Tuesday, 16 July 2019

WHITIANGA WEATHER

TCDC to prosecute organisers (and landowner) of music festival

Thames Coromandel District Council says a 48-hour music festival expecting 1,500 people plans to go ahead this weekend despite Council serving an abatement notice on organisers and the landowner because of concerns about public safety and noise.

The event - Chronophonium Festival - promotes itself as not-for-profit and its Facebook page reported a sold out event at $60 per ticket. According to the page, 1,500 people are expected to arrive at the Tapu Coroglen Road location today for the 48-hour music festival.

Event organisers told TCDC officers yesterday that they only had one nurse and two security guards to take care of the 1,500 people plus bands and support teams over the 48 hours from tonight. Police advised organisers that they needed one crowd control certified security guard per 75 people.

Council says last year's event caused a series of complaints from neighbours who had not been notified of the event.

Organisers said the event was sold out and for TCDC to just to fine them for not following the requirements under the Resource Management Act. TCDC says when they told the owner of the land at 371 Tapu Coroglen Road that he would also be prosecuted, the organisers said they'd just pay his fine too.

Council says they worked with the organisers last year to guide them through the consenting process, even offering an alternative venue (Thames Racecourse) that would make it possible for them to meet the standards.

Council's Acting Chief Executive Ben Day says, “We don't want attendees' safety to be put in danger and have problems like that experienced at Gisborne recently, when organisers of an event such as Chronophonium refuse to comply with standards put in place to take care of people.

"We want people's memories of Coromandel summers to be happy, not devastating," he says, "And we will prosecute."

A successful resource consent would have cost the organisers of the event about $1,500 and certified the site for all future repeat festivals. On conviction after a prosecution, an individual who has failed to comply with the abatement notice is liable to a fine of $10,000 per person (including the land owner).

Water consumption indicates more Coromandel visitors this summer

Water consumption on the Coromandel over the Christmas/New Year period confirmed more activity than last year in some of the Coromandel's favourite east coast holiday spots.

While those in Whangamata consumed about 77-and-a-half million litres of water over two weeks, Onemana was the outstanding increase, followed by Hahei, Pauanui, Whangamata and Tairua.

Onemana used 25 per cent more water than in previous years, leading to an unusual hose and sprinkler ban over the peak period.

Although slightly down on water consumption compared to last year, Whitianga's over 60 million litres of water over two weeks ranked second overall in the Coromandel's heaviest water use.

"We want to thank those who conserved water over summer by not leaving their hoses running and doing even little things like waiting until they had a full load before washing clothes or dishes," says Thames Coromandel District Council Water Services Engineer Rodney Clark.

"We still have restrictions in place in parts of the Coromandel, so please keep being smart about your water use over the next few weeks," he says.

Whitianga Police Report for the period 29 December 2014 to 5 January 2014

GENERAL

Whitianga has experienced a relatively quiet New Years period with the majority of people out to have a good time.

The weather was pretty good and thankfully there were no major incidents in relation to traffic and water activities as highlighted in other areas.

We did however still have a number of burglaries,  thefts and damage caused, but on a positive note a local prolific burglar was arrested and he can explain his actions in Court.       

ARRESTS

1st - 1 x 52yr old local man for Burglary x 3 and Possession of Methamphetamine

There were also 21 arrests for disorder offences including, Fighting in a Public Place, Breaching the Liquor Ban and Disorderly Behaviour.

OCCURRENCES

Seven domestic incidents attended last week.

On the 31st a woman was arrested for Breaching a Restraining order her ex-partner took out against her, while also that day we attended an altercation between a father and son at a Cook Drive premises.

A father and his son-In-law argued at a Mercury Street address also on the 31st , while we attended excess alcohol consumption resulted in incidents in Pye Place and Dundas Street on the 1st.

On the 2nd a separated couple argued at an Annette Place address, while a mother and daughter were involved in a physical altercation at a South Highway address on the 5th.

Alcohol was a major factor in most of these domestic incidents and advice was given in various strengths depending on the severity of circumstances. 

We had four burglaries reported over this period, with a 15hp Yamaha Outboard Motor stolen from a Miro Place address on the 31st and a cell-phone, radio and assorted clothing stolen from a Whitby Ave address.

Meat and bread were stolen from an outdoor freezer at a Cook Drive address, while a Wetties Wet Suit was stolen from a Coghill Street balcony.

A cell phone was stolen from Cathedral Cove while the owner was swimming on the 1st.

Two shop windows were smashed on Albert Street in the early hours of the 1st and eggs were thrown at a house on Oyster Drive on the 4th.

