Destination playground opens, Banking Hub extension, community updates

Published on 31 May 2024


Thames’ exciting new redesigned playground opens to the public this afternoon, Friday 31 May – showcasing innovative, colourful play equipment, a revamped Wakatere boat, accessible facilities, and barbeque and picnic areas. 

Over 200 people turned out to an opening ceremony on Friday morning where tribute was paid to the philanthropic couple whose sizeable donation made the work on the Destination Playground upgrade possible. Mayor Len Salt thanked all the donors, fundraisers, businesses and organisations who contributed to make the playground happen.  

After entering a colouring competition featuring a picture of the Wakatere boat and the distinctive lighthouse tower, seven-year-old Anika of Pārāwai School was chosen to have the honour of being the first child to play on a piece of playground equipment. Invited children from all of Thames’ primary schools who’d entered the colouring competition quickly followed suit. 

First child to use playground Anika Irving best pic seven Parawai School.jpg

Other features include an accessible seesaw and carousel, hamster wheels, talking tubes and net climbers. The greatly enhanced facilities reflect the history of the area, including incorporating concepts such as the Wakatere boat. Some of the soft-fall areas under the play equipment have designs incorporating concepts kindly provided by local iwi Ngāti Maru. 

The upgrade to Porritt Park will mean the space becomes a gathering place for whānau to spend the whole day, enjoying the barbecues, extra seating and the more challenging play equipment.  

The park will be opened to the public after 3pm Friday 31 May once security fencing has been removed. It is expected to be a big drawcard over this King’s Birthday Weekend. 

The total cost of the facility is around $1.5 million – most of it provided by a very generous philanthropic couple’s donation. Community fundraising, managed by the Thames Business Association, has been ongoing, with many individuals and businesses helping with construction, which is still being finalised. 

Further fundraising is proceeding in order to build an enhanced accessible ‘Changing Places’ toilet and complete a basketball half court. To contribute, please email the project or download the flyer which has all the information on how to make your donation. Alternatively, drop a donation into a collection jar at Thames Council office reception. 

The Porritt Park Project is a collaborative initiative between the philanthropic donors, our Council, Thames Business Association, Ngāti Maru, Future Landscapes (the designers), Changing Places and Rotary Charitable Trust. 

Public invited to discuss options for Thames seawall

Anyone who has an interest is encouraged to attend a public meeting on Monday 24 June, to learn more about design concepts for the protection of Thames against the risks from sea-level rise. 

Protection is the preferred adaptation pathway for Thames confirmed by our community during the Shoreline Management project. Project work shows that $1billion in assets, including residential homes, commercial property and regional and district council infrastructure in the township are at risk over the long-term from increased flooding and storm-surge.  

A governance group, chaired by our Mayor Len Salt, is progressing the Thames protection work as a district priority. The group includes representatives from our Council, Ngāti Maru and Waikato Regional Council. 

Royal HaskoningDHV is now ready to share staged design options for the protection structure with residents and ratepayers. The options provide protection against coastal inundation during one in 100 year storm events, which are becoming more frequent along our coastline. 

The design approach is to use barriers to prevent coastal flooding over the next 100+ years, adapting in stages to a potential sea-level rise of one metre. 

The area of foreshore designated for protection runs from Hape Stream near Toyota Factory to the Victoria Park/Croquet Club, and protection options include a mix of bunds, rock walls, and concrete vertical walls. 

The default option is to build bunds with mild slopes and a wide crest, as these can be easily raised in the future. In other sections of the foreshore, such as locations with space constraints, concrete walls may be needed. 

Public feedback will be sought on the information presented at the public meeting, which includes: 

• Design options for each section of foreshore Hape Stream and the Croquet Club
• Potential alignment options in each section. 
• How the structures might tie-in with the recreational facilities and environmental features that already exist along the foreshore. 

Funding for the design work, and ensuing community consultation on design options, is allocated through 2023-2024 Long Term Plan. Funding for the construction of protection is yet to be determined but will likely require a mix of targeted rates and central agency contributions; any decisions on this will also require further community feedback. 

