Wednesday, 18 September 2019

WHITIANGA WEATHER

New Countdown in Whitianga opened this morning

Countdown opened its 170th store in New Zealand in Whitianga this morning.

At a short opening ceremony Karl Wareham, Countdown’s manager for the Waikato and Coromandel areas, said the store is a tribute to the hard work of a large team of people and he is delighted with the way it turned out.

Store manager, Kim Bradley said Countdown has already made a contribution to the Mercury Bay X-ray machine campaign and she’s looking forward to a deeper involvement in the local community. She has also used the opportunity to hand a trolley of food to Kay Worth from the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army is a key partner in Countdown’s programme of free food distribution – annually in excess of $1.4 million.

Thames Coromandel District Council mayor, Glenn Leach, who cut the ribbon and unveiled the plaque, was delighted with New Zealand’s largest private employer of people now having a presence on the Coromandel.

Countdown employs more than 18,000 team members throughout New Zealand. The Whitianga store created 55 jobs, 90 per cent of whom are from the Whitianga area.

The Whitianga store has been designed with Countdown’s latest new-generation format and features wider aisles, an expansive fresh produce department and energy efficient fittings and equipment. The store also features a full-service bakery baking fresh goods daily, more than 175 car parks and 13 checkouts, including six assisted checkouts, three express checkouts, and six self-serve checkouts.

TCDC looking for owner of dog that attacked man in Whitianga

Thames Coromandel District Council would like to talk to the owner of a dog that attacked a man at the Whitianga skateboard park at lunchtime on Saturday 14 June.

The man was visiting the Whitianga skateboard park with his partner and two small children on when he was bitten on the leg by a large tan dog.

The dog was with a European male in his twenties who admitted to the victim that the dog bites and then left the skateboard park before giving any details. He is thought to be a local resident who frequents the park.

The victim required medical attention for the bite.

TCDC's Compliance Officers wish to speak to the owner of the dog about the incident as it is of concern that this dog was at the skateboard park within reach of children and the owner was aware that the dog has been known to have aggressive behaviour.

If you have information that can help, please call 07 868 0200 and ask for one of the TCDC Compliance team members.

Information will be received in confidence.

Surprise visitor to Mercury Bay after storm

When Kevin Robinson from Whitianga woke up the morning after the storm last week, he found a grey-headed albatross in his back yard. Concerned that the bird was injured, he captured it and took it to Annemieke Kregting in Kuaotunu. Annemieke is known as Mercury Bay’s saviour of injured and stray birds.

Annemieke noticed that the albatross was tagged and got hold of the Department of Conservartion. Their inquiries revealed that the bird was tagged in Australia.

Upon further investigation it has now come to light that the bird was tagged as a chick on Macquarie Island, between New Zealand and Antarctica, on 1 March this year. “It’s pretty awesome that a bird which is likely less than six months old is already more than 2,500km away from where it was hatched,” said Annemieke.

The bird was fortunately not injured and was last week Thursday released at Matarangi.

Adult grey-headed albatrosses averages 81cm in length and a 2.2m wingspan.  

Surprise visitor to Mercury Bay after storm

When Kevin Robinson from Whitianga woke up the morning after the storm last week, he found a grey-headed albatross in his back yard. Concerned that the bird was injured, he captured it and took it to Annemieke Kregting in Kuaotunu. Annemieke is known as Mercury Bay’s saviour of injured and stray birds.

Annemieke noticed that the albatross was tagged and got hold of the Department of Conservartion. Their inquiries revealed that the bird was tagged in Australia.

Upon further investigation it has now come to light that the bird was tagged as a chick on Macquarie Island, between New Zealand and Antarctica, on 1 March this year. “It’s pretty awesome that a bird which is likely less than six months old is already more than 2,500km away from where it was hatched,” said Annemieke.

The bird was fortunately not injured and was last week Thursday released at Matarangi.

Adult grey-headed albatrosses averages 81cm in length and a 2.2m wingspan.  

Major Events Sponsorship Funding applications now open

If you're looking to establish a major event on the Coromandel, you could be eligible for money from Thames Coromandel District Council’s Major Events Sponsorship funding.

Two application rounds are planned for the 2014-15 financial year in June and September.
The first round of funding will target the upcoming Spring /Summer events window and opened Monday 26 May, while the second round of funding should be open for applications in September, to target the Autumn/Winter 2015 events window.
Applications are to be assessed using the following criteria -

  • The event is unique to the Coromandel.
  • The event will garner strong national and regional media profile.
  • The event will attract holiday-home owners back to the Coromandel.
  • The event will attract domestic tourists (and internationals if they are already in NZ).
  • Preference is given to shoulder-season events (off-peak).
  • The event will attract strong support from Destination Coromandel and the private sector.
  • The event has the potential to grow to become an icon event.
  • An annual event is preferred - if it is a “one-off” event, it must have a track record of success in other places.
  • Beneficiaries of the 2013/2014 Major Events Funding are Illume Coromandel Town Winter Festival of Light ($50,000), the Thames Mindsport Festival ($12,500) and the Tairua Wet and Wild Jetski Event ($2,500).

Decisions will be made in July 2014 for the first round of funding applications.

More information and an application form can be found at www.tcdc.govt.nz.

