Monday, 19 August 2019


Leanda Hunt, event organiser of the Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust, estimates that his year’s Concert in the Vines, held on Friday last week at Mercury Bay Estate in Cooks Beach, has raised approximately $25,000 for the Auckland and Coromandel Westpac Rescue Helicopters. “I’d say we had more than 700 people at the concert,” says Leanda.

Another brilliant day dawned clear and calm on Saturday last week as my husband, Mark, and I were scheduled to enjoy a scenic flight from Whitianga Airport in a beautifully restored DC3. The aeroplane is based at Ardmore Airport, south of Auckland.

Chrissie Reilly, the winner of an Informer “volunteer competition,” was to join us for the flight.

Tickets to the Whitianga Summer Concert on Sunday 27 January are selling fast. Greenstone Entertainment, the promotors of the concert, say people shouldn’t delay in getting their tickets as there’s no guarantee that tickets will be available on the day.

The Whitianga Summer Concert will be held at the Whitianga Waterways Arena and is more than an afternoon of classic rock by some of the world’s top entertainers. It’s also an opportunity to enjoy a good time with friends and family.

Concertgoers are welcome to take their own picnic baskets and non-alcoholic beverages with them or they can purchase something to eat from the huge array of food vendors that will be available inside the concert grounds. Among the options available are burgers, pizzas, hotdogs, tacos, fritters, Greek, Moroccan and Korean dishes, real fruit and soft serve ice cream and smoothies. 

A range of Gibbston Valley wines will also available, along with a selection of beer, including low alcohol options. Non-alcoholic beverages can be purchased too.

The concert will kick of with performances by New Zealand bands TheDrive and The Blind Venetians.

TheDrive, a trio from Auckland, are inspired by an eclectic mixture of 80s “stadium bands,” including Genesis, Guns & Roses and U2, 90s grunge band Pearl Jam and more recently the pop/rock sounds of Cold Play.

The Blind Venetians are an acoustic duo from Taupo. They will be featuring their own music as well as well-known songs that will et the crowd actively involved in the day’s entertainment.

The international line-up of the concert will feature Toni Childs, James Reyne and Mark Seymour - formerly from Australian Crawl and Hunters and Collectors - and Supertramp’s Roger Hodgson.

Tickets can be purchased through or A very limited number of tickets are also available at the i-SITE in Whitianga and the Pauanui Information Centre.

In less than two weeks, Whitianga will be treated to four performances by the talented Circus Aotearoa.

A Raglan based company, Circus Aotearoa will be kicking off their 11th New Zealand-wide tour on the Coromandel, before making their way down south, aiming to perform in as many towns as possible.

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Should Waikato DHB fund the provision of some public healthcare services in a new multi-service medical facility in Whitianga?

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.