Let's talk - How should we use our Mercury Bay reserves? 05 October 2020 It’s time to review our Reserve Management Plans (RMPs) for Mercury Bay. Reserves are much-loved features of our district, providing opportunities for recreation, as well as a general sense of open space where we can enjoy the simple things such as a picnic with family and friends. Our Mercury Bay RMPs were last reviewed in 2007/2008 and we believe our communities’ needs and expectations of our reserves have changed over this time. For this reason, we are inviting your feedback. We adopted a new General Policies in May 2019 that sets out aims, objectives and policies which will apply to all Council reserves in the district. The draft Mercury Bay Reserve Management Plan provides information about the management of individual reserves in the Mercury Bay Community Board area. Consultation opens today, Monday 5 October and closes 4pm Monday 7 December. A couple of things being proposed which may be of interest include categorising reserves based on the natural values, cultural heritage, and recreation use. This helps to recognise how the reserve can be used and outlines a management focus. Previously, the Mercury Bay RMPs were split into three parts. This review brings the whole Mercury Bay area into one document. The draft plan also identifies issues and how we can manage individual reserves. People who use our reserves may be aware of other issues or have suggestions on how these can be managed. Some examples for your consideration: Lyon Park – Whitianga: Lyon Park is on Albert Street in Whitianga and was gifted to the Coromandel County Council in 1940. The RMP for this reserve notes an issue of the park being used as overflow parking for marine activities and includes a management action to consider putting more restrictive measures in place to prevent unauthorised parking on the reserve. Taylor’s Mistake – Whitianga: This reserve has an interesting history with several different owners. It has a listed archaeological site towards the eastern boundary of the reserve (T11/313 midden/oven) and the Huke Huke Urupā (T11/2821) is also within close proximity. Recent improvements to the reserve as part of the Whitianga Town Centre upgrade includes installation of a new hoggin path, ‘natural play’ equipment, a permanent shelter canopy with seating fronting Albert Street and an upgrade/relocation of the skate park. The RMP allows for events only where appropriate, subject to Community Board review and permission from Council. Perry Chapman – Opito Bay: This is a new reserve, vested as part of a subdivision in 2020. The reserve has a playground which was donated by the developer. Village Green – Matarangi: The Village Green is near the main beach area at Matarangi between Kenwood Drive and the Central Dune Reserves. The RMP includes a management action to consider developing a plan for the reserve which defines appropriate areas where permit holders can undertake their activities (for example appropriate locations for customer parking, or the location of the event itself). Longreach Reserve – Cooks Beach: This reserve provides greenspace area and esplanade access through to Pūrangi Reserve, as well as access to Admiral Drive. There is a playground located on this reserve. Kōtare Reserve – Hahei: Kōtare Reserve is used for informal recreation and sporting activities in Hahei, and is a well-used dog walking area. There are a range of utility services including sewerage pump stations, water pumps and tanks located on the reserve. A management action included in the RMP is to investigate the re-positioning some of the utility services to improve utilisation of the road frontage/entrance to the reserve. Hāmiora Reserve – Whangapoua: A volunteer group of adjoining property owners have donated considerable time and resource towards enhancing and restoring this reserve, and the RMP includes a management action for Council to continue to support this work. For further details and maps see tcdc.govt.nz/rmp. How to have your say: There are a number of ways you can give your feedback: Submit using our online consultation portal here. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Complete a hard copy submission form and post it to us at Thames-Coromandel District Council, Private Bag, Thames 3540; or drop it into one of our Mercury Bay service centre, 6 Monk Street. Submission forms and hard copies of both draft policies and plans will also be available at our Mercury Bay service centre. We will be holding a public drop-in session so you will have the opportunity to talk through the draft plan with staff and provide feedback face-to-face. Keep an eye out on our Facebook page and website or sign-up to our events newsletter tcdc.govt.nz/subscribe so you know when and where it will be. Once the consultation period is complete, hearings will be held for submitters who wish to be heard. For more information including other areas RMPs see tcdc.govt.nz/rmp.