Saturday, 29 February 2020

WHITIANGA WEATHER

Hahei Holiday Resort sold

The Hahei Holiday Resort has been purchased by a group of New Zealand-based investors who intend to continue to take it forward as a holiday resort.

The resort, which comprises 6.79 hectares of land and buildings immediately behind the beach at Hahei, has been purchased for $13.25 million.

Marketed by John Bedford and Warren Hutt of CBRE, the sale of the property is now unconditional, with settlement due to occur on 1 October 2015.

Vaughan Magnusson, spokesperson for the purchasers and a long-term investor in the Opoutere campground on the Coromandel, says,  “We have been involved in Opoutere for ten years and wanted to invest in another holiday location. When the Hahei Holiday Resort came up for sale, we thought, ‘Let’s have a crack at it.’ Hahei beach is spectacular and its proximity to the surrounding attractions of Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach is excellent. 

“Our vision for Hahei is for it to continue to be run as a great Kiwi family holiday resort. We want people to enjoy the camping they have loved here for years and to encourage people to see that there’s more to the resort than camping - there are villas, studios and apartments here too, so you don’t have to be in a tent to enjoy Hahei. And we are hopeful that the staff will come along with us on the journey.

“Most importantly, we want to ensure that customers know that all bookings made to date will be honoured and that we are open for business as usual. In fact, I would encourage anyone looking to book to do so quickly, to make sure they don’t miss out.”

Spokesperson for the vendors, Ian Carter, says that it is great news for the Carter-Harsant family that the resort, which has operated as a successful family-owned holiday and tourist business for more than 50 years, will keep operating into the future.

“Our family feels truly privileged to have run such a special resort for so long and we know how strongly connected people are to this wonderful place. We love the resort, so although we are sad to hand it over after 50 years of ownership and investment, we are pleased that it will continue to move forward as a resort. Carrying on the Kiwi camping legacy at Hahei is good news for campers, the Hahei community and tourism on the Coromandel Peninsula.”

John Bedford of CBRE says that the purchasers had been consistent throughout the process in building on the future potential of the resort. “After receiving interest from nearly 100 serious parties from New Zealand and overseas, the resort is going to continue in Kiwi hands. The purchasers have always been looking to continue to run it as a holiday resort and add value to this offering. Its end use was a key factor for the Carter-Harsant family.”

October to be Save Kiwi Month

Kiwis need our help. Unmanaged kiwi populations are estimated to be declining at a rate of 2 per cent per annum. Without management, we lose around 27 kiwi each week. To keep them alive for future generations, we need to act now.

Save Kiwi Month starts on 1 October and the inaugural national fundraising initiative, the Great Kiwi Morning Tea, is being held on Friday 16 October. 

You can do your bit to help our precious kiwi. Just get together with family, friends, colleagues, neighbours or complete strangers and hold a classic Kiwi morning tea.  Splurge on Kiwi classics like lamingtons, caramel slices, sausage rolls, lolly cake and asparagus rolls and ask your guests to make a donation towards saving our national treasure. Just $100 is enough to save one kiwi by controlling predators across its habitat for an entire year.

Visit www.kiwisforkiwi.org and click on the Great Kiwi Morning Tea icon to register and receive your pack which contains instructions for a successful event, sample invite, promotional materials, recipes and a fun Kiwi Quiz.

Register now and put the date in your diary.

Invitation to help with dune planting in Whitianga

Thames Coromandel District Council would like to invite everyone to a dune planting day at the central section of Whitianga’s Buffalo Beach on Saturday 5 September. From 9:00am, wet or fine, bring gloves and spade. This will be the third year of the Buffalo Beach dune restoration project, which has helped replenish 170m of dune so far.

In the previous two years 10,000  native sand-binding plants and grass species, including spinifex and knobby club rush, which have excellent sand-binding qualities, have been planted by volunteers and is one of the measures TCDC is working on to help restore and protect sand dunes that can help to prevent further coastal erosion in the Whitianga area.

The coastal planting day initiative is a joint project between TCDC and Waikato Regional Council to manage and protect the Coromandel's coastline.

The Whitianga Lions Club is kindly supplying water and a sausage sizzle for volunteers participating in the dune planting day.

The sections that have been worked on in the previous two years are now well established. TCDC says plants are spreading across the dunes and the good thing about using native plant species is they help retain the sand dunes’ natural profile.

Whitianga Police Report for the period 3 August to 10 August 2015

GENERAL

If bank cards are stolen or lost, Police advice is that you immediately report the theft or loss to your bank so that they can put a hold on the cards or cancel them. The sooner your bank is advised, the less opportunity the offender will have to use them unlawfully.       

ARRESTS

No arrests this week.

OCCURRENCES

Two domestic incidents attended this week.

On the 4th a couple at The Fairway in Matarangi were arguing over relationship problems and the Police were called to calm the situation.

While on the 7th a couple arguing at a SH25, Whitianga address were referred to support agencies.

On the 4th a window was damaged at a Rangihau Road address. The offender cut a small circle out of a garage window, however no entry was gained.

A wallet was stolen from a car parked at a Catherine Crescent address on the 6th.

TRAFFIC

One drunk driver apprehended this week. On the 8th a 38 year old local woman recorded a result of 828/250.

