Saturday, 20 July 2019


Negotiated solution for Cooks Stream flood plain issue

A solution has been negotiated to a long standing flood plain issue concerning a number of residents next to Cook Stream at Cook’s Beach.

It will see Waikato Regional Council, Thames Coromandel District Council and a local landowner pay $20,000 in total for remedial work.

WRC Coromandel area manager Emily O’Donnell said some years ago allegations had been made that the land owner had unlawfully raised the ground level on their property, resulting in the filling in some of the flood plain.

It was suggested this caused increased flooding on the properties of other residents.

A detailed investigation at the time had shown the level of the flood plain had been raised. This was modelled to have a small effect on the smaller annual flood events in the area. However, the landowner denied responsibility for the infilling, indicating it was the result of actions of a previous landowner. To get a resolution, WRC was left with the choice of either taking the matter to court to get the fill removed or pursuing a negotiated solution.

“While we considered taking the matter to court, we were concerned that there wasn’t enough evidence to establish who was actually responsible for placing the fill on the flood plain. So, rather than spend a lot of ratepayers money on uncertain court action, the Council instead elected to take a more pragmatic approach in working with TCDC and the landowner to negotiate an agreeable solution,” said Ms O’Donnell.

WRC’s river management team will now oversee a contractor who will remove some of the fill adjacent to the stream to make a wider floodway, which can more easily cope with the smaller floods that frequently occur in the Cook Stream catchment.

At the same time, some erosion protection work will be undertaken to stabilise the banks of a tributary on the property. The areas will then be planted with appropriate plants to protect them from erosion in future. Costs will be shared by the two councils and the landowner.

“At the end of the day we have collectively chosen not to get into a protracted legal squabble and agreed to spend money dealing with the actual problem the community is concerned about,” Ms O’Donnell said.

Two new TCDC councillors appointed to Economic Development Committee

Councillors Diane Connors and Tony Brljevich have been appointed to Thames Coromandel Economic Development Committee. This follows the resignation of Bob Renton, Tairua-Pauanui Community Board chairman.

The Economic Development Committee is now made up of four elected members and three external members.

The four elected members are mayor Glenn Leach, deputy mayor Peter French and councillors Tony Brljevich and Diane Connors.

The three External members are Brent Page (chairman of the committee), Leigh Hopper and Grahame Christian.

A resident of the Coromandel, Mr Page is a director and part-owner of a nationally recognised computer and IT services company. Mr Page is currently the Chair of Destination Coromandel (the Coromandel’s Regional Tourism Organisation).

Mr Hopper is a well-known businessman with many interests on the Coromandel. He has extensive experience in property development, marketing, contracting and entrepreneurship.

Mr Christian is a property-owner at Whangapoua, and managing director and single shareholder of Smart Environmental - a large national refuse and recycling firm. He has extensive commercial and governance experience and is very also experienced in the local government sector. He is chairman of the Pare Hauraki Asset Holdings Limited, a significant commercial entity in the region, managing fisheries assets for the Hauraki Maori Trust Board.

Ohuka properties to connect to TCDC water supply

Property owners in Ohuka Park just outside Whitianga will move from their current private water scheme to Thames Coromandel District Council's water supply in the next few months.

The Ohuka Park Water Scheme Association negotiated the change on behalf of its members to make sure they will have a more secure water supply and to improve water quality in the future.

The main upgrades include extending an appropriately-sized new water pipe from the Rimu Street water tanks to the three main stages of Ohuka Park. Council will also have to install fire hydrants to meet the required fire-fighting standards.

The tender for the connecting pipeline is now underway and construction is estimated to be completed by the end of May.

TCDC says much hard work has been put in by volunteer members of the Ohuka Park Water Scheme Association  consulting with them since 2011 leading up to the official consultation through June and July last year with hearings held last August.

In October last year, Council sent out forms for all property owners in the Ohuka area to determine payment methods for connecting the area to the Council's water supply.

