North Coromandel facilities to benefit from latest Tourism Infrastructure Funding round 10 December 2019 Two projects to improve toilet facilities in the upper reaches of the Coromandel have been chosen to receive just over $116,000 from the latest funding round of the central government’s Tourism Infrastructure Fund (TIF). (PICTURE: Otautu Bay) The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has awarded $65,247 to upgrade toilets at the busy tourism hotspot of Little Bay and $51,422 to introduce a toilet facility at Otautu Bay (pictured above), where there are growing numbers of visitors but currently either very basic or no public toilets available. Our Council will co-fund these projects with approximate amounts of $59,950 for the Little Bay toilet upgrade and $73,775 at Otautu Bay. "This funding is great news as both projects are much-needed to cater for rapid tourism growth at these unspoilt, natural environments," says Thames-Coromandel District Council Mayor Sandra Goudie. “Otautu Bay and Little Bay are becoming more and more popular as both domestic and international visitors discover this beautiful northern area of the Coromandel; and infrastructure such as toilets are central to the visitor experience,” Mayor Sandra says. "Again, we are grateful for the support from central government in recognising that as a small council, with limited resources, it's a huge ask to manage growing visitor numbers," Mayor Sandra says. “The TIF was set up to support communities facing pressure from tourism growth, with high visitor numbers, but relatively small ratepayer bases – like our district," she says. “With just 2,621 ratepayers in the Coromandel -Colville Community Board area, these isolated tourist hotspot projects are unaffordable without the support of the TIF.” Find out more about each project below. Little Bay toilet upgrade Little Bay, the next bay to the south of Waikawau Bay on our north-eastern coast, is an extremely popular beach and receives a significant number of visitors from the large DOC campsite at Waikawau – for example there were 50,000 visitors in the 2018/2019 season. The public toilet (pictured above) is currently very dated and the carpark is unsealed with no defined carparks. The proposed upgrade will see the single pan, vault toilet facility replaced with a new, fully accessible toilet and a resurfaced car park. New toilet for Otautu Bay Reserve Otautu Bay, north of Colville is a popular beach for families doing day trips, or a rest stop for those traveling on to Fantail Bay, Port Jackson and Fletcher Bay. It is also a popular launching beach for those fishing the spectacular islands and northern reaches of the Hauraki Gulf. However, there are currently no public toilet facilities at this location. In the past, a long drop toilet (pictured above) was maintained by locals but was removed after it reached its use-by date. The nearest public toilet is nine kilometres away at the Colville township. While there is a campground adjacent to Otautu Bay beach, the toilets are not for public use and as visitor numbers have grown over the last seven years, locals have reported beach users asking to use their toilets in some circumstances. This project is to create a single-pan, dry vault toilet with changing facilities on the Port Jackson Rd waterfront at the Otautu Bay Reserve. Three picnic tables will be installed adjacent to the toilets. About the Tourism Infrastructure Fund The TIF is a central government fund that provides up to $25 million each year for the development of tourism-related infrastructure such as car parks, freedom camping facilities, sewerage and water works and transport projects. The fund supports local communities facing pressure from tourism grown and in need of assistance. Find out more about the fund here. Read more about our Council’s successful TIF-funded projects to date, here.