Collaboration with Waka Kotahi NZTA, key project and kerbside updates
Published on 29 September 2023
The latest from Mayor Len
Do you know about the collaborative work that has been taking place between our Council and Waka Kotahi?
With the help of our Council (alongside Hauraki District Council and Waikato Regional Council), Waka Kotahi recently fast-tracked a business case for identifying interventions to prevent damage and maintain network resilience.
This process typically takes a full a year, but we were able to complete it in just 12 weeks.
This demonstrates a pragmatic approach and welcome adaptability in responding to critical infrastructure needs. It underscores a commitment to streamlining processes and decision-making and recognises the importance of addressing crucial issues promptly.
Our partnership with Waka Kotahi has been marked by productive collaboration, and together we are focused on a comprehensive plan to rebuild our infrastructure and ensure its resilience for the future.
A render of the completed SH25A bridge.
One significant aspect of our collective work has been a commitment to involving local contractors in key projects. For example, Coromandel Town-based Kelsey Construction was recently awarded the contract for the repair of Tapu-Coroglen Road.
Some applicants who missed out on this contract are helping with other slips, keeping economic benefits within our community.
For those interested in tracking our progress, we have introduced an interactive map that provides the status of each road project here.
This accelerated programme, collaboration with Waka Kotahi, support for local contractors, and community-focused approach represent a more future-proofed way of thinking. We are working diligently to improve our District's infrastructure and are encouraged by the progress made so far.
On Tuesday, our Council had its second Risk and Assurance Committee meeting for this financial year. The Committee meets quarterly and is responsible for reviewing certain functions in Council to provide assurance that everything is working as it should, risks are being managed and things are being done the right way to protect our business.
If you are interested in finding out more, read the Risk and Assurance Committee public agenda here, or watch the meeting here.
It’s also almost time to start talking about the Thames Sub-Regional Aquatic Facilities Project. A feasibility study into replacement sites for aquatic facilities for Thames is well advanced, with three sites being investigated as potential sites for new aquatic facilities.
These short-listed sites scored high in the assessment and require further investigation for their suitability.
Investigations required include geotechnical and traffic assessment, infrastructure needed, planning implications for development, zoning and confirmation of carpark requirements.
In late October/November 2023, potential site options and facility scale will be available for public feedback. Keep an eye out for it and read more.
Call for employers as young people get work-ready
Photo: Mayor Len meets Jaye, Hayze and Tawai who are students at VETEL, our new Mayors Taskforce for Jobs partner.
A grassroots employment programme in Thames-Coromandel is prepping young people for the summer employment season.
Now in its second year in the region, the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs Community Employment Programme is a nationwide partnership between Local Government New Zealand and the Ministry of Social Development. It has focused on getting young people into sustainable employment. Mayor Len Salt recently met with three young people who will soon be job-ready after taking part in the programme, which in Thames is delivered through a partnership with Valley Education and Training (VETEL).
Mayor Len visited VETEL and met students who have successfully completed studies in agriculture and are now adding training in mechanical engineering to their skill-sets.
“It’s heartening to meet young people who have seized this opportunity and are focused on building the foundations for a great future for themselves,” says Mayor Len Salt.
Around the country last year, 1788 people benefited from the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs Community Employment Programme, surpassing the 1,450 outcomes contracted for.
“The success of the taskforce clearly demonstrates what can be achieved in our communities when central and local government work in partnership,” says Mayor Len Salt.
The students will be looking for work and apprenticeships towards the end of this year. Any employer who may be looking to hire new staff or apprentices should get in touch with VETEL.
“As part of our Mayors Taskforce for Jobs partnership, we’ll be supporting these young people right through to their entry into the workplace,” says Andrea McCartney from VETEL.
“We’ll be working really hard to match them with the right employer and would love to hear from local companies with upcoming vacancies,” Andrea said.
Meet some of our rangatahi in training with VETEL:
Jaye Hearn, 16. Jaye has successfully completed the Vocational Pathway in Agriculture this year, and is now undertaking a Vocational Pathway, Mechanical Engineering L2. He has NCEA 1 and 2 and is about to sit his driver’s licence. He’s looking for local engineering work that will lead to an apprenticeship.
Hayze Te Moananui, 17. Hayze has also successfully completed the Vocational Pathway in Agriculture this year, and is now undertaking a Vocational Pathway, Mechanical Engineering L2. He's passed NCEA 1 and 2. He also has his restricted licence. He will be looking for work locally from December and is keen on an apprenticeship in mechanical engineering.
Tawai Makarini, 16. Tawai has also successfully completed the Vocational Pathway in Agriculture this year, and is now undertaking a Vocational Pathway, Mechanical Engineering L2. He’s preparing to sit his restricted licence. He’s looking to work in Auckland, potentially in steel framework construction, with an apprenticeship as the goal.
Thames-Coromandel District Council partners with VETEL and Ngāti Maru ki Hauraki to deliver the youth employment scheme in the region. Sixteen young people were supported into employment across the Peninsula last year. The Council is aiming for over 30 placements this year.
