News and Publications

Property News: 20 August 2018

NCC orders project review

An extensive external review into the management of the problematic Greenmeadows project will be carried out.

The review was announced at a meeting of Nelson City Council’s audit risk and finance committee yesterday. It will focus on the beleaguered Stoke community centre project, but will cover the council’s management of all large projects.

Committee chairman John Peters said he wanted to remind members that ‘‘we are in the process of getting legal and expert advice, and are seeking to recover all losses in this regard’’. He did not clarify what losses those were.

‘‘The chief executive [Pat Dougherty] will undertake an extensive external review of the project processes, including Greenmeadows but taking the review processes beyond that,’’ Peters said.

(The Nelson Mail, Wednesday 15 August 2018)

New fuel stop coming

An NPD petrol station on the outskirts of central Nelson will open before Christmas, the company has confirmed.

Chief executive Barry Sheridan said the site was chosen for its central location, on St Vincent Street opposite Harvey Norman. The site has been home to Nelson Auto Parts, which will close after 48 years.

The station will be open 24 hours a day, and will be an unstaffed self-service station, which Sheridan said allowed the Nelson-owned company to cut costs. There are 18 other NPD sites around Nelson and Tasman, and Sheridan said the company was designing 20 new sites around the South Island.

(The Nelson Mail, Wednesday 15 August 2018)

Myrtle rust arrives in Nelson

Myrtle rust has been found on Ramarama and Pohutukawa trees in and around Nelson city.

A Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) surveillance team found the new infections on four sites in the area recently. The airborne disease has spread from the North Island, and was found in Collingwood earlier this year.

An MPI spokesperson said property owners and the Nelson City Council had been informed of the infections in Nelson. ‘‘A decision on the appropriate management approach will be made very soon.’’

‘‘It is not yet known how this disease will affect New Zealand species or ecosystems, as impacts may take years to identify,’’ MPI said. ‘‘Overseas, its impacts have varied widely from country to country and plant species to species.’’

Nelson City Council group manager environmental management Clare Barton said the council could confirm that myrtle rust had been found on a Pohutukawa tree in Tahunanui Reserve, but could not confirm the other finds.

‘‘We are awaiting guidance from MPI, which is the lead agency on this issue, as to how best to respond. Council encourages anyone discovering or suspecting myrtle rust on plants to contact the biosecurity freephone number, 0800 80 99 66.’’

The latest number of infected sites across New Zealand is 766.

(The Nelson Mail, Wednesday 15 August 2018)

First M bovis case found in region

The first case of M bovis has been confirmed in the Nelson region.

Biosecurity New Zealand said yesterday a property near Motueka had tested positive for the bacterial cattle disease.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) said the affected property was a mixed sheep and beef farm. It was identified through tracing animals from known infected farms, and was now under a Restricted Place Notice, which meant it was in ‘‘quarantine lockdown’’, restricting the movement of animals and other ‘‘risk goods’’ on and off the farm.

MPI said it wouldn’t publicly name the farm, but neighbours who shared a boundary with the property would be notified. The risk to neighbouring farms was ‘‘very low’’. The infected cattle will be culled as part of the government programme to eradicate the disease.

(The Nelson Mail, Wednesday 15 August 2018)

Jones ramps up dam pressure

Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has warned backers of the Waimea dam that they have to do the ‘‘heavy lifting’’ to bridge a big funding gap before the Government will contribute more.

The outspoken minister has called on the Tasman District Council and economic stakeholders in the proposed dam to ‘‘step up to the plate’’ if they want the Government’s Provincial Growth Fund to help plug a $26 million funding hole.

Jones also took a swipe at dam opponents, saying the ‘‘bellyachers need to come out from under their ideological foliage’’ and acknowledge that the region faced some large and costly challenges over water quality and security.

Jones said ‘‘any accountant worth their salt’’ knew that the costs of large infrastructure projects were amortised over a long period, and the social and economic benefits of the dam were large.

Tasman Mayor Richard Kempthorne, who supports the dam, said the minister’s call to action before the growth fund bid could be considered was ‘‘entirely reasonable’’.

(The Nelson Mail, Friday 17 August 2018)

Nelson firms up for architecture awards

Nelson builds feature in four of the 48 projects shortlisted in the 2018 New Zealand Architecture Awards.

The diverse shortlist includes a car showroom and a restaurant in Auckland, a riverside plaza in Hamilton, a dental clinic in Wellington, and a restored church in Kaiapoi.

Twenty housing projects have made the awards shortlist.

