K News for Kuaotunu Residents
Last Update Nov. 2017
Thanks to Editor Liam Kedzlie "The Matarangi Beach Paper"

November 2017

THREE-YEAR FISHING BAN FOR PAUA POACHERS

George Ririnui, Senior Fisheries Officer.
A lot has been happening around the Coromandel with respect to the Fisheries enforcement scene.

Two divers from South Auckland were caught with 218 undersize paua from the Coromandel area. Fishery Officers, observed both divers just going hard taking paua. Both men struggled to carry their catch bags back to the vehicle. The men appeared in the Manukau District Court for sentence after pleading guilty to Fisheries charges. Both men were fined $2000 each and also given 100 hours of community work. It was also brought to the Judge’s attention that one of the men had previous fisheries offences from 2015 for taking 212 undersize paua from Sailors Grave, Tairua. Due to his past offending, the Judge has banned this poacher from fishing and diving for 3 years.

On a separate incident a Hamilton diver was caught with 72 undersize paua from Kuaotunu. The Fishery Officers observed the diver throwing the paua into a white bucket. Later that afternoon his vehicle was stopped at a Fisheries checkpoint and searched. But no white bucket. One of the officers went and checked a track used by the diver and located the white bucket hidden under the trees He appeared in the Hamilton District Court and was sentenced to a fine of $1500. This person also had previous fisheries offences from 2015 for

taking 112 undersize paua from Kuaotunu. Again Fisheries Lawyers asked the Judge for a banning order.

The Hamilton based Judge has banned another poacher from fishing and diving for 3 years.

On both incidents various items of fishing gear used during the offending were forfeited to the Crown.

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An Auckland man was caught with 38 undersize paua. Fishery Officers observed him carrying a plastic bag back to his vehicle. This person was spoken to and a search of his vehicle failed to locate the plastic bag. One of the Officers finally located the plastic bag hidden under the vehicle. Because of the language barrier, he was formally interviewed back in Auckland using an interpreter. An explanation
given to the Fishery Officer was, he didn’t mean to take the paua as it was only a planned day out with the family to the beach. He pleaded guilty in the Thames District Court and fined $1130, an expensive day out for the family.
A message from our team, the fisheries’ rules are there for all of us, if you don’t see us around, ask yourself I wonder where they are …? We do have a habit of surprising people!

The Kuoatunu Fire and Emergency New Zealand ran their annual Winter Slammer Landbased Competition on Saturday 8th July. This local competition is an excellently run competition with a great prize list. It was great to see so many junior anglers competing and walking away with a fantastic array of prizes. The forecast wasn’t the best but the day dawned beautiful with little to no wind.
Boat Ramp News: After a lengthy period during which the navigation light was not working, we are pleased to advise that this has now been rectified. Unfortunately the replacement light was dimmer than the original, but this has now also been rectified. Please note that the Harbour Master has changed the flash pattern to Morse Code 'A' continuous. He has requested feedback on these changes and also any other suggestions for improvement to the boat ramp. If you would like to give feedback please do so via the KRRA website, www.krra.org.nz, and we will pass it on to him. Another major concern with the boat ramp is the increasing number of campervans who are using the ramp's parking area as an overnight stop. We are trying to come up with ways to alleviate this, but as the boat ramp is controlled by NZTA and not TCDC, this is not easy to achieve. One idea is to find another parking spot for the campervans. Again if you have a good idea about this, please let us know!
Footpath: For those of you who are absentee ratepayers, we're pleased to announce that the first portion of a footpath from Kuaotunu West to the Kuaotunu Village has finally been built. The next section between the new footpath and the boat ramp is more technically challenging and is expected to be built by NZTA sometime in the next 12-18 months.

Notice Board: A new notice board has been installed on the corner of Irishtown Rd (between the Kuaotunu Hall and the Kuaotunu Store). A plastic dropbox has been attached to this, so if you have a community notice that you'd like to be displayed, please put your notice into this box and our KRRA notice board manager, Kate Nielsen, will put it up for you.

Kuaotunu Library Update: At the KRRA public meeting in January this year it was decided to continue with a library facility for the community. A steering committee was established and is investigating options for buildings and sites. The committee has visited other libraries for ideas, and met with TCDC to ascertain what the requirements would be. Feedback is currently awaited from TCDC planners as to the possible options for placing a new or existing building. Naturally a project of this nature will involve some cost, and the steering committee is investigating what grants could assist with this project. To kick off the fundraising the Kuaotunu Volunteer Fire Force has generously offered to share the proceeds of a Rock'n'Roll party being held at the Whitianga Town Hall on the 12th of August. So please support your community, roll up your jeans, get out those groovy dresses or pedal pushers, find the Bryl cream and get ready to rock! For further information please phone Dugald (027 493 2691) or Maxine (027 293 0369).

