Coromandel Gold & The Treaty

In December 2016 a draft deed of settlement of claims under the Treaty of Waitangi was agreed between the Crown and Hauraki Iwi.  Members of local iwi within the area shown on this map have until the 17 March 2017 to decide whether they wish to ratify the proposed deed. An information booklet sets out a summary of what is included in the proposed deed. Continue reading

Thames Folk Love Bus Proposal

Reaction from Thames folk to the proposal for a minibus public transport service for Thames Township has been overwhelmingly positive.  An online petition has already attracted nearly 200 signatures, with some heartfelt comments about why the service is so badly needed.  If you haven’t done so already, please get online and add your signature now.

A poll on Facebook has attracted overwhelming positive support.  Please complete the poll also. Continue reading

The Case For Public Transport in Thames

Today I presented the case for a public transport service in Thames to the Thames Community Board.  View an abridged version of the presentation here.  I received a very receptive hearing from the Board members and District Councillors present.  It will now be up to the politicians to decide whether Thames will have a public transport service.  If you support the proposal then I would urge you to contact all of the board members, local councillors, and the mayor.  Their email addresses and phone numbers can be found on the Thames-Coromandel District Council website. Continue reading

Thames-Coromandel Has a Housing Affordability Crisis

Housing in the Thames Coromandel District is just as unaffordable as it is in Auckland.  Auckland is the 5th least affordable place for housing in the world.  By any measure that makes Thames Coromandel housing unaffordability a major crisis.

Housing affordability is measured by dividing the average current house price by the average annual earnings for the District.  This gives a ratio – the higher the ratio the more unaffordable housing is.  The ratio for Thames-Coromandel is 12.2.  For Auckland it is 12.5, and for New Zealand as a whole it’s 8.8.  Internationally a ratio over 3.0 is deemed to be not affordable. Continue reading

Is Your River or Beach Swimmable?

This is the time of the year when many of us head to the beach or the local swimming hole for a swim.  Unfortunately, we now have to ask whether it’s safe to swim, or is our favourite swimming hole just “wadeable”.  According to the government’s own figures 60% of our monitored swimming sites are graded as poor or very poor.  That was certainly not the case when I first came to the Coromandel in the 1970s. Continue reading

Are Coromandel Frogs Croaking Due To Global Warming?

30 years ago Archey’s frogs were common in the podocarp and broadleaf forest on the high ridges inland from Coromandel Township.  Now, these endangered native frogs are scarce and very hard to find.

Studies have found that up to 85% of the frogs have succumbed to a fungus disease called Chytrid.  What is baffling scientists is why this disease is only just causing such devastating damage to the Archey’s frog population because Chytrid has been around for millions of years.  It is only been since the mid-1990s that the disease has begun to have such a huge effect on the population. Continue reading