A message from Councillor Rodley, plus project and roading news

Published on 15 March 2024


A note from Councillor Martin Rodley

One of the things I love about being a TCDC Councillor is the opportunity to get out and connect with the community. We have regular meetings with community groups that meet part of that need, but another opportunity to meet people is at the Thames Community Board market stall on Pollen Street every other Saturday morning. Community Board members, Councillors Robyn Sinclair and Peter Revell and I take it in turns to be there and we’re all very happy for people to drop by say hello and have a chat. An easy way to remember when it’s on is every second Saturday, after recycling week. That means the next market day is tomorrow. Please come by and say hello.  

Martin (3)_pp.jpg As a Councillor, I also like to meet my peers at other districts and also government ministers on occasion. The last week or two has brought up two such opportunities. 

The first was the Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) Rural and Provincial Sector Meeting – not as dull as it sounds. This brings together about 70-80 elected members from districts like ours around the country (online, so no travel expenses). We talked about the issues our districts were facing, water treatment standards and the rates rises facing councils that are similar to ours. We also had a chance to quiz Minister Mark Patterson (Minister for Rural Communities) and Minister Simeon Brown (Local Government and Transport Minister) – this is valuable access for getting our district’s point of view across. An interesting fact was discussed: 40% of New Zealand’s public infrastructure (roads, water services etc) is built with 9% of the country’s tax take (in the form of local rates). LGNZ is local government’s advocacy, development and networking body. 

I also attended what’s called the LGNZ Zone 2 meeting. Zone 2 is the Waikato and Bay of Plenty. Sam Broughton, the LGNZ President (and Selwyn District Council Mayor) was there. We were asked about proposed rates rises in councils’ draft Long Term Plans and they ranged from 6% to 24% and several of the councils looking at 24% rates increases said they could go higher. Our Council’s proposed district-wide average rates increase of 12.9% comes in a bit below the Zone 2 average of 15.3%.  Our TCDC draft Long Term Plan  is open for feedback now until Monday 8 April, so please read through the consultation document and give us your take. 

We also had updates on reducing the carbon footprint of infrastructure projects, on the Government’s Local Water Done Well programme replacing the previous government’s three waters reforms, and from NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi on the draft Government Policy Statement (GPS) on land transport, which is out for public consultation until Tuesday 2 April. The focus in the draft GPS is on roading as a means of economic development. The draft GPS outlines the government’s land transport investment priorities, and guides expenditure of around $7 billion from the National Land Transport Fund (NLTF), and around $1.5 billion from local government, each year – big amounts of money. This isn’t just about motorways in the big cities, it’s about the amount of investment in roading in rural districts like ours.  

Cadets caring for our Coastlines

Meeting the Mayor – From left: cadet Shelly Balsom, Mayor Len Salt, cadet Geordie Wilson, cadet Roman Carley, and Andrea Whitehead TCDC's Coastal Restoration Coordinator.

Our coastline’s recovery from major storms is being given a boost from a group of new cadets, who’re learning on the job how to take care of dunes to support their long-term resilience.

Three local people have taken up coastal kaitiaki roles with our Council, getting stuck into work on dune restoration and storm recovery as part of Mayors Taskforce For Jobs (MTFJ) and our Council’s Recovery Fund (granted by central government).

Shelly Balsom, Geordie Wilson, and Roman Carley are all employed as Coastal Kaitiaki, working alongside senior Council staff on dune care projects.

“We’re planting to enable self-repair following erosion, so it’s really important work. It’s a change of scenery every day, going to different places, meeting different people,” says Geordie. “It’s awesome to be working outdoors, plus we get to jump in the ocean on our lunch break.”

The community employment programme sees the cadets employed on six-month contracts. Their positions are jointly funded through our Council's Recovery Fund, and MSD Projects in Community Funding.

The Mayors Taskforce For Jobs covers their training costs, including help with attaining driver licenses, first aid courses and training to use agri-chemicals safely.

