Tuesday, 25 February 2020


Businesses uneasy with proposed increases in concession fees

Businesses uneasy with proposed increases in concession fees

Some businesses operating on parks and reserves owned or administered by Thames Coromandel District Council’s aren’t happy with the proposed increases in concession fees in TCDC’s draft 2014/2015 annual plan. According to TCDC, the increases are necessary to reflect the actual cost of administering a concession.

Darrell Bird from Dive Zone in Whitianga said the increases are excessive. “We have to apply for quite a few concessions to really just walk across the beaches and beach front areas in the Mercury Bay area. If Council adopts the annual plan as it’s drafted, our fees will jump from $1,000 per year to $2,500. That’s on top of a whole heap of other fees we now have to pay to other government agencies and regulatory bodies. It’s the tourism operators that will be hardest hit by the increase in fees. Some of them may be forced out of business. I hope Council will rethink the whole thing.”

Nina Hammond, owner of the iconic yellow Nina’s coffee caravan parked at Brophy’s Beach during summer, agrees with Darrell. “My fees will increase from $300 per year to $900. I’ll have to sell a lot of extra coffees to make up for that.” The Mercury Bay, Tairua-Pauanui and Whangamata Community Boards all made submissions against the proposed fee increases.

Some of the unhappy business owners spoke against the fee increases at the annual plan hearing that took place in Whitianga on Monday, 28 April.


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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.