Wednesday, 24 April 2019


Whitianga restaurant Beef and Lamb Award recipient

The top restaurants and chefs in the nation were revealed at a long lunch held at the prestigious Kelliher Estate on Puketutu Island today, after months of assessment by culinary trained experts.

163 restaurants from across New Zealand received the 2015 Beef and Lamb Excellence Award, recognising the highest quality, most skilfully composed and superbly presented beef and lamb cuisine.

Whitianga’s No 8 Bar and Brasserie was one of the recipients.

2015 marks the 19th year of the awards, making them the country’s longest running culinary award programme and one which is highly regarded within the industry.

Beef + Lamb New Zealand, CEO, Rod Slater says the Awards have helped to take the guesswork out of choosing where to dine.

“Wherever you see the [Beef and Lamb Excellence Award] gold plate displayed you can be certain a stellar beef or lamb meal will be presented. We’re absolutely confident in providing this guarantee, given the level of groundwork supporting the Excellence Awards,” says Rod.

Workshop by artist Carole Shepheard

The Mercury Bay Art Escape Trust is pleased to present a “Professional Practice” workshop to the artists of the Coromandel Peninsula. Carole Shepheard will facilitate the “Finding your Way” workshop. The trustees of the Art Escape Trust see the workshop as an opportunity to support both established and emerging artists’ professional development and a platform for them to meet and network with like-minded people. The workshop will cover marketing, promotion, collaboration, professional support, finding creative networks, cv writing, websites, a feedback session and much more. See for full the course outline.

Carole will be the guest speaker at the opening launch of the 2015 Art Escape Open Studio Tour and Taste of the Tour Exhibition at Hot Waves Café, Hot Water Beach on 6 March 2015. She is a renowned artist, educator and writer and has a wealth of experience and knowledge to offer. She enjoys being part of the small Kawhia community and puts particular value on the work being done by artists in places outside large cities, where she believes new energy is found and ideas are expressed in individual and challenging ways.

The workshop will be held at the Cooks Beach Resort Lounge, 874 Purangi Road, Cooks Beach from 9:30am to approx 3:00pm on Monday 9 March 2015. The cost is $30 for the day, bring your own lunch. Artists must email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to reserve their place.

Public notification of New Chum Beach opens today

The application to subdivide land at New Chum Beach (Wainuiototo Bay Whangapoua) is open for submissions from today.

The notification period will run for 20 working days (not counting statutory holidays and will close on Monday 16 February at 4:00pm.

The application has been made by Ross and Deidre Mear for a four lot subdivision, all approximately 15 hectares in size, together with a fifth "beach conservation lot," of 1.2 hectares. The beach lot is proposed as a conservation area allowing for public access along the beach.

Public inspection files are available at all TCDC offices, including the Mercury Bay Library in Whitianga and also at the Whangapoua Store.

Whitianga Police Report for the period 5 January to 12 January 2015


That time of year again when we need to remind a few people who are lucky enough to still be on holiday that most people are now back at work, so keeping noise levels reasonable and turning stereos off at a reasonable hour will go a long way to keeping the neighbours happy.

We have had another theft from a bag while the owner has been swimming, this time from Cathedral Cove on the 9th. While most of the people sun bathing around your stuff can be trusted, unfortunately it only takes one thief to spoil your day.

Leave valuables at home or lock them in your car out of sight and let us know if you see anyone acting suspiciously around other people's property.       


12th - 1 x 23yr old local woman for Theft Ex-Shop.


Three domestic incidents attended last week.

On the 10th a drunk ex-partner was removed from an Annette Place address as he was not welcome there, while on the 11th two sisters were arguing at a Cook Drive address with alcohol a major factor.

Both were given sound advice.

Then on the 11th a couple arguing over custody issues at a Grange Road address were advised to read their agreement and stick to it. 

On the 8th a car was damaged outside a Kenwood Drive address when the offender climbed on the vehicle denting the roof and bonnet.

A group of youths banging on the windows of a Cordyline Crescent address and running off on the 10th need to grow up and start thinking about others, while also that night a yellow mountain bike was stolen from a Hannan Road address and a letterbox was damaged at a Springbok Ave address.

We have had another theft from a produce stall at a Hodge Road address on the 11th and again excellent security footage has been obtained to help identify the offender.

A car was unlawfully converted when an ex-partner failed to return a borrowed car as agreed and our enquiries are continuing to locate her. 


No drunk drivers were apprehended this week.

A couple of crashes last week with a truck full of molasses rolling on SH25 near Whenuakite being the standout.

Minor injuries resulted.

