Wrap-up: Thames pool survey set to open, plus project and roading news

Published on 12 April 2024


Photo: Brent Courtney/Explore Thames

The latest from Mayor Len

This week I had the privilege of being welcomed onto Matai Whetū marae, in my role as Co-Chair of the Thames Protection and Resilience Governance Group. 

Our governance group is jointly made up of Ngāti Maru, Waikato Regional Council and Council representatives. Ngāti Maru kaumatua Wati Ngamene is my fellow Co-Chair. 

We’re tasked with figuring out what will work best to protect Thames from the risks of sea level rise, for the benefit of our whole district. 

Ngāti Maru welcomed us onto their marae this week in recognition of the importance of this work, which is the next priority step in our Council’s Shoreline Management project. 

By sharing our knowledge and areas of expertise, we hope to shape a future for Thames that complements our existing amenities, protects our significant assets, and enables our economy to thrive. Because so many of our regional services and infrastructure are based here, the entire region benefits if Thames is resilient and able to grow.  

We know whatever solution we end up with won’t be cheap, so part of our work is identifying partnerships and funding sources outside of our ratepayer base to progress the work. 

With such a big job ahead, it was a real pleasure to walk on the whenua together, to consider the environment, people and places that are important to us, and to think about the type of protection that might be most suitable for our communities.  

We visited the entire area of foreshore which may require protection, and we discussed at length how protection options might complement and tie-in with the recreational facilities and environmental features that already exist. 

We’ll be taking a sensible, balanced and pragmatic approach, and I’m looking forward to sharing the design options with our community for feedback when they’re ready.

Mayor Len 

Have your say on Thames pool options from Monday 15 April

FINAL Thames Pool_WEB TILE 2024_WEB.png We’re keen to hear people’s views on a new pool facility to serve Thames’ future. Thames Centennial Pool is located on a sacred urupā (burial ground).

Our Council and Ngāti Maru have agreed to remove the facility and return the land to Ngāti Maru in 2027.

Also, at 50 years old, Thames Centennial Pool is reaching the end of its useful life and its design is not fit for purpose to meet current and future community needs.  

We’re seeking community feedback on four options: 

  • Option A: A new local aquatic facility with all indoor pools on Thames High School grounds – estimated build cost up to $42.5 million.
  • Option B: A new local aquatic facility with a mix of indoor pools and an outdoor pool on Thames High School grounds – estimated build cost up to $36.5 million.
  • Option C: A new sub-regional aquatic facility with a bigger mix of indoor pools in Kōpū South – estimated build cost up to $77 million.
  • Option D: No investment in aquatic provision and Thames Centennial Pool is removed – estimated cost to remove Centennial Pool and restore Taipari Park up to $550,000. 

Find out more about each of these options and what features they include in the document Thames Aquatic Provision Summary of Options. You can also view printed copies of the document from Thames Council front desk or Thames Library from 15 April. 

We’re running a survey between Monday 15 April and Monday 6 May asking you what you think of the four options. You’ll be able to read about the issues on this page now and fill out the survey from 15 April on that page. There are paper copies of the survey available to fill in and hand in at Thames Council offices front desk, Thames Library and Centennial Pool. 

We’re also running two drop-in sessions at Thames Bowling Club, 512 MacKay Street, Thames on Tuesday 23 April from 11am-1pm and then from 4pm-6pm. That’s your chance to ask questions, explore the options in more detail or get help in filling in the survey.  

Find out more here

Building Consent Team commended in latest audit

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Some of the Building Consent Team with Building Unit Manager Corinne Hamlin in green

Our Council’s Building Consent Team has received an extremely positive rating in its routine two-yearly audit by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s (MBIE) assessors International Accreditation New Zealand (IANZ). 

In the audit conducted in March, IANZ affirmed that our Building Consent Team continues to uphold the highest standards of compliance, resulting in the retention of our 'Extra Low Risk' status. 

Highlights of the audit note that our Council Building Team: 

  • has robust systems in place 

  • employs a stable workforce with experienced, competent and knowledgeable staff who are actively engaged in performing building control functions to a high level 

  • showed high-quality technical leadership that was an example of best practice. 

