Monday, 20 May 2019

WHITIANGA WEATHER

Goldrush Rally road closures

With the Goldrush Rally of Coromandel this weekend in Whitianga, some roads around the Mercury Bay area will be closed for some periods of time. This is what you need to know about the closures -

Blacksmith Lane, Whitianga will be closed starting at the intersection with Albert Street and finishing 250m from Albert Street. Period of proposed closure - 3:00pm Friday 22 August to 8:00pm 22 August.

Tapu-Coroglen Road will be closed starting at the 3.9kms from State Highway 25 (Tapu end) and finishing at State Highway 25 (Coroglen end). Period of proposed closure - 7:50am Saturday 23 August to 3:50pm 23 August.

The 309 Road will be closed starting at 1.3kms from State Highway 25 (Coromandel end) and finishing at 4.5kms from State Highway 25 (Coromandel end). Period of proposed closure - 6:30am Saturday 23 August to 9:30am 23 August.

The 309 Road will also be closed starting at 4kms from State Highway 25 (Coromandel end), and finishing at 21kms from State Highway 25 (Coromandel end). Period of proposed closure - 6:30am Saturday 23 August to 4:00pm 23rd August.

Joan Gaskell Drive, Whitianga will be closed starting at State Highway 25, and finishing 1.2km from State Highway 25. Period of proposed closure - 1:00pm Saturday 23 August to 6:00pm 23 August.

During the proposed periods of closure the following provision will be made for ordinary traffic traffic which would otherwise use the roads -

Tapu-Coroglen Road and the 309 Road -
Detour via State Highway 25 or State Highway 25A (Kopu-Hikuai).

Joan Gaskell Drive -
Detour via State Highway 25, Buffalo Beach Road and Albert Street to enter/exit Whitianga.

Additional funding for two Coromandel conservation trusts announced today

Associate Conservation Minister Nicky Wagner today announced two Coromandel Peninsula conservation trusts have received funding to continue the work they are busy with.

The Kauri 2000 Trust has received $57,000 to help prevent the spread of kauri dieback disease on the Coromandel Peninsula and the Whenuakiwi Trust has received $25,000 for predator control,

Both grants are from the Department of Conservation’s Community Conservation Partnership Fund.

Kauri 2000 has planted 40,000 kauri trees since 2000. This milestone was marked today in Coromandel Town alongside the funding announcement.

The funds received by the Whenuakiwi Trust will enable the trust to continue its successful kiwi care project at Whenuakite by hiring a contractor to target predators such as possums and rats. The trust, also known as Whenuakite Kiwi Care Group, was established by the local community in 2000.

Rape survivor Louise Nicholas to speak in Whitianga next month

Did you know in New Zealand one in four females and one in eight males are likely to experience sexual violence, most before the age of 16?

This shocking fact is part of what Louise Nicholas, renowned and prominent rape survivor, will be speaking on in Whitianga on 10 September. Louise will share her journey through life and the work she now does as a survivor advocate with Rape Prevention Education (RPE), a non-profit agency focused on the prevention of sexual violence through education and community work.

Louise is brought to Mercury Bay by a local drug rape survivor who has received an enormous amount of help and support from her. "Louise’s strength and courage is such an inspiration to me, she has given me hope that healing is possible," the survivor said.

Louise is first and foremost a wife and mother. She has been married to her husband, Ross for 26 years and they have four children. "My family is my life. Without their love, support and encouragement, I would never have walked the rocky path to seek the justice I felt I deserved or been able to take on the role of survivor advocate," Louise said.

Louise is a survivor of childhood and adult rape. She was a victim of a crime committed against her by serving members of the New Zealand Police and is a survivor of a justice system that saw her battle her way through two deposition hearings and and a number of very prominent court cases. "I was slammed around the courtroom like a tennis ball, was told that I was nothing but an uneducated, vindictive, sex crazed liar by defence lawyers, but still I held my head high, I knew the truth, I knew what happened and nothing they could say or do in that courtroom could hurt me anymore, it was my time to take back the power and control that was stripped from me, this was my justice…"

Louise was voted the New Zealand Herald’s New Zealander of the Year in 2007 and was also placed in the top ten as one of "New Zealand’s Living Treasures." She co-wrote the bestselling book "Louise Nicholas - My Story" with Phil Kitchin, the Dominion Post reporter who broke her story in 2004. That led to a full Police investigation known as Operation Austin and a Commission of Inquiry into Police Conduct. An updated edition of the book was released in July this year.

A movie about Louise’s fight for justice, "Consent - The Louise Nicholas Story" screened on television last Sunday night.

Talking about her own experience, the local drug rape survivor said a drink she had one evening years ago was "spiked" with a drug that left her with no memory for eight hours. "As a result of this hideous crime, I am now challenged with post-traumatic stress disorder," she said. "I was failed by the very first emergency department doctor who judged me as just a drunken girl. For years I grappled with how anyone would ever believe me? I kept my feelings and my thoughts repressed for a long, long time. It has been a long, difficult and painful journey.

