The Coromandel is open for business, Rāhui at Ōpoutere Beach and more
Published on 20 January 2023
The Coromandel is open for business
We took a hit from Ex-Cyclone Hale and the clean-up continues, but the sun is out and the Coromandel’s very much open for business.
Our hospitality and events businesses extend a warm welcome to visitors and look forward to showing just what a special place our district is.
Traffic’s flowing smoothly on our roads again, including the main State Highways with very few delays reported. State Highway 25A continues to be under stop/go management and closes overnight from 7pm. Keep up to date with Waka Kotahi NZTA here.
Businesses say the holiday weekends coming up are a perfect opportunity to revive the summer season. And for residents, encouraging visitors to spend local is a great way of supporting our district’s economy.
The inaugural Electric Loop EV Festival – a 222km Coromandel Peninsula loop drive for battery electric vehicles (BEVs) with various activities included – is on January 28 and 29 (Auckland Anniversary Weekend). They have four entry tickets valued at a combined $720 to give away. Click here for more information on how to enter.
Make sure you have your tickets for Beach Break in Whangamatā (Auckland Anniversary weekend - 28 January) and Whitianga’s Greenstone Summer Concert (Waitangi weekend, 5 February).
Check out our web page for the line-up of great events and festivals on offer and Destination Coromandel's website to discover more.
Rāhui at Ōpoutere Beach
A rāhui was implemented over Ōpoutere Beach, the Wharekawa Harbour and River on Thursday 19 January following a drowning, and a search for a missing person near the coastal settlement on Wednesday 18 January.
Kaumatua (elders) say the rāhui places a restriction on recreational activities, such as fishing, shellfish collection, swimming, surfing and boating at the beach, on the harbour and river. The restrictions will be in place until further notice.
A kaumatua performed the ceremony at Ōpoutere Beach, with those attending including Mayor Len Salt as well as our Council’s Cultural Navigator Frank Thorne.
A rāhui (physical and spiritual protection mechanism) sets a temporary prohibition around the rāhui area and limits access or activities for that period in order to acknowledge the death and to express sympathy to the whānau of the deceased.
It provides time for tapu (sacredness) to dissipate following the fatalities, allowing time for healing and recovery of the natural elements at a place as well as the people - in particular, the grieving whānau.
Karakia (prayers) were also performed on Thursday at the point near Ōtahu Estuary in Whangamatā and at Whangamatā Surf Club where there was a drowning on Tuesday night.
The Latest with Mayor Len
“It’s been another busy week for Council. Throughout the week I’ve been talking with our staff and making sure they have the support and resources they need to continue the vital work of the storm clean-up. I’ve written to the highest level of government, to the Office of the Prime Minister, putting our case for urgent work on the district’s State Highways so that they are able to withstand the regular storms we face. I’ve called for long-term solutions to the key pressure points on State Highways that experience problems every time there’s heavy rain.
‘I’ve also urged the government to prioritise funding for sealing The 309 and Tapu-Coroglen Roads. When other roads close in bad weather, these narrow, winding gravel roads face pressures of traffic they’re not designed for – such as heavy trucks or cars towing caravans and boats. I’ve emphasised that it’s a crucial safety issue. We’ve done the feasibility studies and have the costings.
‘I’ve also kept in touch with Kieran McAnulty, the Minister for Emergency Management, on our case for funding of the long-term storm clean-up. Staff are preparing final costings on that.
“Although it’s been a rough start to the year, we’re a resilient lot. It’s great to see the return of summer and people getting a chance to get out and about and boost local businesses. There are some fantastic events coming up. There’s the Greenstone Summer Concert in Whitianga on Sunday 5 February. Beach Hop’s back in March. I’m told there’s a big national Waka Ama event planned for Whitianga on 21-23 April. And I’ll be playing in the Whitianga Dixieland Band at the Taste of Matarangi on 1 April.
