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Residents and Ratepayers

Residents and Ratepayer Alliance – Coromandel Peninsula

Letter to Mayor, Councillors and Community Board members was sent 27/5/24.

Please note: Hahei Residents & Ratepayers Association is one of the 12 associations represented in the alliance in this approach to Council


Residents and Ratepayer Alliance – Coromandel Peninsula

May 2024

Letter to Residents, Ratepayers and Community Association Members

Dear Residents and Ratepayers

Earlier this year several concerned representatives of residents, ratepayers, and community associations across the Coromandel Peninsula, met to test the viability and capability of having associations work together on matters of district interest. The result was that 13 associations agreed to support the Alliance concept.

Since then meetings have been held to discuss the objectives behind such an arrangement, the issues, and how we would make it work. All our volunteer associations are working towards a common goal, that being the betterment of our various local communities.

It was agreed that having the associations working together on matters of a district interest would enhance our effectiveness.

At our most recent meeting representatives discussed a March 21 meeting which was attended by the Thames Coromandel District Mayor and eight councillors. As a result, your representatives have now formulated matters to put before the council – it is these we wish to share with you.

As a preamble, we have already outlined to the council and achieved agreement that better consultation and communication is required between the council and the residents and ratepayers’ groups.

Unfortunately, we do not believe the council listened and in fact is not consulting. In addition to this we continue to see our community boards losing their effectiveness and becoming irrelevant to the existing council.

We are now advising of actions that our Alliance will be taking – which has been approved by the various associations.

An open letter will be sent to our Mayor Len Salt, this being copied to councillors and elected community board members. We are requesting a response on:

A response is requested by the end of June to the following:

  1. i) The reintroduction of the community empowerment model covering both operational and fiscal matters – thereby enabling community decision making by community boards.
  2. ii) That council’s primary focus be on core services – roading, storm, waste and drinking water, rubbish and recycling – not on social services.
  3. iii) That council commit to undertake genuine and proactive community consultation underpinned by transparent communication on matters relating to local communities.
  4. iv) The development and implementation of a sustainable economic growth policy for the Coromandel Peninsula.

An open letter will be sent on May 27, we have requested a response from the Mayor and Councillors by the end of June 21.

We have 12 associations represented in this approach – it being driven by concerns across those organisations. The issues we are experiencing are wide, varied, and localised. The four aspects we are putting before the council have been drafted to bring them together, so they are dealt with collectively.

Aligned with this letter is a public release which will be made to local media on May 28.

Your representatives have discussed our reaction to potential responses, as yet we do not want to pre-empt anything other than to advise that if council does not support what is being proposed, then we will be looking towards your support for future actions.

If you have any comments or questions, please raise these up with your local residents and ratepayers’ association.

Kind regards

Rob Boston – On Behalf of the Residents and Ratepayers Alliance


Latest Updates on Cathedral Cove

Recent Communications


HRRA letter Mautohe Cathedral Cove Access Options. 7 May 24


The DOC Mautohe Cathedral Cove project team is thankful for your participation at the second preliminary stakeholder session.  


Attendance was high – your efforts to attend the meeting person and online are appreciated. We thought it was a great conversation and want to acknowledge people’s willingness to openly share their views with the group.  


We also want to acknowledge the work of Destination Hauraki Coromandel to bring everybody together and facilitate the conversation as DOC works through this process; Council for letting us use their meeting room, which was key to holding a successful hybrid meeting; and, Ngāti Hei for bringing people together safely with karakia.   


To view the media release go to Walking access reinstatement options announced for Cathedral Cove  


Next steps 

At the meeting we asked for your input into the options under consideration.   Please email your feedback on the options to the Mautohe Cathedral Cove Project team by 11am, Friday 10 May.  Information on the options can be accessed on our website  Mautohe Cathedral Cove – Options under consideration 


We also discussed upcoming community engagement eg community survey, drop-in session. Engagement is a necessary part of the process. In the interest of maximising opportunity for everyone to have a say, we are seeking your support to help communicate these initiatives within the community. We’ll inform you in advance once we have confirmed the dates.


