Our weekly wrap-up: Recycle your batteries safely, inaugural Community Board meetings, and more 25 November 2022 Welcome to the weekly wrap-up of our latest Council project news, important dates and information about what's happening in our district. Recycle your batteries safely Are your old used batteries gathering dust at home? Don’t put them in your rubbish, because if they go to landfill they can end up leaking toxic material into our soils and waterways. Don't put them in your recycling wheelie bin either, as they can be a fire hazard. Instead, drop them off for recycling at special collection days organised locally this weekend or next. The Seagull Centre, together with local community groups supported by our Council’s Waste Minimisation fund, has set up collection points at four locations. All types of batteries are accepted. There’s no charge for the service, but they’re asking for donations to cover safe recycling costs. Globally less than 5 per cent of batteries are recycled. Yet 95 per cent of components can be recycled. Old batteries dumped in landfill are also a leading cause of fires in landfill sites and trucks. If you miss one of these drop-off days, you can always take used batteries to your nearest Refuse Transfer Station. Ask at the kiosk where to put them. . Community Board inaugural meetings Photo: Thames Community Board - L-R: Board Chair Adrian Catran JP; Deputy Board Chair Rob Johnston, Board Member Kishan Raikwar, Councillor Peter Revell, Councillor Robyn Sinclair, Councillor Martin Rodley and Board Member Holly MacKenzie. Our five Community Board's met this month to discuss important topics in their areas, and elected their Chair and Deputy Chair. Agendas, minutes and recordings of the meetings are available here. Thames Community Board meeting highlights: The first meeting of the Thames Community Board on 23 November elected Adrian Catran JP as Chair and Rob Johnston as Deputy Chair. “We have a difficult road ahead: we have less than 1,000 days to sort things out,” the new Chair told the Board. He urged the Board to work together proactively to be a driving force for improvement. “Ask not what Thames can do for you, but what you can do for Thames,” said the Chair, paraphrasing the words of John F Kennedy. Councillor Peter Revell said looking at the personalities and diversity represented at the table he felt it would be a strong Board. “The Community Board can be a hugely significant contributor to the wellbeing, the culture, to the feeling of the town. I believe that in the last term we didn’t manage to quite grasp that opportunity.” However Councillor Revell was excited by the “huge potential” of the new Board members. “We need to make sure we grasp the opportunity to work together, in trust and cohesion. Our community deserves it.” Mercury Bay Community Board meeting highlights: The Board elected Krissy Robinson as Chairperson and Councillor Rekha Giri-Percival as Deputy Chairperson. The Board was updated on the work programme for Mercury Bay, and heard that major delays with the procurement of equipment for the new Whitianga Refuse Transfer Station on Moewai Road had been recently resolved. Some of this equipment, such as the refuse compactor, the two weighbridges, number-plate recognition system for the weighbridges and bins for the recycling areas are due on site this month. The site has been cleared for construction, above- and below-ground surveys completed, and the existing stormwater drain has been cleared. Work on the water services will start this month and the office building will be constructed in the new year - tcdc.govt.nz/mbrts. The other major project for the area is the Sherriff Block recreation zone development. Material from the Waterways site is being used as fill to help deal with the challenging ground conditions. An outdoor arena is being constructed and our Council has signed a contract with Greenstone Events to have the site in the future as the venue for their Summer Concert events. The 2023 concert is at the Waterways site, not at Sherriff Block, on Sunday 5 February instead of the usual Auckland Anniversary long weekend. There is potential at the Sherriff Block site for equestrian use, outdoor entertainment area (for markets, festivals, fairs, circuses, competitions and more) and other outdoor activities - tcdc.govt.nz/sherriffblock. The Board also decided that as there are several new members on the Board that they would like staff to provide more information on the options for a cycleway in Whitianga linking the Area School with the town centre. Coromandel-Colville Community Board meeting highlights: At its first meeting on Tuesday 15 November, the new Coromandel-Colville Community Board (CCCB) elected Gavin Jeffcoat as Chair, and returning member Jean Ashby as Deputy Chair. Our Council’s legal counsel, Alison Hunt, provided a general explanation of the statutory requirements for Elected Members, including the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 and Local Authorities (Members' Interests) Act 1968. An update was provided on Te Kouma Road Intersection, which will improve truck movements from and to SH25. Our Council is working closely with Waka Kotahi to resolve geo-technical issues and to finalise the design. Further Geotech testing requested by Waka Kotahi has been completed and is waiting for review. The Board requested an update on the