Tuesday, 25 June 2019

WHITIANGA WEATHER

Moderate New Year's demand for St John

The demand on the ambulance service in Hauraki Coromandel has been moderate for New Year’s Eve.

District Operations Manager Bruce MacDonald said that his crews attended 73 emergency calls for the 12 hours from 6:30pm last night until 6:30am this morning.  Most of the workload was on the Eastern seaboard, although all areas of the district had increased callouts for a range of reasons. Mr MacDonald said his crews were pleased at the behaviour and good attitude that was evident during the night, although several very sick drug related cases and one aggressive intoxicated patient at Whangamata was a blot to an otherwise successful night. No deaths were attended in this period.

Callouts since 6:30am this morning are higher than normal but so far less than that generally experienced on New Year’s Day. St John joins other local agencies in campaigning for a Safe Summer Coromandel experience and says that the safety messages have a positive impact in reducing fatalities in the district.

Whitianga Police Report for the period 22 December 2014 to 29 December 2014

GENERAL

A relatively quiet start to the holiday period for us with the majority of visitors coming into the area after Boxing Day, however still a lot of domestics attended and thefts reported over the past week.

I am writing this report on New Years Eve, with plenty of out of town Police staff having arrived to help us keep things as friendly and safe as possible.

New Years Eve results to be published next week.

ARRESTS

No arrests this week.

OCCURRENCES

Seven domestic incidents attended last week.

On the 23rd a brother and sister argued over rent at a Hannan Road address and we separated them to calm the situation, while on the 24th a father and son argued at a 309 Road address resulted in a warning for Threatening Language.

A separated couple arguing over child custody issues at an Annette Place address on the 26th required Police to keep the peace, while on the 27th a brother and sister who had been fighting were given some direct advice.

Also on the 27th we kept the peace while a separated couple sorted out property issues at a Captain Cook Road address, while on the 28th we attended an incident where a mother and daughter's arguing was getting out of hand.

An incident attended at a Waimarie Avenue address on the 29th was a result of excessive alcohol consumption and a Police Safety Order was issued to keep the couple apart. Unfortunately having taken one person from the address the other decided to go for a drive and she was apprehended for driving with excess breath alcohol.

On the 27th property was stolen from a car parked at a car park on SH25 Whenuakite, while a car parked on the Tapu Coroglen Road was also broken into and property stolen.

Clothes were stolen off a Cook Drive clothesline on the 28th, while a tote tank was stolen from a boat parked at a Waimarie Ave address on the 29th.

A backpack was stolen from a Robinson Road address on the 29th and also that night golf clubs, a handbag, a phone and alcohol were stolen from a Buffalo Beach Road address.

TRAFFIC

On the 25th a driver lost control of his car and crashed into a fence on SH25, Kuaotunu. Thankfully only minor injuries resulted.

One drunk driver apprehended this week.

29th - 1 x 31yr old Hamilton woman 487/250.

Toxic shellfish warning now including Mercury Bay up to Opito Bay

Following ongoing shellfish toxin monitoring the Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) toxin warning has been extended.

The initial health warning was issued on 28th November 2014 advising against the collection of shellfish from Mount Maunganui and along the Bay of Plenty coast to Whakatane Heads in the Eastern Bay of Plenty. 

The affected area now includes the entire coastline from Mercury Bay (including Opito Bay), east along the Bay of Plenty coastline, including Tairua, Whangamata, Tauranga Harbour, Maketu and Waihi estuaries, to Whakatane Heads.  Also included in the warning are Matakana and Motiti islands and all other inshore islands along this coastline.

The health warning applies to all bi-valve shellfish including mussels, pipi, tuatua, cockles, oysters, scallops as well as catseyes and kina (sea urchin).  Shellfish in the affected area should not be taken or consumed.  Paua, crayfish and crabs can still be taken but as always, the gut should be removed before cooking.

Consumption of shellfish affected by the paralytic shellfish toxin can cause numbness and tingling around the mouth, face or extremities, difficulty swallowing or breathing, dizziness, double vision and, in severe cases, paralysis and respiratory failure. These symptoms usually occur within 12 hours of a person consuming affected shellfish. Anyone suffering illness after eating shellfish should seek medical attention.

Pauanui Tairua walking and cycle track making rapid progress

Volunteers armed with recently-granted consents from Thames Coromandel District Council and Waikato Regional Council have made outstanding progress on the walking and cycling trail that will eventually link Tairua and Pauanui.

In December, locals volunteering under the banner of the Hikuai District Trust have built five more bridges over the ephemeral streams (streams that last for short periods of time and are often dry) crossing the track, have secured the bridges with metal and have now completed 700m of track.

