Monday, 06 July 2020

WHITIANGA WEATHER

Whitianga Police Report for Monday 20 April to Monday 27 April

GENERAL

An excellent turn out to Whitianga’s ANZAC Service with the majority of our town attending.

I was very impressed with those in attendance standing fast, especially when the rain came as most weren't wearing raincoats as the morning had started out with fine weather.

There were no issues with any of the parades in our immediate area.

ARRESTS

23rd - 1 x 21yr old local man for Theft and Breaching Prison Release Conditions.

24th - 1 x 20yr old Matamata man for Wilful Damage (x6)

OCCURRENCES

One domestic incident attended this week.

On the 23rd we dealt with a Breach of Protection Order where a couple were arguing over custody issues and text messages were getting abusive.

On the 21st a residential property on Annette Place was burgled with the offender smashing a window to gain access.

The home owner is still to establish if property was stolen.

On the 22nd a car Unlawfully Taken from an Isabella Street address was later located on White Street.

On the 23rd a floral-coloured skate board was stolen from the wharf area and two gas bottles were stolen from outside a Clipper Place address on the 24th.

Also on the 24th number plates were stolen from a Joan Gaskell Drive car park and have been linked to a stolen vehicle located on Mill Road.

On the 26th a car was Unlawfully Taken from a party on South Highway and the offender crashed it a short distance from the address and decamped.

Enquiries are continuing with a named suspect.

As per the arrest above an intoxicated man caused damage along Cook Drive on the 26th and he will be able to explain his actions to a Judge.

TRAFFIC

Two drunk drivers apprehended this week.

20th - 1 x 30yr old local man 657/250 and also Driving Whilst Disqualified.

25th - 1 x 24yr old local woman 761/250

No serious crashes to report.

TCDC appoints Business Broker

Thames Coromandel District Council now has a single-point of contact to help big business and development projects navigate through the different Council departments they need to deal with.

Len Whittaker, a civil engineer who has been working in local government for 30 years and with TCDC for nine years, is now Council’s Business Broker.

TCDC says Len is available to business people to offer a strategic, high-level, all-of-Council experience to make sure qualifying projects follow a clear pathway through the bureaucracy. The paperwork is necessary, but not always easy or fun.

Large subdivision projects and business development initiatives often require input from staff in Planning, Legal, Health, Licences, Concessions, Building Consents and Infrastructure services.

TCDC says they want to make sure people who are investing in Coromandel communities receive everything they need from Council in order to drive their projects forward.

This will help retain and grow economic activity - creating jobs and opportunities for the people of the Coromandel.

Mr Whittaker is available for "pre-concept" meetings to discuss projects before they are lodged with Council to make sure everyone's on the same page.

Mr Whittaker obtained his New Zealand Certificate in Engineering (NZCE) qualification in 1984, specialising in civil engineering.
Since then, he's worked in roading, water supply, wastewater supply, stormwater supply and solid waste - all aspects that are crucial to subdivision development, which has been Mr Whittaker's focus for the last 18 years.

This work has involved him in engineering surveys, design, consents, construction supervision and project management.

He's worked on Whitianga Waterways, Pauanui Waterways, Matarangi Beach Estates subdivisions, Totara Palms, the new Kopu Bridge and the Kopu Structure Plan - which takes in the current redevelopment of the Kopu Business Park - just to name a few of  the many projects he's been involved in.

Most recently, Mr Whittaker has been TCDC’s Acting Area Manager for Mercury Bay, taking Sam Marshall's place for eight months while he was on extended leave.

In that role he developed good links with Council’s elected members and senior management.

"I know the go-to people and have good rapport with them," says Mr Whittaker.

"I can help build relationships and partnerships between developers and Council offices and departments.”

Ferry Landing restoration works begin

Divers will be working around the Ferry Landing old stone wharf for several days this week recovering old stone blocks from the sea floor.

The work is the first stage in Thames Coromandel District Council’s restoration project of the wharf, which is one of the oldest working stone wharves in the Southern Hemisphere and is also classified as a Grade One structure by the Historic Places Trust.

Guy Banhidi and his team of divers from Dive Revive based out of Whenaukite will be carrying out the recovery work. This will see stones lost from the original wall recovered from the seafloor. They wlll then be used to rebuild the wharf's original stone steps, along with sections of missing wall.

