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A family affair for new lease-holders of Tairua campground and Pauanui-Tairua trail update

13 September 2019

A family affair for new lease-holders of Tairua campground

Photo: From left to right: Ruby Woodruffe, Harper, Joe Ferguson and Marley the dog.

The enthusiastic new lease holders for Tairua campground, Joe Ferguson and Ruby Woodruffe, can’t wait to work with the Tairua community and offer guests an experience they won’t forget.

The couple were the successful tender for taking over the lease of the campground, which is on council-owned land.

The small family-friendly camp is centrally located in the heart of Tairua and puts everything in walking distance for its guests. It is perfectly located across the road from a safe swimming harbour, beside the library and within a short walk to the surf beach. Restaurants and shops are just around the corner and it’s just a 30 minute drive north to Hot Water Beach and Cathedral Cove, or 20 minutes south to discover bush walks and gold mines at Broken Hills.

Joe and Ruby have the visitor experience covered with Joe living in Tairua since he was a baby and now spending his spare time playing for the Tairua Rugby Club senior team, working for Tairua Steel Craft and enjoying most activities Tairua has to offer. Ruby visited the Coromandel for as long as she can remember for family holidays and when her parents moved to Tairua from Auckland, she soon fell in love with the town and followed suit. “I have travelled most of the world you can’t beat the views, lifestyle and people of Tairua,” says Ruby.

“Since being here I have made lifelong friendships and I have never lived in such an amazing community,” says Ruby. "We love the Tairua community and this has been highlighted with all the help and support we’ve had making it possible for us to take on the lease.”

Ruby brings a great skillset to the Tairua campground having previously worked in various roles in travel, accommodation, recruitment and hospitality. “A big reason why I wanted to take on this new venture is because when I was growing up, my parents would take us kids to Waipu Cove campground and they were the best summer holidays,” says Ruby. “I hope I can take my wonderful camping experiences and memories and give that to the guests of Tairua campground.”

The couple took on the lease with the aim of providing balance to their family which includes three-year-old Harper and Marley the dog. “The campground is an opportunity for us as a young couple to challenge ourselves and apply our qualities to the role,” says Ruby. “We’re both social people who are enthusiastic with high ambitions for the campground.”

"We want to thank Ruby and Joe for offering their service in taking over the lease and wish them the best of luck in their business," says Erin Bates, our Council's District Manager - South.

Ruby and Joe will live on site and aim to offer a friendly, positive experience including a range of accommodation types including powered and non-powered camping sites, cabin rooms and a family/group room. “As we are renovating and adding to the campground facilities, we plan to create a modern holiday vibe with a point of difference. We’re exploring the option of an indoor movie room and common room for the campers, community, and children to enjoy,” they say.

The campground is located at 4 Manaia Road and is currently closed until Labour Weekend so the kitchen and bathroom areas can be revitalised. However it is open for bookings from Labour Weekend onwards:

For more information and updates see

Pauanui-Tairua trail update

Pauanui-Tairua trail update

One attraction gaining popularity in this area is the Pauanui-Tairua Trail, for cyclists and walkers.

So far the trail is 4km long running from Paunaui to Awa Whio Whio (Duck Creek) with the long term vision for it to reach Tairua.

The trail was the brainchild of the Hikuai District Trust, who in the past month have been working with the Hikuai Liaison Group (HLG) and representatives of Ngati Maru to discuss the next stages of the trail.

"This is a multi-stage plan and the Trust is currently working on stage three, extending Duck Creek to Hikuai," says Gary Fowler Trust spokesperson.  Work has halted at the moment due while ecological and cultural issues are worked through with the Department of Conservation (DoC) and iwi.

“The recent meeting was to discuss the concession issued by DoC and held by the Trust,” says Trust Chairman, Gary Fowler.  “We want to also make it clear that progress has not been stopped due to the landowners, which is important for the wider public to understand.”

"HLG was pleased that its concerns are finally being heard and there is also hope that the public perception of the Hikuai community will now change," says Mr Fowler. The HLG represent the Hikuai Community and were able to express its views in a full and frank manner, as were the representatives of iwi and the Trust.

“The discussions were wide ranging and covered various route options, their benefits, their disadvantages and their wider effects,” says Mr Folwer.

The Trust invited representation from the HLG to its monthly meetings, which was accepted. Moving forward, two members will be nominated to represent the HLG at the informal part of these meetings. “This will ensure all parties are fully informed of all potential decisions and impacts of these decisions on affected parties. It was agreed that good communication is the key to future success,” says Mr Fowler.

The HLG pointed out that it is unanimous in support of the trail, but its members are very concerned that some issues are not being properly addressed. Further, members proposed another alternative route at the current pinch point, the feasibility of which, the Trust agreed to examine.  The previous alternative route proposed by landowners, which the Trust declined twice, also may be able to be modified if it is necessary.

Our Council’s Economic Development Group also helped broker an earlier meeting with iwi representatives in regard to setting protocols around the selection of the next stages of route to Tairua. “All parties have agreed to take part in consultation of the positioning and timing of the route as the trail moves forward,” says Laurna White, our Communications and Economic Development Manager. “We are all unanimous in the trail having positive economic impacts in the future. "

To find out more about the Pauanui-Tairua trail see