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Day 13: Don't Burst Your Bubble

The weather may play its part in helping you to stay home and save lives over Easter as a south westerly flow heads our way with strong winds and squalls.

"If we are going to make the best of the lockdown, everyone needs to have a staycation over Easter," says Garry Towler our Civil Defence Controller.

"Please stay home and don’t travel - above all, if you have family or friends outside of your bubble intending to join you for an Easter hunt - this will pop your bubble and is a breach of the Alert Level 4 COVID-19 guidelines," he says.

"We understand there are already people who chose to come to their baches before lockdown and now they must stay there. So please refrain from taking matters into your own hands, leave it to Police and be kind."

If you suspect a breach of the guidelines, you can report them online here. (Don't ring 111 as that is for emergencies only)

Working together to improve mobile and broadband in Coromandel Town

Example of the Spark temporary cell site on wheels (CoW), approximately 15m tall.

Spark joined up with our Council to provide extra mobile and broadband capacity to residents of Coromandel Town during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. A temporary Cellsite on Wheels (CoW) has been installed on council property to relieve congestion and overloading on the existing cell tower.

Prior to the COVID-19 lockdown, Spark’s existing cell site in Coromandel Town had reached capacity. Now with all residents required to stay home, this existing site cannot provide the increased service needed with the entire community working and learning from home.

“I am delighted that Spark will temporarily increase their level of service in our town," says Peter Pritchard Coromandel-Colville Community Board Chair.

“Data and mobile network use has shot up during the lockdown period so far and is expected to increase further once schools go back to their ‘learning from home’ service next week,” Mr Pritchard says. “It is important that students in Coromandel Town have essential connectivity through this evolving circumstance to continue learning with as little disruption as possible.”

“The Community Board is 100 per cent supporting Spark, which has the resources to bring in a rapid solution to our problem,” he says.

“This is a temporary arrangement for the period of the emergency, it’s a 4G mobile trailer designed to be wheeled in and then wheeled out to the next event, and at some stage another discussion will be had in regard to a more permanent solution”.

The location for the new site will be our Council property at Pound Street, and mobile and broadband services will be available from the new site this week.

“We’ve been very pleased to work with Peter Pritchard and with Councillor John Morrissey," Spark community engagement manager Graeme McCarrison says. "They have assisted us in finding a location for the temporary Cellsite on Wheels that will help the community benefit from the additional 3G and 4G services. This temporary cell site does not provide 5G services."

“Looking to the future, we’ve already said that another permanent cell site will be needed in Coromandel Town. We anticipate that this conversation will happen over the next couple of years and will involve the community. But for now, we’ve put in this temporary cell site so the residents of Coromandel Town can get the connectivity they need during the COVID-19 lockdown," Mr McCarrison says.

Questions about the temporary Cellsite on Wheels, should be emailed to Spark at Sparkinform@spark.co.nz

Kauaeranga Valley Rd closed

The Department of Conservation (DOC) has closed its section of the Kauaeranga Valley Rd in southern Coromandel after a spate of behaviour by people ignoring the Government’s COVID-19 Level 4 lockdown direction and rules.

The Kauaeranga Valley is a popular bush-clad location where DOC has a Visitor Centre, camping sites, and manages a number of walking tracks and the Pinnacles Hut. The hut, visitor centre and camping sites were closed late last month as part of the COVID-19 Level 4 response by the New Zealand Government.

Recreation in the great outdoors must be put on hold as the country stays into lockdown for the next few weeks. However, Kauaeranga Valley residents have informed DOC staff of various recent incidents in the area – including a hunter heading into the bush, people dumping green waste out of trailers and cars, and people in vehicles doing burnouts and skids. DOC staff have closed the gate near the Kauaeranga Valley Visitor Centre, preventing vehicles using the access road which leads toward the Pinnacles, and Police have also been informed.

Public places where people usually congregate, such as Hot Water Beach, are also being monitored by our staff and referred to Police.

Update on Council services

Annual Plan - The consultation runs until 14 April, and after that we will be considering all requests, feedback and submissions before making any decisions about projects, spending and rates. Please read the consultation document on this page - tcdc.govt.nz/annualplan2020 - and send us a submission with your thoughts on what projects and services should take priority as we set the budgets for the 2020/21 financial year.

Having trouble making a submission? Feeling digitally challenged? Give us a call on 07 868 0200 and we'll talk you through it.

Special Council meeting - To be held on Tuesday 21 April, from 9.00am. Due to COVID-19 this meeting will be held by audio link. A recording or a written record of the meeting will be published on our website following the meeting.

