Sunday, 20 October 2019


The American Muscle, Street & Custom Club Whitianga will be celebrating their first birthday in style this coming Sunday (6 January) with a car show in Albert Street, Whitianga.The show, called the ‘Frankies Beach Street Meet,’ is organised by club founders Reg and Julie Smith and fellow Whitianga residents Peter and Penny Murray.

Reg says the American Muscle, Street & Custom Club Whitianga is not a club in the true sense of the word. “We don’t have a committee,a formal list of members and a set of rules ora constitution,” he says. “We’re really just agroup of like-minded individuals who love interesting vehicles.

“Our first meeting was on Sunday 7 January last year at Frankies Sports Bar & Grill in Albert Street in Whitianga. We expected about 20 cars to turn up and ended up with 57. Since then,we’ve met the first Sunday of every month at Frankies. We average about 20 cars per meeting.

“We park up in Albert Street and havebreakfast and coffee and we ask a member of the public, just someone admiring the cars, to choose a ‘People’s Choice’ winner. We then normally go on a cruise somewhere and sometimes end up at someone’s place for a BBQ afterwards.

“We’ve been on some really fun cruises the past year. Highlights were trivia trails to Colville Café and Mercury Bay Estate in Cooks Beach, and a picnic at racing legend Rod Millen’s Leadfoot Ranch outside Hahei.

“Other fun events we’ve been part of include the 4th of July celebrations at Grace O’Malley’s in Whitianga and a Frankies Grease evening. Several of us have also participated in the Movember fundraiser for men’s health issues, in which we raised $500, and we’ve had a great Christmas party in December.

“The Frankies owners are also car loversand they were on board with us from day one.They put on $10 breakfasts during our meeting sand always donate a $50 voucher to the People’s Choice winner. They’ll have live music during our car show on 6 January and $10 breakfasts will again be on the menu."

More than 60 vehicles have so far beenentered in the Frankies Beach Street Meet. “If your vehicle is outside the ordinary, you really should enter,” says Reg. “The entry fee is only $25 and includes a Frankies drinks voucher.”

Albert Street will be closed to traffic between Lee Street and Monk Street at approximately 9:00am on 6 January and will remain closed until the end of the car show. “The show will start at 10:00am and continue until 2:00pm,” says Reg. “It’s free for members of the public to appreciate the cars on display and we want to encourage as many people as possible to come along.

“The Mercury Rockers Rock ‘n’ Roll Club will do a bit of dancing and it will be great if people dress up in a 50 s and 60s theme too.We’ll have a prize for the best-dressed person.

“We’ll be selling raffles and have six category prizes to give away for the most impressive vehicles, including a People’s Choice award.Three lucky draw prizes, all donated by very generous business owners, will also be given away. The vehicle categories will be judged by Whitianga Waterways developer Leigh Hopper and Darren Hartley of Coastal Signs in Whitianga, who’s a keen speedway driver.

“We expect the show to be a lot of fun.”

There’s still an opportunity for vehicleo wners to enter the show, but space is limited. Anyone interested can phone or text Reg on (027) 493 5822 or email him This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it...

Pictured are the organisers of the Frankies Beach Street Meet on 6 January. From the left - Reg and Julie Smith, and Peter and Penny Murray.

With the summer swimming season in full swing, Thames-Coromandel District Council is working with Waikato Regional Council again this year to help beach users know about water quality levels.

WRC’s coastal scientists say water quality at the beaches it monitors is generally good for swimming, but caution is urged following heavy rain.

WRC is in the third year of its reactivated water quality monitoring programme at seven east coast and two west coast beaches, testing to see whether faecal bacteria levels are OK for contact recreation, such as swimming and surfing.

The testing is part of a drive to gain better information about what’s happening in the Coromandel’s coastal waters and to provide a community service.

The testing is carried out between November and March, with the latest results available to beach users at

Results last summer were generally positive but there were some issues across the region following rainfall. On the occasions there were issues, follow-up sampling showed faecal bacteria levels back within an acceptable range.

In the Coromandel the beaches monitored are Whitianga, Hot Water Beach, Tairua, Pauanui and Whangamatā.

“The results let swimmers and surfers know the quality of the water at their favourite beach,” says WRC coastal water quality scientist, Pete Wilson.

“While water quality at Waikato beaches is generally good and meeting bathing beach guidelines, but it’s clear caution should be taken following heavy rain. That’s because heavy rain flushes contaminants from urban and rural land into waterways, which then make their way to the coast.”

These contaminants may be present in the water for up to 48 hours after heavy or prolonged rainfall, he said.

The number of faecal bacteria present in the water indicate the likelihood of contracting a disease from many possible pathogens in the water such as bacteria or viruses.

On the Regional Council's website, results from the monitoring programme are compared to national guidelines to determine the suitability for recreational use.

If any issues of concern are identified, the Regional Council works with our Council and the Waikato District Health Board to assess results that may have public health implications and to provide the public with the best quality information.

“Our monitoring programme, while it isn’t picking up persistent issues, will help provide assurance to the public going forward and help us track any trends or emerging issues,” says Dr Wilson.

Waikato Regional Council is warning holidaymakers there is the potential for roads to become flooded on the Coromandel Peninsula as a result of heavy rain predicted to fall later today.

MetService has issued a heavy rain warning for the Coromandel Peninsula from 2:00pm today until 6:00am tomorrow.

WRC regional hazards team leader, Rick Liefting, said the council had been closely monitoring the weather forecasts, tide times and river levels.

“High tides are expected this evening between 9:00pm and 9.30pm. These tides, combined with the heavy rain, means there is the potential for flooding in some places.

“This could result in road closures in places like the Criterion Bridge on SH26 at Paeroa, the Karangahake Gorge, the entrance to Thames at Rhodes Park and SH25 at Hikuai. If this happens, then it's likely to occur a few hours either side of high tide, so potentially between 7:30pm and 11:30pm today.

“The predicted heavy rainfall could also result in slips, so we’d encourage people to be off the roads as early as possible this evening, or to delay their travel until tomorrow. As always, motorists should check with the New Zealand Transport Agency for road closures and conditions.

 “Local communities are already doing a great job of letting us know what's happening with rivers in their areas and we encourage them to continue doing so.

“The good news is that, beyond Christmas Day, the weather is looking much better through to next week.”

Stretching 400 kilometres, the Coromandel has one of the largest coastlines in the country. It’s among our greatest assets and is a large part of the reason why people want to live, work and visit here.

The TCDC new alcohol control bylaw takes effect from today, 18 December. We've got a mix of year-round 24/7 town centre bans and Christmas/New Year and long weekend bans on some beaches and seaside reserves.

The Christmas and New Year ban (24/7) runs from 23 December until 6 January on beaches and seaside reserves from Whangapoua to Whangamata and in all of Tairua, Pauanui and Whangamata townships, in addition to the existing 24/7 town centre bans.

A report by the Auditor-General, “Managing Stormwater Systems to Reduce the Risk of Flooding,” was presented to Parliament on Thursday last week.

In order to prepare the report, the Office of the Auditor-General (OAG) looked at how Dunedin City Council, Porirua City Council and Thames-Coromandel District Council manage their stormwater systems. The OAG chose these three councils to understand the range of challenges local councils across New Zealand face in protecting people and their property from the effects of flooding.

A meeting to gauge interest in building a skatepark in Tairua has had a good response. The challenge is where to put it.

About 25 people attended the informal meeting at Tairua Community Hall on Saturday 1 December, arranged by Tairua-Pauanui Community Board member Brent Turner. A committee has since been formed to progress the project.

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Should the voting age be lowered to 16 years of age?

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.