It’s time to review our Reserve Management Plans (RMPs) for Mercury Bay. Reserves are much-loved features of our district, providing opportunities for recreation, as well as a general sense of open space where we can enjoy the simple things such as a picnic with family and friends. Our Mercury Bay RMPs were last reviewed in 2007/2008 and we believe our communities’ needs and expectations of our reserves have changed over this time. For this reason, we are inviting your feedback. We adopted a new General Policies in May 2019 that sets out aims, objectives and policies which will apply to all Council reserves in the district. The draft Mercury Bay Reserve Management Plan provides information about the management of individual reserves in the Mercury Bay Community Board area. Consultation is open from Monday 5 October and closes 4pm Monday 7 December. A couple of things being proposed which may be of interest include categorising reserves based on the natural values, cultural heritage, and recreation use. This helps to recognise how the reserve can be used and outlines a management focus. Previously, the Mercury Bay RMPs were split into three parts. This review brings the whole Mercury Bay area into one document. The draft plan also identifies issues and how we can manage individual reserves. People who use our reserves may be aware of other issues or have suggestions on how these can be managed. Some examples for your consideration: Lyon Park – Whitianga Lyon Park is on Albert Street in Whitianga and was gifted to the Coromandel County Council in 1940. The RMP for this reserve notes an issue of the park being used as overflow parking for marine activities and includes a management action to consider putting more restrictive measures in place to prevent unauthorised parking on the reserve. Taylor’s Mistake – Whitianga This reserve has an interesting history with several different owners. It has a listed archaeological site towards the eastern boundary of the reserve (T11/313 midden/oven) and the Huke Huke Urupā (T11/2821) is also within close proximity. Recent improvements to the reserve as part of the Whitianga Town Centre upgrade includes installation of a new hoggin path, ‘natural play’ equipment, a permanent shelter canopy with seating fronting Albert Street and an upgrade/relocation of the skate park. The RMP allows for events only where appropriate, subject to Community Board review and permission from Council. Perry Chapman – Opito Bay This is a new reserve, vested as part of a subdivision in 2020. The reserve has a playground which was donated by the developer. Village Green – Matarangi The Village Green is near the main beach area at Matarangi between Kenwood Drive and the Central Dune Reserves. The RMP includes a management action to consider developing a plan for the reserve which defines appropriate areas where permit holders can undertake their activities (for example appropriate locations for customer parking, or the location of the event itself). Longreach Reserve– Cooks Beach This reserve provides greenspace area and esplanade access through to Pūrangi Reserve, as well as access to Admiral Drive. There is a playground located on this reserve. Kōtare Reserve – Hahei Kotare Reserve is used for informal recreation and sporting activities in Hahei, and is a well-used dog walking area. There are a range of utility services including sewerage pump stations, water pumps and tanks located on the reserve. A management action included in the RMP is to investigate the re-positioning some of the utility services to improve utilisation of the road frontage/entrance to the reserve. Hāmiora Reserve – Whangapoua A volunteer group of adjoining property owners have donated considerable time and resource towards enhancing and restoring this reserve, and the Reserve Management Plan includes a management action for Council to continue to support this work. How to have your say: RMPs are a legal requirement under the Reserves Act 1977 and our Council is required to prepare RMPs for all reserves, except local purpose reserves. As the Crown advances settlements with iwi regarding the Te Tiriti of Waitangi, some reserves or parts of reserves may be subject to settlement processes. Council is not undertaking a review of the RMPs for these parcels of reserve land and separate individual RMPs will be prepared through a process established post‑settlement. Further information can be found here. The Coromandel-Colville Reserve Management Plan was adopted in May 2019, and Thames and Thames Coast Reserve Management Plan in December 2019. The Whangamata and Tairua-Pauanui Plans were last reviewed in 2014 so the review of these plans will be completed last. Click here for more information. There are a number of ways you can give your feedback: Submit using our online consultation portal here. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Complete a hard copy submission form and post it to us at Thames-Coromandel District Council, Private Bag, Thames 3540; or drop it into one of our Mercury Bay service centre, 6 Monk Street. Submission forms and hard copies of both draft policies and plans will also be available at our Mercury Bay service centre. We will be holding a public drop-in session so you will have the opportunity to talk through the draft plan with staff and provide feedback face-to-face. Keep an eye out on our Facebook page and website or sign-up to our events newsletter tcdc.govt.nz/subscribe so you know when and where it will be. Once the consultation period is complete, hearings will be held for submitters who wish to be heard. If you have any questions about this proposal or about how to make a submission, please contact us on 07 868 0200 or email email@example.com. Developing a Reserve Management Plan The Reserves Act 1977 requires that Thames‑Coromandel District Council (the Council), as an administering body, prepare this management plan (Section 41). Reserves Act management plans are an important reserve management tool. These management plans are developed in consultation with reserve users, community, and key stakeholder groups, with consideration to current management of a reserve. A management plan will provide for continuity between legislative requirements, council plans and policies, and the day-to-day operation of a reserve. This draft Mercury Bay Reserves Management Plan applies to all reserves in the Mercury Bay area administered by Thames‑Coromandel District Council that are covered by the Reserves Act 1977. Process of preparing this reserve management plan, in accordance with the Reserves Act 1977: April 2018 - Council invites suggestions on reserve management objectives and policies 22 September 2020 - Council approves draft Mercury Bay Reserves Management Plan for public consultation 5 October 2020 - Council calls for submissions on the draft Mercury Bay Reserves Management Plan 7 December - Submissions close Early 2021 - Hearings will be held for those wishing to present in person to Elected Members in early 2021. If you wish to attend a hearing, please let us know as part of your submission. Once hearings have been held, the Mercury Bay Community Board and Council will make recommendations and decisions respectively on the issues raised. Where required, amendments will be made to the individual reserve details and policies. When adopted, this management plan will replace any previously prepared reserve management plan and will be kept under continuous review to ensure that the policies are appropriate and relevant for each reserve.