News and Public Notices

Thames Community Board approves funding for Thames Business Association

10 June 2020

At its special meeting today, the Thames Community Board agreed to the request of the Thames Business Association (TBA) for funding of $80,000 for the next financial year.

Thames Business Association logo

The support will come from the Board’s Thames Promotion Budget, which had $90,000 per annum for three years ending this financial year. The remaining $10,000 has not been allocated.

View the unedited recording of the meeting on our website at tcdc.govt.nz/meetings. You can also view the order paper for the meeting, including the TBA’s application for the funding, its new strategy to drive economic development in the Thames area through the post-COVID lockdown period and its budgets here

The TBA was founded in May 2018 and aims to develop a cohesive business community that drives positive social and economic outcomes. The Board granted $80,000 to the TBA in 2018/19 and again in 2019/20 from the Thames Promotion Budget.

“In my time as a business person in Thames going back to 1981 as a chartered accountant, I don’t think I’ve seen such a well-organised strategy for development,” says Thames Community Board Chair Strat Peters.

“This funding is a strategic investment that we’ll see a return from in coming years,” Mr Peters says.

The Chief Executive Officer of the TBA, Sue Lewis-O’Halloran, was appointed in mid-April, during the lockdown.

“This period is a real opportunity to position Thames for the post-COVID recovery,” she told the Board. “Thames is the economic engine of the Coromandel, with about $500 million of the district’s GDP coming through it,” says Ms Lewis-O’Halloran.

TBA Board Chair Heather Moore says the organisation is working  closely with Council, the Community Board, iwi, Destination Coromandel, Te Waka (the Waikato Regional Economic Development Agency) and other stakeholders to encourage investment in the Thames Ward.

The TBA also says it wants to encourage commercial property owners to maximize the potential of their properties to make the Thames town centre more bright and welcoming.

Membership of the TBA has grown to 251, including 101 commercial property owners, and there are plans to introduce a members’ fee, to help the organisation to become financially self-sustaining.

Read more about the TBA on their website thamesinfo.co.nz and their Facebook page.

Also at the Thames Community Board meeting, a member of the Thames Heritage Network, says all of the consortium’s member groups were open again except for the School of Mines, which is run by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga, and will likely open in September. The representative says a designated notice board for heritage activities in the Thames town centre to advertise events would be a great help. The Heritage Network’s member organisations are:

• Bella Street Pumphouse
• Thames Museum
• Thames Goldmine Experience
• The Treasury
• Thames School of Mines, Mineral Museum and Rock Shop
• Thames Small Gauge Railway
• Historic Kopu Bridge