Ngā mihi,


Department of Conservation – Mautohe Cathedral Cove Project team  


Ngā manaakitanga


John Sandford, CMInstD, FNZIM
Trustee and Chair | Destination Hauraki Coromandel Trust
Phone:  021 926 942

Address: ///fidgety.financier.fairly

Rescue Tubes

Rescue TubesThe Hahei Ratepayers Association has placed two new Lifeguard Flotation Devices on Hahei Beach this summer.  The Flotation Devices have had two rescue tubes made and installed along the beach to house them.  As there are no lifeguards this summer the extra lifeguard devices were placed along the beach to enable the Public to access if an emergency arises.  This now brings the total number of devices and rescue tubes to 4 along the beach front.  These are located at:

  • The northern end of the beach at the end of the Tutaritari reserve track.
  • At the bottom of the access staircase to the beach beside the toilet block.
  • Beside the track down to the beach from the resident’s carpark – normally used by the Kayak company to access the beach.
  • At the end of the track (beach side) down from the Camping Ground, just north of where the tractors park.

HRRA would like to acknowledge Donovan & Sons and Chester Plumbing for donating the PVC drainage pipe utilised to manufacture the two rescue tubes to house the Lifeguard Floatation Devices.

DoC Media Release Cathedral Cove 17th August 2023

Media release
17 August 2023
Report emphasises risks of rockfall, landslides
at Cathedral Cove, Hahei
An independent report confirms the risk of potentially harmful rockfall and
landslides at Coromandel’s Cathedral Cove and its adjacent bays and tracks.
After extreme weather events in January and February caused landslips and
rockfalls – and damaged tracks to the point some are impassable – the
Department of Conservation has urged people to stay away from Cathedral
Cove and nearby bays, and the network of tracks connecting them.
Following those weather events, DOC commissioned Tonkin + Taylor (T+T) to
produce a landslide risk assessment report for the area. DOC also requested
the report include options for mitigation of track damage.
T+T’s report is the result of several site visits by the company’s specialists.
The report highlights the need for practical risk reduction strategies at the site.
DOC Hauraki-Waikato-Taranaki Regional Director Tinaka Mearns says DOC’s
internal review of the T+T report, when set against DOC’s own visitor safety
framework and measures, has determined an increased risk of injury or
fatality at the location.
“The report details ongoing risk of landslide across the wider site,” Tinaka
Mearns says.
“Across the 3.8km of tracks around Cathedral Cove and the adjacent bays,
180 historical or recent landslides were identified. Beach cliffs, including those
overlooking Cathedral Cove were described as ‘particularly hazardous’ due to
ongoing landslides and rockfall.”
Landslides washed away sections of the main track down to Cathedral Cove,
and the report signals more of the same kind of damage could emerge.
DOC’s Visitor Safety Team has determined the associated risk is at the top
end of the scale DOC can manage for the type of day-trip visitors who have
traditionally visited Cathedral Cove.
With the main track to Cathedral Cove extensively damaged and at risk of
further instability – and no “quick fixes” available for other tracks compromised
tracks in the area – DOC will not reinstate the current walking routes down to
the beach for this summer.
Visitors are also strongly urged not to go through the cove’s famous arch, with
debris falling from the arch to the sand below as recently as last weekend
(12/13 August).
However, within the next few weeks visitors will be able to return to the beach
via the Te Whanganui-A-Hei Marine Reserve.
“Renewing access to Cathedral Cove from the sea allows people to go there –
but we want to make very clear there is still risk associated with going to this
site and people need to inform themselves properly before visiting,” Tinaka
Mearns says.
“There is still potential for rockfall landslides at these sites, and we need to
emphasise this to the public. You go at your own risk.”
DOC will also decommission the toilet block at Cathedral Cove beach. Visitor
numbers to Cathedral Cove will be monitored by DOC’s Coromandel District
“We need to make sensible long-term investments at this site, rather than
spend money on short-term solutions which are not sustainable and will not
withstand the increasing extreme weather events caused by climate change,”
Tinaka Mearns says.
Ngāti Hei, the local iwi to which Cathedral Cove is a significant site, will lift its
rāhui over the area, in place to protect visitor safety since last summer’s
extreme weather events.
Today’s announcement comes during Conservation Week, which encourages
people to ‘take action for nature’.
“We’re making this announcement during Conservation Week because we are
taking action for nature by developing a longer-term sustainable plan for this
site,” Tinaka Mearns says.
“We want to work with stakeholders and iwi to reimagine the wider Hahei area
and experience, so it is safe, enjoyable and is in line with our conservation
goals and strategies. We’ve contracted an experienced project manager to
commence work on a plan to reimagine the Hahei conservation experience –
a project which will include community consultation on future options.”
DOC has updated website information on Cathedral Cove on its website,
including making the T+T report publicly available.
Background information
Cathedral Cove is an iconic visitor destination, famous for its idyllic coastal
location and natural archway. It has historically received up to 250,000 visitors
a year.
The site is managed by DOC with support from Ngāti Hei, the local iwi.
Extreme weather events in January and February 2023 – including Cyclone
Gabrielle – caused storm surge, landslides, erosion and rockfall at Cathedral
The damage to tracks, stairs and natural features like cliff faces and slopes
was significant.
People have still been able to visit Te Whanganui-a-Hei Marine Reserve,
adjacent to Cathedral Cove but were asked not to land on the beach.

