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Draft Annual Plan decisions made

26 May 2022

There’ll be changes to boat ramp launching and boat trailer parking fees around our district, following decisions made by our Council at its draft Annual Plan deliberation earlier this week.

Whangapoua boat ramp

(Whangapoua boat ramp, above)

Council endorsed fees of:

  • A combined annual fee for boat launching and trailer parking set at $115  
  • A launching only annual fee set at $45    
  • A daily launching only fee of $15 per day
  • A daily combo boat launching and trailer parking fee of $30 per day

These fees will apply at nine Council boat ramps from 1 July; the remaining 17 would remain free to use. 

Trailer parking fees already exist at six of our boat ramps. The new parking fee would apply to three additional ramps and the new launching fee would apply at all nine ramps, listed here: 

  • Sugarloaf (Te Kouma) 
  • Whangapoua 
  • Matarangi 
  • Whitianga Wharf/The Esplanade 
  • Robinson Rd, Whitianga 
  • Purangi (Cooks Beach – Purangi Reserve) 
  • Tairua Wharf 
  • Royal Billy Point, Pāuanui 
  • Beach Rd, Whangamatā 

“Our coast is such an integral part of who we are as a district,” says our Mayor Sandra Goudie. “Boat ramps and wharves are important assets to help people enjoy the water. But they’re costly to maintain and replace or upgrade when needed. This change to the fees is about shifting some of that cost from ratepayers to the people who use the facilities. The fees collected will stay in the local area to help pay for the boat ramps and wharves. 

Another key decision was raising capital expenditure from the $42.5 million projected in our 2021-2031 Long Term Plan for the coming financial year to $54 million. This is because some projects scheduled for 2021/22 couldn’t be carried out because of COVID and supply chain disruptions and to take account of higher-than-forecast inflation. 

“We all recognise the significant challenges here and across the rest of New Zealand and the world, in dealing with inflation and delays in procuring materials,” says Mayor Sandra. “Council staff will be monitoring this as we go ahead so we can be flexible and respond as best we can to changing circumstances.” 

Other key Annual Plan decisions: 

Stormwater pipes

A proposal to change the fees charged for commercial use of our wharves has been put on hold pending further consultation with wharf users.

This year the three waters (water, stormwater and wastewater) activities will be partially funded using 25 per cent of retained earnings. This will reduce rates for 2022/23. The impact on rates is being calculated and we will make it available as soon as possible. 

Our Council will contribute $1.25 million to buy open space land in Matarangi currently occupied by the golf course. This will be funded by existing reserve budgets with no impact on ratepayers. 
 
Operational expenditure will be adjusted from the LTP to include: 

  • $6,000 per annum until 2031 (inflation adjusted) to support Anzac Day commemorations 
  • A $20,000 grant in 2022/23 for the Coromandel Town Community Library 
  • $225,000 to enable the completion of the Shoreline Management Plan project 
  • $85,000 to initiate the implementation of the Shoreline Management Plan (see more on the project at tcdc.govt.nz/smp)  
  • $35,180 in 2022/23 to enable the Whangamatā Beach Hop to run twice in one financial year 
  • $60,000 in 2022/23 for the Whangamatā Community Swimming Pool 
  • $50,000 in 2022/23 for Future Planning of Whangamatā 
  • $200,000 for Corporate Greenhouse Gases Emission Reduction Plan implementation 

$1.53 million for 2022/23 from retained earnings to begin to address salary gaps and to compensate staff fairly in the current competitive labour market. It’s an incredibly challenging environment and there’s a need to close pay gaps to assist with recruitment and retention. 
 
A request to provide the Whangamatā Information Centre with an additional $30,000 per year over the next two years from district funds, in addition to the $50,000 per annum already allocated, was declined. Council would support any Whangamatā Community Board initiative to locally fund the information centre. 
 
A request to fund Waikato Screen NZ with $21,606 for three years was declined as support for filming activities in the district is provided through our Council’s Economic Development Team and our District Events Coordinator as well as through our Regional Tourism Organisation Destination Coromandel, that Council already funds. 

The Annual Plan updates the budgets, project priorities and fees and charges for the year from what was projected in the 2021-2031 Long Term Plan (LTP). It also sets the rates for the financial year. 

These fee changes are detailed in the Annual Plan Deliberations Report, part of the meeting agenda. 

The financial impact of these decisions will now be worked through for the final version of the Annual Plan, which our Council is scheduled to adopt at its 28 June meeting.  

The full agenda is available at www.tcdc.govt.nz/meetings, where you can also view the recording of the meeting 

Other decisions made by Council this week: 

Commercial Licences on Council Reserves 

Changes for commercial licenses to operate on Council reserves will be put on hold while our proposal for a weighted tender system is further investigated.  

The reason we’ve been reviewing this is to try and get better equity while providing surety for commercial businesses who operate in our parks and reserves. 

We recognise businesses have been impacted over the past 18 months due to COVID and fewer tourists, so we want to provide more time for businesses to rebuild. 

Applications already submitted will be assessed using the current system, so these don’t need to resubmitted. 

More information is on our website at tcdc.govt.nz/commercialconcessions.  

Cory Park Domain selected for Tairua skatepark site 

Our Council has chosen Cory Park Domain as the site for a new skatepark in Tairua, after all potential sites were investigated and public opinion was thoroughly canvassed. 

Now that the site has been selected, a community skatepark design reference group will be formed with a mix of members including skaters, adjacent residents, a member of the Preserve Cory Park Domain Society, a member of the Tairua Recreation Sports Trust, a member of the Tairua Rugby Sports Club and others including police and other park users to ensure the skatepark design is compatible with other recreational uses of the park. 

“There was never any doubt that all anyone has ever wanted in Tairua for the last 30 years is a skatepark in town,” says our Mayor Sandra Goudie. “Now we can move forward.” 

Our Council has allocated $406,000 in the 2022/23 financial year to design and build the skatepark. In addition, our Council has requested a $150,000 contribution from the community. The community funding is currently confirmed at $115,800 and the Tairua Recreation Sports Trust is confident the full contribution will be achieved. 

For more information on the skatepark project, visit our website tcdc.govt.nz/tairuaskatepark.