Friday, 07 August 2020


MP welcomes broadband upgrades

Improved broadband services for Hot Water Beach and Kuaotunu are being welcomed by Coromandel MP, Scott Simpson.

“Chorus have just finished upgrading broadband cabinets and that means much faster, better internet access,” said Mr Simpson.

“Local people have been waiting patiently longer than I wanted, but I’m sure the improved service will be appreciated now it’s here.

“Better access to faster broadband is something that’s raised with me often. It’s great news that Chorus have upgraded equipment for Hot Water Beach and Kuaotunu.

“Improved internet service is crucial to growing our local economy. Ensuring people have access to fast and reliable broadband means more opportunities for our community.

“I will continue to push for further improvements in our region and I’m completely committed to ensuring we get our fair share of the nationwide funding for further upgrades.”

Whitianga Police Report for Monday 20 July to Monday 27 July 2015


Please continue to keep a lookout for suspicious activity and report what you have seen to Police so that we can prevent crime in our community.

Secure your valuables to prevent opportunist thieves and record serial numbers for property so that if it is stolen there is an increased chance of it being identified.    

I have seen a few new members for our Community Patrol, Coastguard and Kuaotunu Search and Rescue lately and would like to encourage anyone with a bit of time on their hands to consider joining one of our community's volunteer groups.

If you are out of work, I see these groups as an excellent way of gaining new skills and meeting people within your community.


No arrests this week.


Two domestic incidents attended this week.

The first at a White Street address on the 24th where a young couple were arguing over financial issues and the Police separated them to allow them time to calm down.

The second was at Mill Creek Road on the 24th where extended family members argued and an assault investigation is continuing.  


There were no serious crashes to report in our area this week and no drunk drivers apprehended.

20th - 1 x 16 year old boy was apprehended riding a scooter motor bike without a licence and he was forbidden to drive until he obtained a New Zealand drivers licence (on the same scooter as the 15 year old the week before).

We issued a demerit point suspension last week for a man who had received over 100 demerit points within two years and his licence was suspended for three months.

Speeding and licence issues would be the most common reasons people receive demerit points and continued poor driving can result in your licence being suspended in a relatively short period of time.   

MP promoting Youth Fund opportunity

The 2016 Youth Fund is open for applications and Coromandel MP Scott Simpson is promoting the opportunity to local young people and youth leaders.

“I encourage people with ideas for youth-driven projects to apply for a share of the Government’s $200,000 Youth Fund,” says Mr Simpson.

“We have many outstanding young people in our community and this fund supports activities that develop their decision-making and leadership skills.”

The Youth Fund initiative is for projects that respond to a need in the community as identified by young people. Projects must be led by individuals or groups of young people aged 12 to 24 years old, or organisations working in partnership with young people.

Funding applications will be assessed by a Youth Funding Panel. Youth Funding Panels are made up of young people trained in funding decision-making and supported by the Ministry of Youth Development.

Funding of up to $7,000 is available, with applications closing on Thursday 10 September 2015.

Interesting artefact found at Brophy's Beach

Whitianga local Ossian Smith walked yesterday into the Mercury Bay Museum with a very interesting find - an old Maori canoe steering paddle.

Ossian found the paddle at Whitianga’s Brophy’s Beach approximately a year ago, but kept it under wraps to give interested iwi an opportunity to appreciate the find and guide him on how to deal with it publicly.

With construction of a sandbag backstop wall at Brophy’s Beach imminent, it was thought prudent to let the wider public know of the paddle. “Who knows, there may be more artefacts around there,” Ossian says.

Indications are that the paddle belonged to a canoe of the Tainui iwi, from a period before they became “landlocked” in the Waikato. It means that the paddle may well be more than 800 years old.

“Many current members of Tainui travelled here to take a closer look at the paddle. They are very excited about it,” Ossian says.

Ossian will now ask experts at the Auckland Museum to have a closer look at the paddle and see if they can determine its age.  Whatever they come up with, will undoubtedly be very interesting.

Whitianga Police Report for Monday 13 July to Monday 20 July 2015


We have had a couple of thefts reported this week where the owners have left their property unattended and then returned to discover the property stolen.

Unfortunately there are people out there waiting for the opportunity to steal your property, so please make it as difficult as possible for them.

Leaving bags outside stores while you are shopping is not a good idea.

