Community Board highlights, Tairua Skatepark opens and project news

Published on 19 April 2024


Big turn-out for Tairua Skatepark opening

Hundreds of people attended the opening of Tairua Skatepark on Monday, including many who have championed a skatepark for their community since the 1990s.

Among the attendees were current and former Councillors and Community Board members and many local skate enthusiasts eager to drop into the new skatepark at Cory Park Domain. 

Jacqui Gage-Brown from Tairua Sports and Recreation Trust

Warwick Brooks, Chair of the Tairua-Pāuanui Community Board, captured the sentiment in his speech: “Behind me stands a monument and a testament to people power, hard work, and perseverance from the community.” 

Jacqui Gage-Brown from Tairua Sports and Recreation Trust expressed her pride in the community's dedication, saying, “This has taken a long time, 30 years, and we have finally arrived.”

A young person displayed a sign saying 'Youth are leaders of our future', noting their instrumental role in designing and supporting the skatepark. 


Our Mayor Len Salt declared the park open before dozens of excited local skaters got to try it out for the first time. 

Credit is due to many individuals in the Tairua community, particularly a determined group led by Jacqui, who collaborated to secure prizes from local businesses for a giveaway during the opening. ACID, the project's contractor, generously donated several skateboard decks. 

Special acknowledgment goes to those who contributed $1000 or more to the project, earning them a spot on a plaque inside the skatepark. One remarkable couple donated $50,000 


During the event, Hikuai School organised a fundraising sausage sizzle, ensuring all attendees were well-fed and energised for skating. 

The park is now open for people to enjoy and make the most of during the school holidays.  

Click here to view a photo gallery of the opening
Click here to visit the project page

Keep an eye on the weather this weekend 

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Like last weekend, a similar weather pattern is emerging for this weekend, and heavy rain may or may not eventuate. MetService New Zealand provided an update earlier today advising of a widespread Weather Watch for localised, high intensity rainfall from 5am tomorrow (Saturday morning) until the early hours of Sunday. 

If you are out and about, especially on Saturday, keep an eye on the weather and those sudden downpours and squalls, and watch for any updates on the MetService website.

Visit MetService

Community Board Highlights

Tairua-Pāuanui Community Board (Monday 8 April)

At its April meeting, the Tairua-Pāuanui Community Board opted to defer a decision on a request to increase funding for a new and relocated toilet facility at Cory Park Domain and asked staff to investigate upgrading the existing toilets (near the Sport and Rugby Club facilities) within the allocated budget of $275,000. $155,000 of the allocated budget is a grant from the government’s Tourism Infrastructure Fund, the remaining $120,000 is Council funded.

Late last year, the Board had asked staff to investigate building a new toilet block at the north end of the reserve by the tennis courts and new skate park, to meet community needs.

A new toilet block at this new location was costed at $475,000, requiring additional budget of $200,000, which if the Board had approved would have come from the Tairua-Pāuanui Subdivision Reserve Fund.

The Board also approved a request to retain and re-purpose the grant of $1,500 to the Tairua Environment Society to assist with the removal of weed species at Te Karo Bay.

Whangamatā Community Board (Tuesday 9 April)

In the public forum, the Board received an update on the Whangamatā Community Pool refurbishment. The pool is scheduled to re-open by the beginning of June. Visit

The Board received a new lease proposal from the Whangamatā Pony and Social Group. They requested that expressions of interest be sought for the lease of any other part of the reserve located at 128 Wattle Place (Mayfair Avenue Recreation Reserve). They deferred granting the new lease pending the outcome of any new expressions of interest. 

As part of the CAPEX work programme, the Board received pricing for the proposed cycleway/pedestrian track along the Moana Anu Anu harbour from the Hetherington Road causeway bridge to Brenton Place. The preference is to continue maintaining the track in its current form.  

Council is waiting for detailed design for the new campervan dump station (at 118 Lindsay Road). This is expected to go out for tender in June and planned for completion by October this year. This is being funded through the Government’s Tourism Infrastructure Fund.  