Thames shoreline protection work starts 

Thames-sea-level-rise.png Work on design concepts for the protection of Thames is now underway, following project work indicating that $1billion in assets are at risk over the long-term from the effects of flooding and storm-surge associated with sea-level rise.

Protection was the preferred adaptation pathway for Thames confirmed by community consultation during the Shoreline Management project. The three-year project examined the risks to the entire Coromandel coastline from the effects of sea-level rise. Specific actions to manage those risks have now been assessed and ranked, with work to protect Thames among the top priorities.

A governance group to progress the Thames protection work met for the first time this month, made up of representatives from our Council, Ngāti Maru and Waikato Regional Council.

“We know that Thames is especially vulnerable to storm surge and flooding associated with sea-level rise, putting around $1 billion of assets in our township at risk,” says our Mayor Len Salt, who is chairing the Thames Protection and Resilience Governance Group.

“Thames is the economic nerve-centre of our district, home to the bulk of the Coromandel’s service provision, maritime industry, healthcare and business infrastructure. It’s our duty to the entire region to ensure Thames is resilient, and able to grow, for generations to come.”

Have your say on our Long Term Plan

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Now’s the time to give us your take on the projects and budgets we’re proposing for the next 10 years and beyond - with the formal consultation phase of our 2024-2034 Long Term Plan running through to Monday 8 April.

We’ve prepared our draft project priorities and budgets for 2024-2034 and beyond, and we’d like to know your take on our proposals. There are some big challenges ahead for the Coromandel and we want to hear your thoughts on how we tackle them.

The challenges ahead

Like many councils around Aotearoa New Zealand, we’ve got some big challenges ahead:

  • A large roading repair and improvement programme to fix damage done by last year’s cyclones
  • Costly coastal protection works to mitigate the impact of rising sea levels
  • Ageing infrastructure (like water treatment plants) that must be replaced
  • The rising cost of living and high inflation
  • Higher government compliance standards that must be met
  • A shortage of affordable housing.

Free stress and wellbeing workshop: Weathering the storm

2024-03-15 12_10_40-Workshop-image-ResetAndReconnect.jpeg.webp (1000×1000).png Whangamatā War Memorial Hall (328 Port Road), Tuesday 26 March, 2024 10am to 2pm.

Extreme weather events have a significant impact on properties and infrastructure, and also on people’s mental health.

Weathering the Storm helps you manage the stress and heightened emotions associated with severe weather. The workshop explores weather-related anxiety and the range of impacts extreme weather can have on individuals, whānau and communities.

Participants will discover the emotional phases of a disaster, how to manage anxiety and distress, and ways to build resilience. You’ll also get practical advice on how to support others, tips for reducing weather-related anxiety, and tools to help build resilience for the future.

Weathering the Storm is designed for adults 18 years old and over.

Last chance to apply for Creative Communities Scheme funding 

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Local art groups and creative projects across the Coromandel Peninsula are being offered a helping hand with funding from the Creative Communities Scheme.

The scheme, backed by Creative New Zealand, aims to increase participation in the arts, broaden the range and diversity of the arts available to communities and enhance and strengthen the local arts sector.

Find out more and apply by Monday 18 March.

Join our team

HIRING FB (1080 × 1080mm).png 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, 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. 

Project updates

Coromandel Town-Thames Connector bus trial extended until 18 June 2024


The free trial of the Connector service between Coromandel Town and Thames has been extended until Tuesday 18 June 2024. 

The service runs on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays (see the full schedule below). Tickets are free, but booking is essential.

To book, please text the correct provider shown on the schedule below. Please include your name, the service time and the town you are being picked up from. 

If you need help booking, please contact our customer services team on customer.services@tcdc.govt.nz or 07 868 0200.

This Connector service is funded by a Government storm recovery grant, in order to reconnect our communities with healthcare, education, appointments, work opportunities and whānau. 

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There is currently no further funding secured for our Council to continue the trial past 18 June.

Waikato Regional Council (WRC) is responsible for the long-term planning, management and provision of public transport in our region. We will be sharing the data and feedback from the trial with WRC and the Government in order to discuss options for funding local transport options long-term.  

