Saturday, 29 February 2020

WHITIANGA WEATHER

The Coromandel's economy buoyant

Thames Coromandel District Council says the Coromandel has seen strong economic growth over the last year. The district's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 4.0 per cent in the year to June, outstripping national economic growth of 3.1 per cent.

The latest Infometrics Quarterly Economic Monitor says that growth was broad-based across most economic sectors, despite the downturn in international dairy and forestry prices that have hit other regions.

The Infometrics report is available on the TCDC website at www.tcdc.govt.nz/economicdata.

Infometrics is an independent company that provides economic analysis and forecasts.

Tourism grew at a healthy pace, helped by low petrol prices and the weaker New Zealand dollar. Guest nights were up 4 per cent and traffic flow was up 5.8 per cent.

TCDC says residential construction also did well, boosted by low interest rates and the Auckland influx, as people there cash in on the hot real estate market to seek the ultimate lifestyle on the Coromandel.

Seafood, meat and fruit exporters are receiving favourable world prices.

Unemployment in the Coromandel was lower than both the Waikato and national rates, at 4.5 per cent compared to 5.8 per cent for the Waikato and 5.7 per cent nationwide.

"This report bears out the confidence in the Coromandel we are seeing at Council, with strong demand for LIMs, consents, new dwellings and lots of investment inquiries," says TCDC Deputy Chief Executive Ben Day.

"Our economic development strategy is focusing on facilitating economic growth by creating an environment that makes it easy for the private sector to invest here and create jobs.

"We have several anchor projects that will provide the infrastructure that businesses need to prosper. For example, we're upgrading the Kopu business precinct, we're working with central government to boost broadband speeds around the district and we will upgrade Coromandel Harbour, which will help aquaculture, tourism and the recreational fishing sectors.

"It's all part of our Council's vision of making the Coromandel the most desirable place in the country to live, work and visit.”

Whitianga Police Report for Monday 31 August to Monday 7 September 2015

GENERAL

The serious assault that occurred at the intersection of Cook Drive and Bryce Street on the 4th resulted in the victim being air-lifted to Auckland Hospital and placed in an induced coma due to serious head injuries.

Information provided by our community has helped identify suspects for this mindless act of violence and detectives from the wider Waikato area are finalising the investigation.

Forensic evidence has been forwarded for analysis and Police hope to put the offenders before the court as soon as possible.

Thankfully the victim's condition has improved and we wish him the best for a quick recovery.  

ARRESTS

Two arrests this week.

1 x 23yr old woman for Theft Ex-Shop.

1 x 24yr old woman for Theft Ex-Shop.

OCCURRENCES

No domestic incidents attended this week.

On the 2nd a visit to a Park Lane address for an unrelated matter found an 18yr old man, a 26yr old man and a 26yr old woman smoking cannabis in the garage of their address. They were subsequently warned for their actions. 

On the 4th a holiday home on Mercury Street was discovered burgled with a TV, DVD player, Freeview box and Ship to Shore Radio stolen. 

On the 5th a residential address on Cook Drive was reported burgled with a TV, stereo and two sets of dive gear stolen.

Overnight on the 5th two mag wheels were stolen from a car on Kupe Drive, with the vehicle left on jacks.

TRAFFIC

No drunk drivers apprehended this week.

Annual tsunami siren test on Friday 25 September

At noon on Friday 25 September, the last day of this school term, tsunami sirens on the Coromandel and Firth of Thames will sound for their annual test.

"You do not need to evacuate for the test," says Gary Talbot, Manager of Civil Defence's Thames Valley Emergency Operating Area office (TVEOA).

The Coromandel's tsunami sirens are fire sirens that wind up and then hold a continuous tone for ten minutes or more. For the test, though, the sirens will only hold the tone for between two and three minutes.

The TVEOA will test tsunami sirens in Cooks Beach, Coromandel Town, Hahei, Kuaotunu, Pauanui, Port Charles, Tairua, Tapu, Thames, Whangapoua, Whangamata and Whitianga.

"The Turua and Matarangi communities will also sound their sirens at the same time," says Mr Talbot. "However, recognising the nature signs for potential tsunami is the most effective way to protect us, our families, friends and staff from tsunami."

Mr Talbot says nature signs include -

  • A violent earthquake that may knock you off your feet.
  • Rolling vibrating earthquake that lasts several minutes.
  • Sudden or unusual changes in tide height.
  • Loud roaring noises like a jet engine from out at sea.

"In a real event you should self-evacuate immediately to high ground or as far inland as possible, Mr Talbot says. “Having a personal evacuation plan is vital.

"As a general guide the 20 metre contour height is deemed the safest point to evacuate to."

Over the last few years Thames Cormandel District Council has worked with communities to produce community response plans which have 20m response contour lines included. You can see these local 20m response contour lines on the TCDC map webpage. Just click the 20m Contours layer box and then zoom into the area you're interested in.

Assault in Whitianga early this morning

Detective Senior Sergeant Graham Pitkethley of the Police’s Eastern Waikato CIB said an investigation was launched following the discovery of an injured man in a ditch on Cook Drive, Whitianga shortly after 2:00am today.

“A 111 call was made to North Comms about this time advising three to four people chasing a male south on Cook Drive towards Mercury Bay School.

“The man was conscious at the time he was found, however his condition deteriorated and he was flown to Auckland Hospital in a critical condition.

He is in a serious but stable condition.”

Mr Pitkethley said because of the seriousness of the incident, a cordon was established and placed under guard overnight.