When finished, the track will follow the banks of the scenic Tairua estuary from the end of the existing Coastal Walkway track and link up with the public access way from the Tairua Primary School.

At this stage, resource consent has been granted to take the trail as far as Duck Creek.

With the Tangitarori Canal Bridge and Duck Creek to Picnic Point parts of the trail now completed, summer visitors to the Coromandel can walk these sections and get their first real sense of the finished project.

In addition to members of the community giving their labour to the project, in the last month petrol company BP has joined the trail sponsors by donating petrol vouchers to the volunteers who need to travel to the trail construction area.

"The vouchers are most welcome and have been passed to the construction team," says trail chairman Gary Fowler.

Two additional grants were received this month. The Sir John Logan Campbell Residuary Estate has granted $2,897 to assist with pest eradication and the Waikato branch of Forest and Bird also granted $1,400 for trail pest eradication.

Mr Fowler said work on constructing the outer casing of traps was now being undertaken by the Pauanui Menz Shed.

Mr Fowler and the Trail Committee were honoured at the recent Pauanui Sports and Recreation Club's annual Volunteer Awards ceremony.

In addition to the many organisations that have donated to the walkway, Thames Coromandel District Council has given $56,000 and the Tairua-Pauanui Community Board has given $6,300. Other contributors have included Rayonier, Walking Access Commission, Coastal Walkways, g.a.s. Service Station Pauanui, Forest and Bird Waikato, Sir John Logan Campbell Residuary Estate and BP.

The project began with Ian Hopper building the first stage from the Pauanui Waterways ten years ago, covering 1,600m of mostly boardwalks over the mangroves.

Summer Shuttle service from Ferry Landing to Hot Water Beach to start this week

Thames Coromandel District Council said there will be more seats on this year’s Summer Shuttle bus service so everyone can travel between Whitianga and Hot Water Beach without the hassle of driving and parking.

TCDC has teamed up with Waikato Regional Council to provide the shuttle service, which will operate from 27 December to 26 January and again over the Waitangi Day long weekend (6 to 8 February).

The decision to introduce a bigger, air conditioned vehicle follows a survey of passengers using the shuttle last year to travel between Hot Water Beach, Hahei, Cooks Beach and Ferry Landing.

“About 3000 people travelled on the bus during the month it operated, with 83 per cent of the passengers crossing from Whitianga and using the shuttle to go to the beaches from Cooks Beach to Hahei,” said WRC’s public transport operations manager Ben Barlow.

One way Summer Shuttle bus fares are - $3 adults, $2 children, $7 families (up to two adults and two children).

Mercury Bay Community Board chairman Paul Kelly said, “We're so pleased to be working with WRC to provide the shuttle this year. We realise we need to look at how we manage the growing number of visitors within this area and that traffic and parking need managing.”

TCDC said the service helps to ease traffic congestion and parking hassles for Cathedral Cove visitors, as well as improving the safety for pedestrians and other road users.

TCDC will also be employing “parking ambassadors” to remind people not to park on Grange Road in Hahei when they are visiting Cathedral Cove or Hahei Beach.

The parking ambassadors will be issuing leaflets about parking restrictions and working with the Department of Conservation and TCDC compliance staff on Grange Road. Traffic cones and signage will also be alerting motorists to the fact that there is no parking on this road.

Meanwhile a Park and Ride service is also available at Pa Road in Hahei. This allows people to park their vehicle and then ride a bus up to Grange Rd to start the walk to Cathedral Cove.

According to TCDC the Park and Ride was extremely popular last summer, carrying about 20,000 people up the hill from Hahei to the start of the Cathedral Cove walking track.

The Summer Shuttle timetable can be found on this website on page 32 of the PDF copy of The Informer of 24 December 2014.

Whitianga Police Report for the period 15 December 2014 to 22 December 2014

GENERAL

This week there has been a couple of thefts from shops which is even more disappointing when we see most shop owners work extremely hard to make a living during the winter months, to then have criminals stealing their earnings. If you see anyone acting suspicious in shops please let the staff know so that thefts can be prevented and the pressure is too hot for criminals.

Welcome to everyone visiting our area and we hope that you all have an enjoyable stay.

Usually when people interact with the Police during their holidays it is due to the theft of their property, vehicle crashes, they have been assaulted or their behaviour is unacceptable.

You can prevent thefts by securing property as much as possible, while traffic crashes can be reduced by ensuring your vehicle is in good condition and that you are well rested and not under the influence of alcohol and drugs when driving. Alcohol and drugs are major factors when attending assaults and disorder, so reduced consumption of alcohol and having nothing to do with illicit drugs will help prevent you becoming a victim.