Ruben the Road Safety bear to visit the Coromandel

Ruben the Road Safety Bear will be travelling the Coromandel Peninsula this month to teach children from the area how to be safe around our roads.
The popular bear is the mascot for Waikato Regional Council’s young road user safety programme and teaches children up to about seven years old the foundation road safety skills.
“Ruben will be delivering his road safety lessons in schools and preschools in Coromandel, Colville, Whitianga, Tairua and many places in between,” said WRC’ss transport projects administrator, Jenny Davis.
“The children will be invited to join Ruben’s Kid’s Club so they can receive exciting newsletters reminding them of his key road safety messages into the future,” said Ms Davis
Ms Davis encouraged parents to actively support road safety messages by role modelling safe road behaviour. “What children see they do, so being a good role model is an important part of teaching children good road safety practices,” she said.
WRC’s young road user safety programme saw Ruben deliver nearly 300 road safety lessons to 16,511 children throughout the Waikato last year.
Ruben’s website features his key safety messages, activities for children, as well as helpful links and information for teachers, parents and caregivers. Ruben’s five key messages are:

  • Be bright, dress bright: When out and about, wear bright clothing so other road users can easily see you.
  • Seat yourself right, buckle in tight: Buckle into a correctly sized car seat on every trip in a vehicle.
  • Stop, look, listen and link: Before crossing the road stop back from the curb, look and listen for vehicles and bikes, link hands with a safe person and walk quickly across the road, still looking as you go.
  • Look out for sneaky driveways: When you are walking on the footpath, remember to ‘stop, look, listen and link’ at each driveway just like when you are crossing the road.
  • Helmet on right and tight: Wear a correctly fitting helmet every time you ride your bike or scooter.
Ranfurly Shield to visit Whitianga

The Thames Valley Rugby Union’s Swamp Foxes will be challenging for the Ranfurly Shield against Counties Manukau on 2 July. To promote the game, the shield will be touring the Coromandel and Hauraki Plains next week.

The shield will be at Mercury Bay Area School on Tuesday 17 June from 12:30pm - 2:00pm. Everyone is welcome to have a look at the shield, just sign in at the school office.

The shield, colloquially known as the “Log o' Wood,” was first played for in 1904. The shield is based on a challenge system - the holding union must defend the shield in challenge matches and a successful challenger becomes its new holder.

Counties Manukau won the shield on after beating Hawkes Bay on 7 September 2013.

Whitianga in numbers

Statistics New Zealand has recently released more information gathered in the 2013 Census that makes it possible to profile New Zealand’s towns and cities. It’s interesting to look at Whitianga and its place in the Thames Coromandel District (the TCD).

4,368 people usually live in Whitianga. This is an increase of 15.9 per cent since the 2006 Census and represents 16.7 per cent of the TCD’s population. There are 171 more females than males in town. The median age (half are younger and half are older than this age) of Whitianga residents is 48 years six months. In the TCD the median age is just more than 51 years. 22.7 per cent of people in Whitianga are older than 65, compared with 27 per cent in the TCD. 18 per cent of residents are under 15 years old. In the TCD the percentage is 16.3.

There are 1,986 occupied dwellings (61.4 per cent of all dwellings) in Whitianga and 1,248 unoccupied dwellings. In the TCD just more than 50 per cent of dwellings are occupied.

The most common ethnic group in Whitianga is European (89.1 per cent) with 14.4 per cent Maori and the balance from a wide range of other cultures. In the TCD Europeans make up 88.5 per cent of the population and Maori 16.6 per cent. 17.3 per cent of the people living in Whitianga were born overseas with the most common birthplace being the UK and Ireland. Just more than ten per cent of the population can speak more than one language, including 2.5 per cent who can speak Te Reo Maori. In the TCD the percentage of Te Reo speakers is 3.7.

Whitianga is a well-educated community - 73.9% per cent of people aged 15 years and over have a secondary school and/or post-school qualification. That is slightly higher than the 72.3 per cent of people in the TCD. 9.6 per cent of Whitianga residents have a bachelor’s degree or higher qualification.

In Whitianga 6.3 per cent of people older than 15 years are unemployed. That is 0.5 per cent higher than the unemployment rate in the TCD. The most common occupation in Whitianga is manager, followed by labourer, professional, tradesperson and salesperson.

The median annual income (half earn more and half earn less than this amount) per person in Whitianga is low - just $23,100. 42.3 percent of people aged 15 years and over have an annual income of $20,000 or less, compared with 43 percent of people in the TCD as a whole. In Whitianga, 15.3 percent of people aged 15 years and over have an annual income of more than $50,000. In the TCD, the percentage is 17.2. According to the June 2013 New Zealand Income Survey (compiled by Statistics New Zealand),
the median weekly income of all people in New Zealand aged 15 and older is $844 per week, or $43,888 per year.

There are 679 businesses in Whitianga, representing 16.8 percent of all businesses in the TCD. These businesses employ 1,670 staff, an increase of 5 per cent from the 2006 Census. In the TCD there are 9,080 paid employees.

There are certainly a lot of numbers here, but they do make interesting reading and can help all of us to better understand and appreciate the community we live in.

We will in a future issue have a look at what the numbers are saying about Tairua-Pauanui.

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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.