Tuesday, 25 June 2019


Hahei Holiday Resort up for sale

Earlier this week the owners of the Hahei Holiday Resort confirmed that the 6.79ha site, which is in private ownership and has a land capital value of $11.69m, is up for sale.

"We appreciate the Hahei Holiday Resort is a prestigious spot and we recognise the high public interest in this area," says Thames Coromandel District Mayor Glenn Leach. "However from a Council perspective we haven't got the resource to purchase the land outright.

"If there's a groundswell of support from the local community wanting to purchase the land, this could be considered through a targeted rate for an area of benefit.

"Another option could be the community approaching regional and/or central government for funding - however we have been down this road with little success.

"When you consider the Coromandel as a whole there are also other significant pieces of land, with high public interest, that's under development pressure.”

When it comes to any development, TCDC is bound by legislation under the Resource Management Act.

"What we want to encourage is for any developer to come and see us in the first instance so we can ensure we can help facilitate the best outcome for everyone," says Mr Leach. "This is also taking into consideration the fact that we have to follow and abide by the RMA process."

The Operative District Plan has a structure plan in place over the resort with an underlying zoning of Coastal Zone (Village Policy Area).

The Hahei Holiday Resort Structure Plan has specific rules for specific areas on the property, including -

  • The provision of a wider, more flexible range of tourism and traveller accommodation, which is responsive to changing tourism and travelling patterns and demands.
  • Development to a maximum height of 10m over central parts of the land.
  • The maximum number of visitors per day not to exceed 1,275 people.

While anyone buying the land has the right to apply for a subdivision, they will need to make sure that their development is in accordance with the Structure Plan and will still need to obtain resource consent under the District Plan.

In the event, anyone looking to purchase the land wanted to change the Structure Plan, this would require a change to the District Plan involving public notification, submissions and a hearing.

"Where public notification is not required under the RMA, but the area in question is of high public interest we would still be pushing for public notification," says Mr Leach.

SH 25 to be closed for short periods in April

A stretch of State Highway 25 will be closed twice later this month to allow contractors to resurface the approaches to the Hikuai Bridge.

The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) says the closures will take place for 45 minute intervals on the night of Sunday April 19.

The first closure will be between 11pm and 11.45pm, followed by a second closure from 1.30am until 2.15am.

NZTA advises motorists are advised to plan their journeys to avoid these closure times as no alternative route is available.

Mega Crossword Competition

Entries for the mega crossword competition in The Mercury Bay Informer 2014/2015 Summer Guide have now closed.

We will in the next few weeks announce the winner of the Scallop Festival weekend package in Whitianga comprising of two tickets to the Scallop Festival and a $100 dinner voucher at Salt Restaurant in Whitianga.

The crossword solution is posted herewith.

New Chum hearings to take place next month

The date for the hearings of the subdivision application at Wainuiototo Bay (New Chum) has been set for the first week in May.

The application has received high public interest across New Zealand and internationally with a total of 187 submissions received and over 80 submitters requesting to be heard. The hearing committee will be made up of three independent commissioners.

The hearings will start on Monday 4 May at 9:00am at the Council Chambers in Thames. Alan Dormer, a barrister at Shortland Chambers in Auckland - who specialises in public, environmental and local government law - will Chair the hearing panel.

The other hearing commissioners are Leigh McGregor, an RMA lawyer and independent commissioner and John Childs, a planning consultant and independent commissioner. Both these commissioners are also Auckland based.

Details of the hearings, which are expected to last the week and are open to the public, are as follows -

Monday 4 May 2015 - 9:00am Council Chambers, Mackay Street, Thames.
Tuesday 5 May 2015 - 9:00am Thames Bowling Club, Mackay Street, Thames.
Wednesday 6 May 2015 - 9:00am Thames Bowling Club, Mackay Street, Thames.
Thursday 7 May 2015 - 9:00am Thames Bowling Club, Mackay Street, Thames.
Friday 8 May 2015 - 9:00am Council Chambers, Mackay Street, Thames.

TCDC opts for status quo

Thames Coromandel District Council has voted unanimously that there should be no change to the District's representation arrangements.

At its meeting on 25 March, Councillors said they think there should be no change to the current system of eight Councillors plus the Mayor and five Community Boards with four members each.

Councillors also said the current ward and Community Board boundaries should remain unchanged ahead of the local body 2016 elections.

The Local Electoral Act 2001 (LEA) requires that every local authority undertake a representation arrangements review at least once every six years.

TCDC’s last review was in 2009.

TCDC says now that they have made their initial resolution in favour of the status quo, the public has a chance to have a say.

The public submission period runs from 2 April to 15 May.

After that, submissions are heard and on 24 June Councillors will adopt their final resolution. This is followed by a public objection period and then in August the Local Government Commission will review the outcome.