Hauraki House car park and the purchase of a marginal strip of land owned by the Ministry of Education (MoE). Negotiations continue between our Council and MoE and the required paperwork is complete. Our Council is waiting on the Ministry of Education to provide advice of their market valuation. The Board received and carried a report and timeline for the Annual Plan 2023/2024; the Community Board Standing Orders for the 2022-2025 term; and the CCCB Work Programme 2022/2023. Tairua-Pāuanui Community Board meeting highlights: The Tairua-Pāuanui Community Board appointed Warwick Brooks as Chairperson and Chris New as Deputy Chairperson. Plans have been unveiled to complete a walking and cycle route from Tairua to Pāuanui. Following consultation with a wide range of stakeholders, the Hikuai District Trust decided a bridge and 15km route connecting the towns is the most feasible route than a longer way along the river via Hikuai. This project was spoken about in the public forum – watch the meeting recording here for more information. The Trust expects to lodge a resource consent application for the next stages of construction next year, with the aim of completing the trail in the next few years. Read the report here. The Board recommend that Council approve an out-of-budget request from Tairua Pāuanui Promotions Inc. for funding of $30,000 for each of the 2022/2023 and 2023/2024 years from the Board's retained earnings to assist with funding of the New Year’s Eve Fireworks display held on the Tairua Harbour. Read the report here. The Board granted a request from their Discretionary Fund from the Pāuanui Neighbourhood Support Inc. for $3,040 to manage an increase in costs associated with the CCTV cameras in Pāuanui. Read the report here. Whangamatā Community Board meeting highlights: The Whangamatā Community appointed Dave Ryan as Chairperson and Denis Beaver as Deputy Chairperson. Investigations into the provision of a the Heatherington Road Cycleway have identified that realistic costs exceed available budgets. The anticipated total construction costs are $3,600,000, significantly more than the $200,000 budget currently allocated towards this project by the Community Board. The report also outlined multiple project risks. The Whangamatā Community resolved to recomend to Council that further investigations take place on consent requirements, building options for the bridge, and community engagement are undertaken, and reported back to the Board at a future meeting. Read the full report here. The three toilet facilities installed at Martyn Road, Beach Road, and Island View have been completed under budget. The Board expressed interest in the surplus budget being dedicated to the movement of the Whangamatā Dump Station from Martyn Road to Lindsay Road. View the full work programme here. A request from the Opoutere Community Hall for for $8,330 was granted in part from the Whangamatā Community Board Discretionary Fund to assist with providing hall furnishings and Open Day expenses. The Board confirmed a sum of $4,450. Read the report here. The Board also granted $4000 to Whangamatā Real Estate from the Whangamatā Community Board Discretionary Fund to assist with the costs associated with organising a free family-friendly community event in Williamson Park after the Christmas Parade. Read the report here. The latest with our Mayor Len Photo: Our Mayor Len Salt with Te Puru School students, Sue and Mary from the Thames Business Association, to talk about how students can help with fundraising for the upgrade to Porritt Park playground in Thames. "I’ve been six weeks in the job now and I wanted to share with you where my time and focus has been spent. One priority was bringing my councillors together. We have four new people elected and five returning, so developing a consensus on how we are all going to work together is crucial. Everyone is unique, has different life experiences, world views, and all have varying knowledge about how local government works, so my role as Mayor is to harness all of that good energy, good will and skill sets and channel all that into how we govern well as a Council. As a team we’ve already had some challenging conversations about a few issues – but the discussion was mature, respectful and intelligent. And that is how we will continue to operate. We’ve got some major issues we’re dealing with as a country, as a region, and at a micro level in the Coromandel. There’s the Three Wates Reform, the Resource Management Reform, the cost of living going up with inflation soaring, supply chain disruption and labour shortages - some of which is out of our control. But there are also ways we as a communities, and as a Council, can respond, influence and adapt so that we still see some positive outcomes for our people. So, in that respect, I’m putting together a framework of how our Council will be able to partner, collaborate and work more effectively with our communities, our iwi, central government and other key partners to develop long-term aspirations and short to medium term plans. This will involve bringing people and information together – making sure opportunities, issues and needs are well understood and well articulated. Having local infomation and data will help us in our local decision making so we can improve social equity, workforce capability and better housing choices for all. My thinking has