Whangamatā Stormwater improvements

Our Council’s Water Services Manager provided an update to the Community Board on stormwater management in Williamson Park, which has been a key focus for our Council due to issues with flooding. The existing pond was originally designed to be a soakage basin, with a spillway outlet. However, the existing pond provides a long water retention time which results in settlement of sediments and potential for growth of algae.   

The solution developed for Williamson Park, which has been designed by professional engineering consultants, allows for water to be transferred via a wetland area and then dispersed out to sea. The wetland area is part of the stormwater quality treatment systems designed to handle sediments. The objective is that water ponding will still occur during peak weather events but will dissipate after a short retention time. This solution has been discussed at a recent meeting of a community engagement team which was formed to gain community input into the work. This engagement team includes three representatives of the Whangamatā Ratepayers Association, two community members who are civil contractors with experience of the Williamson Park pond (but who are not contracted to Council), a member of the Whangamatā Community Board, a Councillor and our Council Water Services Manager. Of the seven community representatives, five are supportive of the solution. Waikato Regional Council have confirmed they are supportive of this solution and that it meets their stormwater guidelines. 

The objective is that this solution will be implemented by June 2024. The picture below shows the gabion basket weir at the beach end of the stormwater pond. 

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Thames Community Board (Wednesday 10 April)

Supporting Thames Museum to 'Keep the Lights On'

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On the eve of its 50th anniversary, Thames Museum Te Whare Taonga o te Kauaeranga has joined Museums Aotearoa's national Keep the Lights On campaign to ensure it can continue serving the community.

A membership scheme is being promoted to raise more funding, with the public being encouraged to sign up to support the museum. Chair Carolyn McKenzie told the Board that Thames Museum was facing difficult times financially. In the last 10 months its door sales and membership scheme faced a shortfall of $1,615 in meeting fixed costs such as electricity, insurance, telephone, security and rates.  

The museum also had to find money to protect and enhance its collection. “No museum should be static or displays left to stagnate,” Carolyn McKenzie told the Board. “We’ve worked extremely hard to improve the museum visitors’ experience.” 

The museum has been active in securing contestable grants, including from the Community Board, and has raised an average of $54,000 per year in the last three years. These funds are mostly for specific projects rather than operating costs. It is entirely staffed by volunteers. Councillor Robyn Sinclair commended the museum for pursuing fundraising through special events and group visits. 

If you'd like to become a member and support the museum, adults are $20, families $30, retired singles $15, retired couple $20 and students $10. Membership benefits include free entry to the museum, voting rights at AGMs and Special Meetings, invitation and free entry to social events and a monthly newsletter. People can become members online by paying into ANZ 06-0457-0169842-00: please put your surname and SUB in the details. Otherwise pop into the museum between 10am and 1pm Monday to Saturday (503 Cochrane Street). 

Visit the museum's Facebook page
Visit their website

New Thames signage

Sign-erected-northern-entrance-Thames.jpg The first two of three new road signs at the entrances to Thames are in place, directing travellers to the town centre. Thames Community Board secured funding for the signs from the Ministry of Social Development. 

They’re part of the ‘Explore Interesting’ Thames brand, which noted that many motorists pass by Thames without stopping.  

The first two signs are at Thames’ northern entrance on SH25 near the corner with Pollen St (for drivers coming from the Thames Coast) and at the PaknSave roundabout on SH25 (for motorists coming from the south). A 'Pollen St' sign is also at the northern entrance to the main street.

Signage is also underway for the southern end of Pollen St, Victoria Park, Kuranui Bay, Richmond St and Thames Wharf. Staff were investigating the possibility of funding for 'Welcome' signs at Whiritoa and west of the Kōpū Bridge. 


Coromandel-Colville Community Board (Tuesday 16 April)

At the public forum, the Chair of Little Bay Residents and Ratepayers Association requested a follow up on actions to curb speeding on Waikawau and Tuateawa Rd, and Little Bay Drive. The Board has asked for a report to its next meeting. 

