An update from Mayor Len, managing sea level rise, and roading news

Published on 08 September 2023

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Welcome to our weekly wrap-up of Council news. This week we have the latest meeting dates for our Shoreline Management Pathways project, details on local events, storm and roading recovery updates, and the last chance to apply for Creative Communities funding. We also have the latest job opportunities and some friendly dogs up for adoption. 


Kia ora koutou, 

I’ve had a chest infection for the last couple of weeks and so I’ve had to reschedule or delegate some engagements. My apologies if I couldn’t attend your event in person. We are fortunate to have a dedicated and talented group of Councillors who have been able to step in. 

I was able to meet Sheree Webster from Hot Water Beach Top 10 Holiday Park and Penne Clayton from the Hahei Residents and Ratepayers Association on 26 August before attending a fabulous evening of Opera in the Dark in Pāuanui. Thanks to Warren Male and the team for putting this unique event on. 

Both Sheree and Penne are community champions who want to make a difference and ensure the voices of local people are heard. Their businesses and many others in our district have been severely affected by the closure of the walking track to Cathedral Cove. The fact is there are many dozens of slips in the area of the path – it’s absolutely munted. The Department of Conservation has taken the right decision that to rush a quick fix to reopen the track wouldn’t give us an effective long-term solution or reduce the complicated geographical instability of the track area. People’s safety is paramount.


(Above: recent rockfall from the arch at Cathedral Cove. Some of these rocks are the size of chilly bins.)

Our Council and our Destination Management Organisation, Destination Hauraki Coromandel, are promoting the many alternative visitor attractions in the district and that sea access to the Cove will be open soon. But the site is still unsafe, with slopes unstable and rock falling from the arch. It’s definitely a site with huge health and safety risks. 

Last week the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) approved a grant totalling $2.6 million from its Tourism Infrastructure Fund. A huge amount of work goes into preparing for these projects and getting funding approved from the government agencies involved. Well done to our Council teams who worked on these. This funding will allow us to do a range of much-needed projects including new and upgraded public toilets in seven locations around the district, relocating the motor caravan dump station in Whangamatā, and pathways, beach stairs and accessways in Mercury Bay.   

This weekend the Coromandel Artbeat Spring Festival continues and Whitianga hosts the Oceans Festival. I hope to be well enough to attend the Battle of Britain commemoration at Sir Keith Park Memorial Airfield in Thames (read more about this astounding Thames man’s contribution to defending democracy and the development of aviation in New Zealand by clicking here). 

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Managing sea level rise in Tairua and Whitianga

Two public meetings next week will update our communities in Tairua and Whitianga on projects to help protect key areas from coastal flooding and erosion. The public meetings are part of the implementation phase of our Shoreline Management Project pathways. A public meeting in Te Puru to look at coastal protection options there was held on Saturday 2 September.

Improving Tairua’s stopbanks


Our Council will share the concept design and estimated costs for improving Tairua’s stop-bank along Manaia Road.

Meeting details: Saturday, 16 September 12pm Tairua Hall

Managing erosion in Whitianga

In Whitianga, we will share details of improvements and action to manage erosion at Brophy’s Beach, Buffalo Beach (the rock wall extension by the Buffalo Memorial), and Macrocarpa Reserve further north on Buffalo Beach.

Meeting details: Saturday 16 September, 2pm, Whitianga Town Hall

Brophy’s Beach


Buffalo Beach Enhancements


About the meetings

Our three-year shoreline management work identified Coromandel communities’ preferred pathways of action to improve resilience to the effects of climate change.

We are now prioritising and implementing projects from those pathways.

Our dual factor assessment process considers:

  • the urgency of projects
  • their importance in relation to social, environmental, economic, community and tangata whenua criteria.

Residents can give feedback on the proposed projects through our Council’s 2023-2024 Long Term Plan process.

For more information, visit

Our Road to Recovery

The latest on our Council Roads

Tapu-Coroglen Road

  • The tender has closed on the proposed works to repair Tapu-Coroglen Road, with six firms bidding. Tender reviews are now underway with the intention that repairs will start in the first week of October.
  • The chosen design uses mass block retaining walls to support the underslip, with materials sourced from local suppliers. This method has been chosen to ensure that works can be completed as soon as possible while providing a long-term solution.
  • We plan to have the road reopened in mid-December, weather dependent.