Either leave large bags at home or request the store owner hold the bag at the counter while you are in their store.  


13th - 1 x 15 year old boy for Burglary.


Two domestic incidents attended this week.

Both on the 16th involving the same family at a White Street address, when their 18 year old son lost his temper, kicking the letterbox and car after a direct discussion concerning what he needed to contribute to remain staying there. Police calmed the situation and the family discussed future rules they could all agree to.

On the 12th as per the arrest above, a 15 year old was apprehended after stealing 3 pair of shoes from the front porch area of a Nicholas Avenue address. The shoes were returned and the matter referred to Youth Aid Section.

On the 15th a bag was left outside a store at a Lee Street premises and stolen. The owner subsequently located the bag and contents behind the premises.

A cell phone was stolen during a party at a Centennial Drive address on the 18th.


There were no serious crashes to report in our area this week and no drunk drivers apprehended.

19th - 1 x 15year old boy was apprehended riding a scooter motor bike without a licence and he was forbidden to drive until he obtained a New Zealand drivers licence.

If a forbidden driver is stopped driving without having obtained a current drivers licence, then the vehicle can be impounded for 28 days and the driver charged with Driving Whilst Forbidden.

So to avoid a day in court and the impound costs, Police remind everyone to get a licence before they drive on a road.

Whitianga's very own sea shanty

Yes, Whitianga has it’s very own sea shanty now.

Local performer Stewart Pedley wrote and composed this song for the Buffalo commemorations taking place from 28 July to 2 August in Whitianga.

This seven verse song is really a summary of the history of HMS Buffalo, the ship that ran aground at Whitianga’s Buffalo Beach on 28 July 1840.

Here are the words of the song. For a video clip of the first three verses, go to


My friends, I gift this tale, to history it pertains,

About the ship, the Buffalo, and all her different claims.

She started in Calcutta, and ended in remains.

I could tell you all the faces, and tell you all the names.

So, let’s set her out to sea

In eighteen-thirty-three:

Hey, ho, away she goes,

The ship, the Buffalo.


I was boarded on the ship, one catholic Mary Murphy,

With all the other convict girls, from Portsmouth, bound for Sydney.

If giving birth below the deck damn near didn’t kill me,

It was being fed only bread for being a disorderly.

We was all down in the bottom

With the stinking and the rotten.

Hey, ho, away she goes,

The ship, the Buffalo.


Ko Titori ahau: I’m the noble chief, Titore.

I wrote to William, King of England, telling him my story

Of how we filled the Buffalo with the strongest spars of kauri

For English ships to fight the French, should they ever get to warring;

And how I’d like to purchase

As fine a ship as she is.

Hey, ho, away she goes,

The ship, the Buffalo.


Well, my name is William Bell; a five month trip I made

Under Captain Hindmarsh, to the place of Adelaide.

In the colony I stayed, where stories were oft relayed

Of Hindmarsh, made Governor, and the way his men behaved:

Their fists were always swinging;

They’d be drunk, and they’d be singing,

Hey, ho, away she goes,

The ship, the Buffalo.


I am Thomas Laslett, the botanist to the ship.

In Tairua we felled the finest trees that we saw fit.

The workers were all lazy sods who cared for not a shit,

And the natives wouldn’t take to saw ‘til blessings had been met.

But we filled her in the end

With spars for England.

Hey, ho, away she goes,

The ship, the Buffalo.


My story is of loss, my friends, for Captain Wood is I;

We lost one good ship that night, and we lost two good lives.

She broke the chains at Cook’s Beach in that fierce and cold July.

We tried to fight the howling winds, but couldn’t fight the tides;

With no pintle, or no anchor,

Mercury Bay’s seas finally sank her.

Hey, ho, away she goes,

The ship, the Buffalo.


The Buffalo wrecked in this place many years long gone;

Her story then entwined here as the town established on.

And though there’s little left of her, her ruins spread along,

She’s still alive in history, and still alive in song:

You can hear the crack of sails,

The ropes groan in the gales,

The seamen’s cheers and wails:

Hey, ho, away she goes,

The ship, the Buffalo.


Hey, ho, away she goes,

The ship, the Buffalo.



For a list of events during the week of Buffalo commemorations, go to the Coming Events section of this website.


