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Council Sponsorship Enables EPro8 Challenge Event In Thames, Create The Vibe Thames Goes Public

This week:

  • Council sponsorship enables EPro8 Challenge event in Thames
  • Create the Vibe Thames goes public
  • Dune restoration and plantings
  • Other work happening in your neighbourhood: Whangapoua boat ramp, tree maintenance, Mercury Bay Sports Park, Pauanui skate bowl, Whanagamata boardwalk, Pepe toilets and more.
  • Road works
  • Upcoming meetings
  • What's on in the Coromandel
  • Save the date – $8.2million party time at Kōpū
  • Coromandel businesses show signs of resilience
  • Connect your business with Destination Coromandel's Summer Campaign
  • The Hauraki-Coromandel Business People's Choice Award
  • Funding available for local arts groups projects
  • Community Service Awards now open
  • Nominations are open for the Sport Waikato 2020 Waikato Sport & Active Recreation Awards
  • Sign up for New Zealand ShakeOut 2020
  • Free driver refresher courses

If you missed last week's update - Create the Vibe Thames prepares to go live, new exemptions to building consents and funding available for local arts groups projects in our weekly wrap-up, read it here.

Council sponsorship enables EPro8 Challenge event in Thames

School children from the Thames area got a taste of solving science and engineering problems at the EPro8 Challenge event hosted at Pārāwai School in Thames this week.

Teams from 11 schools (15 teams from years 5-6 and 17 teams from years 7-8) raced to assemble functioning structures such as vehicles and cranes or to solve engineering and logistical-type problems.

Our Council’s sponsorship of $1,400 plus funding from Rotary Thames allowed the event to take place, unlike other parts of Waikato Region with no sponsorship where school teams had to compete on their own by video link with judges. The Pārāwai event gives the teams that move on to the next round in Hamilton in the first week of Term 4 in October (exact date to be confirmed) an edge because they’ve already participated in the real-life competitive environment.

The participating teams came years 5-6 and years 7-8 from the following schools:

  • Thames South School
  • Manaia School
  • Hikuai School
  • Hikutaia School
  • Pārāwai School
  • Netherton School
  • Tairua School
  • Matatoki School
  • Moanataiari School
  • Te Puru School
  • Ngatea Primary School

Going through to the next round:

Years 5-6:

  • Hikutaia 1
  • Pārāwai Perfection
  • Pārāwai Toa
  • Te Puru 1
  • Hikuai 1
  • Netherton Electrical Masterminds

Years 7-8:

  • Tairua Tornadoes
  • Moanataiari 1
  • Netherton Nuts and Bolts
  • Parawai Engineers
  • Pārāwai Puzzlers
  • NPS Aces 1 (Ngatea School)

Create the Vibe Thames goes public

Our project to create a safer, more people friendly town centre space around the intersection of Mary and Pollen streets is getting a positive reaction from the Thames community, with about 50 people a day dropping into the Create the Vibe – Thames container HQ to share their ideas on how this can be done.

We have an opportunity to reimagine what the central area of Thames around the intersection of Pollen and Mary streets could look and feel like thanks to funding from Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.

Beyond the general goal of creating a people friendly public space in the heart of town that will keep residents and visitors coming back for more, what any changes look like is up to the people of Thames.
Drop in to our Create the Vibe Thames HQ at the corner of Mary and Pollen streets until 19 September to give us your ideas on low-cost, temporary or semi-permanent changes that can be made to create a buzzing civic heart that people will want to spend time in and return to again and again.

We're there from 10am-3:30pm Monday to Friday and 9am-1pm on the Saturdays over the two-week period.

To help get your thinking cap on, watch this short video on the project.

The project, which is part of a range of projects for Thames we're calling Create the Vibe – Thames, has received 90 per cent funding ($320,125.50) from Waka Kotahi. The remaining 10 per cent ($35,569.50) is coming from Thames Community Board budgets. It’s part of Waka Kotahi’s Innovating Streets pilot programme, which is funding projects across New Zealand cities and towns aimed at creating people-friendly spaces.

The projects are to involve cost effective, temporary interventions that the community has a large role in helping to design. The improvements can be tested and refined before being made more permanent if they’re found suitable.



