Saturday, 04 April 2020

WHITIANGA WEATHER

Weve lost another metre

Another storm and we’ve lost another metre of the foreshore at Whitianga’s Buffalo Beach. The new rock wall is doing its job - at least the toilets are still there. The dunes planted with indigenous vegetation towards Mother Brown’s Creek are also doing their job. No erosion there. But the area between the wall and the dunes is a problem - and a big one at that. Another storm or two and the Buffalo Memorial (just past the new rock wall) may be in real danger. The pohutukawa in front of the memorial is already, some say, past the point of being saved.

So, on Wednesday last week, as soon as I became aware of the damage last week’s storm caused to Buffalo Beach, I wrote to Waikato Regional Council, Thames Coromandel District Council, the Coastal Erosion Steering Group, central government and concerned residents to find out what can be done and, more importantly, when.

Here’s a summary of what I’ve been told.

Concerned resident, Jo Fearn is of the view the new rock wall caused erosion at the Buffalo Memorial and north of that to accelerate. She ideally would like to see the entire beach protected with a dune planting programme, but accepts drastic action, in the form of an extension to the wall, is necessary.

Coastal Erosion Steering Group member, John Evans would like to see work on an extension to the wall to start tomorrow. Thinking further ahead,
he would like to see a test groyne being installed to see if that will assist with rebuilding of the beach over the longer term.

Waikato Regional Councillor for the Coromandel, Clyde Graf is of the view some money WRC committed to find a long term solution should be directed into physical work.

Coromandel Member of Parliament, Scott Simpson said one thing is certain - any solution will be ugly and expensive.

That’s a feeling shared by TCDC. The new rock wall was very expensive and there isn’t funding available for an extension. They appreciate the urgency of the matter, however, and a late item will be tabled at the upcoming Council meeting on 25 June to discuss possible funding for a 150m extension to the wall and fast-tracking of the work. If funding is approved and there aren’t any hold-ups in the resource consent process, work on an extension, which will take two to three months to complete, can start this year still.

TCDC has also scheduled for August/September this year another dune planting of about 150m south towards the Buffalo Memorial.

Distilling all the replies I received, I think it’s possible that by the end of this year or early next year another 300m of Buffalo Beach will be protected - rock 150m northwards, dune planting 150m southwards. Which still leaves a bit in the middle.

So, I wonder - why can’t the dune planting programme be extended, all the way south to where the extension to the rock wall will end? I don’t know much about coastal science - if things like wave-impact will allow more dunes to be planted, but I think it’s a question worth asking. As I think it will be worth going to Thames on 25 June - to hear if the new rock wall will, in fact, be extended.

Whitianga dog attack owner comes forward

The owner of the dog that bit a man at the Whitianga skateboard park has come forward and is fully cooperating with Thames Coromandel District Council’s compliance officers.

The victim was visiting the Whitianga skate park with his partner and two small children on Saturday 14 June when he was bitten on the leg by a large tan dog and required medical attention for the bite

TCDC released information about the attack yesterday requesting information. The owner heard the report on Newstalk ZB, then read it on social media and came forward immediately.

The owner lives in Whitianga, has admitted the attack occurred and has accepted responsibility for what happened. The dog was registered and is a dark tan, Neapolitan mastiff cross.

New Countdown in Whitianga opened this morning

Countdown opened its 170th store in New Zealand in Whitianga this morning.

At a short opening ceremony Karl Wareham, Countdown’s manager for the Waikato and Coromandel areas, said the store is a tribute to the hard work of a large team of people and he is delighted with the way it turned out.

Store manager, Kim Bradley said Countdown has already made a contribution to the Mercury Bay X-ray machine campaign and she’s looking forward to a deeper involvement in the local community. She has also used the opportunity to hand a trolley of food to Kay Worth from the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army is a key partner in Countdown’s programme of free food distribution – annually in excess of $1.4 million.

Thames Coromandel District Council mayor, Glenn Leach, who cut the ribbon and unveiled the plaque, was delighted with New Zealand’s largest private employer of people now having a presence on the Coromandel.

Countdown employs more than 18,000 team members throughout New Zealand. The Whitianga store created 55 jobs, 90 per cent of whom are from the Whitianga area.

The Whitianga store has been designed with Countdown’s latest new-generation format and features wider aisles, an expansive fresh produce department and energy efficient fittings and equipment. The store also features a full-service bakery baking fresh goods daily, more than 175 car parks and 13 checkouts, including six assisted checkouts, three express checkouts, and six self-serve checkouts.

New Countdown in Whitianga opened this morning

Countdown opened its 170th store in New Zealand in Whitianga this morning.

At a short opening ceremony Karl Wareham, Countdown’s manager for the Waikato and Coromandel areas, said the store is a tribute to the hard work of a large team of people and he is delighted with the way it turned out.