“We will need to establish what has occurred and this will require a thorough scene examination.”

Mr Pitkethley said the public can play a key part in assisting Police in establishing what occurred.

“Anyone with any information on this attack is asked to contact Whitianga Police on 07 866 4000.”

Alternatively, information can be left anonymously with the independent Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

The cordon has been removed this afternoon.

Dune planting tomorrow in Whitianga

The final section of Thames Coromandel District Council’s dune restoration project along Buffalo Beach, Whitianga is being planted this weekend and some extra help will be appreciated.

Bring the family, gloves, spade and a drink and help TCDC and the community plant more than 4,000 native sand-binding plants. The Whitianga Lions are kindly putting on a free sausage sizzle to feed everyone who turns up.

Meet at the Buffalo Beach main car park reserve at 9:00am, Saturday 5 September, rain or shine.

"We have approximately 4,000 native sand binding plants, including flaxes and spinifex that we need dug in along 80m of our dune restoration section," says Sam Marshall, TCDC's Area Manager for Mercury Bay. "This is the final section that needs planting between Brophy's Beach and Buffalo Beach."

This project is a joint partnership with the Waikato Regional Council, which over the past three years has seen more than 20,000 plants planted along more than 200m of Buffalo Beach coastline. TCDC the progress is the result of elected members and the community supporting the initiative and volunteering on the planting days.

"The results speak for themselves," says Mr Marshall. "If you look at the first section we planted three years ago, you can see how the plants are stabilising the dunes.”

Five Coromandel towns on UFB long list

The Coromandel's five most populous towns have made the Government's long list to potentially receive funding for ultra-fast broadband (UFB).

The Government has revealed its list of more than 110 towns around New Zealand that might qualify for some of the $210 million in extra funding it announced in March to expand the fibre-optic cable network that carries ultra-fast broadband.

Thames and Whitianga have been under consideration since the UFB initiative was announced for the first time several years ago.

The Government added Coromandel Town, Whangamata and Tairua to the list of towns that could receive some the $210m after Thames Coromandel District Council submitted their registration of interest in July as part of the bidding process for funding.

Communications Minister Amy Adams made the announcement yesterday as she released a request for proposals in the next stage of the Government's UFB initiative.

"While the list of eligible towns is still very long, it's great to see that we're still in the hunt and that Whangamata, Coromandel Town and Tairua have been included," says TCDC deputy mayor Peter French.

Ms Adams says the long list was based on current and projected population. Not all towns on the list will necessarily receive funding, she says. Also under consideration are what the Government calls fringe areas of major metropolitan centres. TCDC says this means there is tough competition for limited funding.

The request for proposals that Ms Adams released yesterday was a call for telecommunications companies to submit bids to expand the fibre network.

The Government will assess the bids, town-by-town, on a commercial basis and then create a short list of towns that might qualify for UFB funding.

Commercial negotiations will then be held with prospective build partners and contracts are expected to be signed in the first half of 2016, with the build beginning shortly after that.

The next step for TCDC is to submit a Digital Enablement Plan in the next couple of weeks that details how they and the Coromandel community would maximise any expanded fibre network.

Mercury Bay Meats winner of top award

It was announced today that Whitianga butchery Mercury Bay Meats is the 2015 People’s Choice Award winner in the 100% New Zealand Bacon and Ham Awards.

Owner and previous 100% New Zealand Bacon silver medallist Nigel Jackson is delighted at the result.

“The locals love our bacon and ham and to see this support evident in the People’s Choice Award is fantastic,” says Nigel.

Mercury Bay local Josh Thompson says it’s a joy to go into Mercury Bay Meats. “They have a really great team there and offer a really good range. They never stop trying to grow the business.”

And on the bacon Josh says “It’s some of the best bacon I’ve had.”

The team at Mercury Bay meats are committed to using 100% New Zealand pork and preparing their small goods the traditional way and are constantly looking to improve and innovate.

2015 was the eighth annual judging of the 100% New Zealand Bacon and Ham competition.

The competition saw entries from expert butchers nationwide and celebrated the craft involved with turning 100% New Zealand grown pork into mouth-watering bacon and ham products.

This year an impressive 197 entries from 50 entrants nationwide were scrutinised by an expert and independent panel of 33 judges comprising leading chefs, food connoisseurs and master butchers.

Whitianga Police Report for Monday 24 August to Monday 31 August 2015

GENERAL

We have experienced a pretty good period recently in our area in terms of crime levels, however I encourage everyone to secure their property and to make it as hard as possible for criminals to steal your stuff.

Spring is here and a lot of scuba divers will be heading out for the start of the scallop season.

Two diving related deaths have occurred in our area in the past couple of years and Police remind everyone to take care when diving.

Remember the safety instructions taught to you at your dive course and if you haven't completed a dive course, then you should do one.

Check all your dive gear is in good condition.

ARRESTS

No arrests this week.

OCCURRENCES

Two domestic incidents attended this week, both on the 24th.

The first related to a mother and daughter arguing at a Nicholas Avenue address after a party and sound advice was given.

The second incident involved a couple arguing about their relationship and the care of their child. They both calmed down on Police arrival and after discussion concerning their options, they agreed they could sort out their issues.

TRAFFIC

Two drunk drivers apprehended this week.

28th - 1 x 19 year old Paeroa man 309/0.

29th - 1 x 25 year old Auckland man 600/150.

If you drink and drive you are a bloody idiot and you may find yourself explaining your actions to a judge.

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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.