News and Publications

Property News: 23 July 2018

Brook sanctuary reopens to public

After a year of pest removal operations, Nelson’s Brook Waimarama Sanctuary reopened to the public yesterday.

There was no sign of the protests that accompanied last year’s aerial poison drops as a steady stream of visitors explored the enclosed 700-hectare nature reserve.

The sanctuary plans to introduce native bird species such as kiwi, kakariki and kaka into the predator-proof environment.

About 26 tonnes of brodifacoum-laced bait was dropped into the sanctuary last year, prompting protests from Brook Valley residents and anti-poison advocates. The aim was to eradicate all rodents from within the 14km pest-proof perimeter fence, to allow for the reintroduction of native wildlife.

Limited opening hours and a secure entry gate system will also help to preserve the sanctuary’s biosecurity, with visitors asked to check pockets and bags for any ‘‘stowaway guests’’ before they enter the predator-proof fenced area.

(The Nelson Mail, Monday 16 July 2018)

Rot, mould found at library

Black mould, rotting wood and a decayed roof beam discovered at Stoke Library will require hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of repairs.

A report to Nelson City Council’s (NCC) community services committee last week revealed severe decay, saturated wood and black mould in southwest and northeast areas of the roof structure where the building is not weathertight.

One roof beam running down the spine of the building had been identified as having ‘‘structural decay’’ to the point of having ‘‘no integrity’’ in some places, the staff report said. Some of the timber used in the library’s construction was found to be untreated.

(The Nelson Mail, Monday 16 July 2018)

Landfill gas threat measured

Gas monitoring wells are being installed around Nelson city’s old landfill site to further gauge potential risks to landowners.

The old landfill, in the area bounded by Queen Elizabeth II Drive, Atawhai Drive, Weka St and Sovereign St, operated for about 40 years before it was closed in 1987, covered and buried. Under the ground, the natural process of rubbish breaking down is producing a chemical cocktail known as ‘‘landfill gas’’, a mix of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4).

In the next few weeks, specialist consultants will be more accurately mapping and measuring the landfill gas, finding out how thick the cap over the landfill is, and installing nine monitoring wells.

Methane is measured throughout the area every six months. In March last year, Nelson City Council announced increased research and testing into potential landfill gas threats, after routine tests showed gas levels creeping up.

The council’s group manager, infrastructure Alec Louverdis said measurements had so far not revealed any areas of concern, though an extra stormwater vent was recommended and installed at Miyazu Gardens.

(The Nelson Mail, Monday 16 July 2018)

Dam busted?

Updated costs for the proposed Waimea dam have added a whopping $26 million to its bottom line, putting the future of the controversial project in doubt.

A long-time supporter of the dam as the best option to augment the water supply for Waimea, Kempthorne said he was ‘‘gutted’’ by the updated figures, which represent a 35 per cent escalation in costs.

The final price for the construction of the proposed dam in the Lee Valley, near Nelson, makes up a big chunk of those higher costs, coming in at just over $68m – about $18m higher than the build estimate of almost $50m.

However, other work streams were still to be finalised ‘‘and we have reason to believe those other costs are likely to be in the order of $8m over estimate’’.

(The Nelson Mail, Friday 20 July 2018)

Calls to shelve dam plan after cost blows out

Tasman District Council is being urged to step back from the controversial Waimea dam project.

Amid news of a 35 per cent escalation in costs, adding an expected $26 million to the bottom line, there have been multiple calls for the council to stop spending money on the project.

‘‘I think it’s buggered,’’ economist Peter Fraser said. ‘‘How bad does it have to get before [the council] takes the off ramp?’’

Forest & Bird top of the south regional manager Debs Martin said the council should put the dam and an associated local bill on the back burner.

Water Information Network Inc member Lew Solomon called for the council to ‘‘stop wasting money’’ on the project, while Waimea Irrigators and Water Users Society consultant Brian Halstead said it was time to consider other options to augment the area’s water supply.

(The Nelson Mail, Saturday 21 July 2018)

Building rules holding Takaka back, say locals

‘‘Ridiculous’’ and inconsistent floor heights for new Takaka buildings are adding extra costs and curbing development, residents say.

Golden Bay councillor Paul Sangster said the regulations the Tasman District Council had imposed regarding minimum floor heights for new buildings were unfair. ‘‘We have got all these different height buildings through town and I can’t get my [council] staff to give me a reason why,’’ he said.

A handful of buildings constructed in Takaka in the last 12 years, such as Hammer Hardware on Commercial St in 2016, were built half a metre above the 1983 flood level, an event which saw pockets of Takaka under water. This means the buildings have their entrance about a metre above ground level.

Sangster said the building height requirements were ‘‘ridiculous’’ and added tens of thousands of dollars to project costs and scared developers off.

Other new buildings that had to be raised considerably are the Fresh Choice supermarket, the building where Fulton Hogan’s office is located, Heartlands Services, and Golden Bay Coachlines.

But Sangster said the Top Shop building, being built just two doors down from Hammer Hardware, had a much lower floor level. He wanted to know why.

The council’s communications advisor Chris Choat said flood heights were not consistent in Takaka.

The council used the original 1983 flood levels to produce 50- and 100-year flood maps for the township, which formed the basis for setting floor levels for buildings in different locations, he said. Each application therefore had to be dealt with on its merits, and it also had to adhere to national standards.

Independent flood engineer Richard Stocker was involved in setting the height for Hammer Hardware and other buildings in Takaka. ‘‘There are many ways to floodproof a building, not just lifting it,’’ he said. ‘‘It’s up to the owner how they do that, but both TDC and the Building Code require the risk to the structure be mitigated.’’

(The Nelson Mail, Saturday 21 July 2018)

Hilltop home and renovation the stars of Nelson awards

If you ever wanted to know how to maximise a great view without providing too much architectural distraction, then the main award winner in the Architectural Designers New Zealand (ADNZ) awards for the Nelson-Marlborough region is a perfect example.

Atawhai House, designed by Tony Karsten of Karsten Architectural Design, has won the Resene Colour in Design Award and received a commended mention in the residential new home between 150m2 and 300m2 category of the Nelson/ Marlborough ADNZ Resene Architectural Design Awards.

The four-bedroom family home sits high above the Nelson Haven, on a steep site that takes full advantage of the impressive views to the north, south and west, without standing out.

The long, low form of the house and its ash-coloured cedar cladding, which blends well with the surrounding vegetation, help to ensure it looks settled in the landscape.

The award judges praised the use of the ash-stained cedar, and the way the floors flow out into the landscape to create a connection with the ocean. They also appreciated the siting and detailing of the house. ‘‘Dug into a low bank, it has extensive views overlooking the Nelson Harbour, with all-day sun.’’

The only other winner in the awards announced last night was a commended in the residential alterations and additions category for Nelson project Turama Orangery and House Alterations, by David Todd of David Todd Ltd.

(The Nelson Mail, Saturday 21 July 2018)

Thought for the Week

A good traveller has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.

(Lao Tzu)