SH25A on track, youth jobs scheme extended, and a new events fund
Published on 18 August 2023
The latest from Mayor Len
This morning I visited the SH25A work site with Deputy Prime Minister Carmel Sepuloni (who is also Coromandel Cyclone Recovery Minister) and Transport Minister David Parker, along with stakeholders including iwi, local ratepayer and business association representatives, our elected members and members of the local and national media.
It’s an amazing site. First in the scale of the slip that took away about 110m of SH25A, and also in the nature of the work progressing to get the road bridge being built. Big machinery is in place installing the piles that will support the bridge spans, but that machinery is almost lost in the void in the road. See an update on this project below.
Waka Kotahi has committed to reopening the road by the end of March 2024. We know that businesses and families in the Coromandel continue to suffer from the downturn in visitor numbers because of the road closure, and that’s why I’m still committed to pushing for continued government support to get us all through the coming spring and summer and beyond.
Reinstating our own Council roads damaged in storms last year as well as in January-February this year is expected to take up to three years. The 28 highest priority sites including Tapu-Coroglen Road and Black Jack Road are expected to be repaired this financial year. Other sites will take longer. See more on this below.
We’re working to have central government support this programme of road works as much as possible, and we’ve also been working with Waka Kotahi on a joint investment case that if approved would see a great deal of work to make elements of our joint roading network more resilient to extreme weather – and also the opportunity to get our local businesses involved in the rebuild.
After this morning’s SH25A site visit, Minister Sepuloni and I joined a productive and encouraging meeting with the Coromandel Recovery Advisory Group.
The group spoke to her about required actions for our region’s recovery from the severe weather events, with an emphasis on the need for funding confirmation so our Draft Recovery Plan can be finalised.
The Advisory Group has outlined 80 actions in the draft plan, which require government agencies, local services, mana whenua, Coromandel’s communities and businesses to work together. The primary goals of all actions are to restore, repair, build back, enhance resilience, and take care of our communities and their wellbeing.
Joining today’s meeting were representatives from MBIE, DOC, and MSD among others. I told the group that our Council is focused on the economic and social impacts on our communities. We need to take the steps that will help us restore thriving businesses and retain industries so we can keep jobs, homes and livelihoods in our district.
Finally, the day included a visit with Minister Sepuloni to the Coromandel Independent Living Trust (CILT), to tour their recently completed community hub in Coromandel Town. It’s fantastic to see this carefully-designed facility finished and ready to provide services. The hub has a strong focus on community wellbeing through sport and recreation, and social and community service delivery.
We were shown a model facility that showcases the latest energy efficiencies and green building technologies. This is a wonderful example of what our resilient and determined communities can do when we work together. CILT delivers programmes in the upper Coromandel to assist whānau in need, provide transport to allow people to attend medical appointments in Thames and Hamilton and many other services that help people.
SH25A bridge work on track for March completion
The work to reopen State Highway 25A in March next year is progressing well and on schedule, Transport Minister David Parker says.
Our Mayor Len Salt visited the site this morning on SH25A where a bridge is being constructed to cross the 110 metre gap that collapsed in January. He was accompanied by Minister Parker, Deputy Prime Minister Carmel Sepuloni (who is also the Coromandel Cyclone Recovery Minister), local and national media and stakeholders including iwi, local ratepayer and business association representatives, and our elected members.
Piles to support the bridge are being sunk, drainage work on the hillside and base of the slip site and stabilisation of the ground is taking place. Big piling rigs are on site and earthmoving machinery is at work, dwarfed by the size of the collapsed hillside.
“I was up here shortly after this slip happened and the scale of it was absolutely incredible,” says Mayor Len. “To see us now at this stage is really good for our community, so we’re really looking forward to getting this done and open again.”
Minister Parker says teams are working nearly 20 hours a day at the site, and that’ll ramp up to around the clock soon.
