Local talent celebrated, weather info, and Community Board updates
Published on 27 October 2023
The latest from Mayor Len
It was good to see lots of visitors here for the Labour Day long weekend. The roads were busy and hopefully this marks the beginning of a rebound in visitor spending in the Coromandel. The weather cooperated, and there was lots to do – from markets to music and arts events like the Whangamatā Art Studios Open Weekend, the Tairua Creative Weekend and the Coromandel Artbeat Spring Festival, which continues until mid-December.
I enjoyed the Aero Day at Whitianga, the Ringawera Ringahere Redefining Māori and Pacifica Wahine Toi Handwork arts exhibition in Kūaotunu (pictured) and the official opening of the Creamery, recently relocated to the Coromandel School of Mines and Historic Museum. This structure was originally built in the 1870s at Fir Lawn Estate to store dairy and other perishable items before refrigeration was available. The museum has lovingly restored it, it’s well worth a visit.
Here at the Council, we’ve been busy too, mostly with preparations for the Long Term Plan for 2024-2034. The LTP, as we call it, sets the priorities for projects, services and budgets for the next decade. We’ve been holding drop-in sessions in our main centres the last couple of days and today we held an online chat which we recorded. This is on our website at www.tcdc.govt.nz/LTP-2024-2034 alongside lots of background information on what goes into a Long Term Plan. We’ve got a few more sessions tomorrow so please come by if you can. Details are below.
On the Friday before the long weekend the councillors and I, plus senior staff, went to Kennedy Bay to support the formal opening of the tekoteko (carved figures, see the picture below) on a hill overlooking the bay to acknowledge Te Mana Tipuna o Harataunga and the upgraded Tokatea Road. The project was a collaborative process between Te Puni Kokiri, the Department of Conservation, our Council and the Te Ranga Trust.
Severe Weather Warning issued for the Coromandel
A powerful storm is set to impact the Coromandel from Sunday with MetService issuing a severe weather warning. Heavy rainfall and gale force N/E winds will build from Sunday afternoon and intensify through Monday, before easing on Tuesday.
Our Civil Defence Controller Garry Towler says this event could be significant, more so for those on the eastern side of the Coromandel.
"There are a combination of factors that are adding to our concerns about this event," he said. "It is the remnants of a cyclone, we have king tides, storm surge, heavy rain, gale force winds and ongoing land instability issues as a result of Gabrielle."
The key messages for the next 48 hours before the storm arrives is to prepare:
⛈️ Stock up on supplies, batteries and gas, check and clear drains in your neighbourhood.
⛈️ Tie down outdoor furniture.
⛈️ Review plans should you become isolated due to slips and flooding.
⛈️Those living close to the sea need to prepare for wave surge by having a plan B and somewhere to go, especially if the surges increase during the main high tides: 8am and 8pm Sunday and 9am and 9pm Monday.
Our Civil Defence Team has been activated and we will provide regular updates during the next few days.
Stay connected through:
• Our Facebook page
• MetService New Zealand
• Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Waikato BoP
Don't miss our LTP community drop-in sessions
Our first Long Term Plan drop-in sessions for informal feedback took place yesterday and today. We enjoyed meeting you all and hearing some of your ideas about what's important for our district.
We still have three more drop-in sessions being held tomorrow at Thames, Whangamatā and Whitianga, and we'd love to see you and hear your thoughts. 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.
For more information on our Long Term Plan, where to email your questions, what to bring to the drop-ins, and our times and venues, see www.tcdc.govt.nz/LTP-2024-2034
Download our Long Term Plan Frequently Asked Questions here.
Check out this morning's online session:
Tairua-Pāuanui Community Board, 16 October
The Board approved;
The Board recommended to Council that they:
Works are progressing well in the construction of the Tairua Skatepark. Find out more and keep up to date at tcdc.govt.nz/tairuaskatepark
The next Tairua-Pāuanui Community Board meeting is on Monday 27 November at 10am at the Pāuanui Community Hub, 23 Centreway. Click here to join the meeting on Teams.
Whangamatā Community Board, 17 October
$2160 of funding was approved towards Whangamatā Harbour Care.
The Board declined funding towards the Whangamatā Summer Festival. Costings were discussed and there was an understanding that funding may be sourced from elsewhere.
The Board approved a new five-year lease for О̄poutere Hall United Inc, with a right of renewal for another five years. This was after the Board received a report from Council’s Lease and Asset Specialist which reviewed the management over the past year and recommended that the lease was renewed. The Board commended the organisation for its recent work to attract external funding and the commitment involved in running the Hall.
Next month, the Board will receive a report on the Whangamatā Public Convenience and Dump Station, which has been approved funding through the Government’s Tourism Infrastructure Fund. The Council will contribute the Resource Consent fees (as these are not covered by the fund). Options for this will be discussed with the Community Board.
The next Whangamatā Community Board meeting will be on Tuesday 28 November at 10am at the Whangamatā Service Centre, 620 Port Road. You can also join the meeting on Teams.
