Saturday, 06 June 2020

WHITIANGA WEATHER

New dog rules to come into effect on 1 August

Changes to Thames Coromandel District Council’s dog control rules will take effect on 1 August

“Changes to our Dog Control Policy and Bylaw come after an extensive review and feedback from the public," says Barry Smedts, TCDC’s Operations Manager for Community Environment. “Please remember that until we change to the new rules on 1 August this year the current rules still apply."

The new rules mean there will be some consistency across the Thames Coromandel District, such as the dates and times dogs are allowed on some beaches over summer and public holidays. TCDC will use the time before 1 August to update signage and spread the word about the new rules before they come into effect.

The new policy and bylaw strikes a balance between different community needs and preferences. TCDC has requirements under the Dog Control Act 1996, both about community health and safety, and providing exercise and recreational opportunities for dogs and their owners. They’ve also considered the need to protect wildlife such as dotterel and kiwi.

Art and Craft Fair date announced

The 2016 Coromandel Peninsula Art and Craft fair will be held in the Whitianga Town Hall on Saturday 16 July from 9:00am to 3:00pm.

The Mercury Bay Art Escape Trust is the organiser of the fair. Only work created on the Coromandel Peninsula is eligible for display and sale at the fair.

“Last year’s fair was a great success, with nearly 600 people through the door who really appreciated the variety and quality of the work that was on offer,” says Art Escape chairman Stuart Christie.

The Art and Craft Fair brings together artists from the entire Peninsula to showcase the very best of what Coromandel visual arts is about. “We have a group of talented artists already on board, but have room for more. We would like artists who haven’t booked a space yet, to sign up,” says Art Escape Trustee Alison Henry.

Artists interested to participate in the fair can contact Alison on telephone (07) 866 0020 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. More information is available on the Art Escape website www.mercurybayartescape.com.

Whitianga Police report for Monday 9 May to Monday 16 May

General

The majority of our time this week was dealing with traffic related issues, firstly infringement notices for licensing breaches, vehicles not up to warrant of fitness standard and general poor driving.

This then leads to licence suspensions if driving isn’t improved.

Also the three drunk drivers apprehended this week will be disqualified on conviction and then there were the two arrests this week for people driving whilst disqualified.

Please drive safely and report anyone you see driving poorly.

Arrests

12th - 25yr old local man for Driving whilst Disqualified.

15th - 28yr old local man for Driving whilst Disqualified, third subsequent offence.

Occurrences

One domestic incident attended this week.

On the 12th a couple argued about their relationship at a Hilton Avenue address and contacted the Police to help calm the situation down.

On the 9th an unlawfully taken motor vehicle was located on SH25, Whenuakite, while on the 15th a wallet and oil skin jacket were stolen from a ute parked on the Tapu-Coroglen Road while the owner was hunting. 

Traffic

Three drunk drivers apprehended this week.

12th - 1 x 31yr old Papatoetoe man 367/250.

12th - 1 x 25yr old local man 224/0 (zero alcohol licence).

15th - 1 x 19yr old local man 226/0 (under 20 years).   

On the 13th a local man crashed his mobility scooter into a vehicle in a parking area off Lee Street. No injuries occurred, however it is a reminder to stay safe on mobility scooters.

Cooks Beach Dune Planting

Thames Coromandel District Council is currently reviewing their coastal erosion management strategy for Mercury Bay and assessments around “soft” versus “hard” options for coastal protection and restoration.

A “soft” option is something like dune planting, while a “hard” option would be something like a backstop wall.

Different areas around Mercury Bay will require different solutions.

On Saturday 4 June at 10:00am (rain or shine) some dune restoration planting will be done at the Cooks Beach Monument Reserve at Captain Cook Road.

Volunteers are most welcome to come and help. Community members are invited to bring their kids along with their spades. Some native sand-binding species like Spinfex and Pingao, that will help promote beach sand nourishment, will be planted.

Over the next few weeks TCDC will be doing some preparatory work at the area that will be planted, which includes removing exotic species and forming a dune profile.

TCDC says in the long term they may still seek a resource consent for a “hard” structure, should it be required at some point in the future.

Vessel refloated

There’s a successful resolution to the grounding of a 20m fishing vessel on Red Mercury Island, 30km off Whitianga, this morning.