“This is an enormous project,” says Minister Parker. “This bridge, or viaduct really, is longer than a football field. They’re going to deliver it by March next year. They’ve really rattled their dags to get this underway and I’m impressed with how they’re delivering this so quickly, using existing designs, bringing materials from around the country that they have in-country. They’ve got people working 24 hours a day assembling the girders that go on top of the piles. The abutment piles have already been finished on the other side or at least drilled and you can see the enormous gear that they need to bring home a project like this so quickly.”
Mayor Len says government support for the Coromandel has been considerable but we will need further support while SH25A remains closed.
“That’s still a challenge for our local business people and we’re still talking to the ministers about continued support to help them through,” our Mayor says.
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency’s Director Regional Relationships for Waikato-Bay of Plenty, David Speirs, says elsewhere in the Coromandel his agency is looking at high-risk sites and working to stabilise them.
“As part of our resilience planning with Thames-Coromandel District Council we’re having a look at those sites that are critical and making sure that we have a maintenance programme and a response programme that will address any issues that arise as quickly as possible so that we can minimise disruption,” Mr Speirs says.
Our Council has prioritised 28 sites for repair and reinstatment work this financial year. Top of the list are reopening Tapu-Coroglen Road and repairing two slip sites on Black Jack Road. We expect to have both jobs done by Christmas, weather permitting.
There are a further 42 sites that will be scheduled for work later. Full completion of all works is expected to take up to three years.
See details of our priority road works on our www.tcdc.govt.nz/roads page. Answers to frequently asked questions about how roads are repaired after big storms can be found by clicking here.
Pictured L-R: Mayor Len Salt, Transport Minister David Parker, Deputy Prime Minister Carmel Sepuloni, Coromandel MP Scott Simpson.
Youth employment scheme extended after successful trial
Our Council will partner with Valley Education and Training and Ngāti Maru ki Hauraki to deliver the next stage in a successful youth employment scheme.
The Mayor’s Taskforce for Jobs funded an initial pilot programme in our district last year to prepare young people for work. Under the leadership of Ngāti Maru ki Hauraki, the scheme supported 16 young people into employment across the Coromandel.
Additional funding has been approved to continue the programme, and our Council is aiming for over 40 placements in the coming year.
It will draw on the expertise of Valley Education and Training which has extensive experience preparing young people with work-ready skills, industry training and employment opportunities. The scheme will also continue to partner with Ngāti Maru ki Hauraki.
"Both partners already have a deep understanding of our rangatahi and what support they need to achieve success in our local business sector,” says our Mayor Len Salt.
“We’re really excited about the by locals, for locals approach.”
Click here to read more about the programme.
Rubbish and recycling update: No Time to Waste
It’s all systems go for the upgraded rubbish and recycling system which starts in September. Bin deliveries are continuing at pace. Check out our web page for the delivery schedule: www.tcdc.govt.nz/binrollout.
If you were due to receive yours, but haven’t, please contact our helpful Customer Services Team: www.tcdc.govt.nz/Contact-Us.
PAYT tag sales
Pay as You Throw (PAYT) tags for collections of the new rubbish wheelie bin are being delivered around the district. They will go on sale for $8 at participating retailers and our Council’s offices in Thames, Whangamatā, Whitianga and Coromandel Town from Friday 25 August. You can pay by cash or EFTPOS. Most of the participating retail outlets are shops which used to sell the blue plastic rubbish bags but there have been some new retailers come on board too. We’re currently finalising the list of retailers and will let you know as soon as orders are delivered.
Householders will need to attach a tag every time they put their red-lidded rubbish wheelie bin out for collection. Security measures are in place to ensure that fraudsters don’t copy tags.
The new 140-L wheelie bins are a bit more than double the volume of the current blue plastic bags. It’s recommended that householders only put their bins out when they are full. With the food scraps bin being collected weekly, it is anticipated that people’s rubbish volumes will be markedly reduced.
