Mānawatia a Matariki, youth employment scheme renewed, and more news

Published on 14 July 2023


Mānawatia a Matariki from Mayor Len and our Council

We hope you enjoy celebrating Matariki this weekend, however you may be spending it.

For those who will be working this long weekend, thank you for keeping our community running, and we hope you get a chance to enjoy some relaxing time with whānau and friends.

Below we have a note from our Mayor Len:


We are interested in communicating with our community in new ways, including more videos. If you have thoughts or feedback on this, feel free to head over to our Facebook page, or email our communications team on communications@tcdc.govt.nz

Matariki around the region

Matariki flags fly high

Matariki flags have been flying from lampposts on Pollen Street in Thames to mark Aotearoa New Zealand’s newest public holiday. Each of the flags has a different design with its own meaning.  

There are seven flags bearing the names of the seven whetū (stars) of Matariki (as recognised by Hauraki iwi, unlike the nine stars recognised by iwi elsewhere in the country) and four flags bearing the names of four local Māori entities and service providers. 

Matariki Banners.jpg

The artists who designed the flags are Jordan Tane and Reina Cottier. The design work was done by Clint at KMG Print in Kōpū in conjunction with Michael and Stella Barlow. The flags are mounted on the Flagtrax system the Thames Community Board paid to have installed some years ago.

The flags are:  

• Matariki – sponsored by Te Whāriki Manawāhine O Hauraki Womens Refuge
• Waitī –Te Whāriki Manawāhine O Hauraki Womens Refuge 
• Waitā – Te Whāriki Manawāhine O Hauraki Womens Refuge
 Waipuna-ā-rangi – Sponsored By: Te Kura o Te Kauaeranga 
• Tupu-ā-nuku – Te Whāriki Manawāhine O Hauraki Womens Refuge
• Tupu-ā-rangi – Sponsored by: Gastronomics 
• Ururangi – Sponsored By: Little Chiefs Educare 
• Te Whāriki Manawāhine O Hauraki – Hauraki Women’s Refuge – sponsored by Michael Barlow 
• Mātai Whetū Marae – sponsored by Michael Barlow 
• Ngāti Maru Rūnanga – Sponsored by Coastal Bins
• Hauraki Māori Trust Board – sponsored by Coastal Bins 

Find out more about Matariki on the official Matariki website matariki.com and the Te Papa website tepapa.govt.nz

What's on?

  • If you’re in The Coromandel on Thursday night the Whitianga Night Street Festival is underway from 4 to 8pm, with live music and plenty of great options for local food. Click here to find out more.

  • Whangamatā is celebrating with five days of fun events for all ages. There are workshops, a hangi, concert, waka ama paddle and a sunrise Matariki viewing, followed by kite flying. Find out more here.

  • If you want to get outdoors, grab your friends and families and head down to Buffalo Beach in Whitianga for the Night Strider. There’s a three or five kilometre walk/run to choose from. Learn more about Night Strider.

  • You can find out more about what's on at tcdc.govt.nz/whatson and thecoromandel.com/events.


Road to Recovery

Employment programme for rangatahi continues after successful pilot

christin-hume-Hcfwew744z4-unsplash.jpg 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.

Recovery Plan

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.

Click here to read our full Road to Recovery update.

Update from the National Emergency Management Unit

Guide to response and recovery support for the North Island Extreme Weather Events

A new guide from the Cyclone Recovery Unit highlights the services, funds, and helplines available to support communities affected by the North Island Extreme Weather Events.

The guide is useful for people working in the community to help understand what support is still available to aid their response and recovery efforts

Click here to read the full update from the Cyclone Recovery Unit. 

Roading updates

Logging trucks on Black Jack Road, Kūaotunu 

mathias-reding-gNoqNvYAsBg-unsplash.jpg While logging trucks are using Black Jack Road, Kūaotunu, our Council is inspecting the road on a regular basis to make sure its continued use by these heavy vehicles is safe. 

So far, we haven’t identified any deterioration in the road surface that would prompt limiting its use to heavy or light vehicles. If a restriction is placed on the road, then our Council must have a valid engineering reason to do so, and any restrictions would apply to all vehicles in that class. This would effectively ban all heavy vehicles from using the route, penalising all commercial operations in the area.  

We have spoken to the companies involved in the ongoing forestry operations in the area that use Black Jack Road for access and they have confirmed they are taking robust measures to keep their drivers as well as all other users of the road as safe as possible while their vehicles are travelling. 

We encourage road users to contact our Council if they notice any defects on the road. Email us on customer.services@tcdc.govt.nz or call 07 868 0200. Photos of the issues would also be appreciated and can help identify severity if the same issue has been raised by others already. 

