Thursday, 09 July 2020


Thames Coromandel District Council endorses memorial forests

The New Zealand World War 1 Memorial Forests project, which will see 18,166 trees planted at various scenic sites around the Coromandel to honour all NZ soldiers who died in World War I has been officially endorsed by Thames Coromandel District Council today.

TCDC will now act as underwriter for the estimated $452,000 cost of the forest project over the next 10 years with costs to be recouped from grants from external agencies and from sale of the trees to the public.

The project, which is also known as "Te Wao Whakamaumaharatanga" (the Forest of Memories), will commence with initial planting on Anzac Day this year, with a push for more intensive planting with schools and volunteers groups in the autumn months. On average 6,000 trees will need to be planted each year, with the forests completed by Armistice Day 2018.

As each tree will be numbered and plotted on GPS, members of the public will be able to purchase a tree to honour a fallen soldier for $100.

TCDC will be looking for at least 3000 people to purchase a tree in order to meet funding targets, but will welcome as many purchasers as are willing to come forward.

The project will see contractors undertaking initial site preparation such as digging the holes and staking, numbering and plotting GPS coordinates for each site, with volunteers involved in the initial planting and maintenance. Contractors will be working with volunteer groups to look after each tree in the longer-term.

"We have had fantastic feedback so far from all the organisations we have met to discuss the project," says TCDC mayor Glenn Leach. We are working with a variety of agencies including DOC, WRC, Forest and Bird, Kauri 2000 and local RSAs.

"We are also starting to make contact with schools around the district so students can be involved from possibly growing the trees in nurseries, to on-going, long-term maintenance. The meetings we've had so far from the schools we have approached have been extremely positive." 

Final decisions on the site of each battle are yet to be made, but at this stage it is proposed that Gallipoli (2,779 trees) will be honoured on Department of Conservation land above Cathedral Cove, that the Battle of Passchendaele will be remembered at the new Whitianga Cemetery, with the Thames War Memorial honouring the Battle of Messines Ridge (1,300 trees) as well as a separate site on the entrance to Thames to specifically remember the war dead from the town. Other sites will be the Pauanui-Hikuai Tangitarori Lane walkway which will honour the Palestine campaign and the Battle of Le Quesnoy at Whangamata. Other sites are still under investigation for the remaining battles to be commemorated.

Whitianga Police Report for the period 19 January to 26 January 2015


The Waterways Concert over the weekend seemed to be enjoyed by most and visitors to our area should have enjoyed some excellent conditions to experience the best of the outdoors our town has to offer.

Of note the drunk driver apprehended on the night of the concert did not go to the concert and numerous other vehicles stopped had sober drivers to get them home safely.

We have had an excellent period of fine weather with our area pretty dry at the moment. There is a fire ban in place and that includes fireworks.

Please remember that when we do get some rain our roads will be slippery and extra care will be needed.    


20th - 1 x 26yr old local man for Male Assaults Female.

21st - 1 x 17yr old local woman for Assault with a Weapon.

        - 1 x 24yr old local man for Dangerous Driving, Failing to Stop and Resisting Arrest.

23rd - 1 x 40yr old Tokoroa man for Assault and Wilful Damage.


One domestic incident attended last week on the 20th which related to a man assaulting his sister at a Moewai Park Road address and resulted in his arrest. 

On the 20th a drunk customer yelled abuse at a staff member at a licensed premise on The Esplanade and a trespass notice is to be issued.

A licensed premise on The Esplanade was burgled on the 21st and 3 bottles of spirits stolen, while on the 22nd beer was stolen from a residential garage on Endeavour Close.


Two drunk drivers were apprehended this week.

24th - a 52yr old Auckland man who recorded a result of 364/250.

25th - a 46yr old Auckland man who recorded a result of 697/250.

No crashes to report this week.

Three Dog Night, Foreigner and Heart rocked in Whitianga

Holiday makers made the most of Auckland Anniversary Weekend in Whitianga, when the Summer Concert Tour pulled a crowd of 8,500 people ready to rock out to international legends - HEART, FOREIGNER and THREE DOG NIGHT.