What roadside fire danger signs really mean

Summertime and the living is easy, fish are jumping and the fire danger is high. But what do the familiar roadside fire danger signs really mean?

Clear, colourful and simple, the signs’ message is not as obvious as it seems. The Scion Rural Fire Research Group is working with the National Rural Fire Authority after a study found that many people are not sure what the danger ratings mean, or if they apply to them.
Lisa Langer, the fire scientist who led the work, explains, “We wanted to see if the fire danger warnings influenced people’s behaviour and encouraged safer fire practices.
“We interviewed locals and New Zealand and international visitors in Canterbury and Northland and asked them what the fire danger signs meant to them.
“On the plus side, most people are aware of the signs. But some of our results were surprising.
“Perhaps most worrying is that one person in five felt the signs didn’t apply to them, that they were for others, like smokers or campers or ‘reckless people.’
“And two thirds of people we talked to said that that the signs did not alert them to the possibility that that they might need to change their behaviour. People were also very uncertain as to what they should or shouldn’t do at each fire danger level, other than for low or extreme.
“We also found that the signs were not particularly effective for visitors. This is a specific concern in summer when people are moving around the country and the fire danger is often very high or extreme.
“The challenge is to get people to take notice of the fire danger signs, to make them aware of local conditions, and what they can do to prevent wildfires from starting.
"Rural Fire Authorities, led by the National Rural Fire Authority, have responded to these research findings by developing new TV advertising, YouTube clips, roadside signs and some FireSmart activities. The emphasis is now ‘Check it’s alright before you light.’”
Further work by the Rural Fire Research Group has focused on how to communicate wildfire messages more effectively. “We considered who was using fire, what they needed to know about fire risk, restrictions and other actions to prevent fires, as well as being prepared for a fire if one should occur,” says Lisa.
“Most people are not fire users, but that can change on holiday. It is holidaymakers who do things like light campfires and set off fireworks that could start a wildfire. And holidaymakers tend to be visitors to an area. One of the real communication challenges is to increase the awareness of visitors to the local fire danger in the area they are in."

Rolled truck and trailer causes delays between Tairua and Whitianga

Police advised that a truck and trailer unit has rolled on SH25 between Tairua and Whitianga.

No diversion is possible.

The road is down to one lane and lengthy queues are forming.

The crash is on the Tairua side of Whenuakite so this will affect traffic travelling to Hahei, Hot Water Beach, Whitianga, etc. Drivers are advised that the quickest route to Auckland from Whitianga is via Coromandel town and Thames. The road is expected to be closed for several hours. The truck was carrying molasses and fuel is leaking.

TCDC looking for this man

Thames Coromandel District Council wishes to talk to the person in this photo, or to anybody who may be able to identify the person in this photo, in relation to an incident that occurred at the Hot Water Beach car park on Sunday 4th January 2015 at 11:54pm.

Please contact Steve Hart, Compliance Team Leader on telephone 07 868 0200.

TCDC to prosecute organisers (and landowner) of music festival

Thames Coromandel District Council says a 48-hour music festival expecting 1,500 people plans to go ahead this weekend despite Council serving an abatement notice on organisers and the landowner because of concerns about public safety and noise.

The event - Chronophonium Festival - promotes itself as not-for-profit and its Facebook page reported a sold out event at $60 per ticket. According to the page, 1,500 people are expected to arrive at the Tapu Coroglen Road location today for the 48-hour music festival.

Event organisers told TCDC officers yesterday that they only had one nurse and two security guards to take care of the 1,500 people plus bands and support teams over the 48 hours from tonight. Police advised organisers that they needed one crowd control certified security guard per 75 people.

Council says last year's event caused a series of complaints from neighbours who had not been notified of the event.

Organisers said the event was sold out and for TCDC to just to fine them for not following the requirements under the Resource Management Act. TCDC says when they told the owner of the land at 371 Tapu Coroglen Road that he would also be prosecuted, the organisers said they'd just pay his fine too.

Council says they worked with the organisers last year to guide them through the consenting process, even offering an alternative venue (Thames Racecourse) that would make it possible for them to meet the standards.

Council's Acting Chief Executive Ben Day says, “We don't want attendees' safety to be put in danger and have problems like that experienced at Gisborne recently, when organisers of an event such as Chronophonium refuse to comply with standards put in place to take care of people.

"We want people's memories of Coromandel summers to be happy, not devastating," he says, "And we will prosecute."

A successful resource consent would have cost the organisers of the event about $1,500 and certified the site for all future repeat festivals. On conviction after a prosecution, an individual who has failed to comply with the abatement notice is liable to a fine of $10,000 per person (including the land owner).



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.