Requests for information ahead of the meeting can be sent to:

Water meter charging to start for Whitianga  


Water meters have been installed on almost all properties in Whitianga. 

From 1 July, Whitianga property owners will have two water charges instead of the current one.  

The set charge that property owners currently pay for water supply will drop by almost 50%. In addition, after 1 July property owners will be charged for water depending on the volume that they use as measured by their meters.  

The set charge for 2023/24 is $803.90. As of 1 July, this will drop by a bit less than 50%, depending on what is set in the Long Term Plan (LTP) process currently underway.   

The name of the set charge on rates notices will change from the current ‘Whitianga Water Serviced’ to ‘Whitianga Water Serviced/Metered’. This rate covers maintenance and upkeep of water supply infrastructure and the operation of your local water treatment plant.  

Property owners will be charged from 1 July for the amount of water that they actually use, at a rate proposed in the draft LTP of $1.62/cubic metre (1,000 litres). If no water at the property is used, there will be no water consumption charge. A separate rates notice for this volumetric charge will be issued to ratepayers twice yearly, around April and November.  

Please note, we still have some properties which do not yet have water meters installed. 

Due to various site issues, not all properties have had water meters installed. Most of them are sites that are a bit more complex due to unbundling work required. Unbundling means separating the water connections where one connection is shared for multiple properties or persons. Unbundling works normally requires more time due to its complexity.  We have submitted a project in the 2024-34 draft Long Term Plan for water metering unbundling and if approved this will be scheduled from 2027/28 to 2030/31. 

In the meantime, these properties will continue to be charged the full 'water serviced' set charge ($803.90 in the 2023/24 year, due to rise slightly from 1 July).  

Find out more about water rates

Coastal Kaitiaki have extra six months to care for dunes


It has been over a year since Cyclone Gabrielle hit our coastlines. With the help of our coastal kaitiaki, a group of cadets who are dedicated to strengthening our dunes' resilience, erosion is decreasing, and the dunes are regaining their natural ability to repair themselves.

It has recently been announced that the three cadets in the role of Coastal Kaitiaki have had their six month contract extended to a full year. Shelly Balsom, Geordie Wilson, and Roman Carley are all employed as Coastal Kaitiaki, working alongside senior Council staff on dune care projects.

Coastal2.jpg Not only does it mean a lot to the cadets themselves but to the coastal restoration organiser who exclaims, “The cadets' help in restoring the dunes has been crucial. Without them, we simply wouldn't have the manpower to make the difference we're making." Members of the public have also noticed with one stating “I have just been down to Whangapoua for a couple of nights, and I thought the dunes and the reserves were looking so well cared for.”

The cadets will be employed for a further six months with the support of the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs (MTFJ) Community Employment Programme.

Their positions are jointly funded through our Council's Recovery Fund and MSD Projects in Community Funding. The Mayors Taskforce for Jobs covers their training costs, including help with attaining driver licenses, first aid courses, and training to use Agri-Chemicals safely.

The Coastal Kaitiaki roles focus on addressing dune erosion along the east coast of the Coromandel Peninsula, exacerbated by consecutive stormy winters, including Cyclone Gabrielle. Cadets are actively clearing dunes of weeds and planting more plants to aid in natural dune repair.

The cadets have gained valuable insights into the workings of the dunes, realising their critical role in maintaining coastal well-being. This newfound understanding has ignited a shared passion among them, fueling their commitment to protect the dunes stronger.


About Mayors Taskforce For Jobs
MTFJ 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.  

Dog Registration season starts 1 June


It’s time to start thinking about registering your dog for 2024-25. From 1 June, you’ll be able to register your dog 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. 

AA services extended in Whangamatā and Whitianga


Waka Kotahi has announced that its twice-monthly mobile AA services in Whangamatā and Whitianga will continue for the rest of 2024.

