A recovery update, summer dog info, and a new tourism campaign
Published on 20 October 2023
The latest from Mayor Len
Following last weekend’s election, I wrote to congratulate Scott Simpson for his re-election as the Member of Parliament for the Coromandel electorate and to National Party leader Chris Luxon for securing the role of Prime Minister-designate. I also wrote to Hana-Rāwhiti Maipi-Clarke for winning the Hauraki-Waikato seat. I have also written to Prime Minister Chris Hipkins and a number of the Labour Party cabinet ministers who were instrumental in supporting our district through the weather events of January and February and the subsequent recovery efforts. I thanked the outgoing politicians for their commitment to public office and acknowledged the commitment of those re-elected or newly elected to Parliament.
Our recovery work is ongoing and our district has received more than $25 million in direct support in addition to the $48 million bridge Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is building to get State Highway 25A reopened. There is significant ongoing work either underway or being planned for the Coromandel’s State Highway and local roading network. We have had commitments from the incoming government members that the recovery funding allocated for this work will remain in place. What is still unclear is the level of total investment for Thames-Coromandel District in among recovery allocations for the other districts affected by the storms early this year.
The election result has provided some clarity around key elements of our planning that are critical to our Long Term Plan process, Three Waters and Resource Management Act reform are two such topics. There are other areas that the local government sector will continue to push for reform on, including funding levels for local government activities. Affordable housing continues to be an area of concern and our Council is doing significant levels of work in this area. The impact of policies likely to be put in place by the new government and how they might affect the ability of low- and middle-income earners to afford a home is something that we will be watching very closely.
Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Thames Society of Arts. It was a great day in their gallery in the Old North School heritage building in Tararu just north of Thames.
Drop into the gallery next time you’re passing by, it’s a great place to pick up a piece of locally produced art – they look good on the wall or shelf and make great gifts.
Dennis (pictured left with Mayor Len) is a founding member of the Thames Society of Arts.
Join us for kai and kōrero with Mike King and Richie Barnett
As a local recovery initiative, Mike King and Richie Barnett are visiting the Coromandel to talk about mental health and Gumboot Friday – their charity which connects young people with mental health support.
Join Mike in in Coromandel Town and Whitianga, or Richie in Thames, Whangamatā and Tairua, for some kai and a chance to hear about their work to create positive change for rangatahi.
Mike King is the founder of I Am Hope and Gumboot Friday and has worked tirelessly since 2009 in the mental health space, focusing on the tamariki of New Zealand for the last few years.
He has spoken to and helped thousands of young people around NZ, championing for change around mental health and creating space for life-changing conversations. His charity Gumboot Friday provides free counselling to rangatahi in distress.
"I am dedicated to driving a positive change in societal attitudes towards mental health and ensuring a better future for our young people,” says Mike King.
Click here to find dates and times for your area.
Join us at our Long Term Plan (LTP) community drop-in sessions
We’re holding some informal Long Term Plan drop-in sessions from Thursday 26 October to Saturday 28 October, and we’d like to hear from you - our residents and ratepayers - about what you consider is important for our district.
This is a great chance to chat with your elected members and Council staff to share with us what you believe should be the focus of our long-term planning, and what projects and amenities you'd like to see in our future.
We're still in the process of prioritising key projects, so this is a good time to give your input before we put our proposals formally in the new year.
We’re also holding an online session on Friday 27 October from 10-11am, for those who can’t attend in person, to hear from Mayor Len and technical council staff on our LTP progress. We've created a meeting link – you don't need to install the Teams app to join this meeting.
For more information on where to email questions, what to bring to the drop-ins, and how to join our online session, see www.tcdc.govt.nz/LTP-2024-2034.
Lead the way: Stay up to date with summer dog rules
Alongside the welcome warmth of summer come changes to our local dog rules. Summer rules about where you can walk your dog are put in place from Labour Weekend to 1 March, with additional restrictions and prohibitions from 20 December to 31 January. These rules help to protect dogs, humans, and wildlife during peak periods and important nesting times for our precious native manu.
The most important rule to remember is that dogs must be on lead unless specified otherwise. So, when in doubt, put your dog on a lead.
Our bylaws team will be spending time talking to dog owners about our local rules, especially if dogs aren't on lead where they should be. If your dog is off-lead in an area that's not designated as off-lead, you could be fined $300.
But don't worry, you'll get the chance to make it right. Our aim is to educate people about our rules and to encourage voluntary compliance by giving out free dog leads. Multiple instances of non-compliance can still result in a fine.
Find out more at www.tcdc.govt.nz/leadtheway
Plus! Go into the draw to win a $100 Prezzy card by taking our quick dog rules quiz here.
The latest from Waka Kotahi NZTA
State Highway 25A update: The first stage of bridge deck construction has started on the build over the slip on SH25A. Two of the bridge's three spans have been installed. The workers have made great progress but the process requires good weather because, as you can imagine, if the wind is too strong it’s not safe to lift the beams into place.
The final three beams for the remaining span were transported to the worksite from Napier yesterday. Meanwhile, workers in Tauranga are continuing to build the pre-cast concrete panels that’ll make up the bridge deck—138 of them in total. They’re also building 52 pre-cast side barriers. Waka Kotahi NZTA are not just working on the SH25A bridge—across SH25 and SH25A roadworkers are doing important maintenance work. Slow down if you’re travelling through a work site and respect instructions you’re given and signage you see.
