Update on LTP decisions, Porritt Park progress and Volunteer Week

Published on 24 May 2024

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A message from Councillor Peter Revell

The Porritt Park Destination Playground will be open to the public in the afternoon of Friday 31 May following a private opening ceremony with local dignitaries and around 60 lucky school children. Watch the video above for a sneak preview of this amazing facility with Councillor Peter Revell and read more about this project here.

Read more

Council deliberations move Long Term Plan closer to adoption

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This week our Council met for two days to deliberate on the feedback you gave us on our draft 2024-2034 Long Term Plan (LTP) proposals during our formal consultation period from 8 March to 8 April.  

As part of the process of developing and adopting our 2024-2034 LTP – our key planning document for our budgets and services over the next 10 years and beyond – public feedback has been considered from 349 written items, and we responded to more than 1,000 separate points. Thank you to everyone who shared their feedback.

Our Councillors and Mayor Len Salt made some final decisions on the five key issues we consulted on as they sought to balance keeping rates affordable and including some of the key works projects that our communities asked for. 

“We’ve had some pretty tough calls to make this week,” says our Mayor Len Salt. “We’ve definitely walked that challenging tightrope between fine-tuning spending on the essentials and ensuring that we also make realistic provision for our future growth and resilience.  

“When you consider that our district is still very much in recovery mode, and facing the added challenges of rising infrastructure costs, mitigating climate change, and delivering on a huge roading repair and improvement programme, it’s fair to say that it’s not been an easy road so far. I’m very grateful we have such dedicated and experienced people tackling this hard mahi.” 

What was decided?

Key Decision One – Managing the rates spike: We’ve looked at ways we can ease the rates increase in the first year. Our Council decided to proceed with its preferred option 2 – to spread the rates increases over two years. 

Key Decision Two – Investing in future planning: We asked whether we should we invest more money so we can proactively and strategically invest in planning programmes to manage our district’s growth effectively. Our Council decided to proceed with its preferred option 1 – to invest more in proactive planning for the future. 

Key Decision Three – Investing in Connected Communities: After the impact of last year’s cyclones and weather events, we asked if we should invest more to ensure our communities are connected and resilient. Our Council decided to proceed with its preferred option 2 – to carry on the work it started through the cyclone recovery programme but funding it ourselves through rates from year 2 (July 2025 onwards). Our Council resolved that staff should focus on securing more external funding to enable community-led development and to enhance Council’s role as a community facilitator. 

Key Decision Four – Increasing fees and charges to keep rates manageable: We’ve explored the possibility of increasing fees to keep up with our other rising costs, including inflation. Our Council decided to proceed with its preferred option 1 – to increase its revenue from fees and charges by 3% overall. 

Key Decision Five – The future of the Thames Council building: Our main Council offices in Thames don’t meet current health, safety and earthquake standards for staff and visitors who use them. We decided to investigate a leasehold arrangement as a result of public feedback we received. This option wasn’t included in the proposals for our consultation document, Tackling the Future Heads On: What’s Your Take?.  

Our Council also resolved: 
In respect of key decision five, option 1, that our Council will investigate a new site for the Thames council offices, including an independent assessment, to understand the risks of remaining in the current buildings. Staff will report back by December 2024 and a final decision on the future of our Thames council offices will be deferred until then. 
• To confirm the inclusion of an additional $1.3 million of capital expenditure in the LTP Roading Activity Budget for Year One (2024/25) to fund the Thornton Bay Slip stabilisation project. The work is 100% funded as a storm recovery project, but Council will need to include funding for depreciation costs in its budgets.  
• To include additional operational budget in the LTP wastewater and water supply activities in Year One (2024/25) and Year Two (2025/26) of the LTP period to carry out community consultation in relation to the extension of the Wharekaho and Hāhei wastewater and water supply networks. 
• To include an additional $2,173,617 of capital works budget in the LTP Rubbish and Recycling activity over the next two years to provide for the replacement of the current Whitianga Refuse and Recycling Transfer Station. 

What happens next? 
• LTP budgets will be revised to determine any impact on the rates and to set the final rates for the 2024/25 financial year 
• Our draft LTP will be formally audited beginning 6 June and any revisions resulting from the audit process will be made 
• Our final LTP is scheduled to be adopted on 27 June 
• After the Plan is adopted, we’ll share the key decisions and the final rates increase for the 2024/25 financial year on our LTP web page.

Stay up to date: 
Watch the recordings of our deliberations meetings on our YouTube channel 
• Download the deliberations agenda and deliberations meeting packet from our website. 
• Read the LGNZ report by Infometrics that sets out cost pressures and rising infrastructure costs that local councils are facing. 

Read more

You’re Invited: Celebrate our local Volunteers 


National Volunteer week is less than a month away, running from 16–22 June.

It’s an opportunity to celebrate the collective contribution of our community volunteers who enrich our district and beyond.   