"Having Louise to talk to has made me feel validated and made me realise that I’m not alone. She could instantly relate to what I was going through. It has helped me so much to have Louise supporting me through the healing process.

"I have learnt that the best medicine of all is to let it out, to talk about how you feel and slowly to work through your unresolved grief, denial doesn’t help. It was important to find the right person. Someone I felt safe with and trusted to help me in my healing journey. I encourage other survivors to find the strength and come forward to start their journey to healing. Healing is possible. Louise is living testament of this."

Everyone will benefit from listening to Louise, parents, grandparents, young men and women. You may not be directly affected by sexual violence, but the social cost is high. Too many mental health issues and suicides are the result of sexual abuse.

You will hear how parents and carers can support the young people in our community, how to keep yourself safe and about the consequences sexual abuse have on survivors and their families. You will understand that "no" really means "no." Louise will emphasise that help is available for rape survivors, that they aren’t alone and that there are people who will believe them and who they can trust. She will also talk about the high profile "Roast Busters" case that is currently working its way through the legal system.

Louise’s talk is free and will be held at 7:00pm in the drama room of the performing arts block at Mercury Bay Area School. The updated edition of "Louise Nicholas - My Story" will be available for purchase and Louise will be happy to sign copies afterwards.

The New Zealand Herald said in 2007, Louise Nicholas "… has shown a rare resilience, turning a life that could have been a shattered ruin into a beacon of hope." Her story is a must hear.

Any sexual abuse survivors in need of help can phone the National Support Line on 0800 88 33 00. If you need support to make the call, Jenny Wolf and her team at Whitianga Social Services will be happy to assist. Call in at 2 Cook Drive or phone them on 866 4476.

You can also be in touch with any of the agencies listed on RPE’s website, www.rpe.co.nz.

New Chum petition handed to TCDC

According to Thames Coromandel District Council, a petition delivered to TCDC mayor Glenn Leach today reinforced Council's elected members' existing stand that all applications for development at New Chum beach be publicly notified.

"The public interest and natural values of Wainuiototo (New Chum) beach are so high that our elected Council has previously stated we wanted all applications for development there to be publicly notified," said Mr Leach.

He also explained to the petitioners, Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty and Preserve New Chum for Everyone, that at this stage the application is still on hold awaiting further information from the applicant.

"One thing we'll want to ensure whenever the information comes back to us, is that third party interests are looked after and that the native flora and fauna which make New Chum such a special part of the Coromandel continue to be protected and also remain accessible for everyone to still visit, through the existing walkway," said Mr Leach.

"We'll also be pushing for a natural buffer zone between the development and the beach. This would run the full length of the beach and be maintained by a covenant, potentially through the QEII Trust or TCDC."

Tairua Police investigate fatal dog attack on seal

Eastern Waikato Police is crediting the sharp eyes of a member of the public in helping locate the owner of two dogs that fatally injured a seal in Tairua yesterday.

Senior Constable Matt Goodman said calls were received by a number of agencies, including Police, in relation to the incident which happened shortly after midday.

"A small seal had been reported by joggers and walkers on the beach in Tairua's inner harbour in the morning and the local Harbour Master had gone down to check it was OK. Then about 12.20pm two pitt-bull type dogs were seen to attack the seal, causing fatal injuries. The animals were seen being put into a car that drove off, but a member of the public quickly relayed the vehicle's registration number to Police."

Mr Goodman said armed with that and other information, it wasn't long before the vehicle owner was located by Police.

"This man has been spoken to by Police and was confirmed as being the dogs' owner. We are currently conducting an investigation in conjunction with the Department of Conservation and the Thames Coromandel District Council to determine what, if any, charges may result from the incident.

"This incident was obviously a traumatic one for a number of people who saw or who had interacted with the seal prior to the attack and Police would like to remind dog owners of their responsibilities for their animals."

The Mercury Bay Seaside Carnival is going green

Plans for the second Mercury Bay Seaside Carnival are underway and organisers hope the January 2015 event will be bigger and better than its successful 2014 predecessor.

Mercury Bay Area School Carnival Committee spokesperson, Sharyn Morcom said the committee was able to donate $17,000 towards the school’s new climbing wall this year - all thanks to the hard work of a small team of committed parents and community members. She said with more helpers the event could be considerably more profitable.

Sharyn said the committee’s vision is to have one major annual event to provide well needed funds for the school and eliminate the need for smaller, less profitable fundraisers. "Instead of spreading ourselves too thin with too many activities raising too little money for the school, we opted for a single big event with a bigger pay-off."

The committee is also keen to grow the carnival’s community spirit and invite other groups to get involved in the event to add new levels of interest and raise awareness of their particular cause or project.

