Latest News & Public Notices

Farewelling Keith Stephenson, Kerbside during summer, and planning your Coromandel holiday - this and more Council news.

23 December 2021

Find out about these important Council projects and activities and other goings on in our district.

Welcome to the weekly wrap-up of our latest Council project news, important dates and information about what's happening in our District.

If you missed last Friday’s Council news wrap-up, read it here.

Farewell Keith Stephenson

We are saddened to hear the news that former Coromandel-Colville Community Board member, K2 and Spirit of Coromandel founder Keith Stephenson passed away suddenly earlier this week.

keithRead Keith's obituary in the NZ Herald here.

Keith was a kauri of a man, and made such a huge contribution to the Coromandel, and the Coromandel-Colville ward through his passion for the outdoors, the environment, recreation and supporting young people.

Among some of Keith’s achievements was helping to develop the Coromandel Mountain Bike Park, the planting of thousands of native trees around the district. 

He was about to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the K2 cycle race in 2022.

We have passed on our condolences.

Extra Kerbside rubbish and recycling collections for the summer

Most areas of the Coromandel will have additional Kerbside rubbish and recycling collections between Monday 27 December and Saturday 12 February 2022.

RTSCheck the schedule for your area on our website:  

Our seven Refuse Transfer Stations are all open to extended hours over the summer, until 20 February 2022. Check hours and locations for your nearest transfer station:

Rubbish in blue Council bags and recycling can be dropped at our transfer stations for no charge.

We also have rubbish compactors and drop-off sites for rubbish:

We wish you a merry Christmas on Waikato and Bay of Plenty state highways

Christmas is coming and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is advising people to plan ahead and be prepared for the increase in traffic that comes with it.

roadsDirector Regional Relationships David Speirs says ordinarily at this time of year, Waka Kotahi would be directing people planning to travel in to, out of, and around the Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions to the agency's Holiday Journey Planner tool, which shows predicted traffic conditions for popular routes over Christmas and New Year’s based on travel patterns from previous years. 

“However, due to COVID-19 restrictions limiting travel for different regions in the Upper North Island over the past few months, we’re expecting travel patterns to change significantly this year. Using previous year’s data to predict peak times and days for travel over this holiday period would not be effective for places like Auckland, Northland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty.”

Waka Kotahi will instead be providing real time data, which road users can find on their regional Facebook and Twitter pages or by using the online traffic and travel tool on the Waka Kotahi Journey Planner website. 

For those travelling outside the upper North Island, the Holiday Journey Planner tool is a great resource to help you plan ahead and avoid delays.

To help ease holiday congestion, Waka Kotahi stops most work before busy holiday travel periods like Christmas and New Year’s, to minimise disruption to people’s journeys.

“Ultimately, people travelling should expect the roads to be much busier than normal this year. Delays are inevitable so it’s important you drive to the conditions, allow plenty of time and take regular breaks to stay alert.”

“More cars on the road, tired drivers and people driving on unfamiliar roads can make holiday driving stressful and risky.

“We can all take simple actions to stay safe. That means checking your car is safe before your journey, keeping your speed down, driving sober, watching for the signs of fatigue and sharing the driving.

”Where possible, it can be a good idea to set off early in the morning or late at night to avoid peak travel periods.

“Be patient when driving this summer so everyone can relax and enjoy the holidays together.

“Remember, you’re on holiday, there’s no need to rush.” 

to Keith’s wife Rita and their children and offered support where we can.


Don’t biff it – bin it. Let’s keep the Coromandel beautiful this Christmas

After a tough year, lots of kiwis are keen to get away to their favourite summer spots and relax over the Christmas break. 

rubbishUnfortunately for Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and their East Waikato contractor, Higgins, this is also the time there is often a big increase in rubbish on our roadsides around the Coromandel on State Highway 25 and on State Highway 2 through the Karangahake Gorge.

Waikato System Manager Cara Lauder says not only is illegally dumped rubbish on the roadside an eyesore, cleaning it up can be dangerous for staff and road users, and it diverts resources away from the important stuff like fixing potholes, repairing signs and generally keeping our roads safe.

“Rubbish bins are provided at many rest stops and if they’re not there, people should be taking their rubbish with them.”

Anyone with concerns about rubbish on state highways or who see someone illegally dumping rubbish on a state highway can call 0800 4 HIGHWAYS.

“Please help us keep the Coromandel beautiful by saying ‘ho, ho, oh no’ to dumping rubbish this holiday season.”

Whangamatā toilets to close overnight to prevent vandalism

Some public toilets in Whangamatā will be closed overnight over the holiday period because of vandalism to them in previous summers.

toiletsThe following toilets will be closed at 9pm and reopened early in the morning from Sunday 26 December to Wednesday 5 January 2022:

  • Port Road Toilet (public toilets under the Ocean Sports Club)
  • Port Road Toilet (at the rear of the Council building)
  • Martyn Road
  • Williamson Park

The Hunt Road and Otahu Point Historic Reserve Exeloos are already programmed to lock at 10pm and open at 6am. Cemetery toilets are still accessible to pedestrians, but the vehicle gate will be locked at 9pm.

The Beach Road/Harbour View and Island View toilets will remain open 24 hours/day.

Signs will be put up on each toilet block advising the times that the toilets will be closing. 

Toilet cisterns, seats, sinks and doors in these public toilets have been smashed in the past, and partitions between cubicles set on fire.

Toilet blocks in other parts of the district have also been closed overnight because of vandalism. For example, in Whitianga, two toilet facilities are open 24 hours/day over the New Year’s period, the rest are closed overnight.

Mural at Patukirikiri endevours to protect our mighty kauri 

Waikato Regional Council, working with Thames-Coromandel District Council (TCDC) and Te Patukiriri, commissioned a mural by Tuateawa artist Rebekah Pearson which reminds the public that we all have a role to play to help keep kauri standing.  

This beautiful and informative mural has been completed at Patukirikiri reserve beside the boat yard. It is a reminder to all those who use it before entering kauri forests that we have all have a role in protecting New Zealand’s most mighty native tree. 

Kauri Protection Biosecurity Officer Hirini Rolleston and TCDC Community Facilities Field Representative Scott Farrell, collaborated to produce the idea as an engaging way to communicate a serious message. 

“The public block was essentially a blank canvas right at the start of the kauri block track where heaps of kauri have been planted in the past 10 years and it’s in an area that has significant stands of emergent and mature trees, some several hundreds of years old,” says Hirini. 

“We can reach a lot of visitors to the Coromandel here in a creative and meaningful way... it's been great joining up with TCDC on the important message to protect our mighty taonga kauri. 

Artist Rebekah Pearson has worked on several murals around the Coromandel, her artwork is always colourful and creative, layered with environmental messages throughout the imagery. “It was wonderful to work on a piece of artwork that has the potential to make such a difference to these amazing trees. ” Rebekah said. 

Stopping the spread of the organism that is threatening our kauri is eas -it is all about stopping the spread of dirtThe microscopic soil-borne organism is called Phytophthora agathidicida (PA) and can be spread by just a pinhead of soil.  

“Like lots of things, its takes all of us working together to protect our kauri.” The bright, cartoon mural tells people to scrub their shoes till they are dirt free before entering a kauri area and to stick to the formed tracks. 

For more info:  

Christmas hours of operation for all Council offices

Our Contact Centre will be in operation 24/7 over this period. Contact us on 07 868 0200. Contractors and Bylaws staff will also be out an about over this period.

xmasFriday 24 December – 8:00am – 3:00pm  
Monday 27 December - Statutory Public Holiday – Closed 
Tuesday 28 December - Statutory Public Holiday – Closed 
Wednesday 29 December – Closed 
Thursday 30 December – Closed 
Friday 31 December – Closed 
Monday 3 January – Statutory Public Holiday – Closed 
Tuesday 4 January - Statutory Public Holiday – Closed 
Wednesday 5 January – Open regular hours (excluding Coromandel Town)

The Coromandel Town area office will also be closed on Wednesday 5 to Friday 7 January. 

Works in your area

shareShare with care stencils introduced

Share with Care stencils have been added to the shared use path network between Rhodes Park to Taipari Park and on the Moanataiari path around Fergusson Drive. 

This is to encourage all uses to be courteous of others on the path of differing transport modes, ages and abilities.

The paint is textured for maximum grip. 

rocksBluff Road walking track to remain closed during Christmas

The Bluff Rd, Kuaotunu walking track will remain closed during Christmas. This is due to a rock fall event that has occurred blocking the track and putting users at risk.