Thames Community Board, 18 October
Kaueranga Valley River Trail next steps in planning
Thames Community Board has asked Council staff to investigate funding options to undertake a feasibility study this financial year for the Kauaeranga River Trail project between Parawai and the Department of Conservation’s Visitor Centre.
This follows an engagement process in the middle of this year which found that the majority of community members involved in the research supported pursuing a new trail for the Kauaeranga Valley.
The scope of the feasibility study would include spatial requirements, location options, concept design and estimated cost.
The next Thames Community Board meeting is on Wednesday 29 November at 10am in the Thames Council Chambers. Click here to join the meeting on teams.
Coromandel-Colville Community Board, 24 October
At its October meeting, the Board:
Approved a request for discretionary funding of up to $2,000 to mark the celebration of the 150th Commemoration of the Coromandel Council building on Memorial Reserve, 355 Kapanga Road. The building was first constructed as a government building in 1873 to house administrative and judicial offices for the Coromandel goldfield. As well as the courthouse and local government offices, it also housed the Post & Telegraph office from 1896-1969. The celebration will be held at our Council’s building on Tuesday 14 November at 12 noon. If you’d like to attend, please RSVP to email@example.com
Received the approved capital works programme for August 2023.
The Board’s final meeting for this year is on Tuesday 5 December at 9am, 355 Kapanga Road, Coromandel Town. Click here to join the meeting on Teams.
Mercury Bay Community Board meeting, 25 October
The Board resolved to recommend to Council that $200,000 from the Mercury Bay public conveniences activity budget be allocated to refurbishing the Buffalo Beach toilet. Our Council has already been approved for a grant of $400,000 from the government’s Tourism Infrastructure Fund for this work.
The Board also heard that staff are close to awarding a contract for work to repair several storm-damaged sites on Black Jack Road near Kūaotunu and that work on Tapu-Coroglen Rd is progressing well and the road should be open to traffic by Christmas.
The Board's final meeting for this year is on Wednesday 6 December at 9am, in the Mercury Bay board room. Click here to join the meeting on Teams.
The next full Council meeting is on Tuesday 31 October at 9am, in the Thames Council Chambers. Click here to join the meeting on Teams.
Ocean and community dynamics at play in dune restoration
It’s just not the dynamics of the ocean that needs to be considered when dealing with coastal erosion – the dynamics of community are equally as important.
Coastcare Waikato, a partnership between local communities, iwi, district councils and Waikato Regional Council to protect and restore the region’s coastlines, has this year undertaken its largest dune restoration project, along 700 metres of Whangamatā shoreline that was badly eroded by Cyclone Gabrielle.
The cyclone removed much of the dunes at the south end of the beach, increasing the exposure of 30-plus properties to future storms and big swells.
Coastcare coordinator Andy Warneford, who works with communities between Tairua and Whiritoa, says the landowners approached our Council wanting a solution.
Coastcare Waikato had already successfully restored a number of beaches in the Coromandel Peninsula with a soft engineering method known as a ‘whole of dune approach’, for example, at Kūaotunu, Tairua, Greys Beach and Cooks Beach.
“People were understandably pretty stressed out," says Andy. "That is the Pacific Ocean there 20 metres away from their home and they have a towering escarpment right on the boundary of their property.”
The whole of dune approach involves spraying and removing remaining exotic vegetation along the top of a dune, burying it, and reshaping the dune to the correct gradient using earthmoving equipment and beach sand. The newly created dunes are then planted with native kōwhangatara/spinifex and pīngao to trap the sand and allow them to naturally rebuild after storm events.
Our Road to Recovery
• The latest on our Council roading repairs, including Tapu-Coroglen, Black Jack Road and Colville Road
• SH25A progress update from Waka Kotahi
• DOC opens bookings for northern Coromandel campsites
• Rangatahi head out fishing with local mentors
• Local tourism spend data
• Waikato Community Funding expo
• Apply for a Mental Health Foundation Social Action Grant
Join us for a mental health kōrero with 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 Richie in Whangamatā and Tairua, for some kai and a chance to hear about their work to create positive change for rangatahi.
Mike King visited Colville and Whitianga earlier this week, while Richie spoke in Thames last night, and again today.
Whangamatā (Richie Barnett)
Friday October 27
Whangamatā Surf Club, Williamson Park, Whangamatā
Light supper provided.
Tairua (Richie Barnett)
Saturday October 28
Tairua Fishing Club
12 The Marina, Tairua
These events are coordinated by our Council supported by the Ministry of Primary Industries Resilience Fund, as part of our Council’s Recovery Plan.
Kerbside Pay As You Throw (PAYT) tags and rubbish collections notice
Next week, starting Monday 30 October, is red week for rubbish and food scraps kerbside collections.
We are aware that there are still properties attaching the PAYT tag to their rubbish bin incorrectly, or in some cases not attaching 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: from now on bins without a tag or with an incorrectly attached tag will not be emptied.
If you don’t put a tag on correctly, this means you’ll need to wait two more weeks before the contractor is back again to empty the bins in the red week. It will only be collected in that week if a tag is attached correctly.