VETEL are also able to support workplaces to train staff in workplace communication processes, such as report writing, computer literacy and company processes. They’re running small group lessons for employees needing extra support in these areas. Get in touch if you would like to know more.
If you’re an interested employer in Thames Coromandel, you can contact Andrea McCartney on 0272689244, firstname.lastname@example.org
About Mayors Taskforce for Jobs
Mayors Taskforce for Jobs is a movement of mayors around Aotearoa who advocate for a bottom-up approach to employment solutions to deliver the Community Employment Programme (CEP) along with broader initiatives. In particular, CEP is a nationwide partnership between Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) and the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) that’s delivering great outcomes in our rural and provincial communities. It’s championed by mayors who are working together towards the vision of all young people 16-25 engaged in employment, education, or training in their communities.
Click here to read more about the programme.
Students share their vision for Thames
Year 7 and 8 students, have been enthusiastically sharing their vision for the future of Thames. This is part of the Long Term Plan process, mapping out development for the next 10 years.
Nine 11-13-year-olds from Parawai, Pūriri and Matatoki schools met with Thames Community Board members, Holly MacKenzie and Councillors Martin Rodley and Robyn Sinclair.
“They were a passionate group of kids,” Holly MacKenzie says.
Their ideas of what they’d like to see included: affordable transport, more green space, board walks and rail trails, action to address homelessness, meeting disability needs and improving the shopping mall. “It’s important we don’t write off younger generation,” Holly says.
Click here to find out more about our Long Term Plan journey.
Kerbside collection update
We know there continues to be delays for some customers in having their kerbside bins emptied. This week it affected households in a few areas across the district, but in most cases the bins were emptied the next day.
For the most part, kerbside collections are running well and most households have had their refuse and recycling collected in a timely manner. We apologise for the teething issues with a few collections and can reassure customers our contractor Waste Management NZ has responded well to collect these promptly soon afterwards.
Delays were mainly due to time taken to bed in new systems, new drivers, familiarising with the new trucks and getting an understanding of the time it takes to complete collection runs in our district.
Next week is red week for rubbish and food scraps. Please attach the blue Pay as You Throw tags around both the red handle of the bin lid and the black handle of the bin, til it is securely ‘locked’ (pictured).
Our Road to Recovery
Local contractor Kelsey Construction has been confirmed to complete the Tapu-Coroglen repair work.
The company is based in Coromandel Town and has a track record of local storm recovery work. Work will begin on Monday 2 October and the road is planned to re-open mid-December, weather dependent.
Kelsey Construction's director, Hamish Kelsey, says his team is acutely aware of how important it is to get this completed soon.
"We employ local people and are looking forward to starting work and doing a good job for our community," says Hamish.
Access will be prevented to all road users due to ongoing changes in site conditions, reduced road wide due to earthworks, and safety of road workers and the public.
It is essential road users do not attempt to gain access through the sites during construction for your own safety.
Strong wind watch from Saturday
The Coromandel is in for a westerly blast, squally showers and chilly temperatures as a cold front crosses the country.
The strong wind watch is in effect from 4am Saturday 30 September through to midnight.
Gale force winds up to 110km/hr are expected in exposed places.
Drivers of high sided vehicles and camper vans are urged to take caution, especially if driving along the Eastern Seaboard.
Number 3 beach accessway in Whangapoua under repair
Due to high demand for materials, we are waiting for suppliers to have stock of the correct wood to begin repairs.
We do not expect to have this repaired by Labour weekend but are aiming to have it completed by summer.
Work begins on Tairua Skatepark site
It was a wet start to work on the Tairua Skatepark this week.
After the site was established last week, the following works have been completed to allow construction to begin:
- The sports training equipment has been removed and stored while it is refurbished, to be re-purposed.
- Drainlayers have started laying pipes.
- The topsoil layer has been scraped off and stockpiled on-site for re-use.
- The fire training hydrants and water tank will be re-positioned at the end of the project.
- For more information on this project, visit www.tcdc.govt.nz/tairuaskatepark
Public transport research
We understand that connecting our communities is vital for our region’s wellbeing. As part of our recovery work, our Council is currently running a survey on a potential Connector service between Coromandel Town and Thames.
This consultation is being carried out with the community to help isolated communities to access work, education and other necessary services. We understand there are other areas who also have transport needs, and conversations about wider district public transport service are being held with Waikato Regional Council. We will then run a district-wide survey.
If you have any questions, or need help completing the survey, please email Social Navigator email@example.com.
Please complete and return your survey to CILT or our Council offices by Wednesday 12 October.
Visit www.tcdc.govt.nz/transportresearch. To stay up-to-date with this research, and other Council projects, visit www.tcdc.govt.nz/subscribe.
Help us advocate for business recovery
Our Business Sentiment survey is now open for local businesses.
It’s a chance for you to tell us how weather events have affected your business activity, sales volumes and employee numbers over the last eight months.
The purpose of this quarterly survey is to collect evidence to support the need for continued central and regional government support for our region.
