News and Publications

Property News: 13 May 2019

TDC counts cost of drought

The management of a severe drought this summer is estimated to have cost Tasman District Council about $500,000.

On top of that, the loss of potential income from the associated reduced water demand is tipped to be at least $170,000.

The $500,000 total includes an estimated $290,000 for the direct management of restrictions, including the cost of water supplied by Nelson City Council. TDC staff time to manage the event is expected to exceed $210,000.

The figures are in a staff report due to be received tomorrow at a full council meeting.

(The Nelson Mail, Wednesday 8 May 2019)

Bay seawall setback 'sad'

Residents of a small Golden Bay settlement fear that their properties are one big storm away from being swallowed by the sea, after their bid to build a seawall on public land was rejected.

Pakawau Residents Association chairman Laurie Jarrett said they were now investigating an alternative option for their properties to prevent further erosion.

The group would not be appealing the decision, he said, due to it being both ‘‘hugely expensive’’ and ‘‘stressful’’, and was instead investigating the ‘‘only option left’’, which was sheet piling affected properties. Sheet piling involves driving interlocking sheets of steel into the ground to prevent further erosion.

‘‘Rocks are the best, that’s why we were advised by our engineer to use them, but we can’t, so the next best thing is sheet piling, because our main consideration is to protect those homes.’’

The finer details and costs were yet to be worked out, Jarrett said. It was likely to be slightly cheaper than a rock wall, but ‘‘not nearly’’ as effective. It remained a ‘‘very real possibility’’ that a big storm could expose the sheet piles.

‘‘In many locations around the lovely Golden Bay, erosion is rife, but any council-administered public land is immediately protected with rock armour as the situation demands . . . so why can’t Pakawau Beach receive the same treatment?’’

(The Nelson Mail, Friday 10 May 2019)

Maitai group wants controls

Volunteers advocating for a healthier Maitai River are calling on the Nelson City Council to improve forestry regulation to help the river.

Steven Gray spoke to the council on behalf of Friends of the Maitai (FoM), a group of residents who have spent five years volunteering and assisting the council in efforts to improve the overall health of the river.

The council recently announced that it will retire over a fifth of its pine forestry due to environmental concerns – a move Gray welcomed and praised as a ‘‘step in the right direction’’. He said this point of the forestry plantation cycle was the ideal time to strike in developing new regulations.

Gray suggested a forum including councillors and council staff, Ngati Koata, Tasman Pine Forests, P F Olsen, Cawthron Institute representatives, smaller landowners with forestry blocks, and FoM.

‘‘FoM asks council to set a timeline of six to nine months for this forum to develop practical and implementable changes to plantation forestry practice within the Maitai catchment.’’

The first meeting of the forum is expected to be in July.

(The Nelson Mail, Friday 10 May 2019)

Dam 'legacy project' under way

The multimillion-dollar Waimea dam project is set up for success, according to the boss of the company that will manage its construction, operation and maintenance.

Mike Scott took up the role of Waimea Water Ltd chief executive on April 1. Since then, he has been building up his team and overseeing the start of physical work in the Lee Valley, near Brightwater, where the dam is to be built.

Scott left a job as chief executive of the $34 billion North West Shelf LNG Joint Venture Project in Australia to take up the top position at Waimea Water. ‘‘What really excites me is the opportunity to be part of a legacy project,’’ he said. ‘‘That is what’s really driving me to be part of it.’’

(The Nelson Mail, Friday 10 May 2019)

Projects deferred because of cost

Just weeks after a round of public meetings to outline its draft 2019-20 Annual Plan, Tasman District Council has shelved some of the engineering projects it had planned.

Councillors were on Thursday disappointed to hear that the capital funding requirement had jumped almost $4.4 million for the engineering projects earmarked for 2019-20. It follows news in April that the 2018-19 capital works programme is tipped to be $14.3m underspent.

To manage the demand for extra funding in 2019-20, councillors agreed on Thursday to delay some work, including two water reticulation projects at Wakefield. Those projects are to be reconsidered as part of the next Long Term Plan 2021-31.

Councillors also agreed to look again at the projects when the council considers carry-overs in its capital work programme for 2020-21, provided there is enough funding within its $200m net debt cap.

(The Nelson Mail, Saturday 11 May 2019)

Thought for the Week

Thought for week 190513