Increase in property rates for some Bed and Breakfasts

Bed and Breakfast properties throughout the Coromandel Peninsula have this week received their rates assessments for the forthcoming year.

The Bed & Breakfast Association New Zealand says it is staggered to learn from some members in the Coromandel region that Thames Coromandel District Council has imposed commercial rates on their properties with no prior warning or communication.

In March 2015 all properties falling into the category of short-stay accommodation providers received a letter from Council “consulting on proposals” that could affect them, as set out in the TCDC Long Term Plan. One of these proposals was to affect properties offering four or more rooms as they would be reclassified as industrial and commercial for the purpose of assessing rates.

The Bed & Breakfast Association New Zealand says now it would appear that Council has gone ahead and imposed additional rates with no further discussion with those parties most affected.

The association says the flow-on effects from TCDC’s actions are likely to have a negative impact on the Peninsula rather than anything positive. There are less than 30 properties that fall into this category and some of these will close (or reduce the number of rooms they have available) as a direct result of the rate increase, so it is clear Council is not going to reap much in the way of financial reward.  

The association says it is a pointless and futile action only serving the purpose of allowing the Council to say it has acted on claims made by the Motel Association but it has done so without review and consideration of the facts or the full impact of their decision.

TCDC says their decision to move Coromandel Bed and Breakfast accommodation businesses with four or more rooms from residential to commercial rating was highly publicised before and after  Long Term Plan decisions and is to provide better fairness and equity across the board to ratepayers.

TCDC says they have not only advertised in all local and regional newspapers, radio and through their own communication channels and social media, but also were in touch directly with Bed and Breakfast providers who could be affected by the proposal.

While 26 Bed and Breakfast accommodation businesses were affected by the change to a commercial rate, not all had a higher rates bill this year. Those who previously were paying rates on multiple-use units became a single commercial unit with this change and, in one case, their total rates dropped by around $3,000.

Updated valuations have also affected some Bed and Breakfast businesses who have a higher improvement value on their buildings - especially luxury lodges and premises.

"Bed and Breakfast operators with four or more bedrooms are operating as commercial businesses and should be charged a commercial operations rate," says TCDC Mayor Glenn Leach. "We've been signalling this for a long time. We've been signalling this direction for some time, going back to our Draft Annual Plan consultation in 2012 and until more recently, in our Draft Long Term Plan this year.

"We need to make sure people are being rated fairly across the board and for a long time there's been a disparity with Bed and Breakfasts operators paying a residential rate when they receive more financial benefit. Private residents have been picking up the tab for them.”

Pinky's the People's Favourite at Top Shop Awards

The best shops from across the Central North Island, from Taranaki to the East Coast, have been named at the Retail NZ Top Shop Awards ceremony in Hamilton last night, with Pinky’s Bargains of Whitianga taking out the hotly contested People’s Choice award.

"The Retail NZ Top Shop awards are a fantastic occasion to celebrate all those who have achieved excellence in retail across a broad range of categories, including electronics, fashion and food and beverage. Our awards recognise the best in retail across all formats including national chains, independent single-stores and omnichannel retailers”, Retail NZ Chief Executive Mark Johnston said. 

"I want to congratulate all the finalists and winners, but especially Pinky’s Bargains of Whitianga, which won the People’s Choice award, receiving the most votes from the public through an app and the Retail NZ website. I want to offer them special congratulations for being much loved by customers and providing a fantastic shopping experience."

Man rescued this morning after accident last night

At 9:57am today the Auckland and Coromandel Westpac Rescue Helicopter crew (W2)  was called to Whangapoua for a man in his 20's who had come off the road and crashed into a tree.

On arrival, St John Ambulance was at the scene.

Helicopter crewman, Ati Wynyard, said, "The man had allegedly driven off the road last night and went through a few trees, before coming to a stop. He has self-extricated from the vehicle and spent the night waiting to be rescued. A passer-by has seen him this morning and called emergency services."

The helicopter flew the man in a serious condition to Waikato Base Hospital.

False alarm for southern right whale

The southern right whale/tohora that has been visiting the Coromandel Peninsula since late July is still enjoying the Coromandel waters.

The Department of Conservation would like to apologise for a statement made on social media on Monday 3 August that the whale had calved. This was an unconfirmed report by local members of the public and DOC was quick to share the good news. However, after seeking professional confirmation from DOC staff, it turned out the members of the public had mistaken a section of the whale’s body for a calf and the whale is still travelling solo.

Tohora are known to come close into shore and DOC says this one in particular likes to test the limits. This whale is often seen very close to shore and in very shallow waters, looking close to beaching. If a member of the public is concerned that the whale is stranded, please call 0800 DOC HOT. Boaties are asked to remember to give this whale at least 200m space. Please do not try and swim with the whale either.  

DOC also says fur seals visiting the Coromandel coastline are still in abundance. Locals have even reported getting a personal visit with a knock on the door. In this case DOC advises not to invite or encourage the seal any further. Please remember not to feed or touch any seals and give them lots of space. If a seal does enter your property you can call the DOC HOT-line.

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Marina Park Apartments

Each of our 1, 2 & 3 Bedroom Apartments are fully self-catering with spacious open plan living, fully equipped kitchen and laundry. Each apartment has a generous balcony with a pleasant outlook.

ONLINE POLL

Did TCDC do the right thing to make Whitianga subject to a total watering ban during the busy summer holiday season?

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.