Porritt Park upgrade 


It’s all go on the work on Thames' Porritt Park upgrade. This week, our contractors have been continuing  work on the main play structure with the Wakatere boat and the lighthouse really taking shape.  

Earthworks are also underway with additions to the skatepark, paths, and the BBQ area being excavated and poured this week. The previous playground equipment will be reinstalled or repurposed for use.

Donations are still being sought to enhance the playground – particularly to fund a basketball court. Please donate to collection jars at the Council offices or selected retailers. 

The upgraded park is on schedule for opening in late autumn.  

Access to Kōpū Boat Ramp 


Work on the Kōpū Marine Servicing and Business Precinct project is in its final stages with all major marine work finished, in time for opening in May 2024. 

Work to install new culverts at Quay Street is due to commence next Monday 18 March 2024. Boat ramp users are to access the existing Kōpū Boat Ramp via the newly formed King Street.

Directional signage will be installed, but please take care when crossing the Hauraki Rail Trail and traversing the current construction site. Works will be completed within two weeks and the new boat ramp will be ready to open to the public mid-May 2024. 

Esplanade culvert repair Whitianga

Urgent repair work on a culvert on The Esplanade, Whitianga will take place between 8am and 5pm on Monday 18 March. 

Traffic controllers will be onsite while the construction is going on to guide you to your property. Please ensure you always follow the instructions from these personnel. 

Emergency services and pedestrians will still have access throughout the closure period.  

Access to all business and carparking will remain open for public use. Businesses will also still have access to the service lane, with a right-only turn on the eastern exit. 


Road closure: Edward St, Thames

Our contractors Ventia NZ will be constructing a timber retaining wall on Karaka Road/Edward Street to protect the stability of the road.

The construction process will require a 24-hour road closure between the intersection of Edward Street and Sandes Street, as well as at 125 Edward Street. Alternate access to all properties will be via the existing access at Sealey Street. Emergency services will still have access via Sealey Street. Pedestrian access is not allowed through the closed section of road.

Duration: Monday 18 March to Friday 29 March (weather dependent).
Hours: 24hr closure in place until works are completed.
Location: Behind 138B Karaka Road on Edward Street, Thames (as below).

We appreciate your patience and understanding while these works are completed. 


Update on Harataunga Tāpui Papakāinga

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The first nine homes intended for the Haratuanga Papakāinga project are now being prefabricated. Harataunga papakāinga is a Māori housing initiative managed by Harataunga Tāpui Ltd, a company established by whānau, to support the growth of housing on our own whenua.

Harataunga.png This project has been developed by Māori, for Māori. The papakāinga includes three separate Māori land blocks. The objective is to build five homes on each block for a total of 15 dwellings.

There is a staged approach to this development, and in stage one three homes will be built on each block. Taonga Development has been contracted to prefabricate the first nine homes.

The company is currently delivering 20 cabins in Pare Hauraki as part of the previous government’s Weather Recovery Programme, and also has the capacity to deliver all infrastructure requirements for the papakāinga development.

To date, all three land blocks have roading cleared to the house sites, one of which required construction of a bridge. This work was completed by Konaki Holdings, also a whānau business.

Following resource consent approval, the next steps will be completion of onsite infrastructure, including water and power, which is intended to be mainly solar power. Harataunga Tāpui is supported by TPK, Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga (HUD), Te Matapihi, with technical support from TCDC.

Tairua Bus Company running to Auckland and back

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TBC has confirmed that they are running their service to Auckland and back from various points within the Coromandel. Check their website for schedules and to book tickets.  

Passengers must book 24 hours ahead (as they won’t run if they have no bookings); and they may transfer a passenger to Intercity (at their discretion) if they have low numbers. 

Whangamatā Beach Hop weekend: Reminders

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No alcohol can be consumed in any public place in Whangamatā over Repco Beach Hop. The ban is in place from 4pm Tuesday 19 March 2024 until 4am Monday 25 March 2024. 

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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 9 months and love being active. They also love pats and cuddles.
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.


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