Friday, 26 April 2019


Whitianga Police Report for the period 2 February to 9 February


A fine Waitangi Weekend and the Leadfoot Festival brought a lot of people into town over the weekend, with most here to enjoy themselves and very well behaved.

There were no reports of crashes on the main roads in and out of town and thankfully everyone left the racing to the professionals on the track.

There were, however, a number of disorder offences committed that are of concern and we would like your help to put a stop to them.

A couple of windows smashed on Buffalo Beach Road and Albert Street and graffiti on Buffalo Beach Road and South Highway were committed by people who need to have a good look at themselves and irrespective of their age they need to do a bit of growing up.

I am looking forward to the Auckland Rugby League Nines which are going to be held at the Mercury Bay Rugby Club grounds on 27 and 28 February with the opportunity to watch some quality rugby league players in action.

There will also be the opportunity to have a close-up look at a couple of the trophies won by our national men's and women's Rugby League Teams last year, including the Four Nations Trophy.


No arrests this week.


One domestic incident attended this week on the 9th where a man assaulted his  partner at a South Highway address and our enquiries are continuing.

The Rugby Club changing room door was kicked open on the night of the 5th.

Then on the 7th a local Bakery was burgled with the cash register targeted.

A Nissan Pulsar car was Unlawfully Taken from Campbell Street between the 7th and 9th and anyone with information concerning any of this offending is asked to contact the Police.


No drunk drivers were apprehended this week.

There was a crash on Albert Street on the 3rd which involved a woman pulling out of a car park and crashing into another parked vehicle.

A lot of embarrassment, but no one was injured as a result of this crash.

International Coverage for Leadfoot Festival

The Coromandel Peninsula gained exceptional TV attention the past weekend as national and international film crews descended on the Leadfoot Festival.
Three crews - from TV3 and two international production companies - went to Leadfoot Ranch, the Hahei home of champion rally driver Rod Millen.
On his 150-acre seaside property, Mr Millen hosted about 6,500 people for the unique three-day motorsport event.
More than 80 driving legends from New Zealand and around the world were on hand with an amazing mix of classic and vintage cars and motorbikes to tackle the hill climb that Mr Millen has incorporated into his property's driveway.
Online production company Smoking Tyres - which specialises in motorsport - streamed the festival live to its 500,000 subscribers.
TV3's Motorsport was filming a 15-minute slot on Leadfoot which will air on its Sunday afternoon programme in the next few weeks. Motorsport is one of TV3's highest-rating programmes, attracting as many as 250,000 viewers per episode.
MacGillivray Freeman Films- which makes IMAX films - was also at Leadfoot Ranch shooting footage. This company was also involved with the Sky Discovery Channel show on the 2013 Leadfoot Festival which was broadcast to millions of viewers in more than 90 countries.
All three film crews also toured the Thames Coromandel District, filming the area's outstanding scenery.
Last year, TCDC's Economic Development Committee awarded the Leadfoot Festival a $40,000 grant to go towards national and international marketing and promotion of the event and the Coromandel.
"Our $40,000 made sure there was national and international coverage of an event that brings a lot of visitors to the district and provided great exposure around the world for the Coromandel," says Thames Coromandel District mayor Glenn Leach.
"This investment provided really good value for money. You just can't buy that kind of exposure for that kind of money."

Whitianga in top five value for money destinations in New Zealand

Hotel search has compiled a list of the best value destinations in New Zealand for 2015. Based on the annual average overnight price of a standard double room, combined with the destination’s overall hotel/motel reputation from over 120 million traveller reviews, these spots are the country’s top in terms of delivering the best value for money.

Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty region is this year’s number one in the top 20 New Zealand Best Value Index for 2015. An overnight stay in a standard double room costs an average of $133 per night and hotels in the town have an average rating of 86.39, giving the town an index value of 96.2 per cent.

Whitianga is number five on the list with an index value of 94.87 per cent.

The Best Value Index provides a unique overview of the best valued destinations by using a specifically tailored algorithm that combines the trivago Hotel Price Index with trivago’s Reputation Ranking for hotels. The trivago Hotel Price Index shows the average overnight accommodation prices for a standard double room on trivago. The trivago Reputation Ranking represents the average hotel evaluation and is based on over 120 million hotel reviews aggregated from trivago and over 180 booking partners.

