Page 1

COROMANDEL SUMMERTIMES 2016-2017

OUR COROMANDEL

SUMMER

MAGAZINE 2016-2017 MEET YOUR NEW MAYOR It’s Sandra’s time to shine.

T h a m e s - C o ro m a n d e l D i s t r i c t C o u n c i l

BOATING & FISHING Best bite times and boat ramp info.

TWO WHEELIN’ IT

Motorcycling, mountain biking, road and rail trail cycling.

There’s something here for everyone

+ events Festivals, fairs, fun days and everything in between. A guide of what’s on from November through until Easter.

The Coromandel - Good for your soul


www.richardsons.co.nz

Understanding the Coromandel since 1960

Coromandel

Richardsons has been matching people and property on the Coromandel Peninsula for 56 years.

Matarangi Whitianga

Cooks Beach

Ten offices, locally managed with team’s who are active within their communities.

Hahei

Tairua

Whether it be buying or selling, property management or simply an understanding of the current market, our team of experienced professionals are ready to assist.

Pauanui

Call the Coromandel real estate specialists today. Thames

Ngatea

www.richardsons.co.nz

Paeroa

Cooks Beach

Coromandel

Hahei

Matarangi

Ngatea

33 Captain Cook Road Phone: 07 866 5826 Fax: 07 866 5864

151 Kapanga Road Phone: 07 866 8900 Fax: 07 866 8513

3 Grange Road Hahei Beach R D 1 Phone: 07 866 3781 Fax: 07 866 3782

Matarangi Shopping Centre Phone: 07 866 0322 Fax: 07 866 0355

33 Orchard Road East Phone: 07 867 7800 Fax: 07 867 7519

Paeroa

Pauanui

Tairua

Thames

Whitianga

54 Belmont Road Phone: 07 862 7888 Fax: 07 862 7885

Shop 6 & 7 Jubilee Drive Phone: 07 864 8607 Fax: 07 864 8752

230 Main Road Phone: 07 864 8968 Fax: 07 864 8903

556 Pollen Street Phone: 07 868 6978 Fax: 07 868 6356

81 Albert Street Phone: 07 866 2373 Fax: 07 866 4290


OUR CONTRIBUTORS:

TO ANOTHER COROMANDEL SUMMERTIMES FOR 2016-17 We hope you’ve had a fantastic year since our last Summertimes magazine came out 12 months ago. Summertimes is posted out to all our ratepayers who don’t live permanently on the Coromandel (almost 60% of you), because we want to share with you what our Council has been up to in the past year, where your rates are being spent and also to entice you to come and spend much more time here if you are able to. And our permanent residents are also most welcome to come and pick up a copy from our Council offices. Our research has also proven that Summertimes is a successful way to get our Council news across to our absentee ratepayers, as the magazine has news that is relevant from Labour weekend all the way through to Easter. It’s also a way to promote community groups, events and local businesses. It has been an extremely busy year for our Council, and one where we farewell outgoing Mayor Glenn Leach and thank him for his contribution and service to our District over the past six years, and introduce you to your new mayor Sandra Goudie. Project and business-wise our Council has had so much going on in the past 12 months, which is why this Summertimes has gotten bigger, better and brighter. So to offset production costs, we doubled our paid advertising space, while being mindful of not competing with smaller niche, local summer guides, who have different target audiences. This magazine is also produced in-house by our Communications Team, with some support from a small number of local writers, graphic designers and photographers for the use of some selected images. The cost to produce this magazine is approximately $3 per ratepayer. We’re also running a competition where you can win a Coromandel getaway package, just by giving us your feedback on our magazine and how we get our Council news to you, so fill out the survey on P105. We really hope you enjoy reading Summertimes at your favourite spot on the Coromandel, wherever that may be. Have a wonderful Coromandel summer, The TCDC Communications Team, Laurna White (Communications and Marketing Manager), Rebekah Duffin and Michael Dobie (Communications and Marketing officers). communications@tcdc.govt.nz Thanks to our advertisers: CoroMFA, NZMCA, Bookabach, Bachcare, WRC, Hopper Developments, Harcourts Tairua, Heaven and Earth Tairua, Hagans Eyewear, Pak N Save, Twentymans Funeral, Richardsons Real Estate, Bayleys Real Estate, BMW, Puka Park, Voyager Trailers, Coromandel More FM, Tairua Marina, Richmond Villas, Lockwood/Coastal Homes. If you want to advertise in next year’s Summertimes email Warren Male warren@emale.me Summertimes also supports: St John, Coromandel Helicopter Trust, Surf Lifesaving NZ, Safe Summer Coromandel, Coastguard, NZTA Safer Biking, Destination Coromandel, community and major events and festivals.

Contact Our Coromandel Summertimes Magazine is published by the Communications and Marketing Department of Thames-Coromandel District Council. E communications@tcdc.govt.nz

ALISON SMITH. Ali is a Tairua-based freelance writer/photographer and PR specialist. For Summertimes she got to meet Shark Man Riley Elliot, knife maker Lloyd Franklin, Pauanui couple Suzy and Richard Wardenberg and historians with an interest in Captain Cook, Maori history and the first funeral parlour in New Zealand. Contact Ali www.hookandarrow.co.nz TRUDI SHERIDAN. Freelance writer Trudi Sheridan relocated to the picturesque Thames Coast a few years ago after a hectic decade as a producer at BBC World Service news. Her broadcasting career has taken her from Ashburton to Wellingon, then Beijing and on to London. These days she works from home, with the beach just a few doors down the road. She wrote our articles on craft beer, local schools and artist Rod MacLeod. trudiwords@gmail.com EMMA DARRAGH. For the past eight years Emma has been Tairua’s Librarian, serving her community and getting to know people of all ages. Now she writes and shares the extraordinary stories of everyday people and community organisations. emmadarraghheath@gmail.com SHAUN FAY. Shaun Fay has worked at some of

the world’s biggest names in advertising, including DDB Needham and Mojo. After 14 years in Australian Corporate World it was time to come home build a house in Whangamata and start a business, Beside The Seaside. He still writes ads and the occasional story for us.

DEBORAH MACDONALD-BROWN. Deb is a

Thames photographer, writer and steampunk organiser, who wrote two heritage stories for Summertimes. She is also known as Miss Adelaide May Walters, Woman of Science, Entropist and Curator. Her new photo image website is www.elementalenvironments.nz

MELISSA McGREGOR. Based in Whangamata, Melissa is a graphic designer and owner of ModoDesign. Melissa has over 20 years in the creative industries and is passionate about communication through design. She is privileged to work alongside great clients and creative collaborators on a wide variety of projects. Melissa loves the ocean and nature, her family, cups of tea and adventure. Email Melissa for design work or just to say hello: melissa@mododesign.co.nz CLEMENTINE NIXON. Freelance graphic designer and visual artist Clementine Nixon moved to the beautifully mellow Coromandel coast after working internationally (amid the somewhat more hectic environments of) Hong Kong, the US, and Europe in design and visual communications, music, and the greater creative arts realm. A prolific working history, for someone who has just reached her late twenties. For design work email clementine_nixon@hotmail.com DEBORAH HIDE-BAYNE. British-born artist

Deborah Hide-Bayne passed through the Coromandel expecting little more than happy holiday memories. Instead she found a lifestyle that stopped her in her tracks. Some years later and she’s a local – married with a young son, an orchard at her door and a view of the bush-clad hills behind. Life revolves around the seasons, the weather and whether the fish are biting. Deborah’s successful cookbook, Coromandel Flavour, A Year of Cooking at the Bach is her chronicle of a year at home with her young family, painting, cooking, baking, preserving and loving life. The book is for sale at book stores and cafés around the Peninsula or via Deborah’s webite www.coromandelflavour.co.nz


4

20

36 44

46

58

90

2016/17

64 131

102 146 19

November 2016

Tairua TdraiTlides an

12

November 2016

Kickstart summer with a 5km walk, 5km and 10km run, or 20km run at the Tairua Trail and Tides.

Stunning vistas of Tairua, starting at Cory Park along the waterfront and up bush-clad hills of town. tairuatrailandtides@gmail.com

162


CONTENTS

FEATURES 4

Your new Mayor

20 – 31

Coromandel’s sea life

36 – 43

Fishing and boating around Coromandel Harbour

50 – 54

Coromandel’s newest walk

58 – 63

Arts

64 – 73

History and heritage

90 – 101

Events

110 – 116

Business

122 – 126

Education

131 – 138

Food Trail

152 – 157

Fishing and boating around Whangamata

STORIES 18

Electric cars

44 – 45

Illume Festival of Light

46 – 47

Visit a Memorial Forest

55 – 57

Cycling for fun

76 – 79

Adventure cycling

80 – 84

Your TCDC staff

102 – 104 Broadband 106 – 107

Destination Thames

126 – 129

Motorcycle touring

146 – 149

Baches

162 – 167

Mountain biking trails

170 – 174

Works around the wards

187 – 190

Our core business

EXTRAS

50

5 – 13

Your elected members

14

Your youth panel

15

TCDC’s new CE

34

Getting your day skippers course

86 – 89

Local walks

105

Win a Coromandel trip

118 – 121

District Plan details

139 – 141

Keeping safe

142 – 143

Building information

168

Public places consultation

176 – 177

Public pools

178 – 179

District libraries

180 – 183

Dogs

184 – 186

Rubbish and recycling

191

Fires and water conservation

192

Civil Defence


Time to make

4

It’s an overcast drizzly sort of morning the day we meet Mayor Sandra Goudie at the family bach at Otautu Bay, 30 minutes north of Colville.


Sandra with Prime Minister John Key and other dignitaries turning the sod for the new Kopu Bridge.

“T

he boys are out fishing and who knows when they’ll be back,” she says as she sits on the front porch overlooking the bay towards “Hippy Point,” with a cup of coffee in hand. The bach is quintessential Coromandel. It’s rustic and homely with no internet or landline. It smells of fish and gumboots and no one cares if you traipse sand or mud through the house. Sandra is dressed in black pants and top, offset with rainbow coloured gumboots and it’s not hard to see why she’s the sort of person who would weather any season (or issue) with a sense of flamboyance. Just check out some newspaper articles covering her stint as Member of Parliament for Coromandel between 2002 and 2011, where she gained the 10th highest majority for a NZ Electorate MP. There she is, wielding a chainsaw in the fight to get rid of mangroves in Whangamata Harbour, or rocking around in her faithful purple V8 Falcon during her highly visible campaign to wrestle the seat from Green MP Jeanette Fitzsimmons and finally in 2011 (the year she retired from national politics) there she is with the Prime Minister in a photo opportunity at the official opening of the new Kopu Bridge. After 2011 Sandra took a break from politics to spend time with family (husband Bernard and her two adult sons), before getting elected as a Councillor for Thames in 2013. So what was the impetus to stand for Mayor this time around? “People kept approaching me and the momentum kept building,” she reveals. “I’ve been a councillor for TCDC before, and was persuaded to stand for council again by the incumbent Mayor.” “The strength for our Council lies in our District Plan,” she explains. “I make no bones about the fact that I’m not happy with all of the

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

outcomes in the District Plan and that there’s not enough economic strength around proper zoning. But I didn’t get a chance to have any input into that,” she says. As Mayor she’s hoping to see some change to housing and zoning. “Even if you have slow population growth you still need sections and therefore surplus. With surplus housing, there is no shortage; there is more competition in the market place to keep prices steady and affordable,” she expands. “And then you see the change going on in Auckland and the fact that our Council hasn’t been prepared for being able to house all those people wanting to move our way. We also need to identify extra and high density housing area, and light industrial areas in our District Plan where we just don’t have enough of that zoning.”

“We need to work together in a more embracing way and break down barriers. That’s better for the district as a whole.” 5


In the next three years as Mayor, Sandra says she’ll also be looking at cost efficiencies and sticking to “core business,” like drinking water quality and supply, as well as Council infrastructure assets being up to scratch. “Havelock North/Hastings has been a real wake-up call for Councils around the country,” says Sandra referring to the incident in mid-2016 which saw more than 4000 people – a third of the town’s population – hit by gastrointestinal illness when Havelock North’s drinking water became contaminated by E coli and campylobacter. An inquiry has since been launched into how the water supply became contaminated, the response of both local and central government, and how to stop similar outbreaks in the future. “If we are looking after our local communities by providing good water infrastructure, modern septic and sewerage systems and good district roading, then we’re also looking after our visitors when they’re here – and that’s positive for tourism,” she says. “You look at villages like Hahei,” she continues. “making sure they have the level of water and treatment required is a must, as is the need for WRC to address individual septic systems in pushing for the cleanup of the Wigmore stream; that’s doing real benefit to your community”. Sandra is also a fan of communities working out their own solutions. “There’s been a lot of good work the previous Council has done,” she shares. “And I’m a supporter of community empowerment – but it needs to be integrated ownership of decision making. If the communities have the information and that information is robust, then there should be

a collective responsibility between our Council and communities for decisions made,” she says. Breaking down parochialism between the different wards and community boards is also something Sandra will be working on with the newly elected members. “I’d like to see a more collaborative approach and less silos,” she says. “We need to work together in a more embracing way and break down barriers. That’s better for the district as a whole. How we roll that out will be something that we’ll work out with the new council.” Having held numerous positions with local rural, farming and community organisations as well as local and national government positions, Sandra is fully aware of how difficult breaking down barriers can be. But she says her “optimism, energy and just getting on with things and getting involved,” can help make things happen. “Reading policy and reports to me is a doddle. I can grasp most things fairly quickly,” she says. “What I really like is finding workable solutions to problems.” She recounts an early foray into politics, when she went for a supplier representative role with the local dairy company. “When it came to the position I thought bugger it, I was in a male dominated environment and I thought so what, I’m up for it. My way was making a point of

Sandra at one of her favourite places on the Coromandel, Otautu Bay.

6

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7


Sandra hanging around the family bach at Otautu Bay.

contacting every single person I was going to represent (around 21 farmers) and at the end I won by just one vote, which I put down to the personal time and effort I put in.” Her strength, she says, is working with people. “People are bloody fantastic. I love finding a solution when everyone gets together, gets enthusiastic and energised”. “And I’m resilient,” she grins. “I can adapt to a position. Mind you, I can be a workaholic and expect the same of those around me. “ And her weaknesses? “None!” she hoots before offering up “Being conciliatory when I should be firm.”

Sandra and her trusty V8 Falcon which she drove around during her time as MP for the Coromandel.

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

You could put that workaholic trait down to her background in dairy farming, working alongside husband Bernard on their dairy farm on the Hauraki Plains. Currently they live on their 220 acres near Kopu which is “just beef.” Farming was also the catalyst for getting Sandra involved in politics. “Some might think politics is a tough game but try farming,” she shares. “I remember when we were farming on the Hauraki Plains, milking a big jersey herd, and in the early days Bernard went off to the occasional Federated Farmers meeting. During the winter months, and when you are calving is when the most pressure comes on, and the work load is huge. We did midnight rounds checking the calving cows. One night he got home really late after one of his meetings and was so tired when he got in from milking he said “That’s it, you’re going from now on – and that’s how I got into the political game,” she laughs. And while farming and politics run in the blood, it’s the Coromandel that’s close to her heart. “Whether you’re a visitor, a ratepayer, someone who lives here part-time or you’re returning home, it’s that immediate embrace of smells and sounds that is just captivating,” she explains. “For me it’s the essential silence, the smell of the sand, the sea, the bush and the knowledge I live somewhere idyllic.” “When I was putting up my billboards for Mayor it was a wet and windy day in the Whitianga Waterways. The sky was moody, but even on a bad day the Coromandel is still magical,” Sandra recounts. “The thing is everyone has their own piece of magic on the Coromandel. For me it’s here at Otautu Bay, while for others it could be Matarangi, or Pauanui or Onemana. There’s a piece of magic here for everyone, so for me it’s about keeping the magic alive.” l Email sandra.goudie@extranet.tcdc.govt.nz

7


Your Councillors Sandra was a TCDC Councillor from 1999 until 2002 before becoming Member of Parliament for Coromandel with the 10th highest majority for a NZ Electorate MP. Her portfolios included Senior Citizens, Internal Affairs, Disabilities; Chair Law and Order Select Her Worship the Mayor Committee; Member Primary Production Select Committee. In 2013 she returned as a Sandra Goudie Councillor for TCDC. “I’m looking forward to bringing together a fresh mix of newly elected sandra.goudie@extranet.tcdc.govt.nz people with a range of experience, enhancing the role of community boards within Council and to get that diary cracking so I can keep track of all the meetings and up and coming activities I will be attending in the district as Mayor.

Councillor – Sally Christie

Councillor – Murray McLean JP

sally.christie@extranet.tcdc.govt.nz

murray.mclean@extranet.tcdc.govt.nz

Thames and its surrounds has been Sally’s home and community for over 30 years. “Council is one aspect of community leadership and my track history shows my ability to build networks and link various sectors THAMES WARD of the community together. My long service to health and – if elected my continued involvement in the Waikato District Health Board – will pull our crucial services together. Team work is key and experience and passion count.

Councillor – Strat Peters

Councillor – Tony Fox

strat.peters@extranet.tcdc.govt.nz

tony.fox@extranet.tcdc.govt.nz

A desire to keep Thames moving forward is one reason why Strat sought election. Chairing Thames Community Board for the past six years, and with a local career in Chartered Accountancy, Strat THAMES WARD understands community needs, core infrastructure priorities, finance and rates responsibilities. “I support the development and promotional of Thames, focusing on building healthy cycle-friendly trails and walks . Commercial and employment growth at Kopu and Thames are also must do’s.”

Councillor – Rex Simpson*

Councillor – Jan Bartley jan.bartley@extranet.tcdc.govt.nz A Councillor since 2007, Jan was a primary school teacher for thirty years, before retiring as principal and 31 years as a Port Road business operator and a member of Lions International for 47 years. “ I advocate for district-wide rating where appropriate; SOUTH EASTERN WARD attention to footpaths, roading, streetlighting; highest quality potable and wastewater systems; strategies for youth, aged, arts, economic development and strengthening Community Boards through meaningful community engagement.

Councillor – Tony Brljevich

Councillor – Terry Walker

tony.brljevich@extranet.tcdc.govt.nz

terry.walker@extranet.tcdc.govt.nz

For the past six years Tony has represented the Coromandel-Colville ward on Council. He also served on Council between 2001 and 2004 so has a good knowledge of local government issues. “I’ll continue COROMANDEL-COLVILLE to drive for Council efficiencies and delivering WARD value for money core services. The community empowerment model that Council has worked hard to implement is also something I want to refine and improve on.”

* At time of print, this result was so close that the count of special votes might change the outcome. Check our website www.tcdc.govt.nz

MERCURY BAY WARD

Tony was first elected in 2010. “I’ve been part of the team that implemented our council’s community empowerment model, reduced external debt by over $15M, maintained rates, improved infrastructure MERCURY BAY WARD and increased levels of service. At a local level we’ve worked on coastal erosion, Whitianga town upgrade, Cook 250th Celebrations, Walkways, WW1 Memorial Forrest, tourism infrastructure and the proposed Medical Facility for Mercury Bay.

rex.simpson@extranet.tcdc.govt.nz Rex is from Thames and has been on the Thames Community Board for the past three years. Rex owns a cafe business and is the co-chair of Age Concern. “I have a keen interest in the Arts, Culture and Heritage, so have supported the TCDC Arts Strategy, THAMES WARD our show-case festivals and the preservation of our many heritage assets.” As manager of Family Safety Services, he is devoted to ensuring the health, welfare and security of our community.

8

Murray’s been a Councillor since 2010. “We have held rates, reduced operating costs, maintained capital expenditure and reduced bank. Locally we have tackled coastal erosion, progressed the town upgrade, added more visitor and tourism infrastructure and negotiated land for a medical centre, at no cost to the ratepayer.”

Terry was deputy chair of the Whangamata Community Board for three years previously before being elected to Council. “My objectives are: to monitor the Councils objective to control rates, SOUTH EASTERN WARD ensure infrastructure, water, waste, stormwater, roads and street lighting meet all rate payer needs. I will listen to the community and draw from their experience and knowledge, promote community groups, the arts and an active lifestyle for all. I will ensure amenity values are matched with environmental values and support the business sector.


Your Thames Community Board Catherine Croft

Diane Connors

catherine.croft@extranet.tcdc.govt.nz

diane.connors@extranet.tcdc.govt.nz

Catherine is 28 years old and living in Thames. An active volunteer in community and environmental issues, she also works in a youth programme for CAPS Hauraki. “Thames is a great community and would be even better if it offered more to young people. She hopes to be a fresh voice on the Board advocating for youth but also valuing all parts of the community and its unique heritage. “We need to develop the urban spaces and improve cycle ways and make sure our town infrastructure can work into the future. We need to link more with community groups who are working within our community. The Community Board is a vital link between the citizens and Council but only if it’s truly representative of the people in our community. I am active, passionate and committed to Thames and look forwarding to providing a new voice which has not been represented.”

Diane’s principal place of residence is in the Thames Community Board area. She returns to Council having worked hard to increase social policies. Diane supported the Positive Aging and Disability Strategy and championed the Youth Strategy. On the Economic Development Committee she took a real interest in any initiatives that would improve training and employment opportunities. “I strongly believe in the Community Empowerment Model that we have implemented. Devolving decision making to the local level ensures that each town can address their own issues while preserving what makes them unique. It has allowed us to work alongside interest groups to find better outcomes for everyone, such as the Thames Promotions Project. It feels like Thames is on the verge of something really exciting. I would like to lead the board as together, Council and you, we build a vibrant, strong community.”

Mike Veal

Lester Yates

mike.veal@extranet.tcdc.govt.nz

lester.yates@extranet.tcdc.govt.nz

Mike grew up on the Thames Coast and has lived in the Thames area most of his 40-year life. “I have always contributed positively to our community through my involvement in various community and sporting groups, and in business. I am realistic, hardworking, open minded and practical which I think are important traits for any community representative. I know the Community Board are currently involved in some really positive projects, I want to ensure these projects get across the line and are followed by many more. I believe we can achieve economic growth whilst remaining responsible and protective of what makes Thames great,” he says. “My family and I are extremely proud of our little metropolis of Thames and the lifestyle it offers. Nothing would please me more than to see ALL locals prosper and feel proud of where they choose to live, work and play!”

Lester has lived and worked in Thames for the past 50 years, and has been a very passionate advocate for his Town. His previous experience in Business and different organisations within the Community have given me good insights into the needs and wants for the town, he says. “Our make-up and dynamics of the town are changing with the increase of retired folk and decreasing job opportunities for the younger generation making it a challenge for our Community Board to meet their needs. Lester brings previous Community Board experience for a consistent approach to many strategies and projects that have already been started. “A Common Sense and practical approach to all matters that will affect our Community moving forward into the future.”

9


Your Coromandel-Colville Community Board

10

Jan Autumn

Peter Pritchard

jan.autumn@extranet.tcdc.govt.nz

peter.pritchard@extranet.tcdc.govt.nz

Jan has been living and working on the Coromandel Peninsula for 46 years. “I’m familiar with its needs and have proven experience through active involvement in many community organisations and projects,” she says. For the past four years she has been an Executive Member of the CBA; 3 years as Deputy Treasurer, 1 year as the Chairperson. This has involved meetings with Coromandel-Colville Community Board and she is also a member of Coromandel Streetscape and the Coromandel Harbour Project. “As Chairperson I also participate in the TCDC Transportation Forum that has representatives from all over the Peninsula. It is my belief that I can facilitate and advocate on behalf of the Colville, North Colville and Coromandel people for them to have a voice in what occurs in their community whilst maintaining and enhancing the integrity of the Coromandel Colville Community Board (CCCB).”

A resident in the Coromandel-Colville Community Board area, Peter has lived in Coromandel Town for the last 13 years, running a local business that supports the community in many ways. He has experience serving on a few committees through his profession, and also in his role as a Justice of the Peace. “I like the progress made so far on many big issues and felt I had something to contribute. Projects like the Industrial Zone and the Harbour Project are slowly gaining some traction. I believe that with positive attitudes we can continue to see growth and employment in the area.” Peter is keen to provide good-quality amenities for the sporting community, while retaining the small-town atmosphere that he loves. “We score highly on tourism and hospitality, but need controlled development to encourage further business and growth opportunities across our many communities.”

Keith Stephenson

John Walker

keith.stephenson@extranet.tcdc.govt.nz

john.walker@extranet.tcdc.govt.nz

Keith lives in the Coromandel-Colville Community Board area and was re-elected. He says with many projects gaining momentum that will keep Coromandel positive and vibrant now and into the future, he wanted to be part of any future decision making. “I’ve had the honour and privilege of serving our community board for 12 years. It’s an honour and privilege that comes with responsibility to all our people throughout our extensive ward. Coromandel continues to come under pressure from outside influences, with increasing demands on roading, parking, infrastructure, boat ramps etc. Growth is inevitable so let’s get it right,” he says. Keith believes Coromandel must keep its unique identity. “Coromandel is fortunate that the community voice their concerns. The public forum at board meetings is very well attended; it is testament to the passion have for our ward. Well done,” he says. “Where your treasure is there will your heart be. It’s Coromandel for me.”

John lives in the Coromandel-Colville Community Board area and has lived in Coromandel since He served seven terms on the board – the last six years as chairman. Coromandel is the gateway to the Peninsula just 40 miles as the crow flies from Auckland, where 40 per cent of New Zealand’s population will be by 2025. He says his local knowledge is his strength, connecting with many long term residents gave him the reason to re-stand. “Keeping Coromandel as an area is vital to our representation, because due to our small population there has been attempts several times to link us with another area.” John was rewarded with the Queens Service Medal in 2012 for services to the Community and says it was a proud moment for his family and community.


Your Mercury Bay Community Board Deli Connell

Rekha Giri-Percival

deli.connell@extranet.tcdc.govt.nz

rekha.giri-percival@extranet.tcdc.govt.nz

Deli lives in the Mercury Bay Community Board area and has been a Whitianga local for over 30 years,having raised a family in this idyllic location and been very involved in her community. “I am engaged in humanitarian and environmental education. People, their wellbeing and interaction with the environment, are of the utmost importance to me. Growth in the wider Mercury Bay is inevitable but can be managed with sensitivity – retaining the special character of our Coastal Villages whilst maximising opportunities and services in Whitianga,” Deli says. She has supported the successful introduction of District Arts and Youth Strategies and is impressed by what our young people have to offer. She is currently Youth Champion for Mercury Bay. “My years on the Board have been productive. We inherited some challenges and, with excellent staff support, are seeing the Sports Park come alive and the town centre upgrade finally happening.” Deli was eager to see the board’s many current, and future projects completed.

Rekha lives in the Mercury Bay Community Board are and says the future of this area is important to her. She intends to work hard to ensure that Mercury Bay is well administered and has exciting opportunities for children and future grandchildren. “I am passionate about the sustainable growth of our area and I feel strongly that this should not happen at the cost of our environment. I am involved in many areas of our community. Annually I co-coordinate the Whitianga Charity Ball, fundraising for not-forprofit community groups. I serve as secretary to the Mercury Bay Junior Rugby Club, and as a marriage celebrant my summers are spent officiating weddings.” Rekha is a 38-year-old mother of three young children and she grew up and attended school in Whitianga. She and her husband returned in 2008 after studying/working in Auckland, London and Den Haag. Together they run a building company.

Bill McLean Paul Kelly

bill.mclean@extranet.tcdc.govt.nz

paul.kelly@extranet.tcdc.govt.nz

Bill’s principal place of residence is in the Mercury Bay Community Board area. He was Deputy Chair of the Community Board and sought re-election because he believed projects that the Board inherited or has initiated are best completed by those who are currently involved with them. “There is simply no substitute for experience.” Getting Coastal Erosion on to the Board and Council’s schedules resulting in positive support and action for managing this issue, is an example. Other projects including the town centre upgrade, improvements to boat ramps, reserves, wharves, community based activities and a new medical centre are already works in progress as are additional self-funding facilities in popular local and tourist areas. “I’m confident that my support for these projects plus regular liaison with ratepayer groups and individuals will maintain benefits for the wider community. And I still have plenty of energy to continue my positive involvement with Council, school reading program, Community Patrol, Golf Club management and supporting other groups,” Bill says.

Paul is a Matarangi resident, a Justice of the Peace, former Chair of the MB Community Board, various project and planning committees, chair of Cook 250 planning group representing MB or the National Coordinating Committee for these celebrations and trustee of MVRFF. HE supports the upgrade of the Whitianga Town Centre, a modern Medical facility and introduction of high speed broadband to the MB area. “I’ve been involved in resolving foreshore erosion problems. I built the shopping centre in Matarangi, owned and operated the fishing, diving and hardware shop for 14 years,” he says. “I offered strong management and decision making skills within the criteria set by Council for Community Boards.”

11


Your Tairua-Pauanui Community Board

12

Warwick Brooks

Bob Renton

warwick.brooks@extranet.tcdc.govt.nz

bob.renton@extranet.tcdc.govt.nz

Warwick and wife Larraine have lived in Tairua since 1968. Over the years he says he has observed the many growing pains of the Tairua, Hikuai and Pauanui communities. “It is a fact that decisions made by our Council often cause ructions, argument and negative responses in our communities. To better understand the processes involved I thought I had better get aboard. I look forward to the challenge of being able to represent you, the Grass Roots people, when proposals for our progressive futures are being discussed planned and prioritised. I offer a sympathetic ear to all residents and ratepayers together with the endeavour to present an unbiased open and frank approach to the concerns and issues confronting our District. I firmly believe that the only division between Tairua, Pauanui and Hikuia should be the geographical one – the Tairua River.”

Bob lives in Pauanui and describes himself as a conscientious, self-motivated individual with good organisational and management skills. “I spent the last 20 years of my career in senior management roles providing services to the Private and Public sector.” Bob has chaired the Tairua Pauanui Community Board for the last two terms. He says during this period the Board has delivered a number of long outstanding projects. “However we still have a long way to go. Addressing long term water supply issues, a harbour management plan, fully implementing Community Empowerment and improving the management and replacement/ funding of existing assets. While TCDC has made some efficiency gains, delivering a more professional business culture, opportunities still exists to further reduce costs from efficiency gains, focusing on core infrastructure services and delivering a more balanced funding model across the District.”

Sarah Campbell

Brent Turner

sarah.campbell@extranet.tcdc.govt.nz

brent.turner@extranet.tcdc.govt.nz

Over the past four years Sarah and her family have lived in the Pauanui district, thoroughly enjoying all the region has to offer. During this time, she was President of the Pauanui Pre-school and a fulltime mother to her six-year-old son. “Throughout my term as President, my core focus on securing the pre-school’s future financially and supporting infrastructure. For the past two years I have been part of the Pauanui Community Office, gaining an insight into council processes and the importance of monitoring plans, assets, and expenditure of the area. My previous business experience is in supply chain logistics, where I established my own company providing value through reducing costs for large New Zealand and Australian businesses. I believe it is important to ‘stand up’ and be part of the decision making process to achieve cost effective results for the benefit of the district.”

Brent has lived in and out of Tairua for over 60 years, from Tairua School, to finishing at Thames High when the Kopu-Hikuai road opened in 1967. In 1968 he began building many houses in Tairua and Pauanui. Since 1980 he has owned and operated several businesses in Tairua and over the years chaired committees, and taken a keen interest in the development and direction of the area. “I believe in listening, common sense, value for money, and a job well done. My loves are actively being a part of the community, and fishing. I hate wasting time, energy, resources and money. I understand the issues Tairua/Pauanui are faced with and I’m keen to do my best for the community. Tairua/Pauanui/Hikuai need a sensible voice for the residents and ratepayers.”


Your Whangamata Community Board Evelyn Adams

Ken Coulam

evelyn.adams@extranet.tcdc.govt.nz

ken.coulam@extranet.tcdc.govt.nz

Evelyn is from Whangamata and says we live in such a beautiful area in the Coromandel Peninsula. “I know that the previous board has done a great job bringing us changes for a better community. I wanted to get more involved in the community as a younger member with a family to give a different viewpoint.” Evelyn is a happily married mother of two teenagers brought up in Whangamata for over 15 years. I was one of the key members to bring the kindergarten into our community and am very proud to see it grow from strength to strength. I feel that I am open enough for people to feel confident enough to come to me to bring their care and concerns of the community, and know that I would bring them forward to the board to the best of my ability for the best outcome for the whole community.”

After holidaying in Whangamata for over 20 years, Ken and wife Fiona moved to Whangamata permanently in 2012. Before retiring, Ken worked in Local Government for many years in financial and planning roles. “Since we came to live in Whangamata, I have been actively involved in a number of community groups including Lions, Search and Rescue and Probus. I want to see Whangamata thrive as a place to live, work and play. I believe visitors should be welcomed and encouraged in order that we have a sustainable local business community,” he says. “It is vital that priority should be given to issues important to Whangamata and the surrounding areas including quality infrastructure, walkways and cycleways, mangrove removal, environmental protection, events and fair rating policies.”

Ryan Thompson

Kay Baker

ryan.thompson@extranet.tcdc.govt.nz

kay.baker@extranet.tcdc.govt.nz

“Tënä kautau katoa. I am originally from Christchurch but have been living and working in Whangamata for the last five years,” explains Ryan. He is active in the community through his work as a teacher, his involvement in a number of local organisations and by organising local sporting events. “I am well placed to hear the needs of the community and represent you on the Whangamatä Community Board. Being on the Community Board for the last three years has given me invaluable experience in how Council functions. I am keen to use that experience to continue to serve the Whangamatä Community. My passion is for Whangamata to be a strong, thriving community and a great place to live and work.”

Kay lives in the Whanagamata area and says her love of Whangamata began a long time ago. “This has given me a life-long connection with this beautiful place and the drive to support any initiative that supports our area. Even before I started the Community Gardens on Mayfair Avenue here in Whangamata and became involved in several community organisations and special groups, I realized the enormous talent and willingness of people to make things happen. I have a passionate social and environmental responsibility for our community and will do all I can to make sure the right decisions are made. One issue she would like to focus on is the development of the local Community Pool for year-round use. “I know this will benefit all. We need a stronger voice to achieve what is best for us all as a community so that we are not left out of any decision making for our town.”

13


Six outstanding young people in the Coromandel have taken on their new role as the Youth Voice in each of our Council’s community board areas. “We have a fantastic bunch of young leaders who have put themselves forward to ensure that our local youth voice is heard. This is just the beginning and we are excited to see what future opportunities we can explore together,” says Thames Community Development Officer Marlene Perry. The six representatives, aged between 16 and 24 were nominated and went through an interview process.

We are very excited to introduce you to our new Youth Voice Representatives! I one day hope to 22 years old, and I am a qualified chef. My name is Hannah Ngamane, I am g my trade. killin up-s d worl nd after travelling the own my own restaurant in New Zeala in living been have to school in Thames, and I grew up in Coromandel Town, went Whangamata for 3 years now. Coromandel and of a Youth Forum, first Thames, then Since I was 14/15 I have been a part today’s Youth a give To – drive I have had the same now Whangamata and in every forum ent. productive, fun and safe environm to do something g, and yes, I wanted “someone else” For me, growing up was definitely borin in my issue big a was ing Bully . “someone else” about it – and now, I want to be that what g doin that ve belie I is. still it that upbringing and I understand n the “clique” walls and we do has the potential to break dow r. I wasn’t confident, easie ition trans make the “growing up” be confident and can and I want to teach Youth that they ity, mun com their ing help by just accomplished experiences. meeting new people and having new

My name is Victoria/Vick y Tissingh, I am 21 years old. Born and raised in Paeroa moved to Thame s at the beginning of last year to do an internship at Kauraeranga Valley Chr istian Camp, through pathways Bible College. I am currently doing a second year interning at Equippers Church focusi ng on worship and youth. I am feeling extremely exc ited for what I can do for the youth of Thames, and usi ng my leadership skills to imp act and build others up to their full potential. My aim is to give them the space to explore who they are and where they fit in to the big picture.

I am Finn Butler and I am 16 years of age, I currently live in Whitianga moving from Palmerston North in early December.

My name is Kaihau Potiki Tauke. I am Coromandel born and bred. I am in my last year of school at Te Wharekura o Manaia. My school life started at Te Kura Kaupapa Maori O Harataunga (Kennedy Bay). I have been learning Te Reo Maori for many years. I love te reo and plan on continuing my studies at Victoria University next year.

My hobbies consist of working at the local pub as a waiter, working for my parents who recently took ownership of the local cab company. I also enjoy biking, fishing, English, history and debating. I wanted to be a Youth Representative because I had a keen interest in politics, and involving the community in youth projects. I also wish to motivate more youth into local body politics and global politics to gain a better understanding of the world around them.

It is an honour to be the first voice for youth in my community and I would like to thank the people who have made this position possible. It would be good to have more recreational stuff to do. Tihei Mauri Ora!

Year 12 Harmony Hogarth is a 16 year old ol. She has student at Mercury Bay Area Scho rning to lived in Tairua for three years, retu ei, where she New Zealand after living in Brun ol. She enjoys attended an international scho hanging out and ing writ song playing guitar, ng. at the beach, swimming and surfi of all ple Harmony enjoys relating to peo benefit of tive posi a is this ves belie ages, and munity. com del peers, man Coro living in a small town la youth apart from their urban ct which sets Coromandel Peninsu aspe ue uniq the ves belie ony ent. Harm environm ection to nature and the outdoor h, and is their friendliness and close conn ities can be a challenge for yout mun com del man Coro nce between del, as well as man Coro the ss She notes the geographical dista acro from ther nities to bring youth toge would like to create more opportu la. ing for youth around the Peninsu pen hap t’s wha of ss rene return more awa She says she ‘definitely wants to ony. Harm says py,” hap me es mak y New reall t er wha eith ’s in that arts – g ing “Stage actin m to study perform e in life’ after pursuing her drea to the Coromandel at a later stag Zealand or Australia. all the special qualities it already mandel for youth’ as a place with Coro fect ‘per the res pictu ony Harm ple to pursue their specific e of opportunities for young peo has, combined with a broader rang passions and interests.

14

C O R O M A N D E L

My name is Harri son Hughes, an d I am currently a Year 13 student at Ha uraki Plains College. I am 17 years old, and am looking at ac hieving a degree in engineering after school, howeve r my current goals ar e to become mor e active within the comm unity, in particu lar representing th e youth and their opinions within the local councils and co mmunity groups. Currently, over ha lf of the youth wi thin the district do no t feel they have a say within their loca l council, somet hing I strongly believe needs to be addr essed, and it is my hope that having yout h representatives interacting with both the youth comm unity and the co uncil is a step in the rig ht direction, for a greater level of inclusiv eness for young people.

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7


WELCOME

to Rob…

We’d like to introduce you to Rob Wiliams our new Chief Executive who started with us in June 2016.

R

ob is first and foremost a family man with a lovely wife, Viv, and 2 sons, Jevon (21) and Liam (18), both talented footballers. Jevon plays college soccer in the USA and is studying for a business/accounting degree while Liam is at St Kentigern’s School in Auckland and was a member of the New Zealand Under-17 team that competed in last year’s FIFA U17 World Cup in Chile. “My private passion has always been sport, particularly hockey, cricket and football (soccer) and having both my sons represent New Zealand at football is a source of immense pride for myself and Viv, and the whole extended family,” shares Rob, Originally from the United Kingdom Rob grew up in the rural West Midlands, adjacent to the River Severn between Worcester and Wolverhampton, and studied for his degree in Sheffield before commencing his engineering career in York and Leeds. Rob has lived in New Zealand for 22 years and for the past nine years he has been the Chief Executive at Taupō District Council having moved from Kapiti District Council in early 2007. “It’s an exciting opportunity to move to the Coromandel, one of the finest and most renowned visitor destinations in New Zealand with all the heritage and economic potential that the district has,” says Rob. . “This Council is well positioned to benefit from the nation’s current economic

position and I am very excited about being part of that development for this iconic area,” he says. During Rob’s time at Taupō District Council, it was the first local authority to complete a Long Term Plan (2009-2019), won 3 top awards for engagement and communications at the NZ National Communications Conference, gained recognition nationally for its Youth in Emergency Service Work and nominated for 4 separate pieces of work in the fields of Project Management and Engineering. It was also the first local authority in the country to sign a joint management agreement with iwi over resource consenting processes on its land. Prior to that he had managed various Wellington City Council departments including drainage, water supply and architecture and urban design, and headed numerous exciting projects between 1994 and 2004. It was in Wellington that Rob embraced and expanded his thinking about the importance of good urban design together with public art in collaboration with civil engineering. This has underpinned his leadership and management philosophy during his time in Taupō which has resulted in some significant changes, additions and opportunities within Taupō District’s own built environment. He is also a chartered engineer of the Institute of Civil Engineers, UK with over 30 years’ experience in project management. Email rob rob.williams@tcdc.govt.nz l

Needing a building or planning consent?

SMART maps

Explore

your District

GIVES YOU ACCESS TO OUR SPATIAL DATA WHICH INCLUDES:

information simplified

• WATER INFORMATION • PROPERTY INFORMATION • ZONING www.tcdc.govt.nz/smart

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

www.tcdc.govt.nz/regulatory

15


ADV E R T ORI A L

ARE YOU READY FOR ELECTRIC VEHICLES?

Brace yourself – the future has arrived!

A

You may have seen the slightly strange-looking car on the roads already – short in length, a rather high roofline and hardly any bonnet … definitely a different profile amongst the more conventional vehicles on the road.

nd if you have seen one there’s even less chance of hearing it, because the BMW i3 five-door hatch is an electric vehicle, just like its super-sleek, sporty i8 counterpart – both of which are purpose-built electrically-powered, and totally distinctive for this very reason. Ready or not, electric vehicles are starting to creep (perhaps ‘glide’ is a better word) onto our roads – and this is just the beginning. So exactly what is this EV trend all about? Firstly, it’s no trend but the vehicle of the future which has already arrived – and their growing proliferation on the roads cannot be ignored. Air New Zealand has taken 34 of the i3s for their staff to date, both Waste Management and Westpac have added i3s in their vehicle fleet – and all have distinctly (and proudly) included the electric-power capabilities in their respective signwriting designs. Earlier this year, the Government announced significant initiatives to encourage both corporate and personal electric vehicle ownership (including the ambitious recommendation that bus lanes and T2/T3 lanes be accessible by EVs). And further afield, the Los Angeles Police Department announced that a hundred i3s will be mobilising their staff around the community, after honing in on their economical, environmentally-friendly and manoeuvrability benefits. The BMW i3 has a lithium battery that is charged by plugging it into a standard household power point, taking approx. eight hours for an 80% charge. ( Just like charging your tablet and phone overnight, the car can be added to the routine too.) If a wall unit is used instead – usually purchased with the i3 – charge time is reduced to approx. four hours.

Charging the battery increases its power level, and the i3’s 2-cylinder 647cc petrol engine maintains it. Fully charged, the vehicle has a range of 340km – easily enough to travel from Auckland’s CBD to Tairua and back again. And in a reflection of BMW’s endless quest for cutting-edge improvements, they are now fitting a longer-range battery which will extend the electric-only distance by 50 percent, making range anxiety even more of a non-issue. THAT’S THE EVS COVERED… SO WHAT’S A PHEV? To put it simply, a PHEV is a hybrid vehicle (with both a standard fuel engine and electric motor) that can be recharged by plugging it into a wall socket. As New Zealand has 80% renewable electricity (compared with Australia at 15%), we’re very well placed to utilise electricity as a bulk sustainable source of fuel. Charging stations are increasingly popping up around town, especially at shopping malls where electric vehicles being charged are rewarded by preferential parking near main entrances. Apart from a tell-tale flap above the left-hand front wheel where they’re plugged in, the BMW PHEVs look identical to their conventionallypowered equivalents. But fuel consumption figures speak for themselves – 3.4 litres/100km for the X5 40e, and only 2.1 litres per 100km for the 3 Series 330e. Together with the 225xe Active Tourer and 740e PHEVs, BMW offers the largest range of PHEVs in New Zealand. You can test drive EVs and PHEVs today at Auckland City BMW Newmarket, T: (09) 524-3300 or visit www.aucklandcitybmw.com

BMW i8 – super-sleek, sporty and very fast.