Public meeting: Responding to sea level rise in Moanataiari
Our Council and the Moanataiari Residents Committee are working together to help decide on future improvements to the community’s seawall, and other community responses to sea level rise.
You're invited to a public meeting on Monday 30 October, 5.15pm–7pm at the Thames on Kirkwood, 100 Kirkwood Street.
Every five years, we get the performance of the existing walls reviewed by consultants (Tonkin + Taylor). They have recently confirmed that the wall is still providing the design level of protection (50-year). The proposed options are largely to address the anticipated impacts of sea level rise. Successive storms, flooding, maintenance issues and predicted sea level rise in our area have made it clear that Moanataiari needs a sustainable pathway for the future.
The recently adopted Shoreline Management Pathways project included the assessment of our entire coastline and outlined a plan of action over the short to long term for each community. In Moanataiari, this included in the short term a recommendation for improvements to the existing sea wall. The community has now elected a Residents Committee to work with TCDC and engineers Tonkin and Taylor to coordinate wider input and agreement on next steps.
Click here to read more information about the meeting.
Mercury Bay Beach Bus service kicks off
Go Kiwi Shuttles have announced their new Beach Bus service starting next weekend.
With five trips per day, the bus drops you right at all the best places for you to enjoy the beach, relax with brunch, or entertain at lunch.
It's a safe and easy way to enjoy the warmer weather.
It's recommended that you book your tickets online the day before travel, you can pay cash/card to driver if seats permit.
What you need to know for Labour Weekend
Rubbish and recycling services
Our new kerbside collection service is improving each week as the new contractor's staff familiarise themselves with collections. Our Council notes that the number of public queries or Requests for Service are dropping, which is very encouraging.
Kerbside collections on the week of Labour Day
Next week is yellow week which means we’re collecting mixed recycling, glass and food scraps. There’ll be no recycling collections on Labour Day, Monday 23 October. If your collection’s normally on a Monday, it’ll move to Tuesday and so on throughout the week. Friday’s collections will be done on a Saturday. Check your collection schedule here.
Our Refuse and Recycling Transfer Stations will be open all of Labour Weekend to their daylight savings hours of 8.30am-5.30pm.
PAYT tags on rubbish bins
We have noticed that there are still properties attaching the Pay As You Throw (PAYT) tag to their rubbish bin incorrectly, or in some cases not affixing a tag at all.
The correct way is to thread the tag through both the red rubbish bin lid handle and the black handle of the bin.
Please note that the time is up on getting it right. In future no tag or tag not affixed correctly means your bins will not be emptied. If you don’t put a tag on correctly, you’ll have to wait two more weeks before the contractor is back again to empty the bins, so long as the tag is affixed correctly, because rubbish collection is every two weeks.
Soft plastics trial in Coromandel Town
From Tuesday 24 October, the soft plastics scheme is being extended to our Coromandel Town Council service centre on a trial basis. Coromandel Four Square will also have a soft plastics bin in operation from Friday 27 October.
Please bring your soft plastics to the Council office in Coromandel Town and hand them over to staff on reception or drop them off at Coromandel Four Square. The soft plastics will then be transported to Thames before being taken to Future Post or SaveBoard for processing.
The new Coromandel Town service is on a trial basis while feasbility is assessed.
It joins soft plastics services in Whitianga, Whangamatā, Tairua and Thames. Find out more about the soft plastics scheme here including information on what can be collected and where drop-off points are.
Help to plan a summer tourism campaign
Destination Hauraki Coromandel have been working on their biggest summer campaign yet. It's designed to build back confidence in The Coromandel as the place Where Kiwis Holiday.
A key part of the campaign design brief to the agency team was that it must be inclusive: operators, businesses, business associations and other community groups would have the opportunity to leverage the campaign to promote what they have to offer visitors.
They are now looking for subjects and elements to test the campaign concept. This could be your business, town, or product. The campaign will unfold quickly from here, so please email Laura at their ad agency, DDB, by next week with all your ideas and what you want to do. Contact her on email@example.com.
How does our Council determine when a particular issue, proposal, asset, decision or activity should have community input in the form of feedback or engagement?
Our Significance and Engagement Policy helps us guide the appropriate types of community engagement to support robust decision-making. It sets out how and when we engage with you on Council decisions, and also lists our key strategic assets.
We’ve reviewed the policy and are proposing some improvements that we’d like your feedback on, including the process of deciding how important an issue is.
Our public feedback closes this Sunday 23 October, and we’d like to hear what you think. We’re asking one simple question – and we look forward to hearing your submissions.
To read more about the changes we're proposing, and to make your submission, visit tcdc.govt.nz/significance
Accommodation required for road workers
Independent Traffic Control contractors who are working on SH25A Kopu-Hikuai are looking for accommodation options in Thames and Thames Coast.
They're needing accommodation ASAP, up until Christmas, for eight staff. Four are on night shifts and four are on day shifts. As demand is high, anything will be considered.
Please call 021 277 2688 or email ThomasS@itraffic.co.nz
We have a range of job opportunities available. At our Council we ensure work-life balance is not just a dream but a reality. We also offer an array of staff benefits including: flexible work arrangements, relocation allowance, free parking, sick leave from when you begin working with us and more.
Job opportunities currently advertised are:
Adoptable dog of the week