually work once a week or a fortnight depending on their other commitments. Currently we are open three days a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10am-1pm.
We’re looking for more volunteers to enable us to open Monday to Friday, and hopefully to extend our hours. There are no specific requirements for the job, as full training is provided. If you're interested, please call into their office at 301D Queen Street, Thames. Or email email@example.com or phone 07 868 8405.
Opportunities at our Council
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. We are currently looking for:
If you are interested in working for us and there are currently no vacancies that fit your skillset and knowledge, please let us know by completing an expression of interest application via the link below.
Click here for more information, or to apply.
Adoptable dog of the week
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