Dune restoration and plantings

Photo above: We had a small group of volunteers on Sunday in Whangamata. It was great to see young families helping to restore the dunes and having fun. Thanks to Whangamata Harbour Care who also helped.

Community planting days dates for this season can be found here.

Buffalo Beach – Maintenance has also started on the rock wall as recent inspections identified damage and rock movement due to a series of easterly storms and large swells. Work will happen at low tide (weather permitting) over 10 days. We’re also reshaping a small dune area on Buffalo Beach in preparation for planting from 14- 25 September. This is an area that has been exposed to high foot traffic and will be restored and replanted before end of October 2020

Photo above: Thanks to the local volunteers including Hikuai School and the Pauanui Community Office for their huge effort planting most of Beach Access 6 and the surf club access in Pauanui this week.

Other work happening in your neighbourhood

Whangapoua boat ramp – (Pictured below) A crane breakdown has delayed progress by approximately three days. Driving of the sheet piling has now been completed and the contractor is preparing to pump the enclosure dry and start the foundation work for the boat ramp. The outer pontoon piles have also been driven into place.

Tree maintenance - Powerco’s contractors have started pruning the pohutukawa trees at the base of Paku Drive as they're encroaching into the powerlines. And the pine tree removal in Gallagher Park has been completed.

Mercury Bay Sports Park – We are working with the Mercury Bay Athletics Club to complete the additional facilities required for the long jump pit, discus and shot-put arenas this weekend.

Pauanui Skate Bowl - The tender process is finished with no suitable contractors bidding on the job. There is insufficient budget to undertake a worthwhile refurbishment as the facility was built as concrete slab construction that continues to move. Consideration is needed around a longer term solution for upgrading the bowl which can be factored into the Long Term Plan. An estimate has been provided for rebuilding the facility. Grinding and resurfacing could be undertaken before Christmas 2020 to address health and safety and improve use with the current budget.

Whangamata boardwalk update:

  • The Certificate of Compliance for Waikato Regional Council's resource consent will be issued next week.
  • Draft copies of the detailed design (pictured above) have been completed for the Esplanade section and the full estimate of final costs is expected at the end of the week.
  • We expect construction will be after Christmas due to contractor availability and materials as we need to have kiln dried timber to prevent warping.
  • Another meeting will be held with the Department of Conservation next week to provide an update on the project and also to discuss the dune access issues.
We're still seeking feedback on the Whangamata trial boardwalk design. Click here for more information.
Albert Street Reserve has been cleaned and prepped ready for the Coromandel 200 Commemoration on Saturday, 26 September 2020 at 2pm.
Pauanui skate bowl.

Pepe toilets, Tairua

Concept design

Demolition of the old toilet block is scheduled for 27 October and construction of the new facility will follow.

Road works

You can view a summary of scheduled weekly roading activities in our district on our website - tcdc.govt.nz/roading.

Wentworth Valley Rd, Whangamata - On Monday 14 September our contractor is starting on drainage works and kerbing works. There will be traffic control in place so you may expect some minor delays.

Station Rd, Puriri - Kerb and channel installation and road repairs are planned to start Monday 7 September. This work will take approximately seven weeks to complete (weather-dependant). Click here for further details.

Upcoming meetings

  • Council meeting, Tuesday 15 September at 9am in the Thames Council Chambers (515 Mackay St)
  • Tairua-Pauanui Community Board meeting, Monday 21 September at 10am at St Francis House, 248 Main Road, Tairua
  • Whangamata Community Board meeting, Tuesday 22 September at 10am in the Board meeting room (620 Port Rd)
  • Thames Community Board meeting, Wednesday 23 September at 9am in the Thames Council Chambers (515 Mackay St)
  • Coromandel-Colville Community Board meeting, Tuesday 29 September at 10am at the Colville Hall, 2310 Colville Road.
  • Mercury Bay Community Board meeting, Wednesday 30 September at 9am in the Board meeting room (6 Monk St)

Copies of agendas, reports and minutes are available on this page or at Council offices, two days before the meeting.