With Waikato Regional Council craft and fuel-containment booms standing by on site, the vessel’s crew was able to use an anchor and winch during high tide to haul it off the rocks where it became stuck overnight. No fuel went into the sea during the grounding and re-floating.

“This is a great outcome considering the risk of some of the 9000l of diesel aboard getting into the sea,” said WRC’s regional on-scene commander Dave Lovatt.

“The vessel that was grounded is now safely back at sea and there have been no injuries to the crew. This is a great outcome to a potentially risky situation.”

Exactly why the vessel grounded has still to be determined, Mr Lovatt added.

Vessel run aground at Red Mercury Island

Waikato Regional Council is assisting the skipper of a 20m fishing boat that has run aground 30 kilometres off Whitianga on the southern end of Red Mercury Island.

The vessel, which is carrying about 9,000l of diesel, appears intact and there is no sign of fuel having spilled into the sea at this stage.

WRC formally declared a Tier 2 regional marine oil spill response to help it manage the situation as efforts are made to refloat the boat and to deal with any fuel that might leak. An incident control centre has been activated in Hamilton.

Regional on-scene commander Dave Lovatt, from WRC’s regional hazards team, said the crew is safe and the sea and weather conditions generally favourable.

The skipper of the boat has deployed a support vessel from Tauranga to attempt to re-float the grounded vessel at high tide around 11:00am this morning.

In the meantime, regional marine oil spill responders and equipment have been deployed from WRC’s Gordonton depot and a harbourmaster is inspecting the vessel this morning to help inform forward planning and response options.

“We are hopeful of a quick and safe resolution to this situation, but we are on standby and prepared to help if problems develop and any fuel leaks into the sea,” said Mr Lovatt.

“We are moving equipment and staff into the area and will respond as required.”

Call for food and beverage producers keen to be involved in Auckland Food Show

The Coromandel’s appeal as a destination for lovers of artisan beer, home grown seafood, condiments and other locally produced foods will again be showcased at the Food Show in Auckland - with Thames Coromandel District Council opening up opportunities for local producers to be part of the Coromandel Food Collective. 

The Auckland Food Show is New Zealand’s premier event for foodies and will draw a crowd of 35,000, including media, chefs and buyers.

Held at the ASB Showgrounds from 28 to 31 July, the show features cooking demonstrations from top celebrity chefs, tastings and sales of products direct to the public.

TCDC has designed an eye-catching “Coromandel Bach” front yard in the Artisan Village of the show, where local producers will present ticketholders with tastings and sales of their products under the banner “The Coromandel Food Collective.”

"There is still the opportunity for anyone who produces home grown food and beverages within our district to be part of the collective at the show - but they should be quick," says TCDC's Communications and Marketing Manager Laurna White.

“We encourage you to get in touch if you think you have something special and would like to take up this fabulous opportunity.

Anyone keen to be involved can email Laurna at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

This is the second year that TCDC has supported local food and beverage producers with a targeted campaign aimed at promoting niche products that are grown or produced on the Coromandel.

Skipper fined and warned after Tairua bar capsize

A fine and a formal warning have been handed out to the skipper of a boat which capsized while crossing the Tairua bar, meaning he and his two passengers had to be rescued by the Coastguard and other emergency responders.

The men were not wearing lifejackets as they were required to when they were flipped into the sea during the March incident. One of the main nationwide rules is that people must wear lifejackets while crossing a bar.

Waikato Regional Council’s maritime services team leader Richard Barnett said a formal investigation found that the skipper was at fault.

“The skipper has been issued with a $400 fine for failing to ensure life jackets were worn and given a formal written warning for operating a vessel in a manner which caused unnecessary danger or risk,” Mr Barnett said.

“The level of the penalties imposed reflects the lack of injuries sustained by the crew and the skipper’s previously clean record with the Council.”

Witnesses told WRC the boat turned side on to the waves after an initial attempt to cross the bar. The boat then capsized.

Mr Barnett said crossing a bar is an extremely hazardous activity.

“Because of the risks, we have worked with others to create a series of bar crossing videos for boaties. So there’s plenty of information available via the internet about crossing bars, with a specific video on the Tairua bar. People need to do their homework.

“Boaties also need to make wise decisions about whether it is safe to go on the water in the first place and never try to turn mid-crossing.”

 

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