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Meet the Thames Coromandel ambassadors

Meet the Thames Coromandel ambassadors

Posted December 18, 2019
Council Matters

Media Release: Thames Coromandel District Council

Thames Coromandel District Council has hired five new Responsible Camping Ambassadors to work part-time for 10 weeks to promote responsible freedom camping.

They’re being paid for out of the $721,774 the Council received from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s (MBIE) Responsible Camping Fund.

They’ll be out and about across the district this summer, helping freedom camping visitors find the right places to stay, along with providing information on where to find public toilets and rubbish disposal facilities.

“During the peak months, our public facilities are pushed to their limits and the additional services required can be an expensive burden for a low ratepayer-based region,” says Mayor Goudie. “This money is operational and comes at no additional cost to ratepayers and it is only to cover the upcoming summer season. While it’s a great boost to receive this additional money, we don’t want to set up an unrealistic expectation that we are going to be able to do this every year.”

The funding Council received is paying for the ambassadors, education and information materials, increased service at 59 public toilets in visitor hotspots, and the skins they’ve put on their portable rubbish compactors that clearly show how they can be used.

The ambassadors will be in clearly marked vehicles that say “Responsible Camping Ambassador” and have the Council logo and the Tiaki Promise logo. They’ll be wearing shirts that say the same thing.

The ambassadors are:
Phil Andrews – Whitianga. Retired teacher. Phil’s motivation is to help care for all of New Zealand.
Joke (pronounced Yoka) Streukens – Thames. Ex-physiotherapist. Joke is a multilinguist who is keen to meet all the visitors to the Coromandel.
John Freer – Onemana. Ex-manager Thames Star. John wants to help provide positive reinforcement for the Coromandel.
Liz Thomas – Coromandel Town. Worked with vulnerable children. She’s motivated by the Tiaki Promise which encapsulates the values she holds dear.
Nigel Airey – Whangamata. Former forest harvesting manager. Nigel wants to help people enjoy our lovely district and treat it with respect.