In other matters, the Board received: 

  • a Request for Discretionary Funding from the Upper Coromandel Forest & Bird for plant and pest eradication on local Council reserves in the Ward. A grant of $6,000 was approved. 

  • a report on the Waikato Regional Council (WRC) Long Term Plan 2024-2034. Our Council’s Principal Strategic Advisor provided an overview of the issues WRC is consulting on.  

  • the Action Schedule updating members on actions arising since the last formal meeting in February. The issue of safety concerns caused by speeding vehicles on the Woollams Avenue Service Lane was discussed. The Roading Manager will prepare a report with potential options to improve safety. 

  • the report for the Capital Expenditure Work Programme dated 28 March 2024. The Board noted how pleased it was to see our Council finalise the purchase of three portions of land adjoining Hauraki House from the Crown. The purchase will allow our Council to repair and upgrade the car park and ensure long term parking for Hauraki House users and the wider community. 

Mercury Bay Community Board (Wednesday 17 April)

At its meeting, the Community Board decided to invite the Whitianga community to chat to them about the Mercury Bay Boating Club’s proposal to relocate their boat house/sailing school.   

The Boating Club has applied to the Department of Conservation (DOC) to lease land on the local reserve at the foot of Dundas Street in order to relocate their boat house from its current location on Buffalo Beach/Taputapuatea. The Dundas St reserve is Crown land managed by DOC. The surrounding area towards Lyon Park is also Crown land leased to the Whitianga Marina with an easement to the boat ramp. Our Council doesn't own the land in this area but owns and maintains the boat ramp and mows the grass and picks up litter on the reserve.    

DOC has publicly notified the Boating Club’s application and anyone interested may lodge a submission. Details are on DOC’s website.   

The Boating Club has asked the Mercury Bay Community Board for a letter of support, by way of a submission, for their application.   

The Community Board, while supporting the Boating Club in their need to find a new home, are aware of the public interest in this location. The informal public drop-in sessions are an opportunity for the Board to hear from their community if they support or oppose the Boating Club’s application, and why. This feedback will help inform the Board’s submission to DOC. The Community Board is not privy to any views/submissions made to DOC. The Boating Club’s application and the submission process to DOC is not a TCDC process. The drop in sessions are below:

  • Tuesday, 23 April 12.30pm-1.30pm – Mercury Bay Community Boardroom, 10 Monk Street, Whitianga
  • Saturday, 27 April 9.30am-11am – WhitiCiti Markets, Soldiers Memorial Park, Whitianga   

Any views you share with the Community Board will only help the Board in considering its own submission to DOC and it is likely the Board will hear a range of views. Individual or group submissions must be completed through the DOC process above if you would like DOC to consider them directly.    

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Mercury Bay Boating Club relocation map.

The Board also received a geotechnical report to update them on the land stability issues along Bluff Road between Rings Beach and Matarangi. The road is currently closed to vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians until further notice due to the ongoing falling rock hazard. The DOC Matarangi Bluff walking track is an alternative. The geotech report can be used to inform future planning to reopen the road to pedestrians and cyclists. 

You can find our meeting agendas and minutes
Watch meeting recordings on our Youtube channel

Sustainability and Community Resilience Committee: Meeting highlights (Thursday 18 April)

Social Recovery update

Recovery is still very much alive in our district, our Council’s Community Partnerships Co-ordinator told the committee. Even in the last month, more than a year after the big storm events of last year, two more properties up the Thames Coast have been ‘yellow stickered’, due to land instability risk. In the past year, the team’s Social Navigators have been supporting individuals and whānau impacted by last years storm events, they continue to support the 20 households whose homes remain yellow stickered and 17 red stickered (officially declared uninhabitable). 

The committee also heard how the storms have had a long tail of an impact - not just on property, but also affecting people’s mental wellbeing through a sense of uncertainty.  