"We want the event to have its own Whitianga flavour and we are open to suggestions from both business people and volunteer groups as to how to do this," said Sharyn. "We would like to see our volunteer and community groups all have a presence and hopefully add some colour to the event with interesting activities that will be to their benefit."

Plans are also underway to green-up the event and organisers hope to replace drinks sold in plastic bottles with bio-degradable cups that can be refilled at water stations throughout the carnival grounds. There are also plans to increase the shaded areas and add more places where carnival-goers can sit and take time out.

The event continues to be admission free and relies heavily on hot food sales to raise funds. The organisers would like to urge people to support the school food tents.

"We are planning some new delicious ideas to get people down to the event for breakfast and stay around for lunch," said Sharyn. "The food side of the carnival is really where we want to grow our earnings. We think we can make over $10,000 from food alone and we would love the locals to help us reach our target."

Last year’s menu included bacon and egg rolls, mussel fritters, shish kebabs and nachos and the food will once again be mostly prepared and served by MBAS parents.

Work on the new MBAS climbing wall is well underway and the junior school outdoor play area may be the next focus of benefit for carnival profits. School principal, John Wright says he would like to see the benefit moved between the junior, middle and senior schools each year.

"I have to say that to have a group of parents working hard to raise significant funds for our school is just wonderful," said Mr Wright. "And, speaking for the Board of Trustees, we will work alongside the Carnival Committee to make sure that whatever project is nominated to benefit from the funds raised at the Carnival, will be made to happen.

"The location of the carnival, next to the beach, makes it a perfect day out for families. It’s a unique event and I hope locals and visitors alike will make a real effort to attend next year."

The carnival committee is looking for more members and helpers, people happy to share ideas and volunteer and community groups keen to add to the atmosphere. If you want to get involved, please email Sharyn at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or telephone her on (07) 866 4614.

The 2015 Mercury Bay Seaside Carnival will take place on 8 January from 9:00am - 3:00pm.

Peninsula First XV Coulter Cup winners

The Peninsula First XV rugby team is the Thames Valley secondary schools champions for 2014.

The team won the Coulter Cup in an action-packed final against Waihi at the Paeroa Domain 24-16 this afternoon.

It was a very even contest with the score remaining close for much of the game.

Peninsula opened the scoring with a converted try by their hooker in the first 15 minutes. Waihi countered two minutes later with a penalty. 20 minutes into the first half, Peninsula extended the lead to seven points again with a penalty goal by no 12, Jayden Tegg. Five minutes later, Waihi crossed the line for their first try, which remained unconverted. Ten minutes before half time Waihi scored a further penalty to take the lead. That didn’t last long as the Peninsula fullback crossed the line three minutes later in spectacular fashion for a second converted try. The halftime score was 17-11 to Peninsula.

Five minutes into the second half Waihi scored their second unconverted try of the game. The score remained 17-16 for most of the second half, much to the anguish of the many Peninsula supporters who made the trip to Paeroa to support the team. Three minutes from the final whistle the Peninsula blindside flanker scored the team’s third converted try.

Peninsula coach Mike Smith said after the game he is immensely proud of the boys. It was the first year Mercury Bay Area School students combined forces other with students from the northern part of the Coromandel. It meant students had to travel more than usual to train and had to work really hard to come together as a team early in the season. “The boys’ discipline and commitment is an example for others,” Mr Smith said.

Coromandel Peninsula communities called to fight kauri dieback

The inaugural meetings of the new Coromandel Kauri Dieback Forum will be held on the last weekend in August. This forum has been established to enable locals to take action in their own communities to combat kauri dieback disease and foster the health of kauri throughout the Coromandel Peninsula.

Local organisations and concerned individuals are being invited to join the forum and work out practical ways to protect kauri in their own communities, complementing the reach and resources of the national Kauri Dieback Management Programme.

Interim forum chair Vivienne McLean said forum meetings will be held to share knowledge and resources and keep everyone up to date with the latest research and strategies coming out of the national programme.

“The disease is here, and there is no known cure, but if we act now and work together we can limit its spread. Community-based effort will be the key to protecting our kauri,” she said. “We are hoping to get a wide cross-section attending, in particular iwi, tourism operators and accommodation providers, tramping clubs, hunters, farmers, schools, Scouts, service clubs, nurseries, pest and weed control contractors, multi-sports event organisers. Everyone has a part to play in protecting our kauri.”

The inaugural meetings are open to anyone with an interest in protecting Coromandel kauri. Each meeting will include an update on the situation on the Coromandel Peninsula, national initiatives and the latest research into this deadly disease, as well as workshops where people will identify what is needed to protect their local kauri and who can help in their community.

The Whitianga meeting will be held on Sunday 31 August in the Whitianga Town Hall from 2:00pm to 5:00pm.

Anyone interested in attending please RSVP to Kauri 2000 by Thursday 28 August  - phone 07 866 0468 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your contact details.

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