Latest News & Public Notices

Dune erosion and restoration, your guide to recycling in the Coromandel, roading updates and more in our weekly wrap-up

31 July 2020

We're back on the upside towards spring, the days are lengthening, but early sunsets are still a bonus. Check out the weekly wrap-up of our latest Council project news, important dates and information about what's happening in our District - all now in one easy-to-read email, sent every Friday.

This week:

  • Dune erosion and restoration
  • Guide to recycling in the Coromandel
  • Microchip Monday's
  • Drinking water standards upgrade
  • Roading and other project updates
  • Upcoming meetings
  • Whangamata UFB
  • The Coromandel dips into Government’s COVID-19 funding pool
  • Events

If you missed last week's update, read it here.

Dune erosion

Due to the recent storm events our dunes have eroded in Whangamata (pictured right), Pauanui and Whitianga. Our Community Facilities team are monitoring the areas.

"The current dune erosion is completely natural and the active dune that has lost sand is doing exactly what it should be doing and providing a buffer for wave energy," says Jamie Boyle our Coastal Scientist.

  • During long periods of settled weather, sand builds up on the visible part of the beach, including the dune. However, short-term erosion can happen during storms, as waves erode the beach and the dunes closest to the sea. This often leaves a near vertical cut in the face of the dune (an ‘erosion scarp’) as shown by the diagram below. The eroded sand is carried offshore into the surf zone, where it forms shallow bars that help absorb storm wave energy.
  • Significant dune erosion can occur in just a few hours, but full sand dune and beach recovery can take years.
  • After the storm, the beach area repairs itself first before the dunes can recover. Gentler wave action moves sand back to the shore, slowly rebuilding the beach. Dry sand is then blown further inland and trapped by sand binding vegetation to repair the eroded dune. The diagram on Waikato Regional Council's website shows how dunes are repaired following beach recovery.
  • Natural dune repair depends on a good cover of native sand binding grasses, such as spinifex and pingao, to trap moving sand.
  • Erosion through climate cycles sees shorelines on Waikato beaches move naturally over periods of decades, with the largest changes usually seen near estuary and river entrances. Though periods of erosion can continue for years, in most cases it is not permanent. When viewed over a long period, such as a hundred years, the shoreline is simply shifting backwards and forwards.

Waikato Regional Council have some great resources on dune erosion available here.

Diagram: Erosion scarp during a storm.

Dune restoration

It was a great start to the restoration planting season with 28 volunteers at Opito Bay last weekend (pictured above). To find out more about the upcoming community dune planting days check out our Facebook events or see our website.

What can you recycle on the Coromandel?

We are now only collecting plastic types 1 and 2, instead of types 1 to 7 at the Kerbside and at our Refuse Transfer Stations.

Paper, cardboard and cans/tins will still be collected as usual in wheelie bins. The change only applies to plastics.

Check our Guide to Recycling on the Coromandel for more information on what can and cannot be recycled on the Coromandel.

In July, we've been checking wheelie bins to see if people are following the new recycling regime and we've noticed an issue with meat trays.

Meat trays are tricky because some are made from plastic type 1, but others are made from plastic 3 or 5, which makes auditing difficult.

We recognise it also makes it difficult for you to identify if your plastic meat tray is plastic type 1. Look for the number at the bottom underneath of the container  - if you don't see a 1 inside a triangle, don't put it in your wheelie bin for recycling, put in your rubbish for disposal.

Also, as with anything else you recycle, make sure it's clean. Please don't place meat trays that are dripping with blood and still have the cling film wrapping on them in your wheelie bin. If you don't want to take the plastic wrap off and rinse the tray, put it in your rubbish because it makes a mess of the other recyclables in your wheelie bin - tcdc.govt.nz/kerbside.

As well as registering your dog, all dogs must be microchipped.

During the month of August, our Council is providing a low cost ‘Microchip Monday’ service for dog owners in our district.

Microchipping helps us to promptly identify dogs that are roaming or lost so we can reunite dogs with their owners rather than take them to the dog pound. We’ve noticed many dogs on our database haven’t been microchipped.

Drop-in to one of our Council Service Centres between 9am-12pm on the following Mondays to have your dog microchipped by one of our compliance officers for $25:

  • Monday 3 August – 355 Kapanga Road, Coromandel Town
  • Monday 10 August - 10 Monk Street, Whitianga
  • Monday 17 August – 620 Port Road, Whangamata
  • Monday 24 August – 515 Mackay Street, Thames

tcdc.govt.nz/microchipping

Drinking water standards upgrade

Our contractors Masons Engineers have completed the new plant on Tairua’s Hinemoa Tce (pictured right), fitting it out with the latest technology and methodologies for treating our water including Evoca-supplied membrane units, new filtration, dosing and monitoring equipment. The official opening is planned for 27 August.

Also underway is the new plant in Pauanui. The erection of the roof steelwork is currently taking place and the commissioning of the plant should be completed in September 2020. Like Tairua, this water treatment plant involves new stand-alone buildings, water and chemical storage tanks, along with civil works including earthmoving, roading and fencing. The plants will also have new machinery, telemetry and control and chemical dosing systems.

Meanwhile, civil works have started on-site for the fourth new plant in Coromandel Town and is expected to be finished in May 2021.

