Friday, 07 August 2020


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.

TCDC investigating rubbish dumped on Tapu-Coroglen Road

A number of Mercury Bay residents are upset about the dumping of a significant amount of domestic rubbish on the Tapu-Coroglen Road early today.

The good news is that Thames Coromandel District Council has been made aware of the names of possible perpetrators and they are investigating.

Dumping of domestic rubbish is an offence against the Litter Act and it’s the responsibility of local councils to enforce the act.

In this specific case the rubbish was dumped on TCDC land aprroximately 6km from State Highway 25. TCDC says they can enforce the act also where dumping on private land took place.

Under the act, fines of up to $20,000 can be issued. TCDC says rubbish dumping happens throughout the Coromandel Peninsula and when perpetrators are located, they are always held responsible for the cost of cleaning up the rubbish and disposing of it.

TCDC has instructed contractors to clean up the rubbish dumped in this case.

Whitianga Police Report for Monday 27 July to Monday 3 August


An unlicensed 17 year old driver who crashed on Racecourse Road on the 28th was very lucky not to have seriously injured himself, his passenger or a member of the public when he crashed the utility he was driving into a fence.

At his age his alcohol limit for driving is zero and he recorded 759 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath.

Please plan your night out so that drinking and driving is not an option.

This young person will have an Excess Breath Alcohol conviction recorded against his name, he will be disqualified for a number of months and fined for his actions. He will also receive an Infringement Notice for driving while unlicensed and be forbidden from driving.

Thankfully no one was injured or worse.

Please encourage family, friends and anyone else you see considering driving drunk, not to drive as you may save someone's life.     


No arrests this week.


No domestic incidents attended this week.

On the 27th we dealt with a breach of bail incident on Albert Street and our enquiries are continuing.

A wallet was found missing from an unlocked car at the Cathedral Cove car park on the 2nd and it is suspected to have been stolen. 

Please lock your valuables away out of sight if leaving them in your car or keep them with you.


Please remember that if your car's warrant of fitness expires and it fails the warrant of fitness check, you can't just keep driving around until you get it fixed. The 30 days on the check sheet relates to the time you have to get the vehicle re-checked, which is included in the initial fee.

The vehicle can only be driven to and from a location for repairs or for the re-check and making an appointment with the service provider is advised to prove the reason for your travel.

Police recommend that you renew your warrant of fitness before it expires.

Mercury Bay and other Coromandel businesses showcased at Auckland Food Show

Fresh, organic, sustainable and niche are all ideal words to describe Coromandel’s food and beverage sector. From nuts, to market gardens, to fresh seafood and craft beer the Coromandel is rich in homegrown products and produce.

And to showcase what the Coromandel has to offer, Thames Coromandel District Council has partnered with ATEED (Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development) and several Coromandel food and beverage providers to promote the Coromandel at the Food Show in Auckland this weekend and early next week.

“Under the ATEED section at the Food Show you will find the “Coromandel Food Collective - Good For Your Soul," exhibition stand,” says Laurna White, TCDC’s Communications and Marketing Manager.

“This opportunity arose following a visit organised by our Council in late 2014 for ATEED CE Brett O'Reilly and staff to come to the Coromandel to look at strengthening ties between ourselves and Auckland, particularly as many of our absentee ratepayers reside in Auckland.

“During their visit the group highlighted some of the special qualities which set the Coromandel apart which includes our seafood and local, organic produce. Our council has been working closely with ATEED's Rural Development Specialist Wendy Voegelin to look at what we can do to capitalise on this and one of the first projects was bringing a collective of Coromandel Food and Beverage producers to the Food Show.

The businesses involved (three from Mercury Bay) are -

The Coromandel Oyster Company

The Cheese Barn at Matatoki

Wilderland (relish, honeys and organic produce)

Cathedral Cove Macadamias

The Pour House (craft beer)

Omahu Valley Citrus

Hot Water Brewing Company (craft beer), another Mercury Bay business, and the Humble Oatcake Company are also showcased.