Priority sites for repair

  • Work continues around the district to address damage to more than 70 sites requiring repairs.
  • We've received expressions of interest from more than 20 contractors, and we hope to repair about 24 sites over 2023/24. 
  • The majority of damage is around the roads north of Coromandel Town where access is already difficult.
  • The main priorities after Tapu-Corolglen Road are Black Jack Road and The 309 Road, where multiple sites have had design work completed. Works are scheduled from October to December.
  • We'll be making every effort to keep roads open as we carry out repairs.

See our 28 priority sites for work this 2023/24 financial year. 

Click here to read our FAQ on road repairs after storms.

SH25A progress update from Waka Kotahi

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It has been another busy week for Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency's team working on the SH25A bridge.

If there's something you'd like to know more about, or you have a question, their team would love to hear from you. Send an email to and they will aim to include the answers in future updates and newsletters.

Click here to read their latest update (featuring lots of technical detail for those interested in the build).

Ongoing recovery update

The following locations are a focus for the team this week. If you’re out on the road, please be patient while crews are carrying work in the following areas:

  • SH2 Karangahake Gorge – clearing slip material, stabilising, slip protection, repairs, scour protection and drainage work.
  • SH25 Ruamahanga Bay – clearing slip material, investigation, stabilising and vegetation clearing.
  • SH25 Thames Coast – clearing and construction of coastal erosion protection structures.
  • SH25 Wilsons Bay – construction of coastal erosion protection structures.
  • SH25 Tararu Rockfill Embankment – construction of coastal erosion protection structures.
  • SH25 Pumpkin Hill and McBeth-Opoutere – drainage improvements and slip repair.
  • SH25 Thornton Bay – construction of coastal erosion protection structures.
  • SH25 Coroglen – slip repair.
  • SH25A – either side of the slip, a programme of work is currently being worked through so it can be completed ahead of the reopening of the state highway.

The latest news update on our Road to Recovery also includes:

Click here to read this week's full Road to Recovery newsletter.

Ōpito Bay tree removal

During the week of 18 September, some pine trees on the edge of Mahinapua View reserve (pictured left) and Ohinau Drive Reserve (pictured right) will be removed.

Nearby households have been notified as part of a wider project happening on private property, and this work should not affect access to the reserve.

We are working with the Ōpito Bay Ratepayers Association to replace these with native trees next year. See below for the locations (in yellow).


Whitianga Oceans Festival, 9 September

oceans-festival.jpg The weather is looking fantastic for tomorrow's Whitianga's Oceans Festival, a celebration of local seafood with chefs from around the country.

There are still tickets available through

There will be road closures in place from 6am-8pm on Blacksmith Lane from the intersection of Victoria Street, through to The Esplanade at the intersection of Monk Street.

Remember, the Esplanade trailer boat parking will be unavailable until Monday 11 September. We recommend you utilise the Robinson Road boat ramp over this period.

There is an alcohol ban in place in central Whitianga. You can see the map of the ban area by clicking here.

This weekend's festival will be a great start to the warmer months, with events and celebrations starting to ramp up. 

Creative Communities funding closing today

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Today is your last chance to apply to our Creative Communities fund. This year there's also a one-off Festival Fund to support local events. 

Backed by Creative New Zealand, the Creative Communities Scheme aims to increase participation in the arts. Successful local applications have included local theatre productions, bringing leading musicians to perform locally, and the creation of school murals. Click here to read more and apply.

About the Creative Communities Festival Fund

The CCS Festival Fund is a one-off funding boost from Government, to support established festivals that celebrate the life experiences, stories, cultures, and regional identities of New Zealanders, that continue to be impacted by the effects of COVID-19 in 2023. Click here to read more about this fund.

Applications are due on Friday 8 September 2023. Send completed applications and questions to

Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori

Kia kaha te reo Māori!


Our three District Libraries are celebrating Te Wiki o te Reo Māori all week long.