Have a look at the picture or watch a demonstration in this video, at about 52 seconds.
Kōpū Marine Servicing and Business Precinct
Work on the project is progressing well with the piling barge Calliope having commenced the seaward-side pile-driving operations on the commercial wharf.
Twenty-four piles have been driven in by Calliope and filled with steel and concrete. The pre-cast concrete headstocks and unispan panels have also been installed, meaning approximately 50 metres of the commercial wharf has been constructed. The cofferdam is complete and has been dewatered. Excavations for the commercial slipway are underway.
Find out more about the project at www.tcdc.govt.nz/kopu
Over Labour Weekend members of the public gained access to the project’s locked and fenced site and climbed onto the main wharf which is still under construction.
Please note, this area is dangerous. Without the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) or induction safety training there are a number of hazards on the wharf.
Please spread the word to family and friends about the dangers of entering the construction site.
Thames Community Board had the privilege recently of hosting visitors from the UK’s Abingdon-on-Thames, a “sister town” of our Thames. Stella Carter, the Chair of Abingdon Twin Town Association, visited our Community Board in the Council Chambers, meeting with our elected members, staff and local community leaders. Accompanied by her husband Howard, on her third visit to Thames over the years, Mrs Carter brought an official letter to our Mayor from Abingdon-on-Thames District Council.
Thames is twinned with Abingdon-on-Thames as a result of Thames sending food parcels to Abingdon during WW2. During Thames’ centennial celebrations in 1973 a representative of Abingdon’s council, Dr Joan Harcourt Norris, unveiled the Memorial Cairn by the Thames Centennial Pool. Abingdon Place has been named in Thames and Coromandel Road in Abingdon-on-Thames.
As part of the twin town arrangement the people of Thames have been given the “freedom” of Abingdon-on-Thames, with the proclamation for all to see in the foyer of Thames’ Council building.
This freedom involves the historic right to drive sheep into the town – so if you and your sheep are visiting the area close to Oxford in the UK, you might want to bear this in mind.
If you are visiting the UK without sheep and would like to make contact with the Twin Town Association, please contact Stella at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Former Matamata-Piako mayor Hugh Vercoe remembered for service
The local government sector has been paying tribute to Matamata-Piako District's longest-standing mayor and three-term Waikato Regional Councillor Hugh Vercoe. This week it was announced that he has passed away, aged 80.
Vercoe will be remembered for his service to the community, having spent 15 years as the mayor of Matamata-Piako and nine years as a Waikato regional councillor.
Apply for a Mental Health Foundation Social Action Grant
The Mental Health Foundation are currently accepting applications for their Puna Pūtea/Social Action Grants.
The grants are between $10,000 and $40,000 and are available for projects that will challenge negative stereotypes, unfair judgements, and discrimination towards people who live with mental distress or illness.
Applications close on Tuesday, 31st October. Click here to apply. Need some tautoko/support with your application? Contact the team on email@example.com.
Steampunk Festival: Pollen St road closure
Thames Steampunk Festival is taking place from November 9-11. On Saturday November 11 from 10am, most of Pollen St will be closed between Queen St and Willoughby St for the Steampunk Parade.
As the parade moves down Pollen Street, the road closures will be successively removed to open the road.
The last section between Pollen St and Cochrane Street will be closed until 1pm. The steampunk vehicle display area on Pahau St (between Pollen and Mackay St) will be closed until 2pm.
Cochrane and Pahau Streets will also be closed between Mackay Street and Pollen Street.
For more information on the festival, visit Steampunk The Thames.
Thames Centennial Pool hosts Swimming Carnival
Swimming Waikato's 'have-a-go' events are an opportunity for people looking to give swimming a go.
They are designed to cater for all different levels of swimming ability and to ensure all participants have a fun swimming experience. Kids will also be able to have-a-go at some short races where they will receive a finishers ribbon with their official swim time.
All participants will also receive a Swimming Waikato Sports Bag filled with ‘Your Next Strokes’ support and plenty more.
Opportunities at our Council
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 on commencement of employment and more.
Job opportunities currently advertised are:
- Governance Advisor
- Assurance Business Partner
- Technical Support Officer – Project Delivery (Fixed Term)
- Strategic & District Planning Team Leader
Or if there are currently no vacancies that fit your skillset and knowledge, please let us know by completing an expression of interest application via the link below.
Click here for more information or to apply.
Lost and adoptable dogs
We currently have one lost dog and one up for adoption.
Lost and Found Dogs
This dog was picked up in Thames on Thursday October 26.
Please contact our Council on 07 868 0200 if you are the owner.
Dogs Available for Adoption
Below is the dog we currently have up for adoption. If you’re interested in adopting a dog, please phone 07 868 0200 and our team will be in touch.
This 8-month-old male puppy is very quiet and chilled that 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.
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 for any dogs available for adoption.
If your adoption is successful, you will be required to register and microchip the dog prior to taking it home.
We also send this update as an email. To receive it, visit www.tcdc.govt.nz/subscribe