Support Local

COVID-19 Economic Response Package - phase two

At its meeting on 5 August, 2020, our Council endorsed Phase 2 of our COVID-19 Economic Development Response Package, now that Phase 1 has been completed.

Phase 1 support:

The initial response was about managing the immediate public health response to COVID-19, in conjunction with Civil Defence, the Ministry of Health and other agencies.

  • Council offered a full refund of fees to anyone wanting to cancel a building or resource consent application.
  • We worked with Te Waka, the Waikato Regional Economic Development Agency, to deliver a business response centre to provide support to small and medium businesses.
  • We surveyed local businesses to see how they were faring at the end of lockdown. A second business sentiment survey is underway, in conjunction with Te Waka.
  • Three online business forums were held for Council staff to connect and support the construction, hospitality and tourism industries.
  • We’ve also worked to promote local businesses to the domestic market and support for applications to the government’s “shovel ready” infrastructure fund.

Phase 2 involves our Council’s own applications to the government’s infrastructure funds and investigations into fast-tracking projects including cycleway works, roading projects, erosion control works, large wastewater reticulation projects and various facility/building projects.

You can view the agenda and watch a recording of the meeting (in two parts) on our website Details on this item are found in agenda item 3.2.

Read a media release summaring key aspects of the meeting here


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Local entrepreneurs mask up

(Photo - A selection of the bold, Kiwiana-themed reusable face masks made by Greenhills Paradise Products)

Face masks are an item many of us didn’t think we’d be shopping for this year – among the many ways life has changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now compulsory on public transport across the country, there has been a big rise in demand for face masks across our district since the reintroduction of alert levels last month.

Many entrepreneurial Coromandel locals have jumped on the opportunity to create home-made, reusable masks to meet that demand.

Plenty of options to buy local face masks

A host of local mask makers have sprung up, many having first made masks for their families, before responding to community demand. 

Here's a selection we've spotted, if you're keen to buy local.

Susan Cooksley – Whangamata
Susan Cooksley set out to make washable masks for her family and researched a pattern for four-layer masks - two layers of cotton with two layers of a non-woven filter in between (which stops the microbes going through).  Her masks have a metal nose piece to help them fit close to the face. “I was wearing them in Whangamata, and people saw and asked me about them," she says, which was the impetus to offer them more widely. She’s now selling masks for $15 each. Susan is also making velcro shopping trolley handle covers wrap around supermarket trolley handles while shopping. 
Contact: You’ll find Susan Cooksley on Facebook and you can send a message to ask about her products.

Lynette Mackenzie – Thames
Lynnette also made her first masks for her family, but when her adult children shared them on their Facebook pages last month, it sparked enough interest that she’s been sewing them everyday since. These are three-layer masks, shaped to your face with an elastic ear piece. They come in different sizes and sell for $15 for adult masks and $10 for children's (plus postage).
Contact: If you’re interested in one of Lynette’s masks, contact her on Facebook Messenger or email

Mac and Molly May Masks – Lorraine Dwyer – Waiomu
A couture and bridal tailor of 40 years, Lorraine says sewing is the love of her life. When her daughter asked her to make her a face mask in the early days of COVID-19, and then posted it on Facebook, it was the start of a new venture that’s seen her flat out making masks – 212 in the last two weeks alone. People contact her online and she sends photos of her range of fabrics to choose from, then the masks are made and delivered the next day. The washable masks have a cotton and filter layer and are made with nose wires and embroidery is available. Lorraine says she likes to be creative and this week she made a mask from avocado fabric as a Father’s Day gift for an avocado farmer.  Prices range from $15 plus postage.
Contact: Lorraine can be contacted via Facebook on her pages Mac and Molly May or Lorraine Dwyer Couture where you’ll find her email and phone details.

Beth Hornsby-Hunt – Whitianga
Beth’s cotton, triple-layer masks include can include wire across the nose or elastic behind the head. These come in three sizes: Adult male ($20), female/teen ($20) or kids ($15). Pick up in Whitianga or they can be posed for $5 nationally.
Contact: Beth can be reached on 0223740442 or through Instagram @ludolillicustom.

TaylorJane Davis – Tairua
These washable masks are a team effort between Taylor Jane and her grandmother. Made with three layers from 100 per cent cotton fabric, they have a pocket to insert an optional filter. Currently available in black. Priced at $12 per mask plus $3 postage. Bulk orders available.
Contact: Via Facebook (TaylorJaneDavis) or 021 1264074

Emma and Jenny - Thames
This mother-and-daughter team is making triple-layered, cotton masks with a filter insert pocket. They have an adjustable ear piece and a removable nose wire. The masks are available in a variety of patterns for $15 plus postage or pick-up in Thames. Contact: Phone Jenny on 0274929296 

If you're making face masks and you'd like us to promote your offering, please send your name and contact details to


We're here to help

Business has been turned upside-down by COVID-19, with non-essential businesses closed or working from home. With a large proportion of Coromandel businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector, this is a particularly uncertain time.

Our Council's economic development team is here to support and connect you with help available.

On this page we have complied important avenues for business help, including where to go for financial support, business operations, employment matters and more. Links to more information are provided below. 