been shaped by the Future for Local Government Reform, which is giving us a chance to shape a more community focused, citizen-led, local government system. And the beauty is that we can build this for ourselves. I encourage you to read the FFLG report that has just been released here. Our Council will be making a submission, and you can make one too – just go to the link above and share your comments. You’ve got until 28 February next year. Together our Council and everyone in our communities can do some amazing stuff. In the past six weeks I’ve seen some outstanding projects, initiatives and events and being a part of this as a Council is the biggest priority. I want to thank The Informer for allowing our Council the opportunity to contribute a regular monthly column. If there’s something you want to know more about – get in touch email@example.com." Issues we’re starting to think about for next year’s Annual Plan 2023/24 Changes in our kerbside rubbish collection next year, when a different provider takes over our solid waste services, is one of the big issues we’ve started to raise with our new Community Boards and Council as part of developing our 2023-2024 Annual Plan. From 1 September 2023 the blue rubbish bags are going to be replaced with wheelie bins and we’ll also be introducing a kerbside household food waste collection. How these changes are funded is currently being developed as part of the process of our Annual Plan, which sets out our project delivery and budgets for the next financial year (1 July 2023-30 June 2024). Next year’s Annual Plan 2023/24 year is year three of our 2021-2031 Long Term Plan (LTP). If there are significant changes envisioned for the Annual Plan, compared to what was set out in the LTP for that financial year, then we’re required to do formal public consultation which will take place in March-April next year. Some things we already anticipate that will be different from year three of the LTP are: Kōpū Marine Precinct: Approximately $2.53 million of the project budget is currently being met through Thames local budgets, namely $1.4 million from the Thames Urban General-Purpose Reserve (no rating impact) and the remainder would be funded from a local rate if external funding cannot be secured. tcdc.govt.nz/kopumarineprecinct Municipal building review: At our Council’s 9 August 2022 meeting, it was resolved to investigate the future use of our Council’s Thames Administration Building. The timing, options and funding are currently being considered, including if it will impact the 2023/24 Annual Plan process. Increased and new fees and charges: Licensed commercial operators on our parks and reserves fees will be updated to reflect our Council’s decisions made at its 4 October 2022 meeting, that reflect consultation with existing licensed operators. CAPEX and OPEX revisions: Our Council will complete a review of the 2022/2023 financial year in December 2022. This will provide the basis for any capital expenditure and operational expenditure projects that may need to be transferred to the 2023/24 financial year. Increases in inflation and project costs will also need to be addressed. Asset revaluations: At its 28 June 2022 meeting, our Our Council received a report which provided information on the asset revaluation process. Revaluations have resulted in a larger increase in the value of our assets than forecast in the 2021-2031 Long-term Plan. We noted that this will be a matter of further discussion for the 2023/24 Annual Plan. Rating impact: The overall rating impact of the above changes, which we have not yet identified, will also likely be included in the Annual Plan consultation document. For more information, see the Comprehensive Report 2023-24 Annual Plan. Dune restoration care groups need your help Spring has been the perfect growing conditions to give the 54,000 native plants planted this restoration season a great head start. Unfortunately, the weeds have also taken advantage of these optimal growing conditions. We need volunteers to help protect our beaches fragile dune ecosystem of plants and wildlife. Find out more on Coastcare - Waikato's Facebook page here. New trail to connect our communities and create stunning one-day ride A 120-metre suspension bridge across the Tairua River will be the highlight of a scenic 15km walking and cycle trail that’s set to form a key link in the Coromandel’s expanding trail network. The Tairua River Trail, formerly known as the Pāuanui-Tairua Trail, is already open along a 6.4km route from Pāuanui towards Hikuai. The bridge and a new trail along the north bank of the river into Tairua will be wide and mainly flat - suitable for everyone from cyclists to joggers to families out on a casual stroll. The Hikuai District Trust is a local charitable trust overseeing the trail’s construction. Chair, Derrick Adams, who has recently succeeded retiring founder Gary Fowler, says the completed trail will be a fantastic asset for the region. “We’re bringing communities closer together which is the main goal for us”, says Mr Adams. “The existing trail from Pauanui is already popular throughout the year and attracts tens of thousands of users over summer. By connecting it all the way to Tairua, we’re opening up a scenic and accessible route to everyone that we think will come to be known as one of the country’s best one-day trails.” Aside from the health