"These are the original stones from the wharf that have eroded off and fallen into the sea," says Mercury Bay Area Manager Sam Marshall.

The stones, estimated to weigh between 100kg and 1,000kg can be seen in good visibility, several metres under the water, beside the wharf and out further into the channel.

A crane will be on-site and a section of the wharf will be cordoned off around where the divers are working. Divers will be wearing helmets with communications on them which allows them to be in constant contact with the dive tender.

"The divers aren't going deep and it's not dangerous conditions," says Mr Banhidi. "The comms allows us to let the divers know when the ferry is coming and going. We have already worked out a plan with the erry operator, as the service will be going during our work.

"People are welcome to come and watch, but won't be able to get anywhere near our operation," he says.

The diving work should take up to three days and when that's complete, a stonemason and archaeologist will be analysing the stones to see how many can be used to rebuild the wharf and whether other stone needs to be sourced.

The actual restoration of stonework on the wharf will take place later in the year.

Last December the Lotteries Environment and Heritage Fund approved $187,645 towards the Stage One of the restoration work, while TCDC had contributed $279,000.

Memorial Forest plantings on ANZAC Day

ANZAC Day will see the first trees planted in Thames Coromandel District Council's World War I Memorial Forest.

Two signature native trees are to be planted at three sites around the Coromandel as part of ANZAC Day commemorations on 25 April.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings, when New Zealand troops fought their first major campaign of World War One.

In all, 18,166 New Zealanders died in the war. By the 100th anniversary of the war's end in 2018, that number of trees will have been planted at 10 sites across the Coromandel.

The trees will be planted in forests that represent major battles and campaigns that New Zealand forces took part in.

"The New Zealand World War I Memorial Forest is a fitting and long-lasting tribute to the New Zealand men and women who fought and died in the service of their country a century ago," says TCDC Economic Development Programme Manager Ben Dunbar-Smith.

Mr Dunbar-Smith has been overseeing this complex project that also involves significant contributions from RSAs, community groups, schools, Waikato Regional Council and the Department of Conservation.

The 10 forest sites will also form a growing tourism attraction, with trees available for purchase and each tree GPS-located.

"The tourism benefits of the memorial forest are considerable and in the early stages of planting there will be spin-off effects from the local goods and services related to the project," says Mr Dunbar-Smith.

After discussions with RSAs and local communities, it was decided to keep the plantings on ANZAC Day low key so as not to detract from the day's traditional remembrance ceremonies.

The three sites where planting will take place on ANZAC Day are the new cemetery at Mercury Bay, Tairua's RSA cemetery and in Whangamata on the Council reserve near Durrant Drive.

At the new Mercury Bay cemetery 35 trees will be blessed on ANZAC Day. Two of these will be planted and the others taken away to be planted after 5 June when the weather conditions for planting are better.

After the trees are blessed and planted, a New Zealand World War One Memorial Forest sign will be unveiled that honours those from Mercury Bay who gave their lives in the war.

The cemetery forest site also remembers the Battle of Passchendaele, where eventually more than 2,000 trees will be planted.

At Tairua's RSA cemetery two signature trees are to be planted on ANZAC Day after the dawn service.

A New Zealand World War One Memorial Forest sign honouring those from Tairua-Hikuai who served and died in the war will be unveiled at the same time.

A further 46 trees will be planted over the winter months, when conditions are best for tree planting.

Also on ANZAC Day, two signature trees are due to be planted at a Council reserve at the northern entrance to Whangamata near Durrant Drive.

More than 550 submissions received on TCDC Long term Plan

Thames Coromandel District Council’s Long Term Plan submission period resulted in 567 submissions.

TCDC received five submissions on their Development Contributions Policy, 41 submissions on their Rates Remissions Policy, 174 on their Revenue and Financing Policy and 347 on the overall Long Term Plan consultation document.

Hearings on the Long term Plan will be held in Whitianga and Thames the week after ANZAC day. The locations have been chosen based on the numbers of submitters and the places they live. Community Boards will then have special meetings to allow their input into the deliberations process and Council will make final decisions in the middle of May.

The meeting in Whitianga will be held on Tuesday 28 April at 9:00am in the Mercury Bay Community Boardroom at 10 Monk Street.

TCDC looking for Youth Library Champs

An exciting new youth volunteer programme invites young people aged eight and up to join the Thames Coromandel District Council library team, earn rewards and help their local library.