By completing this survey, you will help us continue to strongly advocate for the needs of our business communities.
You can complete the survey here.
Learn-to-swim fund launched
Our Thames Centennial Pool team are making sure more students have access to swimming lessons with the launch of a learn-to-swim fund.
Thanks to our generous sponsors, our Learn to Swim Coordinator Libby Gray has been able to offer free swimming lessons and gear to eight students.
The students, nominated by their schools, will receive two terms of free lessons at our Swim Cool Swim School, followed by a half-price discount.
Libby encourages reluctant students by explaining that swimming is an essential life skill. Importantly, it’s one we may need one day to save ourselves, or someone else. She says it can take a while for students to become confident in the water, but that it’s exciting to watch their confidence and enthusiasm grow.
The fund is sponsored by Valley Toyota Thames, Stirling Sports Thames, Aqualine Swim, PAK’n’SAVE Thames and our Council.
For more information on our Swim Cool Swim School, visit www.tcdc.govt.nz/pool, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Pool hoist coming soon
The Thames Centennial Pool are looking forward to having a pool hoist installed and available for use in the coming months. This will be a great asset, increasing accessibility for anyone needing assistance to use our pool.
We are working with Coombes Aquatics, who also installed our automated pool cover system – another great addition. This unit is designed and manufactured by Para Mobility. We will update our pool page with the details once this has been installed
Have your say on our Significance and Engagement Policy
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.
To read more about the changes we're proposing, and to make your submission, visit tcdc.govt.nz/significance
Thames Heritage Festival: Arts and Crafts, Lost and Found
This is an opportunity for us to engage in the crafts carried out by our ancestors, and to appreciate the intricacies of the artwork of our local indigenous people.
The crafts range from fine needlework to forging heavy metal, and there will be workshops, demonstrations, displays, and talks. All levels of experience are welcome to join the workshops and demonstrations to learn from local artists.
There will be workshops, displays, lectures, and fun things to see and do at heritage sites across Thames. These include:
• Thames School of Mines
• The Treasury Research Centre & Archive
• The Thames Museum Te Whare Taonga o te Kauaeranga
• Bella Street Pumphouse
• The Goldmine Experience
• Thames Small Gauge Railway
For more information and the full programme, visit www.thamesheritage.co.nz.
Ahead of the Heritage Festival, the Thames Community Board reflected back on the town’s rich history when they took a tour of the Goldmine Experience after a Board community networking meeting this week.
They walked through the old goldmine tunnels, and watched authentic mining equipment in action. Goldmining was a crucial part of Thames’ founding history – in the latter 19th century Thames was the biggest town in New Zealand with over 18,000 people.
The facility was rebuilt and staffed entirely by volunteers and opens daily in summer and weekends in winter for tours and educational visits. Visit www.goldmine-experience.co.nz
Whangamatā Street Fling
A day of music, food and fun is being held on Port Road, Whangamatā, from 10am to 3pm, this Saturday 30 September. This is a family-friendly event, for all ages to enjoy.
Port Road will be closed from 9am and re-open after stall owners have packed up.
There will be stages hosting music and performers, as well as stalls and plenty of food options.
Spring Fling! Is proudly sponsored and produced by local business association Enterprise Whangamatā.
Click here to find out more.
Clarification: Last week we reported that The Treasury, which our Council had provided funding for, was of national significance and was a valuable resource for sharing the stories of local iwi and hapū through preserving historical documents from as far back as the 1850s. We’d like to clarify that this point relates in particular to a collaborative conservation project of the Kirikiri Store Ledger underway currently at The Treasury. Dated circa 1877-1878, the ledger details customers’ purchases and is handwritten entirely in Te Reo Māori.
Opportunities at our Council
Corporate Policy Team Leader
If you're a strategic thinker with a passion for leadership, we're looking for someone just like you! We're on the hunt for an enthusiastic and innovative Corporate Policy Team Leader to lead the direction toward achieving our Council's strategic objectives. If you're ready to take the reins in corporate planning, strategy development, and policy formulation, this is your chance to leave a lasting mark. Click here to apply.
Parks and Facilities Officer
We are looking for a Parks and Facilities officer to join our council. In this role you will be part of a great team that oversees the operation, maintenance, improvement and management of Council parks, reserves, sports fields, and walkways in the beautiful Coromandel. You will have responsibility for supervising Council contractors, working with local iwi to achieve effective co-management of environmental resources and providing quality service and advice to all stakeholders. Click here to apply.
Strategic and District Planning Team Leader
We're on the lookout for a dynamic and forward-thinking Strategic and District Planning Team Leader to lead our Council's strategic and land use planning functions and processes. If you're ready to make a significant impact by leading resource management policy, District Plan development, and strategic initiatives, this is your opportunity to shine. Click here to apply.
Click here to see all jobs at our Council.
Adoptable dog of the week
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.
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. Visit tcdc.govt.nz/dogs
We also send this update as an email each Friday. To receive it, visit www.tcdc.govt.nz/subscribe