Only registered Building Consent Authorities (including our Council) are permitted to consent and certify buildings. Audit accreditation assessments are a mandatory central government requirement. In 2022 we were the first Building Consent Authority in the country to achieve the 'Extra Low Risk' status. In recognition of this status, we were the first Building Consent Authority to trial a pilot programme on what a reduced audit could entail. This resulted in reduced time on site and fewer costs, benefitting both ratepayers and our Council. 

Our Council’s Chief Executive Aileen Lawrie says the whole Council is really proud of this result. “It reflects the high standards and service upheld by our Building Consent Team and the hard work and excellent leadership they demonstrated to achieve this. This ultimately reflects the safety and integrity of our built environment for our community.” 

“The routine two-yearly assessment represents a total commitment from our Building Team and supporting staff members,” says Corinne Hamlin our Building Unit Manager. “As the assessment period nears, the preparation involves a surge of activity as we compile the requisite data and records required by the auditors. However, one of our team's core focuses throughout the year remains on diligently fulfilling our responsibilities as per established procedures.” 

Click here to read more

Project and roading updates

Stormwater improvement planning for Whangamatā

Stormwater modelling for Whangamatā is currently in the process of being developed and will be available to view on our website in a few months time. Physical works to improve the handling of stormwater runoff have been ongoing in particular areas, such as Williamson Park.

Funding for a six-year plan of stormwater works is being sought through the Long Term Plan, which is currently in draft form while public submissions are being collated. If funding is approved when the LTP is finalised, this work will begin from 1 July 2024. Design concepts for the stormwater works are being developed with input from a working group of residents, elected members, Council staff and specialist contractors. These plans will be available later this year, once they are finalised.

To stay updated on this project, subscribe to our Council newsletter

Tairua Skatepark officially opening next week

Tairua Skatepark is opening next week, in time for the school holidays. We would love to see you there for the official opening, from 1pm on April 15. 

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Whitianga Esplanade Redevelopment update 

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An initial focus group session was held with the project’s advisory group of elected members, iwi representatives and community members and a wide range of local waterfront users in late March to listen to their needs and aspirations in the early stages of planning and design.  

Funding has been included in the draft Long Term Plan (LTP) for the years 2027-2030 for work to improve the waterfront area, allow for growth in the activities taking place there and alleviate current health and safety issues.  

The project was initially identified in the 2021-2031 LTP as needed to address health and safety issues and overuse conditions of the Esplanade (from the wharf to the marina) and provide amenity and recreational value into the future. There is a wide variety of user types in the area, from commercial and tourism operators on Whitianga Wharf, families at the playground and recreational boaties using the boat ramp – all in very close proximity. 

The next step will be wider public engagement on the project. Anyone interested in the project is welcome to contact local Councillors or Community Board members to talk about it. 

Land purchase a boon for Coromandel-Colville community

Our Council has been successful in acquiring three portions of Crown land adjacent to Hauraki House at 230 Kapanga Road, Coromandel Town, for community use and as carparking for Hauraki House. 

The purchase from Crown, represented by the Ministry of Education (MOE), has been the work of many years of negotiation, with MOE staff working alongside the Coromandel Area School Board of Trustees and Crown agencies to have the land declared surplus to their requirements and available for disposal. The Coromandel-Colville Community Board has actively supported the project, and in 2017 adopted a Coromandel Town Streetscape Plan showing how the land would enhance the town and benefit the wider community. 

The purchase by Council enables the Council and the Hauraki House Committee to repair the pot-holes in the car park and ensure that parking is available to Hauraki House users and citizens without the risk of the land being sold to another party. 

“We are delighted that the purchase has finally been achieved,” says Don Hughes, Chair of the Hauraki House Management Committee.”

The transfer has been on our agenda for almost 25 years, and we’re pleased that health and safety issues can now be addressed. Our thanks to our Committee members, community boards past and present, and to Council staff members Jon Muston and Margaret Harrison for their efforts and advocacy.” 