Some property owners have chosen to pay the development contribution and/or the capital contribution for the connection pipeline as a one-off payment by 10 May 2015, while others have taken the option to pay by a targeted rate over the next five years.

Council staff and representatives of the Ohuka Park Water Supply Association are now working on transferring ownership of the Ohuka Park water supply.

Whitianga Police Report for Monday 16 March to Monday 23 March


On the 18th 19 beehives were reported stolen from the Whangapoua causeway area and this is a continuation of beehive thefts reported in the Tairua area recently.

I would suggest that stealing beehives would takes specialist equipment and a vehicle/trailer to transport them, so if you see a different vehicle than usual at the sight of beehives, please note the registration and let us know.  

Anyone with information concerning these thefts is requested to contact Police so that we can stop this offending.

Also a call to "0800 CRIMESTOPPERS" concerning any criminal offending can anonymously help to make your community a better place to live in.    


18th - 1 x 22yr old local man for Breaching Bail Conditions.


One domestic incident attended this week.

On the 17th a separated couple were arguing about custody issues at a Pipi Dune address and they were given direct advice.    

On the 16th an incident of Wilful Damage at a residential address on the 309 Road was reported, while on the 17th a holiday home in Whitby Avenue was burgled. It appears the property was searched, but nothing was stolen.

Then on the 19th another holiday home on Whitby Avenue was burgled, the offender using a rock to smash the back door window and then the offender appears to have slept at the address.

On the 21st a car was broken into at Ferry Landing and an iPod and headphones were stolen.


No drunk drivers apprehended this week.

Unfortunately we have had a number of poor driving incidents reported this week where drivers have not been paying full attention to the road.

A moment’s lapse in concentration can result in a serious crash, so please concentrate on your driving and stay off cell phones or any other distractions.

Police warns fugitive should not be approached

Waikato Police searching for an offender on the run from the Coromandel warn he is dangerous and should not be approached and highlight that anyone aiding him to avoid capture is likely to face charges as well.

Detective Chris Cummings of the Ngaruawahia CIB said 37-year-old Rodney George Martel had been on electronic bail in Coromandel township while awaiting sentencing in relation to methamphetamine manufacturing and supply charges.

"Martel was due to appear in the Hamilton District Court for sentencing on 12 March but cut off his ankle bracelet the day before and failed to appear in court.

"As a result he is now wanted on 19 warrants to arrest in relation to breaching court bail, firearms and drug manufacturing, possession and supply charges."

A male Caucasian of medium build and about 173cm tall, Martel is known to have links throughout the Auckland, Waikato and Coromandel areas.

Mr Cummings said Martel has a history of drug use and possession of firearms and is currently assessed by Police as being a person who is dangerous and should not be approached.

"Anyone aiding Martel while he is unlawfully at large needs to be aware that by doing so they make themselves liable for the offence of being an accessory after the fact.

"Police urge anyone who sights Martel not to approach him but instead ring 111."

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact Mr Cummings at the Ngaruawahia Police Station on 07 211 7291. Police says anonymity will be respected.

Alternatively, information can be left anonymously with the independent Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

A Coromandel arts strategy

More than 70 artists and arts supporters from around the Coromandel attended a workshop this week Tuesday to investigate the development of an arts strategy for the Coromandel.

Thames Coromandel District Council says the arts sector on the Coromandel has been asking for an arts strategy, which will help with stronger promotion and marketing of local Coromandel artists.

The workshop, facilitated by Creative Waikato, covered what would be incorporated into an arts strategy - including what we define as arts on the Coromandel, what assets we already have and why a strategy is needed.

"The focus is ensuring Council has some over-arching strategy that recognises the value and contribution the arts sector provides to the Coromandel," says TCDC Councillor Diane Connors.

Ms Connors is leading the development of an arts strategy with support from TCDC’s Economic Development Programme Manager Ben Dunbar-Smith and Community Development Officer Marlene Perry.

