The Business of Ageing

Thames town and the District, has a higher number of people aged 55 years and over, compared to the rest of the country.  The average age for the District is 51 years compared to 37 years nationwide, and 27% of the District’s population is aged over 65.  Most other parts of New Zealand will not be as “old” for another 20 or 30 years.


Some people I’ve spoken to regard the more aged local population as a problem.  But is it?  To the contrary, it can be a great opportunity if local businesses and politicians adopt the right attitudes and policies.  Continue reading

Acid Test for Firth Fisheries

Acidification of the ocean due mostly to fossil-fuelled CO2 emissions could have devastating effects on the aquaculture and fish-food industries, and recreational fishing in the Firth of Thames.

So far the oceans have taken up more than a third of the CO2 we’ve been pumping into the air, and as a result the water is becoming more acidic.  Many marine experts rank ocean acidification as the most serious threat to New Zealand’s marine habitats. Continue reading

Community Board Gets On Board

Great news for the Thames minibus proposal –the Community Board approved funding at its meeting on Monday of up to $10,000 for preparation of a Business Plan for the proposal, and up to a further $39,000 for the operating costs of the 6 month bus trial.

Secondly Richardson’s Real Estate – Thames have very generously pledged $10,000 towards the operational costs of the trial (including the cost of  “decals” for advertising on the bus).  Richardson’s Thames have also offered to promote the minibus service on More FM on their Community Notice Board and their Facebook page.  Another potential sponsor will be considering their involvement next week. Continue reading

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