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The Mercury Bay Informer

The Mercury Bay Informer is a Whitianga based print and online community newspaper, publishing the latest news and events for the Coromandel Peninsula's wider Mercury Bay area, including Whitianga, Pauanui and Tairua.

Whitianga's local voice, The Mercury Bay Informer provides a wide range of information and services to Mercury Bay residents and visitors, including community news, human interest stories, sport results, regular columns from a variety of local charities and community groups, useful information to tourists and visitors and regular and coming events. We also welcome contributions from readers, including guest articles, letters and photos.

For Mercury Bay businesses looking to connect with customers and organisations locally and further afield, we offer competitively priced advertising as well as our Mercury Bay Business Directory, which covers not only Whitianga, Pauanui, Tairua and the wider Mercury Bay area, but also businesses offering products and services Mercury Bay residents and visitors may find useful.

Latest Features 

Marine channel changes effective from this weekend

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Whitianga Coastgurd's vessel Te Morehu.

Communications Minister Amy Adams says VHF radio channels changes which take place this weekend will ensure New Zealand’s maritime radio services are in line with the rest of the world.  

“The changes come into effect today [1 October] and will allow us to expand ship tracking and data services. These services are part of our international obligations for radio spectrum management,” says Ms Adams.

The changes have been well signalled across the maritime community over the past two months in the lead up to today's changes.

In New Zealand’s coastal waters, maritime radio channels are used for many different purposes, ranging from broadcasting weather information, to providing a way to communicate in the event of emergency.

“Safety is a priority and Channel 16, the safety, distress and emergency communication channel will stay the same. Maritime New Zealand will continue to monitor it 24 hours a ... Read more

Tourism Growth Partnership funds directed to regions

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

The Government has announced $8 million of contestable co-funding in industry-led tourism projects through the Tourism Growth Partnership. The initiative aims to drive some of the strategic changes required to overcome constraints to growth in the sector and lift the value that international tourism delivers to New Zealand.

Half of the funding will be tagged each year for projects that grow tourism in the regions and create tourism-related jobs, through the new Regional Stream.

Associate Minister of Tourism, Paula Bennet, went on a whirlwind tour of The Coromandel with local MP Scott Simpson to discuss challenges the region was facing. Mr Simpson confirmed tourism development was a recurring theme. “Naturally tourism was a topic of conversation that came up. ... Read more

Body of Luke Cochrane found

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

The Police National Dive Squad taking part in the search for teenager Luke Cochrane have this evening located a body in a waterway in Whitianga.

The Police believe it is Luke, but formal identification is yet to take place.

The death will now be referred to the coroner.

The Police and the family would like to take this opportunity to thank the many people who have been involved in the search for Luke these last few days. "The outpouring of support from the community has been overwhelming," says a spokesperson for the Police.

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Police remain optimistic in search for Lucas Cochrane

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Missing man Lucas Cochrane.

The Police and Search and Rescue teams are combing fresh areas of Whitianga today, as they continue their efforts to find Lucas Cochrane. About 80 percent of the township has been inspected and a further 20 percent will be checked today, mostly on the outskirts of the urban area.

Search spots will include boats moored in the harbour and in waterways.

Co-ordinators commenced their search on Sunday after the 19-year-old went missing following a local function he attended.

Assistance is being provided by Surf Life Saving, Coastguard and the Harbourmaster.

Although there is nothing to suggest Lucas left Whitianga, the teams will also inspect locations along the Tapu-Coroglen Road and The 309 Road. Both routes pass over the Coromandel ranges to ... Read more

Police searching for missing man in Whitianga

Sunday, 25 September 2016

A very unclear image of missing man Lucas Cochrane.

Police and search and rescue teams in Whitianga are searching for 19-year-old Lucas Cochrane who has been missing since last night. 
Mr Cochrane was last seen just before midnight at a function at the Whitianga Fire Station. 

He is described as European, 182cm tall and of medium build with short, sandy coloured hair. When he was last seen, he was wearing a black t-shirt, dark blue jeans, black peaked cap and white Nike shoes with red and blue on them.    

Police are concerned for Mr Cochrane’s safety due to the length of time he has been missing and the fact that he is not from Whitianga and does not know the area. 

People in Whitianga are asked to check their properties and any garages or out buildings for ... Read more

Local body elections voting now open

Friday, 16 September 2016

Ballot papers in the local body elections are being posted and should be arriving in mail boxes from today until 21 September, so make sure you return your votes by post or to one of the ballot boxes at all Thames Coromandel District Council offices by 12:00 noon on 8 October at the latest.

If you're posting your ballot papers, allow a few days for delivery.

It's your opportunity to put your democratic powers to use at the local body level for the next three years. You can vote for the next TDC mayor, councillors, community board members, Thames Coromandel representative on Waikato Regional Council and Waikato District Health Board members.

If you haven't received your voting papers by 22 September, please contact the TCDC Electoral Office on ... Read more

Tsunami sirens across the Coromandel Peninsula will be tested on Friday 23 September

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

A continuous siren tone will sound at the following locations  - Cooks Beach, Coromandel Town, Hahei, Kuaotunu, Matarangi, Pauanui, Port Charles, Tairua, Tapu, Thames, Turua, Whangapoua, Whangamata and Whitianga.

The sirens will sound for approximately two minutes.

"This is just a test and is not to be taken for a real tsunami warning," says Tsunami sirens to be tested on Friday 23 September

Civil Defence Local Controller Garry Towler.

The exercise is co-ordinated with the help of rural fire stations.

"The rural fire stations will help report on the siren activations and can isolate the system if they fail to shut down after the two minute test period,” says Garry.

"You do not need to ... Read more

Whitianga Police Report for Monday 5 September to Monday 12 September

Tuesday, 13 September 2016


The Scallop Festival was a well-run event and enjoyed by most. However there are currently four assault investigations from later that night, with each incident having alcohol as a major contributing factor.

We will follow the evidence through to logical conclusions, but my initial thoughts would be these suspects would be less likely to require legal assistance if they drank less alcohol.

If anyone knows the people responsible for driving their 4WD vehicle on the grounds of the Whitianga Bike Park and causing damage, please let us know so that we can stop them ruining all the hard work of the of the bike park volunteers. The bike park is an excellent community asset that needs protection from selfish ... Read more

Coromandel economy doing very well

Friday, 9 September 2016

The latest economic data for the Thames Coromandel District reveals 2016 has been kind to the Penisula so far. According to economists Infometrics, an independent company providing economic forecasts and analysis to public and private sector organisations throughout New Zealand, the outlook for summer is also sunny.

"Overall there are some really positive trends, which in some cases sees our district ahead of the national average," says TCDC Mayor Glenn Leach.

Here are some of the key findings of Infometrics up to June 2016 -

In the tourism sector, both international and domestic visitor numbers continue to grow. For guest night accommodation, the Thames Coromandel District was above the national average with a six per cent ... Read more

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