Kerbside rubbish and recycling: All rubbish and recycling must be bagged and placed in your recycling wheelie bin and will be collected FORTNIGHTLY. The fortnightly collection will occur on your normal recycling day in your normal recycling week. Click here for further details.

Kerbside collections tomorrow Wednesday, 8 April:

  • Coromandel Town & Te Kouma
  • Thames & Surrounds 'Week 1'

View the full schedule here.

There will be no Kerbside collections on Easter Monday (13 April), so collections across the district will be one day later that week.

Dogs - Treat your pets as part of your bubble:

  • Have your dog on lead at all times
  • Maintain a 2-metre distance from others
  • Keep your walks to your local neighbourhood
  • Pick up your dog’s poo, please carry bags with you
  • Make sure your property has somewhere to keep your dog safe, secure and under control (and in the shade) where they will not be a nuisance to neighbours
  • Ensure your dog is registered and wears a registration tag at all times

Water Services - Please call us to report any leaks on council property, no matter how small, so that they can be assessed and repaired quickly. We also ask you keep water usage to a minimum while maintaining the appropriate health standards. Conservation measures are still in place in some areas and being assessed daily. Until there is substantial rainfall, they are expected to remain in place – tcdc.govt.nz/water.

Fire Season - A reminder that our district is still in a Prohibited Fire Season (Total Fire Ban). checkitsalright.nz.

For updates on all other council services such as playgrounds, parks and reserves, boat ramps, freedom camping, roading, public toilets, consents, applications, rates and more see tcdc.govt.nz/COVID-19.

Community Based Assessment Centres (CBAC)

“We are very pleased to have the first CBAC up and running on the East Coast," says our Civil Defence Controller, Garry Towler. "I encourage all residents on the South Eastern Ward (Whangamata, Onemana, Opoutere, Hikuai, Tairua, Pauanui and surrounds) who are concerned or anxious that they may have COVID-19, to go along and have a chat, then they can take you in for further assessment."

Whangamata - Memorial Hall, 326 Port Road
  • Open 9am-3pm daily
  • An essential service
  • Please follow the signage and direction of traffic management staff
  • This is a drive-thru assessment centre. Do not get out of your car
  • If you do not have vehicle, please still enter at the main entry point as sign posted ‘entry’, (don’t cut through the site) and wait for direction while maintaining social distancing (2-metres) from staff and other vehicles
  • Please be patient

All GPs can offer COVID-19 assessments too as well as the following primary care organisations who are offering extended hours:

Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki Thames:
8.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Sunday
210 Richmond Rd
Thames
Ph: 07 868 0033
Ph: 0508 835 676

Click here for more information.

Get help, stay informed or contact us:

  • Free phone 0800 800 405 has been established for Waikato people struggling to get food, groceries, medication or other household goods and services. This is available between 7am and 7pm daily, but does not replace other government helplines already in operation.
  • Being in lockdown makes us experience all sorts of things: anxiety, loneliness, fear. Need to talk? Free phone or text 1737.
  • Check our website COVID-19 page for local information, daily updates and advice on how people can stay connected.
  • Tune into the radio - We’re advertising with local radio stations any important updates and our Mayor Sandra has an interview with CFM on Mondays, Tuesdays with Gold FM and Thursdays with Coromandel More FM.
  • Newspapers - Keep an eye out in the local newspapers that are still running as we are advertising Council information in some of those including the Waikato Times. The Mercury Bay Informer is still printing and will be in letterboxes and distribution points. All other local papers are all online for now. Tear out the Kerbside changes and stick it on your fridge.
  • Call us: 07 868 0200
  • Email: customer.services@tcdc.govt.nz
  • Website: tcdc.govt.nz
  • Follow our Facebook page
  • Sign up for Email newsletters
  • Make Online payments

Our local services are also able to offer support such as food parcels, hospital travel assistance and more:

Countdown Priority Scheme for Disabled People

Countdown have organised a priority scheme for disabled people using their online shopping platform.

Disabled Persons Assembly (DPA) NZ are a pan-disability organisation and are happy for people with any type of disability to use their code. If a disabled person would like to use DPA’s code, click here to register free as a DPA member.

Business Support - Webinars this week

Te Waka have partnered with various organisations to provide a webinar series to support our local businesses:

  • Human resources and workplace advice during COVID-19: 11am, 8 April
  • Creating business continuity online panel presentation: 11am, 9 April

Click here to register and more information.

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