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Letters to the Editor

Re Save the Esplanade

Your article ‘Save the Esplanade’ refers to the vibrancy of our beautiful Esplanade. Whitianga’s zoning was widely canvassed and discussed many years ago and I think if the author checks, he will find his concerns are already catered for.

Anna Horne


Save the Esplanade - perhaps Save the iSite first

suggest that the Guest Editorial should put a name to the information and ideas they purport. It gives context to the individual’s reasons for floating his/her opinion.

To suggest that Whitianga needs a fit for purpose visitor centre is absolutely a snub against the ladies and community members who have worked hard over the last two years to save the current Whitianga iSite information centre from complete closure. Yes, during Covid-19 there was a move to close the iSite totally unless the community could rally support to keep it open. The drive of Andrea Foster saw the formation of a Charitable Trust to enable the business to carry on.

The term ‘fit for purpose’ makes me wonder what the writer thinks a fit for purpose tourist information centre is?

Our current iSite is a dedicated tourism centre with services as follows:

Affiliated to iSite NZ and Tourism NZ.

Situated in Whitianga’s main street with profile to support all businesses in the whole district.

Provides local booking support to tour operators, buses, accommodation and activity providers.

Provides booking facilities for local and national events.

Is a supporter of charitable events like Glitz and Glam at no cost to the community.

Holds a range of printed information, free in most cases, on walks, roads and tourist activities locally and nationally. Yes, printed material is still a go to for a lot of travellers.

Manages the town’s community notice boards.

Offers unique New Zealand made retail product for sale as souvenirs and NZ arts and craft.

To suggest that our Visitor Centre is not the hub for tourists and locals to source key information is not correct. For the space and budget, we work with, the iSite punches well above its weight. If the writer has some funding to make the iSite a Tier One Information Centre in the iSite network, it will cost around $250,000 to redo the livery and meet the requirements of a Tier One Visitor Centre. That doesn’t include the building that we might need as well.

I do agree with the concept of development of the Esplanade, but to me it means a new wharf creating a better connection to the water with purpose-built facilities for tourism, the ferry, and the commercial fishing fleet. This, in conjunction with redevelopment of the area where the boat trailers park and reclamation of some of the mud flat out to the channel creating a Fishermen’s Wharf San Francisco style waterfront precinct, I have been advocating this to Councillors for a number of years. Not going to happen in my lifetime that I can see.

I would encourage all locals to visit the iSite in town make a booking with them and buy some product. It’s great for presents for overseas friends and family. It will soon be time to start thinking of dispatching gifts for Christmas. Your iSite - yes, your iSite is a great place to look for these items and helps us keep it running.

Ken Hindmarsh

Chairman Whitianga Charitable Trust

Tsunami Sirens

Responding to Mayor Salts ‘4 Rs & a fifth one’ in the Informer the week of 25th April.

The words used are ‘woolly’ to say the least with very little information given at all. In regard to the Mayor Salt’s fifth R – “The available technology and costs of tsunami sirens has changed significantly in recent times. Other Councils in New Zealand are installing modern siren systems in coastal areas. There needs to be more research done and I made a pre-election commitment to follow this through. That work is ongoing and will be done in collaboration with our communities”.

My question: If the work is ‘ongoing’, who is doing the work? ‘Tsunami Sirens Silenced’ community action group was to be on the committee as soon as it was formed to corroborate and be included. We are concerned to hear that work is ‘ongoing ‘and we have not been consulted or included in the process. Could Mayor Salt explain this ‘ongoing’ work? Several of us put hundreds of hours into due diligence re appropriate sirens, costing, technical requirements, the most experienced tsunami companies worldwide, ongoing maintenance requirements, discussions with other Councils around New Zealand, organising siren demonstrations. A company came from Denmark to display the sirens and not one elected official came although all were invited.

I remember Len Salt’s conversation at the Tsunami siren demonstration at Wharekaho on August 13, 2022. He was letting us know that he was fully behind reinstating the sirens and if elected, would follow up right away as it was of concern to him.

In conclusion

When will the Mayor form a group to reinstate all-purpose alerting sirens and announce an emergency management committee to work with, including members of the ‘Tsunami Sirens Silenced’ group?

Will there be discussion on the reinstatement of sirens - in particular Whitianga and Wharekaho? (Wharekaho has had significant damage from storms recently)

Will the Mayor be making use of all the information that has been amassed at no charge to Council or ratepayers?

I applaud and encourage people for writing letters to the editor about our local issues. Let’s keep our elected officials accountable and working with us.

David Yeomans


A sad day for Mercury Bay

As an avid supported of the arts and culture sector of the community of Mercury Bay for many years I was disgusted and hurt in the press releasee supplied by Creative Coromandel to The Informer in their 25 April issue.

It was only in 1994 when the vacant fish factory was purchased on behalf of the community that the Art sector had a base to operate from. For many years the building was used for storage of bleachers, sound equipment and very early on in the development a large floor area was put in for a dance and exercise programmes.

The previous fish factory was re-named The Health Factory – Healthy of body, Healthy of mind – and became the true home of all arts, music and theatre activities.

To state that the Monkey house Theatre at 18 Coghill Street was no suitable for an Art space in the future as it is privately owned is very distressing for me personally and all the people and all the people associated with it.

I do not wish to be disrespectful of Trusts, local bodies and government departments but bureaucracy leads to one hell of a lot of talk and no do! Luckily in Mercury Bay we have people who get on with life and act accordingly.

Let us hope that this will be the case on this issue.

Noel Hewlett


Day Camp says thank you to Community Patrol

Copy of letter addressed to Molly Brown of The Whitianga Community Patrol,

I just wanted to take a moment to thank you and the Community Patrol Team so very much, for all the effort, time and leadership that you put into Mercury Bay Day Camp 2023. Could you please pass this on to your amazing members. Thank you, Molly.

I hope you have had long moments to rest and recuperate after our EPIC days last week. I am forever grateful for your part in our 'Altogether Together' Team. Day Camp was so successful because of you!

We would be honoured to have you back for MB Day Camp 2024! 😂 Yes ... I know I'm getting in way early, but the year will go by quickly...

Tina Bartlett

Camp Director

Rainy day note


Welcome to the Mercury Bay

Where the sun don't shine and it rains all day.

Where the access is weather dependent

The roads aren't going to handle it.

The parties in control don't give a dam about the ones who depend on it.

As long as they get a share of what's in our pockets.

The government is broke and now come after the ones who make the profit.

There are people here who worked on the original project who have not been asked to contribute.

The forestry have not been consulted and yet they know the soil structure and limits.

There are too many so-called government consults who are aloud to chew into taxpayers profits.

It's long past time for some progress. Too much time and money wasted has just brought stress,

Bullshit has become a common thing,

We are just going around the same old ring.

John Storey

Concert Comments

I went to the Whitianga Town hall yesterday (Sunday, 7 May) What an excellent choice of music. Uplifting and toe tapping. Top marks to the conductor and the animated choir. The accompanist never missed a beat. Thank you!

But the sound deadening on the ceiling - all of the high notes were dulled down. The sparkle was extracted – removed. In my view the event would have had twice the impact if we could have heard the high notes. The town needs a better performing venue for this kind of event. But nonetheless – congratulations on a wonderful programme, presented with warmth and humour and skill.

(This letter to the Informer did not provide a name. As it was positive and not on a controversial issue, The Informer agreed to print with anonymity)

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