Latest News & Public Notices

Getting into action with our new District Sports Plan and other Council meeting highlights

23 June 2020

It’s game on as we now have a District Sport and Active Recreation Plan, which provides direction for the future of sport in our area, particularly around investment in facilities.

Pictured above: Vision of the Thames-Coromandel District Sport and Active Recreation Plan - excerpt from Thames-Coromandel Community Consultation sessions.

The full Plan is available here and was endorsed by Council at its meeting today.

“We know from the research that went into this plan that Coromandel people like to get out and play and they value the opportunities here to do that,” our Mayor Sandra Goudie says. “But we also know we have challenges: an ageing population, growing numbers of retirees, seasonal population changes, and our towns spread across a big and rugged geographic area. This Plan will help us focus our planning so that we’re meeting the future needs of the community,” Mayor Sandra says.

Specifically, the Plan provides guidance for investment in facilities and spaces for sport and recreation. With our partners Sport Waikato, the Plan provides priorities for the delivery of opportunities and services to grow participation.

The Plan also aligns with Sport Waikato Regional Facilities Plan and other councils in the Waikato with similar plans.

The Plan says:

  • There is potential for existing facilities to be redeveloped as hubs for multiple sports in order to maximise resources
  • Planning for future facilities will need to focus on multi-purpose use and be flexible to allow for adaptation
  • Stakeholders will have to work collaboratively to improve delivery of sports facilities
  • Smaller clubs struggling to fund ongoing repairs and maintenance or faced with declining membership, should consider sharing facilities
  • Sports clubs should have asset management plans which take into account the buildings’ lifecycles
  • Encourage amalgamation of clubs when warranted
  • Projected growth of older age groups requires a stronger focus on facility use and needs of older users
  • Partner with schools, especially secondary schools, and neighbouring councils in facilities for community use (an example is the Jack McLean Community Recreation Centre at Thames High School)

Our Council worked with Sport Waikato to develop the Plan and consulted with sports organisations and the wider public over last year and into January this year. Sport Waikato provides programmes and activities to encourage recreation and a healthy, active lifestyle for all people in the Waikato. It is a charitable trust funded through regional contracts, sponsorship, fundraising and donations.

The draft Plan then went to all our district’s Community Boards for further feedback.

The surveys and drop-in sessions we held resulted in 70 facility-specific responses. These helped inform the Plan, as well as statistics on population change and trends around participation in sport.

Pictured above - Moving Waikato 2025 Regional Strategy

The District Sports Plan was one of the agenda items in today’s Council meeting. You can view the meeting online here.

In other items at the Council meeting.

Item 1.6: Further consideration to the proposed revocation of reserve at Queen Street, Thames
Richmond Villas were asking Council not to revoke the reserve status of three parcels of land beside the Villas and that it be retained in council ownership.
Ngati Maru were asking Council to continue with revocation of the reserve status.

Item 1.7 Submissions on proposal to revoke reserve status and sell land at Tapu.
Three submitters spoke to the proposal to revoke the reserve status over parts of esplanade and recreation reserves at Tapu.
Ngati Tamatera spoke about the importance of this reserve strip to iwi. Adjoining land owners of the reserve spoke about the history behind the encroachment of private property onto the reserve and the impact it has on the neighbourhood.

Item 2.1 Reconfirmation of the appointment of an Electoral Officer
Council reconfirmed Dale Ofsoske, director of Independent Election Services Limited as Council’s electoral officer.

Item 2.2 Review of Māori Contribution to Council Decision Making Policy All councils are required to provide opportunities for Māori to contribute to decision making.

Our Council adopted our current Māori Contribution to Council Decision Making Policy unchanged. You can read the policy here.

Item 2.3 Open Spaces and Community Facilities Strategy.
The appropriate quantity and quality of open space and community facilities in the right places to meet the changing needs of communities is important to us all, which is why this strategy has been developed. We will be going out for public consultation on the Strategy this Friday 26 June and a full press release will go out on this day as well.

Item 3.2 - 2 Mercury Bay Commercial Operators Licenses - New applications
Applications for new licenses to operate commercial activities on, or over, Council land owned, operated and managed land and reserves in the Mercury Bay area was approved for the next 12 months. The approved concessions are:

  • Bread Mobile for Pa Rd Carpark in Kotare Reserve,
  • Hahei Stackattack Sportfishing for Purangi Reserve
  • Coast Resources for Domain Rd Carpark (Surf Beach) Cooks Beach,
  • Te Puia Hot Water Beach for no more than 60 days of operation.
  • Coast Resources for Central Reserve, Cooks Beach Boom Sailing for Brophys Beach, Whitianga, Central Reserve, Cooks Beach

Item 3.3 - Classification of Mercury Bay Reserves
We’re reviewing our Reserve Management Plans, with the Thames and Coromandel-Colville ones now complete. This next area we’ll be going out for public consultation on is the Mercury Bay. As part of the process the reserves in Mercury Bay will be gazetted before public consultation starts.

4.1 Chief Executives Report.
This is reporting for up to 30 April 2020.
We’re still tracking in line with our post-COVID budget revision that Council approved at its April meeting.
We’re in compliance with all our specific borrowing limits as per Council's Liability Management Policy including:

1. Net external debt as a percentage of total revenue will not exceed 150 percent - 97%
2. Net external interest expense as a percentage of annual rates income will not exceed 15 percent - 5%
3. Net interest expense as a percentage of total income will not exceed 15 percent - 8%
4. External debt plus available committed loan facilities plus liquid investments/cash equivalents are maintained at 110% over external debt - 117%

Some capital works projects of note:

  • Drinking water standards – The Tairua Water Treatment Plant (WTP) is expected to be completed at the end of June; commissioning of the plant is underway. Handover of the Pauanui WTP is expected in September 2020. The Building Consent application for the Whangamata (Beverley Hills) WTP has been submitted while planning for the Wentworth Valley and Moana Point WTPs is underway. Construction of the Coromandel WTP has commenced. Preliminary planning for the location of the Matarangi WTP has also started.
  • Roading – A funding agreement with DOC for their portion of the Wentworth Valley sealing project is being finalised. Work has commenced on our Council section of road which will be paused over the winter period and restarted September/October for completion before Christmas Meanwhile the Hahei Lees Rd sealing project has been completed under budget.
  • Solid waste - Design work for the Whitianga Refuse Transfer Station is progressing during with conceptual layouts and site investigation completed. The next phase of stakeholder engagement and preliminary design will be complete by October 2020. Detailed design will be completed during the 2020/21 year. And you can read the full report here.