News and Publications

Property News: 14 January 2019

Water restrictions loom in rural areas

Residents in Nelson and Tasman are being asked to conserve water to avoid water restrictions.

Nelson City Council’s water monitoring has detected a drop in river levels to within 10 per cent of the trigger point for rural water restrictions and, if the dry weather persists, restrictions could be in place within a fortnight. The restrictions would affect about 500 households with water supply directly from streams or from bores within 20 metres of a stream.

If water restrictions are triggered, households will have to stop taking water for crop or garden irrigation or for non-essential uses.

People will still be allowed to take water for domestic use and for drinking water for animals.

Despite only rural households being within 10 per cent of the water restriction levels, the NCC encouraged all residents to use water sparingly during the dry weather. In Tasman district, Mapua residents must save water this week if they want to avoid water restrictions.

Tasman District Council (TDC) spokesman Chris Choat said any saving would help, and urged both residents and holidaymakers to conserve water as much as possible.

(The Nelson Mail, Wednesday 2 January 2019)

Call for action to save Tahunanui Community Centre

Retaining a hub for the community in Tahunanui is a priority for many as the future of the Nelson suburb’s community centre hangs in the balance, an advocate says.

The Tahunanui Community Centre announced its sudden closure because of financial problems just days before Christmas, leaving staff and supporters fearing the Muritai St centre would be history.

But there’s hope that the centre can continue operating in some form. A special general meeting to discuss its future is being held on Monday.

The organisation has two parts to it, the Community Centre and the Early Childhood Centre, with the latter leased from the Nelson City Council.

(The Nelson Mail, Saturday 5 January 2019)

No sleeping at the museum

Nelson Provincial Museum has upgraded its public bench, installing armrests at about one-metre intervals.

Though the seats are widely thought of as public benches, they are actually the property of the museum. Museum CEO Lucinda Blackley-Jimson said the armrests were part of maintenance and upgrades which had been planned for a while.

She said there were several changes to the museum which had been installed or were going to be over the next year. ‘‘That includes improvements to the roof garden, new retail shop fittings which we’ve just had installed, [and] improvements to the air conditioning.’’

The armrests are spaced in such a way that local homeless man Jason McCutcheon, who had been sleeping on the benches on Hardy St, can no longer do so.

Blackley-Jimson said this was an unrelated and unintended side effect.

(The Nelson Mail, Wednesday 9 January 2019)

Air quality woes continue

The air over Richmond exceeded the National Environmental Standards for Air Quality on 12 days during winter 2018.

As the regulations allow for a maximum of three exceedances a year, the results mean there were nine breaches of the National Environmental Standards (NES) in the Richmond airshed.

The 2018 results come after four exceedances were reported during winter 2017, which sparked a letter to Tasman District Council from Associate Minister for the Environment Nanaia Mahuta, urging the council to continue efforts to manage particulate matter pollution.

News of the 2018 non-compliance comes as the air quality NES is under review, with a consultation document expected in mid-2019. It is anticipated that the focus of the new regulations will be on finer particles with a diameter of less than 2.5 microns (PM2.5), rather than the coarser PM10 pollution now measured.

Council resource scientist Anna MacKenzie told councillors home heating was the main source of the exceedances, along with some ‘‘outdoor rural burning’’.

The staff report reveals there were 121 smoke and air quality-related complaints between April 1 and September 30, with the burning of orchard waste at the top.

(The Nelson Mail, Wednesday 9 January 2019)

Bumper apple crop tipped

Some apple growers in Tasman district are worried that there may be a repeat of the 2018 labour shortage, as a bumper crop is tipped for the coming season.

Grower and NZ Apples & Pears board member Matthew Hoddy said crop projections were up 9 per cent on 2018.

On April 5 last year the Ministry of Social Development declared a seasonal labour shortage across the region until May 18, pointing to bumper crops, low unemployment and the impact of ex-tropical cyclones Fehi and Gita affecting visitor numbers to the district and damaging some workers’ accommodation.

(The Nelson Mail, Friday 11 January 2019)

Water curbs kick in next week

Stage-one water restrictions are due to come into force from Monday across the increasingly parched Waimea Plains.

Tasman District Council Dry Weather Taskforce convener Dennis Bush-King said the group met this week for the first time this summer, and noted that levels in the Wairoa and Waimea rivers were tipped to drop as a result of dry conditions and increased water demand.

Stage-one rationing means a cut in use by 20 per cent of consented water take levels. It applies to the Upper Catchment, Reservoir, Waimea West, Delta, Golden Hills and the Upper Confined Aquifer zones on the Waimea Plains. The Wai-iti zone is also affected by dry conditions but water was due to be released from the Kainui Dam from yesterday.

Restrictions for urban water users will apply to people in Richmond, Mapua-Ruby Bay, Brightwater, Wakefield and Hope as well as their rural extensions. Only hand-held hose watering of gardens every second day will be permitted – homes with even street numbers may water on even-numbered dates, and homes with odd numbers on odd-numbered dates.

(The Nelson Mail, Friday 11 January 2019)

'Worrying' report on water in Moutere

A ‘‘bleak’’ report on the Moutere catchment, near Nelson, points to high water temperatures, poor invertebrate health, sedimentation and filamentous green algae along sections of its waterways.

The absence of giant kokopu, a native fish, was also noted in the Tasman District Council survey of stream health, which has been called worrying and bleak.

A survey of the main stem and tributaries of the Moutere catchment was undertaken during the summer of 2016-17, with the aim of assessing water quality and stream habitat as well as the potential for restoration.

Comparisons were made with data from the council’s long-term monitoring site on the Moutere River at Ching Rd (Riverside) from 2012-18. ‘‘In all of this investigation, the biggest standout was the need to shade the river,’’ James said.

In general, apart from the main stem of the Moutere River downstream of Wilson Rd, stream habitat was reasonably good.

Another issue was sedimentation. The report outlines the potential sources as winter cropping and grazing, cultivation on steeper hill country, and ‘‘poor pine forest harvesting’’ coupled with poor riparian management, along with bank erosion.

(The Nelson Mail, Saturday 12 January 2019)

Water restrictions likely to spread

Parts of Nelson city which access Tasman district's water will face water restrictions from Monday.

The stage one water restrictions apply to all properties using Tasman district water supply, including areas of Nelson city next to Champion Road, as this area is serviced by Tasman water.

However, the Nelson City Council (NCC) has warned that without significant rainfall, stage one water restrictions could be introduced in Nelson in the next few weeks.

(The Nelson Mail, Saturday 12 January 2019)

Tasman's economic growth slows

The gross domestic product (GDP) for Tasman district increased 2.8 per cent in the year to September 2018, well down on a hike of 4.3 per cent in the year to March 2018.

The figures are revealed in the latest quarterly economic report for the district by economic consultancy Infometrics, which was engaged by the Nelson Regional Development Agency.

House sales in the district totalled 776 in the year to September, a 2.5 per cent increase on the previous year, which outperformed the national result of a 0.6 per cent decrease.

The average house value in the district was up 7.1 per cent at $572,268 over the September 2018 year.

Fewer residential building consents (76) were issued in the September 2018 quarter compared with the same quarter the previous year (110).

Traffic flows in Tasman district dropped 3 per cent in the year to September, likely due to the reopening of State Highway 1 around Kaikoura. The highway was closed by the November 2016 earthquake, and traffic was diverted via St Arnaud.

(The Nelson Mail, Saturday 12 January 2019)

Thought for the Week

Thought for the week 190114