Sunday, 20 October 2019


Whitianga resident, Dennis Jones, has a great outlook on life.

It’s all based around knowing his limitations, staying active and moving onto new achievable projects rather than staying caught up in an environment where the best years have passed him by. 

On Tuesday last week, six learning support students from Mercury Bay Area School spent an exciting day on the water as they experienced the joy of sailing for the first time. MBAS learning support coordinator, Karen Johansen, was approached by skilled sailor and the Mercury Bay Boating Club’s youth sailing coordinator, Jonathan Kline (who’s also one of the club’s youth sailing coaches), who suggested the outing.

Participants in Evolution Fitness gymnasium in Whitanga’s high intensity interval training (HIIT) class on Saturday morning last week got more than what they bargained for when the class was led by Honey Hireme, a former Black Fern and New Zealand women’s rugby sevens team member and current co-captain of the Kiwi Ferns (the New Zealand women’s national rugby league team).

Coromandel Peninsula residents and visitors need to be aware that Thames-Coromandel District Council is now strictly enforcing the responsibility of dog owners to keep their dogs on a lead in areas not designated as off-lead areas. For most of the year dogs are allowed to run and walk freely on the majority of the beaches in Mercury Bay.

A Coroglen property owner has been issued with a court order prohibiting him from carrying out any further illegal works in the coastal marine area that borders his property. 

The enforcement order follows a prosecution taken by Waikato Regional Council against David Peter Savage for installing unlawful structures and illegally disturbing the coastal area.

Mr Savage was also convicted for four breaches of the Resource Management Act and fined a total of $30,000 by Judge Kirkpatrick in the Tauranga District Court last week. The breaches involved the unlawful installations of a mooring and a culvert, as well as excavations of the Waiwawa Wetland and coastal marine area.

The breaches were brought to the attention of WRC by a local resident who expressed concerns about wetland reclamation and drainage activities at the southern end of the Whitianga Estuary.

WRC responded to the complaint and commenced a formal investigation. The council found that Mr Savage had completed unlawful works to protect his adjacent dairy farm as he considered it was vulnerable to flooding and the incursion of salt water. 

The council’s investigations and incident response manager, Patrick Lynch, said, “The saline wetland is nationally significant. The coastal marine area is protected to preserve the natural character of our coastal environment. 

“We are disappointed with the actions of Mr Savage and trust this fine will remind all coastal land owners that they need to approach the WRC so they are properly informed before carrying out any works.”

Pictured is the mooring that was unlawfully installed by Mr Savage.

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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.