Sunday, 26 January 2020


Pop in to Tairua Four Square and you are likely to encounter a big man with a huge smile and a strong voice to match. If you are lucky you will hear this cheerful guy behind the check-out counter singing.

The petition to reinstate a rescue helicopter based in Whitianga over the busy summer season and other peak holiday periods is still enjoying good momentum. In just three weeks, the hard copy and online versions of the petition have been signed by more than 19,000 people.

We tend not to give them a second thought during our normal day to day routine, but when we need one, it’s usually with some degree of urgency. And often members of the public who come seeking assistance do so outside of normal business hours. But it’s all part of the job for a Justice of the Peace or JP as we commonly know them.

These days, people can rely on The Informer to bring them all the important news from around Mercury Bay and the surrounds. Once upon a time that was the role of the Bay Bulletin, which was “dedicated to progress in Mercury Bay and circulated free throughout the Whitianga, Kuaotunu, Coroglen and Whenuakite Postal Districts.” While technology has certainly changed - not to mention the way life is being lived on the Coromandel - a glance back at an issue from almost 70 years ago reveals that while the news has certainly moved on, some issues just never seem to go away…

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Is the government's decision not to base a rescue helicopter in Whitianga over summer (or at all) a broken promise?

The Mercury Bay Informer is a highly popular community newspaper, based in Whitianga. The paper is distributed throughout the Coromandel Peninsula, coast to coast from Thames to north of Colville.