Coastal News Column July 2015

Columns
Thursday, July 30, 2015

Nationally New Zealanders are amongst the most generous in the world when it comes to volunteering and helping others.

Seeing and hearing stories first-hand of the “real” volunteering that happens every day in our community helps to bring these statistics to life. It comes as absolutely no surprise to me at all that here on the Coromandel we are ranked 5th in terms of the number of volunteer activists in our communities.  This high ranking for the Coromandel comes from census figures. To put the ranking in perspective it equates to nearly 19% of our population aged 15 or over involved in some kind of regular volunteer activity.

One annual event that sticks out as having a huge volunteer commitment is Whangamata’s annual Beach Hop. I would like to acknowledge Beach Hop founder and organiser Noddy Watts as a real local hero whose great creation of Beach Hop has provided a huge source of funding for volunteer emergency organisations over many years right here in our local community.

Putting money back into Whangamata has been an aim for Beach Hop since it was established back in 2001 and recently the Committee poured the most it ever has done back into town with a donation of over $44,000. That’s a huge contribution by any measure and it could not have been achieved without Noddy’s inspiration and dedicated hard work by the large team of local volunteers. Congratulations and thank you one and all.

In other good news New Zealand recorded another quarter of continued economic growth, confirming that the Government’s sensible economic programme is taking New Zealand in the right direction.

A strong economy provides Kiwi families with new jobs, higher incomes and opportunities to get ahead.

We are seeing solid, sustainable economic growth that is giving businesses around the country the confidence to invest another dollar and hire another person. 74,000 jobs have been created in the past year, and average annual wages have increased by $5,700 in the last four years.

Here in the Coromandel we depend very heavily on tourism. Therefore we must be ready to capitalise on growing numbers of independent travellers to New Zealand as this market is set to provide the best tourism growth opportunity.

I’m determined we get our share of the projected 420,000 visitors who will stay five plus days in one place when they visit. These travellers’ view of New Zealand is pure and clean, natural, peaceful and pleasant.  All these attributes are possessed by our stunning area in abundance.

I can only see great opportunities ahead for our region and we need to do all we can to make this huge source of visitors welcome. Beach Hop is just one event that assists with that overall objective.

Please never hesitate to make contact with me if I can be of assistance with any matter. For an appointment you can phone my electorate office on 07 868-3529. email: mpcoromandel@parliament.govt.nz