Members of the public and media are welcome to attend the public part of the meeting. If there is a report you wish to speak to, you may do so in the public forum of the meeting. See our website here for more information on how to register.

What's on in the Coromandel

September marks the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. This crucial battle, fought from 10 July until 31 October 1940, marked an important turning point in the war.

The Battle of Britain 2020 Commemorations begin on Saturday, a tribute to Thames-born war hero Sir Keith Park . To honour Sir Keith, a replica WW2 Hurricane has been erected at The Thames Airfield (pictured right).

Click here to read more about upcoming and postponed events in our district.

Click here for more information.

Coromandel businesses show signs of resilience

Our businesses are showing signs of resilience in the face of a challenging year, results from our recent survey show.
The online survey was held during August in partnership with our regional economic development agency, Te Waka.

Just 14 per cent of Coromandel businesses are forecasting sales for the second half of 2020 will be more than 50 per cent lower than the same time last year. Meanwhile, 65 per cent don’t expect to change the number of full-time employees over the next six months. In fact, 20 per cent of the businesses said they expected to increase full-time employees by up to five people.

“I’m proud of how tenacious our businesses and our people are as they continue to overcome the challenges life throws at them. We are optimistic, adaptable and resilient,” Mayor Sandra says. “You can see this reflected in the data and how many businesses have moved into developing the digital paradigm and more online offerings of their products and services.

“Confidence is going to be key over the next few months, and we are here to help businesses stay optimistic, particularly in the tourism, primary industries and services sectors,” she says. “Winter is always our quiet season, and we anticipate domestic tourism activity, which makes up a significant share of our market, to pick up heading into summer," Mayor Sandra says.

Key results:

Business confidence: When asked on a scale of 1-10 how confident they are about the future success of their business (10 being high confidence, 1 being not confident):

  • 6.1 was the average confidence score


  • 82% recorded same or decreased sales during March- May 2020, compared to the same time in 2019
  • 50% said their sales were lower by 20% or more
  • 77% forecast same or declining sales July-December 2020 compared to the same time in 2019


  • 28% said they had decreased staff numbers due to COVID. 65% said there had been no change
  • 13% expect to decrease staff numbers moving forward
  • 23% expect to increase staff numbers moving forward
  • 48% believe there is a skills shortage when looking to hire a new employee
  • 4% have continued to adopt remote working post lockdown

Wage subsidy

  • 12% have not accessed the wage subsidy or its extension

Greatest challenges

  • COVID-19
  • Declining market
  • Wage rates/cost of staff
  • Weather-related challenges
  • Recruiting issues


Connect your business with Destination Coromandel's Summer Campaign

Photo above: Digital billboard in Greenlane.

Share your stories, summer offers, packages and images with Destination Coromandel to promote your business and secure bookings. Click here for more information.

The Hauraki-Coromandel Business Awards have been postponed to next year, but you can still nominate who you think is the best local business for 'The People's Choice Award.'

Nominate and be in to win a $100 Visa Prezzy Card (and the winning business scores $1000 of advertising)

You have until Sunday 20 September to nominate here.

We're taking applications for the current funding round until 2 October - tcdc.govt.nz/ccs.

Click here for more information.

Nominations are open for the Sport Waikato 2020 Waikato Sport & Active Recreation Awards

This year the awards will acknowledge the innovation, the partnerships, the collaboration and the many different ways our community has managed to keep sport and active recreation a focus in this year of adversity.

Along with the judged awards, there are two People’s Choice categories where you can upload your favourite sporting moment and local sportsperson for public voting.

Nominations close Friday 30 October 2020. Public voting for People's Choice categories is open from 2 November to 30 November 2020 - sportwaikato.org.nz

Sign up for New Zealand ShakeOut 2020

Over 400,000 people signed up for this year’s ShakeOut, our national earthquake drill and tsunami hīkoi.

On 15 October at 9:30am, New Zealand will have the opportunity to learn and practice the correct actions to take during an earthquake and tsunami by participating in ShakeOut drill day.

Wherever you are during New Zealand ShakeOut, you can take part in the drill. Just 'Drop, Cover and Hold' for up to one minute, and if you're in a coastal area practise your tsunami hīkoi.

Click here to sign up.

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