Whanganui-A-Hei (Cathedral Cove) Marine Reserve extension

Whanganui-A-Hei (Cathedral Cove) Marine Reserve Extension

Dept of Conservation (DoC) Consultation
Submissions due 28 October 2022

DoC is calling for submissions on the marine protection plan for the Hauraki Gulf. The plan includes the extension of the Whanganui-A-Hei (Cathedral Cove) Marine Reserve.

You can read DoC’s call for submissions here.

We will discuss the proposed plan at the AGM to help determine how we, as an affected community, respond.

In the meantime, here is some background information

  1. History/Sea Change – after 3 years of consultation, a non-statutory plan to improve the health of the Hauraki Gulf was published in April 2017.  The plan, Sea Change, included amongst 180 proposals, a recommendation to extend the Cathedral Cove Marine Reserve. The Sea Change plan contained several controversial recommendations, so it was shelved for a few years. Last year, the government decided to move ahead and created an advisory group to implement the plan. Marine reserves implementation is to be handled by DOC, while the Ministry of Fisheries will take care of matters. You can read more details here. Alternatively, Stuff produced an interesting documentary on the state of Hauraki Gulf. Click here to watch it.
  2. Cathedral Cove Marine Reserve Expansion Details –. To read the detailed assessment of ALL proposed Marine Protection Areas (MPAs), go here. This is a 116-page document, and to save you time, click here Hahei Marine Reserve Technical Report for 5 pages related to Hahei. The current plan is to expand the marine reserve about halfway along Hahei Beach, out to Mahurangi Island, and then out across Mercury Bay. An additional 14.6km2 would be included in the reserve. Here is what is proposed

Key issues for Hahei Marine Reserve Expansion e – Here are some key issues for the Hahei Community

    1. Hahei Beach Boundary – it is currently proposed that half the length of Hahei Beach is included in the expanded reserve. Do we agree? How will it be signposted Is direct access from the beach important? It is important that we retain the right to launch small boats/kayaks along the whole beach. Should the beach not be included?
    2. Other Boundaries – Are there any other comments on other boundaries?
    3. Enforcement – There is no point in expanding the reserve unless DOC provides better enforcement.
    4. Congestion – Over the busy holiday season, there are often a large number of boats anchored in the current reserve. Should we propose restrictions on the number of boats?

We recognise that many of you have strong views on the expansion and we encourage you to make a submission directly to DoC.
At the AGM, we will discuss the expansion and if there is a consensus, the Hahei Residents and Ratepayers Association may make a submission.

Election 2022 – Candidate Views on Hahei Issues

Hahei Residents and Ratepayers Association invited candidates for TCDC leadership positions to provide their views on key Hahei issues. We wanted to understand their position on the following topics which are frequently discussed in Hahei.

  1. Hahei Reticulated Sewage – What do you propose doing about it? It continually gets delayed. Are you happy for further development to occur in Hahei with no reticulated sewage system?
  2. Three Waters – If you don’t support the proposed Three Waters reform, how do you propose Council pay for sewage and water in Hahei
  3. Hahei Drinking Water – Approximately half of Hahei properties are provided with non-potable water. Are you concerned? What do you propose to do about it.
  4. Hahei Village Development – many Hahei residents are concerned about the expansion and development of Hahei. What is your position?
  5. Expansion of te Whanganui a Hei Marine Reserve/SeaChange Initiative – Do you support the expansion of marine protected areas as proposed in the SeaChange Program?
  6. Climate Change/Coastal Degradation – We are concerned that properties in Hahei will become uninsurable due to climate change. What is your strategy to mitigate the effects of climate change and who pays?