16

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7


Auckland City BMW 7-15 Great South Road, Newmarket. (09) 524 3300. www.aucklandcitybmw.com


The Coromandel

EVs

2016 has been the year of the electric vehicle (EV) in the Coromandel , with the opening of several charging stations.

have been around for a while, but in New Zealand the infrastructure to charge them has been lagging. That is now beginning to change, with 11 EV charge points on the Coromandel listed by the PlugShare website www.plugshare.com. No longer do drivers of electric cars have to suffer from range anxiety (the fear that your EV will run out of juice before you can recharge) when exploring the Coromandel. In January 2016 the Kopu Café installed one of the first commercial EV charge points in the district. And in September, lines company Powerco and EV network company Charge Net NZ opened a fast charger in Thames, at the library car park at 505 Mackay St, conveniently in the town CBD. In addition, a number of motels and campgrounds around the Coromandel now KOPU: Kopu Café, 101 Kopu Rd THAMES: Avalon Motel, 104 Jellicoe Cr Thames library car park, 505 Mackay St (Charge Net NZ site) Cruz ‘n’ Stop, 309 Mary St Residential Chargers Public stations High Power Stations

WAIOMU: Waiomu Beach Café, 622 Thames Coast Rd TAPU: Tapu Camp, 723 Thames Coast Rd COROMANDEL TOWN: Tide Water Motel, 270 Tiki Rd Long Bay Motor Camp, 3200 Long Bay Rd Hush Boutique Accommodation, 425 Driving Creek Rd AMODEO BAY: Anglers Lodge Motel, 1446 Colville Rd TAIRUA: Tairua Holiday Park, 4 Manaia Rd

18

offer EV charging, as does the Waiomu Beach Café on the Thames Coast. The Charge Net NZ site at the Thames library costs 25c/ minute + 25c/kWh, but as the Coromandel’s only fast charger, it will do the job in 10-25 minutes. The advocates of sustainability at Transition Town Thames (T3) have played a significant role in raising awareness in the Thames area of EV technology and in encouraging business owners to install chargers. “The reason I am so enthusiastic about EV is because it is the simplest way to make a personal contribution to saving the planet. Switching to an electric car Thames man Roald Barthow rode a pony to school as a boy, now he drives an electric vehicle to get around. Here means 2.125 tonnes less CO² per he is charging up his Nissan Leaf at the new fast charging car pouring into the atmosphere station at the Thames library car park. each year,” says John Leenman, an electric car owner and member of T3. Charge Net NZ is working to build a more information about renting or purchasing nationwide network of fast chargers that an electric vehicle see the Blue Cars website – will allow any EV owner who signs up to the www.bluecars.nz network to quickly charge up their car. They’re EVs have no clutch or gears and accelerate planning to open one in Pokeno by late 2016. more quickly and smoothly than typical petrol And Spark is working on a network of cars. A fully electric engine has fewer moving chargers attached to their phone boxes which parts, no spark plugs, doesn’t need engine oil will allow EV drivers to top up their batteries. and requires less maintenance than a petrol They’ve installed one on SH25 in Waitakaruru motor. They are very quiet and the batteries can and are looking for a site in the Coromandel. be recharged by braking or driving downhill – EVs typically have a range of 120-140km and known as regenerative braking. take between 10 minutes and 5 hours to charge, For more information on electric vehicles depending on the car and charger. All these and the differences between them and hybrid new EV charge points now make getting to, and vehicles see the Energy Wise website – exploring, the Coromandel a real possibility for www.energywise.govt.nz/on-the-road/ EV drivers. electric-vehicles l T3 has organised several events in the last year where people could test drive an electric Find out more about the car. John Leenman says these events have contributed to at least four EV purchases. New Zealand EV scene: “It’s the experience of test driving an electric www.electricheaven.nz car that commonly gives buyers the confidence www.charge.net.nz to proceed with the purchase,” says Mr Leenman. www.evtalk.co.nz You can test drive an electric car by asking www.leadingthecharge.org.nz a dealer, asking existing owners if they’re www.bluecars.nz prepared to let you drive theirs, and, in Auckland, you can rent them by the day. For


Hauraki/Coromandel needs more St John ambulance volunteers Join us, it could change your life. Being a St John ambulance volunteer could be just what you’re looking for. Working with a dedicated team, learning new skills and giving something valuable back to your community, can be incredibly rewarding. Call us today to find out how you can training to become a St John ambulance volunteer. You’ll never look back! For more information call Julia Te Huia on 027 458 0443 or visit stjohn.org.nz/volunteer


Once spooked by the apex predator lurking below the ocean’s surface, Riley Elliott tackled his fear and learnt to love sharks in the process.

F

or Riley Elliott, it is off the East Coast Coromandel town of Tairua where the ocean’s most magnificent predators reign, gracefully and uncompromisingly maintaining natural selection as they demand the recycling and repopulation of other fish through constant predatory pressure. The shark. It is an animal that can bring empty dread into the pit of a surfer’s stomach. Made up of more than 500 species including the planktoneating whale shark – the largest fish in the world – their place in nature’s hierarchy has meant sharks mature slowly compared to other fish and they produce only a small number of young. From the comfort of my lounge room in Tairua, Riley Elliott “Shark Man” has captivated me for over two hours with these and other facts about what he calls ‘the doctors and garbage men of the sea’, who remove the weaker mutated individuals in a school of fish and clean up the dead and dying. And yet in New Zealand there is so much we don’t know about sharks, another fact, that Riley and a handful of others like him are trying to change.

20

At age 30, Riley has had his own TV show and established himself as one of the shark’s most effective advocates. He ignored stinging criticism from within the scientific fraternity to court media, not because he enjoyed it but so that he could reach New Zealanders to save tens of thousands of sharks from being slaughtered in our waters for their fins. Shark finning was banned in October 2014 after a three-year campaign. This year his focus is gathering information and planting seeds, filming alongside ex-Tairua resident filmmaker and mentor Mike Bhana for the BBC. With the help of any willing financial backers, Riley plans to move from Auckland to Tairua permanently, to set up an international internship programme allowing students to gain experience in the field while gathering research about our backyard, and how we can co-exist with the creatures that also call it home. “New Zealand is hugely environmentally aware, but when it comes to the ocean nobody goes out and studies these big animals. There has not been a single study on bronze whalers until one that’s kicking off this year, and we close our

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7


Right: Riley and Mike Bhana filming a mature blue shark deep off the Tairua coastline for one of many media stories they created to bring awareness to the issue of shark finning in NZ.

a bach in Hahei before turning to Whangamata and later Whiritoa for beaches because of this risk-averse approach. It’s fine but I want to tell their summer holidays. It was 25 years of living behind a surf club in those lifeguards these animals are totally harmless, unless you have fish summer “and doing the things you do there”, surfing through teenage on you or around you. That’s evidenced by the fact that you guys never years on the Coromandel and later learning to spearfish and free dive. have run-ins with them around here. It is amazing because for years’ The four Elliott kids were encouraged to pursue their passion and guys were filleting their fish off the wharf where kids were also jumping seek answers; Canadian-national Dad Jon (people mistake Riley’s mild off, while a habituated animal was waiting for a fillet to come off the top. Canadian twang for that of a South Islander) demanded they consult the “What I want to do now is to share this education, and take the coencyclopaedia immediately if a question came up at dinner time. Their existence and knowledge-is-power approach.” upbringing set them up well for study; One of Riley’s two brothers, Since knowledge is power, how about this statistic: In 2015 there Devlin, is a surgeon and his were 28 people killed worldwide other siblings Lara and Shane are taking selfies*, about seven lawyers. Riley was most at home times more than those fatally New Zealand is hugely environmentally aware, in nature – sitting in the swell attacked by a shark. Riley and I admiring the gannet winging but when it comes to the ocean contemplate how anything in my along the unbroken wave and living room could theoretically contemplating how it could do so lead to our untimely demise, and without flapping. I’m slightly more comfortable “There’s a reason why people with my ocean-loving lifestyle. can sit on their deck and watch Yet for a lot of people born the ocean for hours because before 1980, the sound score there’s something very special about it, something that stimulates your from the 1975 suspense movie Jaws is all it takes to strike fear into any mind to think about cool things. And that’s exponentially bigger when swim (composer John Williams said the alternating notes on the score you put your head under,” he says. were to represent the shark as an “unstoppable force” of “mindless and In Dunedin his straight A’s earned him the privilege of working with instinctive attacks”). Steve Dawson and Liz Slooten, pioneers of Hectors and Maui dolphin Riley understands this irrational fear. During study in Dunedin for research in New Zealand, studying bottlenose dolphins in Doubtful a Bachelor of Science in zoology and a Masters in marine science, he Sound. There was fierce competition to study the “cool animals” that was shocked to realise that he was experiencing fear based on the only kids draw, since most marine science funding is directed toward species thing he had ever learnt about sharks – from the fictional (and now of value to the aquaculture or fishing industry. embarrassingly un-scary) Jaws. Thanks to his pioneering tutors and a growth in eco-tourism Growing up in Hamilton, Riley’s parents Jon and Mandy first hired

NOBODY GOES OUT AND STUDIES THESE BIG ANIMALS.”

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

21


Right: Riley free diving with an 18ft Tiger shark off Hawaii’s infamous North Shore – famous for surfing, but also a shark haven, so an excellent place for Riley to find the secrets to our coexistence as water users.

The Australian Shark Attack File

is the most comprehensive database on shark attacks, and Australia is the highest ranked country in the world for shark fatalities. ASAF says compared to injuries and fatalities from other forms of water related activities, the number of shark attacks in Australia (and same goes for everywhere else in the world) is very low. In the last 50 years there have been 47 unprovoked shark attack fatalities which averages just under one per year (0.94). Our last in New Zealand was in 2013 in Auckland.

Meanwhile every year tens of millions of sharks die a slow death because of finning, the inhumane practice of hacking off the shark’s fins and throwing its living body back into the sea. The sharks either starve to death, are eaten alive by other fish, or drown to feed the growing demand for shark fin soup, an Asian “delicacy”. Riley reels off these statistics easily: “You are 50,000 times more likely to drown than you are to be bitten by a shark. Ninety percent of sharks in the world have been removed in the last 30 years. Four out of five sharks are threatened with extinction. These are the doctors and the garbage men of the sea, they remove the sick and unhealthy from fish populations and help with cleaning up our ocean that we get every second breath from. Some of these animals take 30 years to mature before they can have babies...” *Wikipedia. People dying taking selfies and then falling off cliffs, hit by trains etc

22

worldwide, Riley spent two years diving in Fiordland acoustically monitoring for the presence of dolphins, the cute and cuddly heroes of the sea, each summer returning to the warmth of Hahei for work as a skipper on the glass bottom boats. Unfortunately, or fortunately for sharks, he experienced very few close encounters with dolphins – even sightings were rare – and he’d return to Dunedin for downtime in the surf, bobbing on the surface of Great White territory trying to ignore the sense of unease felt by surfers of sharky waters. After two years’ studying dolphins he realised he knew nothing of the apex predator that lurked below his surfboard and caused him such unease. It was a normal state for a surfer – in the surf community there is even a different noun for shark. Riley says people often ask him how he “got into” sharks, and it was this unease that led to his fascination, a “ticking time bomb of interest stimulated by uneducated fear”. The time bomb went off one day in Fiordland. “I was scuba diving on an acoustic station amid the murky, scary waters there. It drops to 400m and it’s a fiord, so you’re well aware that anything down there can see you and you can’t see it. You are constantly waiting for this Loch Ness monster to come and get you. “This single animal came from the depths towards me and I sh** myself, I broke all the scuba diving rules and shot straight to the surface. When I looked down I saw it was this 3ft school shark, and I just laughed at myself.” How real or justified was his reaction? The scientist in him wanted to know why he had done that. He returned to Uni and saw a poster on the wall for a Great White internship in South Africa. He was 22, and he wasn’t about to miss an opportunity to answer that question. From Day One of seeing a shark up close in South Africa, Riley was hooked. He took eco-tourists to one of the best shark and whale dive sites in the world, learning about shark behaviour and witnessing their interaction with humans. He would return along the surf coast where thousands of sharks and other sea creatures died in nets and drum lines (aquatic traps used to capture large sharks with baited hooks), and he began to see the injustices the shark was facing. It was spear fishermen who unwittingly pioneered shark eco-tourism here by handing their fish to sharks around them, learning to read shark body language and socialise with them – to get on their level. “You can compare a shark to a bully in a bar whereby body language is everything,” explains Riley. “A guy has got his chest puffed up, shoulders back, eyes engaged staunching you out. Sharks use very similar body language to indicate to you and to each other – by arching their backs, pectoral dropping, opening their mouths, parallel swimming, sizing you up – signs that ‘look mate, I don’t like you in my space’. Or they don’t show that, and they are totally happy to engage with you. “When you are freediving with sharks you are engaging the animal

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7


on its terms and showing it that you are not prey, and that you are an equal predator in the water that demands respect and can therefore safely engage with it. There’s three golden rules to freediving with sharks. Firstly, eye contact, which eliminates any ambush approach. The second is good visibility that allows you to engage with that animal with your eyes and not be surprised and act like prey, and thirdly a calm and collected presence. “Whereas when you are surfing you are doing entirely the opposite and wrong things. When you’re surfing, your head’s out of the water, your heart rate is elevated, you’re floating on the surface of the water (which is where everything dead and dying is), and you’re basically saying ‘come try me’.”

It says something of the intelligence of an apex predator that is present in our coastline – one so powerful and so important to the ocean ecosystem – that it can satisfy its energy needs in close proximity to humans and, we are indebted, manage to leave us alone. “What’s amazing is that even though you’re basically saying ‘eat me’, six people around the world die a year,” notes Riley. “That shows how good sharks are at not eating people. They are extremely efficient predators. “I quickly learned that environments are not for us to dictate our comfort, they are thrilling because they’re wild. No one would climb Mt Everest if there was an escalator and heaters on it, people only that get adrenaline from the fear and the danger.” l

Riley and Hawaii’s Ocean Ramsey resusciate a juvenile Tiger shark left for dead in the wake of the emotional fear-driven Western Australia shark cull. Swimming alongside for 1.5hrs, the rescue drew media attention that communicated the issue and helped stop the cull. C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

23


A mission of COMPASSION Wild orca biologist, Dr Ingrid Visser , is on a self-described ‘mission of compassion’, dedicating her life to the research, rescue and public education of New Zeal and orca.

O

rcas are often sighted around the waters of the Coromandel Peninsula, sometimes coming into inner harbours around the region. Dr Visser’s research has indicated this may be because they dig their snouts into mud in shallow waters to catch stingrays; a behaviour unique to New Zealand orca. In 2012 an orca was unhooked from a cray pot buoy in the waters just north of Hot Water Beach. Dive NZ reported that contact was made with Dr Visser and the advice was to cut the line off the orca’s tail, rather than just cutting the line below the orca. If he cut the line below the orca, it would be free to swim off, but with the line and buoys attached to its tail, it would eventually die. In May 2015, Kuaotunu local, Luke Reilly was paddle boarding 200 metres out from Kuaotunu Beach when he noticed a couple of orcas diving for stingrays underneath him. One of the orcas popped up alongside him and he was able to film the encounter, attracting millions of views around the world of the stunning NZ orca swimming inquisitively around his paddleboard. www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WAn3vveB44 Ingrid Visser says she knew she wanted to work with whales and dolphins from when she was about 6 or 7 years of age. In her autobiography, ‘Swimming with orca’ she describes her first encounter, which was eyeto-eye contact with a female orca as it swam past her, coming closer with each turn. Diving down, she heard the orca’s call and there it was again, this time accompanied by her calf. “It was a thrilling moment, to be trusted enough by this female that she had brought her calf over “to check me out,” said Ingrid who described the experience as “mesmerising.” Her mission is to educate the public about

24

Dr Ingrid Visser alongside a young orca shortly after he was lowered in to the parapool. Photo: www. orcaresearch.org


Coromandel Harbour inside Waimate Island. Photo: Rob Chappell DOC

the New Zealand orca, and raise awareness about the detriment of keeping orcas, whales or dolphins in captivity. Ingrid is the international authority on orca, completing the first and only PhD on New Zealand’s largest dolphin. She writes books, gives talks, features in numerous news articles and film clips around the world. Keen to educate the younger generation, she has also produced a series of resources for children about how to conserve, identify and protect orca. She believes in making science consumable for the general public. Through work with her Orca Research Trust (ORT), Ingrid has lobbied to change the endangered status of New Zealand orca

C O R O M A N D E L

“Her mission is to educate the public about the New Zealand orca and raise awareness about

THE DETRIMENT OF KEEPING ORCAS, WHALES OR DOLPHINS IN CAPTIVITY.” to ‘nationally critical’, as there are less than 200 orca around the country. Orca have the highest level of toxins in their systems, than any other animal in the southern hemisphere, and part of Ingrid’s commitment is a call for stronger legislation around chemical disposal

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

to protect our ocean creatures. The ORT receives no government funding, relying solely on public donations. In ‘Swimming with orca’, Ingrid details her academic research journey as being fraught with challenge and frustration, “but I was so

25


Coromandel Harbour Long Bay. Photo Rob Chappell DOC

focused on working with orca at whatever cost that I was determined to climb over every obstacle in my way.” Her tenacity has certainly been tested throughout her career, and for those wanting to follow in her footsteps, the advice on the ORT website offers some hardwon wisdom. “The job of a cetologist might look very glamorous on the surface, but the reality is that you need to be dedicated and committed to hard work and the animals.” If you see orca in New Zealand waters, please report it to the Orca Research Trust, as they rely on sightings from the public to find orca. Ingrid wants people to remember it is illegal to swim with orca, and to be careful when boating around them, to minimise disturbance and danger. Ingrid advises people should never approach orca closer than 50m and if they’re in a boat, they shouldn’t be going faster than five knots or no wake speed. The orca’s commonly held name; Killer Whale, is thought to have come from the fact that some orca kill whales. ‘Killer of Whales’ or ‘Whale Killer’ eventually became ‘Killer

26

Whale’. Even today many people still fear being tipped out of boats or being attacked by the ‘Killer Whale’ while in the water. Ingrid has spent many years diving with orca in their natural habitat and has never experienced any type of aggression. However, she says there’s a fine line between interest and aggression with orca, which can only be interpreted from years of experience. “Humans can have a big impact on oceans and animals. If we can reduce that impact, it would be a really good start.” l

The Orca Research Trust does not receive funding from the Government and relies solely on donations, so your help makes a difference.

www.orcaresearch.org

Katy Laveck gently guides a young orca in the water. Photo: www.orcaresearch.org

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7


New Zealand has a rich and diverse fauna of marine mammals. Orca are the most widely distributed mammal on earth with the exception of humans.

ORCA T hese mammals are more commonly found at the North and South Poles than any other place in the world. They prefer deeper water but can be found in shallow bays and estuaries, and in inland seas.

Almost half the world’s whale and dolphin species can be found in New Zealand waters. One of the most familiar faces among the marine mammals is the orca or killer whale.

What do they eat?

O

rcas have have an extremely diverse diet and are the only known cetaceans (carnivorous, finned, aquatic marine mammals) that regularly prey upon other marine mammals. Attacks or kills have been documented on more than 35 species, including blue whales.

ORCA facts...

Killer Whales Orca have a fierce reputation as predators, but there are no records of deliberate fatal attacks on humans. C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

• The orca is actually the largest member of the dolphin family. • They are easily recognised by their black and white markings and tall prominent dorsal fin. • They can grow up to 9 metres in length. • Males are longer and bulkier than females and females have more curved dorsal fins. • Females give birth to their first calf between 11 and 16 years of age. • They will give birth every five years for their 25 year reproductive life span. • Gestation period is between 15-18 months and calves are nursed for at least a year. • Females can live up to 90 years and males up to 50 years.

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

Fish species are also important in their diet, such as salmon, tuna, herring, cod, sharks and rays. Squid, octopus, sea birds and sea turtles are also eaten. Orca hunt cooperatively and are even known to intentionally strand themselves on beaches temporarily in order to catch seals.

Report Sightings These are always of interest and help increase our knowledge of distribution and movements around New Zealand. Useful information to record includes: • species/description • location • number of individuals • estimated sizes • what they appeared to be doing • the direction in which they were headed.

Call DOC on: 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468)

27


Chatham Islands

Subantarctic Islands Snares Islands

Bounty Islands

Campbell Island

Auckland Islands

Blue whale (30m)

Orca Hector’s dolphin Sperm whale Southern right Humpback whale (17m) whale (14m) (10m) (1.5m) (18m)

Antipodes Island The species illustrations on this poster are not to scale. This graphic indicates relative sizes of some species.


Leave only

footprints, take only memories By Rebekah Duffin

Nudibranch - a shell-less marine mollusc or a sea slug. Photo: Cathedral Cove Dive & Snorkel

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

I have always been a swimmer ; I love the feel of the water on my skin and the tranquillit y that comes with being under the water . But nothing beats my fir st diving experience at Te Whanganui-A-Hei (Cathedral Cove) Marine Reserve at Hahei.

29


Stingray. Photo: Cathedral Cove Dive & Snorkel

H

aving been a snorkel instructor and Coromandel EMR (Experiencing Marine Reserves) coordinator, I have had the pleasure of teaching many students about the reserve and the reason why we need no-take reserves. Many snorkelling excursions in Gemstone Bay had only scraped the surface of the beauty I was to encounter on my diving trip with the lovely people from Cathedral Cove Dive and Snorkel. On a crystal clear day with a gentle caressing summer breeze, I boarded the boat that was to take me on the long dreamed of adventure. Seal-like and slick in my wetsuit, I was briefed about the diving gear and introduced to my experienced diving guide. In the water, once my body had adjusted to the cooler temperature, I had a last minute practice at breathing through the regulator, completed the required skills and the use of hand signals. Then under the water we went. It is really hard to smile with a regulator in your mouth, really hard. The water was so clear and calm with schools of fish just passing me by, like I was nothing out of the ordinary. The dappled sunlight shining through the water reflected the beauty of the fish around me, a rainbow of colours. Hundreds of tiny piper fish with their pointy faces swimming in sync with one another and avoiding the sharp teeth of a lone ginormous snapper. The snapper, joined by a few smaller friends, swam over to investigate us, possibly to see if we would make a good meal. Underwater the colour of these beaut beasties is magnified and one

30

One of the many snapper that call the marine reserve home. Photo: Cathedral Cove Dive & Snorkel

gets an appreciation of the sharp bits in their fishy smiles. Several other species join in the investigation, but not close enough to be petted. My dive guide pointed down at a shadow crossing the sea floor, a ray. After an initial panic at seeing the large ray at close quarters, I settled in to watch the majestic creature glide over the rocks looking for molluscs and sea worms to eat. We swam down to investigate nooks and crannies in the rocks looking for crayfish and sea squirts as well as an elusive nudibranch. The nudibranch (naked back) is a group of soft-bodied, marine gastropod molluscs. They are known for their often extraordinary colours and striking forms, and they are one of my favourite sea creatures. I could have spent all day exploring the magical underwater world, but we had to keep to the air in our tanks. Time passes differently underwater and it is important to keep an eye on the time and the air supply, especially if you are a beginner. No matter how many times I dive from now on, I will always remember the first time I ventured, If you aren’t ready to dive, why not try out breathing, into Tangaroa’s the Gemstone Bay Snorkel trail just a short domain. walk from the main Cathedral Cove track. Photo: Department of Conservation (DOC)


Cathedral Cove Dive and Snorkel

Hiding among the anemone, crayfish blend in and get to grow to a hefty size under the protection of the reserve. Photo: Cathedral Cove Dive & Snorkel

Te Whanganui-A-Hei (Cathedral Cove) Marine Reserve NZ’s sixth marine reserve, Te WhanganuiA-Hei (Cathedral Cove) became a marine reserve in 1992 and covers nine square kilometres of the Coromandel Peninsula’s east coast between Hahei and Cooks Bluff. This site was chosen for a marine reserve because of the rich and varied habitats associated with the coastline and outlying islands. Reefs of hard rock, soft sediments, intricate caves and underwater arches provide homes for complex communities of plants, crustacean, molluscs and fish. Sheltered from the worst of the southerly winds, Te Whanganui-A-Hei gives visitors an unparalleled opportunity to appreciate an unspoilt marine environment. Like most marine reserves Te Whanganui-AHei is no take. Marine reserves are important for preserving the biological diversity (‘biodiversity’) of marine areas. They protect rare and threatened species, important natural habitats and provide benefits for fisheries species. Scientific research from around the

world supports the concept that marine reserves are one of the best ways of protecting marine biodiversity. Leave only footprints, take only memories. Waiho tapuwae anake, tangohia anake haamana’oraa l

Cathedral Cove Dive & Snorkel in Hahei are situated at 48 Beach Road Hahei. They have a wide range of equipment for hire and purchase. They have well trained and friendly staff offering diving and snorkelling trips both within the stunning marine reserve, the outer islands, pinnacles and volcanic coastline outside of the marine reserve boundaries. You can also book a PADI dive course. www.hahei.co.nz

Te Whanganui-A-Hei (Cathedral Cove) Marine Reserve is marked on chart NZ5315 and on chart plotters.

Te Whanganui-A-Hei (Cathedral Cove) Marine Reserve. Photo: Department of Conservation (DOC)

31


A Waterfront Lifestyle that is Second to None There are property options to suit everyone Sections starting from just $240,000 Stunning waterfront sites from $530,000 Retirement options from $399,000 For more information contact our friendly sales staff today or pop into the office at 20 Vanita Drive, Whitianga

W H I T I A N G A W AT E R W AY S . C O . N Z (07) 866 0164)

Waterfront Living at its Finest Currently selling the third and final stage, there are a limited number of stunning waterfront sections available starting from $710,000. Pauanui Waterways also offer a new waterfront housing development, The Quays. The second Villa is currently under construction and is priced to sell at $1.5mil. For more information talk with our friendly sales team today.

PA U A N U I W AT E R W AY S . C O . N Z (07) 864 7153


ADV E R T ORI A L

HOPPER DEVELOPMENTS LIMITED

A waterfront quality of life

I

Pauanui Waterways was the fir st innovative canal housing development in New Zeal and, created on the Coromandel by founder s Ian and Tony Hopper in 1967.

an’s son Leigh is the current Managing parcel of land to be the proposed site for a new Director of Hopper Developments and medical facility. The facility will be owned by continues to extend the family vision of the community by way of a Charitable Trust, completing the final stages of Pauanui or similar entity, for the benefit of the Mercury Waterways and on-going development of the Bay and wider communities. Whitianga Waterways. Meanwhile, to address Auckland’s housing “It’s a family company, I am second generation shortage, Leigh believes there needs to and the third generation are involved now too. be incentives to encourage those who no We’ve got something good and special, and our aim is to keep driving it along,” says Leigh. Hammerhead at Pauanui Waterways is the area earmarked , for a four-storey, luxury apartment and our aim is to keep driving it along. complex, complete with floating cafe and boutique retail precinct. The aim is to create a local, social attraction for people seeking a quality waterfront lifestyle. Further north is longer need to live in the city to consider Whitianga Waterways; New Zealand’s largest relocating to regions such as the Coromandel. canal housing project, integrating waterfront “This will ultimately free up housing for the retail, tourist accommodation, retirement villages working families who remain in Auckland for and a range of other facilities once complete. employment,” he explains. In light of the current Auckland property Development of Marlin Waters; a 62 unit, market, Leigh says; “Many Kiwis are lifestyle village is underway and will be identifying they can now realise the value of completed in 2-3 years. It is designed with the their Auckland home and buy in the regions early and active retiree in mind, featuring two to improve their lifestyle. Whitianga has the man-made beaches, a shared boat ramp, private capacity for growth, and recent infrastructure jetties and a social community facility. A larger provides access to all the amenities of a bigger retirement village including an in-house care town. Coupled with the quality of life offered facility will commence development following by a coastal location, Whitianga is a popular completion of Marlin Waters. choice for families and retirees.” Hopper Developments is also exploring Hopper Developments recognise the need to put the infrastructure in place to satisfy the Right: It’s out on the water where Leigh Hopper needs of current and future residents. They enjoys spending his down time. His plan is to have reached an agreement with the Thamessemi-retire in Whitianga to ensure he’s getting the best coastal lifestyle in the country. Coromandel District Council for a 4000m2

“WE’VE GOT SOMETHING GOOD AND SPECIAL ”

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

options with investors for a major waterfront hotel site on Joan Gaskell Drive, to support the increasing level of tourism in the area. There could be provision for a waterfront retail environment, catering to the future growth of permanent residents and seasonal visitors. Future plans also include facilities for a growing boating fraternity, featuring a marine precinct with marina berths, marine services, dry stack and a haul-out facility. Leigh is so convinced of the quality of lifestyle on the Coromandel, he has already made plans to semi-retire in Whitianga. He believes the advantage of higher-speed broadband means work-life balance can be achieved outside the stress and congestion of the city, and is likely to change the nature of how and where people work. Leigh is also looking forward to enjoying more time boating and fishing along the magical Coromandel coastline. “I have travelled all over the world and I can’t find a better place to spend my time. There is no better lifestyle to be had than on the Coromandel.” l

33


Boating Education, better to be safe than sorry Cruising the Coromandel water s in summer is a pastime many enjoy but how well do we really know our boats or the water we take them out in?

W

hether you are a newcomer or someone with years of experience there is always something to learn. Things can go wrong out on the water and when they do go wrong it usually happens pretty fast. Recreational boat users are more likely to get into difficulties by underestimating the environment, the capabilities of their boats, the rules of the sea, and the action to be taken in emergencies. If you are a fisherman or a boatie you should already know the hazards around bar crossings, but it’s a fact that even the most experienced can be caught out. A good example of this is the unfortunate boatie who capsized trying to cross the Tairua bar last summer. Whether you go out every weekend or just bring the ole’ tub out in the summer, courses like the Day Skipper Course through Coastguard Boating Education (CBE) are a way to up skill and be more prepared when you head out on the water. The course covers the components of a boat, its equipment, function and operation; navigation using charts, compass and GPS; maritime rules and regulations; emergencies and knots. Courses are available in most areas and are now available online. It’s easy to register, simply head to the Boating Education website, click on the ‘book online’ or ‘day skipper online’ button and you will get a confirmation email. Coastguard Boating Education has a new member discount. There are three types of membership, Individual, Vessel and Lifetime. l

To learn more about the courses available or to enrol visit the CBE website www.boatingeducation.org.nz

34

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7


Harry and Ruth Mikaere, community advocates, health service pioneers, marine farmers Injecting $31.4 million into the local economy and providing jobs for over 400 locals‌ Aquaculture is a vital part of the Coromandel community. www.coromfa.co.nz


Coromandel Harbour

– Building on a Legacy

T

Coromandel Harbour has always been a trading gateway. Earliest records for European industry date back to 1795 and for Maori the rel ationship with the Coromandel goes back further than that.

he Harbour has subsequently supported a range of sea and land-based industries including aquaculture and tourism. It has long been a favourite holiday destination for people from nearby Auckland and the Waikato, providing the perfect playground for fishing, sailing and diving. The pressure on the existing wharf facilities has been steadily increasing. From as far back as 1929 the Seafood industry, charter boat operators and recreational fishers have been recorded as describing the facilities as needing attention. These suboptimal facilities have created safety issues, compromised commercial operations and limited opportunities for employment growth and for enjoyment of the moana. A lack of all-tide access has seriously impacted on recreational fishers and charter boats, and has meant that the ferry services have been forced to dock at Hannaford’s Wharf, almost 10 kilometres away from the Coromandel Town. In the last five years, our Council has undertaken a significant body of work to assess the needs of Harbour users and the broader community. Our Council has invested more than $850,000 undertaking technical and feasibility studies to assess a range of possible options, including

a development proposal related to a Coromandel Pier and various Furey’s Creek options. In August 2015, our Council resolved to push ahead with building partnerships to support the development of a “whole of Harbour” solution that focuses on three complementary developments: 1. An Inner Harbour development at Coromandel Wharf, creating a channel and marina basin that allows for all-tide trailer boat access, fast ferry docking and on-shore facilities; and 2. Further development of Sugarloaf Wharf through a commercial arrangement with the aquaculture operators to support the Industry’s growth opportunities in Hauraki. 3. Investigating the potential to increase access for recreational fishers and charter boat operators under the existing consents at Furey’s Creek.

View of Furey’s Creek and Patukirikiri Reserve (centre).

36

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7


The benefits of the Coromandel Harbour Development project will be enjoyed for generations to come. It will create more jobs through increased tourism and aquaculture; attract more permanent residents by making commuting to Auckland easier, creating more tourism-based jobs and business opportunities; and improving Harbour facilities that service all Harbour users. This will enable a faster ferry service of approximately 1 hour, 20 minutes from Auckland to Coromandel Town on the Blue Highway. Achieving these goals will require a whole of Coromandel Harbour approach, with co-operation from multiple users such as iwi, recreational fishers, commercial operators and residents, land owners, central and local government along with project funders. The analysis undertaken by our Council has been made available to potential funding partners in the form of a Coromandel Harbour Partnership Proposal Document. This document demonstrates that development of the Inner Harbour and the Sugarloaf Wharf will meet the needs of the biggest range of present and future stakeholders. Expressions of Interest in our Partnership Proposal Document close at the end of October. The document can be viewed at www.tcdc.govt.nz/coroharbourproject The whole of Harbour solution is estimated to cost between $50M and $60M. Any Council investment needs to be affordable for the ratepayers of today and sustainable for those of the future. We know we can’t fund the development ourselves and will need investment support from external sources.

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

IN THE DAYS OF THE GOLD BOOM AT COROMANDEL. The animated scene at “Anticipation” Wharf. Coromandel, on May 24, 1897, when stage coaches were preparing to leave for the goldfields. Image kindly supplied by Alexander Turnbull Library

The Partnership Proposal Document is also a means to generates interest from investors in the private sector, local and central government. We expect this project will be an attractive investment for the private sector, local government and central government. We are seeking funding commitments from across the public and private sectors so that the proposed solution can be implemented in a manner that generates returns for all investors. To ensure the success of this project a united approach from both financial and strategic partners is vital. Potential partners include iwi, central government, local government, the aquaculture industry and other private sector organisations.

37


Sugarloaf Wharf The expansion of Sugarloaf Wharf facilities completes the whole of Harbour approach, primarily addressing the needs of the growing aquaculture industry. Sugarloaf Wharf currently services mussel and oyster boats and has two boat ramps used by recreational fishers. Sugarloaf Wharf is the only all-tide access launching point on Coromandel Harbour and, as a consequence, there are extremely high volumes wanting to use it. Added to the challenges is limited land for parking trailers and vehicles resulting in road congestion. This congestion and mixed-use also has the potential to cause health and safety issues at the facility and nearby road parking. Sugarloaf Wharf is currently consented for both aquaculture and recreational users. This mixed-use model will continue. The formation of a governance model to ensure the development’s ongoing sustainability, consenting and construction is underway, and there is significant momentum on getting this aspect of the Coromandel Harbour Facilities Development project moving. Sugarloaf Wharf will remain primarily a commercial arrangement between our

38

Council and Coromandel Mussel Farmers Association (CoroMFA). The final details of that arrangement ar yet to be worked out but they do respect the interests iwi have in the Sugarloaf Wharf and the dual purpose consent. Concept for Increased Commercial Wharf Capacity at the Sugarloaf Hardstand – Stage 2 Extend the Stage 1 truck loading hardstand northward and construct a 2nd piled concrete jetty at right angles to the hardstand.

concept only

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7


Coromandel Harbour Location Map Long Bay

SITE OF PROPOSED INNER HARBOUR DEVELOPMENT

Coromandel Town

Coromandel Wharf Jack’s Point Furey’s Creek

A

lack of all-tide access has seriously impacted on

recreational fishers and charter boats, and has meant that the ferry services have had to dock at Hannaford’s Wharf, almost 10 kilometres away from

Sugarloaf Wharf

Puhi Rare Windy Point

Coromandel Town.

Hannaford’s Wharf No water at low tide

SITE OF PROPOSED AQUACULTURE WHARF EXPANSION

Coromandel Inner Harbour – Longer Term Project shellfish farm

The Coromandel Inner Harbour development is the jewel in this project’s crown. Ferry passengers will board at Auckland’s busy waterfront terminal before soaking in the jawdropping scenery of the Hauraki Gulf islands – in just a few hours they can escape to the remoteness of a kiwi bach, be starting the engine on their boat at the marina or be involved in any number of uniquely Coromandel tourism experiences. The Inner Harbour concept will open up all-tide access close to Coromandel Town and develop a protected Inner Harbour on the southern side of the existing wharf. The concept design provides room for commercial operators to tie up to swing moorings on the north side and for recreational fishers and charter boat operators to launch their boats.

C O R O M A N D E L

3

7

commercial 6 re cur

4

or nt c

om

and

el w

har

to Co

f

rom

ande

recreational and public

ndel Tow

to Coroma

2 1

7

picnic and beach area

Concept design of the Coromandel Inner Harbour

The Inner Harbour concept provides commercial opportunities related to the marina or leased water space. Additional parking and opportunities for commercial marine services can be created with minor reclamation at the edge of Patukirikiri Reserve. Centralising Harbour user facilities will make establishing commercial services at Coromandel Wharf more attractive and draw users away from other wharfs or boat ramps that are currently stretched beyond capacity. Estimates for marine civil works could be up to half of the total project cost. Our Council is exploring how this expense can be covered by a private sector partnership. Tests have shown that the sediment on some parts of the Harbour floor contains residue from earlier land-based industries (forestry, agriculture and mining) in the catchment. This development presents an opportunity to address those historical issues. Facilities being considered for the

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

l Tow

5

development (as pictured) include: 1. Ferry terminal for fast ferry; 2. Marina; 3. Marine servicing facilities – fuel, sewage pumping, hardstand; 4. Charter/ commercial fishing berths; 5. Day berths; 6. Swing mooring; 7. Additional parking; and 8. Public amenities including playgrounds, picnic areas and general recreational spaces. The Inner Harbour development presents a number of opportunities to commercial enterprise and will meet the aspirations of a range of central government agencies wanting to lift the regional and national economy, remediate the environment and raise the profile of our national tourism brand. This project is visionary and ambitious but, with support, it is achievable. l www.tcdc.govt.nz/coroharbourproject

39

8


BOAT RAMPS along the Thames Coast to Coromandel Town All you need to know about boat launching and fishing along our west coast

1. Kopu Boat Ramp Off Quay Street, Kopu This ramp is suitable for large boats and is often used for haul-out, which means there can be restricted access at times. Smaller boats are better suited to other ramps when these activities are in progress. A north-westerly can present some issues when launching/retrieving. River currents can also be challenging. Next closest ramps are Turua Boat Ramp and Tararu Ramp by the Thames Sailing Club for high tide launching. 4WD is preferable as this ramp is metalled. Limited parking when commercial operations are in progress. Parking area is also prone to flooding in King tide and storm events. No toilets on site. Kopu has a petrol station, bakery and pub. Tararu is a few minutes south and has a cafe and boat ramp with good infrastructure.

2. Tararu Boat Ramp

Thames Coast Rd, SH25 [beside the Thames Sailing Club] Launch two hours either side of high tide. Ideally caters to maximum boat and trailer length up to 5m. Check the marine forecast as wind opposing tides can result in dangerous conditions. Worst winds S, SW,W, NW and anything greater than 10 knots can be challenging to launch and retrieve boats. No fees and charges. Parking for up to 15 boats and trailers. Please park away from the Thames Sailing Club buildings and doors. Additional parking available along SH25 if needed. Nearest toilets at Kuranui Bay Reserve, Porritt Park outside Goldfields Mall, or Thames Civic Centre iSite. Petrol 2km away in Thames. Bait, drinks, snacks available 200m away at Tararu Store or in Thames. There’s shallow fishing sometimes not exceeding 2-3 metres and area is known for holding good snapper stocks year round. The Sailing Club holds regattas so check website to avoid busy regatta days www.sportsground.co.nz/thamessailing or contact thamessailing@gmail.com

3. Te Puru Boat Ramp Seaview Avenue, Te Puru Ramp caters to maximum boat/trailer length up to 7m. All tide launch/retrieve is possible with tractor, also recommended at low tide with larger boats. Ramp very exposed to winds from all directions, except anything in the east. Worst wind is westerly and anything greater than 10 knots can be challenging for launch/retrieval. If wind opposes tide, difficult conditions can result. Check marine forecast before going out. Ample parking for more than 100 boats and trailers. $5 per launch, pay at the ramp honesty box. Annual fee $35, or an additional $50 includes year-round tractor access. One-off use of Club tractor $5. Flushing toilets on site. Clubhouse has kitchenette with jug for tea/coffee and dining room for members. Te Puru Store sells snacks, takeaways, bait. Waiomu Beach CafĂŠ sells coffee, quality meals/snacks and has a bait store next door. 15 minute boat ride to mussel farms. Good snapper, kahawai and kingfish habitat all along this coast. Puru Boat Club Inc has fishing competitions every year on 27 December and Easter Sunday. Contact Jenni Greenan jeni.phil@ihug.co to join the club.

40

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7


Port Jackson

Port Charles

4. Waiomu Boat Ramp

SH25 Thames Coast Road, Waiomu (opp Trotters Ave) Ramp easily accessible for launching and retrieving 2 hours either side of high tide. Ensure you are launching prior to high tide and ideally back at ramp no more than 2 hours after high tide. Worst winds: S, SW, W, NW. Winds greater than 10 knots can make it challenging to launch and retrieve boats There’s a large rock hidden by high water, located on the northern side and immediately adjacent to the ramp. Keep a straight line to and from the ramp when launching or landing. If weather cuts up rough around high tide it may be possible to land up the estuary. This ramp is affected by sand movement covering the ramp at times after storm events. No launching fees or charges. Next closest ramps are Ruamahunga Boat Ramp 2 minutes north of this ramp or Te Puru Ramp 5 minutes south of Waiomu. Flushing toilets and changing rooms are available 500m south of the ramp at the Waiomu domain. Bait shop in Waiomu next to the Café sells tackle, a huge range of bait and is open early. Petrol available north at Tapu, 5 kms, food available at Waiomu Cafe.

Little Bay Colville Tuateawa Waitete Bay

12 Kennedy Bay

Papaaroha

Whan Oamaru Bay 11 Kikowhakarere Bay Wyuna Bay

10

9

Good ramp option for kayaks and small boats that will have no problems with tide constraints. Wind opposing tide can result in difficult/dangerous conditions.

Te Reren

Coromandel

8

Te Kouma

5. Ruamahunga Boat Ramp

Ma

SH25 Ruamahunga Bay, Thames Coast

Waikawau

6

DE L

Te Mata Tapu

5

Waiomu

Thornton Bay Ngarimu Bay

4

E

Te Puru

NG

Ruamahunga

RA

Access to some fantastic shallow fishing grounds, with snapper and kingfish found here and beyond. Great surfcasting spot at low tide.

25

AN

No toilets. Closest are south at Waiomu domain, or north at Tapu domain. Te Puru Store sells snacks, takeaways, bait. Waiomu Beach Café sells coffee, quality meals/snacks and has a bait store next door. Petrol also available at Tapu 5 mins north.

7

OM

No fees and charges. Limited parking for up to 15 boats and trailers. Next closest alternative is Waiomu Boat Ramp 2 mins south, or at Te Puru 5 mins south.

Manaia

COR

Ramp caters to maximum boat/trailer length ideally up to 5m. Launch 2-3 hours before high and fish up to high tide, which is the easiest retrieval time. You need be confident backing as the ramp is narrow, steep and tight. Fibreglass boats could find ramp too steep unless with a 4WD. Ramp very exposed to winds from the S, SW, W, NW. Good cover in a northerly, winds exceeding 10 knots can prove difficult to launch/retrieve. It can also be difficult to safely retrieve vessels around low tide.

3

Whakatete Bay

6. Waikawau Boat Ramp SH25 Waikawau Bay, Thames Coast

This ramp is used by a high number of boats a day over the summer peak so we encourage the use of other ramps listed, to avoid delays and congestion. www.waikawauboatramp.co.nz

Tararu

2

THAMES 1

Totara

Kopu

41


7. Kereta Bay Boat Ramp SH25, Thames Coast

This is a solid, all-tide, well-maintained concrete ramp. Wind can be the issue here, with ramp very exposed to winds from S, SW, W, NW. Check the forecast. Launching for vessels up to 7m. Vehicles may need to put their rear wheels in water at mid-tide due to a flat section of ramp. The club has provided a concrete tapered edge on the northern side that assists with launch/retrieval during mid-tide. Annual membership, $30. Casual, $5 day. Parking for 20 -30 boats and trailers with some extra parking across bridge. There is a turning bay beside the toilet. Set up before heading to this area and don’t park near turning bay. If parking across bridge on left, ensure farm gate is not obstructed. Long-drop toilet and rubbish bin on site. There are a number of bait stores up the coast. Petrol available at Tapu store. Te Puru and Tapu stores sell takeaways, Waiomu Beach CafÊ sells coffees and meals/snacks. Access to amazing fishing grounds with most species found in this area. This is the closest ramp to mussel farms and last ramp before Coromandel hills. $30 annual membership gives a couple and their children (up to 15-years) entry into monthly fishing competitions. Contact Bev Mackay 027 486 0047 to join the club.

8. Sugarloaf Boat Ramp Te Kouma Road, off SH25, Coromandel

With all-tide access this ramp is located at a busy docking area for the mussel farming industry and during peak times becomes very congested. Relatively sheltered from most winds, strong northerlies can make launching challenging. Larger boats can access main channel and mussel farms within 15 minutes. Good snapper, kahawai and kingfish habitat. Casual users $10 day, annual membership $90. Any size trailer boat can launch here but limited parking for up to 15 vehicles with boat trailers with some parking on Te Kouma Road. Alternative ramps 15 minutes north at Jacks Point, Coromandel Town or Kereta Boat Ramp, 25 minutes south. Prepare your boat in the car park prior to launching. Keep out of industry loading area when loading/unloading. Warden on site during weekends, public holidays and peak summer period. Toilets and rubbish bin on site. Coromandel Town is 15 minutes away with petrol stations, cafes/restaurants, toilets and bait. Excellent access to fishing and diving grounds with most species found in this area. Avoid weekends and school holiday peak times where possible.

9. Long Bay Boat Ramp Long Bay, Coromandel Town

This is a single lane concrete ramp with no charge to launch. Ideally boats up to 5.5m use this ramp and launch 2 hours either side of high tide, no more than 1.5 hours after high tide to ensure adequate time/water to retrieve. Firm sand 3 hours either side high for 4WD. Worst winds here are SW, W, and NW. This is an operating camp ground and parking is limited during peak times. Please check with camp ground managers to ensure that you park in the correct area. For safety please make sure you have someone watching as you reverse in busy periods, watch for children. Gates are locked from 10:30pm-6:30 am. Toilets are just outside camp gate, there is a shop on site for bait/snacks. Campground managers may offer access to wash-down facilities for a fee and on request. Petrol is 3km at Fureys Creek G.A.S station or Coromandel Town. A good kayak/small craft access point to very good fishing. Contact Des & Leanne 07 866 8720 lbmccoromandel@xtra.co.nz for campground reservations.

