Latest News & Public Notices

Be mindful of our water supply and stay firewise this Guy Fawkes

30 October 2020

Welcome to 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:

  • Be mindful of our water supplies
  • Stay firewise this Guy Fawkes
  • Work happening in your neighbourhood 
  • Kōpū marine project update
  • Council meeting highlights and upcoming meetings
  • Summer plans in the Coromandel
  • Have your say on our public consultations
  • Our Council road and resealing work continues
  • What's on in the Coromandel
  • Wharf and Responsible Camping Ambassadors needed

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

Be mindful of our water supply

We're surrounded by water on the Coromandel. It's easy to think of it as a free resource that will never run out. However, this is not the case. We need to remember water is a precious resource.

Last week we shared the latest information from NIWA that shows our District is experiencing drier than normal conditions which you can read here.

Over Labour weekend the demand on our water supply in Whangamata was very high, which puts a serious strain on the potable (drinking) water supply. As a result, the Wentworth Valley bore was run for three days, which means it now has a reduced capacity of 10 percent for the coming summer.

So while there’s rain in Spring, stock up on water by installing a water tank on your property for outside use. It’s perfect for cleaning the car and boat or keeping the flowers, vegetables and lawns alive. The process is simple - see tcdc.govt.nz/rainwatercollection.

We’re comparing water levels in our reservoirs each month against the same time last year so you can prepare as water restrictions will inevitably be in place again this summer. Click here to read more. And for water conservation tips click here.

Stay firewise this Guy Fawkes

With Guy Fawkes coming up next week (Thursday 5 November) and the weather heating up, please be extra careful about setting off fireworks with the drier than normal conditions we’re experiencing.

Fire and Emergency NZ (FENZ) wants a much safer and less eventful Guy Fawkes this year.  

"It was disappointing last year between 2 November and 9 November, our crews attended 237 fireworks-related callouts - the highest number for the corresponding period since 2015. We saw large fires caused by fireworks in Palmerston North and Auckland, as well as incidents of people shooting fireworks from cars and at people or structures," says National Advisor Fire Risk Management, Todd O'Donoghue.

"This is dangerous behaviour and creates a high degree of risk for our communities. We’d like to not have a repeat of that this Guy Fawkes," says Mr O’Donoghue.

Reckless use of fireworks caused a major fire at Fletchers Bay in the north of the Coromandel on New Year’s Eve 2017 that burned through five hectares.

FENZ prefers people attend professionally run public fireworks displays. However, if you are lighting fireworks, it’s your responsibility to make sure you’re using them safely.  You can only light them from your private property, not a public place, and keep in mind any animals that may be nearby.

"We're already seeing very dry scrub and vegetation from the great weather we've been having," says our Civil Defence Controller Garry Towler. "Be mindful of the bush surrounding your property, it is this primary fuel that starts a wild fire.

FENZ issues fire permits and sets the fire seasons and any bans on fires in the open in all urban and rural locations across the country. Check their website to see what the fire season is in your area.

If you see an out-of-control fire, call 111 immediately.

Safety tips

  • Don’t light fireworks in windy or dry conditions.
  • Carefully read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions before using any fireworks.
  • Light your fireworks in a wide-open area, away from anything that could catch fire, like dry grass, leaves or crops, or flammable gases or liquids.
  • Keep a bucket of water, hose or fire extinguisher handy.

Lighting fireworks safely

  • Only adults should light fireworks.
  • Keep all unlit fireworks in their box or bag until you’re ready to light them.
  • Point fireworks at the stars, not at people or anyone’s home.
  • Leave dud or damaged fireworks alone.

Be considerate with fireworks

  • Do not use fireworks after 10.30pm and try to let your neighbours know in advance.
  • If you're in a rural area, make sure you do not set off fireworks around farm animals.
  • If you do get burned, hold your burn under cold running water for 20 minutes.
  • Keep your pets inside.

Work happening in your neighbourhood

Pictured above: Concept design for the new Pepe toilet facility in Tairua.