Here are their responses.

Mayoral Candidates

Click on the following links for their response to our questions

Mercury Bay Council Candidates

Click on the following links for their response to our questions

Mercurry Bay Community Board Candidates

We have had no response to our questions – sorry. For your information, you can find some information in the Whitianga Informer

The candidates are

  • Caroline Hobman
  • Billie Hunter
  • Bess Kingi
  • Peter MacKenzie
  • Krissy Robinson

Hahei Village Work Program – 2019/20

Traffic Management

We work with TCDC to improve traffic movements in our village. For example we met with TCDC staff on 31 May 2018 to explain urgent traffic management issues in Hahei. Here is copy of a letter we sent to TCDC recording the issues we discussed. Letter To TCDC Roading Upgrades In Hahei

Here is the current list of items we are working on. If we have missed anything or you have any comments, please tell us.

Grange Road Car Park

Item Details Action Completed to 31 March 2018 Action Planned to 30 June 2019 Status
Drop-off Area Provide safe walkway Drop off/Pick up area to start of Walkway, including bridging drain Awaiting TCDC to action/budget Completed
Pay & Display Sign Sign to advise visitors how and what to pay. Pay here stickers to be installed and sign to be installed on back of existing signage Awaiting response from TCDC staff Completed
Disabled Car Parking Disabled carparks were to be remarked to correct size Disabled carparks will remain at the existing size; with the new fencing installation there is no ability to make these any wider. Should be reviewed. Not Beiing Achieved
Summer Fencing A post and rail fence to be installed for Summer To be completed 5 December
should be on target
Not Beiing Achieved
Bollards to be removed Several on the footpath by bus stop to be removed so that passengers can hop on/off shuttle easily. Sue Costello will discuss this with Gary (Go-Kiwi) Revised but on Schedule
Parking Income Hahei Community would like to know income from parking and fines from September TCDC will provide On Track
Rubbish bins Rubbish bins for car park and Cathedral Cove beach Rubbish bins at the beach are the responsibility of DOC – we understand they have a “pack-in/packout
– The concession holder is required to have rubbish bins for their customers.
– The car park will have increased bins in that area only, over the peak period.
On Track
Visitor Seating Need seating on grass area as walkers wait for bus One seat installed, one to come On Track
Drop off signage Permanent Drop off/Pick up Signage needs Ordered 9 November 2018 Revised but on Schedule
Broken footpath repaired By walkway including bridging drain. Meeting with contractor to look at options in the week commencing 26/11/2018. RFS initiated February 2018 Revised but on Track

Visitor Car Park

# Item Details Current Status
1 Seal repairs throughout car park Several pot holes need repairs Entrance has been done as part of seal repairs to Hahei Beach Road, contractor has been engaged
to undertake the work. Marking will be done after the seal repair
2 Provide Extra Parking for summer Removal of top soil to give more parking space Top soil pile will not be removed – at this stage there is no other place to move it to and moving it is an expensive exercise. It is not suitable for filling the “pond” or spreading out as it is slushy when wet. Plan B needed if car park becomes full.
3 Allow removal of deer fence More space may be needed Due to H&S requirements, the deer fence cannot be removed
4 Tidy up Advertising Concession holders to ensure signage is tidy and not interfering with shuttle passengers Allan Tiplady to email Hahei Business Association
To be completed before Christmas 2018
5 Bus Stop Area to be tidied up Level area where passengers await bus -Drain exposed To be completed prior to Christmas
6 Entrance Gate installation not complete Test, repair, and remove construction fence Contractor is waiting for parts; once parts are received the gate should be open between 7:00am and 7:00pm.
– Options are being considered for a solid fence for around the gate
7 Campervan Signage Campervan area to be marked clearly Campervan signage on the campervan parks will be marked after the seal repairs are completed. Overdue, needed before Christmas
8 Cover drain by Information Board Safety issue There are no simple options for covering the drain as piping it will cause it to block on the corner.
Staff to look at options.
9 Pedestrian Counter by exit to Pa Road Will provide data on how many walk from car park TCDC investigating
10 Car park extension Use of TIF funds To start after Easter 2019
11 Bus Shade cloth Go Kiwi shade cloth/TCDC anchor posts Required for summer/Xmax peak passenger time