42

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7


10. Jacks Point Boat Ramp Long Bay Road, Coromandel

This ramp is a double-lane concrete ramp. Due to silting and dredging this area is generally only accessible 3 hours either side of high tide. The channel has been recently dredged and provides for sheltered launching either side of high tide. Channel markings are in place to assist with entry/exit to deeper water. No fees and charges payable in 2016/17. There is plenty of parking for approximately 100+. Toilets and shops are within walking distance of this ramp. Coromandel Town has shops, pub, cafes and petrol. Alternate ramps at Long Bay, 3kms north or Sugarloaf 8kms south. Access to fishing, diving and food gathering spots a short boat ride away. Excellent food and accommodation available in Coromandel Town minutes away.

11. Oamaru Bay Boat Ramp SH25 opposite #420 in Oamaru Bay

This is a single lane concrete ramp which can be used for launching for boats and trailers up to 7m. Launch 2.5 hours before high and ensure that you are back at ramp no more than 2 hours after high tide for adequate time/water to retrieve. Worst winds here are S, SW, and W. No fees or charges, however this may change in the future. Parking is limited to grass/ beach area. Please be thoughtful of families who use this area for picnics and games when parking. Have someone watching as you reverse as children may be present. Closest alternative ramp is Jacks Point 8km south. Toilets are 100m south of the ramp. Bait available at Coromandel, 8kms away. Petrol 8 km south at Fureys Creek. Mussel farms within easy reach. Good area for snapper kingfish and kahawai. There’s a fully operational tourist park so please be aware of children and families using grass areas adjacent to ramp. A very good kayak/small craft access point to very good fishing. Contact Les & Ana Cooper Oamaru Bay Tourist Park 07 866 7588 admin@nichollstrust.co.nz for an accommodation booking.

12. Amodeo Bay Boat Ramp Colville Main Road, Amodeo Bay

This is a single lane concrete ramp catering to maximum boat/ trailer length of 7.5m, Larger boats have trouble 2 hours either side of low tide. You need to stay close to the breakwater, don’t creep down towards the shore on a half-tide as rocks are present. No charge for self-launch. Parking limited up to maximum of 8 trailers boats. No facilities on site. Consider staying a night at Anglers Lodge as owners will launch and retrieve for you, as well as having fantastic boat cleaning, fish filleting facilities, BBQ area and café. Camp shop at Papa Aroha, 3.6kms south, and Coromandel Town, 18.6km south which has a variety of shops, pub, cafes and petrol. This area has fantastic deep water and reef fishing in the area, along with amazing bird activity and island fishing within easy reach.

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

43


The Wonder of Winter in Coromandel Illume Winter Festival of Light

C

oromandel Town’s Illume festival has retained its homegrown, handcrafted flavour while still managing to expand and impress with every successive year. Its quintessential Coromandel style distinguishes it from other festivals around the country, and it is fast becoming a winter must on the family calendar.

Illume was the brainchild of Coromandel residents, Karen McMillan and Brenda Kelsey. They wanted to offer a festive occasion that gave people a reason to come to Coromandel Town during winter. They wanted to offer something fun that would make people happy. Working with a team of 10-12 volunteers including local artists and craftspeople, the Coromandel Business Association got behind the idea and delivered the first Illume; a week-long programme of activities in July 2014. On that first opening night, Mr Cyril Strongman flicked the switch for ‘The Big Turn On’; a nod to Mr Strongman’s father who helped found Coromandel Town’s first power plant 66 years earlier. Approximately1500 residents and visitors attended activities throughout the week and July 2016 (the third festival) saw 5000 people attend, and an increasing number of locals contributing to make it a success. “People now come from Auckland, Tauranga, Rotorua and beyond,” says Sandra Wilson, Illume Event Co-ordinator. “Word is getting out.” Lighting is central to the town’s transformation and local businesses get right behind the decorations, lighting up their shops well after opening-hours. “Locals enjoy it,” explains Sandra. “They have smiles on their faces and looks of wonder as they see their town looking transformed.” Coromandel Town locals and artists Matt Sephton and Caitlin Moloney Photos: Felicity Jean Photography

44

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7


play a major role in Illume, creating projections of heritage photos of local people and places, telling visual stories on a large and atmospheric scale. Every year they offer their lighting design talents to work with volunteers to realise a new vision. Coromandel craftspeople and creative volunteers attend a workshop weeks out, to make hundreds of lanterns mostly created from recyclables. They are a festival feature; lanterns of every imaginable conception hang from the trees and glow from every corner. On the Saturday night a street parade is held with a colourful and eclectic display of floats. “Everyone gets into the spirit, dressing up in lights and taking part. The parade includes people walking with wheelbarrows full of lanterns, people on motorbikes, tractors, and bicycles decorated in twinkling lights. No matter the weather, Illume goes on. This year there was a thunderstorm on opening night! Still up to 2000 people turned up. We say bring your brolly, dress for the weather and step outdoors. That’s the whole point – to brighten up your winter,” explains Sandra. A stunning fireworks display (sponsored by Powerco in 2016 and 2017) underscores the Saturday night festivities. Street performers are another highlight, embracing the spirit of the event with their quirky talent. In 2016, New Zealand’s ‘Twisty Twinz’ enchanted the crowd by hanging from silks in the trees and displaying astonishing aerial acrobatics. Robotman and a roving clown were also huge street performance favourites. “Illume is a celebration of creativity and all that’s possible when people come together to share their skills and talents. The festival is a safe way to enjoy the darkness of night for people of all ages, and perfect for families with its kids zone area and delicious food stalls,” says Sandra. Michele Cameron from Tairua attended the first festival in 2014 and her three children loved it so much they have returned each year. “The kids love it,” says Michele. “It’s a good winter family outing and they have terrific homemade chai and bikkies there. Illume is quintessential Coromandel.” Illume is a recipient of our Council’s Major Events Fund and will return 14-15 July 2017. www.illumefest.co.nz l The Coromandel Business Association are grateful for the support of the following sponsors who made the event possible: TCDC, Trust Waikato, NZ Creative Communities Scheme, Powerco and Harcourts.

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

45


Honouring the fallen with the WWI Memorial Forest One hundred year s ago New Zeal and answered the call of the British Empire and sent about 100,000 soldier s over seas. Nearly 20% – 18,166 – never returned.

T

hey died on the hills at Gallipoli, in the deserts of the Middle East and in the killing fields of the Western Front. One hundred years later our Council answered another call. This time it was from the New Zealand government which in 2014 asked for projects to commemorate World War I. Our Council and our Community Boards proposed to establish a series of Memorial Forests across the Coromandel where native

New Zealand trees could be planted to represent individual soldiers who fell in the war. The response from our communities has been outstanding. We are working with partners including DOC, Waikato Regional Council, iwi, schools, RSAs and community groups, all of which have been closely involved in the planting and care of the forests. We have received contributions from DOC, Waikato Regional Counci and Perpetual Guardian (administrators of the Stella Evered Memorial Park - a private but publicly accessible

The Memorial Forest sites We now have eight WWI Memorial Forest sites in the Coromandel.

Thames – Rhodes Park at south end of town. 247 trees to honour the Thames war dead. Coromandel Town – Hauraki Rd. 39 trees to represent the Coromandel war dead and 1,000 trees to represent the “Supreme Sacrifice” paid by all the New Zealanders who laid down their lives.

Whitianga – the new Mercury Bay cemetery just south of town. A representative 2,000 trees are to be planted in honour of the men killed in the Battle of Passchendaele. There are also 37 trees planted in honour of the Mercury Bay war dead.

Coromandel Town Whitianga Cathedral Stella Cove Evered Reserve

Cathedral Cove – 2,779 trees planted here pay tribute to the 2,779 men killed in the Gallipoli campaign.

Stella Evered Memorial Park – Some 2,300 trees have been planted here to honour the New Zealanders killed in the Battle of the Somme.

Tairua – the RSA cemetery honours the 48 men from Tairua-Hikuai who served and died in

Tairua

the war.

Pauanui

Pauanui – Tangitarori Lane. The 640 trees planted here commemorate the NZ soldiers killed in the Sinai-Palestine campaign.

Whangamata – Le Quesnoy Memorial Forest Park next to SH25 at the north end of town has

Thames

122 trees to honour those soldiers killed in the Battle of Le Quesnoy.

46

Other sites honouring, for example, the Battle of Messines will become available as funding permits.

Whangamata


reserve near Hahei overlooking Purangi Estuary - the site of the Somme Memorial Forest). Earlier in 2016, we enlisted the support of men’s clothing retailer Barkers, which donated the cost of planting and maintaining 1,000 trees at the Cathedral Cove Gallipoli site. This generous donation was worth $25,000 and has contributed significantly to the achievement of our project. The Gallipoli and Somme Memorial Forest sites link in with the first stage of the Cathedral

C O R O M A N D E L

Cove Walkway, which is under construction now. When complete, this walk will run from Ferry Landing to the Blowhole south of Hahei. The project received a NZ Lotteries WW1 Commemoration grant of $122,205 in December 2015 and in 2014 received backing from Waikato Regional Council with a grant of $40,000. Iwi are key partners in the development of the sites which provide a unique opportunity for a range of stories to be told through interpretation and education programmes. Schools have been heavily involved in treeplanting sessions and ceremonies to launch individual Memorial Forest sites. For example, students from Mercury Bay Area School helped plant 100 trees at the official launch of the Gallipoli Memorial Forest on 5 June 2015, with Minister of Conservation Maggie Barry. Students made 2,779 flax crosses – one for each soldier killed in the Gallipoli campaign – and laid them along a path through the site. Students have also incorporated the Memorial Forest into school projects on the Great War, researching various battles New Zealand troops fought in or finding out about ancestors who served. As they grow, the Memorial Forests will provide places of quiet contemplation where people can walk and ponder New Zealand history. l

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

How you can contribute Commemorate a tree to the fallen soldier of your choice with a $25 donation. Your donation will pay for the planting and care of a tree in one of our Memorial Forest sites. You’ll receive a memorial certificate with the soldier’s name and the GPS co-ordinates of the tree. Or, you can gift a tree on behalf of your family to an unnamed fallen soldier. You will receive a memorial certificate without a GPS location. If you wish to donate to the Le Quesnoy Memorial Forest in Whangamata, for a $35 donation you will also receive a commemorative poppy. To donate, go to

www.tcdc.govt.nz/ww1memorialforest or call TCDC Customer Services on

07 868 0200.

47


Visique O’Hagan Vision Care

Your local optometrist, caring for your whole family's eye health needs. - Eye exams, glasses, contact lenses and much more -

Four locations for your convenience Visique O’Hagan Vision Care 2B Willoughby Street, Paeroa 07 862 8978 Visique O’Hagan Vision Care 186 Whitaker Street, Te Aroha 07 884 8015 Visique O’Hagan Vision Care School Lane, Waihi 07 863 7019 Visique O’Hagan Vision Care 612 Port Road, Whangamata 07 865 0007 ohagan@visique.co.nz

Grand Mercure Puka Park LodGe

r e v e n a h t Better Escape to a mountainside lodge, offering unique discoveries and experiences, with a warm tranquil environment perfect for focusing the mind for business or leisure.

Information, reservations and Bookings

sales@pukapark.co.nz www.pukapark.co.nz +64 7 864 8088 Puka Park Resort Coromandel Peninsula Grand Mercure Accor Vacation Club Apartments

Mount Avenue, Pauanui Beach, Coromandel Peninsula. New Zealand


Thanks to you The NZMCA thanks the Thames-

more locations are set to achieve

the world.

Coromandel council and the local

the status shortly. What’s more,

That’s a privilege we don’t take

community for the welcome you’ve

we’ve opened your area’s first

for granted – so we want you to

given responsible motorhomers in

NZMCA Park, in Coromandel, and

know that our NZMCA members

Certified Self-Contained vehicles.

another is on the way in Whitianga.

will be respectful and responsible

In the past year Coromandel

Such facilities will encourage more

in playing our part to protect the

township has become officially

of our members to stop, stay and

beautiful natural environment

Motorhome Friendly – and two

spend in your very special part of

that’s so important to us all.

New Zealand Motor Caravan Association | P 09 298 5466 www.mhftowns.com | www.nzmca.org.nz


50

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7


Finding the

right path

C

When it comes to iconic images promoting New Zeal and as a must-see destination, Cathedral Cove is the poster child.

heck out any Tourism NZ campaign promoting Godzone to international visitors, or delve into any social media account for those visiting the Coromandel, and that gigantic triangular rock arch framing a pristine, white sand beach will almost certainly be found. And while Cathedral Cove puts a sunny spotlight on the Coromandel, it casts a shadow on how to deal with the problems our Council and other agencies grapple with when it comes to managing the increasing numbers of visitors. Car parking and infrastructure facilities are just two of the issues. Over the past couple of years the development of the first route of our Council’s Coromandel Walks project has exacerbated concerns about how to deal with traffic and visitor numbers. This first walk has been named “Te Ara o Hei,” as it is within the Rohe of local iwi Ngati Hei. Ngati Hei is also one of the three cornerstone partners in the development of the first route, which when fully complete will link Whitianga in the north through to Hot Water Beach south and beyond. (The other two partners are our Council and the Department of Conservation, which reflects the representation on the Walks Governance Group).

“When we started looking at walks routes, we kicked off looking at Hahei, because they had issues with traffic congestion already, and the start was to disperse visitors across a longer walking route from Hahei through to Whitianga in the first instance, then from Hahei south to Hot Water Beach and south” shares Glenn Leach, outgoing Mayor and project champion. Two car parks are now under development within the Hahei area. The first is at Pa Rd, on a section of Council land beside the Wastewater Treatment Plant, which has been used for a park and ride service for the past few years during peak summer. This area has the capacity for 194 cars, buses and camper vans and is currently being developed as a permanent car park site, which will be open by summer 2016-17.

Cathedral Cove.

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

51


“Currently this car park is popular for many walk from this car park up to the Stella Evered lies the Purangi Estuary. A low-tide option for crossing the Estuary currently exists and people as they can park for the day, hop on a Reserve and continue north.” The car park at Lees Rd will be user pays, is used by knowledgeable locals but a longershuttle bus which takes them up to the top of Grange Rd, (one of the more popular starts to which gives our Council another funding base term solution (most likely a boardwalk) is the Cathedral Cove walkway), and return by for maintenance. We will also end up with under consideration, which would make it shuttle bus once they’ve finished their walk,” a loop bus running from Hot Water Beach easier for anyone to cross at all times. “What is important to note is that initial says Ross Ashby, our Council’s Walks project through to Ferry Landing on a continuous manager. “What we’ve done is formalised the base, so people can move up and down that routes around the Purangi have been considered for feasible purposes only, and land so it has been zoned, designed and built coast using a variety of measures. In conjunction with the two car parks, a that further discussions with landowners up to a permanent car-parking standard.” Meanwhile, the second car park under Parking Strategy and Action Plan for the is a critical next step to informing future development is at Lees Rd with construction Mercury Bay South area are being formalised. options and any decisions around the Purangi boardwalk,” says Mr Ashby. scheduled for May 2017. The first Meanwhile in the short-term a stage will accommodate more than “dry feet” crossing is looking viable, 200 cars as well as campervans, buses, following an Expression of Interest a toilet and kiosk. This was following (EOI) process that ran mid-2016. an agreement with our Council and This went out to commercial a private landowner in June 2016 for from the first arrival of māori in Aotearoa. operators and entrepreneurs and a block of land to be converted into in September 2016 the Walks a car parking site. A second area of Governance Group endorsed (in the site can be expanded for more car It sets out recommendations for different principle) a preferred activity who is offering parking when demand requires. “Lees Rd is a small side road in between areas within Mercury Bay South around a crossing option that would be extremely low Hahei and Cooks Beach, and the car park land parking, signage, transportation and tourist impact on the environment. A decision on accepting this crossing option is due shortly. will connect up to the existing Cathedral Cove information. At Hahei there’s also been debate within One of the other pieces in this puzzle to Walks,” says Mr Ashby. “This new car park gives people another option for accessing Cathedral connect Te Ara o Hei, is navigating the Stella the community itself about how to manage Cove, but also provides another access point Evered Reserve (a public reserve maintained the growing number of visitors to their spot. onto Te Ara O Hei, so people can park here as by a private Trust) on Lees Rd, across to Cooks A walking village has been a suggestion, to a start point, walk to Hahei return or choose to Beach. Between the Reserve and Cooks Beach encourage the centre and surrounds to be

“THIS STRETCH OF COASTLINE HAS BEEN WELL TRODDEN ”

Hot Water Beach, another must-do visitor stop on the Coromandel.

52


The vista from a viewing platform on the track.

From L-R: Some of the local Hahei community who helped clear the track, looking up from sea up to the viewing platform, Hahei Beach.

pedestrianized while more extreme views have been installing a gate at the entrance of the village to only allow residents and ratepayers vehicle access. The wider view is that Cathedral Cove, Hot Water Beach and Te Ara O Hei, when it is fully developed – are treasures of the Coromandel – which everyone should be able to enjoy, appreciate and respect. “This stretch of coastline has been well trodden from the first arrival of māori in Aotearoa. Hei, a Rangitiratanga of the Arawa waka chose O a Hei as his kainga and settled there with his people, spreading out and building a series of bastion citadels or Pa,” explains Peter Johnston, Ngati Hei and Walks Governance Group representative. “This Project could offer the possibility to restore some characteristics previously destroyed and help restore the mauri of the area. Channelling visitors, restricting visitor numbers, and a single direction walkway may help mitigate the overcrowding aspect that would destroy the elements of isolation,” he says. And the overarching aim of the Walks project is to create a world-class, multi-day walk that links strongly with towns and communities on the Coromandel, to drive economic development through tourism. “When we look at other possible routes, like Tairua to Pauanui, the Puketui valley could be

C O R O M A N D E L

THE WALKING ROUTE OF TE ARA O HEI

PACIFIC OCEAN Cathedral Cove Hahei

Stella Evered Reserve

Cooks Beach

Purangi Estuary

Proposed Carpark Lees Rd

Hereheretaura Ngati Hei Pa site

Hahei Village Entrance Carpark

Blow Hole site Te Pupuha Recreation Reserve

Lees Rd

Hot Water Beach Ferry Landing

Stage 1A Stage 1B

Towards Tairua-Pauanui south

Existing Stage 1C To Whitianga north

another link, then over to the Thames Coast, we’re starting to look at 5-day walks between individual settlements,” says Glenn Leach. And one thing most people agree on – the Walks Project is a good thing for the Coromandel. So far the first route, Te Ara O Hei, has had Government support through $1M in a Lotteries Significant Project Grant, there are two WW1 Memorial Forests on its

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

Stage 2 potential route options

route and it’s setting a template for successful partnerships between different groups (TCDC, DOC and Ngati Hei). And while Cathedral Cove, along with Hot Water Beach, are still the most popular tourist photos for the Coromandel right now, as walks routes continue to open up, there’ll be plenty more stunning spots vying for that prime poster shot. l

53


Views of Te Ara O Hei.

Cathedral Cove’s History Te Whanganui-A-Hei (Cathedral Cove) Marine Reserve is part of the area first claimed by Hei, a tohunga (priest) on Te Arawa waka at the time of the Polynesian migration to New Zealand, circa 1350 AD. Hei settled his people on the area around Mercury Bay, asserting ownership by referring to Motueka Island as ‘Te Kuraetanga-o-taku-Ihu’ (‘The outward curve of my nose’). It is said he made this claim near the present day site of Hahei. Hei’s descendants, as tangata whenua, still retain a strong ancestral and spiritual attachment to the site, and continue their role as guardians, or kaitiaki, of the resources within it. There are two Pa sites – Hereheretaura Pa and its sister Pa, Te Pare – that are on the Te Ara O Hei route. Other Pa that make up the greater number in the area are Poikeke, Mautohe, Orapa, Te Tui, Ngatuturu, Te Puia, Te Puiaiti and Tapuaetahi. All are visible to each other by direct sight or triangulation where they are only invisible at worst by one degree of separation. Through a series of signalling, all ten Pa could be made aware of threats in a very short space of time.

54


The Hauraki Rail Trail is billed as the easiest cycle trail in New Zealand, running flat through the Hauraki Plains alongside the Coromandel Ranges.

Two-wheelIng

from Auckland to the Coromandel This summer it will be possible to cycle from Auckl and to Thames along the scenic Seabird Coast with a stunning view of the Coromandel R anges in front of you to lure you along.

W

hen we say Auckland, we don’t mean the Big Smoke itself, but the far, rural reaches of the SuperCity that straddle the Hunua Ranges to say hello to the Coromandel. Construction on the Kopu to Kaiaua extension of the Hauraki Rail Trail began in April 2016 and is a joint project of our Council and Hauraki District Council (HDC), the lead partner. Each Council is contributing $1 million to the project. As Summertimes went to press, HDC was seeking additional funding to complete the section from Miranda to Kaiaua. In the meantime, cyclists can use the East Coast Road to travel this section, which is pretty quiet. The completion of the Kopu to Kaiaua extension will see the realisation of the original goal of making the Hauraki Rail Trail a true

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

multi-day experience. The full rail trail network from Kaiaua through Thames, Paeroa and Waihi to Te Aroha is a three – to seven-day cycle experience, depending on your itinerary, planning and fitness level. Thanks to the extension, busy State Highway 25 can be bypassed and you can travel the cycleway along the tops of stopbanks that hug the southern shore of the Firth of Thames. All the way to Thames, you’ll journey through one of the most important ecological coastal and wetland areas for shorebirds in New Zealand – the Seabird Coast, an internationally significant RAMSAR wetland area, where you can see thousands of birds on the shellbanks and tidal flats. Many, such as the Bar-tailed Godwit, fly from eastern Siberia and Alaska to spend the southern summer here to feed and rest before leaving in March to fly back north.

55


Kaiaua

K2K

Thames

Kopu to Kaiaua

The story of their epic migration is told at the Pūkorokoro Miranda Shorebird Centre, an excellent source of information on all the birds who frequent the coast, including wrybills, dotterels, oystercatchers and many others. Further interpretation stations along the way will tell the stories of both maori and pakeha settlement and the features and importance of the ecology of the area. The 47km route crosses a number of small rivers and canals as well as the Mokorokoro Canal, and the Waitakaruru and Piako rivers before crossing the Waihou River on the Kopu Bridge. On the Kopu side is a public toilet and the opportunity to check out the shops and have a break at the café and the pub. From Kopu, it’s a 6km run into Thames. The trail officially stops at Shortland Wharf, where there’s an excellent fish and chips cafe, but you can carry on

The Kopu to Kaiaua extension crosses a number of small rivers and canals on the southern shore of the Firth of Thames.

56

The DOC bird hide at Miranda is a great place to spot migratory shorebirds.

Kopu

Miranda

Matatoki Puriri

Pipiroa Waitakaruru

Hikutaia

K2K trail

DISTANCES

Established Rail Trail

Kopu to Kaiaua:

47km

Thames to Paeroa:

33km

Tikapa Moana saltmarsh wetlands

Waikino

Paeroa to Te Aroha: 21km Paeroa to Waihi:

Kopu Bridge

Paeroa

25km

Miranda Hot Springs

Te Aroha

The Seabird Coast

Nearly in Thames: Cross the Waihou River on the Kopu Bridge, next to the old bridge, with stunning views of the Coromandel Ranges ahead of you as you cross to Kopu.

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

Waihi


Fun things to do in Thames When you arrive in Thames, whether it’s via the Hauraki Rail Trail, on foot, car, aeroplane or boat, there is lots to do. Here is a taste. Bring your mountain bike and take a spin on the trails above the St John station at the north end of town. There are gorgeous views of Thames and its eponymous Firth from a picnic area at the head of the trails. See P162 for more on mountain biking in Thames and elsewhere in the Coromandel. Below the mountain biking trails is the Goldmine Experience where you can tour one of the richest goldmines of the Thames gold rush heyday, including an operational 19th Century stamper battery. Visit www.goldmine-experience.co.nz for more information. The original section of the Hauraki Rail Trail from Thames to Te Aroha via Paeroa, with a spur to Waihi, opened in 2012.

further into town on the coastal walkway. This brings you closer to the heart of the town’s action on Pollen Street, which is lined with cafes, restaurants and pubs. The original Hauraki Rail Trail runs 54km on a converted railway embankment from Te Aroha to Thames via Paeroa. From Paeroa there is a 25km spur through the stunning Karangahake Gorge that includes a one-kilometre-long former railway tunnel. There are overhead lights, but bring a light for your bike, just in case. The best time to cycle the Karangahake Gorge is the morning when the light is best. Start in Waihi and either cycle the rail trail or catch the historic train that shuttles between Waihi and Waikino. Carry on past century-old relics of the gold mining era and through the old railway tunnel before emerging on to the plains. From here you can turn north for the easy run into Thames. There are cafes and pubs along the way in Hikutaia, Puriri and Kopu where you can stop for a break and refuel before you hit the bright lights of Thames. Matamata-Piako District Council is looking at options to extend the cycleway south from Te Aroha to Matamata. They’ve written a business case and the extension could open as soon as the summer of 2017-18. In the meantime, Auckland is investigating building its own cycleway from the SuperCity to Kaiaua that would complete the link to the Coromandel for cyclists from the Big Smoke. For more information on the Hauraki Rail Trail, go to www.tcdc.govt.nz/hrt or www.haurakirailtrail.co.nz l

There is also the Thames Historical Museum, the Bella Street Pumphouse, the School of Mines and the Treasury to visit where you can explore more of the history of Thames. Find them on www.thecoromandel.com. See P64 for our feature on the Coromandel’s heritage, including Thames during the gold rush. Every year in November Thames celebrates its Victorian-era industrial past and seasons it with a large dose of futuristic imaginings in Steampunk the Thames. The 2016 festival is 11-13 November. www.steampunkthethames.org See our Events section on P90 for the dates of more events throughout the Coromandel. And see P106 for more on what the Thames community is doing to promote the town as a visitor destination. Up the Thames Coast (also known as the Pohutukawa Coast) there are beaches to explore and many good locations for fishing from the sand or the rocks. Or, you can get out on the water with a fishing charter and try your hand at landing snapper, kingfish, kahawai, trevally, John Dory or gurnard. Inland from Thames a few kilometres is the magical Kauaeranga Valley, gateway to the Coromandel Forest Park and home to a Department of Conservation visitor centre that is an award-winning architectural masterpiece. The Kauaeranga Visitor Centre features displays on the kauri and mining history of the valley and the friendly staff are well equipped to inform visitors on the best walking tracks to suit their fitness levels and the weather. There are mountain bike trails here too and for those who like to get into the high country, there is the Pinnacles. From the summit there are commanding views over the Coromandel Peninsula from coast to coast. This can be done as a day or overnight walk, with a stay in the large Pinnacles Hut, not far from the summit. See the DOC website for more information: www.doc.govt.nz There are numerous DOC campgrounds in the Kauaeranga Valley that provide the full Kiwi camping experience and for those who like a bit of adrenalin with their outdoors you can abseil down Sleeping God Canyon. See www.canyonz.co.nz

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

57


ARTFeature

Home is where the ARTis

The arts and creative industries make the Coromandel a more colourful , vibrant and desirable pl ace to live, work and visit.

A

rt groups and individual artists are for the most part small to medium enterprises, generating revenue within the economy, hiring premises and purchasing goods and services. Our Council has supported an Arts Strategy which will help the development of this sector and generate economic growth, even though much of the human resources within the arts sector are traditionally voluntary. As a region reliant on visitor investment, a strong arts community creates opportunities for individual artists while adding significantly to the economic growth of the region. Creativity and innovation are important skills employers look

58

for in prospective employees and a forward-thinking community will provide a creative learning environment for its young generation as well as opportunities for continuing education. One of the major key focuses in the Arts Strategy is capability building, to ensure that artists and those working within the arts can best leverage their craft for sustainable economic benefit to themselves and their communities. You can read more about the aim of the Arts Strategy on www.tcdc.govt.nz/arts-strategy while in the following pages find out more about some of the talented artists we have living and working on the Coromandel.

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7


ARTFeature

Show &

TELL

Bet ween Tairua and Kuaotunu there are more than 40 artists from potter s to painter s, jeweller s to sculptor s who open up their studios and galleries in March to the public.

I

t’s part of the Mercury Bay Open Studio Tour, which provides an opportunity to meet the artists, experience their working environment, learn about their creative process, hear their stories and purchase direct from the studio. The artists work in many media including ceramics, drawing, hand forged knives, mosaics, mixed media, painting, photography, prints, sculpture, harakeke weaving, and wood. Each studio will surprise with something different and unique. To get a taste of each members’ work you can visit the Hot Waves Café at Hot Water Beach where the ‘Showcase Exhibition’ is held from 4 March to 3 April. You can vote for your favourite artwork on display and the artist with the most votes wins the coveted People’s Choice Award. One of the artists you can visit in Whitianga is Wendy Walls, in her charming cottage studio at 24a Coghill St, just a stone’s throw from the main street. Look for the Art Escape blue flag outside her studio which will indicate she is open, or by appointment. Wendy holds regular workshops in her specially equipped space from February to November. Her most popular is ‘Give it a Go’ where non painters or painters, wanting to try different mediums, have a fun ‘play day’. All art materials are supplied and all you need to bring is an apron, lunch and your imagination. As a former school teacher Wendy encourages her students to experiment and explore new options. A lot of students make a weekend of it and enjoy the Whitianga sights and hospitality. www.wendywallsartist.com Most Art Escape artists are also open year round by appointment so come along, explore and enjoy. www.mercurybayartescape.com www.facebook.com/mercurybayartescape l

Wendy Walls and fellow artist Verena Tagman outside the Coghill cottage arts studio.

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

59


ARTFeature

Out in a tin

in Colville

shed

O

ut in a tin shed in Colville, Rod MacLeod paints his memories and his obsessions; the rock stars he’s loved for decades, cityscapes in suburban Auckland, and the light filtering gently through the fronds of nikau palms. It’s an eclectic mix, and it’s because Rod takes his inspiration from his surroundings. The rock star paintings come from Rod’s time in London and the USA in the ‘sixties when he followed and photographed musicians, many of whom went on to become some the most influential performers of our time. Now back in Colville, his portraits of Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan and Elvis line the walls of the studio. Piles of music magazines and books, and boxes of records are also stacked up around the shed. Following the idea of ‘paint what you know’, Rod’s captured scenes from Kingsland in Auckland, where he lived for many years. These too are painted from memory or photographs. The bridges, the buildings, the signs and the graffiti walls are no longer there, having given way to development. Rod’s interest in nikau palms comes from his return to New Zealand after years travelling around the world. “I ended up coming down to Colville to visit some friends that I had met in London. I lived in the bush surrounded by

60

nikaus for 18 months and it was just magical – the play of light through the fronds was captivating and inspired me to attempt to paint it. My first painting that I did in New Zealand was of a nikau and I continue to try and capture that stunning display of leaf and light. It is also to me so uniquely Kiwi.” Before moving with his wife Mari to Colville nearly a decade ago, he was a Preparator at the Auckland Art Gallery. Put simply, he was the guy who handled works of art. It was during that time that a series of events led to his current literary obsession.

C O R O M A N D E L

Rod had become intrigued by a portrait that had been stashed away for decades in the gallery’s collection. Sensing something special about the piece, Rod investigated further to discover that it is by the 18th century English painter John Opie, The Cornish Wonder. The subject was one Dr John Wolcot, the English satirist also known as Peter Pindar. It’s thought to be the earliest known painting of Pindar, and Rod MacLeod wrote about its discovery and background for The British Art Journal. A conversation at Auckland City Library later steered Rod to half a dozen unpublished volumes of Pindar’s writing. They had been gifted to the library by Governor George Grey, as part of a much larger donation. He’s now transcribing these works. It’s a laborious task he tackles with relish, poring over the two centuries’ old manuscripts, hand-written in flowing fountain pen. Rod has curated a number of exhibitions, including a collection of rugby photographs which toured New Zealand during the Rugby World Cup. He also worked together closely with the late Coromandel artist Barry Brickell, curating his work and exhibiting together. Rod MacLeod’s one man show ‘Rock Stars & Nikaus” will be at Colville Hall from December 30, 2016 to January 3, 2017. Open from 10-5 each day. l

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7


ARTFeature

A picture

falls out of

a pencil

A

rtist Rick Fisher is poised to embark on his most exciting project yet; an exhibition of twelve fine art graphite pencil drawings, commemorating the 150th anniversary of the discovery of Thames goldfields. Rick’s exhibition will offer a Ngati Maru perspective on the opening of the goldmine and the effect it had on Maori. The exhibition will be developed in conjunction with Ngati Maru Runanga, so their history and culture may be accurately depicted through Rick’s drawings. Rick lives in Puriri, south of Thames, and is of Ngati Maru descent. Rick began drawing from a young age. He says initially it was a way to find sanctuary and break free from negativity surrounding his youth. He met wife Nikky 25 years ago and shared his early drawings. Buoyed by her encouragement, he read a book which changed his life. The book was Drawing From The Right Side Of The Brain by Betty Edwards. Rick says ‘I could feel the shift. It was immediate.’ A fan described Rick’s process; ‘It’s like seeing a picture fall out of a pencil’. Nikky says Rick’s dedication and persistence have developed his talent and allowed him to produce commissions and fine artworks in galleries. ‘He just keeps going. It’s the same with music. He has taught himself piano and ukelele by ear. He picks it up and sticks at it.’ Rick attributes his artistic dedication to unwavering support from his wife. It can take up to a month to produce a finished piece while working at home, with family life bustling around him. With four children and two jobs between them, the pair agree they are a good team. Nikky ensures everything is attended to, including Rick’s art. Four years ago, Rick was introduced to business mentor Carol Collins,

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

Photos: Nikky Fisher

through Te Puni Kokiri (TPK). She encouraged him to include colour in his drawings and helped him market his work, raising his artist profile. The mentorship enabled Rick the opportunity to display a stunning series of native New Zealand bird drawings at Artastic Gallery, Mt Maunganui and The Little Gallery of Fine Arts, Tairua. Rick has explored other mediums, such as paint and chalk, but is returning to graphite for the Thames goldfields exhibition. His preference for black and white emphasises the vivid detail in his drawings. He doesn’t need to focus on mixing colours, preferring to focus on the subtle facial expressions and minute physical features of his subjects. Graphite adds an atmospheric quality to his historical pieces, capturing a long-distant past with precision. Rick has a passion for immersing himself in history, researching the story and reinterpreting it through drawing. He speaks with great fondness about Dick Rakena; a Waikino train driver he was commissioned to draw, learning as much as he could about his subject before he began. His drawing of an historic kauri dam in the Kauaeranga Valley helped him learn about the history, nature and environment of the time. His ability to capture moments of history in this evocative way, has led to artwork for Kauaeranga Information Centre, for several Maori organisations and the Department of Conservation, among others. Rick Fisher looks forward to hearing and sharing historic tales of Thames goldfields, and honouring the perspective of his people through his art. The exhibition will be held in Thames during Commemoration celebrations next year. Rick is a recipient of Thames Community Board’s 150th anniversary of Thames goldfields funding grant. To contact Rick or find out more about his art, call 021 905 192 or email schooloffish@xtra.co.nz l

61


ARTFeature

Knock me down with a feather

someone bought it By Shaun Fay

I fir st met Whangamata artist Grant Simpson in 2005. My family and I were living in Sydney and came home to Whangamata for Christmas to our Kiwi Bach.

W

e always loved being home and catching up with friends and family and it often put us in a reckless mood. A stroll into Whangamata took us past an art gallery and there under the lights was our ‘Grant Simpson’. A stunning display of festive colour unique to New Zealand and we didn’t hesitate – and bought the piece there and then. After many years, several homes and lots of comments, Grant’s amazing Pohutukawas still take pride of place in our home. Grant wasn’t surprised we bought it. “I sell lots of paintings to ex-pats, they come home for their holidays and want to take something special back that reminds them of New Zealand.” In the last 13 years, Grant has produced over 230 paintings, each one taking around 80 hours. And they are now all over the world – Australia, London, Jersey, Germany, California, each one depicting a distinct part of the Coromandel, coast, beach, trees, people and capturing a moment. When you see that moment in one of Grant’s paintings, it immediately takes you back there. Powerful. Of course, like most artists, Grant wasn’t an overnight sensation. “It’s taken me 13 years to feel confident”. New to the area in 2003, he was looking for a job without a lot of luck. Glennis, his wife, suggested he take up painting, he’d always wanted too.

62

“So I did”, said Grant. “The local gallery took it and, knock me down with a feather, someone actually bought it”. In 2005 Grant had his first exhibition at Harrison’s of Whangamata – a near sell-out on opening night and Grant was up and running. Art can try and do many different things. Intrigue, shock, confuse, but most of all when you look at your art you should feel good and that’s what Grant is going for. “I try and make my art like your favourite song, I want it to bring back memories,” he says. Grant’s work often features well-known Coromandel images and he adds an abstract quality – with lots of layers and colours. At first you can sometimes mistake one of his works for a photograph – such is the detail, but that’s also what makes you look again. Grant has a website www.gvsimpson.vc.net.nz and he works from a studio that must be one of the easiest to find on the Coromandel. It’s on the main road into Whangamata from the north, SH25, about a kilometre past Opoutere School and 100 metres past the orchard. He also exhibits at the Bread and Butter Gallery in Whitianaga, the Matakana Gallery, and Heritage Gallery in Cambridge. Like all of us, every piece of art in our house has a story. Why, where, when – now that I know him a lot better – I like my Grant Simpson story even more. l

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7


ARTFeature

Quilling or paper filigree is an art form which uses strips of paper that’s rolled, shaped, and glued together to create decorative designs.

or Tairua artist, Sarah Alves, quilling started out as a curiosity. “I saw images of quilling online and thought, ‘I wonder if I can do that?’ The first piece I ever made was a simple green heart. It was just me having fun with paper. Then I created some pieces during Tairua Library’s Season of Creativity last year. Positive reactions made me see I had a talent people appreciated. So I kept coming up with diverse styles and subject matter and put together an exhibition.” The exhibition resulted in multiple sales and commissions, which encouraged Sarah. It’s easy to appreciate the time and effort the work represents, as the detail of hundreds of paper coils work together to form a striking three-dimensional image. Sarah readily admits, quilling has become an obsession. An easy piece can take 20 hours, plus several hours researching and developing an idea. “When I’m quilling, I’m in a zone. I have no stress or tension. I can go hours working on a piece – not thinking about making dinner or going to bed. My imagination’s exploding!” she says. People often remark on the patience required to quill, however Sarah says it’s more about problem-solving than patience. She says quilling is more like paper engineering or architecture than painting or drawing. Having tried painting and drawing, she found it frustrating, and couldn’t create a finished result to match her vision. Sarah’s pieces depict animals, nature, hot air balloons and other objects. She is currently creating a vibrant Day of the Dead-inspired series of Mexican skulls. She has also produced a popular range of decorative word-art. All her work is contemporary, and offers a 21st century revitalisation of an age-old art form. Sarah’s inspiration for ideas comes from noticing everyday things. She studies something, then asks herself; ‘How can I represent that with quilling?’ She sources images online as a starting point. Then she makes a loose outline and plays around, coiling and manipulating paper strips. It’s a process of trial and error. Sarah’s keen eye for colour is evident in all her work. The colours and type of paper she chooses; whether recycled, coloured or textured, is an intuitive process, different for every piece. Sarah is busy working on a stock of pieces for Coromandel Peninsula summer markets. “As my technical skills have developed, I can now have

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

multiple projects on the go. I’m accepting it’s ok if I’ve only half-finished something. I can leave it and come back to it.” Having overcome the fear of showing her art, Sarah can’t wait to release her work this summer. Her children, both away studying at University, are among Sarah’s biggest fans. Keen artists too, they share each other’s artwork via Skype. Sarah says the feedback and encouragement between her and her children has been an amazing and unexpected benefit of discovering a talent for quilling. Sarah is selling work now and she does do commissions to order. She can be contacted for sales and commissions on 021 105 7116 l

Photos: Linda Keyte

F

Iif wonder I can do that..?

63


BLASTS FROM THE PAST Here’s a few heritage stories that have helped shaped the Coromandel of today.

A Ship, a Bay, a Drowning Te Karo Bay is a popul ar beach break for surfer s who are chasing the waves north of Tairua.

175

years ago it was the unforgiving waves that took the life of 22-year-old William Sampson at this very same spot, which locals refer to as “Sailor’s Grave”. William Sampson was a sailor on board the British Navy ship HMS Tortoise, when he accidentally drowned after the boat he was in overturned. According to the original kauri headboard that still remains at the site along the fenced grave, which sits on the edge of the bush, William “drowned in the surf ”. For almost a year after William Sampson’s drowning, Te Karo Bay was in full swing as a timber camp. The Tortoise’s carpenters and crew, along with a team of Maori (mostly from the Thames area and Mayor Island) cut the trees, then shaped and squared them, supervised by Thomas Laslett, purveyor of timber. The Tortoise left the Coromandel in April 1843 with a full load of spars, picking up the wife and family of the late Governor Hobson in Auckland before heading to England. William Sampson’s grave is now maintained by the New Zealand Navy, but before that it was previously cared for by the British Navy. Now, 175 years since HMS Tortoise anchored at Te Karo Bay, a commemorative weekend of events is being held Saturday 6 May and Sunday 7 May 2017, which is also the exact anniversary of the drowning. On the Friday and Saturday evenings there will be a show at the Tairua Hall telling the story of HMS Tortoise, while the Royal New Zealand Navy Band will be performing on the Sunday morning at Te Karo Bay. Throughout the weekend there will also be historical talks and walks, refreshments and light entertainment. For more information on the events over the weekend contact the Tairua Information Centre 07 864 7575. l

64

Above: A painting of HMS Tortoise by Roger Morris, who specialises in paintings boats. Reproduced with permission of Don Armitage.

Below: William Sampson’s grave, maintained by the New Zealand Navy.

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7


BLASTS FROM THE PAST. HERITAGE FEATURES

Bonanza Town –

Celebrating the Spirit of Thames By Deborah MacDonald Brown

T

2017 is the year Thames will celebrate its pioneering spirit, 150 year s after the procl amation of the opening of the goldfields in August 1867.

here are so many tales to tell of the wild and heady days when Thames was the power house of the new colony of New Zealand, having the largest population centre in the North Island and, for a very brief time, sat on one of the richest goldfields on the planet. It’s time again to acknowledge the rich and proud history that shaped Thames and the community it has today. The discovery and mining of gold in Thames is a tale of courage and adventure; enterprise and innovation; fortitude and resilience. It is also a tale of destruction and speculation (sometimes bordering on insanity), theft and skulduggery and of fortunes won and lost. Thames, from the beginning was boom and bust – as the veins of gold ran out and new ones were discovered. The times were rugged, gritty, noisy, bustling and exciting. Man against the elements – blasting rock, pulverising it, purifying it and, in the process, contending with storms, fires, floods, mud

Stamper Battery at the entrance to Thames.

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

65


BLASTS FROM THE PAST. HERITAGE FEATURES

and flies. It was dirty, dangerous work down in the mines, the stamper batteries and pumping houses powered by steam. It was also dangerous work felling and booming the kauri for timber. In its early days, Thames was a Wild West town; but one tempered by camaraderie; the men had to trust and look after each other and when death or injury occurred the miners looked after their own. This deep sense of community arose from building something together – a mine, a township, a community – the spirit of Thames which still exists today. To understand the beginnings of Thames, travel back to a different world – a world where the industrial revolution fuelled the expansion of the British Empire and its quest for new resources. Steam was the driver. For the first time in history, people could leave their homes in Britain to sail to the far reaches of the British Empire and the bottom of the planet to seek fame and fortune. New Zealand was its newest colony (which was less than thirty years old when the Thames goldfields opened) and there were opportunities and possibilities and money to be made. Life in Thames was tough at first but no match for the men who came to make their fortunes and their families who followed. There was no electricity, no refrigerators, no microwaves, no computers, no smart phones – no amenities of modern life we take for granted. There was a tent city, the vagaries of the weather, disease, mud (and more mud)

and the flies. Transport was by sea or river or overland. There were no bridges. Within a year of the first rush, 11,585 miners’ rights had been issued; but there was little alluvial gold to be panned and the quartz had to be crushed by large industrial machines. Within three years miners’ rights plummeted by two thirds after miners realised that collective investment would be needed to reap the rewards. Thames became a rich man’s game. Thames foundries, A&G Price and Chas Judd, brought the industrial revolution right into the heart of Thames to service the goldfields, and engineering has been one of the mainstays of the local economy ever since. By the early 1870s, the Thames population peaked at 18,000. Roughly, a third of the population was employed in the mines. The rest provided a supporting cast of publicans, bankers, prostitutes and shopkeepers. In the early years, it was mayhem and madness. Thames was awash in money. “Gold, gold and nothing but gold’” Reverend Vicesimus Lush, first vicar of Thames, declared and the lure of buried treasure touched the lives of everyone. The town grew in great haste. Tents, shanties, cottages, grog shops and hotels, stores, framed buildings, poppet heads and stamper batteries. At one time there were 80-90 hotels all plying their trade. On the streets, a conglomeration of people, animals and wagons carrying coal and firewood

Volunteers at work at Gold Mine Experience.

Stamper Town Thames came alive with the sound of the stampers – rhythmic relentless pounding, day and night, continuously six days a week. Each stamper crushed quartz 30-40 times a minute; at one time there were 600 odd stampers all going at once; and the cacophony of this noise and the blasting of rock in the mines reverberated through the hills. There was no relief. Visitors couldn’t sleep with the racket; the locals couldn’t sleep with the silence when the stampers stopped on a Sunday. It is rumoured that when the wind blew from the south, Thames could be heard in Auckland.

66

‘It is rumoured that when the wind blew from the south, Thames could be heard in Auckland.’