Services available: 

AA’s mobile unit can complete all the transactions that are done at the Thames counter with the exclusion of motor vehicle registration and plate transactions: 

  • All driver licensing transactions (except overseas conversions) 
  • AA Membership renewals and new joins 
  • RealMe Identity verification 
  • IRD personal number applications 
  • SuperGold – image request for card 
  • International Driving Permits 
  • Passport Photos 

This is excellent news for our residents who previous had to travel to Thames for over-the-counter AA services.

Both the Whangamatā and Whitianga Community Boards submitted letters of support for this extension which helped to achieve this result.

Click here for more information on venues, dates and times

Whangamatā Banking Hub open for three more years

The New Zealand Business Association announced today that the Whangamatā Banking Hub will stay open for another three years as New Zealand's five largest banks—ANZ, ASB, BNZ, Kiwibank, and Westpac—extend their commitment to regional branches.

This decision comes after the conclusion of the regional banking hubs trial of which Whangamatā was an important subject.

Whangamatā Banking Hub timetable

  • Monday – Kiwibank
  • Tuesday – ASB
  • Wednesday – BNZ
  • Thursday – Westpac
  • Friday – ANZ

Appointments may be made at the hub or by emailing:

Creative Coromandel gets connected

Coro Cine logo.jpg

Our Council’s relationship partner, Creative Coromandel, is celebrating our district’s creative talent with two new events designed to nurture community arts and culture.

Creative Conversations will roll out across all five wards in our district, starting with Whangamatā in early July. This is not your boring sit-down hui with pen and paper but an invitation to a great night out, with good kai and the chance to make new artistic connections.

Creative Coromandel will be sharing creative mahi and initiatives that can help your amplify your creative practice and foster community collaboration.

Coming up later in the year is the inaugural CoroCine film festival in partnership with Mercury Twin Cinemas in Whitianga. A celebration of Coromandel's artistic talent, the event will showcase the best and brightest of our Coromandel filmmakers and films about the Coromandel.

CoroCine Film Festival and the coromandel artbeat spring festival are collaborating on a grand launch party for both events on Friday 6 September, so stay tuned for information closer to this date.


You can also find out about upcoming Mataraki celebrations later in June.

June 2024 Pānui/ Newsletter - Creative Coromandel

Fundraising workshops with Funding HQ

TCDC Funding workshops 2024_A4 FLYER.png

To register your interest in a workshop, please email

Click here to learn more about Funding HQ

You’re Invited: Celebrate our local Volunteers at an event near you


National Volunteer week is less than a month away, running this year 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

Please RSVP at the link below.

Click here to find out more

King's Birthday and Matariki kerbside collections

Bins on clockface.png

Next week’s yellow week recycling collections (big recycling bin, glass crate and food scraps) will take place a day later due to the King's Birthday public holiday on Monday 3 June. 

The Matariki holiday on Friday 28 June will only affect Pāuanui’s collections. That area’s red week rubbish and food scraps will be collected on Saturday 29 June instead. 

Check out your calendars at or pick up a copy from your nearest Council office.   

Rubbish and Recycling Transfer Stations (RTS) will remain open as usual (from 8.30am-4.30pm) on both King’s Birthday and Matariki public holidays on Monday 3 June and Friday 28 June. 


Whangamatā South, Mercury Bay South


Whangamatā North, Onemana, Ōpoutere, Whitianga


Coromandel Town and Te Kōuma, Coromandel Rural North, Thames Coast and Manāia, Mercury Bay North


Thames & Surrounds, Thames Rural South, Tairua



Safer Coromandel

If you’re visiting the Coromandel over King's Birthday this weekend, or over Matariki long weekend on 28 June, be sure to check out our Safer Coromandel video below. 

Partly funded by ACC, Safer Coromandel is a community-led injury prevention programme. It promotes ‘Have a hmmm’ safety messages, encouraging people to slow down, and take a minute to think about what you’re doing before you do it. The popular safety campaign is being shared through social media, radio and billboards. 

