Community Newsletter

Happylocal Community Hub in Kuaotunu

Happylocal Community Hub is Formally Launched

A local Kuaotunu family, the Linnecars, have spent the past year setting up what has now been formally launched as the Happylocal Community Hub, handily located in Irishtown Rd (opposite the Kuaotunu Hall).

Courtney and Matthew had a vision to create a community-focused meeting place where local people and visitors could connect in a relaxing beautiful place, to work in a shared co-working space and look after their holistic health.

The idea was to create a hub that would service the surrounding coastal communities, reducing the need for people on this side of the Kuaotunu hill to travel into Whitianga to access services to help people thrive. They already have regular bookings from local doctors, charities and business owners.
In future weeks, a list of available services, therapists, upcoming workshops and more will be released, but in the meantime Courtney would love to hear from you if you would like more information. You can contact her on courtney@happylocal.com or 022 635 9838. 

Public Meeting this Sunday at 3pm

As mentioned in the December newsletter, KRRA (the Kuaotunu Residents and Ratepayers Association) is hosting a public meeting this Sunday at 3pm, at the Kuaotunu Hall.

This is your opportunity to gather with your fellow residents and ratepayers and not only hear what's been happening in our neck of the woods, but also to add your voice to what's being planned for the future of our wee community. 

We look forward to seeing you all there.

Read the Agenda

Update from the Kuaotunu Hall Committee

The Kuaotunu Hall has been buzzing over the summer months with a wide range of classes taking place almost every day including yoga, pilates and hip hop dance. If you'd like to know what's going on at the hall you can visit the hall calendar.

Kuaotunu Hall

Along with the regular classes there have been the usual summer weddings, with three taking place last year and three more (plus a birthday party) taking place between now and April.  The committee is pleased that six of these seven bookings have come from residents or ratepayers of local Mercury Bay North - it is important to us that our hall is well used by the local community it was built for.

A further six weddings have been booked for the 2022 wedding season, and we are now taking bookings for the 2023 season.

The committee recently looked at storage options for its regular users. After considering a number of options, including the building of purpose-built storage cupboards in the back storeroom, the decision was reached to remove the shelves from the old library room and to utilise this small space for storage. This change is in the process of being implemented and has been appreciated by all of the regular users, including Ursula from the playgroup who has been holding her sessions at the hall since 1991!

As many of you will have already seen, the committee also undertook a project last year to improve the display of the historical photos that are displayed on the hall's walls. Instead of each photo being individually hung (and some being of relatively poor quality) the photos are now grouped together on backing boards and both the number of photos and their quality has been improved. The committee would like to sincerely thank Ian Patrick for his expertise and assistance with this project.

Mercury Bay Medical Centre News

The Mercury Bay Medical Centre is delighted to announce that they are restarting the Kuaotunu Clinic at the newly renovated Happylocal Community Hub this Thursday, the 21st of January.

If you haven't discovered the Hub yet, it is located on Irishtown Road, across from the Kuaotunu Hall - just follow the signs.

Routine appointments are available between 2pm and 5pm with Dr. Dan Asquith, for enrolled patients only. Please call (07) 866 5911 to book. Following this opening day, full day clinics will be held fortnightly every Tuesday from the 2nd of February. The GP’s are on rotation and patients can confirm the consulting GP when they book their appointment.

MBMC was also featured in the Mercury Bay Informer in December where they gave an update on the first stage of the proposed new medical facility. You can read the article here: Work on new medical facility to start early next year (theinformer.co.nz)

Update from the KRRA Committee

KRRA (Kuaotunu Residents & Ratepayers Association) committee is pleased to advise that it has recently supplied our  local volunteer fire force with two new epi-pens. Epi-pens have a limited lifespan and your KRRA committee feels that the donation of new epi-pens when required is a good use of our members' funds.

Noticeboard in the Kuaotunu villageThose of you who follow the local Facebook page, Kuaotunu Katchup, may have noticed some recent discussion about the removal of a notice from KAMAG on the noticeboard by the store. 

KRRA has been reviewing its guidelines for managing the noticeboard, and apologises for the anomaly that allowed some notices to be posted and others not. The committee as a whole missed some nuances in interpreting the guidelines as they stood. The KAMAG notice has now been reinstated, and in the future the noticeboard will aim to display notices about awareness / information of local interest, as well as local services and local events. No notices which may cause harm to individuals will be posted. 