Thanks to cyclone recovery funding by the Department of Internal Affairs, the Community Partnerships Co-ordinator and two fixed-term Social Navigators continue to focus on supporting individuals and whānau to navigate their way through the range of social and economic issues being faced from the 2023 storms. They are also working to support initiatives by local iwi and community organisations to build resilience and prepare for future events. 

Initiatives include: 

  • two Careers Roadshows, the first in August 2023 and the second in February 2024, involving over 45 organisations connecting with more than 1500 students across five secondary schools.
  • 24 Resilience Hubs set up around the district for marae/Māori and smaller, isolated communities and with work underway for hubs in a further 11 communities. 
  • Red Cross funding confirmed for the establishment of four Civil Defence Centre resource hubs in Thames, Whangamatā, Whitianga and Coromandel Town. 
  • the trial Connector Bus service between Coromandel Town and Thames extended for a further three-months until 18 June 2024.
  • Kāinga Kai Community Gardens to build food resilience to service remote easily isolated communities started in four Communities – Whitianga, Manaia, Kennedy Bay and Kōpūtauākī.
  • First Aid Training provided to Community Response Groups in three areas and four more scheduled. Psychosocial training completed in Tairua, Whitianga and Thames. 

Reducing our Council’s greenhouse gas emissions

An inventory of Council’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2022/23 reported to the committee showed mixed results, due to the impact of storms on the need for increased wastewater processing. 

On a positive note, the inventory showed a 20 per cent decrease (set against a base year, an average of 2019 and 2021 financial years) in indirect greenhouse gas emissions from electricity consumed by Council, our Council’s Principal Advisor for Climate Change, Graham Pollard, reported. This is because the fossil fuel component of the electricity supply is decreasing.   

It showed a decrease in 2022/23 to 20.6 tonnes CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) per $million spent by Council.   

However, 2022/23 also showed a 48 per cent increase in direct emissions from sources owned or controlled by Council. This was largely down to the need to treat large volumes of stormwater that went into the wastewater systems during storms, including the use of diesel to power generators. In addition, the end of Covid-related travel restrictions brought increased summer visitors to the district, increasing wastewater volumes.  

The results were reported to the committee as an anomaly. However, Graham Pollard pointed out that such intense weather is expected to become more frequent in the future and points the way towards dealing with wastewater without such a steep rise in greenhouse gas emissions. 

Council’s roadmap to 2030 shows a projected decrease in all greenhouse gas emission of 12 per cent. The Emissions Reduction Plan which is in development should find ways of reducing our emissions further. 

Quarterly economic insights

Our Economic Development Report was presented by our Economic Development Advisor, covering economic data from October to December 2023. The insights reflected the state of our national economy in recession and the lingering impacts of the North Island Weather Events.  

Reduced tourism and cost of living pressures caused declines in spending, guest nights and GDP.  Our district’s economy flattened with provisional GDP down 0.2 percent for the year to December 2023, compared to the year prior.  

Our district’s average annual unemployment rate rose to 4.1 percent in the year ending December 2023. Across New Zealand, job losses in both the public and private sectors are ongoing. However, our comparatively tight local labour market measure suggests there are more jobs available than workers able to fill them.  

Positively, the number of businesses in the district increased by 1.4 percent (66) for the year to December 2023. This growth was higher than the rest of New Zealand. However, sentiment from our most recent business survey suggests businesses are cautious amid uncertain economic conditions.  

House sales in the district decreased by 19 percent over the year, with house values falling by 12.2 percent. 

For more information, read Infometrics full report

Full economic data for the summer months of January to March 2024 will be available in June. 

Visitor Information Centres

A summary of the work of the district’s four Visitor Information Centres from November 2023 until the end of February 2024, covering the peak summer period, was presented by District Events and Experiences Co-ordinator Kirstin Scarrott. 