The rubbish wheelie bins will be collected every second fortnight in ‘red weeks’. The first week of collections (from 4 September) will be a ‘red week’ For more information, see www.tcdc.govt.nz/bindays
Please leave your yellow-lidded recycling wheelie bin at the kerbside on your collection day in August for the full day so the contractor can fit an identification tag. All mixed recycling wheelie bins are being fitted with a tag that associates the bin to the property it belongs to. The system records if there has been a lift by the truck at the property address associated with that tag. This data can then inform our Council for monitoring collections and use in future decision-making. It can also help identify any bins at the wrong location.
Please note: All Refuse and Recycling Transfer Stations will be closed on Thursday 31 August while the contract changeover takes place.
For more info about the new collection service, including videos on what goes in each bin, please visit www.tcdc.govt.nz/kerbside
North Island Weather Events (NIWE) Primary Producer Finance Scheme
The Government has launched two targeted financial support schemes for businesses, orchards, and farms impacted by the North Island weather events in early 2023:
● The North Island Weather Events (NIWE) Loan Guarantee Scheme (this scheme includes aquaculture).
● The NIWE Primary Producer Finance Scheme (for land-based operations).
These schemes are available to businesses in the Waikato and other regions, that were severely impacted by the North Island Weather Events of 2023.
Loan Guarantee Scheme
The NIWE Loan Guarantee Scheme is available for businesses in affected regions across all sectors. More information about the NIWE Loan Guarantee Scheme can be found here: www.treasury.govt.nz
Primary Producer Finance Scheme
The NIWE Primary Producer Finance Scheme is designed to provide concessionary loans and equity support to severely impacted, land-based primary sector businesses. It's designed for growers and farmers that have a likelihood of returning to viability with additional support.
This scheme is being administered by Kānoa, Regional Economic Development & Investment Unit. To be eligible for the NIWE Primary Producer Finance Scheme, businesses will need to demonstrate that they are unable to secure lending from their bank (or lending body of choice).
More information about the NIWE Primary Producer Finance Scheme can be found here – www.growregions.govt.nz.
Tairua Skate Park
The High Court in Hamilton has dismissed the legal challenge from Preserve Cory Park Domain Society to block our Council’s project to build a skatepark in Tairua.
Justice Powell dismissed the claims that the process, decision making and public consultation our Council and contractors followed to make decisions about a skatepark for Tairua were flawed.
“We are grateful for the Court’s expedient hearing of the judicial review,” says our Mayor Len Salt.
“This process has validated the process and decision making to site a skatepark on Cory Park Domain and we look forward to construction commencing when arrangements are finalised.”
We'll share updates to the project page and our weekly newsletter as the project progresses. You can also read the judgement here.
An update on Cathedral Cove
Due to the risks posed by rockfall and landslips, the Department of Conservation
has announced they won't be reinstating the tracks to Cathedral Cove, Hahei, for summer 2023-24.
Visitors will be able to access the beach from the adjacent Te Whanganui A Hei Marine Reserve – but must understand the risk of injury from falling debris and landslides. Signage at the site and information online will state the risk.
Our Council understands this would have been a hard call for the Department of Conservation to make, but they have said there is a real risk of loss of life or injury from use of the path to Cathedral Cove.
DOC has also stated they want to work with stakeholders and the community to reimagine the visitor and conservation experience at the site.
We are lucky that there are many other beautiful spots to visit in the Coromandel. Our Council has been working for many years on developing other trails in the district, and we’ll continue to do this.
Destination Hauraki Coromandel is marketing our region. Off the back of their “Winter our Way” campaign, they're now about to launch a campaign to boost summer visitation.Photo: DOC.
Fullers360 Auckland-Coromandel ferry service remains on hold
Tough operating conditions in the wake of severe weather events and the challenges of managing an industry-wide shortage of skilled maritime workers have affected Fullers360’s ability to reinstate the Coromandel ferry service for the summer.
“This year has been a challenging one, as we continue to manage the industry-wide shortage of skilled maritime workers, and to mitigate the impacts across the ferry services we deliver. We’ve implemented a range of solutions including an
accelerated focus on training and development while we bolster our workforce,” says Fullers360 CEO, Mike Horne.
