Tuesday, 16 July 2019

WHITIANGA WEATHER

Police want to talk to van driver

Eastern Waikato Police wants to determine the intentions of a Whitianga van driver who asked a young boy to get into his van on Moewai Road yesterday.

Detective Constable Mark Leathem of the Thames CIB said that at about 5:45pm yesterday a man driving a white/grey coloured van stopped and spoke to a small boy on a bike on Moewai Road, Whitianga.

“The man tried to persuade the young boy to get into his van but was unsuccessful and the young boy rode home and alerted his parents.”

“The van was last seen heading south on South Highway.”

The driver is described as a Caucasian, late teens or early 20’s and may have had an accent.

“We are interested in speaking to this driver and anyone who may have witnessed this incident. If you have any information please call the Thames Police on 07 867 9600 or Crimestoppers 0800 555 111,” said Detective Constable Leathem.

Vital for Whitianga residents and ratepayers to complete Ultra Fast Broadband surveys

Thames Coromandel District Council is putting in a bid for some of the $360 million that central government has announced it will spend on improving broadband coverage around the country.

The money extends two programmes, the Ultra-Fast Broadband Initiative (UFB) and the Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI), that have already helped improve internet speeds in parts of New Zealand.

TCDC says they have to compete against councils from across the country to get a piece of the action.

This means putting together the best bid possible to explain to the Government exactly how the Coromandel will benefit from better broadband and which parts of the Peninsula would be best suited for further investment in new broadband infrastructure.

To help them, TCDC is asking people to take a few minutes to fill out a survey about how fast their broadband connections are and how they would benefit from faster broadband.

There is one survey for people who use the internet for business - www.surveymonkey.com/s/tcdcbroadband (closing date 7 June).

And another survey for individuals, community groups, schools, charities and everyone else -www.surveymonkey.com/s/communitybroadband (closing date 12 June).

You can test your broadband speed using www.speedtest.net or you can find other speed test web sites by searching "speed test."

The Government is not only asking local authorities to indicate which areas should have priority and why, but also to demonstrate that they are willing to support broadband rollouts in their areas.

Everyone can support TCDC’s bid for faster, more reliable broadband by filling out these surveys. It will only take a few minutes.

For Whitianga to get Ultra Fast Broadband, it is vital that as many residents and ratepayers of town complete the surveys and say they support faster broadband.

Our initial research indicates that Ultra Fast Broadband will not cost much more (if more at all) on a monthly basis than what businesses and individuals pay for broadband at the moment.

TCDC need to have their bid with central government by 3 July.

Whitianga Police Report for the period 18 May to 25 May 2015

GENERAL

Four drunk drivers apprehended this week, with one crashing his car into a house at Ferry Landing. Thankfully no one was injured but this number of people driving drunk on our roads is unacceptable and places all of us in danger.

If people are going out to drink alcohol, they need to plan how they are going to get home and to remember that driving drunk is not a logical option.   

Drunk drivers kill and injure people, including themselves, on New Zealand roads and these people need to consider all the consequences, so that hopefully they won't drive and our roads will be much safer.

ARRESTS

20th - 1 x 37yr old local man for 5 outstanding Warrants to Arrest.

22nd - 1 x 28yr old local woman for Theft Ex-Shop.

OCCURRENCES

Three domestic incidents attended this week.

On the 19th a young couple from a Catherine Crescent address were arguing about their relationship and they were encouraged to spend time apart to consider their future.

A verbal argument at a Moewai Park Road address on the 23rd calmed down prior to Police arrival and sound advice was given, while on the 24th a young man who was arguing with his parents went to his sister's address to consider his options.

On the 22nd a wallet was stolen from a work address on Buffalo Beach road while left unattended.

An address on Cook Drive was burgled on the 25th with music equipment, a Playstation and fishing gear stolen, while on the 26th a Tutaritari Road, Hahei building site was targeted again with a nail-gun being stolen.

TRAFFIC

Four drunk drivers apprehended this week.

20th -  1 x 19yr old Auckland man 114/0.

24th -  1 x 28yr old local man 360/250.