And talking about Facebook, for those of you who use this social media platform, please note that Kuaotunu FENZ now has its own page: Kuaotunu Volunteer Fire Brigade | Facebook.

Finally the committee would like to thank those who responded to the poll in the December newsletter about the proposed voluntary ban on collecting scallops in Kuaotunu Bay. Of the 113 people who voted, 96.5% voted Yes. Note that this proposal is on the agenda for discussion at the upcoming public meeting this Sunday.

Rings Beach Wetland Group holds its first Info Day

Following on from the launch of their new website and Facebook page, the Rings Beach Wetland Group recently achieved another first with the holding of an Info day on the 5th of January as part of the Matarangi Summer Festival. 

The group was absolutely delighted with the number of visitors who came and visited their stand at the Matarangi entrance to the reserve and who then went on to walk the tracks. 
As secretary Dave Fitzgerald explained in an article in the Mercury Bay Informer, the group was able to have conversations with some of the many people who use the tracks on a regular basis.

"We gained some valuable insights, such as the need for better signage and that not everyone knows that there are three options to walk. We were also delighted to receive several offers of volunteer assistance along with some generous financial donations. These donations are greatly appreciated and will assist with the costs of our ongoing predator control and track development efforts."  

Kuaotunu Dune Care Update

On the 5th of December members of various Mercury Bay Dune care groups gathered at the Kuaotunu Black Jack Reserve for a Dune Plant Seed Collection Workshop. The workshop was led by Jo Bonner from Coastlands Plant Nursery in Whakatane which specialises in propagation of coast care plants. 

Local groups collect the flowerheads which are sent to Whakatane, where they are catalogued, extracted and planted in special root trainer trays. They have a rigorous tracking system to ensure the seeds we send are returned to us as plants 12 – 18 months later. During the workshop we learned how to recognise, for each type of plant, when the seed is ready and how to collect and package the flowerheads.

2 large bags of Spinifex seeds ready to send to Coastlands Nursery

On the 9th of December the Kuaotunu Dune Care Group held its first working bee. About 12 people gathered and weeded the newly planted areas at the end of Black Jack Reserve. We were surprised how quickly certain weeds had taken hold, potentially crowding out the young plants. They were easily pulled, however, and taken away by TCDC. A few seedlings had been washed out by heavy rain not long after planting, but on the whole the survival rate is excellent, and if people and dogs stay out of the cordoned areas we will soon see the benefit of the plants for dune stabilisation. 

Between Xmas and New Year the seeds of the pingao were ready for collection and we managed to harvest them before the birds had a feast. The spinifex heads started to roll and the first heads were collected from the Greys Beach dunes on the 11th of January.  The plants along the main beach weren’t ready so a second picking took place on the 17th of January.
Many thanks to Tanya Patrick, Coastal Management Coordinator for TCDC for her leadership and enthusiasm in all these activities.

Upcoming Events at the Kuaotunu Hall

Sunday 24th January, 3pm
Public Meeting (hosted by the Kuaotunu Residents and Ratepayers Association)

Monday 25th January, 2-5pm
Shoreline Management Project Community Open Day (hosted by Thames Coromandel Council)

Saturday 30th January to Monday 1st February, 10am to 4pm (2pm on Monday)
10 Artists Exhibition

See more events on the Community Calendar

This newsletter is brought to you by the Kuaotunu Residents and Ratepayers Association Inc (KRRA). KRRA thanks the following people for their contributions to this edition: Lorraine Macallister (Mercury Bay Medical Centre);  Courtney Linnecar (Happylocal Community Hub); Kathy Speirs (Kuaotunu Hall Committee and the Rings Beach Wetland Group); and Carrie Parker (Kuaotunu Dune Care). 

We’d love your feedback on this issue - please email your thoughts and suggestions to info@kuaotunu.nz.  

Like to contribute an article to this newsletter? We welcome contributions about events, happenings, projects etc that are relevant to the Kuaotunu community (maximum of 250 words, please). Please note that the Newsletter Editor has the final say regarding content and may edit content if required.

To find out more about the Kuaotunu Residents and Ratepayers Association, such as the date of the next meeting, how to join, agendas and minutes of previous meetings, etc, please click here. You are welcome to attend any committee meetings, these are usually held  every 6 weeks on a Thursday.