Nelson’s Irving Smith Architects has made the cut with two local properties – The 12 Year House at Cable Bay, and Bach With Two Roofs in Golden Bay.

The firm has also been shortlisted in the public architecture category for its work on the Trafalgar Centre upgrade.

In the commercial architecture category, Jerram Tocker Barron Architects and Labworks Architecture have been jointly acknowledged for their work on the Plant and Food Research Facility at Port Nelson.

The New Zealand Architecture Awards jury will visit all shortlisted projects at the end of this month. The awards will be announced at Te Papa on November 9.

(The Nelson Mail, Friday 17 August 2018)

Will empty lane be a dead end?

Galen King is upset and frustrated. The owner of the Bridge Street Collective has spent three years attempting to develop the empty laneway beside his co-working space, only to be thwarted at each turn by bureaucracy. Now, Nelson City Council (NCC) has told him he might need to construct a building in the space to ‘‘provide continuity’’.

King originally applied for consent to build a shipping container development on the laneway. However, the project was put on the back burner after NCC safety requirements and earthquake strengthening sent costs skyward.

For now, he’s scaled down the project, and is hoping to invite a farmers’ market and food carts to fill the space. The idea was to offer small local businesses a chance to build up their customer base without having to take on the rental cost of a shop, he said. ‘‘Eventually, they could graduate to a retail space. It’s not going to make anyone rich, but it will add a vibrancy to Nelson.’’

In a CBD full of empty shops and offices, another building was something the city didn’t need, he said.

The council has also threatened legal action over his car parking spaces. ‘‘It goes from absurd to worse,’’ King posted on Facebook. ‘‘We are now being forced to apply for resource consent because we have 14 carparks and we’re only allowed 10.’’

The income he earns from the parks barely covers the rates for the empty space. ‘‘People have said, ‘Make the whole thing a carpark, earn money’. But I believe Nelson needs a public space.’’

‘‘I have had council staff trying to support us to put a playground in [the space], but it gets to the legal team and they present me a 20-page legal document which is completely unworkable.’’

Council group manager environmental management Clare Barton said the Nelson Resource Management Plan required building continuity in heritage precincts. Since King hadn’t built his container development and had not ‘‘maintained the continuous frontage of the Bridge St streetscape’’, he needed to ‘‘formalise the carpark’’, she said.

‘‘If Nelson becomes a city centre of gaps, then we’ll have lost much of the amenity and function that we value, and the ability to attract further good development will also be lost.’’

King said the stalled project meant a ‘‘lot of heartache’’ but said he wasn’t ready to throw in the towel just yet. ‘‘I’m not planning to give up. We need people coming into the CBD, and we need vibrant community spaces.’’

(The Nelson Mail, Saturday 18 August 2018)

Freedom camper ablution block has high price tag

A $300,000 portable, purpose-built ‘‘KiwiCamp’’ ablution block is to be installed for freedom campers in Tasman district, ready for summer.

The unit, which will have toilets, showers, wi-fi and charging ports that campers can pay to use via a pre-bought card, appears likely to be placed on a site near Motueka or Wakefield.

Potential spots under consideration included the old Mariri landfill site and an area near the Edward Baigent Memorial Scenic Reserve, on the outskirts of Wakefield, which would require the council to purchase some land.

Freedom camping was banned late last year at the Edward Baigent reserve itself.

(The Nelson Mail, Saturday 18 August 2018)

New pontoon to ease boat ramp angst

Nelson boaties can expect less time waiting to cast off, with a newly installed floating pontoon at Nelson Marina now ready for use.

Located at the Akersten St boat ramp, the pontoon represents the first phase of developments identified in the Nelson City Council’s 2017 Nelson Marina Strategy.

The pontoon cost $375,000 to install and is expected to help make launching vessels safer and quicker.

It was designed and built by Bellingham Marine from Auckland, which specialises in pontoon and wharf construction.

A council spokesperson said the concrete pontoon was chosen over PVC or timber because it provided more stability for users and longterm durability.

The pontoon is 90 metres long, with a 1.8m-wide walkway, specifically designed for Nelson Marina, which has the challenges of a large three-metre-plus tidal zone.

Safety and congestion issues at the Akersten St ramp prompted Nelson boaties to plead their case for improved boating facilities in the city.

(The Nelson Mail, Saturday 18 August 2018)

Thought for the Week

We can be truly successful only at something we're willing to fail at. If we're unwilling to fail, then we're unwilling to succeed.

(Mark Manson)