        -  1 x 49yr old local man 644/250.

        -  1 x 40yr old local man 511/250.

If you drink and drive you are a bloody idiot.

If you encourage people not to drink and drive, you help protect your community.

Mercury Bay Community Board update

Work on the Buffalo Beach rock wall in Whitianga has started. The wall will be extended by another 120m. This will take the wall past the toilets (opposite Halligan Road) to the Buffalo Monument. The extension will cost $633,100 and is expected to be completed by June.

The tender to install a sandbag wall at Brophy's Beach has been awarded and works will start mid-year.

Bluff Road between Kuaotunu and Matarangi has been closed indefinitely due to safety concerns around the Bluff overhang. The Mercury Bay Community Board has supported an option to blast the overhang and once a cut slope has been formed, install a rock fall mesh netting. The estimated cost of this work is $330k. The Board has requested the work be district funded and is a priority for year one of the 2015-2025 Long Term Plan.

The Board has allocated $17,000 to help with painting and finishing works at the Coroglen Hall and the old Coroglen Saleyards. The money is from the Board's Discretionary Fund which is currently unspent. “Heather McPhee and the Coroglen community has done some fantastic work in improving this area and it's a great example of our Community Empowerment Model," says Board chairman Paul Kelly.

One stop guide for community funding published by TCDC

Thames Coromandel District Council has put together a guide to help community groups and organisations find funding sources and provide some basic application tips.

The Community Funding Guide has a list of general funding sources, many of which are from national sources but are available to the wider Waikato area including, the Thames Coromandel district.

“Finding the right funding for your organisation can be time consuming. But by putting it all into one place, we are hoping more groups and organisations will be able to access funding,” says Community Development Officer Marlene Perry.

“We have endeavoured to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publication, however criteria, priorities and dates can change so we do advise that the funders are contacted directly or their websites are checked for full details before making an application.”

The booklet has categories to assist groups and a short guide to the criteria/eligibility, purpose and objective of the funds that can be accessed, with contact details and some basic application tips which may be useful for any incoming committees to assist with the planning and application process.

“Taking time to go through the booklet is advisable with some funds being quite broad-purpose and may fit your organisation in an area you had not thought of," says Ms Perry.

Some of the categories included are -

  • Aged Care
  • Arts
  • Community Groups
  • Education and Training
  • Health and Disability
  • Maori 
  • Research
  • Social, Sports and Recreation
  • Tourism
  • Women 
  • Youth and Family

The guide can be downloaded from the TCDC website.

Multisport Park update

Sand slitting the remaining sports fields, along with the installation of a netball club shelter will be the next planned works to occur at the Mercury Bay Multisport Park.

Winter sport is underway at the Multisport Park and the Mercury Bay Netball Centre is enjoying its fourth season on the courts.

The Netball Centre has now also developed a proposal for a shelter adjacent to the netball courts. The group will fund the cost of construction (estimated at $13,600) through fundraising and grants, while Whitianga’s Planners Plus will prepare building and planning applications at no charge.

Using the remaining budget of its current Board Discretionary Fund, the Mercury Bay Community Board has also agreed to waive $3,000 of building and consent fees.

Meanwhile four of the five fields at the park still require sand slitting to help with drainage during winter.

"The Number One field which has recently been sand slit is performing well, even with the considerable amount of rain we've had the past few weeks," says Sue Costello, Mercury Bay Multi-Sport Park coordinator. 

In Thames Coromandel District Council’s 2015-2025 Long Term Plan, $1.7million has been allocated over the 10 years towards improvement works at the Multisport Park. The Mercury Bay Community Board has recommended that the priority for 2015-2016 is sand slitting fields 3 and 4, along with lighting for the netball courts. Sand slitting fields 2 and 5 will happen in 2016-2017.

Meanwhile junior and secondary school rugby training sessions are being held during the week at the Multisport Park and are now hosting weekend fixtures. 

"We are really happy with the field at the Sport Park," says Stacey Bale of Mercury Bay Secondary School Rugby. "We're now able to train during the week and play on Saturday at this great facility, an asset to our community."

