Whangamata’s tourism information service on Port Road is to be managed by the Whangamata Community Gardens Incorporated Society from October. We would like to say a big thank you to Mauro Bender and Katrina (Kat) Millar who took on the temporary management over the past few months until a longer-term solution could be agreed on. The couple are now focusing on their commercial businesses Surf N Stay and Surfs Up, as they ramp up to their busy time of year from Labour Weekend through to Easter. "We have found Whangamata is a great town to raise our children and run our business, so we wanted to help out, so the information tourism service could stay open,” says Kat. Our Council received five registrations of interest to run the information service long-term. The Whangamata Community Board expressed its preference that the purpose-built building where the service is situated, continue to be used, rather than exploring options of integrating the information service into an existing business. “The Community Board has come up with a community-led initiative, that has resulted in a successful outcome for all,” says our Communications and Economic Development Manager Laurna White. “We also want to thank everyone who put in an Expression of Interest to manage the service, it’s wonderful to see such a commitment from so many groups around Whangamata to help out.” The information centre will be closed from 3pm today and will re-open before Labour Weekend, to give time for the Whangamata Community Gardens to provide the training and support they need to be up and running. The Whangamata Community Board will review the levels of service and the funding model for the information service as part of its 2019-2020 Annual Plan work. For all enquiries around visitor related bookings before then please use Destination Coromandel's website www.thecoromandel.com or phone 0800 651 477.