As part of the event, TCDC has also developed a "Coromandel Food Trail Guide," which will be handed out at the show, which has an audience of over 17,000, including international and national media, the food, beverage and hospitality industry and the general public.

A revised edition with more Coromandel products will be developed and marketed by TCDC, ATEED and Destination Coromandel and launched ahead of Summer 2015-2016.

The local food producers represented at the event have contributed financially to the promotion and marketing material, while our TCDC and ATEED subsidised the stand and also contributed to the promotion and marketing of the Coromandel Food Collective.

A report will be delivered to Council’s Economic Development Committee on the outcomes of the show and how it helped promote the Coromandel and local food providers.

New treasurer for Mercury Bay Art Escape

The Mercury Bay Art Escape Trust has recently accepted with regret the resignation of Gilbert Bannan from his position as trustee and foundation treasurer of the trust.

“Gilbert joined the Mercury Bay Art Escape Trust as a board member in 2011 and very quickly got immersed in the process with the other board members of forming a formal charitable trust with the guidance of Alan Henry our solicitor at the time,” says Stuart Christie, chairman of the trust. 

“Since then he has done an outstanding job both, as a locally based trustee, taking responsibility for much of the day to day running of operations and spending probably two days a week on trust business, and also as foundation treasurer with the establishment of the current financial structure of the trust and it’s statutory reporting.”

Gilbert says he has enjoyed the journey over the last four years as the Art Escape has grown from a trust that started with a debt to becoming financially sound and is now being recognised as a pre-eminent art organisation in New Zealand. “

“Unfortunately the voluntary time that I have given over recent years is not sustainable and I need to have more time to enjoy retirement and all that goes with that. I look forward to contributing in the future through the trust’s advisory board".

Gilbert will complete handing over to Peter Hogg, incoming Trustee and Treasurer, in September this year and will join businessmen Peter Mahoney, Alistair Sims and Brian Pilkington on the trust’s advisory Board, assisting with longer term planning  and development.

Peter Hogg has recently retired to join his wife in Coroglen and brings a wealth of finance and management skills, drawing from his experiences in senior roles with large IT companies and more recently the New Zealand public health sector.

Taputapuatea Spit planting this Saturday

The Taputapuatea Spit restoration project managed by the Mercury Bay Forest and Bird branch will be holding its first planting day this Saturday 1 August.

The project covers 4ha of the Taputapuatea spit, stretching from the clubhouse of the Mercury Bay Boating Club in the north to Buffalo Beach Reserve in the south. Working in partnership with Ngati Hei and Thames Coromandel District Council, the group’s aim is to enhance the native biodiversity of the area and it is intended to spread the restoration work over a ten year period.

The group recently weeded and removed broken fencing and are now ready to start planting the back dunes. Beginning at the Boating Club end of Taputapuatea Spit, members of the Mercury Bay branch of Forest and Bird will be planting low ground covers, mainly knobby rush and muehlenbeckhia.

There are about 1,000 plants. So if you feel like some fresh air and a spot of easy digging, bring a spade, trowel, gardening gloves and come and join in, parking is next to the Mercury Bay Boating Club. Everyone is welcome to either join in, or talk to the branch members if you are interested in learning about the restoration project. Planting will start at 1:00pm.

Community grant applications close this week

Applications for the Thames Coromandel District Council Community Grant 2015/16 funding round close this Friday 31 July.

TCDC says community grants help local organisations pay for specific projects or maintenance of facilities that benefit the community, support not-for-profit community organisations which have a positive impact on the community and recognise, support and enhance volunteer effort in the community.

Last year the five Community Boards in the Thames Coromandel District  allocated an amount of $168,632.30 from the Community Grant Fund amongst those that applied for funding in 2014/2015.

See for more information and to download the guidelines and forms for applications.


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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.