The LEA says the population that each councillor represents must be within the population range of 3,441 people plus or minus 10 per cent.

The Coromandel-Colville Ward falls outside that range, with a population of 2,950 and one Councillor.

However, a territorial authority - such as Thames-Coromandel District - can vary from that range if an isolated or island community exists.

TCDC says they believe the Coromandel-Colville Ward is a distinct community of interest isolated by geographical features. As such, it is not able to comply with the plus or minus 10 per cent range.

According to the LEA the decision not to comply with this population range must be referred to the Local Government Commission once the formal consultation process has been completed.

ANZAC Day in the wider Mercury Bay

HMNZS Manawanui will arrive in Mercury Bay on Friday 24 April to participate in the ANZAC Day celebrations the following day. The ship will anchor offshore.

The water at Whitianga Wharf is too shallow for the ship to tie up. On ANZAC Day members of the crew will visit Mercury Bay Area School and participate in Whitianga's Dawn Parade and service.

Depending on the weather and crew availability, members of the public will also be able to visit the ship on Saturday.

HMNZS Manawanui is the Navy's diving and mine counter-measures support ship. She is equipped with a compression chamber and a wet bell to enable deep diving. She has the range to undertake peacekeeping and security missions in New Zealand waters and in the South Pacific.

ANZAC Day in Whitianga will be celebrated with a dawn parade at 5:45am from the Mercury Bay Club to Soldiers Memorial Park. That will be followed by a dawn service at 6:00am

In Matarangi there will be a parade at 10:30am from Ake Ake Avenue to the Matarangi Fire Station, followed by a civic service at 11:00am.

In Tairua a dawn service will be held at 6.00am at the Tairua Ex-Servicemen’s Cemetery on Main Road, Tairua. At 11:00am a civic parade will take place from the Tairua Fire Station, followed by a civic service at the Tairua Community Hall.

A dawn service will be held at 5:45am at the Pauanui Lifesaving Club. A civic service will be held at 11:00am at the Pauanui Sports and Recreation Club.

Better broadband for Whenuakite and Hahei

Chorus has today finished work on new fibre-fed broadband cabinet in Whenuakite and Hahei, meaning local residents can now benefit from better broadband services in the area.

Chorus General Manager of Infrastructure Ed Beattie says there is no question that access to better broadband makes a significant difference to the lives of rural New Zealanders.

“Chorus has always been passionate about improving rural connectivity throughout New Zealand. That’s why we are pleased to be able to deliver improved broadband to Whenuakite and Hahei.

“On a personal level, more reliable and consistent broadband speeds will provide faster upload speeds for photographs and images, faster download speeds for music and movies and better, clearer video conversations with friends and family.

“However, better broadband also helps rural businesses connect easily to the world and run applications from cloud-based services, reducing IT costs and improving business resilience.

“In practical terms for rural businesses, such as farms, this means better connection to services like livestock improvement records and markets overseas, as well as improving time management through online purchasing. Technology plays a big part in modern farming and now Whenuakite and Hahei residents can be part of that.

“By upgrading the infrastructure in these areas, it not only means broadband will now be more consistent and reliable, in some cases it also means that people who have previously been on a waiting list for a broadband service can now access one.”

Mr Beattie says that although the broadband network has been upgraded, residents in Whenuakite and Hahei also have an important part to play in making the most of the upgraded broadband capability.

"A customer's broadband service is also affected by factors including their broadband internet connection plan, modem, computer, the wiring in their home or business and distance from the cabinet.

“We also encourage residents to talk directly with their internet service provider to find out how they can be connected to our upgraded network.”

The work in Whenuakite and Hahei is part of Chorus’ involvement in the Government’s Rural Broadband Initiative.

Communications Minister Amy Adams says she is thrilled that the Coromandel is getting better broadband thanks to the Rural Broadband Inititiative and the work Chorus is doing.

“Reliable access to the internet at home and at work and better mobile coverage where you are means better business tools, more ways to connect with customers and suppliers, new technologies for precision agriculture to explore, as well as more incentives for young people to stay in the area.

“The Government’s rural broadband programme reflects our commitment to rural communities – we are working with our private sector partners to provide services and coverage that would not otherwise be feasible.”

Hearing date set for New Chums subdivision application

The date for the hearings of the subdivision application at Wainuiototo Bay (New Chums Beach) has been set for the first week in May.

The subdivision application has received high public interest across New Zealand and internationally with a total of 187 submissions received and over 80 submitters requesting to be heard. The hearing committee will be made up of three independent commissioners.

"The Chief Executive [of Thames Coromandel District Council] and the chair of the [TCDC] Judicial Committee will appoint the panel of independent hearings commissioners from Council's approved Commissioners List," says TCDC Planning Manager, Michael Jones.

The hearing is expected to last a week and is open to the public.



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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.