“On a more sombre note, I attended karakia (prayers) and an iwi-led ceremony for the placing of a rāhui (restrictions) on activities at Ōpoutere beach on Thursday after the drowning and loss at sea. I also took part in prayers at Ōtahu Estuary in Whangamatā after a drowning earlier in the week. I spoke to family members of those affected and also to the Surf Lifesavers and other volunteers who did such a phenomenal job in the rescue effort. I am sure I reflect the feeling of all our community when I say my heart goes out to the families and loved ones affected. Enjoy the summer and keep safe.
Youth sailing resumes in Mercury Bay
Despite the ravages of last week’s storm, Mercury Bay Boating Club has been able to get its youth sailing programme up and running from Monday, with 12 young people learning new skills every day this week.
The youth programme has been operating out of a shipping container on Macrocarpa Reserve, after our Council made the area available to the club.
We have been working for a long time with the club on their plans to re-site the building. Under the lease conditions, the building was built in a way that it could be moved if it became impacted by coastal erosion.
Throughout the storm and its aftermath our Council’s remained in regular contact with the club to ensure they had access to the information and the staff that they needed. Before the building’s temporary move mid-week, we laid down aggregate to facilitate the activities onsite and closed off the area to the public.
Discussions with the club have been constructive and we’re part of ongoing planning for a long-term solution.
Connecting with our communities
Coromandel-Colville and Mercury Bay elected members met for their first community networking sessions this week.
These informal networking sessions, run by our Council’s Area Managers, are an opportunity for our district’s Board members to find out more about the needs and aspirations of their local groups, and build stronger community connections. There will need to be a balance between briefings and support to existing council priorities, and looking at where we may be able to support others in the longer term.
Coromandel-Colville elected members welcomed Hamuera Maika from the Haratuanga Pathway Group, who talked about the need for safer access pathways and reduced speed zones to safeguard local tamariki and Harataunga marae. The community enagement plan provided a starting point to identify key community groups and different ways they could stay in touch. Informal discussions ranged from practicalities around reducing speed zones to the need for public transport options.
Mercury Bay elected members learned more about the background and options for the Mercury Bay Cycle Strategy from our Council’s Roading Manager Ed Varley. Master Mariner, Tim Burfoot, from South Marine Solutions, also provided some background to his report on the district’s wharves and harbours, touching on health and safety, and operational matters. The session concluded with a visit to the Whitianga Bike Park.
Our Council will be holding its first meeting of the year on Thursday 26 January.
The Community Board meetings will start next month, February.
Keep an eye on our meetings page for the agenda and minutes closer to the time.
Dogs in our pound
We have three dogs available for adoption and one lost dog waiting for their owner to collect them.
- Top-left: This fun-loving male is looking for his forever home. He's about 1 year old and loves to play.
- Top-right: This very sweet girl is looking for somewhere to call home. She's about 1 year old and loves her pats and cuddles.
- Bottom-left: This lost dog was collected on Tiki Road, Coromandel Town this morning (Friday 20 January 2023) and waiting for their owner to make contact.
- Bottom-right: This beautiful big boy is also looking for a home. He loves to be around people. We believe he is 2-3 years old.
If the lost dog is yours, or you are interested in adopting a dog, please contact us on 07 868 0200 or go to tcdc.govt.nz/dogs for more information.
Your Coromandel Tracks and Trails Guide
The updated edition of our popular Tracks and Trails Guide is now available free from information centres, public libraries and Council offices.
The guide outlines a variety of walks and cycle trails across the district for all fitness levels. The mix of locations includes harbour and river margins, heritage town centres, playgrounds, busy working wharves and the Coromandel's famous sandy beaches.
Most of the walks are short, easy excursions near our town centres, rather than more strenuous tramping routes. You can also check out mountain biking and cycling trails, ranging from family-friendly easy experiences to harder mountain biking trails.
The online version can be downloaded at tcdc.govt.nz/Tracksandtrails.
Boaties, don't forget there’s now a smarter way to pay for launching and trailer parking at ramps where fees apply.
Simply scan the QR code with your smartphone, camera or Google Lens and follow the easy prompts to pay – right at the ramp.
Click the image for further details.
Work with us
Are you ready to change your scene? Our Council is hiring now and we have opportunities for engineers, planners, administrators and more.
Flexible working, fantastic culture and great lifestyle.
Check out our latest job vacancies here.