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Mercury Bay Community Board discusses local projects and Community Plans

02 July 2020

Our Mercury Bay Community Board met this week The unedited recording of the meeting is available on our website. Below is a summary of what was discussed. You can view the full agenda here.

In the public forum    

  • Two residents spoke in relation to the naming of two new roads in the Longreach Estate subdivision.  They asked for the roads to be named after the original owners of the farm at Cooks Beach.
  • A member of the  Whitianga Motor Cross Committee shared progress on the formation of their club and about the on-going sponsorship they’ve managed to secure. 
  • A representative from the Otama Reserves Group spoke about concerns for the endangered birds at Otama Beach following some recent dog attacks and asked for a dog bylaw review for this area.
  • A representative from the Mercury Bay Skatepark shared how successful it had been with fundraising, with $150k raised to date.  The tender process for the skatepark build starts today and closes at the end of July
  • A Whitianga resident spoke in support of Hot Water Beach lifeguards receiving further funding from the ticketed carparking machines in the Hot Water Beach carparks.  A suggestion was also made that perhaps the machines could have a 'donate now' button towards the Club.
  • A leasee of land in the Sherriff Block spoke about Hopper  Developments being beneficial to Whitianga in regards to town planning.  He also advised that he was working with Council staff to erect new fencing around the Sheriff Block and had submitted a proposal to Council to re-grass an area of the land. A reminder was also given to Council that the Sheriff Block should be officially named Cara Sheriff after the original owner of the property
  • A Cooks Beach resident spoke to the Board about a submission they had sent in two years ago regarding the building of a temporary groin at the Purangi Esturary. 


In the meeting  

Community Grants

The request for the Mercury Bay Business Association to retain  its unspent 2019/2020 grant was declined and advice was given that they reapply in the 2020/2021 round which is now open for applications.

During our Council's Annual Plan deliberations, in response to COVID-19, it was suggested that Council consider providing rent relief for those groups that pay an annual rent/lease to occupy Council property for the 2020-21 financial year. 

The Board decided not to use its Discretionary Fund for the 2020/2021 financial year to provide rent relief for the 11 community groups that occupy council property in its ward. Instead, organisations that are facing difficulty are being encouraged to apply through the Community Board grants if they can demonstrate they’ve been affected by COVID-19 . You can read more about the Community Board grants process here.

Proposed Road Names - Longreach  Estate Subdivision. 

Further discussions are going to be held with local iwi Ngati Hei and the wider community before a decision is made. This report will be left on the table until further work is done.  You can read the full report here.  

Community Plans 

Thirty-four detailed submissions were received in regards to the Mercury Bay Ward Community Plans.  The Board reviewed these and agreed to progress the adoption of its Community Plan to Council.   

Mercury Bay work programme update  


You can view the full Mercury Bay Community Board 2019/2020 work programme as at 30 May 2020 here.

Some highlights to note:

  • Taputapuatea walkway and footbridge
    (Pictured above) Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga (HNZPT) has agreed to the completion of this project. This will allow the earthworks consent to be processed, along with the approaches to the bridge to be completed, allowing public access. We hope to have this completed within the next two months, dependent on delivery of consent and contractor availability.
  • Whitianga skatepark –  Tenders opened this week and close 31st July. Once the successful tender has been finalised an update in relation to the building process will be issued.
  • Joan Gaskell Drive speed limit - A trial reduction to 50km on Joan Gaskell Drive has been established and is working well.
  • Mercury Bay Speedway - Ongoing discussions are being held to determine the exact area to be leased to Speedway for its proposed track development. Final location will be dependent on assessment work for the future of overall Moewai Road land.
  • Changes to boat trailer parking at Robinson Road - Amendments have been made to our Parking Control Bylaw so users of the Robinson Road boat ramp in Whitianga do not park outside residential properties on nearby streets.  As of 1 July 2020, there is a fee of $80 per annum or $10 per day to park on the reserve, The changes also include paid trailer boat parking adjacent to Hilton Park. Click here for more information on boat ramp fees. The upgrade at Robinson Rd included a new concrete boat ramp, with a floating pontoon.