Crowds arrived in droves at the new Summer Concert Tour venue, held at the Whitianga Waterways Arena, and enjoyed another stunning summer day amongst the homes and waterways of this awesome location.

Before the international groups took to the stage, the concert kicked off with kiwi duo Simon Claxton and David Shanhun who set the scene for the day of live music ahead.

Closing with crowd favourite “Joy To The World” Three Dog Night got the crowd moving at 1:00pm and that was just the beginning of the party. Mid-afternoon, rock legends Foreigner - led by Mick Jones, with the amazing Kelly Hansen on vocals, had the crowd all singing along enthusiastically to hits including “I Wanna Know What Love Is” and “Cold as Ice.” The Whitianga Waterways Arena was full of people dancing and partying, with the finale yet to come.

Rapturous crowd applause welcomed Heart to the stage for their opening hit song “Barracuda.” The powerful vocals of Ann Wilson accompanied by her sister Nancy on guitar commanded complete attention and showed everyone why they were inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame.

A couple of lucky concert-goers even had Happy Birthday sung to them by the crowd.

Amanda Calvert, CEO of Greenstone Entertainment says, “The first two concerts were a huge success! Whitianga was a wonderful location to bring the Summer Concert Tour and we will be back.”

Three international rock bands, a great new venue and a perfect Sunday made this concert fly. The final concert of the Summer Concert Tour 2015 is yet to come, next weekend in Queenstown on Saturday 31 January.

There is still chance to win a fantastic winter breakaway weekend in Whitianga for two, including accommodation at Waterfront Apartments, day passes to The Lost Spring, a trip on the Glass Bottom Boat and vouchers for No 8 Bar and Brasserie, Hot Water Brewing Company and The Espy Café. Just let us have proof that you were at the Whitianga Summer Concert before 13 February.

Whitianga Police Report for the period 12 January to 19 January 2015


While writing this report I am aware of two burglaries that have happened in the past couple of days. One related to the burglary of a licensed premises on The Esplanade, while the other relates to an insecure residential garage on Endeavour Close. Alcohol was targeted in both burglaries. Please make it as hard as possible for criminals to steal your stuff.   

This week another three local people were suspended from driving because they had accumulated excess demerit points.

This means that they accumulated 100 or more demerit points for poor driving habits within two years and they were suspended from driving for three months.

Each person suspended commented on the difficulty having their drivers licence suspended would cause in terms of family and work commitments.

There is no doubt that having your licence suspended would be difficult, however if your driving is of such poor standard that you accumulate demerit points, then you need to realise that there are consequences.

If you are concerned that you have demerit points nearing 100, please remember that if you drive within the rules then demerit points are cleared after two years.    


17th - 1 x 30yr old local man for Disorderly Behaviour.


One domestic incident attended last week on the 17th which related to a drunk couple arguing on Buffalo Beach Road and resulted in the arrest and subsequent transporting of the man to hospital to sober up.

A White Dunlop bicycle was unlawfully taken from an Albert Street address on the 16th.

We also had a complaint of a man calling door to door collecting for an established charity and that the complainant believed he was far too pushy trying to get a donation, even to the extent he requested a credit card payment when he was told they had no cash.

Politely ask people to leave if you don't want them at your address and if they refuse call us so we can move them on and ensure they are legitimate collectors. 


No drunk drivers were apprehended this week and no serious crashes to report.

First Mercury Bay Art Escape patron artist appointed

Michael Smither - one of New Zealand’s most famous contemporary artists, Otama resident and foundation member of the Mercury Bay Art Escape - has been appointed the Art Escape’s first Patron Artist in recognition both of his standing as a New Zealand artist and the contribution he makes to all of the arts in the wider Mercury Bay area.

Art Escape Trust Chairman Stuart Christie said about the appointment, “We changed the Trust’s rules last year to create an honorary role to recognise the contribution an individual artist makes to the objectives and activities of the Trust. We are very proud to have Michael with us as a wonderful ambassador and wise mentor to the Trust and our members.”

