Sunday, 16 December 2018

WHITIANGA WEATHER

Change for good - Local shopkeeper gets behind Whitianga town centre upgrade

Derek Collier (pictured) has seen a lot of changes around Whitianga's town centre since he became the owner of "Whitianga Sports," on Albert St, 33 years ago.

The latest change he's taking a keen interest in is Thames Coromandel District Council's main street upgrade. With construction now in its third week, Derek hasn't noticed any huge effect on shop traffic. "Customers still like to come in for a browse and to buy what they need, although wet, rainy days can be a little quieter", he says.

"I'm a real supporter of the upgrade," says Derek. "This work is well overdue and had to be done. It will be great for the town's image. I think people don't fully understand the benefits the upgrade will generate. There is still going to be parking in Albert Street and outside most of the shops, and there's actually been more carparks created than what's being taken away."

Derek sells a large range of fishing, diving, darts and racket sports equipment. He's even the person you go to for changing your watch batteries. His customers range from anyone interested in sporting activities to those shopping for gifts or just browsing for an occasion or event.

When it comes to his contribution to the community, Derek is extremely modest. But he's been a member of the Whitianga Fire Service for the last 31 years and has received a 25-year gold service award.

Derek's latest contribution is offering a $100 voucher for The Informer's Buy Local campaign.

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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.