ARRESTS

20th - 1 x 22yr old local woman for Assaulting a Child and Dangerous Driving.

OCCURRENCES

Three domestic incidents attended last week.

On the 15th a separated couple at a 309 Road address required Police to keep the peace while they sorted out property, while on the 20th a father and adult daughter were arguing at a Cook Drive address and direct advice was given. Then on the 21st separated couple who were arguing and called Police to calm the situation.

On the 15th farm fence wires were cut at a SH25 Whenuakite property and thankfully no stock got onto the road, while on the 16th a couple entered a Monk Street shop and stole property. The store owner managed to recover some items, but they thieves decamped with a pouch of costume jewellery.

A store workers handbag was stolen from the storeroom at an Albert Street address on the 19th and later recovered without the money.    

On the 21st offenders attempted to break into a car at a Springbok Avenue address without success.

TRAFFIC

On the 19th the driver of a ute crashed into a van on Kennedy Bay Road and failed to stop. Our enquiries are continuing with the registered owner.

Two drunk drivers apprehended this week.

18th - 1 x 26yr old local man 364/250.

19th - 1 x 34yr old Clevedon man 592/250.

New SH25 SH2 roundabout completed

Holidaymakers will be amongst the first to use a $3.5million roundabout that’s set to improve safety on the way to some of the North Island’s summer hot spots.

The New Zealand Transport Agency says the roundabout, which replaces the T-intersection where State Highway 25 (SH25) to Thames meets State Highway 2 (SH2), was completed this month - just in time for the Christmas holiday traffic travelling between Coromandel, Auckland and the Bay of Plenty.

NZTA’s Waikato journey manager, Liam Ryan, says the new roundabout will improve safety at the site by creating a safer way to move traffic.

“More than 24,000 vehicles a day pass through this site each day during peak holiday times and in the past people coming from the Coromandel on SH25 and then onto SH2 to Auckland had a difficult time safely turning right,” he says.

This roundabout significantly improves that tough turn and allows traffic to pass through safely, reducing the crash risk.”  

Mr Ryan says that while the roundabout would also improve congestion on the approach from Thames, people should still plan ahead for delays during peak times.

“People travelling on SH2 towards Auckland may experience some delays during peak times, especially after Christmas and New Year’s Eve, when people are returning home from their holidays on the Coromandel Peninsula,” he says.

“In the past they were given a free run, but northbound SH2 traffic will give way to traffic coming from SH25 as they pass through the roundabout.

“People travelling on SH25 from the Coromandel will notice a real difference as they will safely be able to get onto SH2 without waiting in the heat for a gap in traffic.”

The Transport Agency has released maps that provide a nationwide snapshot of highway traffic routes, dates and times where traffic congestion is expected to be particularly heavy during the 2014/2015 Christmas- New Year holiday period.

Mr Ryan says the maps will help motorists plan ahead and avoid travelling during the times congestion is predicted to be heaviest.

 “My advice is to plan to avoid peak traffic where you can and give yourself enough time to take plenty of rest or sightseeing breaks along the way,” he says.  

 It’s your holiday after all, so why not make the journey an enjoyable part of it with stops along the way – you can’t beat an ice-cream from a dairy on a hot day.”

Fair hearing for mining submitters says TCDC

Thames Coromandel District Council says submitters on Thames-Coromandel's Proposed District Plan rules regarding mining were given plenty of opportunity to express themselves at this week's hearings in Thames.

Mark Farnsworth, Chair of the Hearings Panel, warmly encouraged submitters to relax and express the views of their organisations or those they represented, recognising that the formality of the occasion could cause nerves in presenters.

"Our aim," he said, speaking for the Hearings Panel, "Is to have everyone leave the day feeling that they've had a fair hearing, and we're going out of our way to do that. We want to be as fair and balanced as possible."

An attentive and respectful audience listened to professional and quality presentations from industry and community groups as they discussed their submissions.

TCDC also said the Hearings Panel, which, in addition to Mr Farnsworth, includes Ian Munro and Councillor Tony Fox - all qualified commissioners - used thoughtful questions to draw submitters out further to understand their points more thoroughly.

Presenters over the last two days included Newmont Waihi Gold, Coromandel Watchdog, HG Leach, Alastair Brickell, Penny Taylor, Clive Monds, Hauraki Prospectors Association, Betty Williams, Suzanne Williams for Nga Kaitiaki, Greenspot Guardians and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

LATEST WEEKLY ISSUE

ONLINE POLL

Do you support the teachers of New Zealand taking industrial action to achieve better pay and working conditions?

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.