News and Publications

Property News - 24 February 2020

Playground pop-up for central city

A soon-to-be demolished building next to Elma Turner Library on Halifax Street will provide space for a new pop-up playground, thanks to a collaboration between Nelson City Council and Wakatū Incorporation.

City centre development programme lead, Alan Gray, says the project came about after the council undertook the Public Life Survey, which measured the footfall of different age groups throughout the city.

(Nelson Mail, Wednesday 19 February 2020)

Lifestyle fuels house price boost

Continuing demand for Nelson’s lifestyle and a ‘‘massive’’ shortage of properties for sale has continued to push up house prices, leaving some first home buyers in properties not fit for tenants, some industry experts say.

Others say there are still ‘‘plenty of opportunities’’ for first home buyers, and they just need to think outside the box.

Latest figures from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) showed the median house price in Nelson stood at $600,000 in January, a 6 per cent rise year on year.

In Tasman district, the median price was $655,000, a 14 per cent rise compared to the same time last January, and $40,000 above the national median price.

Nelson also saw the biggest percentage annual rise in the number of houses sold across the country, while Tasman saw the biggest drop.

Twenty-three more houses were sold in Nelson in January, a 43 per cent jump on January 2019, with 15 per cent the second biggest rise, in Manawatū/Whanganui.

(Nelson Mail, Wednesday 19 February 2020)

Rain welcome but water restrictions remain for now

Yesterday's rain has been welcomed by people across the increasingly parched Nelson-Tasman region.

However, Tasman District Council engineering services manager Richard Kirby, who is responsible for the council's reticulated water supply, said decisions on restrictions would wait until this morning.

In the 12 hours to noon yesterday, 16mm of rain fell in Richmond and on the Waimea Plains, 18.5mm at Founders Park in Nelson and 34.5mm at the Takaka-Kotinga measuring site.

(Nelson Mail, Wednesday 19 February 2020)

Some reserves reopen after rain

A welcome dose of rain has led to the reopening of reserves in Nelson and Tasman.

Some Nelson City Council reserves have been reopen temporarily and the Tasman District Council plans to reopen all its reserves on Saturday after Tuesday's rain reduced the fire risk.

The reserves were closed after the Build Up Index (BUI), a measure of how difficult it would be to put out a fire, has risen to over 100 in some reserves. TDC reserves and facilities manager Richard Holler said the rain had reduced the risk measurement to "around 60" in Tasman.

However, if rain forecast for the end of this week did not arrive and hot, dry conditions returned, he said it may be necessary to close reserves again. A total fire ban remains in place in Tasman and access to wood-fired barbecues remains closed for now.

Nelson council group manager of community services, Roger Ball, said the rain had taken Nelson reserves down from 120 BUI to 71.

Ball also emphasised that the reserves could close again, as the BUI would start building again as soon as the wet weather came to an end.

Some reserves and tracks, like the Coppermine and Maungatapu, are only partially opened and people are "strongly advised" to stick to the path The Nelson city reserves, trails and roads that have been temporarily reopened are: Codgers Trails, Titoki Reserve, Atmore Reserve, Bolwell Reserve, Pipers Reserve, Days Track, Hanby Park, Marsden Valley Reserve, Upper Maitai Valley Rd.

The following parks, reserves and roads remain closed: Eureka Park, Brook Conservation Reserve, Maitai Water Reserve, Venner Reserve, Roding Water Reserve, Grampians Reserve, Sir Stanley Whitehead Park, Fringed Hill, Tantragee Rd.

(Nelson Mail, Friday 21 February 2020)

Cost of building dam blows out by $25 million

The forecast build cost of the Waimea dam has blown out by an estimated $25 million to $129.4m, due to ‘‘unforeseen geological conditions’’.

Tasman District ratepayers may be on the hook for $23.5m of that expected cost increase for the dam, now under construction in the Lee Valley. Under an agreed funding model for the project, any cost overruns up to $3m are to be shared equally between the council and its joint-venture partner, Waimea Irrigators Ltd (WIL). The council alone is responsible for any overruns above $3m.

Tasman District mayor Tim King said the agreement did not automatically mean that the shortfall would come from rates.

‘‘We would hope the other funding partners will look seriously at opportunities to contribute to the funding mix,’’ King said, referring to the Government, the Nelson City Council and WIL. ‘‘The dam is a nationally significant piece of water infrastructure investment.’’

(Nelson Mail, Saturday 22 February 2020)

Market gardens ‘higher risk’ for nitrates

Groundwater monitoring shows that nitrate levels continue to exceed drinking water standards under some sections of the Waimea Plains.

A Tasman District Council report covering the findings of that monitoring and the results of a soil survey of the eastern plains says the indications are that market gardening is a ‘‘higher-risk land use for nitrate leaching’’ compared with the other main land uses in the study area – pasture, pipfruit and viticulture.

In topsoil samples, market garden sites had higher nitrate and other nutrient levels. In subsoil samples, mean nitrate levels were three to four times higher under market gardens than the other land uses.

‘‘Market gardening stood out above the rest,’’ council land resource scientist Bernard Simmonds on Thursday told councillors.

However, contemporary land practices – primarily the use of fertilisers – are believed to be just one source of the nitrates, for which elevated concentrations have been recorded in the aquifers since the 1970s.

(Nelson Mail, Saturday 22 February 2020)

Thought for the Week

(Monday 24 February 2020)