Hahei Village

# Item Details Current Status
1 Safe Walkway on Hahei Beach Rd Safe walkway to be installed. Left side Hahei Beach Rd from Grange Rd to Beach. Cones to be installed on corner of Dawn
Avenue & Hahei Beach Road and Harsant Avenue & Hahei Beach Road
Letter sent to Residents, will be installed mid December
2 Campervan Parking restrictions in Village Persuade Campervan drivers to go directly to Visitor Car Park TCDC needs to review of all options
3 Upgrade Walk Signage in Village Install additional signs throughout Hahei to make sure visitors can easily find their way to Cathedral Cove and beach Installed 30 Nov 2018
4 Transfer DoC land at Beach Car Park to TCDC Control Front beach area owned by DoC. Need to transfer management, similar to Grange Rd Car Park, to TCDC so parking can be managed Been in train since December 2017
5 Road verges into Hahei Need tidying up and safer shoulders Awaiting TCDC advice from May
6 Community Centre car park, People parking over yellow lines at the Community Centre car park, blocking parking Car park to be remarked prior to Christmas
7 Three Waters Upgrade Program for LTP investment plan for water and sewage to be finalised Spoke to Bruce Hinson who advised that a consultant was being engaged
8 Storm Water Marking A ratepayer request for better signage for stormwater drains – not enough information provided Follow up with Bruce Hinson
9 TIF Investment Outline design to be developed for review at public meeting in January 2019 Ross Ashby to send date for public meeting.
10 Summer Enforcement TCDC do undertake 2 patrols per day, including early morning Needs urgent review – at least 4 times per day minimum and new p60 outside store not included
11 Parking on Grange Road above Tutaritari Road Needs some form of barrier to prevent parking, improve safety for vehicles coming down Grange Road TCDC asked to review decion not to do anything

Roading in Hahei

# Item Details Current Status
1 Parking Restrictions at Store Install Parking Signs/road markings Scheduled before 20 December
2 Bus Stop at Store Temporary bus stop on Hahei Beach Road Scheduled before 20 December
3 Additional Pedestrian Crossing Pedestrian Crossing near new bus stop Awaiting TCDC advice from May
4 Store Parking Parallel parks outside store to be angle parking Awaiting TCDC advice from May
5 Store Parking on Grange Rd unsafe First car park space on Grange Road by pedestrian crossing to be removed Awaiting TCDC advice from May
6 Indicative Pedestrian Crossing to be upgraded Painted pedestrian crossings on Pa and Grange Rd to be upgraded Awaiting TCDC advice from May
7 Upgrade Road Signage throughout Hahei Needs to be clearer, particularly signs prior to Visitor Car Park Awaiting TCDC advice from May
8 Village Speed Limit Local support to reduce Max Speed to 40k/hr. Under review by TCDC
9 Review Community Centre car park use Consider any time restrictions, use by locals and little by visitors To be reviewd by Hahei community
10 Road verges into Hahei Need tidying up and safer shoulders Awaiting TCDC advice from May
11 Road Signage to Hahei and Cathedral Hahei and Cathedral Cove should be a common destination. The 4 signs from Dalmeny Corner should say same distance for Hahei and Cathedral Cove Awaiting TCDC advice from May
12 Traffic Counters Install Traffic Counters like last summer RFS 936096 logged to request traffic counters as per last year. Verbal confirmation from TCDC
roading that this will be actioned as requested
13 Patricia Place No Parking lines Patricia Place no parking lines to be re-marked, RFS 938102 logged to Roading contractor

Water and Wastewater Management

We work with TCDC to improve water and wastewater in our village. The LTP 2018 – 2028 allocated $1.8m ito investigate options of water and sewage in Hahei and other locations in the Coromandel. Following the approval of the LPT  in June, 2018, we regularly request TCDC start work in Hahei. We now understand that the terms of reference for a consultant will be prepared early 2019. We hope that a consultant will be appointed soon as upgrading both water and wastewater infrastructure in Hahei is very important.