The top 20 destinations are (in the order of position, destination and index value) -

1 Whakatane 96.20%

2 Coromandel Town 95.81%

3 New Plymouth 95.54%

4 Oamaru 94.87%

5 Whitianga 95.04%

6 Nelson 94.80%

7 Hokitika 94.76%

8 Turangi 94.44%

9 Napier 94.41%

10 Paihia 94.29%

11 Tauranga 94.08%  

12 Blenheim 93.74%

13 Hanmer Springs 93.34%

14 Kaikoura 93.31%

15 Picton 92.96%

16 Wanaka 92.95%

17 Te Anau 92.82%

18 Christchurch 91.92%

19 Taupo 91.86%

20 Rotorua 91.34%

Nominations for Coromandel Peninsula Youth Awards now open

Youth achievements in the Coromandel are being celebrated at the 2015 Coromandel Peninsula Youth Awards in May.

To be able to celebrate youth achievements Thames Coromandel District Council need nominations of youth achievement. This year there are five specific categories for and/or from young people that have excelled in the arts, achieved through adversity and/or put themselves forward as environmentalists, leaders and volunteers. The People’s Choice Award for Excellence will be chosen by the Coromandel Peninsula community from the finalists.

The following categories are available -

Young Creative Award for Artist Expression - Young people who have made an outstanding contribution in the arts, culture, music, dance and performance.

Helping Hand Award for Community Service - Young people who have volunteered in order to improve the community.

Green Thumb Award for Environmental Care - Young people who have completed environmental projects improving protection, conservation and/or sustainability.

Kia Kaha Award for Perseverance - Young people who have overcome challenges in order to improve the community.

Legend Award for Leadership - Young people who have demonstrated great leadership in projects that have improved the community.

The People's Choice Award for Excellence - This award is chosen from all nominations

Nominees can -

  • Be individuals or groups.
  • Must have been living, working or attending school in the Coromandel Peninsula at the time the activity took place.
  • Must have been aged between 12 - 24 years.
  • Enter more than one category.

You can nominate someone you know or you can nominate yourself. You will need two referees over the age of 18. These details must accompany all entries as the referees may be contacted to verify details.

All entries must be received no later than 5:00pm on 17 April 2015

Visit for more information and an entry form.

Whitianga restaurant wins premier award

Scott Corbett, head chef and co-owner of Whitianga’s No 8 Restaurant and Bar has been crowned “2014 Premier Master of Fine Cuisine” in the second annual Silver Fern Farms Premier Selection Awards at an event held in Auckland on Tuesday.

Scott’s dish, Silver Fern Farms Premier Selection Reserve beef eye fillet with Parma ham, truffle mushrooms, spinach, potato pom-poms, red onion and blue cheese was described as “faultless” by the judges.

“This was a virtuoso performance, showing how exceptional results can derive from unquestionable technical skill, an innate understanding of quality ingredients and their rightful place on a balanced plate,” says head judge Kerry Tyack

Tyack says Scott put together all elements of the dish perfectly. “Corbett delivered delicious simplicity. The cooking of the eye fillet was faultless, the use of the Parma ham as seasoning was inspired, the involvement of the classic and perfectly cooked potato pom-poms was playful and the delicate use of the truffle was impressively instinctive.”

Scott is no stranger to awards in his 28 years of restaurant experience. He has been a regular finalist in many competitions and was in the top 10 in last year’s inaugural 2013 Silver Fern Farms Premier Selection Awards.

Commenting on his win Scott said, “This award is huge for the entire team. Our front of house staff are bubbling over with pride and the kitchen staff have a confidence and energy most businesses only dream of seeing. It is also testament to our choice of meat and our understanding of what works well with it.

“I am proud that all the dishes we create use the freshest, highest quality ingredients we can find, sourced locally wherever possible. This dish has to work superbly to showcase for our guests the best of what New Zealand has to offer.”

Tyack commented that the standard of this year’s finalists was again exceptional, making the judging panel’s decision difficult.

Silver Fern Farms General Manager Marketing Sharon Angus says Silver Fern Farms is committed to providing quality ingredients to chefs’ expectations.  “We are working with them to create the best eating experiences they can. Scott’s finesse with our finest cuts of Silver Fern Farms red meat is outstanding, to be a finalist two years running and now a winner shows he has outstanding talent in the creation and delivery of a great red meat dish.”