Work progressing on Porritt Park, Thames 


Work’s pressing ahead on the Porritt Park Playground Project with the main play structure nearing completion. Paths have been excavated and poured. Installation of other play pieces continues with hamster wheels, talking tunnels, accessible see-saw and carousel all complete. Our focus now turns to preparing the site so that wet pour rubber fall protection can be installed in late April. 

The Porritt Park Project is a collaborative initiative between our Council, the Thames Business Association, Ngāti Maru, Future Landscapes (the designers), Changing Places and Rotary Charitable Trust. The project has been made possible by a significant donation from a philanthropic couple. Community fundraising towards a target of $500,000 is still underway. To contribute, please email porrittparkproject@gmail.com or drop a donation in to the collection jar on reception at Thames Council offices.  

Visit tcdc.govt.nz/porritt

Cathedral Cove Update from DOC 

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Photo: DOC Whitianga

The Department of Conservation (DOC) says sharing information with community and stakeholder groups is an important part of their approach as they work through a complex set of overlapping issues pertaining to management of Cathedral Cove and the feasibility of reinstating the walking track. 

The walking track to Cathedral Cove has been closed since February 2023 after it was extensively damaged by extreme weather. 

DOC is working closely with Ngāti Hei, our Council and Destination Hauraki Coromandel on engagement with the community, both to provide updates on progress and to hear community perspectives. 

DOC, Ngāti Hei and technical experts have visited the walking track site and technical investigations are ongoing. DOC is planning a community drop-in session in May to share information. DOC will publicise details of that session in coming weeks and our Council will help spread the word. 

Click here to read more

The latest on our local Council roads

  • Road work in Mackay and Sealey Street Thames (8 April until 3 May)
  • Pavement repairs, Martyn Road, Whangamatā (15 to 17 April)
  • Chartwell Ave closure, Whangamatā (15 to 17 April)
  • Joan Gaskill Drive closure, Whitianga (17 to 18 April)

Read the latest on our roading page

The latest from Waka Kotahi NZTA

Overnight roadworks for Tairua from Sunday 14 April

State Highway 25 through the Tairua town centre is getting a facelift with new asphalt being laid next week.

The work will be done overnight beginning on Sunday 14 April and will require a series of short road closures each night. The road will be fully open during the day, with temporary speed restrictions in place.

The roadworks will be done between 8pm and 6am for up to five nights, depending on weather. There will be a series of stop/stop road closures each night to enable the teams to lay the asphalt quickly and safely. This means the road will close for around 30 minutes at a time, and then reopen to a single lane to allow traffic to clear. 

A three-hour closure will be in place from midnight Sunday 14 April until 3am Monday 15, to allow for resurfacing on the narrow northern approach to the Pepe Stream bridge.

Resident and business access will be available from either side of the worksite. Some parking will be available during closures and only emergency service vehicles will be able to travel through the worksite.

More recovery work sites underway across SH25

Progress at the large underslip site near Wharekaho - below left shows the site at the beginning of March, and below right at the end of March.

Work begins this month on five more sites around the Coromandel and Hauraki districts as part of Waka Kotahi NZTA's programme to repair damage caused by last summer’s severe weather.

Repairs start at Te Kouma, Pumpkin Hill, and Whiritoa Hill on SH25, while further afield work also gets underway on SH2 Karangahake Gorge and SH27 Kaihere. 

At each site, the road will be reduced to a single lane and involve stop/go traffic management while the work is done.

Work also continues at Ruamahunga (pictured below), with the first of three faces already completed on that large slip. Fortnightly helicopter activity also continues to restock supplies needed at the top of the slip. These are done midweek, over the middle of the day when traffic is quiet.


Waka Kotahi NZTA are progressing with the detailed designs for a further eight sites on SH25, and while any work that involves significant earthworks will pause over the wetter winter months, work will continue where possible to complete this work.

Click here to read the full update from April 11

Insights and updates from our Economic Development team

In our April quarterly update, we share figures showing solid visitor spending over summer.