“Despite our ongoing dedication to build up to a full crew, in the short term we are 12 crews short of a fully crewed workforce. Given the current crewing constraints, the Coromandel ferry service will remain on hold despite our eagerness to get this service back up and running.”
Mr Horne says the Coromandel ferry service remains a priority for Fullers360 to re-introduce when operational conditions allow. “Coromandel town is a treasured destination for Fullers360, and one we have been sailing to for more than 20 years. We’ll be factoring this route into our future business decision making.”
Click here to read more about the decision.
Creative Communities Festival Fund
The Creative Communities Festival Fund is a one-off funding boost from Government, to support established festivals that celebrate the life experiences, stories, cultures, and regional identities of New Zealanders, that continue to be impacted by the effects of COVID-19.
These funds are intended to help the sector adapt and thrive, while further improving access, equity, and arts participation for all. These funds are also intended to provide opportunities for the development of a resilient and sustainable arts sector.
How to apply
Our Council will distribute the CCS Festival Funds through our annual Creative Communities Scheme funding rounds. You can apply using the CCS application form, ensuring you include the word festival in the title or project description.
If you have any questions, please contact council’s Creative Communities Scheme Administrator by emailing email@example.com.
Other funding opportunities
Mary Street, Thames reopened to vehicle traffic
Mary Street in Thames reopened to two-way traffic today (Friday 18 August) after work to dismantle the pedestrian area. This comes after a vote by Thames Community Board earlier in the month to discontinue the project.
Planter boxes are being donated to local schools. Some tidying up work will continue next week, but it is planned to open Mary Street to vehicles with traffic management in place, including a 30km/hr speed limit, from Friday afternoon.
The area will remain under a 30kmh speed restriction.
Matarangi Drive Entrance closed for tree felling – Monday 21 August
Matarangi Drive entrance will be closed on Monday 21 August as we fell some dangerous trees. We will have two teams working, one to handle traffic management and another to continue clearing the berm.
Traffic management will be in place as long as required to complete the work. Wood will be left on site for the community to use once the work is completed. We ask that people stay clear to keep safe while the work is carried out.
Flaxmill Bay works starting – Monday 21 August
On Monday 21 August, works at Flaxmill Bay will begin to remove damaged structures and replenish the beach with sand. This will take up to a week to complete. There is currently a dinghy trailer chained to a Pohutukawa tree and several dinghys on the reserve. Could the owners please remove them before 22 August to ensure they are out of the way.
Short closures at Kōpū boat ramp
Kōpū boat ramp may be subject to sporadic, very short closures (around 30 mins at a time) over the next three months (from mid-August to mid-November) as work takes place on the Kōpū Marine and Business Precinct. The work taking place includes:
• craning the sheet piles in to form the cofferdam
• constructing the new commercial slipway
• forming the rock revetment
The existing boat ramp will remain open to the public. However, there will be short periods of time when boat launching and retrieving will be affected due to crane and machinery movements.
Closure next week on Port Jackson Road
Port Jackson Road will be closed just before Fantail Bay next Wednesday 23 August and for the morning of Thursday 24 August while borehole investigations take place.
The road will be closed:
• Wednesday 23 August 8am to 4pm
• Thursday 24 August 8am to 1pm
This work is required to determine the repair options to the road following the storm damage earlier this year.
Scheduled water shutdown Monday 21 August
As part of some scheduled work in Whitianga, Veolia contractors will be shutting down the water supply at the following locations and times:
Location: 13-21 The Esplanade, 1-21 Mill Rd and 5 Monk St.
• Monday 21 August 9.30–11.30am
• Alternate date: Tuesday 22 August 9.30–11.30am
Our Council and Veolia apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your patience while this work is carried out. Every effort will be made to restore services as soon as possible.
