"Our Coromandel 2017-18," our Council's annual magazine, is out now and this year's issue is packed with news and information on Council projects, event listings, local profiles, features and much, much more. "This year is the fifth year we’ve produced an annual magazine and we’re building on some of the features that saw last year’s issue shortlisted as one of five finalists from around the country in the Local Government New Zealand Excellence Award in community engagement," says Laurna White, our Communications, Marketing and Events manager. As in previous years, Our Coromandel 2017-18 is primarily targeted at the more than 50% of our ratepayers who don’t live here permanently, to get them to visit more often, and for longer - so they can enjoy more of the lifestyle, events and natural beauty we have access to year-round. "That’s why this year we’ve made a few changes to the magazine," says Mrs White. "We’re no longer calling it Our Coromandel Summer Magazine, or Summertimes for short; we’ve dropped the summer because we want to promote the Coromandel as a great place to live, work and play in every season," she says. As well as news on what our local Community Boards have been up to over the past 12 months, there's Council information, updates on projects and event listings. Special to this year’s issue are our features on free things to do with kids outside the summer; educational, youth and business opportunities; locally produced food; Coromandel winter weddings; the newly expanded Hauraki Rail Trail; adventure racing; the local arts scene; health retreats; baches; and building and planning news. This year is also pretty special with the 150th anniversary of the opening of the Thames goldfields - so we’ve got a focus on heritage and the increasingly popular Steampunk the Thames Festival. Making the Coromandel a year-round events destination is one of our Council’s economic development strategies - and we’re applying the same approach of rolling out the red carpet, not the red tape, to businesses who wish to invest or relocate to the Coromandel. This is starting to pay off because our local economy has been outperforming the national average, traffic flows are increasing and visitor spending reached record levels in 2017. Meanwhile we’ve continued to have overwhelmingly positive feedback on the magazine from readers around New Zealand and internationally, and this year we are offering a $500 petrol voucher to somebody selected at random from among those who complete our annual survey. This survey provides us with feedback on how we deliver Council news to different audiences. You can fill in the survey at www.tcdc.govt.nz/survey2017. We’ve also had greater success this year defraying the costs of the magazine with advertisers keen to support our publication, which allows us to provide free ad space for services such as Civil Defence and Emergency Management, St John, Surf Lifesaving NZ, Coastguard and the Coromandel Rescue Helicopter Trust. Meanwhile, the majority of the magazine is produced in-house by our Communications, Marketing and Events department. We really hope you enjoy reading our magazine, which you can also get online here or if you're a permanent resident you can pick up a free copy from our Council offices and District libraries. We welcome your feedback and thoughts on this edition, and ideas for our 2018-19 publication. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.