Pepe toilets, Tairua - Our Council received $412,000 from the Tourism Infrastructure Fund towards construction of a new toilet facility at Pepe Reserve, Tairua, which was scheduled to be completed ahead of the peak summer period. The work is now delayed and starting after 7 February 2021 (Waitangi Weekend) due to the impact of COVID-19 on our infrastructure programme with two factors in play:

This project has been delayed due to the impact of COVID-19 on our infrastructure programme with two factors in play:

  1. A supply chain problem for the toilet contractor securing equipment.
  2. A back-log in the planned construction programme while the contractor finishes other planned works scheduled ahead of this project.

The current facility is still completely functional and meets health and safety requirements.  As a busy facility, it is one that will be cleaned more regularly over the peak summer period, thanks to the grant from the Government’s Responsible Camping Fund.

Flaxmill Bay erosion:

  • Three groynes will be constructed as a five-year trial at Flaxmill Bay to mitigate erosion of the dune and assist with building up.
  • Construction will start Monday 16 November with completion by Friday 18 December (weather permitting) – equipment will start to arrive onsite from Thursday 12 November.
  • • The groynes will be constructed using large geotextile bags filled with sand (same as Brophys Beach).
  • The work site and area will be fenced off for public safety, the contractor will have staff onsite to direct the public.
  • Access to the gravel car park by the toilet and the beach vehicle access ramp will remain open to the public.
  • A letter drop to nearby residents has been completed.

Domain Road car park, Hot Water Beach – (Pictured above) We’ve completed the asphalt surfacing and marked the car park which completes this project.

Bull Paddock car park, Hot Water Beach – (Pictured right) Car park sealing should be finished next week (weather dependent).

Mercury Bay Skate Park - First concrete pour this week. Overall progressing well with the Christmas deadline for completion.

Whitianga Refuse Recovery Centre - The concept design is done, however the full design report and rough order costing is still to be finalised.

Taputapuatea footbridge - Finished and has been well received and used by the public.

Power line inspections, Mercury Bay - Powerco will be inspecting power lines between Tuesday 10 November to Tuesday 17 November by using helicopters which will be running purely on hydrogen, so there are no environmental impacts.

Tairua Refuse Transfer Station - Back in service from tomorrow. The pit was closed for several weeks (not sure about exact time) because it was damaged, but people could still use the RTS to drop off landfill items – the layout was changed to incorporate the pit closure.

Ride Coromandel Bike Park - The pump track has been completed and now needs to cure, the next stage is the construction of the car park area.

Create the Vibe Thames HQ

Create the Vibe – Thames HQ (cnr Mary and Pollen Streets) is now a bookable space and free to use for community and not-for-profit groups.

We would love to see the space well-utilised. For more information check out tcdc.govt.nz/createthevibethames.

Kōpū marine project update

A stakeholders meeting has been held with 30 individuals representing important interest groups, commercial businesses, landowners, community services and regulatory authorities.

There was strong support for the project by those who attended, reflecting the high levels of engagement undertaken over the past few months to work through a practical design.

The outcome of the workshop was agreement to extend the pile wharf “T” head section, this will increase the capacity of the wharf to allow for four boats to berth for in-water servicing and loading at all tides.

You can view the updated site plan and project scope statement here.

Next steps for the project is to collate documents to support a fast track resource consenting proposal.  One thing we’ll be starting is driving some test piles into the river bed to help inform the detailed wharf design.

Key dates:

  • Expressions of Interest for construction go out im November via GETS (www.gets.govt.nz) and TENDERLINK (www.tenderlink.com)
  • Lodgement of fast track resource consent application early December
  • Tender for physical works to go out in March next year
  • Construction expected to begin in August next year

Council meeting highlights

Our Council met this week to discuss the mixed view of gambling, support for ageing, youth and disability strategies and signalling we’ll be  shortly going out to ask for your views on tourism, changes to rubbish and recycling, and boat ramp and parking fees and charges. Click here to read more.

Upcoming meetings

  • Tairua-Pauanui Community Board meeting - 10am, Monday 2 November at the Pauanui Community Hub, 23 Centreway.
  • Whangamata Community Board meeting - 10am, Tuesday 3 November in the Whangamata Board meeting room, 620 Port Rd.
  • Mercury Bay Community Board meeting - 9am, Wednesday 4 November in the Mercury Bay Board meeting room, 6 Monk St.
  • Coromandel-Colville Community Board meeting – 9am, Tuesday 10 November in the Coromandel Board meeting room, 355 Kapanga Rd.
  • Thames Community Board meeting – 9am, Wednesday 11 November, Thames Council Chambers, 515 Mackay St.
  • Council meeting - 9am, Tuesday 8 December, Thames Council Chambers, 515 Mackay St.
  • Emergency Management Committee meeting - 9am, Wednesday 9 December, Thames Council Chambers, 515 Mackay 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.