The Mercury Bay Recreation Trust has sourced funding for the new goal posts which have recently been installed on the Number One field. This enables rugby union to play on Saturdays and rugby league to play on Sundays.

Flood mitigation work in Tairua to proceed on non notified basis

Processing of consents for flood control works at Graham’s Creek in Tairua will proceed on a non notified basis.

The announcement comes after applications were made recently by Thames Coromandel District Council and Waikato Regional Council for formal consents to do flood mitigation and stopbank construction at Graham’s Creek and an upgrade of the causeway bridge at the stream.
Working group member and Tairua-Pauanui Community Board chair Bob Renton said, "With a strong and focused collaboration between Regional and District Council staff and our stakeholders working group, we have been able to produce a good result. We are pleased there's been a workable solution and a successful outcome."

Hauraki Coromandel catchment manager Emily O’Donnell said, “The working party was tasked with identifying a preferred design for the works that factored in the community and environmental values. The result is a design that provides at least 50 year flood mitigation and integrates the recreational and ecological values held at Graham’s Creek.

“It means we can get on with implementation and keep the project on track and work towards peace of mind for this community. It also means we avoid costs associated with a public hearing if it had proceeded on a notified basis. We’ll almost certainly be able to get on with construction at Graham’s Creek in this calendar year, providing the consents are granted.”

WRC’s Coromandel constituency councillor Clyde Graf said the local community engagement had been crucial to making progress. “Without the community’s involvement and input on the Graham’s Creek working group looking at the way forward we, wouldn’t have got this far. TCDC has also been a key part of the project and it’s been great to be part of this effective team.”

The plan is to do the works in two phases. TCDC will undertake the causeway bridge upgrade. If consents from WRC is processed by June, the physical bridge work can start in October, allowing for a lead time with the supply of precast concrete components. Once underway, works should take six to eighy weeks to complete.

The second phase is the WRC’s responsibility and will involve floodway and stopbank construction. WRC hopes construction will get underway later this year. Completion is expected to take around 12 months.

Construction is due to be followed by restoration planting in the area which will be completely finished in 2017. Some 12,000 plants may be put into the ground and community volunteers will be asked to help.

Whitianga Police Report for the period 11 May to 18 May 2015

GENERAL

On a daily basis Police deal with people that have made poor decisions and got themselves into situations where they feel everyone is against them.

There are a lot of organisations and people in our community that are willing to help people sort out their problems.

It does take the courage to ask for and accept help to put their lives back on track and if you are unsure where to start come and see us and we will point you in the right direction.     

ARRESTS

No arrests this week.

OCCURRENCES

Two domestic incidents attended this week.

Both on the 13th, the first occurred at a Cook Drive address where a separated couple were arguing over custody issues and a new partner.

The second related to a couple arguing at a SH25 Whenuakite address and a Police Safety Order was issued to enforce time apart allowing them to consider their future.

On the 12th a Radar Detector, Puffer Jacket and coins were stolen from a car parked on Albert Street and enquiries are continuing in relation to an identified suspect.

A burglary occurred at a Cook Drive address on the 13th where a laptop, cell-phones and alcohol were stolen. The offender has then decamped leaving the property in a nearby walkway.

TRAFFIC

Two drunk drivers apprehended this week on the 16th.

1 x 54yr old local man for Refusing a Blood Sample.

1 x 24yr old local man 453/250.

Refusing a blood sample often makes a decision to drive drunk and the subsequent court hearing a lot more severe in terms of the penalty issued.

Because the drunk driver has refused to have an actual level recorded the court deems the level to be in the range of 1000/250, which is at the extreme level.

Don't drink and drive and you won't have to worry about the consequences, however if you find yourself detained for a breath or blood sample please consider your options fully. 

Winter is just around the corner and it is time to ensure your vehicle is in good condition to keep our roads safe.

Please drive to the conditions and pull over to let people pass so they don't get impatient and decide to pass at dangerous locations.

LATEST WEEKLY ISSUE

ONLINE POLL

Are you concerned about the new cell towers going up around the Coromandel Peninsula?

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.