Latest News & Public Notices

Dougie the clinical robot brings Techweek'18 to Thames

07 May 2018

Meet Dougie the medical robot who's been doing the rounds at Thames Hospital at the Rotary Tech Breakfast - part of Techweek'18.

Techweek'18 is just one of many events going on in the Coromandel in terms of economic development, innovation and business development. Here's a snapshot of what's coming up in the next few months:

Now - Hauraki Coromandel Business Awards are open for applications. Awards ceremony, 27 September.

8 May - Impact Hubs presentation by Jessie Liu. 4pm Thames Wintec.

16 May - The Thames Business Association will formally establish. 5:30pm at the Thames War Memorial Civic Centre. Enquiries to Katina Conomos or 022 657 9868.

18 May - Circular economies presentation by Heikki Ruohomaa. 1pm Thames Wintec.

23 May - Techweek'18 at The Club, 601 Mackay St Thames. 23 May 7-9am. Meet Dougie the medical robot.

8 August - Business Expo, Thames War Memorial Civic Centre.

And now to Dougie

Dougie the clinical robot

(Photo: Dougie does the rounds at Thames Hospital)

Meet Dougie the medical robot who's been doing the rounds at Thames Hospital at the Rotary Tech Breakfast - part of Techweek'18.

Dougie's taking time off from visiting patients at the hospital and working with Waikato District Health Board medical staff to attend the Thames Rotary Tech Breakfast, on 23 May from 7-9am at The Club, 601 Mackay Street opposite Thames Hospital.

Dougie is part of a six-month trial sponsored by the Waikato DHB virtual care programme to bring specialists at Waikato Hospital in direct touch with patients at Thames Hospital.

Techweek'18 is a nationwide celebration of innovation aimed at fostering growth, connection and collaboration in the regional and national technology and innovation sectors. It runs from 19-27 May with events across New Zealand.

And for the first time it's coming to Thames. Thames Rotary Club is hosting the Tech Breakfast and it's free to attend (buy your own breakfast), but please register via Eventbrite or Facebook.

The Rotary Tech Breakfast is also an opportunity for any IT-related businesses or enthusiasts from around the Coromandel to present their products and ideas. Contact our Council's Economic Development Officer Marlene Perry at or 027 703 0263 to book a space at the breakfast.

Waikato Innovation Park in Hamilton is sponsoring Techweek'18 in our region and nationally it's sponsored by NZTech and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

See the full list of Waikato Techweek events here and the national Techweek events here - many of them are free.

An app has been designed for Techweek’18 Waikato events, and is available as a free download.

The app provides information on events across multiple days and locations around the Waikato region, and also has information on sessions, speakers and exhibitors. You can use the app to register for events and plan your schedule.

"The Rotary Tech Breakfast is one of the events our Council is involved in designed to boost local economic development," says Thames-Coromandel District Mayor Sandra Goudie.

"We're holding a Business Expo in August and in September there is the second annual Hauraki Coromandel Business Awards. We also recently updated our Economic Development Strategy, which is about creating an easy-to-navigate investment environment that enables positive business development and job creation," says Mayor Sandra.

Check out our new Economic Development Strategy - Towards 2028 on our Council's website.

Business awards coming up

Business Awards logo

Applications for the Hauraki Coromandel Business Awards are now open. Enter your business in one of the eight categories, or nominate a business for the People's Choice Award. Businesses must be from the Hauraki and Thames-Coromandel district areas to be eligible to enter. More information and online entry forms are available on the Business Awards website.

Also, check the Business Awards Facebook page for regular updates.

Last year's Supreme Award winner was Agrisea, a Paeroa-based company that makes soil and animal nutrition products from seaweed. They also won the Primary/Rural and Innovative categories. Pamper Me MediSpa in Thames won the People's Choice Award, the Seagull Centre in Thames won the Excellence in Sustainable Practices and Retail categories and Hot Water Beach Top10 won the Tourism/Hospitality category.

Brace for Impact Hubs

There is more going on in the space where technology and innovation meet communities.

On 8 May Jessica Liu is coming to Wintec Thames at 4pm to give an update on Impact Hubs Aotearoa. Impact Hubs have been set up in dozens of places around the world to create flexible work spaces where start-ups and social entrepreneurs can rent desks and meeting venues and collaborate with one another.

Groups in several different areas of the country are working on starting up Impact Hubs in their area, and Jessica Liu is the project manager of the Waikato Impact Hub, which has support from Wintec and Trust Waikato.

See the Wintec website for more on the Waikato Impact Hub.

Thames Business Assocation to establish

A group of Thames businesspeople has been working to set up a business association for Thames and now they're ready to formally establish it. (Click to enlarge the graphic below.)

Thames Business Association to establish

Circular economies and local development

Heikki Ruohomaa

On 18 May, in collaboration with Wintec we're hosting a Finnish expert in local economic development, Heikki Ruohomaa. He has a background in engineering, agritourism and waste minimisation and has been involved in the creation of "circular economies" in rural parts of Finland, in which resources are kept in use for as long as possible and the maximum value extracted from them. 

Mr Ruohomaa is Manager, Global Education, at HAMK, a university of applied sciences in Finland. Wintec has partnered with HAMK for international research, innovation and development studies.

He's speaking at 1pm at Thames Wintec after a 10:30am visit to the Seagull Centre. All are welcome to come to both events.

Business Expo for employment opportunities

CAN DO new logo May 2018

And on Wednesday 8 August there is the CAN DO Business Expo at the Thames War Memorial Civic Centre, but covering the entire district. This event has been running successfully for several years, providing local businesses and training organisations an opportunity to showcase career paths and employment opportunities in our district.

Last year's event incorporated a volunteer aspect, in recognition of volunteerism as an avenue to gain valuable working skills and experience. Thirty local businesses and 30 volunteer organisations were there and hundreds of people attended, including many high school students investigating locally available career pathways.

Several large organisations that rely heavily on volunteers, for example St John Ambulance, will be at this year's expo.

The Business Expo is put on by our Council in collaboration with the Coromandel Action Network District-Owned (CAN DO). CAN DO is a group of people in the business community focused on business growth and employment.

If you'd like to participate in the Business Expo, contact our Council's Economic Development Officer Marlene Perry at or 027 703 0263.

CAN DO Business Expo August 2017

(Photo: A Thames High School student speaks to a representative from JCD Customs automotive repair centre at last year's CAN DO Business Expo.)