Highlights included: 
• A decision on a contract for operating a new Visitor Information Centre for Thames is going to Council on 30 April. 
• New Expressions of Interest to run the centres in Whangamatā and Whitianga are underway.  
• Contracts for the centres in Coromandel Town, Tairua and Pāuanui do not end until June 2025.  Expressions of Interest will be called for these centres in early 2025.  
• Visitor numbers through the doors of the five existing centres (Coromandel Town, Pāuanui, Tairua, Whangamatā and Whitianga) over the four months were over 57,000. 
• The centres were open for between 753 hours and 912 hours during this summer period. 
• The numbers of vehicles travelling over Tairua Bridge reached nearly half a million (499,881). 

Templates to standardise the way visitor numbers and Key Performance Indicator reports are captured are being developed. A suggestion by Councillor Deli Connell that during the non-peak visitor season the centres record information about why people were visiting the area was welcomed.  

Councillor Martin Rodley pointed out the importance of recognising the breadth of services provided the centres. As well as providing information for visitors, many provide an important role explaining Council services to bach owners, signposting local people to services or being a place that people can come to for a chat and friendly faces. 

The next Sustainability and Community Resilience Committee Meeting is on Thursday 6 June 2024, at 10am.

Click here to view the meeting recording
Click here to find out more

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Opportunities at our Council

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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: 
• Compliance Officer (Whangamata) 
• Programme Manager 
• Senior Resource Consent Planner 
• Environmental Health Team Leader 
• Environmental Health Officer 
• Property & Facilities Manager 
• Project Manager - Agile 
• Project Administrator 
• Library Assistant – Tairua 
• Library Assistant – Mercury Bay 

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. 

Find out more

Kūaotunu Dune Care receives national Coastal Restoration Award  


Kūaotunu Dune Care is a group of Kūaotunu residents and ratepayers that recognised their local coastal environment was being invaded by exotic plant species and there was a need to come together to help. Becoming an incorporated society in 2022 opened the door for funding opportunities, enabling the group to apply for grants to purchase native plants and utilise contractors to carry out weed control. The group has just had their efforts recognised, receiving the 2024 Coastal Restoration Trust Award for Outstanding Restoration Project at a conference in Kāwhia. 

Kūaotunu Dune Care has branched out over the past two years. Not only are they focused on weeds, but they are also adapting the dune care approach to protect the dunes ecologically and culturally. They have successfully introduced a new predator-trapping program to protect plants and wildlife along the coast. The group is supported by our Council and Waikato Regional Council.

Kūaotunu Dune Care Inc. meets on the third Wednesday of the month for 2 hours of weeding, planting and mulching in the back dunes, followed by a well-deserved morning tea. 

Upcoming working bees:

• Wednesday 15 May: Kawhero Rock   
• Wednesday 19 June: Zone 2/1 (Adjacent to our Zone One area)  
• Wednesday 28 June: Grays Beach (extending previous Matariki plantings) 
• Wednesday 17 July: Grays Beach, Bluff Rd 

Follow the group on Facebook
Find out more about Coastcare

Colville Road ongoing repairs

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Our Council is carrying out several repair projects in close proximity on Colville Rd over the next 2-3 months. This will cause some disruption with rolling road closures and stop/go traffic light restrictions in place. We apologise for any inconvenience, but the work is necessary to repair storm and cyclone damage from 2023.  

Full details of the works, locations and closures are provided on our roads page. We've also provided contact information for the relevant contractors but if you have concerns at any point, please contact the customer service team on 07 868 0200, or email  

We recommend planning ahead to ensure the least amount of disruption to your journey. Thank you for your understanding and patience as the work progresses. 


Anzac rubbish and recycling schedule

All Refuse and Recycling Transfer Stations (RTS) are closed on the morning of Anzac Day, Thursday 25 April, and will open at 1pm and close 4.30pm. Transfer stations are now on shorter hours due to daylight saving finishing. Standard site opening hours are now 8.30am to 4.30pm, seven days a week.  

