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From Mercury Bay Community Board meeting held Wednesday, 3 May.

Dust issue: Acting Chair of the Community Board meeting: “There will be an update

today on the Dust issue.”

This was the Update read to the meeting and printed in TCDC e-letter Friday, 5 May.

South Highway Whitianga, dust issue “We’ve been working to resolve a number of

factors surrounding the issue of dust raised by commercial activity, with several options

being considered. We expect to be able to report details to the Mercury Bay Community

Board at their June meeting at which time we will provide an update for our customers.”

Editor’s comment: The Dust Issue was - Article published in The Informer, Tackle the

Dust – whose responsibility? Issue 1032 10 December, 2022; but only following two years

of email communications between residents (group action) and TCDC and WRC.

Gold Card Issue: This is about enabling use of the Gold Card for pensioners on the ferry crossing, Whitianga estuary to Cooks Beach and return. There was a presentation last year by Marguerite

Muellers on behalf of Grey Power. This was her fourth presentation to the Mercury Bay Community Board. The following has appeared in print “Report - Gold Card informal briefing with

the Community Board in April, 2023. Report in May is this: “There will be a formal report

to the June meeting of Community Board.”

Editor’s comment: This was treated as urgent at the first meeting in 2023. There is talk of

investigation but it has been before different sessions of the Community Boards for the last

several years. The Informer has spoken with Warren Maher and received correspondence on this

matter three times. He no doubt is working with the Community Board and Waikato Regional Council. We know that close to a million dollars is allocated to the Waikato region annually for Gold Card determination in Waikato region which includes the Coromandel. Over 80% is used in Hamilton for Gold Card application. 1.4% reaches the Coromandel region and this is used in Thames. Nothing comes further north. It's hard to think that authorities are progressing this to success with it taking so many years and a formal report without any clue of its content is still awaited. “One TCDC Councillor said that the issue needs to be pushed harder. Who will do the

pushing? The Grey Power advocate for the Gold Card, Marguerite Muellers is puzzled that not one representative of the Community Board or TCDC has spoken to her in regard to this matter. This is not a life-threatening issue but it can be a symbol of encouragement and goodwill for the many seniors who are disadvantaged in terms of access to transport.

Why so much time and effort and wasted resources spent in reaching an outcome? There are fees collected by TCDC from the ferry for ticketing and from berthing. Obviously there might be a reduction in income for TCDC as the Gold Card amount for pensioners would go to the ferry operator and not TCDC. No one would be resentful for the ferry operator to receive what is due. It is the right time to work to achieve a small benefit for this area with the current road network difficulties.


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