Race to salvage trees
Hotspots remain two months after the Pigeon Valley wildfire started as forestry crews race to salvage trees in the blackened forests.
Tasman Pine Forests chief operating officer Steve Chandler said its priority was harvesting what could be salvaged, clearing out the rest, and replanting burnt forestry blocks.
Boring insects weren’t a concern when harvesting healthy trees, Chandler said, but the fire meant the company was harvesting dead or dying fire-damaged trees.
‘‘As soon as the trees get stressed, these beetles move in – they can smell it a mile away,’’ he said.
The Pigeon Valley wildfire started on February 5 and spread over 2343 hectares of mainly pine plantation to become one of the country’s biggest blazes. Up to 23 helicopters and 150 firefighters battled the blaze at its peak.
Tasman Pine, which owns much of the affected plantations, has five crews salvaging as much as they can from the older forestry blocks.
He said blocks over 20 years old were still saleable, but any trees younger than this were not mature enough for market. The salvaged wood was also likely to be sold for lower prices than it would normally fetch.
Chandler said that without proper management, the underground fires could ‘‘pop up’’ again unexpectedly, but there was little danger of this with FENZ and forestry companies working together to dig up potentially dangerous hotspots to extinguish or burn them out, and leaving minor ones to be extinguished over winter.
(The Nelson Mail, Wednesday 10 April 2019)
Library closed after fire
Nelson’s main library was temporarily closed due to a weekend fire. Nelson Public Libraries reported a minor electrical fire at the Elma Turner Library on Sunday morning. Fire and Emergency firefighters located a small blaze in a switchboard about 9.45am. It was put out, but due to power loss and safety precautions, the library was closed for the rest of the day.
(The Nelson Mail, Wednesday 10 April 2019)
Cold storage firm meets rising demand
Considered one of the nation’s leaders in comprehensive, temperature-controlled warehousing to the food,horticulture and seafood industries in New Zealand, Tasman Coldstore has completed construction of a new store.
Located near the current store in Bullen St, the new premises in Orion St opened on the first of the month.
Manager Brendan Hollyman says the new building, which took nine months to complete, was constructed as the business had simply run out of room and needed more.
They have four rooms, including the new site: three at Bullen St and one at Orion St.
Based in Nelson, Tasman Coldstore Ltd is an integral part of the supply chain connecting food producers, processors, distributors and retailers to the consumer. The company owns and operates a total of three temperature-controlled storage facilities and is one of the largest Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) approved coldstores in the region.
(The Nelson Leader, Thursday 11 April 2019)
Stoke Library to close for maintenance
Repairs to the leaky Stoke Library are likely to lead to its temporary closure.
The Nelson City Council’s (NCC) community services committee heard yesterday that no tenders were received from contractors offering to take on the work. NCC property, parks and facilities asset manager Andrew Petheram said contractors were hesitant to take on a job which could become more than they had bargained for.
There was no set date for the closure, but it was expected to be late next month, he said.
Acting library manager Mark Preston-Thomas said several options were being considered to keep library services in Stoke during the closure, including a temporary home in a nearby building.
(The Nelson Mail, Friday 12 April 2019)
Construction squeeze hits works projects
Infrastructure projects in Tasman district are $14.3 million behind schedule, with the council citing the stretched construction sector as the main cause.
Tasman District Council had a $52m capital works budget for 2018-19, funding roading, water supply, stormwater, wastewater and solid waste projects. However, it is estimating that only $38.2m will be spent by the end of the financial year on June 30, leaving $14.3m not spent.
At a council meeting on Thursday, engineering services manager Richard Kirby said the key factor in the delays had been Tasman’s stretched construction sector.
He said the increased level of activity had made it difficult for the council – which was reliant on suppliers within the construction sector to complete its capital works – to secure contracts at reasonable prices.
For the most recent tender bid, for the Mapua water and wastewater upgrades, the price was $2.7m greater than the pre-tender estimates and council budget of $5.6m.
Tasman Mayor Richard Kempthorne said it would be best to stick with the current programme, even if things were delayed.
‘‘Carrying forward from the capital works programme is nothing new – we’ve been doing it for years,’’ he said. ‘‘The fact is we’re in a heated contract market, and this is just the way it is – I wouldn’t want to see us go through a process [where we] needed to go to a Long Term Plan review.’’
(The Nelson Mail, Saturday 13 April 2019)
Thought for the Week