Early in 2014 a selection of New Zealand’s best chefs were invited to enter the second annual Premier Selection Awards. The field of 69 restaurants that entered created a dish using one of the finest Silver Fern Farms lamb, beef, venison or SILERE alpine origin merino cuts. The dishes featured on menus over six weeks in September and October 2014 for the judges and diners to put them to the test. Judges travelled from Matakana to Queenstown, tasting and scoring the dishes, looking for how well each chef crafted their dish. Key judging criteria included presentation, cooking, taste and innovation. The twelve finalists then featured the dishes on their menus for a second round of judging.

Angus says the awards have very quickly become one of the most prestigious restaurant competitions in New Zealand due to the quality of the restaurants involved, the robust judging criteria and the exceptional overall quality of the dishes presented.

How the Cooks Beach Transfield Triathlon went

A strong field of competitors ran, swam and biked at the Transfield Triathlon at Cooks Beach on Sunday.

Overcast skies provided ideal conditions for the 96 individuals and teams who took part in the variety of short and long courses on offer. The event was open to people from age 8 and up.

The event was organised by Sue Costello, Thames-Coromandel District Council Sports and Recreational Programme Co-Ordinator for Mercury Bay, and Sport Waikato.

Ngatea's Johan Vanhoovels won the open long-course event, completing a 500m swim, a 25km bike ride and a 5km run in 1.14:37.

Whitianga girls provided a strong local showing, with Ella Harsant winning the Short Course for 10-12-year-old girls and Ella Tomkins winning in the 13-14-year-old category.

"These girls showed great stamina and determination," said Sue.

She said it was a great effort from all who participated, with everyone getting a medal for their efforts.

Money raised from the event was still coming in, but Sue said they hoped it would pay for a website to help administer the event in the future.

The rest of the funds will go to the Hot Water Beach Surf Life Saving and Kuaotunu Search and Rescue, which helped with the marshalling.

Ms Costello says the event - the first-ever Transfield Triathlon - will become an annual fixture.

A triathlon held last year in Whitianga attracted 85 participants. Sue said this year they wanted to make it a little more challenging.

The event was held thanks to sponsorship from Transfield, the Mercury Bay Community Board, Peninsula Scaffolding, Go Kiwi and New World Whitianga.

Whitianga Police Report for the period 26 January to 2 February 2015


Last week we had a report of a local man having his dog stolen by a man pretending to be a dog-ranger, similar to incidents that were reported in other areas recently.

Our enquiries so far suggest that a dog wasn't stolen from Whitianga, that in fact a woman was telling a friend to take care of their dogs due to what she had read in the paper concerning other areas. This warming then having been repeated a number of times was mistakenly believed to be that a theft had occurred in Whitianga.

All council bylaws enforcement staff, including dog control officers have identity cards and Police advice is that if you are in doubt about any official please ask them to produce identification.      


29th - 1 x 17yr old local man for Dangerous Driving, Failing to Stop and Driving Whilst Forbidden.


Two domestic incidents attended last week.

On the 28th a woman and her young son were involved in a domestic incident at a SH25 Whitianga address and our enquiries are still continuing, while on the 1st a man assaulted his sister at a School Road address and he also damaged a vehicle parked outside and he will be summoned to court for his actions.

On the 30th a 14yr old girl was walking along Lee Street and she was approached by an adult man who made an inappropriate suggestion to her.

The girl has run from the area and alerted her parents who contacted Police.

Anyone with information relating to this man is asked to contact Police.  

A man who decided to go for a quick swim off Buffalo Beach at about 1.50am on the 2nd returned to shore to find his wallet and cell phone had been stolen.


Three drunk drivers were apprehended this week.

30th - a 21yr old Coromandel man who recorded a result of 506/250.

        - a 39yr old Australian man who requested a blood sample to be taken.

31st - a 18yr old local woman who recorded a result of 78/0

A crash occurred on SH25 near Boat Harbour road when the driver lost control of his vehicle on a moderate bend and crashed into a ditch.

We also had three minor crashes on The 309 Road on Saturday which were a result of poor driving during wet weather. 

Human remains found on a Coromandel beach

Waikato Police are investigating the discovery of human remains on a Coromandel beach.

The bones were exposed in an area that is subjected to ongoing erosion and were located by a visitor to the Peninsula.

The finder uplifted the bones and later handed them in at an Auckland Police Station. The bones are currently being examined to determine how old they are.

The area is well known for human remains being found that predate European settlement. It is timely to remind the public that discoveries of this type should be left in place and reported as soon as possible to the Police.

New Zealand laws prohibit interference with archaeological and burial sites.



Should small businesses and farms be made subject to capital gains tax?

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.