News and Publications

Property News: 22 July 2019

Butterflies may give zoo a lift

Natureland’s hopes are aflutter as plans for a butterfly exhibit take a step forward.

The Natureland Wildlife Trust has welcomed three new board members from the Butterfly Forest Trust, who are keen to bring a 36-metre butterfly forest enclosure to the Tahunanui zoo.

The future of the zoo was left somewhat in the balance earlier this year, after the Nelson City Council rejected a bid for additional funding.

Trust chair Alan Hinton said that other than the addition of the new board members, no specific new plans had been formalised, but Natureland was headed in a positive direction.

Hinton said he was confident that a butterfly exhibit would go ahead, but the form it would take and its location were yet to be determined.

He said an area of unused land on the northern edge of the zoo could house the butterflies. It would be a ‘‘significant’’ dome exhibit containing as many as 2000 of the insects.

(The Nelson Mail, Monday 15 July 2019)

Airbnb curbs welcomed

The owner of a Nelson backpackers is welcoming a move towards regulating Airbnb operators in New Zealand.

Tasman Bay Backpackers owner Peter Pattullo recently made a submission to the Nelson City Council explaining the impact an ‘‘explosion’’ of Airbnb listings was having on his business and the need for a level playing field.

Website airdna.co, which provides data about the number and location of Airbnb listings, has more than 600 active listings in Nelson city, 411 of those being ‘‘entire home listings’’. Tasman district has 968 active rentals, 714 of which are entire homes.

Pattullo said those rentals didn’t have to pay any commercial costs, despite being ‘‘a clear commercial activity’’.

‘‘We’ve been doing this for about 20 years, so we pay commercial rates, we pay commercial water (rates), we [employ] staff, we adhere to health and safety regulations, fire and building warrant of fitness. We think those costs would put around $20,000 on our bottom line,’’ he said.

A Local Government New Zealand remit has passed with 70 per cent in favour of enabling legislation that would require guest accommodation providers to register with councils, and allow punitive action against operators who don’t comply.

(The Nelson Mail, Wednesday 17 July 2019)

Fire zone gets treatment to keep soil intact

A soil stabiliser has been applied to land burnt in the Pigeon Valley wildfire, to help stop erosion and prevent sediment entering the area’s waterways.

Nelson Tasman Civil Defence said that due to the intensity of the fire, the soil had become hydrophobic, meaning it repelled water instead of absorbing it during rainfall.

Recovery manager Richard Kirby said that while the hydrophobic soil would fix itself over time, in the short term affected catchments would receive water faster than usual, and burnt slopes were likely to erode at a much faster rate.

As a result, sediment would enter stream systems and settle in stream beds, damaging the aquatic environment, with a risk of significant quantities of sediment reaching the sea during a significant storm event, Kirby said.

To combat this, the Nelson Tasman Civil Defence recovery group had engaged RST Environmental Solutions to apply a polymer, known as Envirobinder, to act as a soil stabiliser.

Commonly used in New Zealand on earthworks sites, Envirobinder was made up of 5 per cent polymer and 95 per cent water, Kirby said.

(The Nelson Mail, Wednesday 17 July 2019)

Dam work ready to start

Excavation work is set to begin next month on the multimillion-dollar Waimea dam project in the Lee Valley – and it will give a clearer idea of the construction challenges.

The geology at the site has been identified as one of the major risks for the $104.4 million project, and the excavation is expected to give a better understanding of that risk. Under the design, rock from the site will be used to create the dam, and bedrock is also needed.

Waimea Water Ltd is responsible for managing the construction, operation and maintenance of the dam. A joint venture between Tasman District Council and Waimea Irrigators Ltd, it has a board of seven directors, headed by chair Karen Jordan, who has more than 20 years’ experience in the British energy sector.

(The Nelson Mail, Friday 19 July 2019)

Centre preparing to bounce back

Richmond’s Action Centre is looking to come back bigger and better following a fire that damaged the building in January.

Manager Flynn Drummond said repairs and refurbishments were about halfway done, with a reopening date penciled in for November.

The fire started in the Inflatable World area of the centre on January 27, with emergency crews arriving to find a bouncy castle ablaze.

Drummond said that while the fire was contained relatively quickly, it was the smoke from the inflatables that caused most of the damage.

(The Nelson Mail, Friday 19 July 2019)

Rainbow blessed by the snow gods

After two weekends making do with man-made snow, Rainbow Ski Area has received more than 60 centimetres of the real stuff this week.

The skifield near St Arnaud opened its Harry’s Way run and the T-bar up to tower eight yesterday, and plans to extend the terrain up to tower 12 (the full T-bar) when there is further snowfall.

With a good crowd on Wednesday and more snow expected later in the week, this weekend was set to be the biggest yet, Lazor said.

All other facilities at the skifield, such as the Rainbow Cafe, ski hire, snowsports instructors and shuttles, are available for business.

(The Nelson Mail, Friday 19 July 2019)

Social green spaces, cycling in the mix for CBD revival

More social green spaces are part of a plan to bring more people and vitality to Nelson’s city centre.

The Nelson City Council’s new city centre development programme, led by urban designer Alan Gray, aims to inject vibrancy back into the central business district, which has been hit by the departure of a number of retailers.

Over the next several years, Gray hopes to make the city centre a place where people want to live and work. Currently, more than 1000 people live within a kilometre of the area, but only 75 people actually live in the CBD.

‘‘We have some advantages – we’re quite compact, not sprawling,’’ he said. ‘‘There’s an advantage with that 1km, (which) is when I walk into town, I run into people.’’

Gray said this type of connection was something the right city planning could encourage, and something that was good for people, the community and the city.

(The Nelson Mail, Saturday 20 July 2019)

Penguin plan for Port Tarakohe

Port Tarakohe in Golden Bay could become a little blue penguin ecotourism attraction, says penguin expert Professor John Cockrem.

The Massey University academic this week enjoyed his first visit to the port, which has long been a home for the world’s smallest penguin, known officially as the little penguin or korora.

‘‘The Port Tarakohe site is the best artificial habitat for little penguins that I have seen in New Zealand, and I’ve been to many penguin places around the North and South islands,’’ Cockrem said.

With a multimillion-dollar redevelopment of the Tasman District Council-owned port planned, there was a ‘‘huge opportunity’’ for the creation of a penguin environment precinct at the site, he said.

Members of the newly created Mohua Blue Penguin Trust backed the precinct proposal. Trustee Ron Eckman encouraged penguin lovers to promote the idea in the comments section of the submission form for the draft business plan.

Submissions on the draft plan are due to close on September 30, with a hearing scheduled to be held at Takaka on August 7.

(The Nelson Mail, Saturday 20 July 2019)

Thought for the Week

Thought of the week 22 July