There will be no yellow week kerbside collections on Anzac Day due to the public holiday. For this week only, normal Thursday collections (of yellow week recycling, glass and food scraps) will move to Friday, and Friday collections will move to Saturday. 

Areas impacted are: 

  • Friday 26 April: Tairua, Thames Rural South and Thames & Surrounds 

  • Saturday 27 April: Pāuanui 

Check out your calendars at  

If you’re leaving before your collection day you can visit a Refuse and Recycling Transfer Station.


Eat Me First campaign

2024-04-19 13_20_08-Window.pngBreak the mould: stop food going bad in your fridge. Tap into Love Food Hate Waste NZ’s ‘Eat Me First’ campaign which starts on Monday 22 April supported by our Council.

You can pick up a free, reusable sticker at any of our Council’s offices to remind you or your household what food needs to be eaten first in your fridge before it goes bad. Use the ‘Eat Me First’ stickers to set up a shelf in your fridge or pantry to highlight what needs to be eaten first. Alternatively, simply label your food items or containers with a date to avoid them being forgotten and wasted. 

You’ll be helping reduce food waste, save money and protect the environment into the bargain. 

Visit Lovefoodhatewaste

A tribute to former Councillor Sue Wright

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Sue Wright receiving the QSM for services to the community in 2009 from the Governor-General Sir Anand Satyanand.

It is with sadness that we note the passing of Coromandel Town resident and former Councillor Sue Wright. A retired school teacher, Sue was actively involved in the community for many years and received the QSM in 2009 for services to the community.  

A Councillor and Waikato Conservation Board Trustee she worked hard for the environment and also had a love of  art and heritage. Sue was a Coro Community Services Trustee (community van), and also active in the local museum, Forest and Bird, the Community Arts Council and Coro Heritage Trust (Treasury). Sue was also a member of Hauraki House committee, Keep Coromandel Beautiful and Buffalo Cemetery Committee.

She co-authored True Tales of Coromandel, In Search of the Rainbow and the Coromandel Gold Trail. She was instrumental in saving Hauraki House, The Thames Treasury and McGregor Bay wetland. She planted many trees, loved her garden, playing scrabble and her chooks. She will be missed by her two sons, David and Richard, and by her many friends. 


Free Friday Concert at St Georges Church

Next Friday, Thames Music Group is hosting a free Friday concert, funded through our Council's Creative Communities Scheme. Thames talent 'Arthur Road' (Jayne Bolsover and Sam Rogers): a guitar and vocal duo, singing playing songs they have composed themselves. Also featuring Maria Yates, a well-known local songbird, with her guitar. Lunch is available after the concert for $5.

Ngākau Carving Symposium


The Ngākau Carving Symposium is being held during the school holidays from 18-27 April 2024, in Thames. It’s a two-week public event that welcomes the community across generations and cultures, from mokopuna to kuia and kaumātua. 

The symposium attracts professional and emerging artists from throughout Aotearoa who share a deep passion for whakairo (carving), working with kōhatu (stone) and rākau (wood). It’s proudly hosted and supported by Te Kura o te Kauaeranga, Thames South School. 

Follow the Symposium on Facebook

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. 

Thames Library will close for a week in May

2024-04-05 12_40_00-Libraries update March _ Campaign Monitor - Work - Microsoft Edge.pngThames Library is closing for just over a week this May, while we replace the carpet in the public area.

The library will be closed from 12pm on Saturday 4 May until Monday 13 May. We’ll re-open at 9am on Tuesday 14 May.
During the closure, all the books and furniture in the public area of the building will be moved into storage containers in our car park, and the carpet will be removed and replaced. There will be limited access to the car park during this time.

While the library is closed, reserved items will not be available to pick up.

Items cannot be returned to Thames Library during this period but can be returned to our two other District Libraries in Mercury Bay and Tairua.

Libraries Manager Shana Allan encourages people to stock up on books early, so they have a good selection before we close. We’ve extended our loan period to allow for the closure.

“Also, the more books you take, the less we have to shift,” she says.

Find out more

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.


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