Young Library Champs is a volunteer advocacy programme designed to give young people the opportunity to contribute their skills and talents in order to enhance children's activities and programmes within their local library.

TCDC says the library is a fantastic place to learn new skills and young volunteers will learn many aspects of librarianship as they work their way through the programme. The TCDC children's librarians have designed a series of library-related challenges for youth to work through in their own time and at weekly club days in the library. Incentive rewards are earned for every task completed.

Reading is an essential part of the programme and participants in the programme will log, share and review their reading throughout the term.

Once the Young Library Champs have completed all their challenges, they may choose to be facilitators, helping the next group of youth volunteers, or they may go through the programme again.

If you know of a young person in the wider Mercury Bay area who has the potential to be a Young Library Champion, please have them contact their local TCDC library for more information, or they can go to the first Young Library Champion Club Day on Tuesday 28 April at 4:00pm at the Tairua and Mercury Bay Libraries.

Whitianga Police Report for Monday 6 April to Monday 13 April 2015

GENERAL

I attended the Matarangi Food and Wine Festival on Saturday and found a well run event being attended by people who were enjoying an excellent day out. There were no issues to report.

There have been a couple of thefts this week and I remind everyone to lock their vehicles and keep valuables out of site.

There have been a couple of noisy parties lately where the party-goers need to consider the people living around them.

If the noise is unreasonable, then your first call should be to Noise Control via the Council. The attending Noise Control Officer will then contact the Police if we are required to assist.

ARRESTS

Nil.

OCCURRENCES

One domestic incident attended this week.

On the 9th a couple were arguing at their home address after consuming alcohol and sound advice was given.

On the 7th a cell-phone was stolen from a car parked on Lee Street, the owner subsequently locating the cell phone in Taylor's Mistake.

Then on the 8th a Camera and passport were stolen from a crashed vehicle that was left at the crash scene on the 309 Road while the driver went to get assistance.

A handbag containing an iPhone 4 was stolen from a Whenuakite work address on the 12th when left unattended. 

TRAFFIC

No drunk drivers apprehended this week.

There have been a couple of crashes lately on the 309 Road where drivers who have been unfamiliar with gravel roads have been driving too fast for the conditions. Reducing speed will allow the driver opportunity to deal with any mistakes they make.

A crash on the 8th related to a tourist who lost control on a moderate bend, while on Saturday night a local 309 Road resident crashed as a result of vehicle issues.

Hahei Holiday Resort up for sale

Earlier this week the owners of the Hahei Holiday Resort confirmed that the 6.79ha site, which is in private ownership and has a land capital value of $11.69m, is up for sale.

"We appreciate the Hahei Holiday Resort is a prestigious spot and we recognise the high public interest in this area," says Thames Coromandel District Mayor Glenn Leach. "However from a Council perspective we haven't got the resource to purchase the land outright.

"If there's a groundswell of support from the local community wanting to purchase the land, this could be considered through a targeted rate for an area of benefit.

"Another option could be the community approaching regional and/or central government for funding - however we have been down this road with little success.

"When you consider the Coromandel as a whole there are also other significant pieces of land, with high public interest, that's under development pressure.”

When it comes to any development, TCDC is bound by legislation under the Resource Management Act.

"What we want to encourage is for any developer to come and see us in the first instance so we can ensure we can help facilitate the best outcome for everyone," says Mr Leach. "This is also taking into consideration the fact that we have to follow and abide by the RMA process."

The Operative District Plan has a structure plan in place over the resort with an underlying zoning of Coastal Zone (Village Policy Area).

The Hahei Holiday Resort Structure Plan has specific rules for specific areas on the property, including -

  • The provision of a wider, more flexible range of tourism and traveller accommodation, which is responsive to changing tourism and travelling patterns and demands.
  • Development to a maximum height of 10m over central parts of the land.
  • The maximum number of visitors per day not to exceed 1,275 people.

While anyone buying the land has the right to apply for a subdivision, they will need to make sure that their development is in accordance with the Structure Plan and will still need to obtain resource consent under the District Plan.

In the event, anyone looking to purchase the land wanted to change the Structure Plan, this would require a change to the District Plan involving public notification, submissions and a hearing.

"Where public notification is not required under the RMA, but the area in question is of high public interest we would still be pushing for public notification," says Mr Leach.

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