BLASTS FROM THE PAST. HERITAGE FEATURES

for the batteries and supplies of flour and kegs of rum; and gigs and landaus and horse drawn cobs and carriages. At the wharves there were cutters and canoes, sailing ships and paddle steamers. Maori, Cornish miners, West Coast diggers, Australians and Americans, Scots, Chinese and Irish all thronged the streets. Today, Thames is a museum town preserving the rich heritage of the new colony for all New Zealanders – its beginnings touch and connect us as so many new immigrants in the 19th century began their lives in our boom town. The Treasury preserves the town’s archives and can help you to discover your family history; The School of Mines and Mineralogical Museum is a museum frozen in time – supported by the little Rock Shop with its geological treasures. Then the Thames Museum explores the history of Thames and the Bella Street Pumphouse

rediscover the town and capture the excitement. Stop any local in the streets and they will spin you a yarn. Make sure to pat the dog. You can order fish and chips at the Shortland Wharf which is the oldest wharf in NZ still operating as a functioning wharf; or visit Read Brothers Hardware shop established in 1867 to requisite supplies that suited the needs of an expanding gold mining town (which has now been run by five generations of Reads) or enjoy a beverage at the heritage Junction Hotel, Brian Boru or the “Impey” (Imperial). You can visit the Old North School which now houses an art gallery. For those who love to wander, there is the Burke Street wharf to visit or the historic Shortland and Tararu cemeteries. There are architectural treasures still to be discovered at every corner – the town contains every style since colonial times to the present as well as

“This is important work telling Thames’ stories and CELEBRATING THE SKILLS AND FORTITUDE OF THE PEOPLE WHO BUILT THE TOWN …” whose pumps drew the water out of the mines to keep them functioning. Local heritage heroes now volunteer many hours to preserve and restore the heritage, protecting the realities of how the town came about. This is important work telling Thames’ stories and celebrating the skills and fortitude of the people who built the town and its industries –so we can understand from whence they came and what made the communities they are today. Like the small group of men in their big shed at the Goldmine Experience “bringing Thames home piece by piece” to restore the old machinery to working order. Their mission is to get the largest stamper battery in the country going again so that we have the chance to hear the sound of the industry which powered the nation. There is a deeper mission to their work – they believe “we have lost the art of survival”, the skills and knowledge we need to survive natural disasters and, this too, they want to preserve at a time when people are losing fundamental knowledge of how to live in the environment. Thames today is living history. It’s time to

C O R O M A N D E L

natural ones such as William Hall Arboretum which is New Zealand’s oldest arboretum, established in 1872. Then there’s old Grahamstown full of boutique shops and a bustling cafe culture. Thames still respects the past and has become

S U M M E R T I M E S

Steampunk the Thames Logo How the logo came about. This abstract graphic design represents Thames’ past and future – two elements of the steampunk genre. Miners’ picks and a stamper cam reflect “the Thames glorious, glamourous and gregarious gestation” John McKeowen, metal artist and poet.

a mecca for salvage and shabby chic recycling and is now the home for the annual Steampunk the Thames festival. So come and spend some time in Thames. To discover Thames’ past is to discover our country’s foundations and our identity as intrepid, resilient, enterprising people. We are people who care deeply about our history and embody a deep sense of community (with more voluntary organisations per capita than anywhere else in the country) and who work together to create a better future. This is the spirit of Thames. l

Veteran guide and raconteur, Eric Gosse at the Goldmine Experience.

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

67


BLASTS FROM THE PAST. HERITAGE FEATURES

Gold Dust

Dreams

Paul Barlow is a man on a mission. The oil and gas industry construction man is restoring the Coromandel Stamper Battery to its former glory and once again have the sounds of stamper s echo through the hills.

P

aul’s passion is Coromandel’s golden history which he will preserve so that future generations can understand how gold was unlocked from the quartz. “This was hard rock mining … and the miners were hard men. They followed the veins of quartz like moles into the mountains; they hollowed out tunnels like rabbit warrens and sometimes the shafts were up to 300 metres deep” Paul explained. At one time, the Coromandel goldfields were the richest on the planet and Paul thinks they have never been surpassed. Paul is planning to make the old stamper a top class tourist destination; with tours through

68

the stamper, talks on the history of gold in Coromandel and how it was discovered and mined. Visitors to the battery can see the whole process from start to finish and even try their hands at panning and, who knows, they may even come away with a sprinkle of gold dust. The process begins when small carts bring in the quartz. A crusher grinds it to gravel-sized chunks which are then fed into the stampers (each stamper weighing a thousand pounds) which again crush the quartz. The crushed quartz is then fed into great berdans; (a berdan is like a large iron mortar and pestle) which grinds the material into dust. This is a slow operation taking up to a week to produce a very fine powder which exposes the maximum surface area of quartz to liquid mercury which attracts the gold. The mercury is driven off by heat in a furnace and recovered in a water jacket leaving a crude mixture of gold (and silver) behind. What comes out of the furnace is bullion which was smelted again in cast iron moulds which were shipped away to be refined.

The berdans are powered by the largest working water wheel in the country; the stampers by an oil engine. The Coromandel Stamper Battery was commissioned 16 August 1900, the brainchild of the then Government, the County Council and the Coromandel School of Mines. This partnership was formed to allow small packets of quartz to be crushed and assayed at cost to encourage small scale mining. The industry proved to be uneconomical.

“This was hard rock mining … AND THE MINERS WERE HARD MEN.”

C O R O M A N D E L

Gold is a metal fundamental to our modern world – prized for its conductivity, malleability, rarity and beauty. It is also a standard for currency. The telecommunications industry wouldn’t exist without gold. “People don’t realise they are walking around with gold in their cellphones and cameras,” which is why Paul says that it is important people understand how gold was mined. l Coromandel Stamper Battery Open for visitors from Labour weekend 410 Buffalo Road, Coromandel coromandelstamperbattery.weebly.com

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7


BLASTS FROM THE PAST. HERITAGE FEATURES

A handsome obelisk, overlooking the town The iconic Thames War Memorial for World War 1 stands high on a hill off Waiotahi Road, inviting poignant views of Thames township and the Firth of Thames below.

C

ommonly known as the Thames Monument, the original structure was unveiled on Anzac Day, 1925. According to a report from the Thames Star in 1954, ‘...the memorial on the hill at the northern end of the town is not a memorial to the dead but a memorial to all those who joined up from Thames and surrounding district to fight WW1.’ Three bronze panels on the monument feature the names of Thames soldiers who lost their lives during WW1, along with five panels of names of soldiers who volunteered for action overseas and later returned safely. It offers a contemplative space and place to remember those who served in WW1, and serves as a dignified site for commemorative events such as Anzac Day and Armistice Day. “In late 2015 some cracking was noticed on the upper sections of the structure,” says our Council’s Parks and Reserves Manager Derek Thompson. “The plaster on the memorial had never had any protective coating applied to it when it was first built, and over time this has led to a deterioration of the plaster,” says Mr Thompson. “Coupled with this, there was never a dripline designed or installed on the overhang at the top. We’ve had 90 years of rain water sheeting across the face, more than would normally be anticipated, slowly eroding the plaster which has eventually formed a crack,” he says. A conservation management plan, to guide restoration work and longterm maintenance, was able to be implemented, thanks to a grant from the Lotteries WW1 Commemorations, Environment and Heritage fund (LWEH). Another successful funding bid from LWEH in July 2016 allowed physical restoration work to be done. The eight week restoration project started in August 2016, with installation of scaffolding and security fencing around the structure and shrink-wrapping to ensure it was weather-proof while restoration works were underway. As much of the work is restorative, there will be no dramatic difference to the look of the structure once it is unveiled

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

and unwrapped. However the restoration will allow it to stand against time and weather for more years to come, ensuring the continued opportunity for a place to remember those who served in WW1. The Thames Monument offers access to the collective remembrance of WW1 soldiers who were members of the local community. It provides a place to consider the impact WW1 had on Thames’ past, present and future. It stands as a symbol of respect to the Returned Services and Armed Forces communities and Next Of Kin of those named on the memorial. The plaque at the base of the monument reads; ‘This Memorial is erected by a grateful people. Let those who come after see to it that their names be not forgotten.’ On 11 November 2016, an unveiling to reveal the restored Thames War Memorial will take place during an official Armistice Day ceremony. The restoration aims to return the monument to its original stature, as described by the New Zealand Herald on 15 March 1923; “obelisk ... overlooking the town ... one of the finest in New Zealand.” l

69


BLASTS FROM THE PAST. HERITAGE FEATURES

First Meetings Mercury Bay will be a canvas for celebrations marking Captain James Cook’s l andfall in New Zeal and, as it was a remarkable meeting bet ween t wo great navigating nations.

O

n a clear November day in 1769, with a light Nor-Nor West breeze, Captain James Cook and his crew sailed their bark, the HMS Endeavour, into an inlet at Te Whanganui O Hei – a place he would rename Mercury Bay. They were shortly accompanied by several canoes made from “one large tree” – as Cook recounted – and which were paddled by the Ngati Hei people who remain the Tangata Whenua of the area today. “Before they went away they were so generous as to tell us that they would come and attack us in the morning; but some of them paid us a visit in the night, thinking, no doubt, that they should find all hands asleep. But as soon as they found their mistake they went off,” wrote Cook. It was here on Cook’s first voyage that the Endeavour and its crew would spend 12 days forging relationships for the first time with a New Zealand Maori tribe. Ngati Hei, who, after a tragic first start with the death of a tribe member, welcomed the navigator and showed him their pa on the headland at Wharekaho (Simpsons Beach north of Whitianga). This was the first time that a European had been shown a Maori pa, and it was documented in journals with drawings and explanations from Cook’s journey. At Purangi Pt Cook also raised the English flag and, without consultation with Ngati Hei, claimed “this land for King and Country”. This was Ngati Hei’s first misunderstood encounter with Pakeha over sovereignty. There were other firsts: It was at Wharekaho that the first sanctioned

70

powhiri (welcome ceremony) would occur between Pakeha and Maori. There was also the first recorded wero (challenge ritual) and demonstration of traditional weapons in close quarter warfare. The first official exchanges of gifts and notably the introduction of the potato were made here, hence the name of Ngati Hei’s sacred Pa and urupa Wharetaewa or “house of the potato”. During October 2019, a replica of the HMS Endeavour will anchor in and around Mercury Bay for at least a week, to celebrate Cook’s First Voyage of Discovery to New Zealand in 1769. The ship will arrive after sailing from its first stop in New Zealand at Gisborne. It will then make a brief stop in Auckland, before continuing on Cook’s original journey to the Bay of Islands and Queen Charlotte Sound, stopping in Wellington in between (neither Auckland nor Wellington were on Cook’s original journey). A Trust has been formed to bring together individuals, community groups, event organisers and businesses willing to have input into legacy projects, as well as for commemoration events being planned for the 2019 Endeavour visit. Trust member Paul Kelly says events are likely to include an official ceremony, a super yacht race, a home-coming week, but also the development of a boardwalk around wetland at Cooks Beach and navigational and heritage monuments as part of a planned Whitianga town centre upgrade. “This is a terrific opportunity for our area but also for the nation,” said Mr Kelly. “This meeting took place in 1769 which is 70 years prior to the

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7


BLASTS FROM THE PAST. HERITAGE FEATURES

in major projects both with the Crown and the private sector. This includes establishing a Marine Reserve, monitoring developers and working alongside scientists on islands which the iwi consider part of its fundamental duty as responsible “Kaitiaki” or guardians.” Captain Cook sailed three voyages throughout the Pacific Ocean, charting many areas and establishing New Zealand accurately on the world map for the first time with an observation of the Transit of Mercury at Cooks Beach in 1769. Cook was preceded many centuries earlier by the Polynesian voyagers and first settlers in Aotearoa including Hei – ancestor of the Ngati Hei. Ngati Hei impressed Captain Cook and his crew with their technically and tactically advanced fortified pa, their culture and their courageous opening of hearts to a strange race with customs and technologies unlike anything that they had ever known. Fellow Trust member and local historian Richard Gates has a vast knowledge of Cook history and says the commemoration is significant. “It is one of the most important milestones in our country’s history. Apart from his later stopover at Ship’s Cove in Queen Charlotte Sound, Cook stayed longer at Mercury Bay than at any other North Island location during his circumnavigation of New Zealand between October 1769 and April 1770. It was here that the hospitality of Ngati Hei, signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, and we are talking about the following some initial unfortunate misunderstandings, led to a peaceful very foundations of our shared culture.” understanding and respect between Pakeha and Maori.” Ngati Hei are active partners in the commemoration, which will Cook was not the first European to New Zealand or Australia’s shores celebrate the exchanges that took place with Cook’s visit and the –Dutch explorer Abel Janszoon Tasman arrived in the 17th Century foundations that were laid for two cultures to share their knowledge, – but Tasman did not set foot on New Zealand, charting Golden Bay food and customs. (Murderers Bay as he described it) and the west coast of the North The impressions that Cook left upon Ngati Hei is reflected in the Island. But, as Richard Gates notes, when it comes to who was ‘first’ comments of Te Horeta, also known as Te Taniwha, who was a 12-yearamong these European old boy when he came into explorers, both Australia and contact with the Endeavour New Zealand put Cook on a and its crew. He recalled the Cook was preceded many centuries earlier pedestal. sight of the longboat and Mr Kelly says the Trust pinnace coming to shore, by the Polynesian voyagers and first settlers in is hoping people will come with its rowers pulling their Aotearoa including Hei – forward with ideas of their oars with their backs to the own and be willing to take land. “Yes it is so; these people an active role in making are goblins; their eyes are at the the celebration special and back of their heads; they pull lasting. All townships are on shore with backs to the land encouraged to think about how they can participate and create events to which they are going.” of their own. “We are here to play a co-ordinating role but we welcome The tribe acknowledges that although the Treaty of Waitangi was ideas and events from all towns.” symbolically conceived at Waitangi, the actual birthplace of New The Trust’s Cook Journey website is on www.thecoromandel.com Zealand took place at their turangawaewae – Wharekaho. under its heritage section, and are welcoming of anyone wishing to “Our chief Toawaka sensed that the arrival of the “goblins” was a sign contact them to discuss the celebration and volunteer for organising that things were about to change for his people,” explains Joe Davis. committees for events. “Considering all that has happened since 1769, in more recent times For information email mercury250@tcdc.govt.nz or visit our Ngati Hei has been a reasonable Iwi in terms of developing relationships webpage www.tcdc.govt.nz/mb250 l with its Treaty partners. Ngati Hei has been both active and reactive

ANCESTOR OF THE NGATI HEI.”

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

71


BLASTS FROM THE PAST. HERITAGE FEATURES

parliament founded on

coromandel

granite The story of the l argest renovation in the history of New Zeal and government is intrinsically bound to the story of a tiny bay near Colville.

T

his story began in 1865, when Parliament moved from Auckland to a collection of wooden buildings in Wellington. This move set the scene for a series of events that, over the following century, climaxed in the photo on this page. The next significant event in this story occurred only a couple of years later, when James Park, father of Thames-born WWI flying ace and WWII Royal Air Force commander Sir Keith Park, publicised the discovery of granite near Colville at Paritu Bay (just south of Fantail Bay). James Park was a New Zealand geologist, Director of The School

72

of Mines (you can experience the last School of Mines, still open to visitors, in Thames), a university professor and writer. James first publicised Coromandel granite in a paper in 1897. Shortly afterward, two Coromandel entrepreneurs leased the land and set up the granite works. Back in the new capital, the original collection of wooden buildings became more and more of a fire hazard until in 1899, a fireproof library was finally built. After a fire destroyed all the buildings except the library in December 1907, it seemed a smart move to avoid building the next version out of potential kindling, and go with something a little less flammable. A design competition was announced and thirty-

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7


BLASTS FROM THE PAST. HERITAGE FEATURES

Facing page & below left: The last major project using Coromandel granite was the 1993 refurbishment of Wellington’s old Parliament Buildings. Below right: The Beehive

was gorgeous and the new buildings attracted more visitors and tours three entries were received from the pre-WWI architects, including became a regular feature. government architect John Campbell. Despite all this, by the time of the 1980s, the story of Paritu’s The original idea was to make a new brick Parliament House in the Coromandel Granite had been mostly then-popular Edwardian neoclassical forgotten. style, and construct it in two stages. Enter Coromandel local, Lindsay However, the version of the building … what certainly is New Zealand Garmson. At the beginning of we see today, founded on Coromandel the ‘80s, Lindsay began to collect Granite, almost never came to be. in character is the photographs of the original stage one The foundation was laid in 1912, of the old Parliament site and many of a year before tenders were called. the buildings. His pet research project By the time construction started, would end up taking some 35 years World War One had broken out and and resulted in a massive collection of supply of building materials became newspaper clippings and documents constrained. The 1918 deadline then dating back to its first discovery in 1897. stretched to 1922, by which time the recession and fiscal crisis caused Lindsay’s research, including original photographs, has been progress on stage one to stall for decades. compiled into a book: The Intriguing Story of Coromandel Granite, While stage one remained in the too-hard bin, the name for a radical and was supported by a Heritage Grant from our Council. new stage two design was inspired by a box of Beehive brand matches. www.coromandel-granite.weebly.com (Naturally, special Beehive matchboxes were later made for sale to MPs. The design of Parliament House may not be especially New Zealand In the days when smoking was still in vogue, what MP wouldn’t want in character, but what certainly is New Zealand in character is the use of one? Plus, it was lighter than carrying around a commemorative block Coromandel Granite cut from tiny Paritu Bay, just south of Fantail Bay, of Coromandel granite in your pocket.) up Colville way. l Over the decades, the government had become more aware of the dangers of earthquakes, and in the 1980s, decided to strengthen and refurbish the still unfinished, but now wellused, stage one. In addition, so much time had passed that Coromandel granite memorial the Historic Places Trust placed an ‘A’ classification on Parliament House. After almost 100 years of supplying Coromandel granite to the rest of the After becoming the country’s leading material for World nation, Colville finally received its own Coromandel granite memorial in War monuments, and having been used in the construction August 2015. of Auckland Museum, The Beehive, One Tree Hill memorial and the Christchurch and Wellington railway stations, it was The late Barry Brickell made and fired the plaque and the unveiling time to call on Coromandel Granite once more. ceremony was held at the Colville War Memorial Hall with catering The refurbishment provided the opportunity to create new supplied by the Coromandel-Colville Community Board. areas, such as the Galleria, which is built from Coromandel Local author Lindsay Garmson instigated the project. “I spoke to [locals] granite and Kairuru marble. The granite formed the base and the marble was used from the first floor up. The renovation Les and Marcus Ward about it,” he said, “grabbed a couple of blocks of project was the largest in New Zealand’s history. Queen granite, and we now have a memorial.” Elizabeth II officially opened the buildings in 1995 and Parliament reoccupied the buildings in 1996. The result

USE OF COROMANDEL GRANITE.”

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

73


A DVER T ORIAL

The

UNDERTAKER

In the quiet former sitting room of a meticulously restored historic cottage in Grahamstown Thames, Twent ymans Funeral Services owner Adrian Catran scans the text of a History of Embal ming to check his facts.

T

Modern embalming dates back to the Builder and Undertaker, the business began as a here is already a great deal that he knows, having owned his business American Civil War, when families who had building firm, since it was the job of a builder to for more than a quarter of a Century lost soldiers would go looking for the body construct a casket, and some would ‘undertake’ and taken a great interest in his of their loved ones in hospitals and even to make a delivery to the cemetery. profession, including visiting the Valley of the battlefields. A Dr Thomas Holmes personally Adrian bought the business in 1993 and kept Kings in Egypt to the site of the world’s most prepared 4000 bodies of soldiers in the Civil the name, even though his own surname has a War, and as more people began embalming long (in the European sense) association with famously embalmed person – Tutenkhamun. “Everyone in Egyptian times knew they soldiers so they could be “brought home” by Grahamstown. Six Catran brothers (tin miners) would be treated by a funeral director. Pharaohs their loved ones, legislation was enacted and sailed from a small town of Ludvgan in Cornwall, took 4-6 weeks to prepare and lesser mortals a embalming licenses were issued. England, to settle in Grahamstown, seeking fame That was 1865, just two years before and fortune from gold mining. They lived a few couple of days,” he says, plucking a photo of the tomb from an album, noting the accuracy Twentymans Funeral Services opened its doors. streets from where Adrian now lives. Twentymans is the oldest surviving funeral of the stone work, and commenting that his is “The start of the Thames Goldfield was home in New Zealand, of which Adrian is 1867 and the population peaked at up to “among the oldest professions in the world”. The pharaohs are still in good condition extremely proud. Trading as W. Twenty man – 60,000 here, and there were today, and while modern mining accidents, people care for our dead has dying from lung infections Show me the manner in which a nation or a community evolved from these times, from mining and many cares for its dead and I will measure with mathematical the Egyptians still had a children dying too. The exactness the tender sympathies of its people, their respect viewing room, a treatment cemeteries at Totara, Tararu room and a casket room just and Shortland are full of for the law of the land and their loyalty to high ideals. like Twentymans funeral babies and young children.” William E Gladstone home in Grahamstown. It would have been a terrible

74


Below: An animal lover, Adrian’s ragdoll cat Bella is a soothing presence in the home. Bottom: The Twentymans Funeral Chapel in Grahamstown is an award-winning state-of-theart building that few realise exists.

Adrian unwinds with a walk along the Thames Coast Walkway with beagles Missy and Milly.

time for many. From this came the tradition of a funeral to mark the passing of a person whose life had meant something. Modern funerals have not changed a great deal from these times. “For me, it’s ensuring people have a good send off; that we can look after people in their hour of need and make sure that it’s done correctly and properly to make it as stress free as possible.” Nowadays you can choose a casket made of recycled timber, cardboard, one that is hand painted, digitally printed with photos or even made of wool, and your funeral service can be ‘live streamed’ around the world from Twentymans award-winning chapel. Yet with all the advances, there are also worrying trends, says Adrian. “We’ve gone back 30 years with people going direct to the crematorium and not having any sort of service. In America counsellors are seeing people who haven’t had closure after losing someone because the person didn’t have a funeral and the opportunity is gone. I think it’s important to have a body at a service; for a person to see the fact that there’s a casket containing a body. “There are not a lot of differences in the expense to have a service that gives people closure,” he adds. “With modern techniques we can save on costs and we work with families to deliver a service they can afford.” That’s also why funeral directors advocate for paying for your own funeral with pre-payment options. Any money set aside is kept in a trust account which earns interest. There are no bank

www.twentymans.co.nz

FREE PHONE 0800 500 003

fees, and the funeral director cannot access the money until they have a death certificate and a signed letter from the estate. Meanwhile for a grieving family, it’s all taken care of. Pre-planning your own funeral takes away the stress of decision making at a very stressful time for families and there is a surprising amount of information legally required for registering a death. A common one that trips people up is knowing the date that the deceased was married. Death may well be a morbid subject to some – not the kind of thing to talk about over the barbecue or around the children – but having been involved with so much of it, Adrian believes it’s healthy to discuss what you want in death as well as life. More than that, it’s unhealthy not to. “People think they are immortal and that’s why they have difficulty with dying. There are only two sure things in life – death and taxes – and the last time I looked the death rate in New Zealand was still 100 per cent, no-one has beaten it yet. “People need to contemplate what happens after they die and decide what sort of funeral they want. For some people it’s cathartic to plan the whole thing. They are reluctant to come in but once they have, they’re most grateful to us for helping them sort it out. You can do it any time, update your funeral plan and it’s free. We take down the details and place it in a large envelope which goes in a drawer, and that’s where it stays until you die.” What does it say about a culture, the way they treat their dead? Adrian reads a quote

from former British Prime Minister William E. Gladstone. Show me the manner in which a nation or a community cares for its dead and I will measure with mathematical exactness the tender sympathies of its people, their respect for the law of the land and their loyalty to high ideals. This is always in mind when Adrian makes decisions about how his business will operate. The staff at Twentymans must always dress formally, show the utmost of respect for the deceased and the families of loved ones lost, and never, ever has Twentymans been late for a funeral in Adrian’s 26 years. “On the Coromandel roads that’s not always easy to achieve” he says. “People sometimes say ‘you have to move with the times’, and Twentymans are at the cutting edge of technology – we were among the first funeral directors in New Zealand to instigate many practices that are now the industry standard – but casual breeds casual. If you allow small standards to slip, then this can grow into bigger standards slipping. As we always say, every aspect of the funeral should be a personal reflection of the individual that we have the privilege to serve.” l

Since 1867

THAMES – Main Office 709 Pollen St, Open 8-5 Mon-Fri, 07 868 6003

WHANGAMATA – 303A Port Road, by appointment, 07 865 6884

WHITIANGA – 48 Moewai Park Rd, by appointment, 07 868 6003

PAEROA – Cnr Arney & Willoughby St, by appointment, 07 862 6889 Since 1867

75


INSPIRED by the fresh sea and mountain air

Events that are dreamed up in the Stephenson household are not for the faint hearted, but they have brought a dedicated following of athletes from all over the world who are inspired by the fresh sea and mountain air of the Coromandel .

K

eith and Rita Stephenson, along with fellow Coromandel Town resident Andy Reid, have a real love for the outdoors. It is with thanks to this that we have three iconic events on the Coromandel, including the Flight Centre K2 Road Cycle Classic, the ARC Adventure Race and the Great Cranleigh Kauri Run. For the last 14 years these events have inspired close to 20,000 people to take part. Of these participants, half are from the Auckland region, with 80 per cent overall coming from the upper North Island. Each year approximately 15 per cent of the competitors are from overseas. Andy Reid, Rita and Keith Stephenson make a formidable team organising iconic outdoor events on the Coromandel but that’s not all they have got planned.


“The age range of the competitors is vast, says Keith. “The youngest has been 12 years old while our oldest to date is 82 years of age.” The Flight Centre K2 Road Cycle Classic is possibly the toughest one-day cycle challenge in the Southern Hemisphere, taking in four stages and starting and finishing at a different town each time. Although the 200k is tough and demanding there are two other distances on offer; The Cervelo K1, a 100 km race, and the Nicholas Browne Challenge which is a 50 km ride for weekend warriors. The Great Cranleigh Kauri run requires a reasonably high level of fitness and begins

with the very decent leg warm-up run along Waikawau Beach, before heading along a meandering stream with at least 15 stream crossings into the hills behind Colville, connecting with tracks to Coromandel Town and finishing at the Coromandel Area School – in all, 32km. The 2017 event is the 13th Anniversary and includes a half marathon, a 13km run and a 5km fun run suitable for everyone, and was developed as an ideal event for supporters wanting to fill in time waiting for other competitors to finish the bigger runs. Meanwhile the upcoming ARC 12 hour

Adventure Race starts just after midnight on 18 February 2017. There is also an 8-hour event. Taking part will be a great opportunity to escape from the shackles of everyday life for a weekend and experience something very special, the organisers say. These three events come under the Spirit of Coromandel Trust, which was set up in 2000 as a way to encourage people of all ages in to outdoor activities, particularly sport. Rita is the full time administrator for the Spirit of Coromandel Trust and is helped by Andy, who travels from Coromandel Town to Auckland each week for work but still manages

Competitors on a gruelling section of the Flight Centre K2 Cycle Classic leave Coromandel Town in the distance behind.

77


A competitor abseiling on the Wentworth Falls in the ARC adventure race.

to play a major role. “I just love the bush, being so much, as organisers they wanted to “give Bound, Outdoor Pursuit Centre (OPC) and in the serenity and peacefulness among the something back” to their community and have the Spirit of Adventure so far. birds and it’s neat to be able to share that with been using the events as a vehicle to help with “To encourage people of all ages into sport and other people so they can enjoy it too,” says Rita. funding for an outdoor activity centre in their into the outdoors is part of our philosophy but The Trust also runs after school cycle training own backyard. we thought ‘why are we sending our youngsters The centre will provide opportunities for away to experience that when we have got this and general bike maintenance programmes in summer for young ones wanting fabulous backyard of our own? to learn basic cycle safety and We thought ‘let’s set up our own riding skills, as well as monthly centre here,” says Rita. Why are we sending our youngsters away mini multi-sport events to “The Coromandel is such to experience the great outdoors when encourage locals to participate an awesome place to live and in a multisport. bring up your children, I don’t There are many volunteers think we will have any problem who support the Trust, and finding people wanting to come some – like the late Murray and work here,” says Rita, who Beech, former caretaker of is herself a third generation Coromandel Area School – Coromandel resident. make a lasting impression. “Murray would people to develop confidence and challenge “We may not have snow but we have this always take up position at the Waikawau Bridge themselves, within a safe environment, through wonderful marine environment with kayaking, on the Thames Coast and that became known adventure based learning. sailing and snorkelling. We will be able to offer For years already, proceeds from the Flight abseiling, rope work, orienteering and bush as Murray’s Bridge,” smiles Rita. “He gave many Centre K2 has allowed four youngsters per skills too. The centre is a great motivation for years to us as a helper.” The Flight Centre K2 requires around 150 year to attend the Outdoor Pursuits Centre in us to keep running the events – it’s actually why volunteers while the Kauri Run and Adventure the central North Island with all expenses paid. we do them.” More than 100 youngsters have been sent on Race need about 30. The challenge is getting closer to reality Even though Andy, Rita and Keith all do various outdoor activities including Outward every day and the Trust is in negotiations

WE HAVE GOT THIS FABULOUS BACKYARD OF OUR OWN?”

78

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7


over a lease of land. Rita says they are being mentored by the Sir Peter Blake Trust, whose mission it is to inspire and mobilise the next generation of Kiwi leaders, adventurers and environmentalists. “In society today there is an ever growing rate of obesity, the outdoor centre will help these people to discover that exercise can be fun and rewarding,” explains Keith. “There are a large number of disadvantaged youth who we believe would benefit from attending life skills programmes which we will have on offer. The Trust will be providing a number of scholarships annually,” he says. Keith Rita and Andy are passionate about the environment and for Keith particularly – the kauri forests that were so devastatingly felled in the 19th and 20th Centuries . He is a Trustee of the Coromandel Kauri Dieback Forum which works to raise awareness of the threat to kauri from dieback disease, caused by the spread of infected soil into the forest. He is also the Coromandel Town coordinator for Kauri 2000, which evolved out of a project to mark the new millennium by planting 2000 kauri.

Above: World Adventure Racing Champions Team Orion tackling a gorge in the ARC.

On the Kauri Run, a kauri tree is planted Below: Andy Reid. for every person that takes part and there are now 2600 trees that have been planted along the 35km trail. “Our vision is to plant 10,000 trees over the next ten years and to create an avenue of kauri all the way from Waikawau to Coromandel,” says Keith. The Trust organises and runs an annual event ‘Keep Coromandel Harbour clean’ in addition to all the other things that are organised. “We receive donations towards the centre from individuals and businesses, which all helps towards our goal,” he says. Further information regarding The Spirit of Coromandel Trust is available on the web page www.arceventspirit.co.nz Anyone wishing to make a donation can also touch base with Rita on 0272103734 or The next Flight Centre K2 Road Cycling Classic arceventsrita@gmail.com l is on 29 October 2016 The next ARC Adventure Race starts just after midnight on 18 February 2017 The next Great Cranleigh Kauri Run is on Saturday 13 May 2017 For information and online entries visit the website

www.arcevents.co.nz C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

79


Volunteering, it’s in our

DNA E mergency

services rely on volunteers

to help maintain the service they provide in communities just like those on the

C oromandel . A s

an employer our

C ouncil

actively supports our staff who volunteer for emergency services . I n this feature we are going to meet just a few of those from around the district .

80

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7


STA FF

PROF I L E S

Where there’s

T

smoke…

here are so many films portraying firemen and women, most show them to be hardened old timers with a penchant for lighting fires or loveable rookies trying to survive in a tough brigade environment. Although they provide entertainment, these films don’t portray the fire service realistically. For a start most of our firefighters are volunteers. This is true for Greg Rendall our Council’s Senior Building Control Officer. Greg joined the Fire Service in Pauanui back in 1986. “There are many reasons for joining the fire service, for me it was about the personal challenge and giving back to the community,” says Greg. “The Fire Service is an amazing organisation, they provide significant training and support and opportunities for their volunteers,” adds Greg. The training and support is integral to the role of operational firefighters, they are the ones that respond to emergencies. Greg has been an operational firefighter for 30 years which is quite an achievement as only around 5% of firefighters achieves 25 years in the service. The camaraderie is one of the biggest reasons that attracts people to volunteer says Greg, “You get to know people you wouldn’t normally meet in your usual circle of friends, and they bring with them a vast range of skills.” Transferring to a new town can be hard, but the fire service has this covered too, “Just call into the station, find out when training

Thames crew responding to the fire in Moanatairi.

Greg Rendall.

is and you’re away. It’s a great way to become involved in your new community and make friends quickly,” he says. “I always tell new recruits that we are special, there are only 30 people in Thames that are allowed to drive the big red truck and that is pretty special,” he laughs. “Seriously though, NZ wouldn’t have a fire service without the volunteers and the support of their ‘day job’ employers.” The alarms can go off at any time and this could mean running off the job to attend a traffic incident, bush fire, a chemical incident, property fire, medical response or whatever help the community needs. Although sometimes challenging, volunteering is very rewarding. The Thames Fire Brigade has around 30 volunteers and is supported by Puriri which is an auxiliary station. Greg has been the Chief Fire Officer of the Thames Brigade for 10

years (December 2016) and one of his most memorable days was winning the *National Crash Rescue Challenge. Greg encourages people wanting to take on a personal challenge to consider the fire service. “There are opportunities for people from all backgrounds within a volunteer fire brigade,” says Greg. “I feel the real heroes are our families whose support allows us to go and do the things we do and are always there when we come home. Without them and our employers the town and the country would not have a fire service.” l

*Teams from all over New Zealand compete in three categories to safely and expediently extricate live victims from crushed cars.

Here’s what you need to know before you sign up: • You must be 16 years or over (under 18’s must have parent or guardian consent) That’s it! If you want to be involved but in a role that’s more administrative or traffic control is more your cup of tea than emergency response, there is room for you too. Visit www.fire.org.nz for more information on how you can be involved in the NZ Fire Service.

81


STA F F

PRO F ILES

Guarding our

C

coasts

linging to an overturned boat in freezing waters for eight hours isn’t anyone’s ideal summer boating experience. But each year over 7000 people are rescued by Coastguard in New Zealand waters, some in the scenario described. First formed in 1898 the Coastguard has been run by volunteers, and that remains the case today. Coastguard volunteers spend many hundreds of thousands of hours on search and rescue missions, radio operations, training or maintenance work each year. “Saving lives creates a special bond that is unique to those that have experienced it. When lives are at risk the camaraderie formed during training helps get the job done like a well-oiled machine which is essential when lives are at risk. It puts many of the other priorities we have into perspective,” says Steve Mansell, Human Resources Manager for our Council and a Coastguard Volunteer. Steve’s been with the Coastguard for five years, and his recruitment was far from the usual. “I had borrowed my brother’s boat and there was a minor fire which meant no electrics. We were also unlucky enough to have a wind deficit so there was no sailing. Tensions were high and harsh words spoken. It was starting to get dark, no electrics means

82

no navigational lights. Even though the wind had picked up there was no way to get the boat back in with no lights. Everyone on board was pretty emotional, so I called a mate in the Coastguard in the Coromandel,” says Steve. “He came and picked us up as a ‘training exercise’, this training exercise cost me a very large bottle of gin and a commitment to the Coastguard. I have been a volunteer ever since,” he laughs. And the best bit? “For many the best part about being in the Coastguard is the look of relief on the faces of those in trouble when we come alongside and take them back to shore.” Sponsorship plays a large part in keeping the

Steve Mansell.

eleven wet crew, Thames has six other volunteers on the committee that have various roles with the Coastguard. Joining up is simple, casually ask Steve if he can take you out on the boat and you will find an application form on your desk the next morning. For non-Council staff the method is pretty much the same turn up to a monthly meeting on the

“SAVING LIVES CREATES A SPECIAL BOND that is unique to those that have experienced it.” Thames Coastguard afloat. Thames has eleven wet crew (people that respond to the pager and go out in the boat) who rely on the continued support of their sponsors, in particular Toyota who house the boat and vehicle, supply fuel and wash-down facilities. They also provide a few staff members who volunteer. In addition to the

C O R O M A N D E L

second Thursday of the month at 7pm. There are a few forms to fill in to join but they are fairly standard forms. Then under Steve’s guidance comes all the training and on the water training. To find out more about the Coastguard, make a donation or to sign up as a volunteer see their website www.coastguard.co.nz l

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7


STA FF

PROF I L E S

Training to

L

SAVE lives

iving in a rural community has always had its advantages and its challenges. One of the challenges faced by many communities is access to rural health services and in particular emergencies. This is the primary reason our Communications and Marketing Officer Rebekah Duffin joined St John’s Colville First Response Team. “The northern Coromandel can be quite isolated,” says Rebekah. “Storm events can cut the communities off for days and bad weather can prevent the Westpac Rescue Helicopter from landing.” “Port Charles was lucky to have a resident doctor, but not all small rural communities are that fortunate. St John was really pushing to improve services in rural areas, and we are fortunate so many communities on the Coromandel got behind the initiative,” she adds. The Colville First Response was set up to extend services in the rural community, and was one of five Coromandel First Response teams to be set up in 2007. The others were Matarangi, Whiritoa, Hahei-Cooks Beach and Pauanui. Rebekah, along with 10 other women from the northern Coromandel underwent a comprehensive first aid course, as well as a specialist module specific to their environment (ambulance, events or communications). This included specialist training with the Westpac Rescue Helicopter for landings in the remote area. “As a first responder my main role was to administer pre-hospital emergency care. With no authority to practice (ATP) I wouldn’t administer any kind of medication, including the patient’s own prescription medication if they could not do it for themselves.” First responders usually travel with an officer like a paramedic or a doctor who does carry an ATP. After moving to Thames, Rebekah took on some shifts with the Thames crew until leaving to have her fourth child. “I have signed up again, although the training and qualifications have changed so I see a lot of training in my future,” she laughs. l Some of the ambulance crew Rebekah will be working with L to R Jackie Lang (Emergency Medical Technician), Jan Paton (Emergency Medical Technician) and Wayne Varga, Ngatea Station Manager (Paramedic).

It takes time and commitment to become a fully-trained Ambulance Volunteer; however those who complete the journey find the work very rewarding. “The best part about volunteering is that you are helping someone in what could be the worst day of their life so they get a chance to have more ‘best’ days,” says Rebekah. l

Rebekah Duffin.

If you don’t think riding in an ambulance to emergencies is for you, but helping St John is, there are plenty of other ways you can volunteer.

Youth Programme – Deliver programmes to youth in your district, everything from first aid to life skills. There is a large variety in these programmes, and you will receive full training and support from St John. Health Shuttle Volunteer – Older people who no longer drive as well as young people too sick to drive use this facility to make medical appointments.

Caring Caller Volunteer – The caring caller service connects volunteers with people who are in need of a friend. The service is for people who are on their own, and can easily become isolated. Just one conversation can make a huge difference in someone’s life.

Hospital Volunteer – Providing comfort and support to patients and their families in hospitals. Sometimes it’s just a hand to hold when someone needs it.

Outreach Therapy Pets – The programme involves volunteers and their pets visiting rest homes, hospitals and other health services. Contact with gentle animals provides comfort and helps people to be happier. To find out more about these volunteer opportunities contact St John at enquiries@stjohn.org.nz or go to the website www.stjohn.org.nz

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

83


STA FF

Above: Brenda Schmidt. Below: IRB training.

N

ot all volunteering heroes are the ones saving the lives, sometimes they are the support that keeps the team going. Making sandwiches, driving kids to and from and being a body for recovery are just a tiny bit of what some mums and dads will do for their volunteering children. As a mum of two girls, Lacretia 18 and Rhea 14, Brenda Schmidt (Assistant Accountant in our Finance Team) has always encouraged her girls to get into whatever programme and sports that is happening in their local community. “They have both run through six or more years of the St John Cadet Scheme until entering high school and finding a shortage of hours in the day to do everything on the list,” says Brenda of her girls. Living in Tairua water-based activities form a large part of the Schmidt households activities. Both girls have entered the Tairua junior surf lifesaving programme over the summer breaks, and from age 6 both girls have run through the

PROFI L E S

When it comes to lifesaving,

mum’s the word whole scheme as well as the newly introduced Saturday programme. Brenda says the St John training is really helping her youngest to reach her surf lifesaving goals, “Rhea is now working towards qualifying as a surf lifesaver at the end of this year,”says Brenda. A keen supporter of Surf Lifesaving, Brenda has been a member of the club over the last ten years, although she isn’t a lifesaver. “My summer holidays are usually spent carting kids and gear down the beach each summer. Most days I have eagerly headed to the water with fins or life tubes, and sometimes wetsuit, to help out all the groups that needed to keep up the ratio of helper to students in the water. Usually just being there is enough to give the kids confidence or someone to rest on for a bit of a breather,” she says. “There are always other jobs to help out with including setting up for scenarios and other runner jobs and martialling at events and just general support for kids that may be

a bit unsure of their surroundings, or standing knee deep in the water to make a barrier to keep them safe. I normally don’t have my name down for a specific task but just being there means somebody finds you something to do.” And when everything is under control? Well, then you would probably see a few of the ‘left over’ parents heading off for a swim round the buoys,” she says. “This doesn’t necessary come under the volunteering for the emergency services banner but I guess I’m an active supporter of the volunteers I have helped to shape. It’s just a parent thing, running round after whatever your kids get involved in. And this happens to be a worthwhile time spent with them.” Brenda and many other parents are wrong in thinking they aren’t volunteering for the emergency services. They are giving their children a lifelong gift of life saving skills and the rewards that come with volunteering. But most importantly they are giving a great gift to the communities that they live in. l

Tairua Surf Lifesavers team for the Eastern Region Rookie Surf Lifesaving Competition (red and blue caps), they came third.

84

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7


• NZ Made • Custom Built • Functional • Safer Towing • Ease of Launch/Retrieve • Available from Marine dealers throughout NZ Old Ruffell ROad, Te Rapa HamilTOn - pHOne 64 7 8493158 - www.voyagertrailers.co.nz


LO CA L

WA L KS

Find your own

Path

If it’s a walk, a wander or a run, a time for contempl ation, a commune with nature or just for fun, here are four walks that will suit a variety of ages, fitness levels and stages.

Long Bay Kauri Walk

A

short 5-10 minute drive from Coromandel Town are Long Bay and Tucks Bay. Nestled above the coastline within 57 acres of native bush is the Kauri Walk, a pleasant 40 minute loop track through the Long Bay Scenic Reserve. The track starts behind the boat facility at the Long Bay Motor Camp and gradually climbs up through a grove of young kauri, nikau palms and a 330 year-old kauri tree. The track eventually descends down to the gravel road connecting Long Bay and Tucks Bay. From here you can either return to Long Bay or head to the secluded Tucks Bay, a prime spot to unpack a picnic lunch. The walk has a new 60m boardwalk which has just been built to help protect all the kauri roots on the track as well as prevent the spread of kauri dieback. www.tcdc.govt.nz/localwalks

86

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7


LOCA L

WAL KS

Thames Local Historical Walks

S

ix different walks can be found in Thames town. Each walk is colour coded and named from the 1867 Goldfield era. Tararu, (Red walk) is a coastal walk taking in the Butterfly House and a must-do for bird watching. Grahamstown/Moanataiari (Orange Walk) passes the Caledonian mine site, the first gold bonanza site and Thames Railway. Grahamstown/Irishtown (Blue Walk) goes through the historic Grahamstown area, now a shopping precinct with cafes, bars, restaurants and the site for the local Saturday market. Block 27/Shortland (Green Walk) showcases historic mining cottages, old oak trees and an option to wander through the Shortland Cemetery. Parawai and William Hall Memorial Reserve (Purple Walk) is the site of Hotunui, the meeting house now housed in the Auckland Museum, and frequented by thousands of visitors annually. Totara Pa (Yellow Walk) is another coastal option which leads through historic cemeteries, an old pa site and along the Kauaeranga River towards the old Thames Wharf where you can stop for fish and chips. All walks are less than 6km. www.tcdc.govt.nz/localwalks

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

87


LO CA L

WA L KS

Buffalo Beach to Brophy’s Beach waterfront walk

D

id you know it’s approximately 3.5km from the Whitianga Wharf through to Stormont Lane at the end of Brophy’s Beach? And now you can run, walk, mobility scooter or bike the entire length on footpath since it’s all been linked up. The footpath provides a visual link spanning the entire beachfront and hopefully provides inspiration as a running route, a walk with the dog, a bike with the kids or just a wander along to enjoy the stunning views of the Mercury Bay. Some features to take in along the way include a section of stingrays stencilled into a section of path towards the Whitianga town centre section. The public art is thanks to the creative input of one of our most well-known and iconic artists Michael Smither. Almost half-way along the footpath route, between Whitianga Wharf and Brophy’s Beach, you can view the historic Buffalo anchor, which is a memorial to the HMS Buffalo, which was wrecked in a storm on 28 July 1840, killing two crew on board. The footpath also swings past a children’s playground at Brophy’s beach, two BBQ sites, two toilets and several water stations along the way.

88

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7


LOCA L

WAL KS

Pauanui Tairua Trail

T

he plan for a walk/cycle track connecting Pauanui and Tairua is getting closer thanks to the hard work of the Hikaui District Trust. The charitable trust, made up of a passionate group of volunteers, has so far worked on developing the 4km trail from Pauanui to Awa Whio Whio (Duck Creek) taking in an 80m section of boardwalk, 7 bridges and 15 donated named seats. When complete the entire trail will be 25km, continuing on from the Pauanui Waterways boardwalk, around the water’s edge meeting up with the footpath at the Tairua School. The cycleway will cross the Tairua River over the old Hikuai bridge. The next stage (Stage 3) under construction will connect the old one-lane Hikuai Bridge, linking up the public access way at the Tairua School. So far the cost has been just over $150k and the Trust would like to thank everyone, both corporate and community who’s donated so far. To donate to Stage 3 or just check out the trail. www.pauanuitairuatrail.org.nz

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

89


2016/17

19

November 2016

l i a r T a u Tair d Tides an

12

November 2016

Kickstart summer with a 5km walk, 5km and 10km run, or 20km run at the Tairua Trail and Tides.