The building consent application was submitted in June 2020 for the Beverley Hills (Whangamata) upgrade and we expect that construction work will start on-site soon with the plant handed over in June 2021.

Planning is underway for the remaining upgrades: Wentworth Valley (Whangamata), Moana Point (Whangamata), Onemana, Matarangi and Hahei (in that order).

Whitianga's new water treatment plant at Moewai Rd was our first plant to be upgraded, marking an important milestone in our drinking water standards project - Tautiaki Wai Māori. 

Roading and other project updates

  • Whangapoua boat ramp upgrade - (Pictured right). Reconstruction scheduled for late August and completed by mid-October. The work will address the cracks appearing in the ramp and the fact the two ramps were initially poured at different levels. The new ramp will eliminate these issues and the addition of a pontoon (part of stage two, scheduled for 2022/2023) will make the boat ramp more user-friendly for boaties.
  • Matarangi pine trees - On Bluff road pine trees are being removed in collaboration with the Department of Conservation and PowerCo due to their declining health and close proximity to the road, properties and high voltage powerlines.
  • No public thoroughfare on Punga Place - Please be mindful of residents - A friendly reminder that the stairs from Centennial Drive up to Punga Place Whitianga is public access but the walkway from the stairs is private property.
  • Taputapuatea Bridge - Construction to start mid-August.
  • Mercury Bay skate park - Tenders closed this week for the development of the park. We’ll now be working on negotiations for a successful tenderer. tcdc.govt.nz/skate
  • Road works - You can view a summary of scheduled weekly roading activities in our district on our website - tcdc.govt.nz/roading.

Upcoming meetings

  • Council meeting, Tuesday 4 August at 9am in the Thames Council Chambers (515 Mackay St)
  • Tairua-Pauanui Community Board meeting, Monday 10 August at 10am at the Pauanui Community Hub (23 Centreway)
  • Whangamata Community Board meeting, Tuesday 11 August at 10am in the Board meeting room (620 Port Rd)
  • Thames Community Board meeting, Wednesday 12 August at 9am in the Thames Council Chambers (515 Mackay St)
  • Coromandel-Colville Community Board meeting, Tuesday18 August at 10am in the Board meeting room (355 Kapanga Rd)
  • Mercury Bay Community Board meeting, Wednesday 19 August at 9am in the Board meeting room (6 Monk St)

Copies of agendas, reports and minutes are available on this page or at Council offices, two days before the meeting.

Members of the public and media are welcome to attend the public part of the meeting. If there is a report you wish to speak to, you may do so in the public forum of the meeting. See our website here for more information on how to register.

Whangamata ultra-fast fibre (UFB) information session

Chorus are coming to Whangamata to share how they will be building fibre and answer any questions you may have.

Pop-in between 3pm-7pm to the Whangamata Club (404 Port Rd) on Wednesday 19 August.

For more information visit chorus.co.nz/fibre.

The Coromandel dips into Government's COVID-19 funding pool

The Coromandel - Regional Tourism Organisation has received a one-off government funding boost of $700,000 for the 2020/2021 year as part of the Government’s COVID-19 Strategic Tourism Assets Protection Programme (STAPP).

"All the activities in our STAPP-funded programme are additional to our existing marketing plan that was budgeted for prior to COVID-19 and funded by Hauraki and Thames Coromandel District Councils," says Hadley Dryden, General Manager of Destination Coromandel.

"As a marketing organisation, we previously haven't had the resources within our team to deliver an ambitious programme. The success of all projects will depend on collaboration and participation from a wide range of parties. The funding will allow us to engage specialist support to assist industry, iwi/Māori, tourism stakeholders and local communities to assess and respond to the current environment, and to plan for a future that will deliver on our mission; to continue to develop our visitor industry as an economic driver for social prosperity and to lead the preservation of The Coromandel’s unique cultural, historical and natural heritage,” says Mr Dryden.

"It is much more than supporting a return to the way things were pre-COVID. We will be able to scope several exciting regional projects that have the potential to make a real impact on our communities both economically through the visitor industry, and socially. The Pūkorokoro Miranda Shorebird Centre, Ridges MTB Park and Gold Heritage Product Development in conjunction with the Hauraki Rail Trail Trust, are three key projects on the list."

Destination Coromandel will collaborate with other regions on several programmes including Te Ara A Toi, investigating cultural tourism opportunities from The Coromandel through the Bay of Plenty to Tairāwhiti.

Some funding will be allocated to targeted domestic marketing and access to data.

"A summer campaign, the first ever undertaken by Destination Coromandel, is now essential to make sure our visitor industry partners have the best possible high season, to reward their resilience and belief through some very tough times," says Mr Dryden.

It is expected that the funding contract will be drawn up in the next few days, and planning and consultation can then commence.

What's on in the Coromandel?

Click here to find out what's on in the Coromandel this week.

Register your business now for the East Waikato Careers & Employers Expo

Next month (12-13 August), many of our high school students (Y11-13) from across the Coromandel, Hauraki and Matamata-Piako will be attending the East Waikato Careers & Employers Expo to take steps towards their future employment.

This event is free for local businesses and spaces are filling up quick so register your business now. For more information click here.