Whether it’s mahi aroha carried out by iwi or other ethnic groups, sports coaches and committees people in the arts, faith groups, social services, protecting the environment and animals, volunteer drivers, community patrols, libraries and so much more.  These amazing people give of their time freely and help to make our communities the best they can be.  

Our council wants to acknowledge the enormous effort put in by all the volunteers in the district by inviting them to join our Councillors and Community Board members to a special volunteers event.

We also want to recognise the amazing volunteers who assisted during recovery following the 2023 storms.   

If you are a volunteer, we hope to see you at one of our local gatherings to celebrate.   


17 June – 10:00am

Pāuanui Hub


18 June – 10:00-12:30pm

Coromandel Community Gardens


18 June – 1:00pm

Whangamatā Club


19 June- 10:00am

St Francis Hall, Tairua


19 June – 2.00pm

Thames Civic Centre


21 June – 11:30am

Westpac Trust Helicopter Hangar

Click here to find out more

Cathedral Cove drop-in sessions this weekend


The Department of Conservation is hosting two community drop-in sessions on Saturday 25 May on the options to reinstate walking access to Coromandel’s Cathedral Cove beach.   

Two community drop-in sessions will be held:  

• The Mercury Bay Community Boardroom, 10 Monk St, Whitianga, 9.30am-12pm.
• The Hāhei Community Hall, – 52 Hāhei Beach Road, Hāhei, 2pm-4.30pm.  

Attendees will be able to read information on the walking access reinstatement options being considered and talk to DOC staff about what those options entail.  

People attending the drop-in sessions can also respond to a DOC survey on reinstatement options. Those who cannot attend the drop-in sessions can email cathedralcove@doc.govt.nz to provide feedback.  

Feedback from the public will be included in decision-making processes.  

The track to Cathedral Cove beach has been closed to the public since February 2023, when it was damaged by landslides caused by extreme weather events. 

Click here to read the latest updates from DOC

Pāuanui Plantathon


Pāuanui was the site of a massive beach plantathon, a collaborative effort organised by the Pāuanui Dune Protection Society, in partnership with our Council, CoastCare, WRC, and dedicated community members. The event saw over 14,000 plants planted at four Pāuanui restoration sites, marking a significant step forward in dune restoration efforts.  

This is their third year of plantathons. It has been great to see the community get in behind them and a fantastic opportunity to meet new people. The volunteers pick up new skills each time and are constantly learning and refining their process and teamwork.

Native sand-binding species are planted that help the dunes rebuild from erosion caused by storms. The plants are shelter, habitat, and food sources for many native New Zealand birds, reptiles, and insects.

"The restoration of the dunes here wouldn't work if the Protection Society wasn't here wasn't driving it along," says Martin Hopkins, chairperson of Pāuanui Dune Protection Society.

Our Council, CoastCare and Pāuanui Dune Protection Society are still planning events across the eastern Coromandel, and these will have the additional support of the Coastal Kaitiaki team. CoastCare is also working with DOC to determine the best course of action across all its restoration sites, and a five-year coastal restoration plan will be put in place to map out future planting events.    


Visit Pauanui Dune Protection Society page
Visit Coastcare's webpage

Dog Registration season starts 1 June 

Picture2.png It’s time to start thinking about registering your dog for 2024-25. From 1 June, you’ll be able to register your dog online, over e-mail, or in person at one of our Council service centres.  

The Dog Control Act requires all dogs over the age of three months to be registered each year. 

First-time registration: Come in to one of our offices and one of our friendly team will help.
Renewal: You can do this all online including payment. 

Don’t hesitate – you’ll need to register your dog before 1 August to avoid late payment penalties.

Register here 

Fundraising workshops with Funding HQ


Local community groups and not-for-profits are invited to a half-day workshop with Funding HQ, to learn about accessing sustainable funding streams. Funding HQ is a platform designed to support the not-for-profit sector, by providing resources, training and advice.

Funding HQ's founder, Jenni Giblin, will be visiting the region to deliver the workshops in-person, on the following dates. 

  • Thames, Council offices – Tuesday 4 June 8.30am to 11.30am 
  • Coromandel Town, Coromandel Independent Living Trust – Wednesday 5 June 9am to 12pm 
  • Whitianga, TCDC Whitianga Service Centre – Thursday 6 June 9am to 12pm 
  • Whangamatā, TCDC Whangamatā Community Board Room – Friday 7 June 9am to 12pm 

These workshops will cover what funders are seeking and how to align fundraising requests with their interests.

To register your interest in a workshop, please email Sheryll.Fitzpatrick@tcdc.govt.nz  

Click here to learn more about Funding HQ

Waikato Regional Council offers funding for pest control and biodiversity initiatives


Are you a landowner or community group doing animal or plant pest control for the benefit of our region’s biodiversity? 

You may be eligible for a grant of up to $5,000 from the Small Scale Community Initiatives Fund. Applications for this opportunity are open until Friday 31 May.

What can be funded? 

