Saturday, 20 July 2019


Well-known Whitianga local, Walter Russell, is retiring this week from the Whitianga Volunteer Fire Brigade after a career of 35 years. A function to thank Walter and is wife, Margot, for their years of dedicated service to the community was held at the Whitianga Fire Station on Saturday evening last week.

On Tuesday 2 April, Thames-Coromandel District Council decided by a vote of six councillors to three against signing the Local Leaders’ Climate Change Declaration. The decision was met with dismay by several people, including outspoken Thames resident, Denis Tegg (see his Letter to the Editor on page … of this issue of The Informer).

The Whitianga knitters for Operation Cover Up, a mission outreach knitting blankets and clothing for the people of Eastern Europe, were treated to some startling stories last week, when they welcomed the woman who first got New Zealand knitting for the outreach.

The Mercury Bay Community Radiology and Health Trust was set up in 2014 to provide x-ray services to the people of Mercury Bay. Having an x-ray machine in Whitianga means that many local residents don’t have to make the long return trip to Thames to have x-rays taken. In November 2015, an ultrasound machine was acquired and the trust started to provide ultrasound scans as well.

“Ka Tito Au, Kupe’s Heroic Journey,” a play by award-winning playwright Apirana Taylor, was performed in the Whitianga Town Hall on Friday 5 April. The play was performed by actor Tola Newbery and directed by Murray Lynch and was brought to Whitianga by Creative Mercury Bay with financial assistance from the Lottery Tuia - Encounters 250 Programme. Informer contributor Pamela Ferla attended the performance.

The Cooks Beachcare Group has been awarded with the Dune Restoration Trust’s trophy for the “Best Coastal Restoration Project of the Year” at the trust’s annual conference that was held in Warkworth at the end of last month. The group is in good company. Several local councils, Dunedin’s Yellow-Eyed Penguin Trust, the Waitohu Stream Care Group and the Port Waikato Beach Care Group are among the previous recipients of the trophy.   

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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.