We'll also keep you updated on longer-term recovery plans beyond the lockdown period.

Contact our economic development team

We are here to assist businesses who need direction, support and connections for accessing the right help for their business needs. 

Call our Customer Services line on 07 868 0200 and be put through to our economic development team. 

Important information for businesses

Help is available through the Government’s Business Continuity Package, which includes a wage subsidy scheme, leave and self-isolation support, business cash flow and tax measures.

A useful website that brings together key information on COVID-19, including details about the government's financial support package, is here

Information from the Ministry of Social Development

Here is some information about products and services available to support businesses.

The COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Extension is available to businesses that have suffered or expect to suffer revenue loss of at least 40 percent for the 30-day period prior to the application date when compared to the nearest period last year. Businesses which are eligible are able to apply for the COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Extension until 1 September 2020. You can read more about the eligibility criteria at the following link: 19/wage-subsidy-extension/index.html.

For those employees who cannot come into work because Ministry of Health guidelines recommend that they stay at home, and they cannot work from home, they may be eligible for the COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme. More information is available at the following link:

In addition, the temporary loss carry-back scheme administered by Inland Revenue lets businesses expecting a loss in either the 2020 or 2021 year to offset that loss against income in the previous year and receive a refund of some or all of the tax paid in that previous year. You can find more information at the following link:­ organisations/temporary-loss-carry-back-scheme/eligibility-for-temporary-loss-carry-back.

There is a growing number of people not eligible for a benefit but also facing the global economic impacts of COVID-19. The COVID-19 Income Relief Payment was introduced to respond to these extraordinary times and provide support to New Zealanders impacted by job loss as a result of this. The COVID-19 Income Relief Payment is a temporary payment and is available for people who have lost their jobs because of the impacts of COVID-19. It offers support for up to 12 weeks to cushion the blow from job losses, giving people time to look for other work, adjust their living costs or retrain. You can find out more about the COVID-19 Income Relief Payment at the following link:­ get-it.html.

Businesses that have employees in need of financial support are encouraged to check what financial assistance they may qualify for at:­ services/eligibility/index.html. If employees require further assistance, particularly with unexpected or emergency costs, they can test their eligibility for further assistance online through MyMSD at the following link: People can also contact Work and Income on 0800 559 009 to discuss their situation further.

A summary of the financial support available across government to help businesses and employees can be found at the following link:­ support-for-businesses/.


Partnering with Te Waka

Waikato Regional Economic Development Agency, Te Waka, has been working hard to respond to the priority needs in the Waikato region and has introduced a range of initiatives  to support local businesses.

Te Waka Chief Executive Michael Bassett-Foss says the Waikato  region has never been faced with the challenges that COVID-19 is bringing.

“But over the past two weeks, we’ve seen business leaders, agency partners and communities rally with a positive spirit and commitment to get through, and begin to look beyond the initial crisis response towards the longer-term potential and opportunity in the Waikato region,” Mr Bassett-Foss says.

“As an organisation, we have re-focused what we do to respond to the priority needs in the region, focusing on how we can work together to support our community at this important time. Our business as usual activities continue, but we’ve also implemented a range of other initiatives. Via iwi chairs forums and directly with iwi, we continue to support Maori economic development and integrate Maori initiatives with the Te Waka work programme including comms, intelligence and business support," Mr Bassett-Foss says.

Business information
Te Waka’s website has more Covid-19 links and important information for business on its website here

Connect through a webinar 
Watch one of Te Waka’s recent webinars on a range of business support topics here 

Business support is just a Zoom call away
Business advisors from Te Waka are now booking Zoom online meeting slots with Waikato business owners. 

Book now and chat to someone. Advisors can also talk by phone, if that is preferred.

More information here

To secure a slot, call Te Waka on 07 857 0538; or email

Waikato Economic Radar

Te Waka, with the support of Waikato Regional Council Economist Blair Keenan, has been collating data to gauge what is happening in the Waikato economy.

It is now producing an ‘economic radar’ with a range of indicators to track our region’s progress. This includes charts on job ads for the Waikato, regional consumer spending, travel indicators and merchandise trade.

The economic is available here and will be updated weekly.

Job-matching website launches for Waikato residents

A free job-matching website for the Waikato region is supporting business owners and employees through COVID-19. has been set up in a few short weeks by the Cambridge Business Chamber, in collaboration with Te Waka.

Cambridge Business Chamber Chief Executive Kelly Bouzaid, said: “We quickly realised that COVID-19 was going to destroy our low employment statistics both in Waipa and the greater Waikato region. This website is a way to help match employers and job seekers quickly and locally, and to make the recruitment process as easy and effective as possible.”

Bouzaid wanted to stress that the website is not just for Cambridge, but is Waikato-wide.

“Our end goals are employment and business continuity for the Waikato,” she said.

“People are going to be looking for paid employment as we move between all four levels of the COVID-19 alert system, then into recovery. When the lockdown levels change down, there will be urgency in recruiting staff with the desired skill sets, including staff for the “shovel ready” infrastructure projects when they get the green light," she said.