World War I memorial forests project launched

A  World War I Memorial Forest will be created on the Coromandel to commemorate all New Zealand soldiers who died in the Great War.

The project, which will commence on ANZAC Day 2015, will see a total of 18,166 trees planted at a series of different sites around the Peninsula. According to Thames Coromandel District Council the trees are designed to become memorial forests which will enhance environmental values and also act as a place for people to walk and remember New Zealand history.

Each forest will commemorate a different battle or campaign during the war and it is proposed that initially five forests will be planted - one in each Community Board area. As more sites become available, additional forests will be added to reach the 18,166 number of trees.

TCDC mayor Glenn Leach says that he is excited about the project, which will provide a living, growing memorial for the sacrifice of the fallen soldiers in World War I. "We believe this is a special project which will create a series of memorial forests of national significance that is relevant to all New Zealanders, not just locals," he says.  "We are looking to commemorate the major battles such as Gallipoli, the Somme and Passchendaele, as well as smaller conflicts like Le Quesnoy or the Palestine campaign as we build towards the 18,000 tree total over the next three years.

"Our intention is to commence the planting project on 25 April 2015 and then to involve community groups and schools in the planting and care for the forests. One of the goals of planting these sites is to provide a series of forests which provide environmental education for schoolchildren, a focal point for community involvement and places of environmental sustainability for future generations.

"In addition to planting and tending the trees, I would like to see schoolchildren involved in things like graphic design for the Great War interpretative history signboards, or linking to the curriculum studies that teach about each of the battles. We need the next generation to understand the past, so that we learn about our heritage." 

Whitianga restaurant Beef and Lamb Award recipient

The top restaurants and chefs in the nation were revealed at a long lunch held at the prestigious Kelliher Estate on Puketutu Island today, after months of assessment by culinary trained experts.

163 restaurants from across New Zealand received the 2015 Beef and Lamb Excellence Award, recognising the highest quality, most skilfully composed and superbly presented beef and lamb cuisine.

Whitianga’s No 8 Bar and Brasserie was one of the recipients.

2015 marks the 19th year of the awards, making them the country’s longest running culinary award programme and one which is highly regarded within the industry.

Beef + Lamb New Zealand, CEO, Rod Slater says the Awards have helped to take the guesswork out of choosing where to dine.

“Wherever you see the [Beef and Lamb Excellence Award] gold plate displayed you can be certain a stellar beef or lamb meal will be presented. We’re absolutely confident in providing this guarantee, given the level of groundwork supporting the Excellence Awards,” says Rod.

Workshop by artist Carole Shepheard

The Mercury Bay Art Escape Trust is pleased to present a “Professional Practice” workshop to the artists of the Coromandel Peninsula. Carole Shepheard will facilitate the “Finding your Way” workshop. The trustees of the Art Escape Trust see the workshop as an opportunity to support both established and emerging artists’ professional development and a platform for them to meet and network with like-minded people. The workshop will cover marketing, promotion, collaboration, professional support, finding creative networks, cv writing, websites, a feedback session and much more. See for full the course outline.

Carole will be the guest speaker at the opening launch of the 2015 Art Escape Open Studio Tour and Taste of the Tour Exhibition at Hot Waves Café, Hot Water Beach on 6 March 2015. She is a renowned artist, educator and writer and has a wealth of experience and knowledge to offer. She enjoys being part of the small Kawhia community and puts particular value on the work being done by artists in places outside large cities, where she believes new energy is found and ideas are expressed in individual and challenging ways.

The workshop will be held at the Cooks Beach Resort Lounge, 874 Purangi Road, Cooks Beach from 9:30am to approx 3:00pm on Monday 9 March 2015. The cost is $30 for the day, bring your own lunch. Artists must email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to reserve their place.


Latest business rest of site

Thames House of Beds

At Thames House of Beds we specialise in NZ made beds and mattresses. A great price point, excellent support and comfort that the vast majority of New Zealanders will love to sleep on. 


Do you plan to “Support local/Buy Local” wherever possible during the Covid-19 recovery period, even if it means paying somewhat more for items you could have purchased online from outside the wider Mercury Bay area?

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.