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Wild weather from Cyclone Hale resulted in damage to the Mercury Bay Boating Club in Whitianga. Photo: TCDC

Locals rally to save boat club in Whitianga

Clean up efforts are underway on January 11 around the eastern seaboard of the Coromandel following last night’s storm surge.

“Our district has fortunately not been as badly damaged as it could have been – and while it’s been a rough night, I’m pleased to say things have eased off now,” Thames-Coromandel District Mayor Len Salt said.

“Now the rain has cleared, we are going to get the clean up done fairly quickly,” he says.

While Thames-Coromandel District Council was dealing with incidents across the district, it reported there had been no major damage aside from erosion outside the Mercury Bay Boating Club in Whitianga, which has undercut the deck.

“We acknowledge this is a valuable community asset and support the efforts of the local volunteers who are currently removing the deck in pieces,” say Mayor Len.

Council has been having ongoing dialogue over a number of years about hazard management and relocation of the facility as the only practicable long-term solution.  

On Monday, ahead of the weather event, council had a request from the Mercury Bay Boating Club to place 60 x 600 kg concrete blocks that they had obtained on the beach as a protective barrier. A discussion was had regarding council taking responsibility by using Section 330 of the Resource Management Act, however the provisions under this section were designed for public works and utilities, council said.

It was suggested in the short term that the club could look to remove the deck, which would buy some time so they could continue progressing their longer-term solution of moving the building. 

This is the situation the club is now dealing with this morning, which council said it was assisting with. This includes helping with the removal of the deck, storage of property and supporting a plan and fundraising efforts to assist with moving the building.

Under the lease conditions, which the Boating Club are aware of, the building was constructed in a way that it could be moved, if the site became impacted by coastal erosion.