Keep up to date on roading projects at www.tcdc.govt.nz/roads, or by following our Council's Facebook page.
Roading repair FAQs
We've created a page of frequently asked questions to keep our community informed about the roading repair process following storms.
You can find these here: Road Repairs after Storms - FAQs
For a list of the 28 high-priority sites for repairs in the 2023/24 financial year (including Tapu-Coroglen Road, Black Jack Road and others) go to our Road Conditions page.
Coastcare Community Plantathon – Matarangi
We’re restoring dunes damaged by storms over the last year.
On August 25 and 26 in Matarangi, Coastcare is holding a two-day plantathon to replant native foredune species to support natural dune repair.
They're working alongside the local community, including Matarangi Residents’ & Ratepayers’ Association members, Matarangi Reserves Management Group, Matarangi Dune Restoration Group, The Dunes Golf Club, Waikato Regional council, our Council and Coastcare Waikato.
Join us from 9am:
- Friday 25 August at Golf Hole 1&2
- Saturday 26 August, Ocean Close
To read more about our coastal restoration work, visit www.tcdc.govt.nz/dunes, or follow Coastcare Waikato on Facebook.
Coromandel Careers Roadshow
Our Council is supporting a careers road show for local communities, to give young people access to jobs and careers information. It will travel to schools around the Coromandel, starting this month.
It will be held from 10am–2pm on the following dates.
It will be open to the public from 12pm–1pm.
- Monday 28 August
Whangamatā Area School
- Wednesday 30 August
Mercury Bay Area School
- Thursday 31 August
Coromandel Area School
- Friday 1 September
Thames High School
Accommodation for hospital staff
Thames Hospital are currently looking for accommodation for new staff who are coming to fill roles from outside the region.
They are interested in both furnished and unfurnished accommodation on the Coromandel Peninsula – particularly homes that are close to Thames Hospital.
Staff are offered relocation packages by Te Whatu Ora, to help them find a base to arrive to while they get settled. Many are families, so will be interested in being near local schools and ECEs as well.
If you have potential accommodation available, or any questions, please send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Opportunities at our Council
Economic Development Advisor
This is an exciting time to join our Economic Development team as an Economic Development Advisor.
Working with our Economic Development Lead, you will lead projects that drive positive change, improving the social and economic wellbeing of our communities. Your expertise and support will play a pivotal role in transforming our local economy, making it more productive, resilient, and sustainable.
Our economic development strategy revolves around four key priority workstreams:
- Planning for Inclusive Growth
- Sector Development
- Innovation and Sustainability
- Capability Building
We achieve outstanding outcomes that have a lasting impact on our community through strong partnerships with business, iwi, community, and other government agencies. Click here to find out more and apply. Applications close Sunday 20 August.
Casual Wharf Warden - Sugarloaf Boat Ramp
We're looking to employ a Casual Boat Ramp warden/officer to assist at Sugarloaf Wharf to cover staff absences and to work on an 'as-required' basis.
Primarily working on weekends and peak season, in this role you will work with users to enter boat ramp passes electronically and manage safe parking. You'll need to be an early riser to be up and about with the fishers.
Click here to see the job description and apply.
This is a key role leading a team of Project Managers and is an opportunity for you to embrace your passion for leadership, motivate your team to achieve greatness and engage in meaningful collaboration with community and iwi stakeholders. Click here to read the full job description.
Legal Coordinator (LGOIMA)
Reporting to the Legal Counsel this is a new full-time role supporting in the administration and coordination of requests for official information under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act (LGOIMA) and the Privacy Act. Click here to read the full job description.
Click here to see the full range of jobs, or submit an expression of interest.
Dog of the Week: Chilled puppy
This 6-8-month male puppy is very quiet and chilled. He loves playing with people or sleeping beside you.
He also loves cuddles when he gets to know you. Although he's small now, he's going to be a big boy.
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.
Click here to see the other dogs currently up for adoption.
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. If your adoption is successful, you will be required to register and microchip the dog prior to taking it home.