  • Join us on Rāpare (Thursday) for Te Wā Tuku Reo Māori - The Māori Language Moment. All of Aotearoa is invited to stop what they’re doing and celebrate te reo Māori at 12pm, on 14 September. You can kōrero (speak), waiata (sing), pānui (read) and more. Whatever you do, do it in te reo Māori.

Events in Tairua:

  • If you're in Tairua, we're hosting two free beginner-level workshops at Tairua Library, with a focus on pronunciation and mihi. Check out our website for details.

Click here to find resources to support you on your Te Reo journey.


Clean Up Week 16-22 September


Clean Up Week is coming up in September, with communities coming together to keep our region beautiful. The week is Aotearoa's largest movement against litter, and we would love for you to be part of it. 

We are lucky to live in a beautiful region and anyone can be part of the clean-up effort. Gather your friends, workplace, school, or family, take a walk in your local area and pick up any litter you see. Make to use gloves while cleaning up, and take extra care around any sharp or dangerous items.

If you would like to register an event, visit the Keep New Zealand Beautiful website: Our Council is supporting these events and participating groups who have registered their clean up can drop-off their rubbish for free at our local RTSs. You will need to register your clean up with Keep New Zealand Beautiful and have your registration details available to show at the RTS when you drop off your litter.

What's happening locally?

Local environmental group Wāhi Tukurua are hosting a clean-up event at Buffalo Beach Reserve on Saturday 16 September from 9.30am.

  • Meet at the Buffalo Beach Reserve at 9.30am before heading off to clean up your piece of Whitianga.
  • Return to the reserve with your rubbish where the team will weigh and get rid of it for you. Afterwards you can stay and enjoy some hot soup (remember your keep cup) and the chance to win some spot prizes. 
  • Click here to view the Facebook event, or visit Wā

The Seagull Centre is hosting a Thames Clean Up day on Saturday 16 September 9.30-12pm.

  • Decide if you are going to do a clean up on your own or with a group. It could be your friends, whānau, school, co-workers or community group.
  • Register at the Seagull Centre on the day and collect your bucket and gloves.
  • Head off to a spot around Thames and start collecting rubbish.
  • Once you're done, head back to the Seagull Centre with your rubbish and join us for a sausage sizzle.

Do you have an event you'd like us to share? Email the details to

Community Dune Planting in Whangamatā 

Dune-care-whangamata.jpg From 11 September, earthworks are starting on Whangamatā's beach to prepare the dunes for planting.

We then have a Coastcare community planting day coming up in Whangamatā on Saturday 23 September, 10am, meeting at beach access 17.

Digging in the sand is quite easy and you'll be doing your bit for our native plants and animals. We've had a really strong volunteer turn-out so far this planting season and it would be great to see you there.

All you need to bring is covered sturdy footwear, water, suitable clothing, gardening gloves and your favourite spade (or you can borrow one of ours).

Visit or follow Save the Dunes Whangamatā on Facebook.

Job opportunities at our Council

AdobeStock_496803352-large.jpg Governance Advisor

This is an exciting opportunity for a talented professional to join our Governance Services team as a Governance Advisor.

The Governance Advisor role will work to provide consistent and high-quality support and advice to Council's elected members and staff on governance matters, meeting requirements and decision-making processes, and to facilitate the management of Council, Community Board and Committee meetings.

Click here to read more about this role.

Temporary Technical Support Officer – Parks and Open Spaces  

This role will provide support and administration assistance in the areas of activity management and project contract management to the Community Facilities team. 

This position is for a full-time, 12-month fixed term role. 

Click here to read more about this role.

Customer Services Representative – Thames

We are searching for a confident, motivated customer services star to bring their skills and enthusiasm to a great team delivering customer services in our Thames office.

The role sits within the team providing front-of-house, digital and phone communications, and is part of the wider Customer Services team across the district. 

Click here to read more about this role. 

Senior Resource Consent Planner

As a Senior Planner this role undertakes assessment of the more complex resource consent applications and related management of environmental planning. 

You will provide mentoring to colleagues and support to the Development Planning Team Leader.   

Click here to read more about this role.

Adoptable dogs of the week

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Tan and white dog

This sweet fun-loving dog is very social. He loves to play and keep you company.

Chilled puppy

This 6- to 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.

We also send this update as an email each Friday. To receive it, visit