Seal population on Coromandel increasing

Increasing numbers of seals are coming ashore in built-up parts of the Coromandel in what scientists say is a healthy sign of recovery from the historical slaughter of decades ago.

Authorities are ramping up education to try to prevent the problems of dogs harassing or attacking seals, people feeding seals, or - as they have in some cases - taking them home.  

“They look very cute but they’re mammals that can carry diseases that can transfer to us. If people feed them, there’s a chance the seal will stop feeding for itself and grow accustomed to people. They grow up to be more aggressive and their bite is three times the strength of a dog,” said DOC biodiversity ranger Stephanie Watts.

“We prefer minimum intervention, but if they’re in the way, like with commuters coming off the Whitianga ferry, we have to move them.”

She said the seals are also turning up in greater numbers in Auckland, where there is less natural habitat and they’re having to share waterfront land with houses and park areas.

“Because the seal population is increasing, they’re expanding back into their former range and people are going to see more and more of them. It’s going to be part of what you will see at the beach, especially on the west coast of Auckland.”

DOC Marine species and threats Science Advisor Laura Boren said Auckland and Coromandel Peninsula residents will need to consider how to share their space with seals. “Fur seals were originally estimated to number between 1.5 million and 2 million prior to hunting for meat and fur and they were hunted to near extinction.

“The South Island has already experienced the rate of increase and recolonisation and as an area starts to reach carrying capacity, then breeding sites will expand or seals will move into adjacent sites and those colonies will increase.

“What we’re seeing now is that it’s happening on the North Island. They’re filling up the spaces where they used to be found.”

She said seals were protected in the 1940s, but opened up again for two limited seasons before being officially protected from 1978 when legislation was brought in to protect all marine mammals in New Zealand.

DOC would like to hear about any animal that is injured - especially if entangled or with fishing hooks and gear on its body - or if it is tagged. If you find a seal that is severely injured, entangled in marine debris or being harassed by people or dogs, call the DOC Hotline 0800 362 468, otherwise visit the DOC website to learn about seals.

“Normal” seal behaviour includes flapping its flippers in the air as if stranded, "crying" - these are natural moisture secretions - and regurgitating, sneezing or coughing. 

They may also spend long periods of time on land.

A competition and street party part of Goldrush Rally of Coromandel

Children and young people can enter a "Design Your Own Rally Car Competition" to win a ride in a Rally NZ car as part of the Mahindra Goldrush Rally of Coromandel.

This is second year in a row that Rally NZ returns to the Coromandel for the fifth round of the Brian Green Property Groups NZ Rally Championship. Official racing is on Saturday 22 August with up to 60 cars vying for pole position

On the Friday night in Whitanga there will be an array of events for everyone to enjoy ahead of official race day, including the opportunity for winners of the Design a Rally Car Competition to get a ride in a car around Whitianga.

"All you have to do to enter is grab our competition form which asks you to draw a design of your ultimate rally car," says competition organiser Kirstin Richmond. "If you add in a description explaining the design that will certainly be helpful to the judges".

Entries can be picked up from TCDC offices and district libraries or downloaded from the TCDC website. There are five age-group categories and entries need to be sent in by 5:00pm on Friday 14 August to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or dropped into a TCDC area office or district library.

Kirstin says that due to height requirements, children aged under five won’t be able to go in the rally car for a drive, but the winner will receive a goodie bag and a meet and greet with the drivers.

On Friday 21 August, the Whitianga Community Events Support Trust and the Mercury Bay Business Association have organised for Blacksmith Lane in Whitianga to be closed between 3:00pm - 6:00pm for a street party to coincide with the ceremonial start of the rally.

Ten leading teams in the Rally will set up their service areas and provide a real "pit-lane" style feel of what it's really like when the cars stop in the pits to refuel and tune up. The remaining 50 race cars will also be on-site and on-display. All the rally drivers will also be on-site to meet the public.

Quad bike racing and drag racing (or rather men in drag racing) will also be part of the fun.

"We're so pleased to host Rally NZ for another year," says TCDC mayor Glenn Leach. "The feedback we have received from organisers was that the drivers loved the route and the hospitality shown by the Mercury Bay community last year.

"We also want to thank the Whitianga Community Events Support Trust and the Mercury Bay Business Association who are organising some fun events for the public on the Friday night before the race.”

For the rally programme and the best places to view the action, the Coming Events page of this website.


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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.