Tuesday, 22 January 2019


On first impressions, it almost looks like a house that has arrived from another planet with its protruding legs and feet landing perfectly in one of the most idyllic settings in the country.  

Out-of-this-world in design and build quality the house certainly is, but this Otama landmark was built by local building company Percival Construction, which is owned by Whitianga resident and passionate builder Damian Percival and his wife, Rekha.

Mercury Bay Boating Club’s annual New Year’s Day Race took place on Tuesday last week with a slight twist as there were two fleets. Fleet 1 had nine local keelers pitted against four visiting yachts from Auckland and Tauranga. Fleet 2 was made up of five smaller yachts, four Hobie 16 catamarans and a Laser. They were racing a shorter course better suited to these exciting little boats.

The simple steps you take to clean your gear will help protect our kauri forests and could mean the difference between the ultimate survival and extinction of this iconic species. That’s a message the Kauri 2000 Trust hopes everyone visiting forests on the Coromandel Peninsula will take personally and by observing simple hygiene precautions do their bit to prevent kauri dieback disease spreading among Coromandel Peninsula kauri.

The kaupapa/purpose of Tuia - 250 Encounters is woven throughout the extensive programme of activities that will be taking place in Te Whanganui o Hei/Mercury Bay from March 2019. Tuia - 250 Encounters is all about telling the stories, histories and voyaging traditions of the Māori communities who had been established in Aotearoa/New Zealand for hundreds of years, as well as marking the first onshore encounters between Māori and Europeans during the first voyage of James Cook and the HM Bark Endeavour in 1769.  

Ruben Arriola arrived in Whitianga in September last year to study English for four weeks at Coromandel Outdoor Language Centre (COLC). He hails from Eibar, a city in the Basque Country of Spain, where he grew up and worked for two years as a traditional Chinese medicine practitioner, specialising in tuina (a Chinese medical massage) and acupuncture.

Three distinctly different bodies of work by talented Coromandel artist Daniel Kirsch’s artworks are at the moment being exhibited at Bread & Butter Gallery in Whitianga.

As a lover of the outdoors, Daniel has developed a close relationship with nature. This passion, along with a strong interest in New Zealand’s cultural traditions, encouraged him to study Te Reo and Tikanga, allowing him to explore what is unique about Maori language and culture.

On Christmas Day, a free community lunch were enjoyed 130 guests in the Whitianga Town Hall.

The lunch was organised by Whitianga residents Maureen Kerr, John and Madeline Saunders, Dorothy Preece, Tania Iti and Yvette Simpson. Armed with a whiteboard and a marker pen, these six determined individuals got together in June last year to commence planning. “It’s amazing, on Boxing Day I went back to look at what we set out to do back in June and we’ve achieved every single thing,” says Maureen.

Fundraising for a new skatepark in Whitianga is formally underway. A sign close to where the new skatepark is earmarked to be built at Taylor’s Mistake has been put up. The sign contains a barometer indicating how much of the newly established Mercury Bay Skate Park Trust’s initial target of $150,000 has been raised.

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Have you made any New Year's resolutions for 2019?

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.