and recreation benefits of having a great new trail on our doorstep, Mr Adams thinks it will boost local business all year round. “Connecting with a regular Tairua-Pāuanui ferry service in future, trail users would be able to complete it as a unique loop – starting at one end with a coffee, finishing with a drink and a meal at the other end, then catching a quick boat ride back to their starting point. “We also see environmental benefits for the precious Tairua River estuary. Our team of volunteers are helping revive native bird populations by pest trapping and planting native trees along the existing route.” The completed trail will also offer safety benefits in Tairua by providing pedestrians a fully off-road route between the southern end of town and the school, Mr Adams says. Following consultation with a wide range of stakeholders including landowners, our Council, Tairua-Pāuanui Community Board, Department of Conservation, Iwi, Waka Kotahi, Environment Waikato, Heritage NZ, Walking Access NZ and community groups, the Trust decided a bridge and 15km route connecting the towns would be more feasible than a longer route along the river via Hikuai. It expects to lodge a resource consent application for the next stages of construction next year, with the aim of completing the trail in the next few years. “Public support will be hugely important to getting this project done and we’ll be encouraging the community to have their say over the summer. In the meantime, we want people to get out and about on the existing trail, to see more of what the beautiful eastern Coromandel has to offer,” Mr Adams says. When completed, the trail will connect to other walking and mountain bike trails in the area, and could potentially be joined up with New Zealand’s national trail network via a route over the Coromandel Ranges in the future. Mr Adams acknowledged the tireless work of Trust founder Gary Fowler and countless volunteers to build and maintain the trail to a high standard over nearly two decades. Mr Fowler will continue as an advisor to the Trust. For more information, visit the trail website or email HikuaiDistrictTrust@gmail.com. Food and drink producers: Register your interest for our Coromandel Food Trail Guide The 2023 edition of the Coromandel Food Collective’s Food Trail Guide is underway and receiving a fresh new look in preparation for the year ahead. Our Council’s popular guide has been a mainstay for local food and beverage producers over the years, helping to promote niche products that are grown or produced on the Coromandel – so if you think your homegrown offerings should be on the menu, now’s the time to get in contact with us. Find out more here. LIMs important dates Applications for Land Information Memoranda (LIMs) must be in by 5 December for standard and commercial LIMs and 15 December for urgent LIMs in order to be issued before Christmas. Read more about LIMs here. Resource Management system reforms The reform of Aotearoa New Zealand’s resource management system has reached a significant milestone with new legislation introduced to Parliament this month. The Government is repealing the Resource Management Act (1991) and enacting new laws to transform the way we manage the environment. The new laws will improve on the existing Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) by setting up a framework for restoring, enhancing, and improving the natural environment and enabling development within environmental limits. Find out more here. Hospitality seminar Wintec | Te Pūkenga is running an essential Hospitality seminar for the Licence Controller Qualification on 5 December at its Thames campus. If you are in charge in an environment where alcohol is sold to the public, this seminar will ensure you understand the law around the sale of alcohol and host responsibility, and qualify you as a Licence Controller. Find out more here. Tairua skatepark design group meeting outcomes Above: An artist’s image of the skatepark design that the group has been considering. The community design reference group has agreed that most of the design requirements for the skatepark at Cory Park Domain have been met. The group met on Friday 18 November to discuss the concept design for the skatepark. The group includes skaters, residents who live beside Cory Park, The Protect Cory Park Domain Society (PCPDS), Tairua Sports and Rugby Club (TRSC), Tairua Recreation Sports Trust (TRST), Police, Fire and Emergency New Zealand and Council staff. Through the group, our Council wants to ensure that the skatepark meets some fundamental outcomes, including: It’s compatible with current users of Cory Park Domain It’s a good neighbour in terms of noise The safety of current users of the park as well as skatepark users The design reference group agreed at the meeting that most of the requirements had been met but a couple of detailed items are still being worked through: Health and safety questions from the Tairua Rugby and Sports Club Signage The group will be updated in December on the outstanding issues and then our Council will consider a report on the group’s final position as part of its decision making on the skatepark. More information on the skatepark project is on our website at tcdc.govt.nz/tairuaskatepark. Tree vandalism, Matarangi Two mature banksia trees on Matarangi Village Green, in front of Cordyline Cres and Corokia