Permanent repairs to the two slip sites from the cyclones have been designed and are currently going through the internal review process before being tendered for construction. Construction work can only take place once the site has dried sufficiently.  We anticipate this to be sometime around September/October. 

Port Charles bridge closure


Closures have been scheduled for Big Sandy No.2 Bridge, Sandy Bay, Port Charles as our team does maintenance work. A recent assessment showed the work was necessary, and will be carried out at the end of this month. The timing is dependent on weather, but is currently scheduled on the following dates.

Proposed Repair Dates

  • Bridge closed from 8am Monday 24 July.
  • Bridge opened at 8am Friday 28 July to light vehicle traffic only.
  • Bridge opened to all traffic and restrictions lifted 8am 2 August.

Please note that we may experience poor weather conditions which could affect the above timings. We will keep you updated on progress and whether further delays are expected.

We appreciate your patience and apologise for any inconvenience the maintenance may cause.

State Highway 25 fully open for Matariki

Opoutere slip SH25 Waka Kotahi 13 July 2023.jpg SH25 is fully open around the Coromandel for the Matariki long weekend.

On the Thames Coast, the highway is back to operating with two lanes between Ruamahunga Bay and Waiomu, following the final clean-up of major slips there.

And on the other side of the peninsula, asphalting has been completed and both lanes are open at the major slip site between Hikuai and Opoutere (pictured left), and south of Whenuakite at the Tairua Quarry site.

Local community groups join workshops with Funding HQ


This week we held a series of half-day funding workshops for community organisations who are looking to build sustainable funding streams.

Jenni Giblin from Funding HQ visited our offices in Whangamatā, Whitianga, Coromandel Town and Thames to help local groups to problem-solve and learn about accessing new sources of funding for their activities.

Funding HQ run a capability building platform and host a comprehensive database of funds groups can apply for. Thanks to everyone who joined us for the workshops. 

Whangamatā Dune Restoration

Earthworks are set to start for Stage 1 of the Whangamatā dune restoration project.

During the week of 17 July there will be a digger on site removing weed and exotic material from the upper dune (from 114a Pipi Road to 100 Pipi Road). There’ll also be a bulldozer on site during that week to push up sand from down by the water line, to the rebuilt dune. Pictured are similar earthworks that have taken place in Pāuanui. 


The project will enable a more resilient dune (self-repair) system over time. It will also help to maintain diversity of indigenous coastal species and encourage natural regeneration of indigenous species.

The work is being carried out alongside Whangamatā's local community, including iwi Ngāti Pū ki Otairi and hapū Uru Ngawera, Department of Conservation and Coastcare Waikato.

Sites for dune restoration in Whangamatā will also get the first of two sprays during July and August (weather dependent) to remove exotic weeds and undesirable vegetation.

Join us for a community planting day (weather dependent):

  • Saturday 29 July
  • Sunday 30 July
  • Saturday 26 August
  • Sunday 27 August
  • Saturday 16 September
  • Sunday 17 September

Volunteers will meet at 9am, at access 14 (Island View Carpark). Wear covered sturdy footwear, suitable clothing, and bring gardening gloves and a spade.

For more information, join the Facebook Group for volunteers: Save the Dunes Whangamatā.

Click here to see our Coastcare project updates.

Kūaotunu weed swap

Kūaotunu Dune Care Group recently completed a restoration project in Kūaotunu. Twenty-eight volunteers helped to plant 2,800 native coastal species, including Wiwi, Pōhuehue, Harakehe, Toetoe and Tātaraheke.

The next Kūaotunu planting on Friday 14 July will be at Grays Beach Reserve on the corner of Bluff Road and SH25. Alongside this there will also be a weed swap, where locals can bring along weeds such as ginger, agapantha, cotoneaster and others. Some of these are pretty, but they can crowd out native species that work to trap sand and build up the dunes. In return, you can take away a native shrub. 

Kūaotunu West: Friday 14 July  
Grays Beach Reserve, Corner Bluff Road and SH25 – 8.45am–11am.

Please bring is covered sturdy footwear, suitable clothing, gardening gloves and your favourite spade.


Click here to view the Facebook event.

Mercury Bay Art Escape: Call for applications

The Mercury Bay Art Escape is preparing for their open art studios in March 2024, giving our creative community something to look forward to.

They're looking for new members to join the art trail by hosting an open studio. They also have a new website to make applications easy. 

To be eligible, artists need to come from, or have permanent ties to: Pāuanui, Hikuai, Tairua, Hot Water Beach, Hahei, Cooks Beach, Flaxmill Bay, Ferry Landing, Matarangi, Whenuakite, Coroglen, Whitianga, Wharekaho, Kūaotunu, Otama, Opito Bay, Matarangi and Whangapoua. 