Store manager, Kim Bradley said Countdown has already made a contribution to the Mercury Bay X-ray machine campaign and she’s looking forward to a deeper involvement in the local community. She has also used the opportunity to hand a trolley of food to Kay Worth from the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army is a key partner in Countdown’s programme of free food distribution – annually in excess of $1.4 million.

Thames Coromandel District Council mayor, Glenn Leach, who cut the ribbon and unveiled the plaque, was delighted with New Zealand’s largest private employer of people now having a presence on the Coromandel.

Countdown employs more than 18,000 team members throughout New Zealand. The Whitianga store created 55 jobs, 90 per cent of whom are from the Whitianga area.

The Whitianga store has been designed with Countdown’s latest new-generation format and features wider aisles, an expansive fresh produce department and energy efficient fittings and equipment. The store also features a full-service bakery baking fresh goods daily, more than 175 car parks and 13 checkouts, including six assisted checkouts, three express checkouts, and six self-serve checkouts.

TCDC looking for owner of dog that attacked man in Whitianga

Thames Coromandel District Council would like to talk to the owner of a dog that attacked a man at the Whitianga skateboard park at lunchtime on Saturday 14 June.

The man was visiting the Whitianga skateboard park with his partner and two small children on when he was bitten on the leg by a large tan dog.

The dog was with a European male in his twenties who admitted to the victim that the dog bites and then left the skateboard park before giving any details. He is thought to be a local resident who frequents the park.

The victim required medical attention for the bite.

TCDC's Compliance Officers wish to speak to the owner of the dog about the incident as it is of concern that this dog was at the skateboard park within reach of children and the owner was aware that the dog has been known to have aggressive behaviour.

If you have information that can help, please call 07 868 0200 and ask for one of the TCDC Compliance team members.

Information will be received in confidence.

Surprise visitor to Mercury Bay after storm

When Kevin Robinson from Whitianga woke up the morning after the storm last week, he found a grey-headed albatross in his back yard. Concerned that the bird was injured, he captured it and took it to Annemieke Kregting in Kuaotunu. Annemieke is known as Mercury Bay’s saviour of injured and stray birds.

Annemieke noticed that the albatross was tagged and got hold of the Department of Conservartion. Their inquiries revealed that the bird was tagged in Australia.

Upon further investigation it has now come to light that the bird was tagged as a chick on Macquarie Island, between New Zealand and Antarctica, on 1 March this year. “It’s pretty awesome that a bird which is likely less than six months old is already more than 2,500km away from where it was hatched,” said Annemieke.

The bird was fortunately not injured and was last week Thursday released at Matarangi.

Adult grey-headed albatrosses averages 81cm in length and a 2.2m wingspan.  

Surprise visitor to Mercury Bay after storm

When Kevin Robinson from Whitianga woke up the morning after the storm last week, he found a grey-headed albatross in his back yard. Concerned that the bird was injured, he captured it and took it to Annemieke Kregting in Kuaotunu. Annemieke is known as Mercury Bay’s saviour of injured and stray birds.

Annemieke noticed that the albatross was tagged and got hold of the Department of Conservartion. Their inquiries revealed that the bird was tagged in Australia.

Upon further investigation it has now come to light that the bird was tagged as a chick on Macquarie Island, between New Zealand and Antarctica, on 1 March this year. “It’s pretty awesome that a bird which is likely less than six months old is already more than 2,500km away from where it was hatched,” said Annemieke.

The bird was fortunately not injured and was last week Thursday released at Matarangi.

Adult grey-headed albatrosses averages 81cm in length and a 2.2m wingspan.  

Major Events Sponsorship Funding applications now open

If you're looking to establish a major event on the Coromandel, you could be eligible for money from Thames Coromandel District Council’s Major Events Sponsorship funding.

Two application rounds are planned for the 2014-15 financial year in June and September.
The first round of funding will target the upcoming Spring /Summer events window and opened Monday 26 May, while the second round of funding should be open for applications in September, to target the Autumn/Winter 2015 events window.
Applications are to be assessed using the following criteria -

  • The event is unique to the Coromandel.
  • The event will garner strong national and regional media profile.
  • The event will attract holiday-home owners back to the Coromandel.
  • The event will attract domestic tourists (and internationals if they are already in NZ).
  • Preference is given to shoulder-season events (off-peak).
  • The event will attract strong support from Destination Coromandel and the private sector.
  • The event has the potential to grow to become an icon event.
  • An annual event is preferred - if it is a “one-off” event, it must have a track record of success in other places.
  • Beneficiaries of the 2013/2014 Major Events Funding are Illume Coromandel Town Winter Festival of Light ($50,000), the Thames Mindsport Festival ($12,500) and the Tairua Wet and Wild Jetski Event ($2,500).

Decisions will be made in July 2014 for the first round of funding applications.

More information and an application form can be found at www.tcdc.govt.nz.

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