Place beach access #10, have been intentionally poisoned. While they are not native, Matarangi has a lot of banksia trees in the reserves, walkways and public places, and tuis especially love these trees. They provide shade in the summer for everyone and are also public property. We encourage anyone with information on this vandalism to contact us and to keep an eye out if anyone is attempting to continue poisoning the trees. New Hauraki Rail Trail sculptures Two new vibrant sculptures are set to be installed on the Hauraki Rail Trail after a recommendation by Thames Community Board to commit $5,432 needed to maintain and insure them for the length of their ‘useful life’. The sculptures, Interwoven (concept model by Chris Budgeon) and Miners’ Gates (concept model by John McKeowen), were entrants in the Thames Public Art Trust community sculpture competition in 2017. At 3.1m high, made of macrocarpa beams, Interwoven will be installed on Ngāti Maru Highway, not far from the junction with Maramarahi Road. It will require painting every few years. Miners’ Gates is built of 12 frames using old railway sleepers forming a replica of entry gates to a mine shaft. The structure will be installed near Rhodes Park. The Trust raised the money for constructing and installing the sculptures and will gift them to our Council. Local road works: Albert Street, Coromandel Town - Due to site works taking longer than expected and weather delays the new bridge will not be opened today, Friday 25 November. The contractor will be working through the weekend to enable the bridge to open to light vehicle traffic from Monday evening, 28 November, and heavy vehicle traffic from Saturday 3 December (weather dependent). There will be intermittent road closures, shoulder closures and stop-go traffic management for the remainder of the site works, which are planned to finish Friday 9 of December. Colville Road – The retaining wall project on Colville Rd, 1km East of Waitete Bay Road, has been slightly delayed and expected to be finished before Christmas. Read our weekly road works report State Highway road works - Waka Kotahi crews are back working across our State Highway 25 and 25A network. Road users should be aware that road conditions can change at any time, whether due to roadworks or weather. Check out their Forward Works programme (updated weekly) displaying the expected work to be completed during the current financial year (July 1 – June 30 2023). View here. Pepe Stream Bridge, Tairua The much-maligned Pepe Stream Bridge in Tairua, on State Highway 25, was built in 1942. Waka Kotahi has a project to replace the bridge with a two-lane structure. Find the latest project updates here. State Highway speed limit consultation Waka Kotahi has opened a public consultation until Monday 12 December, on speed limit changes to State Highways, which come under its management. This consultation is limited to State Highway 25A (Kōpū-Hikuai Road) and school zones on State Highways. Consultation on the remaining state highways (25 and 26) will be undertaken in the next speed management plan for 2024-27. This is a separate consultation to our Council’s survey on speed limits on Council-controlled local roads which took place in August and September. Find out more here. What's on in the Coromandel? Have you got your Christmas presents sorted yet? How about the gift of a concert ticket. • Rockin Horse – Buffalo Beach, Whitianga• The Coro Classic 2023 – Matarangi• Beach Break – Whangamatā• Greenstone Summer Concert – Whitianga• And The Coroglen Tavern have a great line up for their summer concerts. More on upcoming events here. Enjoy Repco Beach Hop For information on kerbside collections, dog rules, alcohol bans, road closures and more click here. Don’t miss out on having your say: We’re asking for your advice on three bylaws and two policies that are out for public consultation right now. Our current Dog Control Bylaw and Policy are working well so we’re not proposing major changes, but are clarifying a few points about locations, times and restrictions on dogs in public places. Go to tcdc.govt.nz/dogsreview to give us your thoughts online or ask for a feedback form at our Council offices and libraries. Consultation closes 2 December. Advertising and Signs Bylaw – Advertising and signs help to inform people about activities, events and businesses. Our bylaw is intended to ensure that signs do not become a blight, pose a safety hazard or contain hateful or inflammatory content. We’ve reviewed our existing bylaw and would like your advice on our proposed amendments. Do this online at tcdc.govt.nz/signsbylaw or ask for a feedback form at our Council offices or libraries by 2 December. We’ve also reviewed our Activities in Public Places Bylaw, the main method our Council has to oversee activities like busking and outdoor dining on a footpath. Please tell us what you think of our draft bylaw by 2 December, online at tcdc.govt.nz/publicplaces, or get a feedback form from our offices or libraries. Dangerous, Affected and Insanitary Buildings Policy – this aims to ensure that people who use buildings can do so safely and without endangering their health, for example being able to escape a burning building. This consultation closed 12 December: tcdc.govt.nz/danger. Click the graphics below for more information. • Work with us Click here to view our job vacancies.