Stunning vistas of Tairua, starting at Cory Park along the waterfront and up bush-clad hills of town. tairuatrailandtides@gmail.com

90


24

29

December 2016 8PM Start

October

29

December 2016

-3

January 2017

29

November 10-12

Every Weds 10am-12

11-13

November 2016

91


12 – 24 29

December 2016

December 2016

Tairua-Pauanui Community Promotions

New Year’s Eve Fireworks display 31

Annual Funding Appeal

December 2016 midnight

We are again seeking your assistance with funding for the Annual New Year’s fireworks display being held from midnight 31 December - watch from anywhere on the waterfront or in elevated spots. Tairua and Pauanui businesses generously contribute to this event and the TairuaPauanui Community Board makes a significant contribution each year through the Community Grants. Your donation is very much appreciated, as without it, the event would not be possible. To make a donation contact the Tairua or Pauanui Information Centres: Tairua 07 864 7575 Pauanui 07 864 7101

92


from

29

December

from Dec-Jan

29 December

Whitianga Wellbeing Fair from

28

Kids Duathlon Kids Quiz night

29-30 December Pauanui Nike Open Tennis Tournament

30 December

December

Waterways Swim

28

December

6

January 2017

2 January

Hair of the Dog Golf Tournament Miss Pauanui King of the Mountain

3 January

Kennedy Park Market day Antique Fair

93


1

Jan-Dec 2017

Saturday January

21

3

January

10

January 2017

30 Dec - 3 Jan 2017

31

• STRING THEORY • • NE W A L BU M & T H E CL AS S I C S •

7

January 2017

• STRING THEORY • • NE W A L BU M & T H E CL AS S I C S •

SAT 7 JAN 2017 • COROGLEN TAVERN R18 •

SAT 7 JAN 2017 WITH GUESTS

• A GIRL NAMED MO

AND

THE NUDGE •

• COROGLEN TAVERN R18 • T I C K ETS FRO M T I C K ET M A ST ER & T HE V EN U E WITH GUESTS

• A GIRL NAMED MO

AND

THE NUDGE •

T I C K ETS FRO M T I C K ET M A ST ER & T HE V EN U E

• ON SALE NOW •

94

• ON SALE NOW •

December 2016


4

5

January 9am-2pm

January 2017

4

January 2017

Artisan bread, jewellery, sweets, clothing and delicious foods to eat. Kotare Reserve, Pa Rd, Hahei, gates open 9-00am.

21

7

January 2017

January 2017 11am

95


WHITIANGA WATERWAYS ARENA • SUN 29 JAN • AUCKLAND ANNIVERSARY WEEKEND TICKETS ON SALE NOW! • STRICTLY LIMITED LOCAL TICKETS AVAILABLE AT I-SITE WHITIANGA, I-SITE THAMES, TAIRUA INFO CENTRE, PAUANUI INFO CENTRE, INFO PLUS WHANGAMATA OR $99* FROM

ONLY $89*

WWW.TICKETEK.CO.NZ

*PLUS BOOKING FEE

WWW.GREENSTONEENTERTAINMENT.COM.NZ

6

January 2017 3pm - 9pm

Sat 28 January 2017 (Anniversary weekend), 8:00am 3:00pm

96

Sat 15 April 2017 (Easter weekend), 8:00am 3:00pm

Sat 21 October 2017 (Labour weekend), 8:00am 3:00pm


date TBC in February

6

February 2017

5

Join games and activities where families can interact and have fun together. Wholesome food and musicians from within and outside the local district. A meditation class for children and adults, centre tours, pet blessing, Tibetan Lama doing sand art and more. The Mahamudra Centre, Colville.

March 2017

4

February 2017

97


11

Are you tough enough?

March 2017

The Surf 2 Firth event is described as the most technically challenging off road marathon in NZ. Run on DOC tramping tracks from point to point, experience the beautiful trails as a full marathon (starts 7am), half marathon walk at 8.30am and half marathon run 9.30am, or 14km at 10am. www.surf2firth.co.nz

The Mercury Bay Art Escape is a self-drive Tour of artist’s studios which takes place every year over the first two weekends in March, showcasing established and emerging artists from painters, sculptors, jewellers and printmakers to ceramicists and weavers. www.mercurybayartescape.com

11-19

March 2017 Events Daily

98


22 - 26 March 2017

6

Easter

May 2017 10am - 4pm

Discover Coromandel’s finest seafood, marine art, restaurant cook-off, fish filleting, mussel/oyster opening, live entertainment, stalls, displays and so much more. Coromandel Town on the bottom field of Coromandel Town Area School

99


a Drowning

A Ship, a Bay, a Drowning

Te Karo Bay is a popul ar beach break for surfer s who are chasing the waves north of Tairua.

175

years ago it was the unforgiving waves that took the life of 22-year-old William Sampson at this very same spot, which locals refer to as “Sailors Grave”. May Bay is aship popul ar beach break for surfer s who are chasing William Sampson was a sailor on boardTetheKaro British Navy 2017 HMS Tortoise, when he accidentally drowned after the boat he the waves north of Tairua. wasMARCH in overturned. According to the original kauri headboard, that years ago it was the unforgiving waves 2016 at the site, along the fenced grave, still remains which sits on the that took the life of 22-year-old William STARTS 8AM edge of the bush William “drowned in the surf ”.Sampson at this very same spot, which locals refer to asTe “Sailors For almost a year after William Sampson’s drowning, KaroGrave”. William Sampson was a sailor on board the British Navy ship Bay was in full swing as a timber camp. The Tortoise’s carpenters HMS Tortoise, when he accidentally drowned after the boat he and crew, along with a team was of in Maori (mostly from theoriginal Thames overturned. According to the kauri headboard, that the site, along the fenced grave, which sits on the area and Mayor Island) cut still theremains trees atthen shaped and squared A painting of HMS Tortoise by John Roger Morris, who has edge of the bush William “drowned in the surf ”. also tended the grave of Williams Sampson’s (below) until the them, supervised by Thomas Laslett, purveyor of timber. For almost a year after William Sampson’s drowning, Te Karo NZ Navy took over responsibility. The Tortoise left the Coromandel 1843 full load of Bay wasin in April full swing as a with timberacamp. The Tortoise’s carpenters crew, of along team of MaoriHobson (mostly from the Thames picking the wife and family thewith latea Governor The Surfspars, 2 Firth Bushup marathon hasand area and Mayor Island) cut the trees then shaped and squared A painting of HMS Tortoise by John Roger Morris, who has been described as the most technically in Auckland before heading tothem, England. also tended the grave of Williams Sampson’s (below) until the supervised by Thomas Laslett, purveyor of timber. challenging marathon in New Zealand William Sampson’s grave is now maintained the New Zealand NZ Navy took over responsibility. The Tortoise left the by Coromandel in April 1843 with a full load of and gives runners the opportunity to spars, picking up the wife of theNavy late Governor Hobson Navy, but before that it was previously cared for byand thefamily British run from one side of the Coromandel in Auckland before heading to England. and local Hamilton brothers ( James and John Roger Morris). to the other. The half marathon offersWilliam a Sampson’s grave is now maintained by the New Zealand Now, 175 years since HMS Tortoise anchored Te Karo Bay, a the British Navy Navy, but before that it wasat previously cared for by challenging run/walk option and a new and local is Hamilton ( James and6John Roger Morris). commemorative weekendAllofbased events beingbrothers held Saturday May 12 km option is now available. Now, 175 years since HMS Tortoise anchored at Te Karo Bay, a and Sunday May 2017, which will include historical talks and out of Thames with 7competitors bussed commemorative weekend of events is being held Saturday 6 May to the start of refreshments the full and half walks, and marathon. light and entertainment over which the two Sunday 7 May 2017, will days. include historical talks and

12

Surf 2 Firth Bush Marathon

6-7

175

COROMANDEL TO sOUTH WAIKATO

All options are run on DOC tramping walks, refreshments and light entertainment over the two days. trails with many following the enjoy pioneering trails of yesteryear.

connecting hills and info@surf2firth.co.nz or www.surf2firth.co.nz/ oceans

1 april 23 APRIL 2017 Register online now at

www.echowalkfest.org.nz 64 fb.com/echowalkingfestival

64

COROMANDEL

ARTS TOUR

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

Gala opening 6 October, over 30 artists from around C O R O M A N D Coromandel E L S U M M E R will T I M E S Town open their studios and invite you in… www.coromandelartstour.co.nz

13 May

100

7-8 & 14-15

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

October

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7


101


The internet

has changed

EVERYTHING With a good internet connection you can work from anywhere.

B

ack in the old days, new technologies like steam trains and the internal combustion engine powered economic growth. These days, the technologies driving growth are digital and rely on the internet for communications. There is a proven link between broadband connectivity and economic growth* and this applies as much to rural areas like the Coromandel as it does to big cities. The internet has vanquished the tyranny of distance and people can build their products and supply their services from pretty much anywhere. Let’s face it – being connected and online is now a part of daily life: We like to watch movies and TV from on-demand services and we want information on tap – whether it’s the latest on the Kardashians or if there is any flooding on State Highway 25. We also want to be able to call for help if the car breaks down on an isolated stretch of road. * A 2015 World Bank study found per capita GDP increased more than 1% for every 10% increase in broadband penetration.

102


What can affect broadband speeds • D istance from the fibre-fed cabinet on the copper line to your home or business. Broadband can only be effectively delivered over copper for about 5-6km from a fibre-fed exchange or cabinet. • T ime of day – peak demand times mean slower download/ upload speeds.

That’s why improving broadband capacity and cell phone coverage in the District is a big part of our economic development strategy. Why suffer the crowding and long commutes in the Big Smoke when you can do the same work from the sunny Coromandel? Our Council has put in a bid for the latest ultra-fast broadband (UFB) funding from the Government. Last year the Government announced a $360 million extension of its programmes to improve broadband coverage around the country. We put in a detailed bid seeking the roll-out of fibre to the Coromandel’s main population centres and in September 2015 Thames, Whitianga, Whangamata, Coromandel Town and TairuaPauanui were included in the Government’s list of 110 towns in New Zealand that could potentially qualify for funding for ultra-fast fibre. As Summertimes went to print the Government had not made any decisions on its new UFB programme more than one year after calling for bids. We’re not sitting on our hands waiting for the Government to act. We’ve been investing small amounts of money to stimulate telecommunications companies to provide services where there is a demonstrated need. Here are some examples: • We worked with Chorus to advance the upgrade of a telecommunications cabinet in Kopu by one year to provide better broadband for the industrial and commercial businesses in the area;

• Broadband plan – check your provider for what your data allowance is – you may need to boost it. • Modem – older models won’t deliver faster speeds, even if they’re available in your area. Check your Internet Service Provider to confirm if your modem is an issue. • Wiring in your house or business premises. Older wiring was not installed to deliver good internet speeds. Consider adding filters to all jackpoints used to deliver phone-based services or consider a dedicated line from the street into your premises straight to where your modem is. • Hardware and software: older computers affect broadband performance. Regularly update your internet browser, clean out old software, delete cookies and internet browser history, update security software. • Using a Wi-Fi router can affect broadband speed, especially if your computer or device is far from the router and walls are in the way. • If you want to check your current broadband speed, then go to www.speedtest.net • If you are interested in improving your website or social media presence, then take a look at www.digitaljourney.nz

Above: The Vodafone tower is off-grid, powered by solar panels and wind turbines, backed up by a generator. Opposite page: Vodafone installed a cell phone and wireless broadband tower in the Kauaeranga Valley in April 2016 under the Rural Broadband Initiative 1, with help from our Council.

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

103


• W e worked with Vodafone to move ahead with constructing a new cell phone tower in the Kauaeranga Valley that has improved mobile coverage and wireless broadband for residents and visitors in this popular destination; • We worked with St John and wireless internet provider Lightwire to upgrade the fibre connection to the Thames St John station, improving the station’s emergency response capabilities (see sidebar on St John) and allowing Lightwire to build a wireless broadband network for central Thames. We’ve already made a lot of progress on the Coromandel with the Government’s earlier ultra-fast broadband and rural broadband initiatives, both of which have now ended. Here’s what’s been done: Chorus fibre-fed cabinet upgrades • Tuateawa – June 2016 • Puriri – June 2016 • Hot Water Beach turnoff – March 2016 • Whenuakite – March 2016 • Kuaotunu – July 2015 • Kopu south – June 2015 • Kopu central (Queen St) – April 2015 New Vodafone towers for the Coromandel to provide wireless broadband • Te Puru – May 2016 • Manaia – May 2016 • Colville – April 2016 • Kauaeranga Valley – April 2016 • Kaiaua – 2015. Improving coverage to Firth of Thames • Preece Point, Coromandel Town – Sept 2013

Existing Vodafone towers that have been upgraded • Coromandel Town • Thames • Whitianga Central • Matarangi • Hahei • Pauanui South • Pauanui/Tairua For more information on broadband in the Coromandel, go to www.tcdc.govt.nz/rbi l

Wireless internet provider Lightwire installed a mast on the roof of the St John station that provides a wireless network for central Thames.

Every second counts for St John St John is in the business of saving lives, so when the ambulance station in Thames was connected to ultra-fast broadband a year ago, it meant they could do their job more quickly. In the station at the north end of Thames, St John HaurakiCoromandel District Operations Manager Bruce MacDonald points to a couple of big screens on the wall - the tactical, or tac, boards. “These show all the jobs we’re responding to and what their priorities are. We can see at a glance where our resources are,” he says. “The tac boards show where all our vehicles are in real-time. Each vehicle has GPS so we can see where they are and how far they are from their destination. They are very valuable to us and help us to track and manage demand for our services on a minute-byminute, day-by-day basis.”

The station used to rely on ADSL (asymmetric digital subscriber line) broadband delivered over copper line with a limited bandwidth available. “We can have 15 to 17 people working flat-out on computers at the same time and on the old system it was hair-pulling,” he says. “We’re no different from other businesses with IT systems and all the bandwidth they take.” The fast broadband connection has made a difference to every aspect of the St John operation, from emergency situations, to training, to handling inventory and keeping track of staff and resources.

The old system of tracking resources was text based and only available on individual computer monitors.

Teleconferencing is a critical tool for St John when there is a major incident in the Waikato.

The tac boards were introduced in October 2015, around the same time the station was connected to ultra-fast broadband delivered through fibre-optic cable.

“The senior operations and senior clinical managers will discuss the incident, what resources are available and what is needed and come up with an incident plan

A $15,000 Economic Development grant from our Council paid for the fibre extension from a nearby school.

“It would take too long to open the applications we use that provide us with information to help us make decisions. With the fibre connection the applications open instantly and we can make decisions instantly when we are managing emergency incidents,” Mr MacDonald says.

Better broadband has sped up every aspect of St John’s operation in Thames. Operations Manager Bruce MacDonald and Acting Territory Manager Lindsay Sattler review what resources are available on the monitors.

104

Mr MacDonald says operations are much smoother now that the station’s available bandwidth has vastly increased.

Another system requiring a lot of bandwidth to operate is the Electronic Patient Report Form, which allows a patient’s status to be updated from tablets in each ambulance and sent straight to a national database so another crew or a hospital can see the patient’s details and prepare accordingly. “All the systems we use take a great deal of bandwidth and all would slow down under typical use before we got ultra-fast broadband. The systems all work for us now, which is fantastic.”


HOW CAN OUR COUNCIL DO BETTER GETTING OUR NEWS TO YOU? FILL IN OUR SURVEY AND BE IN TO WIN ONE OF THESE GREAT PRIZES: Mercury Bay Discovery Hahei Explorer – Boat tour for 2 adults

The Lost Spring – All Day Combo Package for 2 adults

Family Fun

OR

Cathedral Cove Kayaks – Classic Tour for 2 adults and 2 kids Whiti Farm Park – 1 year Family Pass The Pour House at The Coromandel Brewing Company – Dinner for 2-4 up to $100

Anglers Adventure

OR

Strikezone Fishing Charters – Half day charter (4 hours) 6 month expiry Salt Restaurant – $150 voucher

TO BE IN TO WIN, GO TO:

www.tcdc.govt.nz/survey2016 105


Thames has been seen as a gateway rather than a destination for many of the thousands of visitors who – rightly or otherwise – associate the Coromandel with sandy beaches, bush-clad mountainous ranges and cool fresh rivers for swimming in summer.

I

n fact, you can go to all of these sorts of places if you want to in heritage buildings are a strength of the town, as are the museums and Thames – but there’s lots more too. restored gold mining relics that sit in the hills at the backdrop of Thames. It may not have a cathedral-shaped natural stone arch, surf or But none of these are outstanding without the people – knowledgeable natural hot water springs, but anyone who has ever taken the time and passionate – who volunteer their time or work as historians and to get to know the town of Thames will tell you that this is a small town guides in these visitor attractions. with a big heart, many characters “After the Economic and equal doses of natural beauty. Development Committee The proud community of gave out major events funding, some 7,500 residents began to people started to say ‘how grow tired of seeing visitors pass come all this money isn’t through their town, as though coming to Thames? What can Thames was a poor cousin to we do better? What events can somewhere else, somewhere we do?’” says Mrs Connors. and Thames is geographically well placed... better to be. While they like the Two key community close-knit and caring attitude of organisations, Totally Thames those that make it home, many and Transition Town Thames residents have decided to embrace more visitors so that they can keep (www.t3connect.org.nz), called a public meeting to get the Thames the population at a cosy number while getting the economic benefits family together and see what everyone thought about blowing their own of tourism. trumpet a little better. “Fifteen years ago you could go to tea shops run by little old ladies, It turned out that many people wanted tourism in Thames to grow. who’d serve tea on tables with doilies on them. Thames was a sleepy They knew why they loved the place. They just weren’t quite sure what little small town,” says Diane Connors, who moved here from Auckland visitors would love about it. 28 years ago. The Thames Community Board and the community brought in a “Now we have a quaint little tea room (in Grahamstown) but it has fresh pair of eyes to help them assess what the community’s strengths character and coolness. We’ve also got Thai, Korean, Indian, Italian, were for drawing – and keeping – visitors. Consultants Visitor Turkish, Japanese and a Mexican restaurant opening up. And we have Solutions began working with the community developing ideas for the a huge café culture here.” promotion of Thames. Research included two community workshops, Many of the cafes are in the heritage buildings of Grahamstown. These individual meetings with visitor operators, site visits, a mystery

TOURISM IS THE PRIME OPPORTUNITY FOR BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT IN OUR AREA ”

Burke Street Wharf at sunset.

106

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7


The Kauaeranga Valley offers outdoor adventures to suit all tastes.

visitor exercise, secondary data research, a web survey of visitor experiences, and phone interviews. There was constructive criticism about tired corners of the retail and business district, and walkways and cycleways that led to … well, no other walkway or cycleway, and few places to secure your bike (all of which are now on the board’s to-do list). Research also found that boat ramps, bike trails and tracks were not always in the best condition. But there was also the acknowledgement that Thames has a huge amount of natural attractions, underpinned by the caring nature of its population. Sometimes it’s just looking at what you’ve already got, and promoting it. You don’t have to build a new Jurassic Park; you need to know what you already have in a place. The resulting Thames Visitor Promotion and Optimisation Plan suggested a visitor compass at Kopu, pointing to the start of the Hauraki Rail Trail and perhaps even providing kinetic sculptures or other attractions along the trail (an orchard trail is the favoured idea of Destination Coromandel Manager Hadley Dryden). The research then pointed east to the craggy bush-clad mountains of regenerating kauri forest, noting that the Kauaeranga Valley is extremely difficult to spell. “The Kauaeranga Valley has a low profile and is not well understood by most visitors. The difficulty spelling, pronouncing and remembering the name creates a barrier to accessing information online,” the Thames Visitor Promotion and Optimisation Plan says. This area of mountainous landscape with its waterfalls, rock outcrops, pinnacles, bluffs and gorges all add to the scenery of an area of volcanic origin and could – and should – be packaged up as an adventure playground, the experts advised. A cycle trail could be developed to link this area with Thames. There is abseiling, canyoning, mountain biking and a horse riding trail located behind the Hotoritori Campsite; however, the trail facilities are not maintained and can become overgrown when not in regular use. A catchier name that did not replace the name of the valley but helped tourists find it and identify the activities on offer there was suggested, along the lines of Thames Adventure Valley. Another strength to further develop was the Thames Goldmine Experience, a painstakingly restored stamper battery and mine tunnels that showcases how the hills of Thames were once blown up and carried away in rail carts, with the ore to be crushed and chemically-treated in the environmentally-destructive pursuit of gold. As far as heritage goes, a funked-up version of Victorian history sits well in Thames and was highlighted for its visitor potential. Held annually around November, Steampunk the Thames is a new festival that merges art, circus, crazy-clever inspired dress-ups, street carnival

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

Thames has embraced the Steampunk movement with its annual Steampunk the Thames festival.

and freak show, and it has wide appeal. Steampunk is now one of several major events that are being supported by our Council through the Major Events Grant. Diane Connors – who sat on the council’s Economic Development Committee and the Thames Community Board prior to Steampunk the Thames being developed – says the genre fits well with Thames, bringing to life its Victorian history, engineering innovations and of course the extremely talented and creative people. A new website is being launched showcasing what Thames has to offer, and at the back end of this work are partnerships between the community, the Thames Community Board and others such as the Department of Conservation. “Tourism is the prime opportunity for business development in our area and Thames is geographically well placed, being located centrally within proximity of New Zealand’s largest population centres of Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga,” says TCDC Thames Area Manager Greg Hampton. “This work will help us to raise the perception of the Thames as a worthy visitor destination and grow the revenue of Thames visitor-related businesses.” Longtime Thames Community Board member Strat Peters, now elected to our Council to represent the Thames ward, says it is an exciting time for Thames. “We have a central vision in creating a cycle friendly, compact town with that leisurely walking ambience, and potential tracks alongside the Kauaeranga River or behind the Thames CBD.” l

107


ADV E R T ORI A L

Shar Horsley, Joe La Grouw, Glenn Horsley and Israel Rangitaawa (our designer) at the Lockwood Franchisee of the Year Awards.

Coastwood Homes Lockwood-Coromandel When it comes to the Lockwood home brand Glenn and Shar Hor sley are considered part of the family.

I

n 2006, Glenn and his wife Shar purchased Coastwood Homes, the Kopu based Lockwood franchise. But even before buying the business, Glenn has had a strong involvement with the Lockwood brand. Helping out his father on Lockwood building sites as a child, Glenn moved into a draughtsman position in the Lockwood head office in Rotorua. In 2004 Glenn and Shar moved to Thames, with Glenn taking over the quantity surveyor position at Coastwood Homes before purchasing the franchise. The friendly and helpful team of eight know the commitment required to set the bar high and keep it there year after year. Coastwood Homes recently won the Lockwood Franchise of the Year award for 2016 which is the 14th time the franchise has won the award and this win makes it the third consecutive year for Glenn and Shar’s team. The “Verandah” show home at the village also recently won the show home presentation award, well known by those who drive past as the show home that is lit up beautifully at night.When asked about popular Lockwood home designs, Glenn says “The Verandah is a favourite as a modern, open-plan home that can be a great design for either a holiday home or a rural block. The long sheltered deck perfectly suits Coromandel lifestyles with the living area and all three bedrooms opening out onto it. Form meet function inside with Lockwood’s signature blonding providing a Scandinavian style The show home has been very successful the team is looking to add a new show home to the Kopu village next year. “We also keep clients happy throughout our builds by ensuring the same person on our team is a dedicated point of contact from outset to completion” says Glenn. “Our team works alongside our clients to ensure expectations are met from the initial design process right throughout the build. We build homes of any size ranging from farm cottages to beachfront

108

holiday homes and specialise in designing the perfect plan for your site.” Glenn and his team like to support activities close to their heart and sponsor events that positively benefit their community. They are major sponsors of the Lockwood Homes Thames Gold Cup at the Thames Races Interislander Summer Festival held on Sunday 3rd January 2017. They have sponsored the Pauanui Bowling Club, Thames Squash Club and the Kopu Annual Pig Hunting Competition along with sponsorship of local school activities and community events.

Glenn and Shar Horsley.

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7


Love the Coromandel...

Live it in a Lockwood Whether you’re looking to build a new family home or bach, with Coastwood Homes, your new home is our top priority. Discover the Lockwood difference with our award winning team.

Talk to the local experts, 14 time Franchise of the Year, Coastwood Homes, Kopu. COASTWOOD HOMES MAIN ROAD, KOPU, THAMES PH | 07 868 8733 E | coastwood@xtra.co.nz www.lockwood.co.nz


Photo: Alan Gibson/NZ Herald

A Knife Life With his dog BB for permanent company and a stream of interested – and interesting – customer s from New Zeal and and around the world, Lloyd Franklin’s warm welcome to his workshop is that of a man quite satisfied with life.

L

loyd is a master knife maker, selling hand forged knives for up to $890 apiece to hunters, chefs, collectors and discerning purchasers who have an appreciation of the handmade, the slowly-perfected, the bespoke. His humble home is built on almost an acre of land where sprawling vegetable plots sprout the evening’s dinner suggestion, and fruit trees sing with hidden tui. Friends from down the road pop in to give their

110

children an activity during school holidays, and Lloyd puts down his tools to oblige by taking them on a tasting tour of his garden. “I work in years now,” he says of the time he spends making knives. “Five a month is all I need to survive with freehold land. Not many can pay a property off with a craft, but I have been a very driven man.” Lloyd grew up in Taupo when there were enough vacant sections for a boy to build huts and make bows and arrows. He spent summers

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7


BUSINESS

PROFI L E S

Photos: Alan Gibson/NZ Herald

1980s when his mortgage rates peaked in the high double digits, he lost everything he owned and had to rent the old Kuaotunu school house and work from a roughly converted cowshed as a workshop. Over time he bought the land on which he now lives, and has paid it off. “The old workshop was no romantic fairytale, in heavy rain, water would run all over the floor. But when you have a place that you can go and create, it doesn’t matter where you are. ” www.mercurybayartescape.com/artists/lloyd-amp-dan-franklin l

holidaying in Tairua, where he went floundering in the harbour, and developed his love of the Coromandel area. His first chosen trade was a cabinet maker, where he learned about the qualities of wood and how hand tools can be used by a careful tradesman to produce items of utilitarian beauty. “In the case of my knives, I want them to have a quality whereby no-one can pick a fault.” Lloyd pulls a leather case from a blade with a shiny wooden handle, tipped at either end by sculpted brass. “This is pohutukawa from the crutch of the tree where it branches off,” he says, his blackened fingers pointing as he explains how “there’s a lot more going on in the grain”. He reaches to the rafters of his workshop and plucks a piece of pohutukawa wood, numbered by the month and year it was sourced. “My joinery skills have allowed me to cut up sourced foraged timber to suit the grain and expose it, and I can then season it properly. When it comes to drying, the longer the better,” he further explains. This knife feels surprisingly light and balances on one finger at the fulcrum where the blade and handle meet. The blade is made from a single piece of high carbon steel that was once a coil spring in the suspension of a car. Lloyd hammers each piece to another third in length. It is a laborious process of forging – which means hammering to shape; heating the steel to a glowing red, and hammering on an anvil. It is then quenched (hardened) with a mix of oil that includes whale oil, and sanded and polished to produce a mirror-like shine. As we chat in the shed filled with heavy, beaten tools, there is a sense of timelessness about this art form. The conversation turns to his ancestry, Scottish on his father’s side, and Norwegian-Danish on his mum’s, and then the knowledge he has of Kuaotunu’s early pakeha settlement and gold rush days. “They had an upper Kuaotunu in the goldmining years. There was a blacksmith, a drapery, and where the village is now, a big two-storey hotel. I’ve got a lot of old tools because I feel the energy in them is from the past. The joiners’ tools are wooden rather than metal, and things like this are almost sculptural,” he says, holding a 1920s plough plane bought from a cabinetmaker in Te Aroha. Lloyd has no regrets about leaving cabinetmaking for an (initially) less secure start-up making knives, but it was not always easy. In the

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

111


A passion for shipwreck diving which led to a job with Kelly Tarlton was just the beginning of Whenuakite’s Guy Banhidi exciting life as a commercial diver .

WORKING UNDER A DIFFERENT KIND OF

PRESSURE F or the past 35 years, Guy has owned Dive Revive, a commercial diving business specialising in underwater construction, or as Guy puts it “We build things or blow things up underwater.” From salvaging famous shipwrecks to going blind in a tank full of sewage, it could be said Guy is not short of gripping anecdotes from his colourful career. Dive Revive has been employed in commercial diving beneath oil rigs, in ship salvage such as the Rena recovery, hydroelectric dams, power stations, deepwater telecommunication cable laying and bridge removal. However, not all of Guy’s work stories mirror suspenseful action packed James Bond scenes; repulsive would be a better word to describe some of the situations Guy has had to deal with. “I was climbing into a massive underground tank which was full of

112

human waste, and on the surface it was all white, just fat sitting on the surface and I stood on the stuff, it was like a raft of polystyrene, and then it just cracked and I went straight through.” Equipped with an industrial dry rubber suit and a $10,000 stainless steel diving helmet, what happened next was not on the sheet plan. “You can’t see anything, it’s just black. You’re thinking, why am I here. It was certainly all for the money.” Guy was still in contact with the crane driver through an internal communications system in his helmet. As he attempted to make his way back through the toxic porridge to the ladder to climb out of the sewage tank, Guy heard the crane’s boom pull back and the sound of tinkering of metal along the tank floor. “And this thing banged into me and ripped my suit down the side and

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7


BUSINESS

PROFI L E S

Guy using a thermic lance (cuts anything at 10,000º F) cutting oil rig towing chains on the oil rig ‘Ocean Patriot’ out from New Plymouth in 2007. Each link weighs 120kg and the cross section of one side of each link is 100mm across.

instantly flooded up to my neck in raw sewage,” he recounts. Fortunately there was no long-lasting damage. “So when I tell people that I work in sewage tanks, they usually don’t ask any further questions,” he quips. Guy started out as a service technician for a diving equipment importer who were agents for several well-known brands such as Kirby Morgan, while he was also working as a diving instructor. In 1985, he went to work for Kelly Tarlton’s as a maintenance engineer where feeding sharks was a part of the day job. Four years later when Kelly Tarlton’s was up to it’s umpteenth owner, a director who Guy had never met arrived in a BMW and informed the staff that times were tough and costs must be cut. “And he said to us could you feed the sharks chicken pellets, and I just thought mate, let’s get real and I finished my time there. No regrets, I had a great time there,” says Guy. Following his departure, Guy started Dive Revive. His first job was helping clean up the aftermath of Cyclone Bola with the de-construction of the Wairoa Bridge in Hawkes Bay. The two-month long project involved cutting up piles of bridge underwater in zero visibility using a thermic lance. Approximately 800 tonnes of steel and concrete were removed. His second job was the instalment of hundreds of metres of submarine fibre optic cables for Telecom across the Waitemata Harbour. After a life threatening ‘the bends’ experience in 2009, Guy now manages all the jobs and is no longer in the water.

As his reputation builds up, so have the destinations Guy has travelled to – Tonga, Noumea and Singapore to work on an underground aquarium. Out of all of his dive trips, looking for a Spanish Galleon in the Gulf of Mexico in 2001 sticks out as a memorable moment for the shipwreck enthusiast. “I was in the Gulf of Mexico, and I was in 60m of water – that’s 200 feet – wearing the commercial gear. I stood on the sea floor and it was like Lake Taupo calm conditions. I looked up and I see the whole dive boat with all the anchors spread going out like big octopus legs,” says Guy. “Then past me comes this manta-ray, about one-metre thick, and his massive eye looks at me and goes up and comes back down past me, harmless but fantastic. Those moments really live with you.” A few contracts have been on Guy’s doorstep including the Pauanui and Whitianga Waterways, a new bridge at the Tapapakanga ARC park on the Firth of Thames, and diving for stone pavers as part of the restoration of the historic Ferry Landing in Whitianga. For that brief he was asked to salvage old cut stone from the historical Ferry Landing wharf, lying on the sea floor below, which will be used to rebuild the wharf. The Wharf is classified as a Grade One structure by the Historic Places Trust and was built in 1837. Stones along with historical artefacts were recovered in two to four metres depth, a relatively safe assignment compared to other projects. So has anyone died or been seriously injured under Guy’s watch? Certainly not, said Guy. “I’ve been lucky, touch wood. Even 180m down a sewage pipe in Hamilton, where there is only one way in and one way out. You have to trust your gear and the people looking after it for you.” l Guy with his wife, fishing and hunting partner Angela.

Never short of a good work story, a rough day in the office manages to make the local newspaper. What a guy!

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

113


B U S I N E SS

PRO F ILES

Greener Pastures Richard and Suzy Wardenburg have owned a holiday home in Pauanui for 18 year s but made the move permanently to the township this year .

T

hey now wake every day to the moods and tides of the sea, with their property directly accessing the Pauanui waterways. The Wardenburgs have diversified their businesses with a bed and breakfast and boat import business in addition to their scaffolding sheeting firm, and this allows them to be based in Pauanui and enjoy all of its lifestyle pleasures while still providing clients with everything they need. Suzy says the transition from city life to coastal holiday town all year round has been something of a curiosity to their friends, though at least one couple has bought property with a view to following in their footsteps. “Our friends come to stay with us and they just can’t believe it. We take them up Pauanui hill and for a ride on the new bike track and out fishing, usually catching enough fish for a big meal, and we bought SUPSs (Stand UP Paddle boards) so that we can go for a paddle directly out from the house, and they all say ‘wow you are doing this every day?’. “The great thing is that when our friends come down and stay, they’ll stay a night and so you are able to have a few drinks together and not worry about driving. You get a really good catch up. But I tell them don’t stop inviting us up to Auckland for dinners, because we can always book a hotel if we need to and combine it with work in Auckland.” A favourite activity for the couple in winter is to explore the farther reaches of the Coromandel when there are fewer people around and they can get beaches all to themselves. The couple has a boat that they recently sailed up to Whitianga and berthed at the marina for a night for just $25, dining out at a beautiful restaurant and sleeping on the boat before cruising home the next day. With Richard working from home, he is also often called upon to fly with his pilot friends who own property on the airfield at Pauanui. “We went to New Chums beach the other day and it was empty. Winter is the best time to go because who wants to go when there’s a whole lot of people there? It’s so different in all the seasons, and we love exploring all the bike tracks and walks,”” says Suzy. “Some of our friends in Auckland have said ‘what do you do all day?’ But we are also working from here, and if you make this place your home you are always busy. It’s different to being here on holiday.” The couple has kept a post office box in Auckland for their business

The Marina nestled at the base of Paku Hill at the edge of Tairua Harbour.

114

Pauanui lifestylers Richard and Suzy Wardenburg on the deck of their waterways home in winter “the best time of the year to be here”, they advocate.

but all other aspects are operated from Pauanui. Suzy says the only challenge is that storage is a little tight, but they use a carrier company that operates from the town three days a week and can travel to the city for meetings, choosing to stay with friends for a night or two or booking into a hotel when required, still at a fraction of the cost of owning or renting an apartment. “If someone needs something within two hours, we can leave at 9am and be in Auckland by 11am. To be able to live down here but commute a couple of days per week for your client liaison suits us just perfectly. You don’t have to base a business in Auckland.” One of the common concerns of those seeking to relocate from the city to the Coromandel lifestyle is the availability of work opportunities for their offspring. It is true that finding work can be tough in winter, but their daughter Katie is among those who’ve benefitted from choosing to pursue a career in the provinces, and by moving to Pauanui her parents get to see more of her. In her early 20s, Katie works in Pauanui as a fully qualified property manager and successful real estate agent. “She was the only one that didn’t go to University and went straight to work in Thames when she was 17 to 19. She upskilled whilst working and is also teaching spin classes at the TCA Gym in Thames, and she’s got a great network of friends who create their own fun but can go up to the city for a night out whenever they want,” says Suzy. As Auckland’s population continues to grow and property prices hit dizzying heights, bach owners like the Wardenburgs are not alone in their desire to change down a gear in lifestyle (whilst still keeping businesses at full pace). l


BUSINESS

PROFI L E S

A snapshot of the COROMANDEL’S ECONOMY Indicator

Thames-Coromandel New District Zealand 1.8% 8.9% 22% 27% 11% 47% 6.0% 6.0% 4.5% 19%

➔ ➔ ➔ ➔ ➔ ➔ ➔ ➔ ➔ ➔

Gross domestic product Traffic flow Residential consents Non-residential consents House prices* House sales Guest nights Retail trade Car registrations Commercial vehicle registrations

➔ ➔ ➔ ➔ ➔ ➔ ➔ ➔ ➔ ➔

Annual average % change 2.7% 4.6% 16% 15% 13% 16% 5.8% 2.8% 3.7% 6.2%

Level Unemployment rate International net migration

4.1% 222

5.2% 69,087

* Annual percentage change (latest quarter compared to a year earlier) QUARTERLY ECONOMIC MONITOR JUNE 2016

INVESTING ON THE COROMANDEL – CALL OUR BUSINESS BROKER SERVICE We’re a business friendly Council, so if you’re looking to invest or setup business here on the Coromandel, get in touch. Email customer.services@tcdc.govt.nz or call 07 868 0200 to be put through to our Business Broker service.

Our economy continued to expand at a positive rate, with Infometrics’ provisional estimate of GDP showing growth of 1.8% over 2016. Growth in economic activity in our District has become increasingly broad-based across all indicators of spending and investment over recent months. A continuation of strong economic growth is projected to see job prospects improve, particularly in the service and construction sectors. Our service sector is benefiting from a combination of population growth and rising tourism sector activity pushing up demand. Data from Marketview shows that electronic card spending on retail purchases rose 6.0% over the June 2016 quarter, with an analysis of MBIE visitor spending data indicating that international visitor spending grew 8.4% over the same period, while domestic visitor spending rose 4.1%. This upturn in visitor spending is supported by guest nights data, with guest nights in commercial accommodation climbing 6.0% over 2016. Infometrics anticipates that tourism sector activity will keep growing into 2017. However Infometrics continues to caution that growth may be constrained by capacity constraints at peak times. The upturn is also continuing for our District’s construction sector, which has spill over benefits for industries that support the sector, such as engineering, joinery and timber processing. Over the past year, the value of non-residential consents has risen by 27%, while there have been 22% more consents for new residential dwellings over 2016. Although house prices growth has continued to accelerate, there is potential that the rate of growth could likely be dampened as new lending restrictions aimed at investors reduce access to financing for households looking to purchase holiday homes. Mussel farmers continue to face better export conditions. Data from Seafood New Zealand shows that export prices for mussels over the first 6 months of 2016 averaged 13% higher than a year ago. At the same time, there is cautious optimism that the recent rally in global dairy prices could be enough to push some dairy farmers back towards breakeven point.

www.tcdc.govt.nz/business

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

115


BRING YOUR BUSINESS TO KOPU Kopu Business Park is just over one hour to Auckland airport, and centrally located within the golden triangle of Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga.

AUCKLAND

THAMES

KOPU

An ideal location for small-to-medium commercial and industrial businesses.

HAMILTON

TAURANGA

Affordable sites, great lifestyle, and easy access to NZ’s best beaches, fishing and recreation. To discuss relocating your business to Kopu, contact the Thames-Coromandel District Council on 07 868-0200 and ask for our Business Broker team, or email customer.services@tcdc.govt.nz

116

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7


BUILDING BUILDING BUILDING OUR OUR OUR COMMUNITY... COMMUNITY... COMMUNITY... COROMANDEL’S COROMANDEL’S COROMANDEL’S LOCAL LOCAL LOCAL AWARD AWARD AWARD WINNING WINNING WINNING BUILDER. BUILDER. BUILDER.

Jennian Jennian Jennian Homes Homes Coromandel Homes Coromandel Coromandel 626626 Port Port 626 Road, Road, Port Whangamata Road, Whangamata Whangamata P 07 P 07 865865 P6767 07 6767 865 6767 E coromandel@jennian.co.nz E coromandel@jennian.co.nz E coromandel@jennian.co.nz jennian.co.nz jennian.co.nz jennian.co.nz


Our NEW District Plan is out

Easier. Less red tape. Online. Protecting what we value. Easy to use and understand Everything in the plan starts with the zone assigned to your property. If your zone was a cake, overlays would 3. Special Purpose (Structure Plans, be the icing and sprinkles. commercial sites etc.) Use our new SMART Maps 2. Overlays and start with your property to (rules about landscape, heritage, natural hazards etc) find your zone. Once you’ve found your 1. Zones zone, look at the overlays to see if any other rules apply. The new District Plan. Like having Start with your zone and the rest just falls into place. your cake and eating it too.

About the District Plan Hearings Panel • The Hearings Panel was made up of independent commissioners Mark Farnsworth and Ian Munro, and Councillor Tony Fox. • The District Plan Hearings Panel read the written submissions along with staff analysis. The District Plan Hearings Panel then listened to the submitters who spoke at the hearings.

Cuts red tape It’s less hassle to build a granny flat (minor unit). You don’t have to get a resource consent just for a house colour if you’re in a coastal community. Smaller units or townhouses for singles, retirees and couples now have an easier resource consent status in the Residential Zone.

Fewer colour and reflectivity consents

Numbers:

1,233 271

original submitters

Minor units

further submitters

(supporting or opposing original submissions)

10,671

separate submission points

(including further submission points)

Multi-unit housing

• After considering the submissions, the Council removed the natural character topic and re-notified a different version with maps and rules more targeted to just the high and outstanding natural character areas in the coastal environment. This generated:

667

original submission points

1,107

further submission points

Noisy kids on a playground? No problem. Tractor early morning on the farm? Go for it. If it’s a normal everyday noise for the zone, it’s just common sense, now, isn’t it?

The District Plan Hearings Panel sat for 34 days over 12 meetings. • The District Plan must give effect to the objectives, policies and methods in the Regional Policy Statement (RPS). Many submitters wanted changes that would conflict with the RPS, especially for biodiversity and landscape rules. Council staff and the District Plan Hearings Panel were unable to support these requests.

118

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7


Council decisions on Our new District Plan took effect on 29 April 2016 but until any appeals are settled, some provisions of the previous (Operative) District Plan remain in force. Here’s a snapshot of what the new District Plan achieves.

Promotes Economic Development “We’ve worked hard to balance Council’s approach to reduce red tape in many areas to make it easier for people to develop their lives and businesses, and grow the Coromandel’s economy, while still protecting the areas with special values,” says the Hearings Panel.

More permitted activities* 29 controlled activities NOW PERMITTED 1 restricted discretionary activity NOW PERMITTED 9 discretionary activities NOW PERMITTED 2 non-complying activities NOW PERMITTED * As at December 2013 version

Support for marine activities The new Marine Service Zone allows for dynamic marine precincts: fish sales, kayak rentals, restaurants, apartments above ground floor, boat repairs, festivals, events and many other activities. Boat ramps, jetties and wharves are permitted in the Marine Service Zone, the Road Zone, the recreation area or the rural area. Better for business? You bet.

Festivals and events The Coromandel is a great place to run events and we’ve made it easier by making events permitted activities, subject to standards that protect people’s day-to-day lives, and take care of our communities at the same time. Easier, less red tape, but also protecting what we value.

Home businesses You can still keep developing your business from home as long as you’re not annoying your neighbours. It’s one thing to have a thriving little hair-dressing business or painting studio in the back garden, but another thing entirely if you think: “I know, I’m going to open up a nightclub or a childcare centre in my basement in my quiet little residential street.” Want to run a produce stall at your front gate without needing a resource consent? In the country and small coastal settlements, if you

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

grow or produce your own fruit and veg or make your own crafty stuff from home, you now can do it without a resource consent, as long as it’s not on a State Highway. Of course, if there’s nowhere for your customers to park without blocking up the street or you plan to build a giant marquee on the neighbouring paddock to go with your produce stall or things like that, you really need to check out the plan. If your home business is a success and outgrows your home, and you think about doing more on your land, you might need a resource consent. Whatever your goal, the new District Plan has you covered.

Rural villages Rural villages are recognised for what they are. Rural villages are hubs for local rural communities; places like Colville, Hikutaia, Puriri, Coroglen, Matatoki, and Te Rerenga. These places are hubs for the local rural community. They have the community store, local pub, schools, halls, the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker. Instead of automatically requiring resource consents for these activities, these types of activities are now provided for as permitted activities subject to standards* seeking to protect the amenity of these areas. We support local. *Of course, if these standards are not met then resource consent will be required.

Holiday home and visitor accommodation We’re sticking with what was in the previous District Plan, which allows for a maximum of six paying guests per property if zoning, parking and noise standards are met. Does this mean you can’t have more than six of your family over for summer? No. This is only about when you charge more than six people a rental rate. You are welcome to have more than six of your family and friends stay over with you for summer, or even use the bach when you’re not there. Many bach and holiday home owners were concerned about needing resource consents when they commercialised their holiday homes and advertised them as commercial accommodation. On the other hand more formal accommodation providers, such as motels and backpackers, said they wanted a level playing field with other commercial accommodation providers such as holiday home rentals, bed and breakfast, and small lodges. The District Plan Hearings Panel heard no compelling evidence from either side to change this standard for visitor accommodation in the Plan.

119


Special Values The Coromandel has outstanding natural areas with unique character, heritage and biodiversity and these are some of the many reasons people come to live or visit here. We’re protecting outstanding landscapes, and the natural character of our coastal environment, rivers and streams without stepping on the toes of private landowners. It’s about working together to ensure that generations to come can enjoy what we have now.

Biodiversity

Outstanding Natural Features and Landscapes

Planting and firewood Some people have assumed we’re not going to let them cut their own native wood (manuka and kanuka) for their personal winter firewood. Collecting this firewood for personal needs, such as firewood and traditional cooking, is a permitted activity. Harvesting native wood for other reasons, like for sale or for pastoral farming, will need resource consent. The District Plan Hearings Panel says this is a good example where submitters showed the District Plan Hearings Panel how they are managing their environment well, and only taking what they need. Indigenous planting and harvesting for erosion control, bee products, etc. are also permitted under the rules. The new Thames-Coromandel District Plan – not trying to freeze you to death or leave your family out in the cold.