So if you're planning to visit, slow down, wear your seatbelt, and take it easy on our roads. Drive to the conditions and get here safely. See you soon in our beautiful Coromandel. 

Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research bird survey opens


New Zealand’s longest running citizen science project, The New Zealand Garden Bird Survey kicks off on Saturday, 29 June, and Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research are asking for your help to add another 10,000 surveys to their data resources this year. 

This is the 17th annual New Zealand Garden Bird Survey run by Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research. Since 2007, more than 70,000 surveys have been submitted by tens of thousands of volunteer citizen scientists, helping to establish definitive trends for increasing and declining numbers of birds.  

You can help by counting all the birds you see or hear in your garden for ONE HOUR ON ONE DAY during the nine-day period from 29 June to 7 July. 

Every sighting is recorded on a tally sheet with the observations then submitted via an online form on the Garden Bird website. Data is then processed through a super-computer and results are published in the State of New Zealand Garden Birds | Te Āhua o ngā Manu o te Kāri I Aotearoa report.  

There are some exciting prizes to be won including an OM System OM-5 camera with 14-150mm lens for the best bird photo submitted during the survey period, and prizes for the tamariki with the best colouring-in skills. Head to the Garden Bird website and sign up to the newsletter for a chance to win a stunning Buller’s Birds poster. 

Visit the website and find out how to take part

NZ housing survey

Take this survey exploring how individuals make their housing choices and envision the future of housing.

Your input is invaluable and will help New Zealand address housing needs effectively.

It takes just 10 minutes and completed surveys are eligible to be in to win a $200 Prezzy Card. 

Click here to complete the survey

Connector Bus


The free trial of the Connector service between Coromandel Town and Thames will be finishing on Tuesday 18 June.

1000 people have used the Connector service since it started on December 18. This number is expected to rise by the end of the trial on 18 June 2024. The Connector service is funded by a government storm recovery grant. It helps people with access to healthcare, education, job opportunities, appointments and staying connected with their whānau.

What's on?


Pāuanui Open Mic Music Night

Join the Pāuanui Club this King's birthday weekend on Sunday 2 June 6:30 PM at the Pāuanui Sports & Recreation Club. Experience a vibrant open music night showcasing a range of talent. Unleash your inner star on stage at the Pāuanui Club’s Open Mic Night.

Limited spaces left! Chat GPT workshops for business

Our Economic Development team, with support from Soda Inc, are bringing Mosaic Partners to the district to deliver, in-person Chat GPT workshops for small businesses.

  • Monday 17th June – 5-7pm, Whitianga.
  • Tuesday 18th June - 9-11am, Whangamatā.
  • Tuesday 18th June – 4:30-6:30pm, Thames.

Cost: $20+GST per person. Limited spaces. Workshops are aimed at for-profit business owners and staff, but there are some limited spaces available for not-for-profit leaders.

If you’re interested in attending, please email: with the subject line: AI Workshop

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

Mural Reveal

Mural reveal 1 cop.jpg

Our Council showed its support for Youth Week 2024 with a contribution of recovery funds to Ngāti Maru and Connecteen Rangatahi for a special Youth Week project artwork unveiling. The event took place at Thames High School's car park on Sunday May 26, 10am - 12pm.  

Attendees enjoyed a lively atmosphere filled with free food, music, outdoor games, giveaways, and a basketball free throw competition. The unveiling featured artwork created by youth from 12 schools. Each school was provided with a square panel to decorate, expressing what "kotahitanga" (unity) means to them. The result was a stunning display of creativity and expression, showcasing the diverse perspectives of the youth in the community.” 

Opportunities at our Council

Hiring (2).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: 

• 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

2024-05-24 15_01_22-Bike Maintenance Workshop Flyer 05.pdf and 6 more pages - Work - Microsoft Edge.png

Phone our Council on 07 868 0200 to book your space or email

Yellow Cute Pet Shop Banner.png



Tagged as: