Latest News & Public Notices

Check out your election candidates and see what else has been happening in our weekly wrap-up

19 August 2022

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

Careers and Employers Expo

The Thames Business Association hosted the Eastern Waikato Careers and Employers expo yesterday, Thursday 18 August, proudly supported by our Council, Hauraki and Matamata-Piako District Council.

It was well attended with over 900 students within our Districts visiting the 40 stalls and exhibitors, meeting with potential employers and exploring apprenticeship opportunities. 

Due to COVID, to this was a case of "third time lucky" for the event.

Thank you to the local businesses who took time out of their busy schedules to engage with our young people, and also to the volunteers from MORE FM, Gastronomics, Pak'nSave Thames and the Thames Community Centre. 

The feedback was positive, with exhibitors keen to return next year and students impressed with the variety of options available to them.

“The expo has been amazing, we have had an incredible turnout with hundreds of school students from seven different schools. We’ve had really enthusiastic exhibitors from a range of professions showcasing different career opportunities. Many of the kids have been extremely engaging with the exhibitors giving some fantastic outcomes including apprenticeships and job opportunities. I would like to thank TCDC staff for their help in putting on the expo and to our sponsors Pak n Save and Gastronomics.” - Sue Lewis-O’Halloran (Thames Business Association) 

“We wanted to be part of today’s careers expo to represent Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki as an employer and promote the wide range of careers we offer.” We’ve really enjoyed having the schools kids coming through. The kids were really engaged and wanted to understand career pathways and training that we offer. It’s currently a buyers job market so as well as promoting our work to school leavers, we also want to build confidence in people to enable them to make the step back into the workforce.” - Siobhan Wehipeihana (Te Korowai Haouora o Haouraki)

“We are really pleased with the event turnout, it’s had a lovely community feel throughout. It’s been great networking with other organisations. Through working together we meet the needs of the community. The kid’s have been really engaged and seem to have enjoyed the day exploring opportunities." - Fouke Nicholson (Vision West)

“We are very excited to be here after waiting for 3 years. A huge thanks to the Thames Business Association and the team for their persistence and in making today a success. It’s been a great day meeting students from areas we don’t often get to see. We’ve enjoyed seeing all the businesses from different areas come together to put this on for the students." - Maddy Walker (Waikato Engineering Careers Association) 

Aquaculture Forum

More than 50 people from the aquaculture industry including scientists, businesses, and iwi came together to share information, ideas and discuss issues affecting the sector including water quality, climate change and how to increase funding and investment support.

“The industry is poised for considerable growth with marine farms occupying the west coast of the Coromandel for harvesting of mussels and oysters,” says Aileen Lawrie our Council’s new Chief Executive. “There’s also new opportunities for sustainable seaweed and finfish farming. However with all of this comes the need to ensure a resilient future, so having a coalition of the willing coming together is hugely valuable.”

Speakers on the day were:

  • Hohepa Rauputu - Local Oyster industry
  • Gilbert James – Local mussel industry
  • Harry Mikaere - Past, Present and Future of Aquaculture in the Region
  • Nigel Bradley - Seaweed initiatives happening around the Coromandel
  • Gary Hooper - CE of Aquaculture NZ
  • Darren Guard – First Mate
  • Laurna White – Our Council’s Communications and Economic Development Group Manager on the Kōpū business precinct and Te Ariki Tahi/Sugarloaf Wharf redevelopment
  • David Phizacklea – Waikato Regional Council on its draft marine aquaculture strategy

The draft marine aquaculture strategy developed by Waikato Regional Council with industry input sets a vision which will see the doubling of export growth in less than 10 years.

Regional Council’s Strategy and Policy Committee endorsed the draft document for further consultation with iwi and key stakeholders when it met this month.

The draft strategy provides guidance on both regulatory and non-regulatory mechanisms to help achieve this goal of growing an aquaculture industry that produces highly valued seafood while at the same time being mindful of the region’s environment, local communities and mana whenua. Read more here.

Environment Court decides on kauri dieback earthworks rule

The Environment Court has issued a decision that directs our Council to amend the District Plan to make provision for controlling the spread of kauri dieback when earthworks are carried out.

The decision amends the earthworks rule in several ‘urban zones’ to include provisions to restrict earthworks within a ‘kauri hygiene zone’. This zone is generally a circular area around the kauri tree that is three times the canopy radius of the dripline of the tree.

There are particular rules for earthworks within the kauri hygiene zone. Gardening is allowed as a permitted activity but the standards include using only handheld tools and soil disturbance no deeper than 300mm. Some other standards include having an identifiable boundary of the kauri hygiene zone, and establishing a hygiene station to clean equipment used in the kauri hygiene zone.

Check the Environment Court’s ruling for the complete list of standards for each zone here.

More significant earthworks, such as installing fenceposts or drainage work, requires a Kauri Dieback Disease Risk Management Plan to be submitted to our Council and may also require a resource consent.

The rules in our District Plan for earthworks in the ‘urban zones’ outside and beyond a kauri tree’s hygiene zone have not changed.

The Environment Court’s decision is the outcome of an appeal lodged by the Department of Conservation to our Proposed District Plan, seeking greater protection against kauri dieback in our district’s Rural, Rural Lifestyle and Conservation Zones.

For more information go to tcdc.govt.nz/kauridiebackearthworksrule.

Elections 2022

The full list of candidates is now on our website. If you would like to meet your candidates, head along to your local session (listed here).

As queries come in, we'll be updating our FAQ's and sending responses to all candidates. This also includes correcting any false statements being made about Council operations, roles and processes.

Are you registered to vote? The more people who vote, the more likely Council decisions and actions will reflect community needs and aspirations - vote.nz.

Lost and adoptable dogs

Two dogs are in our pound and waiting for their owners to collect them. We also have eight dogs looking for their new forever homes. 

If you are owner or interested in adopting a dog, please contact us on 07 868 0200. Once your interest is known, a Dog Control Officer will be in contact with you to discuss the adoption and carry out the appropriate checks.

For more information go to tcdc.govt.nz/pound.

Consent tracker - Our Consent Tracker is back to its full functionality. Thank you for your patience while we redeveloped the solution.

Dune planting - The Tairua planting bee has been postponed until Wednesday 24 August. RSVP here.

Whangamatā Harbour planting - Saturday 27 August, 10am at Hetherington Rd Reserve (behind Firth). Click here for more.

Whangapoua playground - Please join us for an official opening of the Whangapoua playground on Meri Te Tai Mangakāhia Reserve at midday on Friday 2 September. 

Macrocarpa Reserve

Our Council has been working with representatives of the boating club and horse-riding community in Whitianga to reach a compromise over recent work done involving installing bollards at Macrocarpa Reserve. 

We have agreed to revise the changes we were making to the reserve based on the feedback. As a result the bollards will be shifted seaward to continue to allow for relevant use of the reserve space. Protection of the roots and area of the large Macrocarpa tree from vehicles parking will remain to allow for a healthy shady grassed area, picnicking and other recreational activities. Bollards around the Macrocarpa tree define this area.

We continue to consult with the friends and family of the late Pat Doak about moving Pat’s memorial seat into the protected area under the tree and they are supportive of its relocation.

Our Council will continue to work with the reserve’s users moving forward for dune planting bees or adjustments to the layout in light of coastal erosion or other circumstances. More generally, we’re reviewing our processes internally to make sure we’re engaging with the right communities to get feedback on any significant work we plan to do on our reserves.

Meetings & Community Board updates

This week our Mercury Bay and Coromandel-Colville Community Boards met to discuss important topics and projects in their wards.

Coromandel-Colville Community Board meeting

At its meeting this week, the Board confirmed its submission to the draft Freedom Camping Bylaw consultation to include previously omitted areas: Ariki Tahi Reserve, Te Kouma, and Patukirikiri Reserve.  The Board believes these areas should be prohibited for freedom campers due to cultural significance and accessibility to parking and wharves. See the Consultations section of this newsletter to link through to more information about the draft bylaw and how to provide us with your feedback.

The Board was updated on the work programme for the Ward. At its meeting last week, our Council approved a carry forward of $176,809 for the widening of the Kouma Road Intersection. Iwi are currently updating their cultural impact assessment, and further geotech testing has now been completed at the request of Waka Kotahi. This additional testing is now under review. Negotiations with landowners will recommence pending approval of the geotech design by Waka Kotahi.

Mercury Bay Community Board meeting

Board members asked that the Hahei community be canvased about the need for a path in Kotare Reserve, as part of planned works including installing a drinking fountain and a table.

The Board was updated on projects in the area. Work is progressing on the new Whitianga Refuse Transfer Station site on Moewai Road. Construction of the stormwater system will begin in early September and design and pricing for the roading and wastewater is in progress. The office is being built and the compactor, weighbridges and number-plate recognition system have been procured tcdc.govt.nz/MBRTS. For the Whitianga Esplanade Development project, an advisory group will be formed and a project manager recruited in the next few months tcdc.govt.nz/whitiangaesplanade. In Whitianga, water meters have been installed on all but approximately 200 properties. These should be completed by December.

Next week our Tairua-Pāuanui, Whangamatā and Thames Community Boards will meet. Click here for details and agendas.

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