"I strongly believe that creativity adds to the quality of life - whether you participate or share the experience of it,” says Ms Connors. “We have such a wealth of talent living in our communities - from singer/songwriters, sculptors, painters, potters, actors, dancers and body artists. I want us to not only acknowledge what we have, but nurture it, celebrate it and showcase it.”

TCDC says there are both economic and social benefits to a vibrant arts sector and an arts strategy will help them to identify how they can strengthen and support the arts on the Coromandel Peninsula.

Mercury Bay beaches suffer minor damage after Cyclone Pam

Cyclone Pam caused minimal damage to the coastline around Mercury Bay, says acting manager of the Mercury Bay Area Office of Thames Coromandel District Council, Len Whittaker.

TCDC staff and contractors quickly carried out repair work on Monday and Tuesday.

The four areas that were affected were Cooks Beach, Buffalo Beach, Brophy's Beach and Whangapoua.

“At Cooks Beach erosion was experienced at the end of the homeowners' wall that was a potential threat to Council's wastewater pump station," Mr Whittaker says. "Council put in some geofabric, rock and sand push-up as a temporary repair."

There are plans to extend the existing seawall by about 100 metres but those plans are still going through the consenting process.

At Buffalo Beach, Pam's storm surge cut away about 10m of footpath at the end of the existing seawall, past the toilets. Mr Whittaker says a sand push-up carried out before Pam struck late Sunday as a "sacrificial layer" meant the damage from the storm was minimal. After the storm had passed, geofabric, rock and a sand push-up were put in place as a temporary repair.

Late last week a contract to extend the seawall to past the Buffalo Memorial was awarded to Whitianga firm Roadworx Limted.

There was minimal erosion at Brophy's Beach, but the sea did come over the foreshore up to State Highway 25.

Work on a geotextile seawall to replace the existing rock seawall at Brophy's Beach is expected to start late April/May. A footing will be excavated and geotextile bags will be laid on top of each other to form a wall. Sand will then be pushed over the bags and eventually planted with native species that will help keep the sand in place and help resist erosion.

At Whangapoua there was some erosion to the toe of a sand push-up that local homeowners had done a couple of months ago.

Whitianga Police Report for Monday 9 March to Monday 16 March


Like a lot of other Police throughout the country we have been assisting with enquiries in relation to 1080 and infant formula threats.

These threats are definitely a situation where the offender needs to have a good look at themselves and consider the worry and concern they are causing.

I would suggest this offender, unless they are pretty dense, should realise that the threat was stupid and that if they have any remorse they should front at their nearest Police Station to sort it out.

Remorse shown after we track you down will be seen as too little too late in my opinion, when seeing how your actions have affected New Zealand and fronting may show you have a conscience.             


10th - 1 x 25yr old local man for being Unlawfully in an Enclosed Yard.

11th - 1 x 17yr old Napier woman for Reckless Driving, Failing to Stop, Driving Whilst Suspended and Theft.

13th - 1 x 42yr old local man for Assault with Intent to Injure and criminal Damage.


One domestic incident attended this week.

On the 12th a couple at a South Highway address were arguing about their relationship and after the initial frustration was taken out on the bathroom door, common sense prevailed and they spent the night apart to calm down.

On the 9th two car rear tyres were slashed with a knife or similar at an Eyre Street address.

Also that night at about 9:30pm an offender entered a Heritage Close address while the occupants were watching TV and then ran off when confronted.

On the 10th a green Nissan Terrano utility registration BZC461 was Unlawfully Taken from a White Street address.

On the 13th, as per the arrest above, a 42yr old local man was extremely intoxicated when it is alleged he decided to confront another man with a hockey stick. The victim received a serious laceration to the side of his head and numerous windows were smashed at his address.  


One drunk driver apprehended this week. On the 14th a 47yr old local man was apprehended and recorded a result of 400/250.



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.