Subdivision Natural Character

Historic Heritage

In the Rural area, we have created more opportunity for subdivision which protects special values of the District for the public benefit. On the other hand, the rural lot sizes have been tightened to encourage landowners to think about the special values of their property and protect these when creating additional lots.

Coastal Erosion Lines v Coastal Environment Accurate hazard risk maps No SNAs Significant Natural Areas (SNAs) are not mapped in the plan. We manage biodiversity through native vegetation rules and subdivision incentives.

Outstanding Natural Features and Landscapes These are the areas the Coromandel is especially famous for, like the Pinnacles and areas around Cathedral Cove and the Moehau ranges. These give the Coromandel a special wow factor, hence the term “outstanding.” Of course, we have also made sure existing farming activities in these areas get to continue as they are.

Natural Character Natural character is different to natural features and landscapes. Natural character is only mapped within the coastal environment, and we have not included any areas with existing farming activities. There are two levels of Natural Character mapped on our overlay planning maps: • Outstanding Natural Character – these are natural areas that are largely unmodified (e.g. the land between Kennedy Bay and Wainuiototo Bay – also known as New Chum Beach). • High Natural Character – these are natural areas with some degree of modification or development (e.g. the coastal fringe north of Hot Water Beach to Orua Bay).

120

On our maps, Coastal Erosion lines are different to the Coastal Environment. Marking the Coastal Environment on our maps is like marking out the parts of the Coromandel we call “coastal.” How far past the sand is the Coromandel still called “coastal?” Undies, togs, undies, togs – where’s the line? That’s the line. Coastal Erosion lines are only in some places where erosion could threaten things like housing and roads. A number of landowners and communities submitted on this topic, particularly at Te Puru, Matarangi, Buffalo Beach and Cooks Beach. The District Plan Hearings Panel was required to follow the NZ Coastal Policy Statement and Waikato Regional Council’s Regional Policy Statement directions when considering Coastal Erosion Lines and rules, particularly about the consequences of projected sea level rise. The Ministry for the Environment guidelines require councils to consider the consequences of a 0.8 m sea level rise from 1990 to 2090, and 0.1 m rise per decade after that. The timeframes and coastline consequences of sea level rise are not always clear for each particular beach, so it is wise to limit intensification of these beachfront areas so future generations do not have higher costs when managing their own natural hazard risks. The District Plan Hearings Panel says it was mindful of risk and liability on Council if it allows someone to build their house within those Coastal Erosion Lines.

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7


Mining District Plan Appeals Committee

All kinds of mining are covered, from prospecting and exploration, to quarries for the stuff we use to make your roads, to more restrictive controls for the more intrusive types of mining. If you’re talking road chip for your street, or gravel for your drive, or the stuff we need to fix our roads after a storm, then yes, we have information about that type of mining. We call it quarrying. • Existing quarries are identified on maps, to help limit nearby development that could oppose the legitimate use of the quarry. Quarries have an easier resource consent status than other surface mining activities because of the local economic benefits and less heavy metal contamination risks. • The District Plan Hearings Panel recognised the significance of the Matatoki Quarry as the largest established quarry in the District with significant economic and social benefits through aggregate use. What about getting metals like gold out of the Coromandel? • The District Plan Hearings Panel reports that all submitters understood the issues involved with mining, and were generally reasonable in their arguments. Some submitters were opposed to mining on principle, even though the effects were similar to other activities that were allowed to apply for resource consent, so those arguments didn’t sway the District Plan Hearings Panel. • The activity statuses for major mining activities in the Plan are shown in the table below. ‘Prohibited’ means no consent can be applied for. ‘Non-complying’ means the activity can only be granted consent if the adverse effects are minor, or if it is not contrary to the Plan’s objectives and policies.

Additional information Rezoning, Structure Plans and Site Development Plans The District Plan Hearings Panel said that some submissions were de-facto subdivision applications, and did not provide the information necessary to assess the request. The submitters and their agents were characterised by an ethos of “I want to do this because it’s a good idea” but with no thinking or detail about road, traffic, soil stability, water and wastewater planning and implications. If the rezoning request had been a private plan change, the application would have needed this information.

A District Plan Appeals Committee has been set up to provide guidance and direction over any appeals to our new District Plan. Unlike District Courts, the Environment Court is not purely adversarial and it utilises alternative dispute resolution methods like mediation and expert conferencing. Usually this means only a few appeals are likely to continue to the Environment Court, and the scope’s often limited to where the parties have been unable to reach agreement. Once all the appeals are lodged, they will all be presented to Council along with information about each appeal’s complexity, degree of difference from Council’s Plan decisions, and whether resolution is likely prior to Environment Court hearings. The District Plan Appeals Committee will guide and advise the appeals process, whether in negotiation, private mediation or Courtassisted mediation. The Committee members are: • Deputy Mayor Peter French. • Mercury Bay Councillor Tony Fox. • Independent Auckland-based planning consultant Ian Munro.

Making decisions Because of the large number of submission points, the District Plan Hearings Panel provided Council with recommended decision reports that addressed topics, rather than every individual submission point. • The District Plan Hearings Panel has released succinct decisions that address topics, rather than on every individual submission point, because of the large number of points. • The District Plan Hearings Panel has supported the Council’s approach to reduce red tape in many areas, while protecting the areas with special values. For example: o Self-contained minor units (e.g. granny flats, basement flats) are now permitted if they meet the general zone standards, instead of needing a resource consent as a ‘second dwelling’. The development contributions payable to Council has also been halved. o For many activities that are generally permitted but do not meet a zone standard, the Council will only look at the effect of that standard not met (a restricted discretionary consent) instead of a full assessment of the activity (non-complying consent). o Houses are now permitted (if standards are met) on cross-lease sites, in existing town centre buildings and in the Coastal Zone Residential Policy Area (now part of Coastal Living Zone), compared to previously needing resource consents. l

Tangata Whenua Some sites of significance to Maori are identified and protected in the Plan. Many more are being identified, in Council files and through the Treaty of Waitangi Settlement process. This list of significant sites may be expanded in the future. Instead of the current Maori Policy Areas and Iwi Kainga Zone, which do not cover all Maori land, the Plan replaces them with new overlay provisions to allow for papakainga development on Maori land.

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

Find out all you need to know at www.tcdc.govt.nz/dpd

121


ED U CAT I O N

Opoutere School

The students in their unofficial school uniform; bush shirts and gummies.

It’s a scenic 20 minute drive over the hills to work for Cl are Humphreys-Grey these days. And it’s a welcome change for the Opoutere School Principal, having battled Auckland traffic to get to her previous job.

S

he grew in The Big Smoke but says “I always wanted a principal’s job at a rural school. I love the rural life, the rural kids, and I have a view of cows from my office!” Rural life is hugely important at Opoutere School, just outside Whangamata. Many of her 100 or so students’ families live in the area because of the outdoors; they’re surfers or hunters, for example. She jokes that the school uniform might as well be bush shirts and Red Band gumboots. Many decades ago, Opoutere School was known as a Native School. These schools were set up in the 1800s, primarily to teach Māori children English, and to prepare them for success in a Pakeha world. That’s now come full circle at Opoutere. There’s a strong focus on Te Reo Māori and tikanga Māori, often taught in conjunction with the outdoors. Local Māori work closely with the school, like the neighbours who come along to teach Kapa Haka.

“These are kids who are engaged in their learning, and

ENGAGED WITH THEIR ENVIRONMENT.” 122

This year’s Mataraki (Māori New Year) celebrations will involve the students preparing their own sticks from native trees grown at school for Ti Rakau, traditional Māori stick games. There’ll also be a focus on food, and students will learn how to catch and prepare seafood to eat. Clare Humphreys-Grey says the modern philosophy on education has moved from ‘teaching’ to ‘learning’. That means that rather than kids sitting in class all day listening to teachers talking, they’re being actively engaged. She uses the example of Term One’s study of Te Moana – the ocean. Because of what the children were most interested in, she says it quickly developed into an investigation into plastic bags. The students organised a beach clean-up, they wrote to local shops to request the retailers provide recyclable bags, they made their own wax wraps so they could ditch the plastic wrap in their lunch boxes. “While the students were learning about the ocean, when I went into a class, not one child was off-task.” These are kids who are engaged in their learning, and engaged with their environment. Opoutere School is a few kilometres inland from the coastal settlement of Opoutere, up the road from Whangamata on SH25. www.opoutereschool.net / Phone 07 865 9077


EDUCATI ON

Tapu School When five-year-old Kerys Harris started at tiny Tapu School l ast year , she followed in the footsteps of her four older brother s.

H

er little brother will go there in a few years’ time, meaning the Harris family will have had children at the school for more than two decades. Mum Emma says that before their eldest turned five, they were living in Auckland, and she and her husband didn’t want him in a class of 30+. A move to the Thames Coast meant Tapu School, with under 20 students on the roll. “We like the school’s size, beach location and that it’s community oriented. The open relationship between staff and families means I feel up-to-date with my children’s progress. They learn not just academics, but life-skills appropriate to their living environment, such as fishing, swimming, kayaking and sailing,” says Emma. The Harris family are now part of the furniture; over the years, Emma’s been involved in the toddler playgroup, as a teacher aide, run the Kapa Haka group, and been on the Board of Trustees. The small number of children means huge flexibility, says Principal Judy Carroll, and that’s a massive advantage. It doesn’t matter that the apple crumble took ages during cooking classes. The students all work together – and there’s no other class busting to get in for a turn using the oven. Likewise, they get huge use out of their school pool. All the kids go in together, whenever it suits the schedule. The little ones who can’t quite touch the bottom yet are fitted out in life jackets so they can paddle about getting used to the water, watching the older ones learn to swim. On hot summer afternoons, they’ll stay in the pool after the home-time bell has rung because the bus won’t be there for another half an hour or so. It’s the same story with reading and writing; the little ones learn from the older ones, who in turn solidify their own learning by helping out the juniors. Principal Carroll is determined to make sure her kids don’t miss out, just because they go to a small school, so there are plenty of trips Tapu recently combined forces with Puriri, a small rural school south of Thames, for a local hockey event. “That’s a real advantage. You don’t just pick the good ones… Everyone gets to go along because we need the numbers!” Tapu School is 15 minutes north of Thames on the Coast Road. Students come to Tapu School mostly from the Tapu-Coroglen area, and some travel down from Manaia. There are twelve pupils, from Year 1 through to Year 8. www.tapu.school.nz / Phone 07 868 4838

Below: Principal Judy Carroll (left) with some of the staff and students on the school’s sunny new deck.

“THEY LEARN NOT JUST ACADEMICS, BUT LIFE-SKILLS appropriate to their living environment, such as fishing, swimming, kayaking, and sailing.”

123


ED U CAT I O N

They call them “Lifer s” at Mercury Bay Area School - the students who start as five year olds and stay right through until the end of high school.

Mercury Bay Area School

W

ith more than 900 students on its roll, Mercury Bay Area School (MBAS) in Whitianga is New Zealand’s biggest area school. It’s one of three such schools in Thames-Coromandel; the others are in Coromandel Town and Whangamata. Area schools provide primary, intermediate and secondary education and are typically in rural and/or isolated places. That’s what makes them so special, according to Mercury Bay principal John Wright. He says the transition for students moving to different schools for primary, intermediate, and then secondary school can be destabilising. But Mercury Bay Area School students don’t have that disruption. They know the teachers, they’re used to the bus, they know where everything is. With such a wide range of ages, the school is divided into three areas; Primary – Years 1–6, Middle – Years 7-10, and Senior, Years 11 – 13. Each area has a dedicated Deputy Principal, and each area works with the students’ pedagogical needs and requirements. One thing John Wright is particularly proud of is the school’s huge range of learning opportunities outside the classroom. There’s Scuba diving certification at the school’s Marine Academy, constructing a VANs RV-12 kitset two seater aeroplane to aviation industry standards, learning building and trades by putting up a granny flat at the school. Professionals from the local community are all involved to help the students, and many of these opportunities are designed so students can earn NCEA qualifications. John Wright says he doesn’t want students to have to leave town to further their education. He says if there’s a need, he’ll strive to get something up and running; next year an engineering project is on the cards. Mercury Bay Area School is in Whitianga at 20 South Highway. www.mbas.ac.nz / Phone 07 866 5916

Photo:Divezone Whitianga www.divezone.co.nz/whitianga

Senior students working on the construction of the two kit set aeroplanes that have been built over the past two years. (Top image, and bottom two images.)

124

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7


Right: Students in the classroom with Colville Principle Barry Ross.

Colville School Colville School’s new principal is bringing a slice of the Cook Isl ands to the small Coromandel communit y.

B

arry Ross spent 12 years teaching at remote Cook Island schools, and that’s helped shaped his philosophy and his ambitions for his new post. He lived for 9 years on Atui in the southern Cooks, and for 3 on Rakahanga in the north. The population on Rakahanga was just 80, and of those, 31 were his students. It was a small, necessarily close-knit place, and Barry Ross feels there’s a similar vibe in Colville. Community is a word he uses often and it’s something he wants to build on here. “The environment and the isolation lead to the positive blending of a communal ambience, and that comes into the school.” He wants to make the school open to the community, so locals and the pupils’ extended whanau get more involved with what’s happening there. Building connections to people and places is important to Barry Ross. Before he went to the Cook Islands, he knew little about his own Māori roots. Now, he’s fluent in two dialects of Cook Island Māori. He has lots of ideas for the school. The boldest is to take all his students to the Cook Islands, back to Atiu. “I have a student whose ancestral home is in the Cook Islands. I know all his relatives, and I would love to take him to meet them. I was telling someone this and they said why not take the whole school?” He is hoping that’ll happen in 2018. In the meantime, there’s $50,000 to raise, and they are looking for sponsorship. Back at school, the students have been repainting the outdoor furniture with colourful murals. Ultimately, Barry Ross plans to have all the school buildings painted up in bright and bold colours. Upgrading the IT department is also on the agenda. Colville School has a new, enthusiastic Parent Teacher Associaton (PTA) which raised enough money in just one term to buy the local Rapid Response unit’s all-terrain vehicle, meaning senior students can now go to Coromandel Area School for technology classes. The 7 seater van will make many more school outings possible. There are 31 children at Colville School, from Year 1 to 8. There are close ties to the kindy next door. It’s at 2391 Colville Rd. www.colville.school.nz / Phone 07 866 6815

Teacher Riana Te Whata and pupils proudly display their native bird crafts.

These picnics tables are being repainted with the students’ artwork.

“The environment and the isolation lead to the

POSITIVE BLENDING OF A COMMUNAL AMBIENCE, and that comes into the school.”

C

125


A Ride

Like No Other Motorcycling on the Coromandel The Coromandel Peninsul a offer s one of the top ten rides in the world, according to Thunder Beach motorbike event organiser Troy Hardy.

I

t is a sentiment shared by many, owing to the exceptionally beautiful landscapes and range of roads to ride. There is much to be experienced on the Coromandel by motorbike, including unsurpassable coastal vistas, the winding hills of the Kopu-Hikuai, dense native forests, and twists and turns seemingly made for motorcycling. Motorcycling around the Coromandel has long been a popular activity from Labour Weekend through to the end of summer. However now our weather is changing, motorcyclists are enjoying riding Coromandel roads all year round, says Ingrid LeFevre, East Waikato District Road Safety Co-ordinator and motorcycle enthusiast. Coromandel roads include run-offs, crash bars and helicopter drop points; an investment by ACC made to maximise safety for motorcyclists in the area. Ingrid advises

the necessity of being alert the entire time when riding on Coromandel roads, as you never know what’s around the corner. She is a pillion passenger on partner Rob Howe’s road bike and together they have been riding Coromandel roads for eleven years. A longtime Thames resident, Rob has been a New Zealand National Enduro Champion and has raced nationally and internationally for many years. “The Thames Valley has some of the best riding in the country with a lot of extreme conditions to keep you on your toes,” Rob says. To be an enduro rider, Rob says you need to be mentally alert, physically capable and able to read terrain in a split second and make quick decisions. The skills he’s gained in Enduro also apply to adventure riding for touring. “I use all enduro skills when riding on our Coromandel

Rob, Ingrid le Fevre’s partner, in enduro mode on the Coromandel.

126

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7


Motorcycling the winding hills of the Kopu-Hikuai.

roads. Before I even start any racing or riding, I do my own bike check. I check the mirrors and check my brakes and lights are working and tyre pressure is the best for the conditions I am going to be riding. Wet, foggy, ice or gravel; we have it all on Coromandel roads. Be prepared,” says Rob. Many motorbike clubs include the Coromandel loop in their annual programmes, as well as individual and partner riders. Thunder Beach Summer Rally on the Coromandel started seven years ago as a way to bring motorbike enthusiasts of all kinds together. Troy Hardy and co-organiser, ‘Captain Crusty’ decided that rather than waiting for their annual bike brand event, they’d open a rally to all types of bikes and riders. “We don’t care what type of bike you ride,” says Troy. “We break all those barriers down.” From vintage and classic, to sports, custom and touring bikes, this kind of diversity is unique to bike rallies. The people who attend are a broad mix, too. Thunder Beach Rally’s first event had 40 riders and now it’s a three day event with 600-700 riders taking part. People

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

127


Safety is paramount on Coromandel roads.

come from Scotland, UK and Australia to be part of the rally, which extends up the east and down the western side of the Coromandel. What all riders have in common is their passion for motorcycling and their intention to ride in a safe environment. The rally attracts both men and women, and is set up with a huge focus on health and safety. The Coromandel is not considered an entry level road for motorcycling, so riding within safe limits is paramount. A husband and wife team captain the ride with a pillion set-up. The event encourages partners, and people ride at a two-up speed which makes it possible for learner riders to take part. Coromandel roads offer a complete sensory experience for motorbike riders and their passengers. Thames Coast resident, Fiona Wasiolek enjoys riding pillion with partner Lindsay behind the handlebars, experiencing a connection with the environment you simply do not get in a car. She explains; “Your view is framed through the window of the helmet. Your journey is about smells – the honeysuckle in summer, the jasmine in winter, the cowmuck, the diesel, the sea.” She describes the physical experience of being on a motorbike touring Coromandel roads. “You are exposed

128

Thunder Beach’s 2015 ‘Black Tie’ Event in Whitianga.

to the wind, the peaks and valleys of the hills and the physical feeling of your body on the bike responding to the curves of the road.” There is a camaraderie to be shared on Coromandel roads too, as the experience is

“When you’re riding IT’S YOUR INDIVIDUAL, PERSONAL JOURNEY.”

C O R O M A N D E L

something only other motorcyclists can relate to. “Often when you’re out riding, other people are out too and there’s a small indication of; ‘isn’t this great?’ or a quick wave,” says Fiona. There are several legs to the Coromandel loop, and motorcyclists tend to create their own itineraries depending on the time and distance they are prepared to journey. The Thunder Beach route begins its Coromandel loop through Waihi, Whangamata and Tairua, with rest stops for food and photos along the way. Whitianga is the central destination, and spectators can enjoy

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7


‘Show & Shine’ celebration in Whitianga, Thunder Beach 2015.

a free ‘Show and Shine’ event admiring all the bikes on display. The organisers say it is a familyfriendly event that has been well supported by our Council and the Whitianga community. The loop continues from Whitianga over to Kuaotunu, Coromandel Town, and down the Thames Coast Road, finishing at Kopu. The next Thunder Beach Summer Rally will be in November 2017 and there are plenty of activities for motorbike enthusiasts leading up to the main event – visit www.thunderbeach.co.nz or www.facebook.com/ThunderBeachNZ for more information. Motorcycling is a unique way for locals to get to know their own backyard through weekend expeditions. “There are so many good places to stop for a break, take your helmet off and get the whole picture,” says Fiona. “When you’re riding it’s your individual, personal journey. Once you take the helmet off, you get to share the experience.” l

Enjoy the ride, not the race

East Waikato roads are predominantly Rural roads, there are a few things to remember when you're riding these roads.

Scan ahead and adjust your speed accordingly to your conditions Be Prepared for loose gravel Is my helmet current, checked my riding gear is good to go Done your own bike WOF - checked lights, brakes, tyre pressure? Be Prepared for stock on the road

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

129


About Surf Life SAving new ZeALAnd Surf Life Saving New Zealand is the charity representing 74 Surf Life Saving Clubs in New Zealand. Since 1910, extraordinary New Zealanders have been volunteering their time to patrol New Zealand’s beaches. Over 1,500 people made it home to their families safe and sound last summer thanks to the efforts of the country’s lifeguards and around 4,000 volunteer lifeguards will be out in force again this summer keeping a watchful eye on over 80 beaches throughout the country. Surf Life Saving New Zealand is an essential rescue service as well as a charity. They rely on public donations to train and equip lifeguards to save lives and help keep their local community safe at the beach. Surf Life Saving Clubs in the Coromandel area will be undertaking fundraising activities as part of the Surf Life Saving Summer Appeal during the Christmas and New Year period. Keep an eye out for them at local campgrounds and festivals and please show your support to your local lifeguards. If you don’t see a fundraiser, you can still show your support by donating online at www.surflifesaving.org.nz

Hot Water Beach E

very year, busloads of tourists and locals flock to Hot Rock at one of New Zealand’s most popular and iconic destinations; Hot Water Beach. Unfortunately, Hot Rock is also right where the main rip flows out from the shoreline and with over 800 people digging and swimming at peak times, it keeps local lifeguards on their toes. Because of this, Surf Lifeguards at Hot Water Beach have a very unique way of patrolling; it is tidal based and doesn’t always involve the traditional flagged area like the 80 other patrolled locations nationwide. A number of steps have been taken to educate visitors during the offseason (from April to October) when lifeguards aren’t on patrol. In June 2013, an emergency phone was installed in the main sealed car park at the southern end of the beach as part of an innovative new approach to reducing drowning and injury. The emergency phone proved its worth for the first time just months later when it was activatedwith for theyou first time. in the water The phone is set up like an intercom system; if the button is pressed, the phone will dial through to emergency services and the Hot Water Beach Emergency Callout Squad will be activated through SMS and pagers. Police will also be engaged and will coordinate search and rescue operations. The phone’s intention is to reduce the time between an after-hours incident occurring and Surf Lifeguards being notified and as such, assisting in time critical incidents and saving lives.

Keep surf safe this summer Watch out for yourself and others: • Find a beach that is patrolled • Listen to the advice of lifeguards • Always keep an eye on children in and near the water • Get a friend to swim with you- never swim or surf alone • Stay between the flags • If in doubt, stay out!

with you in the wat

Over the past few years, there has also been a drive by members of the club to encourage local residents and surfers to gain their Surf Lifeguard Award and become part of the callout squad, therefore further increasing their capacity and reducing the risk of residents or inexperienced tourists risking their lives to save others. In April, three surfers were rescued by an off-duty lifeguard, accompanied by a rookie lifeguard and friend, when they became caught in the beach’s notorious rip. The trio worked quickly to bring them safely to shore. That was one of five rescues that took place within a week, prompting Surf Life Saving to fund a lifeguarding service throughout the school holidays. One of the patients commented that if it hadn’t of been for those three boys and the lifeguards’ intervention, they would have likely drowned that day. To find out more about Hot Water beach, or becoming a volunteer Lifeguard, visit www.surflifesaving.org.nz.


FOOD Feature

A Tasteof

The Coromandel

F

resh, organic, sustainable and niche are all ideal words to describe Coromandel’s food and beverage sector. From nuts to market gardens, to fresh seafood and craft beer, the Coromandel is rich in homegrown products

and produce. Over the next few pages get a taste of the Coromandel with our local craft beer brewers, take a trip with the help of our Food Trail Guide, and even try out some recipes while you’re at the bach or on the beach, thanks to local writer Deb Hide-Bayne whose cook book, “Coromandel Flavours, A Year of Cooking at the Bach”, celebrates good food and ingredients fresh from the garden and the ocean, and can be found at her website www.coromandelflavour.co.nz

A view along the Thames Coast. C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

131


FOOD Feature

Craft Beer In the Coromandel

Mussel Kitchen

T

here’re no prizes for guessing what the Mussel Kitchen is most famous for. The restaurant serves up thousands of mussels each year, all harvested from the waters across the road. Now, to complement their menu, they’ve started making their own beer. Giovanni Vico, from Ancona on the east coast of Italy, is the man in on the job. He was the Mussel Kitchen’s café manager for several years. He’s also an enthusiastic homebrewer, and after his colleagues tried his beer, he was tasked with coming up with something for the restaurant. The goal was to produce easy-drinking beer that patrons will enjoy with a meal in the sun. That was three years ago, and he’s doubled production every year since, selling around 4,000 litres over their summer season. Under the MK Brewing label, he makes enough to supply the restaurant and its associated events, such as the Mussel Festival. Giovanni says it’s a tiny operation, producing 50 litres at a time. His brewing equipment is what larger producers would use to trial pilot batches when they’re coming up with new flavours. It runs on a large gas bottle. But starting small means there’s room to grow, he says. When the restaurant was closed last winter, he made as much beer as possible in anticipation of the summer crowds. His Gun Smoke Ale and Gold Digger Pilsner are available on tap and in bottles on site. There is also a non-alcoholic ginger beer. Giovanni says a key ingredient in his beer is the excellent water which comes from the property. They tried growing hops themselves, but he says they were too unpredictable where consistency is key. He likes being able to see the entire brewing process through on site. When you buy a bottle, you know that Giovanni capped it himself. (NB: If you ever need a place to land your helicopter if you’re calling in for a meal or a drink, there’s a suitable paddock next door.) MK Brewing Company beer is served and sold at the Mussel Kitchen, on the corner of SH25 and Manaia Road, just south of Coromandel Town. www.musselkitchen.co.nz 07 866 7245.

132

A jug of generic lager just won’t cut the mustard for the discerning beer drinker these days. Words such as traditional, seasonal, hand-crafted, and small-batch have all become part of their vernacular. Thanks to the growing craft beer movement, independent breweries are popping up all over the country. They’re doing their own thing, pushing flavour boundaries, making beer that gives drinkers something to think about. Find out what’s brewing around the Coromandel.

Hot Water Brewing Company

W

hen Jen Walker’s parents called her in Brisbane and asked her to take over the family business, one of the first things she did was talk to her old friend Dah. They’ve known each other since they were little kids at Dah Kydd from Hot Water Brewing. Whenuakite Primary School. And now these childhood mates are back home, running the show at the Hot Water Brewing Company. Jen returned home in February 2016 after many years in Australia, and she’s taken on the role of manager. Sales manager Dah Kydd has worked in hospitality for years, all over the world. She and her Australian partner, chef Dylan McMahon, were stoked to come to the Coromandel to help build the Walker family’s dream. Over the past decade, the Walkers have established the Seabreeze Holiday Park on their dairy farm. The office was once a calf rearing shed and one of the lodges was a cowshed. Now, the old hay barn is home to the brewery and brew pub. Hot Water Brewing Co. produces four standard varieties: Golden Steamer Ale, Kauri Falls Pale Ale, Walker’s Port, and About Time IPA. There are also seasonal batches available on tap. Their beer has won many prizes, something Dah puts down to consistency, care, and flavour. They’ve evolved traditional English recipes to suit their modern style with New Zealand grown hops, and they use extremely soft, spring-fed water sourced on the property. One big point of difference at the Hot Water Brewing Company is that what doesn’t go into kegs goes into cans. They do the canning on site. They’re adamant that keeping out the light and air keeps the beer at its freshest. Plus, cans are small and light, can’t shatter like bottles, and are easily recyclable. Their beers are sold in pubs, cafes, restaurants, and liquor outlets from Auckland to Dunedin. Hot Water Brewing Company also hosts the Rising Can Festival at the start of summer. It combines canned beer, food trucks, and local entertainment. And you don’t even have to drive home if you pitch your tent in the paddock or stay at the Seabreeze holiday park. The Hot Water Brewing Company is at 1043 Tairua-Whitianga Road, Whenuakite, just a short hop from Tairua, Hot Beach and Whitianga. www.hotwaterbrewingco.com Ph: 07 866 3830.

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7


FOOD Feature Coromandel Brewing Company

W

hen Karen and Neil Vowles visited New Zealand for the first time, they bought a house after only five days in the country. They imagined coming here from their native Britain to escape the northern winter once their then-young sons were older. But after returning for holidays in Matarangi, the entire family was soon unanimous - the Coromandel was the place for them. So, after selling up and moving to the other side of the world, the English electrical engineer/landscaper and Welsh fashion industry expert had to figure out what do to for a living. The answer was beer. They found the beer here bland and boring, and decided that Coromandel deserved its own top quality stuff, full of flavour and made with care. So Neil started a craft beer operation in the garage, and thus the Coromandel Brewing Company was born. With great reviews and plenty of demand, they soon moved to custom-built premises in Hahei, where they’ve opened a bright, modern pub and restaurant. That’s called The Pour House and it’s Karen’s domain. The place was built from scratch on the current site, but while the building’s brand new, Karen’s collected second-hand bits and pieces to decorate inside. Tall doors are from the old Waikato Brewery, windows are from Waihi, and there’s wood from Colville. Tables, chairs and deco light fittings have been gathered up from garage sales and second hand shops. The timber on the bar is left over from their building work. Outside, a big garden bar was added last summer. All told, there’s room for 250 people. Neil’s department is the brewery, and through a window in the dining

room he can be spotted among the copperclad tanks. He brews their most popular beers all year round, such the Good As Gold Pilsner, Easy Rider pale ale, and The Dark Side dark ale. Seasonal specials are available on tap at The Pour House. Their beer is available at around 35 premises on the peninsula. They don’t send it outside the area because Neil wants to ensure there’s enough Coromandel beer for locals and visitors over the very busy summer months. Neil says when they first started, he had to explain what craft beer was to most people, but that’s changing as beer drinkers become more discerning and educated. www.coromandelbrewingcompany.co.nz info@coromandelbrewingcompany.co.nz 6 Grange Road, Hahei. Ph 07 866 3354

Boilerhouse Brewery

T

hames is one of New Zealand’s best historic towns, according to Steve Sowerby. And he thinks we should be making more of its lovely old buildings. So he’s putting his money where his mouth is by setting up Boilerhouse Brewery on the corner of Queen and Cochrane Streets. Many locals refer to the building as ‘the old Placemakers’, but going further back, it was in fact the home of the Thames Saddlery. The Coromandel-based plumber and motelier is up and down the coast a lot, doing as a much work as possible at the brewery in Thames. He wants to maintain the building’s rustic charm. Exposed wooden beams will remain on view, the sunlight inching through the cracks. Pipes snake around the walls. Old boilers – bought from his good friend, the late Barry Brickell – will be out on display. He’s looking at recycled materials for the bar. He wants people to feel the history of the place. The brewery’s a stone’s throw from many notable Thames sites; the Bella Street Pump House, the School of Mines, and the Historical Museum. In future, one could find themselves sipping on a Saxon Red IPA with a direct view of the former Saxon Mine Shaft after which the

C O R O M A N D E L

Boilerhouse India pale ale is named. Their other beers also reference Thames heritage, with the Pickaxe Pilsner and Foundry Pale Ale. It’s a big old building – 800 square meters. Half of it will house the brewery, and the other half is space for artists and crafts’ people to work. Steve’s enthusiastic about getting the artisanal buzz about the place. Phase one of the brewery project is straight forward – brew some great Thames beer, keg it, and get it into pubs and restaurants, both local and further afield. When that’s all ticking along, he’ll look at building up the Boilerhouse’s own pub and restaurant side. Ultimately, he’d like to make the most of their brewing capacity by producing beer for Coromandel Town as well. They’d start the brewing process in Thames, transport it all up the coast, and finish it off up there. The project’s been on the go for several years. But the death of one of Steve’s business partners stalled the progress. But it’s full steam ahead now, and Steve says Bruce Oliver’s passing is all the more reason to get the brewery up and running. It’s clear he wants to honour his friend and their dream – to brew great Thames beer for Thames people. The plan is for the Brewery to be open by 2017. Corner of Queen and Cochrane Streets, Thames.

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

133


FOOD Feature

Tempura Oysters with Chilli & Seaweed Flakes 12 oysters, taken out of the half shell and patted dry ½ cup corn flour, sifted ½ cup beer large pinch wakame seaweed flakes (or toast a sheet of nori and grind it up) chilli flakes (to taste) deep-frying oil, enough to completely cover the oysters

flour to make a 1. Whisk the beer into the corn of seaweed tempura batter. Add a large pinch ped chilli flakes. flakes/ground nori & finely chop cook the oysters in 2. Heat the oil to 160-180°C and or two. small batches, for just a minute soon as the batter 3. Remove them from the oil as put on kitchen crisps using a slotted spoon and paper to drain. chilli dipping sauce 4. Eat them immediately with a or chilli lime coriander vinegar. fe

vinegar from Castle Rock Ca

rec ipes artwor k and drink selections by Deborah Hid www c oroman e-Ba yne delfla vour c o-nz -c opyri ght-2106 134

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7


FOOD Feature

Asian Deli Noodles 500g rice noodles ½ cup roasted peanuts 2 spring onions ¼ cup coriander 1 pkt mung bean sprouts ½ cucumber 1 red capsicum

*from Castle Rock Cafe

1 tbsp sesame oil 2 tsp sesame seeds 1 crushed red chilli 4 cloves garlic juice of 2 lemons 2 tbsp fish sauce 2 tbsp soy sauce 2 tbsp chilli lime coriander vinegar *

1. In a med ium-sized s aucepan, bo water and c il some salte ook the noo d dles accord instructions ing to their (6-8 minute s). When fin the noodles ished, place in cold wate r to cool. Dra aside. in and set 2. In a med ium bowl sti r together a ingredients. ll the dressin Mix thoroug g hly and then with the pre c ombine pared vegeta bles and no 3. Garnish w o dles. ith the sesam e seeds and peanuts.

s e c i o h C e in W d n a r e Be

t e from Ho l A d n a CoriM ewing Water Br

nde from Dizzy Blo el Brewing d n a m o r o C sting wine a t p r a h s Or a ling or a like a Ries Sa u vignon C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

*

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

135


FOOD Feature

Beer and W ine Ch oic es About Tim e IPA fro Hot Water

m Brewing

Cloud 9 fr om Coromand el Brewing Or tr y a R ose or a Sa u vignon

d a l a S r umbe

c u C n Persia nion ½ red o garlic 1 clove bers cucum le p p a 2 t yoghur 200ml dill bunch juice lemon

il olive o 2 tbsp raisins s Âź cup almond d e p p o l ch handfu er salt ck pepp la b d n grou freshlyer y powd r r u c h pinc

1. Finely ch op the onio n, garlic and 2. Cut the c dill. ucumber in to bite-size 3. Mix all in chunks. gredients up in a bowl and pu fridge for at t in the least an hou r.

recipes artwork and drink sele ctions by Deb www coromand orah Hide Ba elfla vour co n yne z copyright 2 106 136

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7


FOOD Feature

Spiced Snapper ½ tsp black peppercorns 1 tsp whole coriander seeds 1½ tsp whole cumin seeds 4 whole cloves ½ tsp ground cardamom 1½ tsp ground tumeric glug of olive oil

500g snapper handful of parsley 2 garlic cloves ½ the juice of a lemon

Take the da y off and go fishin g

1. Grind the whole spice s, then stir in ground spic the prees. Cut the fi sh into biteand thoroug sized pieces hly coat wit h the spice 2. Crush the mix. garlic, chop up the parsle them with th y and add e lemon juic e and oil to mixture. Lea the fish ve to marin ate for half a 3. Add som n hour or so e oil to a ho . t heavy fryin the fish for m g pan and s inute or two ear on each sid 4. Serve wit e. h some toas ted pita brea salad. d and a fres h

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

137


FOOD Feature

KEY Restaurant or café

A small selection of places to visit 1 THAMES & NEARBY The Cheese Barn at Matatoki Wainui Road, Matatoki P: 07 868 1284 www.thecheesebarn.co.nz Cafe Melbourne 715 Pollen Street, Thames P: 07 868 3159 www.cafemelbourne.co.nz Omahu Valley Citrus 146 Omahu Valley Road, RD 4 P: 07 868 1274 www.omahuvalleycitrus.co.nz The Depot 713 Pollen Street, Thames P: 07 868 3159 www.cafemelbourne.co.nz Grahamstown Bar and Diner The GBD’ 700 Pollen Street, Thames P: 07 868 6008 www.thejunction.net.nz 636 Steampunk Coffee House 636 Pollen Street, Thames P: 07 868 6636 Sola Cafe 720b Pollen St Thames www.solacafe.co.nz Thames Organic Co-op 736 Pollen St, Thames

2 THAMES COAST Waiomu Beach Café 622A Thames Coast Road P: 07-868 2554 Koru at Rapaura 586 Tapu-Coroglen Road P: 07 868 4821 www.rapaurawatergardens.co.nz

3 COROMANDEL Chai Tea House Artisan & Organics, 24 Wharf Rd, Coromandel www.thechaiteahouse.com Coromandel Oyster Company 1611 Tiki Road, SH25 Coromandel Town P: 07 866 8028 Coromandel Smoking Co. 70 Tiki Road, Coromandel Town P: 0800 327 668 www.corosmoke.co.nz Coromandel Mussel Kitchen & MK Brewing Co 20 The 309 Road (corner with SH25/Manaia Road) Coromandel Town P: 07 866 7245 www.musselkitchen.co.nz Pepper Tree Restaurant and Bar 31 Kapanga Road Coromandel Town P: 07 866 8211 www.peppertreerestaurant.co.nz Star and Garter 5 Kapanga Rd, Coromandel Town P: 07 866 8503 www.starandgarter.co.nz Castle Rock Café 1242 Whangapoua Road Te Rerenga P: 07 866 4542 Mob: 022 391 2070 www.castlerockcafe.co.nz

138

UMU Restaurant and Café 22 Wharf Road, Coromandel P: 07 866 8618 www.facebook.com/umucafe

4 MERCURY BAY NORTH Pipers Café @ Matarangi 197 Matarangi Drive Matarangi P: 07 866 0774 www.piperscafe.co.nz The Dunes The Dunes Golf Resort, Matarangi Drive Matarangi P: 0800 165 777 www.thedunes.co.nz Luke’s Kitchen 20 Blackjack Road Kuaotunu Village P: 07 866 4480 www.lukeskitchen.co.nz

5 WHITIANGA

Salt Restaurant & Bar 1 Blacksmith Lane, Whitianga P: 07 866 5818 www.salt-whitianga.co.nz The Lost Spring Restaurant & Licenced Café 121A Cook Drive, Whitianga P: 07 866 0456 www.thelostspring.co.nz Wilderland Shop SH25 Whitianga-Tairua www.wilderland.org.nz

6 COOKS BEACH-HAHEI Eggsentric Cafe & Restaurant 1049 Purangi Road,Flaxmill Bay P: 07 866 0307 www.eggsentriccafe.co.nz Mercury Bay Estate 761A Purangi Road , Cooks Beach P: 07 866 4066 www.mercurybayestate.co.nz The Church Restaurant 87 Hahei Beach Road, Hahei P: 07 866 3797 www.thechurchhahei.co.nz Cathedral Cove Macadamias Orchard Tour 335 Lees Road Hahei P: 07 867 1221 www.cathedralcovemacadamias.co.nz The Coromandel Brewery 7 Grange Road. Hahei P: 07 866 3354 www.coromandelbrewingcompany.co.nz

7 HOT WATER BEACH, COROGLEN & WHENUAKITE Hot Waves Café 8 Pye Pl Hot Water Beach P: 07 866 3887 Coroglen Tavern 1937 Tairua-Whitianga Road, RD1 Whitianga Coroglen P: 07 866 3809 www.coroglentavern.co.nz Hot Water Brewing Co 1043 SH25 Whenuakite P: 07 866 3830 www.hotwaterbrewingco.com Colenso Country Café & Shop 895 SH25 Whenuakite P: 07 866 3725 www.colensocafe.co.nz

8 TAIRUA The Old Mill The Esplanade, Tairua P: 07 864 9390 www.theoldmillcafetairua.com

Pub or Bar Boutique or Specialty Food

Winery or Brewery

Manaia Kitchen and Bar 228 Main Road, Tairua P: 07 864 9050 www.manaiakitchenbar.co.nz The Bakery - Tairua 242 Main Road Tairua P: 07 864 9974

PORT CHARLES

9 PAUANUI The Bakery - Pauanui Shop 15, Pauanui Shopping Centre P: 07 864 8094

COLVILLE

WHANGAPOUA

The Lime Room Shop 10, Pauanui Shopping Centre www.thelimeroom.co.nz

COROMANDEL TOWN

3

Miha Restaurant at Puka Park 48 Mount Ave, Pauanui P: 07 864 8088 www.pukapark.co.nz

MATARANGI

4

25

KUAOTUNU

WHITIANGA

5

6

HAHEI

COROGLEN

25

q WHANGAMATA & ONEMANA

HOT WATER BEACH

7

WHENUAKITE

25

TAPU

Onemana Food Company Restaurant 101 Bambury Place, Onemana P: 07 865 7200 www.onemanafoodcompany.co.nz

2

8

TAIRUA PAUANUI

TE PURU Kauaeranga Valley

9

HIKUAI

1

Cafe Sixfortysix 646 Port Road, Whangamata P: 07 865 6117 www.sixfortysix.co.nz

OPOUTERE

THAMES

ONEMANA

Argo Restaurant and Wine Bar 328 Ocean Road, Whangamata P: 07 865 7157 www.argorestaurant.co.nz

q

WHANGAMATA 25

w KARANGAHAKE GORGE

PAEROA

Bistro at The Falls Retreat 25 Waitawheta Road, Waikino P: 07 863 8770 www.fallsretreat.co.nz

w KARANGAHAKE GORGE

Ohinemuri Winery 23 Moresby Street Karangahake S37 P: 07 862 8874 www.ohinemuri.co.nz

2

WAIHI

To Hamilton TE AROHA To Rotorua 80kmT o Tauranga 70km

Markets

www.thecoromandel.com for updated listings

Tairua Market

Tairua Hall, Main Rd, Tairua

First Saturday morning each month

Kuaotunu Market

Kuaotunu Township

Saturday morning from Labour weekend-Easter

Matarangi Craft Market

Matarangi village shops

Sundays from Dec to Jan & holiday weekends

Whitianga Art, Craft & Farmers Market

Soldiers Memorial Park Whitianga

Saturday mornings on holiday weekends and community events

Tairua Firemen’s Market

Tairua Fire Station, Main Rd

Saturday morning of Labour Weekend

Coroglen Farmers Market

Gumtown Hall, Coroglen

Sunday morning Labour Weekend Easter

Thames Market

Pollen Street Grahamstown Thames

Saturday mornings 8am - 12noon

Coromandel Market

31 Kapanga Rd Coromandel Town

Fridays 8am - 12noon

Whangamata Lions Market

RSA Carpark

Anniversary Weekend, Easter & Labour Wknd

Whangamata Community Market

TCDC Town Green

8am - 1pm Sundays in summer months


Plan B4 U Party Have you got a sober driver? Nothing says summer like sitting on the deck overlooking the ocean, cocktail in hand. So why not lose the booze and enjoy a mocktail, or provide sober drivers with mocktails so they don’t have to drink copious amounts of fizzy drinks. Here are some recipes to get you started. Go that little bit further and shake up an original, take a pic and post it on Facebook or Instagram add the hashtag #PlanB4UParty and be in to win a limited edition Plan B4 U Party summer pack including a Plan B4 U Party apron.

Be Prepared Juice Ingredients:

¼ cup fresh sage leaves ½ cup simple syrup ½ teaspoon salt 1 can soda water 2 quartered lemons

For the syrup:

water in a Combine 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of to a boil ure medium saucepan. Bring the mixt to stir, have ’t don You . and let the sugar dissolve ove Rem r. faste olve diss r suga the but it will help 1 cup of es Mak . cool and heat the from p the syru syrup, (enough for a second batch).

le syrup, and salt in a Combine lemons, sage leaves, a simp r and stir. Divide among 4 wate soda add pitcher. When you’re about to serve, stick. glasses filled with ice and a swizzle

METHOD:

Refreshing Summ

Ingredient

s: 2 cups of ora nge juice 1 can of pea ches or mixed fruit Handful of cr ushed ice 1 can of lem onade

er Drink

METHOD:

Add juice, fr uit and ice to a blender an d blend. Add lemonade b efore servin g. The Refreshing S ummer Drin k is best served with a small umbrella.

z z i F y a w A e u Fatig nts: I n g r e doni sebrown sugar

2 teaspo n juice f mint e or lemo m 4 sprigs o li h s e fr oons 3 table sp a water d o s p ½ cu a tall f bitters ottom of 2 drops o n at the b o the mint m e le z e r e o rs. Squ ur lime te o y it t b u d P n a M E T H O dDth: e brown sugar, sod,adrink and feel alive! r in glass; ad ds and sti your han n e e tw e b

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

139


More medical services for Mercury Bay

E

A health facilit y, providing a variet y of health care services under the one roof, could become a realit y for Whitianga in the next few year s.

arlier this year our Council approved an agreement for a parcel of land on Joan Gaskell Drive, as the proposed site of a new health facility to cater for the Mercury Bay area. Glenn Leach, who was Mayor at the time called the decision a “milestone occasion for Mercury Bay as the benefits of having a more diverse medical facility will allow healthcare providers to be available in the one place, which will save customers time and money.” Currently many people travel to Auckland, Hamilton and Thames to meet with medical specialists, which can be stressful, costly and exhausting. Having a wider range of healthcare services provides more security and assurance for people to stay within the District and since the announcement was made, there’s been lots of positive feedback from both our permanent and absentee residents and ratepayers. Many of our absentee ratepayers tell us that they will now be considering staying longer, or even permanently, if there is a wider range of medical services available. We’ve also had feedback from absentee ratepayers who provide specialist medical services who could be interested in renting space. The site is approximately 4000m2, with developers Whitianga Waterways making the land available to the Mercury Bay community, at no cost to ratepayers.