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At the same time, it’s clear that businesses around the district are still facing post-storm headwinds, and more broadly, we know there are a lot of economic challenges and uncertainty. Top stories in the newsletter include:

• Peak spend holds steady
• Squeeze still on our businesses
• Business sentiment survey shows cautious optimism
• Te Waka survey now open
• Apply for a year-long business mentorship
• Employ a young person through MTFJ
• Expressions of interest for new Regional Event promotion fund
• Hauraki-Coromandel Business Awards
• Local shout outs
• Coromandel Stamper Battery to get new lease of life
• Contact our ED team

Click here to read the newsletter

What would help your business this year? 

This quarter, Te Waka, our regional economic development agency, is seeking to understand your priorities. This is a chance to shape how Te Waka advocates for Waikato’s regional economic growth, while also supporting our Council’s advocacy work from a district perspective. 

By completing the Waikato Business Sentiment survey, your voice will become part of the insights and recommendations Te Waka provides to government and local leaders to inform investment and prioritisation decisions affecting the region.

We’d really encourage you to make sure your sector and district are represented. Please share this opportunity to have your voice heard with your colleagues, leaders, and wider business network.  

Click here to complete the survey by Friday 19 April

In the last Te Waka regional survey… 

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Expressions of interest for new Regional Event Promotion Fund 


A new regional event promotion fund has recently been announced by the Minister for Tourism and Hospitality. The Regional Events Promotion Fund (REPF) will support the promotion of regional events to the domestic market.  

The REPF is a contestable fund, available to Regional Tourism Organisations (Destination Hauraki Coromandel) through two annual application rounds. Event organisers are not eligible to apply directly to the fund, so if you wish to be considered, please contact Megan Nunn at Destination Hauraki Coromandel by 17 April (megan@thecoromandel.com). 


  • Funding is for event promotion costs only 

  • Events can be either new or established, recurring events (the event must be able to measure return on investment where possible) 

  • Events must be ticketed/paid or registration events 

  • Events must not occur between 25 December and 7 January. 

Click here to find out more

Free training and support into civil construction employment

2024-04-12 13_28_12-msd-flyer-thames-whangamata-whitianga-coromandel-updated.pdf and 4 more pages - .png As part of the local Cyclone Recovery programme, free training is available for anyone interested in a civil construction pre-employment introduction course.

Vertical Horizonz short courses are planned for Thames, Whitianga, Whangamatā and Coromandel Town. It is open for those aged 16 or older who are not in employment, education or training, or an 18+ MSD jobseeker.

Over five days, you'll receive training in working at height, first aid, health and safety and other skills for employment. 

For more information, contact Amber Broadmore: amber.broadmore003@msd.govt.nz.

Click here to view the flyer with more information

Opportunities at our Council

HIRING FB (1080 × 1080mm).pngAt 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, sick leave on commencement of employment and more. 

Our current job vacancies are: 

If you're interested in working for us, and there are currently no vacancies that fit your skillset and knowledge, please complete the expression of interest application via the link below. 

Click here for more information or to apply

Anzac Day commemorations around the district

Take a look at the range of activities across the district to mark Anzac Day, Thursday 25 April 2025. 

Please share details with relatives or friends who may not have access to computers. They’ll also be able to pick up paper copies from Council offices, libraries and information centres from Monday 8 April.


Ka maumahara tonu tātou ki a rātou | We will remember them. 

Visit the event page

Adoptable dogs

We currently have some lovely dogs who are looking for homes. 

Sonic and Knuckles 

These are two fun-loving labrador brothers. They're about 12 months old and love being active. They also love pats and cuddles.



Dobby is super friendly, energetic and loves to play ball. He is looking for his Harry Potter. 



Chica is a fun and friendly sharpei who loves being around people. 

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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.

Refuse and Recycling Transfer Station hours

A reminder that with the end of Daylight Saving last weekend, all our Refuse and Recycling Transfer Stations changed to their standard hours – from 8.30am - 4.30pm seven days a week.  

On Anzac Day public holiday, Thursday 25 April, our transfer stations are closed until 1pm and reopen for the afternoon. 

Visit tcdc.govt.nz/rts 


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