Latest News & Public Notices

Thames Community Board recommends funding increase for new books

10 July 2020

Thames Community Board has recommended to Council that funding for new books at Thames Library be increased by moving $41,681 from the Board’s local Parks Renewal Budget to the library books budget.

(The meeting was recorded in three parts. Part one is available to watch above, the other two parts are lower down this page. Or, the recorded meeting is available to view on our YouTube channel or at

The decision, at yesterday’s Community Board meeting, would increase Thames Library’s budget to purchase new books to a total of $50,000, once Council signs off on it at their next meeting.

The funding report is part of the agenda for the meeting and is available here or on our website at along with agendas and minutes for all other Council, Community Board and Standing Committee meetings.

“This recommendation is great for Thames Library and the community,” Board Chair Strat Peters says. “We know how important the library is to its many users and the wider community in terms of not only its books for loan, but the online resources and programmes for children and adults.”

Funding for new books was reduced at our three District Libraries (Tairua, Mercury Bay and Thames) as part of the Annual Plan process to find ways to reduce the rates increase for the 2020/21 financial year, but the Thames Community Board wanted to find a cost-neutral way to restore some of the Thames Library new book budget.

No reduction in staffing or operational funding has been made to the library service, and it is anticipated the new library book purchasing budget would be reinstated for the 2021/22 financial year as part of the Long Term Plan process. If we get a large number of requests for new books in the next 12 months, then we can make an out-of-cycle budget request.

The Long Term Plan for 2021-2031 is in preparation now, and details on the proposed spending and project priorities, and levels of service, will be available for public consultation in early 2021.

A reduction in the local Parks Renewal budgets will see renewal of assets such as signs, bollards and park surfacing deferred to a later date.

Here is part 2 of the meeting:

Here is part 3 of the meeting:

Create the Vibe - Thames

Create the Vibe Thames logo

Nearly $36,000 to cover the local portion of our Council’s successful application to Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency’s Innovating Streets pilot programme has been approved by the Board.

The Innovating Streets programme is funding projects across New Zealand cities and towns that create people friendly spaces and environments. The projects are to be low-cost, temporary interventions that the community has a large role in helping to design. The improvements can be tested and refined before being made more permanent if they’re found suitable.

A core component of the Thames project will be working closely with the community, the Thames Business Association and key stakeholders to make the area around the intersection of Pollen and Mary streets more people and bicycle friendly. What exactly the changes to this area look like will depend on a co-design process with the community that our Council will be launching soon, so keep an eye out on our website, our email newsletters and our Facebook page for details on how to get involved.

Waka Kotahi is providing 90 per cent funding to our project, to a total of $320,125.50.

Create the Vibe – Thames is the umbrella for a range of projects and ideas to smarten up the CBD and create more people friendly places that will help create a civic heart for the town. Go to for more information.

What else happened at the Thames Community Board meeting?

Sir Keith Park statue Thames

The Board approved plans by the Sir Keith Park Airfield Trust to erect a replica World War Two Hurricane fighter plane at Thames airfield (which is officially called Sir Keith Park Memorial Airfield).

The Trust wishes to establish a memorial at the airfield to Sir Keith Park, who led the Royal Air Force fighter squadrons in the defence of London and south-east England during the Battle of Britain in World War Two. Sir Keith was born in Thames and a statue of him was erected in front of the Thames War Memorial Civic Centre last year (pictured above). The Trust is working to erect the replica Hurricane, which is the type of plane flown by Sir Keith during the Battle of Britain, in time for the 80th anniversary commemorations of the pivotal aerial conflict later this year.

The Board agreed that four community groups that were unable to utilise their community grants from last financial year could roll the funding into this current 2020/21 year. The groups are:

  • Life Bliss New Zealand
  • Thames Junior Football Club
  • Thames Heritage Network
  • Thames Rotary Club

Community Board grants are now open.  The Thames Community Board grant fund is $60,000 and if you are an organization needing assistance can you find out more at The application deadline is 31 July.

Work is progressing at Thames Centennial Pool to replace the ageing wood chip boiler with a heat pump to warm the water. The pool will be closed on Saturday and Sunday 18-19 July and until midday on Monday while more work is done.