Services that could be provided for at the facility include: • Audiology • Obstetrics/Paediatric • Paediatric • Psychology/Mental health • Screening services • Speech & language therapy • Minor surgery • Oncology • Gynaecology • Day treatments • Occupational Health • Diet/health promotion/protection

Land agreement details

ept c n o

lan p e it

Announcing the agreement for the land in June 2016 was (from L to R) Peter Abrahamson of Whitianga Waterways, Mercury Bay councillors Tony Fox and Murray McLean, and Mayor Glenn Leach.

The Mercury Bay Community Board and Area Office are now working on research and investigations to establish the feasibility of the proposal and will report back to Council on the outcomes. In our 2016-17 Annual Plan, the Mercury Bay Community Board has also ring-fenced $250,000 to go towards setting up a Charitable Trust that will take over the project. It will be responsible for overseeing a detailed implementation plan, detailed designs, planning and cost estimates, resource consenting, sourcing external funding, working with medical practitioners and health authorities, operations, management and communications. The Community Board’s $250,000 contribution towards the early phase work in the development of the facility is expected to take at least a year to complete. Twelve sites were investigated for a Health Facility and the site at Joan Gaskell was the preferred option because of the nil land cost, direct access from the main entrance road into and out of town, its central location in Whitianga and close proximity to ambulance and rescue helicopter services. The development and acquisition costs were also more favourable than the alternatives. Over the last 18 months there’s been early discussions with the medical practitioners in Whitianga, as well as the District Health Board, about the possibility of a more diverse medical facility. Feedback and consultation with the public and stakeholders is also underway. To find out more about the project go to www.tcdc.govt.nz/mbhealthfacility l

ed

os p o r rp

fo

B

cury r e M

edic M ay

s

Some of the points in the agreement between Whitianga Waterways and our Council for the land is:

C

H TPAT FOO

• It must be used for a health facility. No other use is permitted. • The net purchase price is nil.

• Both parties are satisfied with conditions of the consent. • The purchaser may transfer the property to a Charitable Trust or similar entity for zero consideration, for the purpose of owning, developing and operating a health facility. • Purchaser to be responsible for construction of all works providing access onto the property. The costs of this are estimated at $200,000 and will be part of the development costs to be met by the development, not from Council funds.

140

a

Concept site plan for the Proposed new Health Facility for the Mercury Bay area.

MAIN ENTR ANCE PRO AUD POSED IOLO GY

PRO DEN POSED SURGTAL ERY

PRO PHA POSED RMAC Y

C1

OFF ICE RECE PTIO N

C3 C2 CON SULT ATIO N

BABY CHG

PRAC TICE MO

C6

TREA T2 TMEN T RO OMS T1 T4 T3

LAB TEST S

C4 C5

WAIT ING ARE A

TOIL ETS

• Purchaser to obtain subdivision consent and land use consent within 18 months of the agreement.

CARP ARK ING

tre n e lC

NURS ES

UD

ER

AMBU LAN CE BA Y

JOAN GASK ELL D RIVE

FOO TPAT H

2 4119m

CARP ARK ING


I HAVE, WILL YOU? “10 years ago I suffered a serious motorcycle crash which I was lucky to survive. An incident like that makes you question your life and it occurred to me then that it was not ‘luck’ that saved me that day. I like to think that my donations to the Auckland & Coromandel Westpac Rescue Helicopter are the reason it was there for me. For people in remote areas, such as the Coromandel and Auckland’s beautiful Gulf Islands, this service is a life line, which we would be lost without. While I still donate, I decided to go a step further. After ensuring my family were taken care of, I left the choppers a charitable gift in my Will. It was an easy process which gave me peace of mind that my money, however big or small, will help to ensure the survival of this vital service.” - Jim Reed, Bequestor Last year the helicopter service flew 1,060 helicopter rescue missions. Of those, 328 were to the Thames/ Coromandel region.

Principal Sponsor

C O R O M to A provide N D Ea world L Sclass U M M E R helicopter T I M Eservice. S 2 Working together emergency

0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

141

Photography: Sharp Focus Media

If you are considering leaving a gift in your Will, or perhaps already have, please call Kerrie Spicer, in confidence, on (09) 950 7222 or email her at: kerrie@arht.org.nz.


Building Your Dream If you’re thinking about building your own home, before you do anything first, do some essential planning. Here are a few things you should check off your list.

1

Get an idea of how much the build will cost

This is a key question for everyone and it’s not easy to work out. The Building Guide website has a budget calculator and a page on working out what your build will roughly cost with links to sites that can help you get more specific: www.buildingguide.co.nz/planning/building-costs

2

Talk to our Council

Discussing your project with our council is essential. You, or your design professional, may wish to obtain a LIM which sets out the details on your property and a PIM which sets out your project’s details www.tcdc.govt.nz/lims Please feel free to come in or contact our friendly customer service staff who will assist you with general information and will arrange for an appointment to see or talk to our duty planner. Our duty planner will advise you whether you require a resource consent. This approach will mean you work with our Council before getting too far with your plans. This will mean you work within what you’re allowed to, rather than having to go through the expensive process of redesigning everything. Email customer.services@tcdc.govt.nz or phone 07 868 0200

3

Choose a designer

Finding the right architect or architectural designer is easier if you have a clear idea of what style of house you want. Set simple selection criteria and make up a short-list. Check out advice on how to choose your designer at www.buildingguide.co.nz/house-design/choosing-an-architect

YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES CHECKLIST ✓ 1. Get a Building Consent before starting a building project.

✓ 2. Get a Resource Consent from our Council if the

build requires one – our planners can advise.

✓ 3. Employ competent designers, builders and tradespeople.

✓ 4. Get an amendment to the Building Consent if

changes are to be made to the approved Building Consent and documentation.

at the appropriate stages of the building project and that any issues identified in these inspections are addressed.

complied with.

your building consent may lapse.

building work is done – this must be within two years of the Building Consent being granted. You can apply for an extension of time but this must be before the two years is up.

✓ 5. Ensure that all required inspections are booked

✓ 6. Ensure easements and covenants on the title are ✓ 7. Commence work within 12 months otherwise ✓ 8. Apply for a Code Compliance Certificate when the

142

✓ 9. Maintain your house.

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7


SEVEN THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW 1. Building a house will take a long time.

4 Legal requirements

2. There will be decisions needed to be made at all stages of the

All building work in New Zealand is controlled by the Building Act 2004 and the various building Regulations which includes the Building Code. The purpose of these Acts is to ensure that buildings: • are safe, sanitary and have suitable means of escape from fire; • contribute to the physical independence and well-being of people who use them; and • are designed, constructed and able to be used in ways that promote sustainable development.

building process, including right at the very end.

3. Demands on your time will be enormous. 4. It is likely to cost more than you think. 5. You are unlikely to be able to afford everything you want. 6. It can be stressful and can take a toll on relationships. 7. You will be faced with choosing between a myriad number of items for all sorts of different elements within your house – many of which you are not even aware of yet.

The Building Code sets standards for: - durability - fire safety

And in spite of all these things, this should, and can be, one of the most pleasurable achievements of your life.

- sanitation (services and facilities) - moisture control - energy efficiency - access You must have a Building Consent from our Council to carry out building work except for work specifically exempted. A Resource Consent and other authorisation may also be required before building work can commence – again, check with our Council. One or more of each consent type may be required for the same project. www.tcdc.govt.nz/regulatory This is just the beginning. The process you’re looking to undergo will take you at least six months, likely longer and can be expensive. Investigate your designer and builder thoroughly before employing them. Understand your rights and obligations and make sure you have a good contract – not necessarily the one that your builder offers you – contracts are mandatory for any project over $30,000 but we recommend one for all projects. Ask for the ‘Prescribed Checklist’ – your builder should give you this automatically but most are not. If they don’t offer it, this should warn you. Good Luck!

FOUR THINGS YOU NEED TO DO 1. Work out your current and future needs so that the house design will meet both.

2. Write them down – this will form part of the brief for your

architect or designer. Talk to friends and family and make a scrapbook with images of houses you like.

3. Work out what you can afford. Try to stick to it (as much as

you can – remember – those last minute changes can lead to enormous expense, especially if you need to change your building consent, but it also opens up the opportunity for your builder to increase his margin).

4. Learn about the building process. You are about to spend several hundred thousand dollars. You will own whatever happens to this house. If you cut corners or your building professionals cut corners, you will be the one to live with the consequences. Ensure your professionals do what they should. Ensure you have contracts for the work and ensure those contracts are valid

Website information Here are some good resources to check out: www.tcdc.govt.nz/lims www.tcdc.govt.nz/regulatory www.buildingguide.co.nz

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

www.designguide.co.nz www.bobforbuilders.co.nz

143


ADV E R T ORI A L

Whangamata Real Estate

A loyal partnership with the community Murray Clel and and his team maintain the strong reputation and loyal support as the oldest real estate company in Whangamata.

T

he company now known as Whangamata Real Estate first traded as Harold Iremonger and Sons Ltd in 1945. They have remained proudly independent, helping people buy and sell property for 61 years. Murray Cleland has owned the company for six years, bringing 34 years’ experience in real estate to Whangamata. He bought Whangamata Real Estate in 2011 after selling his shareholding in Century 21 NZ. Murray is a Past President, Life Member and Fellow of the Real Estate Institute of NZ and a member of the NZ Realtor Group. He has enjoyed a long association with Whangamata, owning property in the area for 30 years and utilising his extensive auctioneering background, by compéring Whangamata fishing competitions. Whangamata Real Estate are strong supporters of community sponsorship. Community input is a long and dearly-held value in the company, with Murray and the team currently committed to supporting 21 different organisations and events. They are

Whangamata Real Estate Ltd sponsors and supports: • Whangamata Surf Life Saving Club • Whangamata Rugby Club • Whangamata Golf Club • Whangamata Real Estate Community Swimming Pool • Whangamata Bowling Club • Whangamata Indoor Bowling Club • Whangamata Community Services Trust • Whangamata Club • Moana House • Beach Hop • Opoutere School • Grey Power

major sponsors to Whangamata Community The team include two administrators, three Pool, Whangamata Rugby and Sports Club, property managers and thirteen sales staff. Whangamata Golf Club and Whangamata Their vast local knowledge provide expertise in Surf Life Saving Club. They sponsored the buying and selling properties in Whangamata, Surf Lifesaving Club’s first Pub to Club Run 30 Whiritoa and Onemana. They offer friendly, years ago and have remained enthusiastic sponsors every year since. Whangamata Community Services Trust are also recipients of their generosity. They are the people who make this company. Every December, Murray and his team participate in an annual food bank appeal, collecting non-perishable food for the Trust, enabling food and gifts to helpful service from three locations; the reach those in need at Christmas. original Ocean Road office, the Port Road Murray believes his team is outstanding; a office and their new Onemana office. claim supported by REINZ, who determined Whangamata Real Estate invites you to Whangamata Real Estate top small office in support the company that supports your their annual Awards of Excellence in 2012. community. Murray Cleland and his team “The success of this business is the staff. They have an excellent knowledge of the industry. are the people who make this company. I lead it Their professional approach and lasting legacy and try and guide it the best I can, but all credit produces results. The company’s longevity can should go to them,” says Murray. attest to that. l

“THE SUCCESS OF THIS BUSINESS IS THE STAFF.


1

STRONG COMPANY

1 TEAM 3 OFFICES 18 STAFF WITH 140 YEARS OF COMBINED REAL ESTATE EXPERIENCE 60 YEARS OF SELLING WHANGAMATA Thankfully our current salespeople haven’t been selling houses since the 1950’s but our company has! Our sales team average 13 years each in the industry. Being long term means we know the area like the back of our hands – and it means we’ve experienced the highs and lows of different markets.

Not only have we survived them – we’ve thrived and we’re still achieving great results!

Phone 07 865 8499 • www.whangamatarealestate.co.nz


Calling the Kauaeranga

Home

An iron-cl ad rural retreat in the Kauaeranga Valley has won the coveted title of Home of the Year 2016 by Home NZ magazine.

W

inning architects Lance and Nicola Herbst from Herbst Architects responded to a brief for a ‘humble and basic’ home using materials with a patina of age and sustainability. Their vision was to practically and aesthetically engage with the property; a varied landscape encompassing rugged hills, river banks and a ridgeline commanding pastoral views and regenerative native forest on opposite slopes of the valley. This project presented the architects with an opportunity to seek a different mode of expression than prior work. As masters of their craft, Lance Herbst says they ‘felt free to explore the poetry of buildings and their presence in the landscape in a positive way.’ They sought to create a small building that could hold its own in a big landscape. They clad the form in a ‘rural camouflage’ – a rainscreen of rusted corrugated iron sheets sourced from a building in Thames,

146


HOLI DAY

HOMES

“… humble and basic home using materials WITH A PATINA OF AGE AND SUSTAINABILITY.” inspired by a cluster of old corrugated iron sheds dotting the local farmland. The absence of windows in the cladding lends consistency to the form while still providing views through thin slits in the iron. The solid box above accentuates the 270 degree panorama offered by the wide-windowed living area below. The large concrete fireplace, wood shed, and pine log floor entry space are bucolic details of form and functionality. Many of the home’s materials are recycled. Bathroom basins, door handles and taps were all sourced secondhand during the build. Practical elements include an outdoor fire which doubles as a barbecue and a simple bench, island and table for the kitchen and dining area. The ‘floating’ upper floor houses the main bedroom, additional guest room and bathroom, offering expansive views to the rear of the property through full-length sliding doors. Nicola and Lance Herbst have created an assured place of solace for owners, Ginny Loane and Gaysorn Thavat. They retreat to the house for long periods between work in the film industry, immersing themselves in a life of self-sufficiency, growing their own food, planting trees and running sheep on their small farm. Their appreciation for sustainability, recycling and adaptive re-use is reflected in the details of the building; from the second-hand coat hooks to the recycled rimu interior and Oregon ceiling beams. Owing to its poetic simplicity, this extraordinary Coromandel Peninsula house presents breathtaking views in a comfortable and intimate environment. It is a building that enhances the landscape with its small footprint and solid impact. For its owners, it is a home that offers an authentic, inseparable connection with the beautiful Kauaeranga Valley. l

Breathtaking views in a comfortable and intimate environment.

The sturdy stone fireplace distinguishes kitchen and dining area from lowered sitting room. Recycled rimu interior and sturdy Oregon ceiling beams provide warmth and colour.

Architect: Herbst Architects Contractor : Doug Fleming Photographer : Lance Herbst

Enhancing the landscape with a small footprint and solid impact.

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

147


A neighbourly

family legacy

How often is a house required to be a good neighbour? When it’s one of only a small number of Hahei sites which can truly be considered ‘on the beach’

T

he Flexman family holiday home is one such site. The idea of the house being a good neighbour – to the properties next door, and the people on the beach, was established early on by Tim McCoy from McCoy + Heine Architects. Tim used recesses and depth to soften the beach-facing facade, and established three distinct parts to the building to reduce the bulk presented to the beach. The responsibility of developing a ‘neighbourly’ house, was coupled with an intention to maximise the stunning sea views for its occupants, but minimise the fishbowl effect that can result.

The Hahei beach house is owned by the Flexman siblings; James, Andrew and Emma. They required a new dwelling to replace the original family beach house, which was no longer fit-for-purpose for their growing extended families. The Flexman family comprises of six adults and nine children and they wanted a house that could expand when they holidayed together and contract to fit a single family. Spacious communal living had to be balanced with the need to retreat. Multiple indoor rooms and separate spaces were designed to offer privacy when needed while outdoor

Recesses and depth soften the impact from the beach.

148

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7


HOLI DAY

HOMES

“And most important to the siblings, was their wish for a place they could continue to

Photos: Desmond Burdon

CREATE THE HOLIDAY MEMORIES AFFORDED THEM BY THEIR LATE PARENTS.”

spaces were considered as important as those created inside, given the beach location and summer climate. The house offers the opportunity to follow the sun around a variety of outdoor ‘rooms’ while avoiding any inclement weather. On occasions the house has accommodated up to 40 people, as the family have hosted numerous large gatherings and a few special celebrations too. This has meant that spaciousness and comfort is vital. And most important to the siblings, was their wish for a place they could continue to create the holiday memories afforded them by their late parents. The Hahei property and the memories contained within it, has been lovingly passed down through three generations. The new house was created to carry this legacy forward. Tim McCoy says the family are “thrilled” with the house and were very open to suggestions and the original scheme was hardly changed when it came to the design and build. Of the builders Whitianga’s Percival Construction, James Flexman says; ‘We have been highly impressed with everything Damian Percival has done. Firstly, as the home was architecturally designed and with high specifications, it was important to engage an experienced builder, and secondly, as we live in Auckland and not able to visit the project regularly it was critical to engage someone who was an experienced and proven project manager”. The Flexman House won the Architecture and Construction awards in 2013; taking out the NZIA Waikato Bay of Plenty Housing 2013 Award for McCoy + Heine and the Nulook New Homes Regional House of the Year gold award for Percival Construction. Three years on, the Flexman family are still reaping the rewards of a place which provides them with everything they could wish for, in continuing their Hahei family legacy. l

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

Expansive open-plan living for communal family holidays.

A private outdoor space to follow the summer sun.

149


Creating memories and sharing moments #goodforyoursoul

If you’ve got something worth sharing, tag #thecoromandel #goodforyoursoul and check it out on The Coromandel’s official newsletter, facebook and Instagram channels. Find them here www.thecoromandel.com Photo: @iamtheflyingkiwi : Whangamata


55,000 people

and counting By Shaun Fay

Photo: Allan Duff crep.co.nz

Coming from inl and Canterbury I have never been a great fisherman. We only saw the sea once a year and my family didn’t fish, but since moving to Whangamata, things are changing.

152

Slipper Island. Between here and Whangamata marina are some very special fishing spots.

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7


I

bought a kayak the other day, including the whole kit of rods and hooks. I’ve also been going out on friends’ boats, which is a lot of fun, but small time compared to an afternoon on the Te Ra in early June. Chris Jones – the skipper of Te Ra was running a touch late for the afternoon – early evening trip. The morning’s school party trip had found some decent snapper towards the end and time had slipped away. No problems. It was a beautiful day, must be why the boat is called Te Ra (Maori for “The Sun). We enjoyed a little toddy at the Whangamata Ocean Sports Club while we waited for the kids to get off the boat. Chris then gave our group a quick safety message and we were underway, heading towards Slipper Island, which is approximately 4km off the coast of Pauanui. In between Whangamata Marina and Slipper Island there are a couple of famous fishing reefs just north of Onemana, which gave me a good 45 minutes to catch up with Chris. Chris has been a part of Te Ra with his Dad, Llew Jones, since 1989 and estimates he’s taken over 55,000 people fishing. “Most of them are Kiwis or have a connection with Kiwis,” says Chris, “but we also get a few tourists who are often referred by the Information Centres dotted round the coast”. The Te Ra is a versatile boat. Big enough to take up to 20 day trippers yet equipped as an overnighter for up to eight people. It also has the kudos of being Whangamata’s champion marlin boat the last three out of four years – so it’s a busy charter business. I asked Chris what he likes and dislikes about his days out on the water.

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

Above: Te Ra coming into Port. Below: Te Ra Skipper Chris Jones.

153


School children enjoying a morning aboard Te Ra.

“Women,” he quips when it comes to what he likes. “That’s because when you’re teaching them to fish, they listen and learn quicker and as a result, often end up catching more. I’m not keen on people in a hurry – they expect to catch fish immediately and the reality is it can take up to an hour for snapper and 45 minutes for terakihi – so relax,” he says. We arrive at a reef and everyone drops their lines and straight away – and yes – there are bites. Nothing major and after we throw back a couple of small reef fish, we move onto another secret Chris spot. We’re there until about 5pm and while it’s still a stunning day, this is early June

“SUDDENLY MY ROD GOES BERSERK, THE FISH ARE RUNNING

and I’m not worried about the cold anymore.” and night will start to fall soon – and it’s starting to get a little cold. “We’ll stick around for another hour and then head for home,” says Chris. Suddenly my rod goes berserk, the fish are running and I’m not worried about the cold anymore. It’s an absolute thrill when a strike happens, such an adrenalin rush. It feels like I’ve got a reasonably good size fish on my rod and we are fighting. 15 minutes later, I wrestle a 5kg snapper on board and can’t wipe the grin off my face. All six of us caught something that day, six snapper and a kingfish, except Judy – a local Whanga girl who loves her fishing, but was clearly on the ‘wrong side of the boat’ as she came away empty-handed. We pull into the wharf about an hour later and head home, tired little pixies. Why does a day on the sea always make you so tired? “I never get tired of this coast,” Chris shares with me before I depart. “This is my papakainga (original home) and I’m always very proud showing it off. Hopefully in a few years, my son Ethan, who is only 13, will get more involved, it will then be the third generation business.” So if you’re looking for a day out that’s extremely special, think about fishing on the Te Ra. The Te Ra website, by the way, is one of the first ever websites in New Zealand. Started in 1991, it’s amazingly effective in its simplicity – and possibly New Zealand’s first retro website. Check out the reference on tera.whangamata.co.nz And for me, the guy who’s a little hopeless at fishing, it was awesome to come home with the biggest catch of the day. Chris mate, now how do I fillet this beauty? l

Left: Shaun’s Snapper.

154

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7


BOAT RAMPS Council’s Free Boat Ramps

Council’s Permitted Boat Ramps

COROMANDEL

COROMANDEL

Long Bay and Oamaru Bay

Sugar Loaf (Te Kouma)

ANNUAL PERMIT

MERCURY BAY

WHITIANGA

Purangi Road (Cooks Beach – Purangi Reserve), Quarry Point (Kuaotunu), Omara Point (Matarangi), Opera Point (Whangapoua) and Robinson Road and The Esplanade (Whitianga).

Whitianga Wharf Ramp (Pontoon)

$90

for the Coromandel Sugarloaf Wharf (Te Kouma) permit

$70

for Whitianga Wharf Pontoon

WHANGAMATA

$65

for the Whangamata permit

Beach Road launching area.

DAY PERMIT

PAUANUI

For more information see: www.tcdc.govt.nz/boatramps

Tangitarori Lane, Royal Billy Reserve and Pleasant Point Reserve

TAIRUA Wharf Road and The Esplanade

Permit Prices Permits can be used at any of the Council’s permitted boat ramps.

$10

for the Coromandel Sugar Loaf Wharf (Te Kouma) permit

$8

for Whitianga Wharf floating pontoon

$6

for the Whangamata permit

THAMES Kopu Quay (Kopu), Ngarimu Bay – small boats only (Thames Coast), Ruamahanga Bay (Thames Coast) and Waiomu (Thames Coast)

WHANGAMATA Opoutere

HARBOURMASTERS Our harbourmasters’ promote the safe and navigable use of the Waikato region’s waterways by: • regular waterway patrols • removal of navigation hazards such as large logs and drifting vessels • maintenance of navigation aids and markers such as buoys, beacons and lights, within harbour limits • disposal of wrecks and derelict vessels

COROMANDEL WHITIANGA

• ensuring compliance with the Navigation Safety Bylaw through enforcement • maritime signage at boat ramps.

CONTACT WRC

You can either phone Waikato Regional Council’s freephone on 0800 800 401, or you can contact a harbourmaster directly.

Thames / Coromandel (town)

027 480 9767 TAIRUA PAUANUI F

THAMES

Whitianga

027 476 2651 Tairua / Pauanui / Whangamata

021 594 563

WHANGAMATA 155


Whangamata’s precious islands

threatened

by tourism

It is an irony of uncontrolled tourism that it can destroy the very thing that makes a site so attractive to visitor s in the fir st pl ace.

T

his is the plight that threatens a group of four islands just off the coast of Whangamata. For decades, the islands were a well-kept local secret. But in the last few years, word has gotten out on social media about the islands, especially one in particular – Whenuakura (also known as Donut Island because of the verdant lagoon in the middle of the island’s old volcanic blowhole). Whenuakura has a Facebook page dedicated to it and it has attracted rave reviews on TripAdvisor. People have posted pictures and video of themselves kayaking or paddle-boarding out to Whenuakura with rapturous descriptions of exploring the hidden lagoon in the middle. The catch is, three of the islands form the Whangamata Islands Wildlife Sanctuary including Whenuakura and landing on them without the permission of their private owners or the Department of Conservation is not allowed. The owners are a diverse group of people and families spread across New Zealand, and include descendants of Whangamata’s earliest inhabitants. They are the islands’ kaitiaki (guardians) and they are eager to see the islands return to their former glory as a protected wildlife habitat for native flora and fauna, preserving the special features that earned their status in the first place. As recently as the 1980s there were tuatara on the islands. But each illegal landing increases the risk of reinvasion by plant or animal pests. The species calling the islands their home, including seabirds, are hugely vulnerable. A single misplaced foot or hand can easily destroy underground burrows, killing the chicks and setting back the growth of an already fragile population.

156

There is also the safety of visitors to consider. While the islands are relatively close to shore, inexperienced kayakers or stand-up paddle boarders can get caught out by unpredictable changes in ocean conditions. The kaitiaki are keen to empower the Whangamata community to continue protecting their beloved backyard so future generations can experience these taonga in their primal state. The kaitiaki have been working with key stakeholders such as our Council, the Department of Conservation and Destination Coromandel. It was Destination Coromandel, our regional tourism organisation, that first noticed Whenuakura was trending on social media. They pointed out that tourism would ultimately be the destruction or preservation of the unique group of islands. Story boards explaining the significance of Whenuakura are going to be installed on the island – so the plea is to enjoy the experience of paddling into the lagoon, but don’t land. While paddling in the lagoon, take time to read the story boards and learn about the island’s history and appreciate its cultural significance. The four islands have the potential to form a world-class eco-tourism experience that protects and enhances these taonga. Tourism could act as a tool to educate visitors as to the significance of Whenuakura and its neighbours. Tourism companies could tell the stories and explain the significance of the sites. Tour guides can act as guardians while also looking out for the safety of guests exploring the coastline on kayak or paddle board. This would ultimately benefit the economy of Whangamata and the wider Coromandel while preserving a unique treasure. l

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7


Whangamata’s islands • There are four islands off the coast of Whangamata - Hauturu – the biggest. Also known as Clark Island - Maukaha – the smallest - Whenuakura – with its interior, emerald lagoon. Also known as Donut Island - Rawengaiti – also known as the Rock • The Crown have recognised ownership by Maori since 1872 • They are classified as a Maori reservation under Te Ture Whenua Maori Act • Three of the islands are classified as a wildlife sanctuary under the Wildlife Act and administered by the Department of Conservation and the kaitiaki • The islands are the ancestral home of Nga Marama - the first Polynesians to occupy the Whangamata area • Their descendants are Uru-Nga-Wera and Ngati Pu, who are whanau, and who are the kaitiaki (guardians) of the islands and tangata whenua of Whangamata

Five key messages 1. The islands are private property, please respect them 2. Three of the islands form a wildlife sanctuary 3. Huge visitor numbers means huge environmental impact 4. Help protect the native flora and fauna of these unique islands 5. The islands can help educate future generations about our wildlife and about the tangata whenua of Whangamata

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

157


ADV E R T ORI A L

Simply step in and enjoy

Tairua Marina

C

Nestled at the base of Paku Hill , with panoramic views of the Tairua Harbour , lies the newly established Tairua Marina.

ompleted in 2014, the Marina’s berths are starting to fill, attracting seasonal visitors from places like Taranaki and Hawkes Bay as well as Coromandel locals. “The benefits of the Tairua Marina, is it provides boaties with easier access to the stunning eastern Coromandel coastline,” says Craig Watts the Managing Director of Tairua Marine Limited, a solelyowned subsidiary of Watts Group Investment Limited. Craig was drawn to the project because it offered a new challenge and he’s enjoyed a long affiliation with Tairua, owning property and taking holidays there for thirty years. “I have a huge interest in boating and fishing and am a life member of Tairua-Pauanui Deep Sea Fishing Club,” he shares. The Marina is a staged development with the Clubhouse the latest building to be completed.

Tairua Marina Manager, Cath Wightman enjoying the outlook from the marina gateway.

158

“We’ve had a good set of contractors working on the job and while it’s been a long process, we are very pleased with the finished product,” says Tairua Marine Ltd Property Manager, Laurie Flynn. Upstairs at the Clubhouse, the Tairua Marina Restaurant and Bar offers spectacular views overlooking the Marina and across the Harbour to the evening lights of the Tairua and Pauanui townships. “We are currently in discussions with a clubrooms-restaurant operator and plan to be open for the upcoming summer season,” says Laurie, Retail offices are located on the ground floor with space for a marine shop now available for lease. The next phase of the Marina development is construction of Stage One of the Marina Villas. The Marina Villas are the perfect complement to the Marina, offering easy access to nearby berths,” says Marina Manager Cath Wightman. “They are low-maintenance and high quality throughout.” One of the five Villas will be used as a show home and is expected to be ready for public viewing this summer. A diverse range of people have been buying Villa apartments; both local and international visitors, couples and families. What they all have in common is their wish to live or stay near the sea. “The beauty is you can simply step in and enjoy boats moored through the back gate, take in spectacular views across the harbour and later in the day relax while the sun sets over the western hills,” says Property Manager, Laurie Flynn. The Marina has smartened up the esplanade area of Tairua, with attractive native plantings and landscaping enhancing the new building. The walkway around the Marina and adjacent public reserves provide people with the opportunity to stroll along the waterfront and enjoy the ever-changing seascape, at any time of day. Tairua’s convenient location is the most appealing aspect for anyone wanting to purchase a Tairua Marina berths and/or Villa apartments. An easy journey from all major cities and regions, it allows the transition from the chaos of the city to the tranquility of Tairua. l

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7


C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

159


ADVERTORIAL

A lot of people think of the Coromandel as a little piece of Heaven That goes double for Tairua’s newest shop owners, Robert Simmons and Kathy Helen Warner. They’ve just opened what they intend to be “New Zealand’s most amazing gallery of crystals, minerals, gemstones and jewellery.” The new shop, called Heaven and Earth, is located in the old Shells Restaurant, on the Main Road in Tairua, next door to the Tairua Information Centre. There’s a double meaning to the name Heaven and Earth, Robert and Kathy explain. The shop offers a huge array of the Earth’s minerals and gemstones, but also stones from the heavens – meteoric gemstones like Moldavite. “I also have to admit that the Coromandel seems more heavenly to me than anywhere else I’ve ever been, and the stones that come from here are not just beautiful, they have a special sweetness that speaks to me very deeply,” says Robert. “So it just seemed natural to us to bring the name Heaven and Earth to our new shop in Tairua.” The vaulted wooden ceilings and stone fireplace of the former Shells building appealed to Robert and Kathy, who are all about the natural way of life, and the venue provided a perfect backdrop to the minerals, crystals, tumbled stones and jewellery that includes a large display of Amethyst geodes, Quartz crystals, Petrified Wood, Rose Quartz, Labradorite, Carnelian, Smoky Quartz, Moonstone, Agates and other gemstones. Everything from pocket stones for as little as a dollar to decorator pieces fit to adorn a mansion are found here, and jewellery – Robert has been designing jewellery for 30 years – using gems from all over the world. “Or in the case of meteoric gems like Moldavite, from out of this world!” exclaims Robert.

Stones of NZ and The Coromandel “I’m always seeking new and interesting stones to bring into our business and into my own life,” Robert continues. “When I saw the Quartz crystals from the old Coromandel gold mines, it was love at first sight. The Coromandel Peninsula is quite a treasure trove for rockhounds, not only for Quartz crystals, but also for Carnelian, Amethyst, Jaspers, Rhyolite, Petrified Wood, Chalcedony, Chert, fossils and Kauri gum. And there are other gemstones native to both the North and South Islands. It’s not an exaggeration to say that our love affair with the stones of the

160

Coromandel was a big factor in our decision to migrate to New Zealand.” Part of the vision that guided the couple in creating Heaven and Earth in Tairua was to offer all the New Zealand gemstones and minerals, allowing both tourists and New Zealanders to discover and enjoy more of the natural heritage of this amazing land. “We’re excited about that. Our shop represents the full spectrum of New Zealand’s mineral treasures. Many of the items in this category are made right here in Tairua, by local craftsmen who work with us.” Robert and Kathy have a special passion for getting young people interested in the natural world, and stones provide a helpful avenue for that. The shop has a ‘Treasure Chest’ selection where youngsters can fill a bag full of gemstones for as little as $10. “Almost everyone collects rocks in their childhood, and most kids love tumbled gemstones and natural crystals. We’re also interested in educating young people about stones, and will offer special talks and fossicking trips, so kids can experience finding their own gemstones.” When the couple moved to New Zealand they sought to buy a rock tumbler to polish gemstones found on fossicking trips but could find no ready source of tumblers in New Zealand. It led them to start importing the best line of rock tumblers from the USA, now for sale through the shop. There are small, inexpensive ones for kids and hobbyists, up to bigger rotary and vibratory tumblers for serious lapidarists. Heaven and Earth offers books as well, among which are Robert’s own books about stones, describing their physical and scientific traits, and metaphysical and spiritual qualities. His most popular are The Book of Stones, The Pocket Book of Stones and Stones of the New Consciousness that have sold over 250,000 copies, and been translated into nine languages. Robert’s first book was Moldavite: Starborn Stone of Transformation, describing the history, science, legend and spiritual lore surrounding a very rare and mysterious stone. Moldavite is a meteoric gemstone that fell from the sky about 15 million years ago. “Moldavite is the stone that woke me up to the fact that crystals and minerals have energetic properties people can learn to perceive and work with for self-healing and expanded consciousness,” he relates. “It’s always been at the center of Heaven and Earth, and is part of what inspired its name. We’re excited to introduce people to it here.”

Stones, energies, and self-healing Sharing information and experiences about what are sometimes called “the spiritual properties of stones” is part of the service. “In the last 30 years or so, millions of people around the world have awakened to the metaphysical energies of stones. I went from being an initial skeptic, to becoming a believer, and finally a writer and teacher in this rather amazing field,” says Robert. “My own way of thinking about it now is that the Earth itself is spiritually alive, and that everything in the world has soul qualities. With stones, people can interact with those qualities, which we call ‘stone energies.’ We can utilise those energies to expand our awareness, awaken latent potentials, heal ourselves spiritually and emotionally, and develop appreciation and reverence for the Earth.” Both Robert and Kathy give classes in the USA, and plan to offer these through the Tairua shop. Kathy teaches shamanic journeying and collage as spiritual art. Robert’s classes will focus on the physical and scientific traits of stones, and their metaphysical energy qualities. Last June, Robert presented a seminar The Alchemy of Stones, to 200 crystal enthusiasts in Vermont, USA and he’s now writing a book by the same title. He is hoping to interest New Zealand stone lovers in his new approach to working with crystals and minerals.

A word from Kathy “We feel truly blessed to have relocated to the Coromandel Peninsula, and to Tairua in particular. We love the community, and we hope to make a positive contribution to our town and the surrounding area. We’ve found many good friends here already, and hope to make many more. We wish for our Heaven and Earth shop to bring an extra bit of wonder and beauty to a place that has already brought so much wonder and beauty into our lives.” l Heaven and Earth will host periodic Holistic Fairs in the rear courtyard and veranda behind the store. Practitioners and vendors of all sorts, as well as anyone interested in attending can contact Robert or Kathy Ph 07 864 8875, or email crystals@together.net Holistic Fairs, as well as classes, will be announced via email, and on the Heaven and Earth New Zealand website

www.heavenandearthcrystals.co.nz


Spin

YOUR WHEELS

IN THE HIGH COUNTRY

Epic l andscapes, great views, fresh air - mountain biking is a great way to see some of the best of what the Coromandel has to offer and the range of trails is growing. So get on your bike, hit the trails and feel the adrenalin flowing.

162

T

here are well-developed mountain biking parks in the hills outside Thames, Whangamata and Whitianga and some of the Department of Conservation trails in the Coromandel are also suitable for biking. Many of the trails have been purpose-built by dedicated volunteers, others follow historic mining tracks that were cut into the hills in the gold rush years of the 19th Century. Summertimes magazine teamed up recently with students from the Outdoor Recreation and the Visual Arts and Design classes at Thames High School to check out the Scarface tracks that the Thames Mountain Biking Club has developed. On the other side of the Coromandel, the Whangamata Ridges Mountain Bike Park has been going great guns for a few years now. The good folks there also pitched in for this feature with some photos of their trails. Enjoy the ride.


C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

163


WHERE THE TRAILS ARE FLETCHER BAY STONY BAY PORT CHARLES

COLVILLE

WHANGAPOUA

COROMANDEL TOWN

MATARANGI

KUAOTUNU

25

THAMES

WHITIANGA

Scarface trails – Thames Mountain Bike Club HAHEI COROGLEN

25

HOT WATER BEACH WHENUAKITE 25

TAPU

TE PURU

TAIRUA

KAUAERANGA VALLEY F

THAMES

PAUANUI HIKUAI

Access these trails from the end of Moanataiari Creek Road at the north end of Thames, by the St John ambulance station. At the top of the access road behind the gate there is a flat area that’s perfect for picnics, with great views over the Firth of Thames. Here there is also a pump track, a jump track, a kids loop (the Hundred-Acre Wood) and the start of the trail network. The Thames Mountain Bike Club maintains these trails, which are on public conservation land. They have ambitious plans to do more in the area and in May 2016 received a $25,000 grant from the Thames Community Board to develop the Karaka Track as a multi-use trail.

More information: www.thamesmtbclub.co.nz/home

OPOUTERE

www.facebook.com/Thamesmtbclub

ONEMANA

164

WHANGAMATA 25

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7


KAUAERANGA VALLEY

TOP OF THE COROMANDEL

For the past few years the Kauaeranga Mountain Bike Trails Trust has opened up old logging tracks to create new bike trails in a block of pine forest behind the Hotoritori campground, about 3km past the Department of Conservation Kauaeranga Visitors Centre.

There are two tracks that can be ridden that link Fletcher Bay and Stony Bay, starting at either end. The Coromandel Walkway and Mountain Bike Track is a dual-use trail and the Coromandel Mountain Bike Trail is for cyclists only. No matter which way you do it, there are outstanding views of the coast. The walkway is 10km and the mountain bike track is 8km and is an Intermediate, Grade 3 ride.

Kauaeranga Mountain Bike Trails Trust

More information: www.facebook.com/Kauaeranga-Mountain-Bike-TrailsTrust-487970408038184/ www.doc.govt.nz

WHANGAMATA

Fletcher Bay - Stony Bay

www.ridenz.co/trails/coromandel-walkway-and-mountainbike-track www.doc.govt.nz

Whangamata Ridges Mountainbike Park About 50km of trails set in a hilly mix of native bush, pine forest and recently logged areas above Whangamata. Pause at the top for a well-deserved view of the mountains and coast. There is something here for riders of all levels. Access to the park is about 5km north of Whangamata town centre off State Highway 25. You’ll need to get a permit, which can be obtained from Whangamata Pedal and Paddle on Port Road for $10 for a year. The park is on forestry land and the gates shut at 7pm. From time to time areas of trail are shut when logging is going on, so check ahead. Past the access gate is a car park and a picnic area with shade sails.

More information: www.facebook.com/ WhangamataRidgesMTBPark

WHITIANGA Whitianga Bike Park

The Whitianga Bike Park is on Moewai Road, past the wastewater plant. Within the park’s 17 hectares you’ll find nearly two dozen trails that range from novice to extreme. In all, it will take about three hours to ride it all. The trails wind through forest in the hills overlooking Mercury Bay. There is also a BMX track in the park. No charge for the trails, but the Whitianga Bike Club will happily accept contributions to the donations box to help with track maintenance.

More information: www.whitiangabikeclub.co.nz/trails.html

165


Kaiaua to Kopu to Kauaeranga The Kopu to Kaiaua extension of the Hauraki Rail Trail is the original K2K (see page 54). But now we’re looking at linking the rail trail up with the Kauaeranga Valley and the excellent walking, tramping and mountain biking on offer up there. A cycleway up the valley has been talked about for years and locals have reinvigorated the idea through the Thames Promotion Project. “We’re looking at safer ways for locals to get to local swimming holes and camping grounds, avoiding traffic risks,” says Greg Hampton, Area Manager for Thames. “We also want to enable cycle tourists to link cycleways and back country roads together as they explore the country, especially with our area attracting increasing numbers.” Related to this is the idea of developing walking, cycling and mountain bike trails accessible from the Thames CBD, along the backdrop of Thames from Tararu to the start of the Kauaeranga Valley. We want to make it easier for visitors as well as friends and family staying with locals to experience user-friendly tracks that make the most of Thames’ incredible heritage and landscapes. The remarkable closeness of the trails to the centre of town also makes for great walks and bike rides in close proximity to cafes, public toilets and more. Adding more variety and quality to our trails around town provides more reason for riders of the Hauraki Rail Trail to come all the way into Thames, including visiting historic Grahamstown and the heritage attractions.

166

Thanks to the students from Thames High’s Outdoor Education Class: Jody Weir, Cade Elliott, Cole Steffe, Jess Hayes, Ihaia Reidy, Mohjo Saunders-Thompson, John Gauch, Wade Arden and their teacher Trif Sitnikoff. And thanks to the photographers of Thames High’s Visual Arts and Design class: Kale Buchanan, Sarah Kim, Laura Reidy, Jeiarne Wright and their teacher Chloe Fergusson.

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7


Thanks to Jason Berry of the Whangamata Ridges Mountain Bike Park for the photos on this page of people enjoying the park’s trails.

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

167


Tell us what you think about our proposed bylaw rules for public places and nuisances Consultation is happening over summer and you can make a submission.

www.tcdc.govt.nz/ppn

Some things these bylaws cover are:

Busking

Horseriding on beaches and public reserves

Keeping chickens in town

Pavement and sandwich board signage

Handouts

Sports like golf on parks and beaches 168

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7


Living the lifestyle, loving the choice…

A unique and welcoming lifestyle village. Our beautiful gardens in a picturesque location provides a natural relaxed lifestyle. Adjacent to cafés, shops, amenities and healthcare facilities – we focus on active residents having fun.

Wednesdays OPEN DAY. Come and experience the difference! One and two bedroom apartments commencing soon.

82 Richmond St, Thames

Ph: 0800 868 5484

richmondvillas.co.nz


Works

around theWards When you’re in our district you probably use Council services. The local roads you drive on, the footpaths you walk on, the household rubbish you put out for collection, the water you drink from the tap, what happens to what you flush down the toilet and the books you borrow from the library. These are just some of the services our Council delivers day-to-day to help keep our communities ticking.

rubbish & recycling

waste water

drinking water

cemeteries

parks, swimming pools and sports grounds

walkways, footpaths & streetlights

roads community facilities such as halls, airfields and libraries

regulatory services like local community grants

stormwater management

dog, noise control, freedom camping, food safety and other licensing

building and resource consents

harbour facilities wharfs and boat ramps

support for visitors and tourism e.g. visitor information centres and tourism marketing

public toilets

natural hazard risk management

When and how we do some things is guided by central government legislation. We make rules that apply in our district to help keep our communities healthy, safe and enjoyable places to live in and visit; like for dog control, freedom camping, and parking. We invest in projects to help grow and sustain a healthy residential and economic base. Our big projects (what we call anchor projects) have a focus on draw cards that will bring people to the Coromandel and cater for those of us already here. To make it all happen takes planning. Council’s purpose isn’t to be a money making business. We collect funds and manage our finances so we can deliver services to our communities at the right levels and in the most cost effective way. This involves managing expensive and long life infrastructure assets, like wastewater plants, for current and future residents and ratepayers. We have several focus areas that influence how we operate and deliver services.

170

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7


Here’s a snapshot of some works in your neighbourhood. THAMES Community Board Area

Concept design of the Thames skate park.

Active Thames (2018) This is a series of projects to improve existing recreational facilities and create new recreational opportunities including:

Thames Indoor Sports Facility

Skate Park

2015/2016 & 2016/2017 ($4,192,000 over two years) A new gymnasium for community use is one component of a three-part Active Thames 2018 initiative by the Thames Community Board, Thames High School and local community. Progression is conditional on external funding and staged commitments have been met largely through community sponsorship and grants. We are in the process of finalising the design and further engagement with stakeholders before construction begins on the new gymnasium to be located at Thames High School.

2015/2016 & 2016/2017 ($308,000) Creating a family-friendly space for skateboarding, BMX and scootering is also part of the Active Sports tournament at Rhodes Park.

www.tcdc.govt.nz/thamessportsfacilities

completed shortly before Christmas 2015. The new car park has added 60 new unrestricted car parks to the town centre.

Victoria Park rock wall fixed up

Thames Centennial Pool.

Sub-regional aquatic centre (investigations) 2017/2018 ($53,000) The current 25 metre Thames swimming pool is due for some significant work in 2021 if it’s to keep operating. We’re going to investigate replacing it with a 50 metre pool as a new sub-regional facility. This will support local swimmers (who enjoy great success) and enable our popular pool programmes to keep growing.

In recent years, the rock wall protection underneath the picturesque Underfoot Gallery at the edge of the Firth of Thames had become destabilised in places. Some parts of the stopbank had no further layers of rock separating the soil from the sea. Original rock was temporarily removed and geotextile cloth (to help reduce further erosion) was laid as a base for the now reinforced wall. Also improved is the view from

New carpark at Mackay Street Construction of the new parking lot on Mackay Street next to the bowling club was

C O R O M A N D E L

Mackay Street carpark being built.

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

Thames 2018 initiative. The intended design will include fun features for young people of all ages and the space will be an extension of the existing playground area at Porritt Park. Construction starts in 2016.