“There are a lot of great job websites out there for when times are normal, but because Waikato Nxtstep’s sole focus is our local region, we hope it will help find solutions fast for our families, neighbours and friends and help us all pull together to keep our community’s economy going.”

To access the site

'Support Local' initiatives

Our Council has launched a 'Support Local' campaign to support businesses into the Covid-19 restriction level 3 and beyond. A regional campaign 'Mighty Local' is also running for the broader Waikato region (more information below).

Support Local - Thames Coromandel

Initiatives are emerging in communities across our district to encourage us to support local businesses, where possible, during the Covid-19 stage four restrictions.. 

Let us know if you have an initiative and we’ll promote it here.

We also suggest you contact your local neighbourhood support group to find out about offers of help by people and businesses, matching offers of help with those in need of it.

Home-grown hand sanitiser

Coromandel Distilling Co has turned its attention to public health, launching an 80% alcohol antiseptic hand sanitiser, in collaboration with Thames artist Fatu Feu'u.

This has been approved as an MPI-approved essential business and the product is PPE-registered with Manufacturing NZ.

Bulk orders can be placed at or it can also be bought at the Re Store Eco Market on Pollen St, Thames.

More information:

Shields up!

Pictured above: The plastic visor masks are a collaboration between Read Bros Hardware and Md3d Engineering    

Two Thames businesses have teamed up to make plastic visor face shields for healthcare workers in our community.

Md3d Engineering prints the frame and Read Bros Hardware has donated the clear visor for the shields shown below. So far, 100 shields have been delivered to loal GPs, nurses, frontline staff and chemists.  Healthcare workers are invited to contact Mickaël Dernoncourt at Md3d Engineering (0279638352) for more information. #madeinthamesnz

We'd love to hear more about what local Coromandel businesses are doing over this time to get through, and help with any additional promotion and marketing. If you've got a story to share, contact

Pharmacies are an essential service and will remain open even under the Covid-19 alert level four restrictions.  Please phone your pharmacy to order medicine or supplies and arrange to collect them at the front door or to arrange delivery.

Supermarkets: Many of our local supermarkets are offering pensioner shopping hours and alternative ways of shopping such as home deliveries or click-and-collect services. Some examples are below. Check with your local store for details. The Government continues to reiterate supermarkets will remain open and there is plenty of food for everyone. Therefore, please be mindful to 'shop normal' and not  stockpile, so everyone has a fair opportunity to get the groceries they need.

  • Kuaotunu Store is open and now preferring to serve customers at the door with staff doing the shopping for customers. Keeping staff and the store safe. You can phone ahead for shopping on 07 866 5543. We are in discussions about a home delivery system from the Kuaotunu Store.
  • Four Square Matarangi - is well set up for home deliveries and will deliver to the Kuaotunu and Rings Beach areas - phone 07 866 5391
  • Pauanui Supervalue is offering pensioner hour between 8am and 9am on Tuesdays.
  • New World Whitianga offers click-and-collect and also van and boat deliveries, which need to be booked in advance - phone 07 867 1900. 

Ways for artists to keep in touch and find support: The arts are a great place to find comfort and solace and even just a small project or trying out a new skill can really help our wellbeing over the challenging weeks ahead. Creative Coromandel is looking at innovative ways to support Thames, Coromandel-Hauraki rohe artists and arts organisations. In the first instance, it has made He Mana Toi Moehau Trust’s online meeting platform Zoom available free of charge. Contact Creative Coromandel or via its Facebook page.

Health and wellbeing:
The team at PhysioFirst Whitianga and Synergy Tairua are still operating online with video-conferencing.  Book online via or phone 021 587 262.

Habit Rehabilitation (formally know as The Physio Room, Whangamata): If you have a new or existing injury they can still help with access to video calling to diagnose a new injury and provide advice regarding what you can do and what you should avoid. "This is a stressful time for everyone - Don’t let pain bring you down," says Nicola, physiotherapist. "Keeping active is vital during this isolation period for physical and mental health." Please call the clinic directly on 07 865 8120 and they will do their absolute best to help you.

All About Whitianga: The team at All About Whitianga is helping support local Mercury Bay businesses during the lockdown, promoting which businesses are 'essential services' or those where deliveries are available, as well as which businesses are available for enquiry, even if their doors are not open. Visit  

The Whitianga Ferry service will not be running over the lockdown period. The ferry will run Tuesday 24 and Wednesday 25 March, from 7:30am to 7:30pm, and will then stop until the lockdown is lifted. As there is a road transport alternative for people to access essential services such as health, pharmacies, supermarkets etc. the ferry is not an essential service.  Also the ferry operation is very hands on and it is not possible for the operator to maintain separation from the customers.  They must make contact for the handling of cash and tokens and also to open and close the doors for passengers to get on and off.  This puts the staff in a high risk situation that needs to be eliminated.

Mighty Local campaign


A ‘Mighty Local’ campaign is underway to boost businesses hurt by the national lockdown. 

The message is simple.  Shop local.  Eat local. Buy local. And explore your own backyard, once restrictions are lifted. 

The campaign is a joint effort between Te Waka and Hamilton Waikato Tourism and is supported by all councils in the region. 

To find out more, visit