Community Groups


The Opoutere Ratepayer & Residents Association (ORRA) was set up in the early 1960’s to protect the environment of the Opoutere-Ohui area (the area bounded in the south by the Taungatara Road and in the north by the Ohui bluffs).

The ORRA Constitution states the association’s goals are as follows:

  • The preservation of the special character of Opoutere/Ohui to ensure it remains an unspoiled rural and natural coastline and estuarine environment.
  • The protection of the flora and fauna and the natural physical environment.
  • To further the interests of members both individually and collectively.
  • To support and co-operate with the government agencies and other organisations having similar objectives

As other areas change and become more developed, Opoutere retains the quiet unspoiled charm previously enjoyed elsewhere. This is in part due to the efforts of ORRA. As the name indicates, ORRA is more inclusive than just ratepayers in the area, and involves other people with a connection to Opoutere. ORRA is a very active group, with a wide range of skills and interests in the membership.

We are all linked by our commitment to the Opoutere area although many of us live elsewhere.


ORRA frequently lobbies Thames Coromandel District Council, Waikato Regional Council, DOC, forestry, mining and other organisations on issues related to clean water and harbour health, and protection of the natural values of the wider area.

The Association makes submissions on resource consent applications which threaten the significant biodiversity and ecological values of the area.

Members attend working bees to clear weed infestations and plant native trees and many volunteer to monitor traplines to control predators.

Fundraising efforts include the sale of beautifully designed t-shirts and tea towels and successful applications for grants from Waikato Regional Council, the Department of Conservation, the Honda Tree Fund and the Fonterra Grass Roots fund. We appreciate this financial support!

ORRA has won several important legal concessions over the years:

  • In the Environment Court in 2014 ORRA achieved Outstanding Natural Feature And Landscape status for Opoutere in WRC‘s Regional Policy Statement and TCDC‘s District Plan and Ecological significance status in both of these important documents. Read our submission, as it appears on the TCDC website, here. We would like to acknowledge the outstanding contribution made by committee member Mike Lloyd in this very long and involved process.
  • siltation monitoring by Carter Holt Harvey Forests
  • District Plan zoning
  • favourable resource consent conditions imposed on development efforts
  • stopping sewage overflow from Whangamata into Wharekawa Harbour
  • stopping an illegal subdivision on the south side of the estuary in the 1980s

How can you help?

Join ORRA and be informed on what is happening in the local community and how you might help.

Support ongoing efforts to protect the environment of the Opoutere and Ohui areas through joining ORRA. A community organisation with a wide membership provides a stronger voice when lobbying.

We’re all here at Opoutere-Ohui because we value the unique assets of this harbour, forest and beach.

Help to protect what we have for future generations as the wider Coromandel Peninsula changes.


Individual per year $30

Family per year $50

See the Get Involved page on this website to submit your details for our email list.

Download the membership form, and send or email it back to ORRA. Payment details are also on this form: Membership form 20170806

Key Contacts:

Chair: Acting Chair Val Herbert

Secretary: Tony Knight

Treasurer: Grant Stuart

Committee: Lene Knight, Rachel Lang, Gordon Ikin, Sally Evers, Jo Beaven, Val Herbert, Val Carlisle, Isaac Penlington, Neil Graham, Mike Lloyd, Victoria Spence, Lissa Knight, Keryn Kliskey, Michael Fisher


The swimmer's view of the estuary!

The swimmer’s view of the estuary!

The Wharekawa catchment will be enhanced through the protection of waterways and land by implementing sustainable land use and land management practices. Ensuring a healthy environment that provides a sense of community pride and promotes the preservation of the harbour for generations to come

Key contacts:

Chair: Glenda Betts


Inside our lovely hall.

Concerned by the state of the hall TCDC closed it last year.  Whangamata Community Board recently released a report following targeted consultation. Read the report in its entirety here.

A new hall society must be formed and approved for a management contract by council before the hall can be reopened. Watch this space…


This vital community service is staffed by local volunteers who donate their time to keep us safe. During the summer Fire Chief Joe Adams conducts a nightly patrol of the Opoutere/Ohui village and beach area,  give him a wave as he passes through.


Joe and his crew often hold fundraising barbecues to keep up with the ongoing costs of maintaining their firefighting gear  and their station. You’ll find Joe (and his legendary mussel fritters) at Brits At The Beach, Beach Hop, Fishing Club competitions, the Opoutere Regatta and even private functions such as weddings.

In their own words:

“Our team are all volunteers and they make a huge commitment to being firemen/women. They are required to attend training every Wednesday, plus other training courses as they become available and they are usually on weekends. They are also on call-out at all hours of the day and night. They also help with endless fundraising.

The OVRFF is always open to new recruits. You would be helping your community and you would learn a lot.”

Another way to help is to join as an Associate Member, your subs are a huge help with the ongoing costs of keeping this important service running.

Here is the membership form: OVRFFMembershipForm

Here is the latest newsletter: NewsletterSept2014-2

Contact Joe Adams at 07 865 8584 or 0274 493 034

2 Comments on “Community Groups

  1. This is a message from the Barry/Kingsford families to inform the great people at ORRA that over lovely community has lost one of its original members . Joan (Mrs) Barry of 233 Opoutere RD sadly passed away peacefully on 17/9/19 . She was a wonderful lady who absolutely loved Opoutere with all her heart . I felt i wanted to let you know as we have noticed , in the last while as her health declined , and her visits to Opoutere became less frequent . We , as a family , were amazed at all the passing people that would ask about Mrs Barry as they hadnt seen her reading in the window , or offering a fond wave . Joan and John Barry had fallen in love with Opoutere after being invited to stay with their friends , the McCready family .Starting this relationship with Opoutere in 1964 , they exposed this little gem of NZ to generations of future family .

  2. Hi Joanne, our sincere condolences over the loss of a loved family, and community, member. This message will be forwarded to the ORRA committee, our apologies for not spotting it in the website traffic. Thank you very much for letting us know.

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