Kuaotunu Hall News: The Kuaotunu Hall Committee is thrilled to announce that our beloved hall now has a much-needed new floor (and much sounder foundations). We would like to acknowledge our deep gratitude to TCDC and Pub Charity Ltd, without whose financial support we could not have achieved this project. We'd also like to acknowledge the superb job done by Sayers Construction Ltd - they really have gone the extra mile for us. Unfortunately there has been one major hitch, which is that the new wood has not dried fast enough to enable the polyurethane to be applied. So the hall will not be re-opened until mid-September, after which we are planning a celebration event - watch this space! In the meantime we have taken the opportunity to extend the flooring insulation under the floor on the kitchen-side of the building, which was not part of the original project. Locals will have also spotted the new ramp (hard to miss, really). Unfortunately health & safety regulations dictated the length of this, but we are hoping to soften the effect with plantings.
Bluff Road: A Positive Solution Found
A rousing round of applause by the Kuaotunu Ratepayers and Residents Association members greeted the announcement by Paul Kelly that the Bluff Road between Matarangi and Suckers Rock will be open for walking and cycling by the end of the year. This is once unstable rocks and debris are removed and mesh netting installed. Mr. Kelly speaking at the KRRA meeting on behalf of the Thames Coromandel District Council said Council had a lot to consider but the right option has been taken to benefit the community.
“A lot of work has gone on to make this happen including independent legal opinions and considerable community liaison so it was great to report back to the community of a successful outcome. I fully endorse the announcement by Council. A cycle and walkway will be a great benefit to both the local residents of Kuaotunu and Matarangi as well as providing a further recreational activity for visitors,” said Mr Kelly.
In recent times sections of the Bluff Road have had several significant rock falls, which has resulted in approximately $200,000 already being spent on remedial and design work. The last rock fall in December 2015 resulted in the Suckers Rock to Matarangi portion of Bluff Road being closed off while Council considered its future viability. At their April meeting the TCDC approved a further $125,000 towards the remedial work, which will allow the road to be reopened later this year to cyclists and pedestrians. However it will not be accessible for vehicle traffic due to the high cost it would take to open and maintain the route for all transport modes.
"We're doing all that is required to make the road safe so it can be open to cyclists and pedestrians, who use it as a thoroughfare to get between Matarangi and Kuaotunu West," says Allan Tiplady, Mercury Bay Area Manager.
"The primary driver for reopening this portion of road is for amenity reasons rather than to provide alternate road access," he says. With Council funding in place the next steps will be removing all that rock and debris, installing the mesh netting and getting the road open before this coming summer. However until the remediation work is completed access to the road will still have to remain closed. "We also put up pedestrian barriers, bollards and signage during this time, along with a monitoring programme to manage the public safety risk," says Mr Tiplady.
Kuaotunu Village Library To Continue

The future of the Kuaotunu Village Library is becoming more secure with a steering committee being formed to work out ways to keep the service within Kuaotunu. Following a decisive vote at the public meeting held at the Kuaotunu Hall on Easter Sunday it was decided that the community of Kuaotunu should continue to maintain and support its local library. What is still under question is whether the Kuaotunu Hall can continue being the current Library venue due to ongoing access and opening hours issues. The new library steering committee will address these issues in the months ahead and will be led by Maxine McRobbie. Isabel Gilbert Palmer, Avril Nicholl, Denise Young and Marguerite Meullers have been volunteered as committee members. TCDC Mercury Bay Area Manager Alan Tiplady said the council will be able to support the new library committee in principle though it was unlikely that any assistance would be financial. It is great to see that this community library will continue, because it has been serving Kuaotunu for 123 years and is one of the oldest continuous libraries in New Zealand. There are a number of ways a small rural library can survive and the committee will investigate what is possible in the months ahead. If you want to find out how you can help keep a Library service in Kuaotunu or require further information contact Maxine McRobbie mobile (027) 2930369.

Kuaotunu Residents

Ratepayers Update


The committee of the Kuaotunu Residents and Ratepayers Association (KRRA) has raised several topics of concern with

TCDC recently both in correspondence and at our public meeting held in January. In order to better explain our

position and continue dialogue with council the committee invited Mercury Community Board Chairman, Paul Kelly, and

TCDC MB Area Manager, Allan Tiplady, to meet with us to discuss our concerns and we thank them both for coming out

to Kuaotunu in mid-February to discuss these.


The main topics covered in a very useful meeting included the proposed MB Medical Facility, the Bluff Road closure,

footpaths at the Kuaotunu boat-ramp, and a bike rack and community notice board at Kuaotunu Village.


The medical facility was discussed at length and it was confirmed that the original decision to use the Waterways land

out past the fire station was decided by Council’s Economic Development Committee. This was revealed to the public in

a one sentence comment in their minutes of 31 May, 2016 by Glen Leach but none of the events leading up to this decision

appear to be in the public record of their meetings. The decision was made public several months after Leigh Hopper

from Waterways had resigned from his position as a member of the Economic Development Committee.

KRRA has decided that we will achieve little by pursuing this matter further with council so will concentrate on other local

issues and watch further developments of the medical facility with interest. We thank council for the time and effort they

have put into answering our queries on this and other matters recently.

The best news we have had for sometime is that both council and LTNZ are cooperating on a staged extension of the

footpath westwards to the boatramp (LTNZ) and then on to Kuaotunu West (TCDC). This will provide a much safer

environment for residents and ratepayers when walking along this stretch of scenic coastline as a steel guardrail will separate pedestrians from road traffic. Work is expected to commence in early to mid-2017.


Reported by Alastair Brickell