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An array of design concepts for the new signage for Thames, the font of which have not been finalised. Photos: SUPPLIED/TCDC

Thames to get new signage to attract visitors

An array of new signage is on its way for Thames, and while most will have a minor impact on rates, the local community board hopes they’ll make a big impression on visitors to the town.
In July, the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) granted $50,000 to Thames-Coromandel District Council from its North Island Weather Events fund.
The purpose of the funding was for branding, website, and visitor signage initiatives that would help to attract visitors to the town.
In September, Thames Community Board members stressed the importance of having the proposed signage erected before summer, and at its November 29 meeting, the location and design of the signs were decided on.
The first will be a visitor information sign outside the Thames Civic Centre, providing visitors with basic information, such as a map.
The proposed design showed a wooden sign that was 2.4m high and 1.2m wide, and in the shape of a Kauri dam.
It would cost around $3500 and the impact on Thames ratepayers would be 8 cents per annum for ongoing operational costs.
A second information sign would be erected at the revamped Porritt Park playground and would be designed in the shape of The Pinnacles.
A council report said in addition to visitors travelling north on Queen St, the location of the sign would mean that visitors to the playground would be able to view the sign easily. There was also safe off-street parking in the Danby Field car park for visitors who stopped to read the sign.
It would also cost around $3,500, with the rate impact on Thames ratepayers being 8c per annum.
The third approved sign was a new directional sign on Queen Street, near the pedestrian
crossing. The proposed south-facing sign would include direction to Thames’ “Town Centre”, with a view to encourage visitors to turn down Mary Street. In addition, it would include symbols for services and the Pacific Coast Highway route.
The cost of the sign could be up to $10,000, and there would be no rate impact on Thames ratepayers as it was proposed the sign would be owned by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.
Finally, community board members also agreed to install a “picture frame” at the Waiomu Domain.
The frame would be constructed off-site and transported to the reserve where it would be assembled. The frame would be 3m long and 2.4m high and could cost up to $10,000. The impact on Thames ratepayers would be 11c per annum.
“Picture frames have become common in scenic areas including locations such as [the] Whitianga foreshore,” the report said. “It is a way to control photo images that are shared by visitors. This may help change the perception of Thames so that the scenic qualities are better recognised.”
Community board chair Adrian Catran said the unanimous vote on the signage was an “amazing step forward”.
“From the road closure through to now… it’s incredible how fast we’re moving on to branding Thames.”