In the meantime, here are some links to find more information:

Hahei Sewage Upgrade

Hahei Sewage Treatment Plan

No Expansion of Paid Parking at Hot Water Beach

Domain Car Park will not be Paid Parking

We recently noticed TCDC staff had submitted a proposal to make the Domain Car Park at Hot Water Beach paid parking, similar to the main shopping/parking area at Hot Water Beach. You can read TCDC proposal here. TCDC HotWater DomainParking Proposal

We were very surprised to learn of this proposal and wrote a letter to TCDC. You can read our letter here. Hot Water Beach Parking

Along with other concerned residents, we attended the TCDC Mercury Bay Community Board meeting on 7 July 2022. We felt it was very important that TCDC should not proceed with paid parking at one of our most popular beaches. You can view the meeting on TCDC’s website or by clicking here 

We are pleased to report that our Community Board decided NOT to implement paid parking.

The meeting was reported in the Bay of Plenty Times/NZ Herald. Click to here read it 

We would like to thank the Community Board for making the right decision in this case. However, we need better ways of paying for the infrastructure that tourists demand – with an 8.8% increase in rates next year, we need to work with TCDC to propose council cost savings or new revenue sources.

Tsunami Sirens

What Happening with Tsunami Sirens?

Recently, TCDC announced that it was disconnecting all Tsunami sirens in the Coromandel. Here is some background information and an explanation of why we do not oppose TCDC’s decision.

National Directive
NEMA (National Emergency Management Agency) has developed new technical standards for tsunami warning sirens. This means that our district-wide tsunami sirens are now non-compliant and Council has been directed to disconnect them by NEMA.

The FENZ Connection
Thames-Coromandel has the largest number of sirens nationally (27) and 18 of those belong to Fire and Emergency NZ (FENZ), who have made a national decision to withdraw third party access to their sirens.
These will be disconnected in September this year. It is interesting to note that we are the last region to disconnect our sirens in the country.

There are Better Alternatives
Here are some keys things Council has discovered when investigating alternatives:

  1. It’s not possible to retrofit an existing siren to the new standards
  2. New sirens could cost between $80,000 and $300,000 each, depending on location, consenting, access to power and broadband etc. The overall cost for Coromandel would around $10m which would result in an increase in our rates of about $200 p.a.
  3. Sirens are the least effective tool for alerting communities – 43% as opposed to Emergency Mobile Alerts (EMA) which have a >70% effectiveness.
  4. If there is a major event there’s no time for official warnings as demonstrated by the Japanese tsunami in 2011.

Are we at risk?
Experts have established that natural warning signs such as earthquakes would be the most effective pre-warning system of a potential tsunami. If a magnitude 8+ earthquake hit, it’s likely we’d all feel its effects and then… if it’s long and strong, get gone.

Read a FAQ document the Council has compiled here which gives background on the decision and the proposed alternative alert options, and the council website here.

If you would like to understand tsunamis in detail, GNS has prepared a detailed 222-page report on Tsunami Hazards in New Zealand. You can find it here.

Skateboard Half Pipe
Plan to Relocate Whitianga Surplus Half Pipe to Kotare Reserve, Hahei

Current Status

We understand Hahei has been selected as TCDC’s preferred location for the surplus Half Pipe. TCDC and our community are working to relocate over winter/spring so it will be operational for summer.

If you have any comments, please post them below


TCDC is upgrading the skate park in Whitianga and has determined that the current skater half pipe is will not be needed in Whitianga. To decide where it should be relocated, TCDC requested communities to submit an Expression of  Interest in the existing Half Pipe.

A number of Hahei residents were interested and a community meeting was arranged to discussed options. You can read the Minutes of Meeting here. Minutes Skateboard Meeting Rev1

At the meeting, there was enthusiastic support to move the Whitianga half pipe in the Kotare reserve near the toilet block.

As there was strong local support at the meeting, we submitted an Expression of Interest (EIO) to relocate the Half Pipe Hahei.. You can download our EIO here. HalfPipe EOIFinal1

TCDC is now evaluating our EIO and if we are successful, the Half Pipe would be relocated to Hahei in the New Year.

If you have any comments, please post them below