The extended closure is due to the serious risk associated the almost certain occurrence of further rock fall. Further rock fall could be potentially fatal if the track is in use, or crews enter to clear the material that has already come down. In the new year we will review our options to move forward.

Additional signage as shown will be installed on the safety fencing to deter use. It has been reported that the current fencing and signs are being ignored by some users.

We would like to apologise for any inconvenience this may cause however we are undertaking the necessary measures to keep people safe .

The closure will impact the section that is usually open for pedestrian use only.

pickleballPickleball court at Matai Place in Matarangi

One court at Matai Place has been allocated to Pickleball after approval by the Reserve Management Group of Matarangi . The tennis net is also out for maintenance at the moment. The net will be replaced and then it can be used for both tennis and pickleball.


Public consultations

In all, about 200 people attended our public meetings(three in person, one online) on our Spatial Plan recently, and our communities were eager to discuss how they want Thames and surrounds to grow over the next 30 plus years. 

The Plan is an evidence-based, future-focused (30-year plus) strategy that outlines an agreed vision and direction for the area.  

Community feedback at this stage in the project will help us plan for future prosperity, identify areas for growth and change, and support the aspirations of iwi.  

Early conversations with iwi, agencies and community and business focus groups have shaped the initial stages of the Plan. We’re now preparing to share progress with everyone and seek input. 
From the end of this month and through summer we’ll be asking for feedback on Your Thames, Tomorrow  Maiea ake - mai i te hiku ki te kauae, tō pito whenua, tō āpōpō. 

An online survey is now available here.

Your feedback will guide us in our considerations for land use change, infrastructure development and delivery, environmental management and recognition of cultural values. Across all areas of planning, we are working to improve the four well-beings – social, economic, environmental and cultural – for Thames and surrounding areas.  

If you were unable to provide your feedback online or through the drop-in sessions, you can also contact project lead Mitch King directly on


Adapting to Climate Change: We still need your input

We need your input so we can prepare for the impacts of climate change. Although our in-person and online public meetings for our Shoreline Management Project have now concluded, you can still give feedback on adaptation options like managed retreat or coastal protection.

You can send us your feedback online here. There are detailed instructions in the link on how to use the feedback tool and provide your comments alongside your section of coastline.

If you would prefer to simply email us, then please send any feedback to and include which section of coastline you are providing feedback on.

Find out more about this project at


Catch our Transport Survey


Our Council wants your thoughts on proposals to extend the existing Thames Connector public bus service and on a possible new public transport service from Coromandel Town to Thames.

About both proposals, we’d like to know:

  • How often you might use it?
  • What you would use it for?
  • If the service were not provided, how would you travel?
  • What times would you like the service to run?
  • How frequently?
  • How should it be funded?

Go to to complete a short on both proposals, plus some general questions about transport options in the Coromandel.

We’ll be carrying out a separate consultation on a proposed service for Tairua to Whangamata to Thames and Waihi at a later date.

Silent nights on state highways this holiday break


Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency work sites will close from 23 December to 5 January to leave the roads clear for holiday traffic, but there may still be temporary speed limits and road cones at some work sites or where there has been recent road resurfacing.


Waka Kotahi Director of Regional Relationships David Speirs says Waka Kotahi and its contractors stop most work before busy holiday travel periods like Christmas and New Year’s, to minimise disruption to people’s journeys.


“Always take care when driving through road work sites and follow the temporary speed restrictions to ensure everyone stays safe on our roads.


“Traffic management, such as temporary speed limits, signs and cones, is used to alert road users to a change in the road conditions or to works ahead, so look out for the signs and please take care in the run up to Christmas and during the holiday period,” Mr Speirs says.


“There will be some holiday congestion and delays, and we all need to factor that into our plans. Trying to ‘make up lost time’ by speeding and unsafe overtaking puts everyone using the road at risk.”


With Auckland’s regional boundary recently reopening, the Christmas-New Year holiday period is expected to be a very busy time on Waikato and Bay of Plenty roads.


Some of the key work sites in the Coromandel where traffic management will remain in place over the holiday break include:


             State Highway 25 Pepe Stream bridge: Traffic management in place to help manage congestion during peak holiday travel times.

             State Highway 25 Boundary Creek bridge: Reduced to one lane with a 50km/h speed limit to extend its useful life. For more information visit: 


Mr Speirs thanks motorists for their patience when traveling over the Christmas-New Year holiday break and wishes people a relaxing time with family and friends.

“Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.”