On the 29th a letterbox was damaged at a Leah Road address.

TRAFFIC

Six drunk drivers were apprehended this week with alcohol readings of between 283 and 596 with the new alcohol level being 150 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath, or zero for drivers under 20 years of age.

WRC announces water sampling programme

Waikato Regional Council is this summer undertaking a special monitoring programme of 18 coastal sites on the Coromandel Peninsula that are popular swimming locations.

The programme will measure water quality and assess what effects rivers and streams and other factors may have on these locations. Results will be used to support priority stream restoration works programmes and thereby continue to preserve the Coromandel’s water quality. This work will also help prioritise WRC’s coastal water quality science projects and the development of future monitoring programmes.

“We don’t know as much as we’d like about the water quality at these locations. This programme will give us an indication of the general water quality at the time of the year when population pressures are at the peak and that will inform our future work,” said Hilke Giles, leader of the WRC’s Coasts, Land and Wetlands team.

This programme follows a range of matters raised by the community through harbour and catchment management works programmes and community engagement through land care activities. The sites are spread around the Peninsula on both the east and west coasts. The project is conducted jointly by WRC’s integrated catchment management and science and strategy teams.

“Local people have raised a range of general concerns about water quality at these sites, so we’re going to do some testing to check out exactly what’s happening,” said Coromandel area manager Emily O’Donnell.

While the Coromandel has generally good water quality, concerns raised about downstream sites often used for swimming and recreation over summer include elevated faecal bacteria levels (particularly as the water warms up), build ups of algae at times and smells from water in sheltered areas, Ms O’Donnell said.

“We’re not aware of anything that poses a current or imminent risk to people, but this is about being proactive in response to community concerns and checking things out and ensuring we can enjoy these amazing coastal locations. Our testing programme will help us determine if there are potential problems or sites where we need to investigate further and how we go about addressing any issues.”

Dr Giles said the monitoring will include a range of standard water quality tests (concerning oxygen, nutrients, suspended sediments and faecal bacteria). “Where faecal bacteria levels are high we will also send samples to the Cawthron Institute for faecal microbial source tracking. This method uses ‘genetic markers’ to identify the presence and relative contributions of human and ruminant animal sources of faecal contamination.”

Ms O’Donnell said the findings from the testing will be known in the middle of 2015 and will help determine any extra works or other activities needed to improve water quality.

Already, significant gains in supporting the improvement of water quality had been made around the Coromandel Peninsula with fencing and planting of streams, wetlands, forest fragments and erosion prone areas over the last 10 years.

“The combined efforts of more than 160 landowners, along with the council and others, have seen the planting of nearly 145,000 eco-sourced native plants, 160 kilometres of fencing to keep stock out of rivers, streams, wetlands, forest fragments and erosion-prone areas and more than 1000 hectares retired from active use for environmental reasons,” said Ms O’Donnell.

The 18 sites to be monitored include specific locations at -

Wigmore Stream, Kuaotunu Stream, Stewart Stream, Ramarama Stream, Taputapuatea Stream, Tarapatiki Stream, Tohetea Stream, Pepe Stream, Graham’s Creek, Pitoone Stream, Otama River, Otahu River, Taiwawe Stream, Purangi River, Whangarahi Stream, Manaia River, Te Puru Stream and Te Mata Stream.

Mercury Bay beaches getting media attention

The Fairfax Media Group has just released their list of New Zealand’s top ten North Island beaches for 2014. Not surprisingly, Mercury Bay is on the list, with the following being said about Hahei Beach -

This is about as postcard-perfect as it gets. There are pohutukawa trees right down to the sand and the water is so clear you can see your feet.

It's also the perfect place to stay if you want to walk over to Cathedral Cove, and you definitely do. The walk is about 90 minutes return, but take lunch and stay the day. Almost too beautiful to be real.

In October last year New Zealand Herald columnist Rhonwyn Newson wrote about her top ten New Zealand beaches, featuring both Hot Water Beach and Cathedral Cove.

She said this about Hot Water Beach -

Mercury Bay's famous beach on the Coromandel Peninsula is a favourite for locals and tourists. The underwater hot springs bubble up at a temperature of 65C, so you can dig your own hot pool. Bring a bucket and spade, and be wary of those rip tides.

And this about Cathedral Cove -

One of New Zealand's most photographed scenes and it's no wonder why. This spectacular destination is in the Coromandel, near to another iconic beach - Hot Water Beach. Cathedral Cove is a marine reserve so there is much to see under the water. The cove is accessible by foot, boat or kayak - I recommend kayaking.

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.

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