Rhodes Park grandstand and clubrooms 2018/2019 ($2.9 million) Improving the grandstand and clubroom facilities at Rhodes Park is the third component of the Active Thames 2018 programme of work. Detailed investigation of options to best meet current and future needs will begin in 2017/2018 and then we’ll carry out work in 2018/2019. We want to make Rhodes Park a bigger feature on the sub-regional sports map.

the shingle car park at the end of Albert Street. The unsightly concrete slabs are covered by a continuation of the rocky stopbanks, giving a more uniform appearance. The work was finished off with grass seeding in the park and planting of low coastal native plants between the footpath and the rocky stopbank.

Thames Valley Water Project This covers Matatoki, Puriri, Omahu and Hikutaia and has been identified on our plans for a number of years to replace or renew supply pipes as well as work on new, longer-term resource consents to take water from water catchments. We have completed the renewal of two water mains at Factory Road South in Wharepoa, and Ferry Road in Hikutaia and have laid a new 150mm trunk main between Matatoki and Puriri. Ongoing work 2016/2017 will include an upgrade on Puriri Valley Road and connection works at each end of the new Puriri-Matatoki main. Investigations into storage options (reservoirs) for Puriri and Omahu will be undertaken and metering of all connected properties will be completed. www.tcdc.govt.nz/thamesvalleywater

171


MERCURY BAY Community Board Area

The newly completed restoration of Old Ferry Landing Wharf.

Mercury Bay Boat Ramps

Matarangi Boat Ramp upgrade

Whitianga boat ramps: 2016/2017 and 2017/2018 ($635,000) The Wharf boat ramp has congestion issues that will only get worse with increased growth and demand. Supporting ramps are not usable at all tides. We’re working with stakeholders to find the best solution that will meet current and future needs.

2017/2018 ($210,000) The estuary boat ramp gets highly congested, especially in summer. We’re working on a solution that includes a floating pontoon to make launching boats easier and faster, and will introduce pay and display parking.

Boat launching in Mercury Bay.

Cooks Beach Purangi ramp upgrade and new pontoon

Whitianga town centre upgrade 2016/2017 – 2019/2020 ($3.4 million) The area for upgrade includes Albert Street from Campbell Street to Hannan Road, Taylors Mistake and the Esplanade area. The first piece of the project to be started will be the main street. The aim is to revitalise the Town Centre to support economic and visitor growth, and to improve the quality of the town centre for local residents. Infrastructure such as water supply and stormwater pipes under the road will also be renewed as part of the project. www.tcdc.govt.nz/whiticentreupgrade

Old Ferry Landing Wharf Refurbishment of the old stone wharf at Ferry Landing has been completed. Over the past 18 months we’ve rebuilt the walls and old stone steps that lead up from the Wharf to the landing, using some of the original stones from the Wharf, which were recovered from the sea floor below. Professional stonemasons were also brought on site to ensure the repaving of the landing platform was in keeping with the historical heritage of the site. The old concrete petrol pump bases have been removed and new wooden marine bollards and seating installed. www.tcdc.govt.nz/oldferrylanding

2016/2017 ($179,000) We’re looking at improvements to make boat launching easier at different tides and to reduce congestion issues. A pontoon will be installed with pay and display parking to reduce the cost to ratepayers. This is expected to be completed before summer 2016-17.

172

Concept design for Whitanga town centre upgrade, Albert Street.

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7


Mercury Bay Multi-Sport Park. Photo: Mercury Bay Informer

Sarah Avenue stormwater improvements 2016/17 ($739,000) This project is to minimise stormwater ponding that occurs in the Sarah Avenue area during times of high tide and heavy rain. Works involve installation of larger pipes to clear the stormwater quicker.

Mercury Bay Multi-Sport Park The final two fields at the sports park will have sand slitting completed, meaning all fields will be able to be used in virtually all weather. www.tcdc.govt.nz/mbsportpark

Hahei carpark We are progressing the building of a formal carpark at the entrance to Hahei Village. This will be provided for visitors to park to access attractions of the area including Cathedral Cove, the Hahei Beach and the businesses of the village.

Hot Water Beach Facilities Plans are being finalised and consents obtained for the rebuilding of the main toilet and changing facility and also a toilet facility near to the ‘Bull Paddock’ car park. This will replace the portaloo we have used previously. These facilities will be completed by autumn 2017.

Bluff Road In April 2016 Council approved that the western end of Bluff Rd (between Matarangi and Suckers Rock/Rings Beach) is closed on Christmas Day. The road will remain closed until a better, more cost-effective option presents itself. There remains a walking track linking Matarangi and Rings Beach and SH25 continues to provide the primary transport link to Matarangi.

COROMANDEL-COLVILLE Community Board Area Repair storm damaged roads from Kennedy Bay and north Design of permanent reinstatement work required for the two major dropout sites on Kennedy Bay Road were completed in July 2016 with a soil nail methodology being used for the site nearer Coromandel Town and post and panel retaining wall for the site nearer the Tokatea hill summit. The physical repair works will overlap and are planned for completion prior to Christmas 2016.

Coromandel Town aerial.

Coro Sportsville 2016/2017 ($473,000) We want to provide relevant and affordable sport and recreation facilities for the Coromandel area that meet current and future needs. The first stage is to build a new outdoor netball court and upgrade the existing netball courts at the Coromandel Area School.

Repair of other areas damaged by the April 2016 storm event will continue during the 2016/17 year with all work estimated to cost $1.85M scheduled for completion by April 2017. The cost of this work attracts NZ Transport Agency subsidy.

The Coromandel is now certified motorhome friendly.

Coromandel Town NZMCA Motorhome Friendly Town The first of the Coromandel Peninsula towns to be classified by NZMCA as a motorhome friendly town. The scheme provides a set of amenities and services that guarantee motor caravanners a warm welcome and an enjoyable visit. With on-the-road motor home expenditures exceeding $650M annually ($211M of which come from NZMCA members), the message is clear- motorhomers and communities can certainly establish a mutually beneficial relationship. Thames, Whitianga and Whangamata will also be motorhome friendly towns by the end of 2016. www.mhftowns.com

Kennedy Bay Road.

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

173


TAIRUA-PAUANUI Community Board Area

Tairua wharf.

Tairua – Mary Beach wharf and boat ramp improvements

Pauanui – Royal Billy Point boat ramp and pontoon improvements

The $1.4M rebuild of the Tairua Wharf at Mary’s Beach and a new boat launching pontoon will start in the first quarter of 2017. The construction work includes widening and improving the existing boat ramp to help with launching at low tide and two additional 30-metre floating pontoons to help boat launching at all tides. www.tcdc.govt.nz/tairuawharf

2017/2018 & 2018/19 ($490,000) We’re getting a working group together to start looking at options to improve the existing boat launching facilities which includes the replacement of the pontoon.

Tairua Water Supply Construction works will be undertaken to improve the quality and capacity of the water abstraction from the Pepe Stream. (Approx $380k).

WHANGAMATA Community Board Area Whangamata Beach Road playground upgrade 2016/2017 ($108,000) The playground is old and deteriorating faster than expected. We needed to replace all the equipment to keep it safe. Following consultation with key users we have designed and built a fantastic new playground just in time for the summer influx.

Hetherington Road fitness trail The new fitness trail that runs from Hetherington Road along the estuary has fourteen work-out stations installed along with signage on how to use the equipment. The fitness trail has a shoulder and chest press, sit-up bench, balance beam, chin up bars, parallel bars, climbing wall and other work-out stations.

174

Local students using the Hetherington Road fitness trail.

Grahams Creek Update Flood protection works are now being completed by the Waikato Regional Council, following the extension of the one-lane bridge at the Manaia Causeway, which our Council built. Some 12,000 plants may be put into the ground and community volunteers will be asked to help. www.tcdc.govt.nz/grahams-creek

Williamson Park redevelopment.

Whangamata Williamson Park redevelopment 2015/16 & 2016/2017 ($687,000) This is a popular reserve hosting major events, but the park was old and tired so we removed over 100 pine trees, planted dozens of new trees, completely re-contoured the park, built a new road and more parking bays and constructed a boardwalk in front of the Surf Club. Phase two involves the relocation and rebuilding of the stage. www.tcdc.govt.nz/williamson

Whangamata priority kerb and channel programme 2016/2017 ($840,000) Some streets in Whangamata don’t have kerbs. We’ve been working on a two year programme to tidy this up with mountable or flush kerbs (so people can still drive over the kerbs and park on road berms). We’ll also address some surface ponding issues at the same time.


Holiday home rentals made easy. Earn effortless rental income from your holiday home this summer and beyond with Bachcare, New Zealand’s leading full-service holiday home rental management experts. We take care of all the details, so you don’t have to!

Discover a better way to rent with Bachcare.

0800 42 22 42 / bachcare.co.nz

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT AND HOMES FOR RENT “Our expertise in property management will ensure your investment property is well looked after. You can just sit back and relax. We also offer a selection of quality rental homes for tenants.” We welcome your enquiry at 7 The Esplanade, Whitianga (along from the wharf).

7 The Esplanade, Whitianga 3510 PO Box 282, Whitianga 3542 T: F: E: W: F:

Property Manager:

Robyn Turner

M: 027 550 0120 E: robyn.turner@bayleys.co.nz

07 866 0098 07 866 0073 coromandel@bayleys.co.nz www.bayleys.co.nz Bayleys Real Estate Whitianga

MH Realty Ltd | A member of Bayleys Realty Group. | Licensed under the Real Estate Agent Act 2008

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

175


From Toddlers to

Olympians

J

It’s early afternoon on a sunny winter day and Paul Duft y is at the desk inside ‘the dome’ at Thames Centennial Pool .

ust about every swimmer greets Thames Pool Manager Paul by name; most of the users on this day are regulars at this little community within a community on the corner of Mackay St and SH25 in Thames. The dome is up for four months of the year in winter, and the 25m pool is kept at a cosy 29.5 deg C. It’s a little warm for the swimmers who train in the squads, but it’s a balance, Paul explains, to get it right for everyone from toddlers to super fit athletes. Thames Pool is getting busier by the month, and the programmes led by Paul and his staff have produced incredible talent, crowned by Olympian Helena Gasson who competed in the 2016 Rio Olympics. There are nine learn to swim instructors and coaches, over 400 people in the swim school, and more than 100 in the squads. This afternoon has drawn a mostly older clientele of swimmers, but tonight the pool will be filled to the brim by two squads and four Learn to Swim schools plus recreational swimmers. At other times during the week the Hot Water Beach lifeguards will arrive for their weekly off-season training session, aqua-aerobics classes will be held, local schools will utilise the pool and people will travel from Whitianga, Tairua, Whangamata and even Waihi to get in the water at Thames Pool. “I’m stoked people are seeing the importance of being active now, people want to look after themselves a bit more, and it can get so busy during early mornings and afterschool that it’s nuts,” says Paul. “Mums and dads will come to the Learn to Swim programme with their kids and

Where to swim

Thames Pool Manager Paul Dufty.

then they’ll start coming for swims too. We’ve got so much going on that we’ve just about outgrown the size of the pool. “Hey – it’s all good problems to have.” Apart from the addition of the dome which keeps the pool warmer in winter, the last (and only major) work completed since it was built in

Thames

Coromandel

There is a strong swimming club and they offer lessons, look on the Mercury Bay Swimming Club website or find them on facebook www.swimmingwaikato.co.nz/clubs/ mercury-bay

Thames Pool summer opening hours (from first week in December);

A learn to swim programme starts 9 January daily for two weeks. Private lessons are also available.

Whangamata

Mackay Street, Thames, Ph 07 868 8441. Find out about programmes on www.tcdc.govt.nz/swim and sign up for newsletters.

Monday – Friday 6.00am-6.30pm, Wednesday 6.00am-6.30pm (open all day no close period), Saturday and Sunday 11.00am-5.00pm, Closed public holidays

The community pool in Coromandel is run by the Coromandel Community Recreational Society and our Council provides a grant toward their operations.

During school terms in terms 4 and 1 the pool is open the following hours; Monday – Saturday 6.00am-8.00am, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 3.00pm-5.00pm, weekends and public holidays: 12.00pm-5.00pm. During school holidays (9 Dec – 2 Feb) the pool is open; Monday to Saturday 6.00am-8.00am and 12.00pm-5.00pm and Sunday 12.00pm-5.00pm. Closed Christmas Day.

At the Whangamata Area School Opening Labour weekend 22 October 11.00am-5.30pm, week days lane swimming 6.30am-9.00am and 12.15pm-1.15pm and public swimming weekdays 3.00pm-5.30 pm. Weekend hours are 11.00am-5.30pm. School holiday week day hours are; Lane swimming 6.30am-10.30am, public swimming 11.00am-5.30pm. Weekend hours stay the same throughout the season. Closed Christmas day.

Whitianga 176

Mercury Bay Area School has a Community Pool open to the public in the weekends. C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7


Thames Swim Club alumni swimmer competes in Rio

1974 was a boiler added about six years ago, which runs on waste fuel from a nearby mill. Thames Community Board funded a Feasibility Study for an upgraded pool, with the hope of creating a regional facility based at the Thames Pool. For now, among the roles that the facility fulfils is to serve schools, Thames Valley swim sports, support surf lifesaving club training needs and it has become a focal point both socially and recreationally for Thames and the wider community. Of course it is vital in teaching water skills to the community and its visitors, in a country that still has a high drowning rate and in a District that is inundated by beachgoers expecting surf lifeguards to be there to rescue them when in trouble. Stuart Hammond holds a 50-year service badge for Surf Lifesaving service at Karekare in Auckland, but he has only just started regularly swimming again since moving to the Thames Coast a few months ago. For the past 10 years he lived in Whitianga, where there wasn’t a facility to swim in during winter and summer hours had to be juggled with the Mercury Bay Area School where the pool is located. “I’ve been swimming all my life and I’ve been involved in surf lifesaving all my life too,” says Stuart. Living in Whitianga where the only pool is the school pool, you had to use it after 7pm in summer which didn’t work for me. Now that I live here I swim three times a week. Swimming is the best there is. You are exercising the whole of the body, without putting any strain on it.” l

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

Thames Swim Club alumni Helena Gasson swam her way into the Rio 2016 Olympic Games after qualifying for the 100m butterfly, as well as breaking the New Zealand record. Helena spent her high school years training in the TCDC-run squad programme and swam for the Thames Amateur swim club competitively. Paul Dufty says Helena was always first to training every morning at 6am and again in the evening, and inspired younger swimmers with the way she attacked every session in the pool. Our Council Squads and the Thames Swim Club are at record numbers. “It’s possible we have other champions currently in our programmes; we have a wealth of talent and it’s exciting times at the Thames Centennial Pool,” says Paul. “For those in our squad programme who swam with Helena and those younger swimmers coming through the ranks, it shows them that you can reach the top of the sport no matter where you start.”

VITAL STATS Helena Gasson Date of birth: Height and weight: Events:

December 08, 1994 (Age 21) 1.72 m /5’ 8’’, 76 kg Womens 100m butterfly Women’s 200m Butterfly

177


DISTRICT LIBRARY NEWS

A place for good ideas I

Bringing ‘books to life’ is one of the roles our District Libraries offer, which includes free author talks about topics which capture the interest of our communities.

n early 2016, author and cheese expert, Jean Mansfield hosted a cheese-making demonstration for the public, which was a hit across the district. People came to the Thames, Tairua and Whitianga libraries to learn how to make haloumi, feta and mozarella, which they could then recreate in the comfort of their kitchens. Tairua resident Donna Brooke attended the session and then went home to apply what she had learnt: “It was fantastic to get all those handy hints from Jean. My first attempt at mozzarella was delicious.” Jean sold copies of her latest book ‘How to make cheese’ at the library events, and requests to reserve library copies proved popular. Local Kuaotunu author, Isabel Gilbert-Palmer brought a stimulating splash of culture to the libraries at her event held at Thames, Tairua and Mercury Bay. Isabel shared excerpts and images from her book, ‘Formidable Florists’, bringing an understanding of floral artistry to people in the Coromandel. Her presentation educated, informed and inspired those who attended, showcasing the best of the art form on a worldwide scale. Isabel’s extensive knowledge about international floral artists offered a rare insight into an exquisite form of fine art. Our District Library service also plays a key role in connecting children with authors at the Auckland Writers Festival Schools Programme this year. One of our local librarians introduced awareness of the programme to Opoutere and Tairua schools, ensuring keen young creative writers were given the opportunity to attend. The festival is an annual sell-out success on the New Zealand literary calendar, with many Auckland schools sending hundreds of students. Tairua School teacher Sam Telfar took six students to the festival: “We were very impressed with the writers we saw in the main arena; Michael Grant and Tusiata Avia, and enjoyed our workshop with sports writer David Riley,” says Mr Telfar.

Tairua library’s creative writing students from Tairua School attending the Auckland Writers Festival.

Our public libraries exist to connect people with a world of ideas, whatever form they may take. Good ideas can still be found between the pages of a book, which is why libraries still have book collections. They can also be found on the internet, in digital resources, through creative and innovative programmes, and in conversation with knowledgeable people. Discover all of the above and access it for free, at your local TCDC library.

What’s on at Thames, Tairua and Mercury Bay Libraries this summer? Visit www.tcdc.govt.nz/library and sign up for our enewsletter to be the first to find out about all our fun activities for kids. Or follow us on Facebook www.facebook.com/tcdclibraries

178

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7


DISTRICT LIBRARY NEWS

Access for all customers O ur district housebound service has been operating for many years, bringing books to people who are unable to leave the house to visit their local library for a variety of reasons. Hunsa Newland is our Thames Librarian who oversees our team of library volunteers who help deliver books to those who are housebound. The books chosen are based on a selection profile created for every housebound customer. The books are then bundled up and delivered every three weeks. Sometimes, the only person a housebound customer will see in a day is the volunteer making a library delivery. Volunteers often make time for a chat, providing social contact and company to those in isolated or lonely circumstances. To save the hassle of worrying about when and how to return their books, housebound customers are exempt from fines and do not receive overdue notices. Their books are renewed by the librarians if necessary and collected for returning by the volunteer team. “Most of our housebound customers are unable to visit the library due to illness or infirmity so they use the service indefinitely,” explains Hunsa.

Thames library volunteer Elaine Petty selecting books for housebound delivery.

For those w can't get ho to District L our ibraries – we can come to you.

“Sometimes a housebound customer is unable to visit the library on a temporary basis due to recovery from an injury or illness.” Anyone who is housebound can register for this service, and enquiries are welcomed by family members, friends or caregivers of the person concerned. If an individual is undergoing surgery and requires a long period of convalescence, they are welcome to contact their local district library to set up the service beforehand. Local Aged Care facilities use the service too; currently several residents in rest homes are registered housebound customers. Our library team have even been known to deliver to people in hospital. And sometimes it’s not just about delivering books. “If someone is sight-impaired and unable to visit the library, we select and deliver audio books for them,” explains Hunsa. Thames resident, Waverney Whitehead has been receiving Thames Library’s housebound service for several months. “It works very well,” she says. “I like the fact they come to me. It is such a production to get down to the library and if I do get there I can’t see very well anyway. I like the audio books they select for me. I really like biographies, especially New Zealand memoirs. And I really enjoy a good detective story.” Along with large print titles, there are dvds, magazines and ebooks available for any housebound customer, ensuring they’ll never be short of information or entertainment. The housebound service is entirely free, ensuring all customers within our district have access to public library services. l

“Anyone who is housebound can register for this service, and enquiries are welcomed by family members, friends or caregivers of the person concerned.”

THAMES LIBRARY 503 MACKAY ST, THAMES 3500 07 868 6616 thameslibrary@tcdc.govt.nz

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

TAIRUA LIBRARY 2 MANAIA RD, TAIRUA 3508 07 864 7960 tairualibrary@tcdc.govt.nz

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

MERCURY BAY LIBRARY 22 VICTORIA ST, WHITIANGA 3510 07 866 4776 mblibrary@tcdc.govt.nz

179


HOUNDS on Holiday T

Oscar

Bringing your hound on holiday is easier now our local rules are clear and easy to understand for both our residents and visitors.

he new rules came into effect from 1 August 2016, and there may be some changes which could affect where and what time you walk your dog, particularly over the peak summer period. The new rules help to strike a balance between different community needs and preferences, managing public health and safety as well as providing exercise and recreational opportunities for dogs and their owners. We’ve also considered the need to protect wildlife such as dotterel and kiwi. Although most of our rules are area specific, we do have some that cover the whole district. Here are the district wide rules: All beaches and parts of beaches (excluding areas described in the bylaw’s area specific rules) – Off leash but under control at all dates and times. All public places (excluding beaches and excluding other public places described in the bylaw’s area specific rules) – On leash and under control at all dates and times.

Within children’s playgrounds – Prohibited at all dates and times. On sports surfaces – Prohibited at all dates and times. Areas identified with temporary restrictions and/or signs – Prohibited or on leash for the duration of the temporary restriction and/or when signs are in place.

Prohibited, Restricted and Exercise Areas Prohibited, restricted and exercise area are three terms we use to explain the rules, and you will see the symbols used on all of our dog related signs. Here is a definition of what they mean:

PROHIBITED: This means no dogs at all. We have some areas that are prohibited all year round, but most are during the dotterel nesting season so the prohibition is from Labour Weekend to 1 March at all times. Outside of these times, areas will have other rules such as Little Waikawau (west coast) where dogs are prohibited Labour Weekend to 1 March and allowed on leash at all other dates and times.

RESTRICTED: We use the restricted term for the summer period and holiday weekends. It means that there are restrictions around where you can take your dog during certain dates and times. For instance Brophys Beach prohibits dogs from the beach from 20 December to 31 January and all holiday weekends between the hours of 9am and 6pm. All other dates and times you can run your dog under control and off leash.

EXERCISE AREAS: You can have your dog off leash but under control at all dates and times.

Community Environment Administrator Anouska Greene and her pretty pooch Stella.

The definitions of beaches, public places, children’s playgrounds and sports surfaces can be found on our website along with the area specific rules.

✆ Call 07 868 0200 for questions or complaints. www.tcdc.govt.nz/dogs

180


us

Tiberi

ella

St

Diva

Gizmo

These lovely models are just a small sample of dogs belonging to our staff.

A responsible dog owner...

Picks up their dog’s poo

Has their dog under control on and off the leash

Carries a leash at all times

Community Environment Administrator Hillary Hodges keeps wee Oscar under control even off the lead.

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

181


HAPPY HOUNDS and happy humans Not all people are dog lovers and not all dogs are people lovers, we get that.

Coromandel-Colville:

It’s all about balance between managing community health and safety while providing exercise and recreational opportunities for dogs and their owners, especially over summer and public holidays. We also take into consideration the need to protect wildlife, such as NZ dotterel, kiwi and pateke (brown teal).

• Patukirikiri Reserve (grassed area west of courts and skate bowl as indicated by signs)

To get the balance as right as we can, we have ‘dates and times’ restrictions to make sure everyone gets an opportunity to enjoy their summer on the Coromandel. These rules are: • From Labour Weekend to 1 March at all times (inclusive) • From 20 December to 31 January and all holiday weekends, between 9am and 6pm (inclusive) We have made it easy for you by making a list of the exercise areas and prohibited areas in our district. If in doubt follow the signs and check the full area specific rules on our website www.tcdc.govt.nz/dogrules

Exercise Areas – off leash but under control at all dates and times:

• Port Jackson Beach (southern half of the beach) • All beaches and parts of beaches (excluding areas defined in the Schedule 1 area rules which can be found on our website)* *Prohibited or on leash may be in place from Labour weekend to 1 March at all times (inclusive) or from 20 December to 31 January and all holiday weekends, between 9am and 6pm (inclusive) as indicated by signs. On leash and under control at all dates and times: • Carey Road Beach (entire Beach) • All public places excluding beaches and excluding other public places described in the Schedule 1 area rules (found on our website) Prohibited at all dates and times: • Waikawau Bay (east coast) – entire beach – prohibited at all dates and times • Within children’s playgrounds • On sports surfaces

Mercury Bay:

Exercise Areas – off leash but under control at all dates and times: • Cooks Beach – Purangi Reserve (as indicated by signs), • Hot Water Beach (Old Campground – the western point of Pye Place Reserve bordering Taiwawe Stream as indicated by signs), • Matarangi (Omara Boat Ramp Reserve as indicated by signs), • Robinson Road Reserve (Whitianga part of the reserve west of the Robinson Road and Arthur Street intersection, as indicated by signs) • Buffalo Beach – North of the Mercury Bay Boating Club to the south end of Brophys / Ohuka Beach • Kuaotunu – 400m either side of Quarry Point boat ramp • Otama – Eastern end east of Otama Stream • All beaches and parts of beaches (excluding areas defined in the Schedule 1 area rules which can be found on our website)* 182


*Prohibited or on leash may be in place from Labour weekend to 1 March at all times (inclusive) or from 20 December to 31 January and all holiday weekends, between 9am and 6pm (inclusive) as indicated by signs.

*Prohibited or on leash may be in place from Labour weekend to 1 March at all times (inclusive) or from 20 December to 31 January and all holiday weekends, between 9am and 6pm (inclusive) as indicated by signs.

On leash and under control at all dates and times:

On leash and under control at all dates and times:

• Whangapoua – Opera Point southern spit (area including carpark and beach area as indicated by signs) • Matarangi Beach Walkway • All public places excluding beaches and excluding other public places described in the Schedule 1 area rules (found on our website) Prohibited at all dates and times: • Matarangi Beach (northern spit adjacent to the golf course excluding walkway as indicated by signs) • Wainuiototo/New Chums Beach (entire beach) • Whangapoua Beach north (the north side of Mangakahia car park (near lagoon) to the northern end of Whangapoua beach as indicated by signs) • Within children’s playgrounds • On sports surfaces

• Burke Street Beach – entire beach • All public places excluding beaches and excluding other public places described in the Schedule 1 area rules (found on our website) Prohibited at all dates and times: • Within children’s playgrounds • On sports surfaces

Whangamata: Exercise Areas – off leash but under control at all dates and times: • Opoutere bush north – the area north from the point at which the car park bridge crosses the stream and the southernmost beach access as indicated by signs • Heatherington Road Reserve

Tairua-Pauanui:

• Park Avenue Reserve as indicated by signs

Exercise Areas – off leash but under control at all dates and times: • Pleasant Point Reserve (area south of the bollards to Ajax Head as indicated by signs) • South End Reserve (western side of South End Reserve as indicated by signs) • All beaches and parts of beaches (excluding areas defined in the Schedule 1 area rules which can be found on our website)* *Prohibited or on leash may be in place from Labour weekend to 1 March at all times (inclusive) or from 20 December to 31 January and all holiday weekends, between 9am and 6pm (inclusive) as indicated by signs. On leash and under control at all dates and times: • Pauanui Boat Ramp • All public places excluding beaches and excluding other public places described in the Schedule 1 area rules (found on our website) Prohibited at all dates and times:

• Patiki Bay Reserve area located at the end of Durrant Drive and the adjoining reserve as indicated by signs • Whangamata Otahu estuary – west from beach access 20 • Whangamata Estuary – from the Whangamata Marina to 100 metres south of the Whangamata Wharf • All beaches and parts of beaches (excluding areas defined in the Schedule 1 area rules which can be found on our website)* *Prohibited or on leash may be in place from Labour weekend to 1 March at all times (inclusive) or from 20 December to 31 January and all holiday weekends, between 9am and 6pm (inclusive) as indicated by signs. On leash and under control at all dates and times: • Opoutere Beach – entire beach excluding southern end as indicated by signs • All public places excluding beaches and excluding other public places described in the Schedule 1 area rules (found on our website) Prohibited at all dates and times: • Opoutere Beach south – Sandspit and Wharekawa Estuary and south end bush, south from the point at which the car park bridge crosses the stream and the southernmost beach access but excluding the loop track (loop track on leash) as indicated by signs

• Boat Harbour Beach (entire beach) • Otara Bay (entire beach) • Within children’s playgrounds • On sports surfaces

• Within children’s playgrounds

Thames:

• On sports surfaces

Exercise Areas – off leash but under control at all dates and times: • Burke Street Reserve – (the reserve area inland of the beach and directly south of Burke Street as indicated by signs) • All beaches and parts of beaches (excluding areas defined in the Schedule 1 area rules which can be found on our website)*

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

All of the area specific rules and maps of Whangamata, Whitianga and Pauanui can be found on our website

www.tcdc.govt.nz/dogrules

183


Summer Kerb Onemana & Opoutere

Whangamata

Pauanui

SH25 to Kopu-Hikuai Road

Monday

Monday

Monday

Wednesday

Wednesday Saturday

Saturday Please put your Kerbside collections out by 9:00am

Saturday

Please put your Kerbside collections out by 9:00am

Please put your Kerbside collections out by 9:00am

Summer Weekly Kerbside Collection

Summer Weekly Kerbside Collection

Summer Weekly Kerbside Collection

STARTS 26 December 2016 ENDS 11 February 2017

STARTS 26 December 2016 ENDS 11 February 2017

STARTS 26 December 2016 ENDS 11 February 2017

www.tcdc.govt.nz/kerbside

www.tcdc.govt.nz/kerbside

www.tcdc.govt.nz/kerbside

Mercury Bay North Kuaotunu to Whangapoua

Tuesday

Coromandel Rural North

Coromandel Town & Te Kouma

Tuesday

Wednesday 28 December 2016 Wednesday 4 January 2017 Wednesday 11 January 2017 Wednesday 18 January 2017

Friday

Wednesday 25 January 2017

Friday

Thursday 2 February 2017* Thursday 9 February 2017*

Please put your Kerbside collections out by 9:00am

Please put your Kerbside collections out by 9:00am

*Auckland Anniversary and Waitangi Day collections have been moved to the following day Please put your Kerbside collections out by 9:00am

Summer Weekly Kerbside Collection

Summer Weekly Kerbside Collection

Summer Weekly Kerbside Collection

STARTS 27 December 2016 ENDS 10 February 2017

STARTS 27 December 2016 ENDS 10 February 2017

STARTS 28 December 2016 ENDS 9 February 2017

www.tcdc.govt.nz/kerbside

www.tcdc.govt.nz/kerbside

www.tcdc.govt.nz/kerbside

Summer Refuse Transfer Station Hours Monday 19 December 2016 – Sunday 26 February 2017 184

WHANGAMATA Monday to Friday 8:30am to 4pm Saturday 10:30am to 5:30pm Sunday 10:30am to 6:30pm Public Holidays 10:30am to 6:30pm PAUANUI Monday to Friday 12:30pm to 5:30pm Saturday 10:30am to 5:30pm Sunday 10:30am to 6:30pm Public Holidays 10:30am to 6:30pm

Summer Kerbside Collections C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 5 - 2 0 1 6


side Collections Tairua

Mercury Bay South

Including Whenuakite and SH25 north to Wade Road

East of SH25

Monday

Monday

Please put your Kerbside collections out by 9:00am

Including Centennial Heights and Wharekaho

Tuesday

Thursday

Thursday

Whitianga Town

Friday

Please put your Kerbside collections out by 9:00am

Please put your Kerbside collections out by 9:00am

Summer Weekly Kerbside Collection

Summer Weekly Kerbside Collection

Summer Weekly Kerbside Collection

STARTS 26 December 2016 ENDS 9 February 2017

STARTS 26 December 2016 ENDS 9 February 2017

STARTS 27 December 2016 ENDS 10 February 2017

www.tcdc.govt.nz/kerbside

www.tcdc.govt.nz/kerbside

www.tcdc.govt.nz/kerbside

Thames Coast & Manaia

Thames and Surrounds Puriri Village North to Tararu

Week 1

Tuesday 27 December 2016

007

Bond Street Bin 1

Do not remove from this address

Tue 1

Wednesday

Tuesday 3 January 2017

28 December 2016

Wednesday

Wednesday 11 January 2017

Wednesday

Wednesday 18 January 2017

Wednesday

Wednesday 25 January 2017

18 January 2017

Tuesday 24 January 2017

25 January 2017

Wednesday 1 February 2017*

Thursday

Thursday 2 February 2017*

Thursday

Thursday 9 February 2017*

2 February 2017*

Wednesday 8 February 2017*

9 February 2017*

*Auckland Anniversary and Waitangi Day collections have been moved to the following day

Please put your Kerbside collections out by 7:30am

*Auckland Anniversary and Waitangi Day collections have been moved to the following day

Please put your Kerbside collections out by 7:30am

Summer Kerbside Collection

Summer Kerbside Collection

STARTS 27 December 2016 ENDS 8 February 2017

STARTS 28 December 2016 ENDS 9 February 2017

www.tcdc.govt.nz/kerbside

www.tcdc.govt.nz/kerbside

TAIRUA Monday to Friday 12:30pm to 5:30pm Saturday 10:30am to 5:30pm Sunday 10:30am to 6:30pm Public Holidays 10:30am to 6:30pm WHITIANGA Monday to Friday 8:30am to 5:30pm Saturday 10:30am to 5:30pm Sunday 10:30am to 6:30pm Public Holidays 10:30am to 6:30pm C O R O M A N D E L

28 December 2016 Wednesday 4 January 2017

11 January 2017

Tuesday 17 January 2017

Week 2 Wednesday

Wednesday

4 January 2017

Tuesday 10 January 2017

1 or 2

MATARANGI Monday to Friday 12:30pm to 5:30pm Saturday 10:30am to 5:30pm Sunday 10:30am to 6:30pm Public Holidays 10:30am to 6:30pm COROMANDEL Monday to Friday 11am to 4:30pm Saturday 10:30am to 5:30pm Sunday 10:30am to 6:30pm Public Holidays 10:30am to 6:30pm

Thames South Rural South of Puriri Village

Thursday 29 December 2016 Thursday 5 January 2017 Thursday 12 January 2017 Thursday 19 January 2017 Thursday 26 January 2017 Friday 3 February 2017* Friday 10 February 2017* *Auckland Anniversary and Waitangi Day collections have been moved to the following day

Please put your Kerbside collections out by 7:30am

Summer Kerbside Collection STARTS 29 December 2016 ENDS 10 February 2017 www.tcdc.govt.nz/kerbside

THAMES Monday to Friday 8:30am to 2:30pm Saturday 10:30am to 5:30pm Sunday 10:30am to 6:30pm Public Holidays 10:30am to 6:30pm

www.tcdc.govt.nz/rts

www.tcdc.govt.nz/kerbside

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 5 - 2 0 1 6

185


Opportunities for all A

new reuse And recycling centre in

coromAndel town

brings

o p p o r t u n i t y to t h e c o m m u n i t y w h e n i t o p e n s i n t h e n e w y e A r .

T

he centre will offer a shop where people can purchase items, along with a repair workshop where discarded items can be mended or re-purposed before going on sale in the shop. Guy Macindoe is the project manager for the Coromandel Community Reuse Centre, initiated by Coromandel Independent Living Trust (CILT). He says the vision to establish a reuse facility at the Hauraki Rd transfer station has been in the planning phase for nearly four years. The centre is aimed at helping reduce the volume of waste that ends up in the landfill. The facility’s on-site workshop offers an opportunity for local youth to do work skills training, learning from others’ expertise. It will also create volunteering and paid employment opportunities, giving people the chance to make a positive contribution to the community. There will be many ways to help at the centre, from salvaging materials to operating the shop, and providing workskills training for youth. Coromandel Town has long prided itself on being a sustainability savvy community, and the new facility makes reuse not only possible, but accessible and enjoyable too. The arts community of Coromandel will benefit from the centre, as treasures big and

Drop-off and pick-up used items and materials for reuse, coming to Coromandel this year.

TOP TIPS

• If you have left over agrichemicals or farm chemicals and containers, contact AgRecovery 0800 247 326. • Take old computers, ewaste laptops, TVs and other Transfer Station. This e to Coromandel Refus l g once the Coromande service will be expandin e is operational. Community Reuse Centr

to reduce your wast e

• Leftover paint? /paintwise.php Visit www.resene.co.nz on aste.co.nz for top tips • Visit lovefoodhatew left for s ipe rec d food an food planning, storing over food. 186

Wanaka Wastebusters, is a similar facility that has been running successfully for 15 years. small can be sourced and purchased by innovative re-users for creative projects. The new centre will make it easy for people to practice sustainability and keep the household budgets down. From families requiring low-cost items to ensure they are warm in winter, to DIYers looking to make sustainable reuse part of their plans, the new centre offers something for everyone. A combined sales shop and workshop space will be completed by the end of the year and an official opening is planned for the new year. Support is thanks to the Ministry for the Environment’s Waste Minimisation Fund, Thames-Coromandel District Council and the CoromandelColville Community Board, Trust Waikato, Smart Environmental, the Seagull Centre Trust, and Totalspan (Thames). Advertorial from Waikato Regional Council in support of their waste minimisation programme.

CAN YOU HELP? Do you have time or items to donate to a useful cause? CILT are looking for materials and handyman skills to help fit out the shop and workshop. Shelving, display cabinets, work benches and a shop counter, as well as usable items to stock the shop and plants for landscaping are needed. Donations of money to help with the final setup are also appreciated. Call CILT on 866 8358 or contact Guy Macindoe, the project manager at guy@sustainz.pl.net


UNSUNG ESSENTIAL SERVICES

Solid waste and wastewater treatment are two of the unsung heroes of our Council’s infrastructure. Here we take a look at how our recycling is treated and what happens to what you flush down the toilet.

WASTE NOT, WANT NOT

t TS about the Eas C A F K IC U y Q very Facilit erials Reco Waikato Mat t Environmental

ctor Smar solid waste contra • It’s run by our material a ut of 31 tonnes of a target throughp s ha nt pla e Th • mer. ceeds this in sum day and usually ex ikato and beyond m across the Wa fro s ble cla cy re • It handles rth hangarei in the no as far away as W m fro ns ca d an • Plastic to the plant e south are sent and Rotorua in th Holt ery day to Carter board are sent ev rd w paper ca ne of o int les d ba lpe 48 • ulched and pu m be to ith nle Ki Harvey in products load goes card by the truck g newsprint) and din ard and clu bo r (in r pe pe pa Pa • to be made into on ilt m Ha in le to Fullcirc ts packaging produc sold ent grades and is d into three differ rte arket so m l ts na ge tio tic na as er • Pl ers on the int ok br h ug ro th d and exporte ported also sorted and ex d steel cans are • Aluminium an in Auckland to be O-I New Zealand to go s jar d an • Bottles d jars e glass bottles an remade into mor C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

The recycling plant at Kopu is dirty and noisy. It’s a hard day’s graft sorting the paper, plastic and cans that are delivered there daily by the tonne. A clever array of conveyor belts and magnets does the rough sorting into lines of paper, cardboard, plastic and aluminium and tin cans, but people are still needed to do the fine sorting that machines can’t do and to weed out the rubbish that people put in their recycling bins.

187


NOW? DID YOU K ty 2016, each proper

June • In the year to 30 erage l generated an av on the Coromande e nn to e on ly - near of 941kg of waste cled. , 444kg, was recy at th of • Almost half ll dfi lan to went The rest, 497kg, t how much waste ou ab ink • Please th st to please do your be you generate and u can yo as ste of your wa recycle as much

TOP TIPS

for sorting your recycl ing

• Glass: only foo d and beverage bo ttles and jars can be recycled. Put them in your pla stic crate, not th wheelie bin e • What goes in the wheelie bin: paper, cardboard, tins and plastics (numbers 1-7) • What doesn’t go in the wheelie bin: plastic bags glass, general ru , bbish, oven-proof glass, ceramics • Check our webs ite for the rubbish and recycling collection schedu le in your neighbo urhood: www.tcdc.govt.n z/kerbside • Anything that can’t be recycled either goes in the official TCDC blue rubbish bags for kerbside collection, or take it to one of our se ven Refuse Transfer Stations. Check www.tcdc.g ovt.nz/rts for locations and ho urs.

188

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7


What happens to your

ones and twos?

What gets flushed down the toilet isn’t usually all that nice, but once it’s been through our stateof-the-art Whitianga wastewater treatment plant the result is high-quality treated water.

The solids and grit gets screened out of the wastewater when it arrives at the plant and then the wastewater goes into one of two reactors. This picture shows the aeration phase where compressed air is pumped into the bottom of the tank. This introduces oxygen into the wastewater to promote the growth of bacteria which are always present in the reactor. These bacteria eat the nasty stuff in the wastewater.

After the bacteria have eaten their fill, most of them die and fall to the bottom of the reactor and form a sludge (more on the sludge later). The clear water on top gets skimmed off, filtered to remove particles bigger than one micron (that’s really small) and then goes into the holding pond. Before the water is discharged it gets a final pass through a UV filter to neutralise more microorganisms that might be left. C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

189


The treatment plants on the eastern seaboard are high-tech and largely automated. The System Control and Data Acquisition computer system monitors everything and turns all the valves, pumps and motors on and off as required.

Now back to the sludge: The dead bacteria that have fallen to the bottom of the reactors to form sludge is mostly removed. Some is kept in the reactors because there are still some live bacteria in there that will be used to treat the next lot of wastewater to go into the reactors. The sludge that gets removed goes through this screw press to take as much water as possible out of it. This water goes back to the reactor and mixed with the next batch of wastewater for treatment.

This is the dewatered sludge, or biosolid, that comes out of the screw press. About three tonnes of it is produced every day. This has to meet a certain level of dryness for it to go into the biosolid composter that we’ve been running next to the Whitianga wastewater treatment plant. It goes into the composter and is mixed with mulched green waste. The heat generated in the composter kills the remaining bugs in the sludge and what comes out is tested by a laboratory before it leaves the site as certified Grade Aa compost to be used in our parks and reserves.

190

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7


New Fires in the Open Bylaw We’ve updated our rules for outdoor fires in urban areas of our District for the protection of people, property and the environment while balancing people’s desire to light fires for cooking, heating and amenity purposes.

T

he new Fires in the Open Bylaw took effect on 1 September 2016. Just like the old bylaw, the new one allows our Council to set fire seasons in order to minimise fire risk. “The main message of the bylaw is be fire safe: Always do a safety check and talk to any neighbours who might be affected before you light any type of outdoor fire,” says our Community Environment Manager Barry Smedts. “If you can’t control it, don’t light it.”

The new bylaw applies to the Coromandel’s urban areas

Smoke not causing hazard or nuisance

(appropriate weather conditions)

Spark arrester

A ball of chicken wire stuffed into chimney can serve as a spark arrester

Chimney

Fire must be supervised

Non- combustible materials

Make sure:

80mm

500mm

• Fires in the open are supervised at all times • There is an adequate means of fire suppression available at all times – like a pressured water supply or a fire extinguisher • The fire is totally extinguished when you are finished • You’re being a good neighbour

The following fires are allowed:

• Fireworks – Only light them if you are sure they will not cause a danger to people or property or the environment, will not cause a smoke or noise nuisance, and not be a hazard to traffic • Compliant fire devices – permanent structures such as pizza ovens, outdoor fireplaces and incinerators like the one in the illustration • Gas barbeques, cookers and heaters • Fires with a permit

These types of fires need permits in our urban areas:

A safe distance from combustible materials

500mm

750mm Non- combustible surface

(eg gravel, concrete)

Appropriate fire suppression

NOT TO SCALE

Example of an outdoor fireplace that complies with the new bylaw.

Get in touch with our Customer Services team on 07 868 0200 to organise a permit. We have maps of all the urban areas covered by the bylaw on our website www.tcdc.govt.nz/urbanfiresbylaw

Rural rules

• Big, organised fireworks displays – pyrotechnic displays • Cultural cooking fires – hangi, umu, fire pit or other solid fuel outdoor fire used for preparing food using traditional cooking methods • Other types of fires, bonfires for example

No changes have been made to fires in rural areas as these areas are regulated by the Thames Valley Rural Fire Authority and the Department of Conservation. See our web page www.tcdc.govt.nz/fire for the rules that apply there.

Flush your taps

All the Council forms you need in one place

The Ministry of Health reminds all of us to flush a mug of drinking water from our taps every morning to help remove metals that might have dissolved in plumbing fittings overnight. The Ministry recommends this simple precaution for all households in New Zealand, including those on public and private water supplies.

C O R O M A N D E L

S U M M E R T I M E S

www.tcdc.govt.nz/forms

2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7

191


when you need it most. STAY INFORMED WHEN YOU NEED IT MOST New Zealand Red Cross Hazard App, a free comprehensive pocket guide to hazard preparedness and response. Download it today.

RED CROSS HAZARDS APP Get Emergency alerts Send I AM SAFE messages to friends and family. Monitor up to five locations (Such as home, bach and the grandees.) Alerts come from official agencies like TCDC, MetService, Civil Defence, GNS Science and more.

Tsunami Warning WELLINGTON REGION, NEW ZEALAND Issued 30 minutes ago by WREMO

Potential tsunami for New Zealand from earthquake near Chile at 15:30 NZ Time. More information to follow. Tsunami Warning WELLINGTON REGION, NEW ZEALAND Issued 30 minutes ago by WREMO

Potential tsunami for New Zealand from earthquake near Chile at 15:30 NZ Time. More information to follow.

FREE FREE DOWNLOAD DOWNLOAD

Step-by-step guides to assembling emergency survival items, making a getaway kit and creating a household emergency plan Pre-load guides in case you lose mobile coverage And because it’s just that cool, the app has a disaster toolkit including a torch, audible alarm and a strobe light. Yeah baby, bring on the 70s dance music.


PROUDLY ROUNDING UP THE BE ST

NZ HAS TO OFFER

EVERY DAY!

THAMES


Profile for Thames-Coromandel District Council

Our Coromandel Summer Magazine 2016/2017  

Escape to New Zealand's iconic summer holiday destination through the pages of the official Coromandel Summertimes Magazine.

Our Coromandel Summer Magazine 2016/2017  

Escape to New Zealand's iconic summer holiday destination through the pages of the official Coromandel Summertimes Magazine.

Advertisement