The 2024 Art Escape is planning some exciting community art events, including an extension of the annual artists-in-residence programme.

Click here to submit your application.

Click here to follow Mercury Bay Art Escape on Facebook. You can also email admin@mercurybayartescape.com with any questions.

Changes to Freedom Camping legislation

EV Campervan trip Feb-Mar 2019 (31)-small.jpg

The central Government has introduced some changes to freedom camping legislation that are now in effect. 

These include an increase in infringement fees, the requirement for all vehicles to be self-contained and an amendment to the self-containment standard.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment website has more detail. 

Waikato Regional Council: Freshwater Policy Review

FullSizeRender (1).jpeg Waikato Regional Council is undertaking a Freshwater Policy Review, as part of central Government planning to improve the quality and health of our freshwater ecosystems. 

Over the next two years, WRC will be making changes to its Regional Policy Statement and Waikato Regional Plan to bring them into line with this direction.

They are seeking input from tangata whenua, farmers, industry, rural professionals and the general public to understand their values and aspirations for fresh water and define success measures.

WRC is holding a series of 'drop-in’ style events to get tangata whenua and community input about managing fresh water in the Waikato rohe, including streams, rivers, lakes, and aquifers.

Join the discussion in Thames on Wednesday 19 July, from 5.30pm–7pm at The Thames on Kirkwood, 100 Kirkwood Street.

There is also a webinar being held on on 25 July, click here to find out more. Or you can give feedback online.


Last chance to change between the Māori and general electoral rolls

The Electoral Commission is reminding our communities that if you are of Māori descent, you can choose which electoral roll you are on - the Māori roll or the general roll. This is called the Māori Electoral Option.
If you want to change the roll you’re on before this year’s General Election you can change from today, until midnight 13 July.


The 2023 General Election will be held on 14 October. You’ll be able to change rolls again after that.
You can find more information about the Māori Electoral Option, and how to change electoral rolls, here: vote.nz/maorioption

Visiting the Coromandel: Winter Our Way

Pinnacles-Coro-Forest-Park__FocusFillWzgwMCw2MDAsIngiLDQzXQ.jpgDestination Hauraki-Coromandel has 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.

Kerbside upgrade: Thames Q&A

Our Council is upgrading its rubbish and recycling system in September. Our team is in local stores this week and next week to discuss the changes, including the new Pay As You Go tag system (for the rubbish wheelie bins that will replace the current pre-paid blue bags), and the food scraps bin. The new bin will save a huge amount of waste from going to landfill, which is a win for our communities and environment into the future.

We have partnered with New Zealand Waste Free Warrior Kate Meads and her education team to assist with community education on our new bin system.

After travelling around the region discussing the changes this week, they'll be visiting Pak'n'Save Thames, Wednesday 19 July 12pm–5pm. Pop down and meet them and check out the bins that’ll be delivered to your property in late July and August. The new rubbish wheelie bin and food scraps bin are for use from September. The current recycling wheelie bin and crate for glass will continue to be used as before.

Learn more about the upgraded rubbish and recycling system by downloading a copy of our helpful leaflet.

To find out more about the upgraded rubbish and recycling system please visit tcdc.govt.nz/solid-waste-FAQs.

FINAL Social media tile v4.png

Opportunities at our Council

Senior Geospatial Applications Specialist

If you're passionate about all things Geospatial and thrive in an environment where you can actively contribute and shape the future of GIS technology, then hold on to your compass because we have an epic opportunity for you!

Utilities Engineer Stormwater

Are you ready to unleash your stormwater engineering expertise in a place where pristine beaches, great fishing spots, and friendly communities await?

Look no further, because we have an exciting opportunity for you to join our dynamic Water Services Team and be a crucial part of managing water services assets and delivering operational excellence.

Solid Waste Administrator

We have a Technical Support Officer position available in our busy Solid Waste team. In this role you will be responsible for providing critical administration support to our team working closely with our Contractor who provide kerbside collections and manage Council's seven Refuse Transfer Stations (RTS) across the Peninsula. This is a permanent, full-time role based in our Thames Office.

Adoptable dogs

Tan and white female

We have a female dog up for adoption. This lovely tan and white girl is sweet-natured, and a little timid.

She would be great in a quiet home with a kind, loving owner.



This handsome young boy is a Huntaway cross and an entire male. He's a fun-loving guy who loves to hang out and play. He knows some commands, is house trained, and would be a perfect walking or running buddy. He can get quite excited as he loves company and would suit a high energy owner. 

5 July Pono-pup.jpg

We also have a dog found wandering in the Kauaeranga Valley. Please get in touch on 07 868 0200 if you think this dog could be yours, or email customer.services@tcdc.govt.nz.

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.