A labour of love at Whiti Farm Park - Economic development and business news update

COVID-19 and the challenges it has brought to 2020 have stretched businesses across the Coromandel, with hospitality and the tourism sectors among the hardest hit.

Local tourism business Whiti Farm Park has had it's share of challenges this year.  Owners Ronnie and Stephen James have had to contend with the hit COVID-19 has thrown at them. On back of challenges of the summer drought and feed shortages, followed by a 100-year storm that wiped out a good swathe of the property.

The James faced the challenges with courage and have come out other side, having just experienced a record Labour Weekend. We catch up with them on the year and its new online marketing focus, later in this newsletter.

Also in this Economic Development Update:

  • Hauraki Rail Trail - Te Aroha to Matamata extension opens
  • Fullers Ferry returns to the Coromandel
  • Free business advisor drop-in sessions
  • Economic intelligence - Waikato region
  • COVID-19 business support funding
  • Looking for staff? These leads could help
  • Funding available for arts and culture recovery
  • Destination Coromandel annual report
  • Our Coromandel magazine - out now
  • Events update
  • i-SITE and Visitor Information Centre hours

Click here to read.

Summer plans in The Coromandel - good for your soul

Photo: Mussel Barge Snapper Safaris

Labour weekend arrived to kick-start summer, and give us a taste of holidays to come. One of the best ways to deal with post long-weekend blues (yes, it's a thing) is to plan your next escape.

Wherever you're headed, back to your favourite spot or thinking about somewhere new, there's a whole raft of fresh experiences to discover in The Coromandel, where Kiwis love to holiday. Check out more including specials, deals and fresh ideas from Destination Coromandel here.

Have your say on our public consultations

Don’t forget we have two items out for public consultation:

  1. The draft Mercury Bay Reserve Management Plan
  2. Proposed Rates Remission and Postponement Policies

Go to tcdc.govt.nz/haveyoursay for more information and to make an online submission.

Our Council road and resealing work continues

The road and resealing work on our Council roads across the district continues this weekend and next week. Please remember to park off the road on the scheduled day so work can proceed.

As it's dependent on weather, we're updating our website and Facebook page daily, also listen to the local radio stations.

You can view a summary of other scheduled weekly roading activities in our district on our website - tcdc.govt.nz/roads.

What's on in the Coromandel

From creepy stories and family-friendly horror movies to the Halloween sweets and themed activities; slowly but surely Halloween is becoming more and more popular throughout New Zealand.  The Coromandel is hosting a number of Halloween events this year. 

Markets

  • Thames Market, Pollen Street Thames 8am – 12pm

Events

Coromandel

  • Halloween Disco - Coromandel Area School

Thames

  • Hopetoun Brown with Finn Scholes – Thames -Kaueranga Hall
  • Thames Haunted House 2020
  • Hogwarts Halloween at the Thames Library
  • Volunteer Day at Shortland Cemetary - Thames

Pauanui

  • Open Mic Music Night – Pauanui

Whitianga

  • Halloween at the Mercury Bay Library

Click here to see more.

Wharf and Responsible Camping Ambassadors needed

We’re advertising to hire Whangamata and Whitianga Wharf Ambassadors to help over the busy Christmas-New Year period from Boxing Day to Waitangi Day.

We’re also advertising for Responsible Camping Ambassadors to cover the district.

These are all paid positions.

The Wharf Ambassadors will guide wharf users and help with the safe use of the designated areas on the wharfs. You will need to be confident in and around water, have excellent relationship building and communication skills along with safety awareness.

The Responsible Camping Ambassadors will provide freedom campers and visitors with information on correct places to camp and identify relevant facilities to enable people to camp conscientiously in our district.  Addressing campers’ queries and the collection of statistical data will also be part of the role.

If you are interested in these roles then visit our website for more information and how to apply.  Please note you must be able to pass a full police check.