 Purchasing materials such as traps, bait, bait stations or herbicides used in pest animal or pest plant control.
 Professional contracted services up to $1,000 (e.g. the services of a qualified herbicide applicator or controlled substance licence holder).
• Applications close at 3pm on Friday, 31 May. 

Emergency alert test (from NEMA) 

Generic EMA Tile - Save the Date.jpg It's that time again: the nationwide test of the Emergency Mobile Alert system is happening on Sunday 26 May between 6-7pm. 

Emergency Mobile Alerts are messages about emergencies sent by authorised emergency agencies to capable mobile phones. The alerts are designed to keep people safe and are broadcast to cell phones from targeted cell towers.  

The alerts are targeted to areas affected by serious hazards and are only sent when there is a serious threat to life, health or property.  

The nationwide test allows us to check the system, and lets you understand how your phone will receive an Emergency Mobile Alert; so, we all have confidence the system will perform as it should in an emergency.  

We know there are often lots of questions about the system and how it works. Thankfully our friends at NEMA have a thorough FAQs page to provide the answers.

Learn more

What's on?

2024-05-17 11_29_22-1325274134Facebook+Socials+Square+BBFN+2024+Normal+Posts+AW+150dpi7__ScaleHeight.png The Big Bike Film Night 2024, Thames

Don't miss out on this event showcasing a series of short bike films from around the world, packed with a mix of action, drama, and inspiration for bike enthusiasts.

Experience breathtaking adventures and hear stories of how biking can profoundly impact people's lives. Celebrate the joy of biking and get ready to be inspired.

Plus, there's an exciting opportunity to win a cycling holiday.

Click here to find out more

ChatGPT Workshop

Our Economic Development team, in collaboration with Soda Inc, is hosting three Chat GPT workshops in June for interested businesses. Led by Mosaic Partners, these interactive sessions provide insights into ChatGPT's business applications, offer writing best practices, and feature real-world scenario exercises at a significantly reduced fee, thanks to co-funding from Soda Inc.

Workshops are scheduled for: 

  • Monday 17 June: 57pm, Whitianga. 
  • Tuesday 18 June: 911am, Whangamatā. 
  • Tuesday 18 June: 4:306:30pm, Thames. 

The cost for attendees is $20 + GST per person.  

The significantly reduced attendee fee is helped by co-funding from Soda Inc. who are the Waikato partners for the Regional Business Partner programme. They co-fund management capability training for business owners and key managers across a range of topics.  

These Chat GPT/AI workshops are aimed at for-profit businesses, of fewer than 50 FTEs, who have a NZBN number. If you are a leader of an association, charity, or society and are interested in attending, please do still get in touch. Spaces are limited (maximum 20 attendees per workshop).  

If you are interested in attending a workshop, please email: Jessica.Black@tcdc.govt.nz With the subject line: AI Workshop 

Let us know what workshop you’d like to attend, and whether you are from a for-profit business or not-for-profit organisation. We’ll provide you with further details on how to access this limited opportunity. 

Click here to read more

Youth Week: Community Mural celebration 

Join Ngāti Maru and Connecteen Rangatahi for a special Youth Week project unveiling at Thames High School's car park on Sunday May 26, from 10am to 12pm. Enjoy free food, music, outdoor games, giveaways, and a basketball free throw competition. 

Follow Conecteen Rangatahi on Facebook

Arbor Day initiative

marek-studzinski-3D6yReT06p0-unsplash.jpg As part of our recovery efforts following the 2023 weather events, we are actively supporting our communities in initiatives that build resilience.

Our Council would like to hear from any community groups interested in receiving fruit trees to plant and maintain as part of an Arbor Day initiative aimed at increasing community access to fresh produce.  

If you are interested in this initiative, please email: Kathleen.Makiri@tcdc.govt.nz With the subject line: Fruit Tree Planting

Opportunities at our Council

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: 

Communications Officer
Environmental Health Officer
Finance Business Partner 
Building Control Officer – Inspections (Fixed Term) 
Governance Advisor (Fixed Term) 
Corporate Policy Team Leader
Strategic & District Planning Team Leader

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. 

Click here for more information or to apply

Join us at a free bike maintenance workshop

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Phone our Council on 07 868 0200 to book your space or email customer.services@tcdc.govt.nz.

Thames colour theme

A colourful theme to Thames’ public amenities is emerging with the choice of a rainbow arc of colours for a children’s series of jumping poles for Thames’ Porritt Park upgrade. The colour will match the palette of the Colour Harmonics sculpture by Michael Smither in the Burke St Dog Park, the Interwoven sculpture on SH25 southern entrance to Thames and Jacob’s Ladder on Grey Street. 


Councillor Peter Revell said the colour choice was intended to signal positivity and optimism and to co-ordinate artwork colours around Thames.

Adoptable dog of the week


Entire male, staffy x. About 1year old. Sweet dog that just needs to learn to relax, build some trust and feel safe in a new environment.



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