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Thames gears up for more recreation opportunities

18 December 2015

New murals, mountain bike track and tender awarded for sports facility

Thames Indoor Sport Facility tender awarded

Thames Indoor Sport Facility Detailed Design and Build contract has been awarded to Stanley Construction Ltd.

"We're looking forward to working with Stanley Construction and Boon Goldsmith Bhaskar Brebner Team Architects on the process of taking the preliminary design through the final detailed design and build phase of the project," says Thames Area Manager Greg Hampton.

"The final confirmed design and build cost will be presented to Council for approval next February," Mr Hampton says.

"If approved, Stanley Construction will begin construction in April 2016."

Thames Community Board Chair, Strat Peters says this is a significant milestone for the three-part Active Thames 2018 project. "The indoor court facility will finally deliver an appropriate two court facility with one new full-size court that will bring our facilities up to the level appropriate for local and sub-regional needs," says Mr Peters.

The Active Thames 2018 Project includes the Porritt Park Skate Park, and the Rhodes Park grandstand and clubroom replacement which is programmed for 2017/18.

The tender process was approved in July 2015 and the provisional design has been available on our website since February 2015. You'll final all the links at including a link to the Business Case.

The tender process also established a provisional maximum construction price for the facility that is within budget.

Naming rights for the Indoor Sports Facility are still available for the right sponsor and fundraising will also continue throughout the remainder of the project with a focus on Rhodes Park and the skate park.

Murals showcase student art


Winning designs from the mural art competition now adorn the park-facing wall of the new toilet block in Porritt Park.

Thames Community Board and the Guild of Public Artists invited local schools to contribute to the mural, with entries judged by Thames mural artist and retired surgeon Paul Sylvester along with Nikky Fisher and Deb MacDonald Brown.

The winning designs were selected on Labour weekend and were painted by the students onto large panels designed for installation on the toilet block wall.

The judges worked with the teachers and students to plan the mural design made of six entries combined into three panels.

A public celebratory launch was held on Tuesday.

Pictured below: Mackenzie Ayrton with her mural design.


Pictured below: Samuel Welsh-Taipari with his mural design.

With his mural

Pictured below: Eden Aish with her mural design.

Mural photo

Pictured below: The murals in full view as seen from within the park.



Karaka mountain bike track work approved

New mountain bike and walking track bridges will improve access into beautiful Karaka valley connecting with the Coromandel Forest Park walks behind Thames.

Our Council has given permission for two new bridges and a boardwalk to be constructed by the Thames Mountain Bike Club (TMBC) with support from Land Search and Rescue (LandSAR) and organisers of the Surf 2 Firth race, and then gifted to our Council upon completion.

Originally created to give access to mining claims, the Karaka track attracts walkers and tramping clubs and is used for events such as the annual Surf 2 Firth race.

The work, funded by the Club with help from a $15,000 Trailfund grant, will also provide a high standard walking and cycling trail circuit for Thames, connecting the Karaka and Waiotahi tracks for recreational use.

The new track structures will have more safety features than normal Back Country Adventurer tracks, making it equally suitable for less-experienced walkers, including children. Located within 600 meters of the Thames urban area, the finished construction will provide day visitors to Thames with a safe 90-minute-plus hiking experience.

LandSAR operations will also benefit with easier access from the Thames urban area for search and rescue operations in back country, previously impassable when water levels were high.

For more information or to offer to help, contact the Thames Mountain Bike Club on