News and Publications

Property News: 29 April 2019

Volunteers allow hospice to bloom

Come spring, the grounds of the Nelson Tasman Hospice will be awash in yellow blooms, after volunteers planted hundreds of daffodils outside the new building.

As an added benefit, the flowers will be harvested every year and sold on Daffodil Day to raise funds for the Cancer Society.

The concept came from Canopy Landscape Architects, which designed the grounds around the new hospice building in Suffolk Rd, Stoke.

More than 20 staff from Canopy and Mitre 10 Mega Nelson joined members of the public to plant 1600 daffodil bulbs yesterday morning.

(The Nelson Mail, Wednesday 17 April 2019)

Skifield 'still keen' on campsite

Plans for a freedom camping site at a Nelson Lakes skifield are on ice until the skifield can get its winter season under way.

Rainbow Ski Area is holding off on submitting a resource consent application for a freedom camping site until after the ski season starts on June 28. But it still hopes to have self-contained campers up the 1760-metre mountain in time for next summer.

Rainbow Sports Club general manager James Lazor first pitched the idea of a freedom camping site at a Marlborough District Council planning and finance committee meeting in November.

The St Arnaud club spoke with the council and the Department of Conservation (DOC) about getting a resource consent for a freedom camping site over the summer. The club’s current resource consent does not allow non-staff to reside on the mountain overnight.

After being told to make a few adjustments to its resource consent plans, the club decided to revisit the idea after this year’s ski season had kicked off.

The club’s top priorities this year were fixing the road to and from Rainbow, and being able to make snow at more reliable temperatures, Lazor said. The club had a resource consent application with the council to put gravel on its eight-kilometre alpine road, as it had not seen improvements for four to five years.

The club also recently purchased two new fan guns, worth $120,000, for its beginner area. They were scheduled to be switched on in late May to help the skifield reach its target start date of June 28.

‘‘We want to be open for school holidays . . . it’s big pressure for myself and the operations crew,’’ Lazor said.

The club enjoyed a record 86-day season last year, which was in stark contrast to the two previous years, when it opened for about 50 days.

(The Nelson Mail, Wednesday 17 April 2019)

Volunteers get the lead out to help protect kea

A group of volunteers has been removing lead head nails from old farm buildings in Abel Tasman National Park to protect kea from lead poisoning.

It is the first project in a South Island-wide initiative to remove lead from buildings in kea habitat.

Peter Hayes was one of the group who spent two days at Canaan Downs to remove and replace the lead head nails and lead flashing from a number of old farm buildings.

Over the course of two days, the team of seven removed more than 2000 lead head screws and lead flashing from an old shearing shed and other buildings at Canaan Downs.

(The Nelson Mail, Thursday 18 April 2019)

School zones pushing up house prices

An increase in primary school enrolment zones in Nelson city has seen some families move house in order to get their children into their preferred school, with some indications that this has helped to push up house prices around some schools.

Parents in Tasman district, meanwhile, say they have been forced to switch schools or homes because of Ministry of Education ‘‘bus zoning’’ rules, which have penalised families who don’t send their children to the nearest school.

Six of central Nelson’s 11 state primary schools have implemented enrolment schemes within the last four years.

A scheme creates a zone around a school, from within which the school has to accept children who enrol, and which limits the number of children from outside the zone who can attend.

Stoke School is one of a cluster of three primary schools that established a zone at the ministry’s request at the end of 2016, to manage rising rolls and projected growth.

With the school still close to capacity, it didn’t take any out-of-zone enrolments this year or last, principal Sarah Davies said.

While some families within its zone had chosen to enrol at other schools, other families had moved into the school’s zone so their children could attend, she said.

Birchwood School principal Chris Herrick said its enrolment scheme, implemented two years ago, was under review as part of the ministry’s review process.

He was confident the ministry would now lift it.

Since the zone was put in place, an extra classroom had been built, raising the school’s capacity to 280 pupils, Herrick said. The forecast roll for the end of this year was 265.

Proximity to ‘‘good’’ schools played a part in people’s decisions around buying homes in the city centre, said the manager of Ray White real estate agents in Nelson, Grant Chaney.

For example, some areas around Hampden Street School had shown a ‘‘large appreciation in property in recent times’’, he said.

‘‘Part of that is proximity to town, part is proximity to good schooling. Property values are certainly higher as a benefit of being in those school zones.’’

(The Nelson Mail, Saturday 20 April 2019)

Putting a price on Pepin

Should a $16 million privately owned island close to Nelson city be returned to local ownership – and if so, how?

Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese is weighing up options as Pepin Island, 23 kilometres northeast of central Nelson, continues to attract inquiries from potential buyers across the globe.

The 518-hectare island, which includes three tourist chalets, a farm and 1900 sheep, was put on the market in December by its United States-based owner, Olivia Hallman.

‘‘We have to be careful about how we spend our funds on behalf of Nelsonians. I don’t think Nelson City Council is in a position to purchase the island outright. But I’m very interested in continuing discussions with other parties, and seeing if we could play a supporting role.’’

The Department of Conservation has already ruled itself out as a partner. While DOC recognised that Pepin Island had ‘‘some biodiversity values and a great deal of potential’’, the department was not in a position to either fully or partly fund the purchase, director Northern South Island Roy Grose said.

A suggestion was made earlier this year that Ngati Tama could look at buying back the island.

The Ngati Tama Trust said it hadn’t formally discussed the idea of buying Pepin Island. ‘‘One option would be for the Crown to buy it and return it to iwi via settlement, given the significance of the land to iwi,’’ spokesperson Jaqui Ngawaka said.

(The Nelson Mail, Monday 22 April 2019)

Rising tides shape growth

Rising sea levels may push the region’s residential growth to Nelson South, Stoke and Richmond, a planning document says.

The region is preparing to build 12,000 houses over the next 30 years to keep up with population growth forecasts, but much of that growth may not be in central Nelson.

One of the options put forward to the public in the Nelson Tasman Future Development Strategy Consultation document focuses on limiting urban intensification and development in areas where there is likely to be significant sea level rise.

This would rule out many areas in Nelson, including the central city, The Wood, Tahunanui, and the Wakapuaka Flats.

Speaking to the Nelson City Council in March, council city development team leader Lisa Gibellini said areas had been ruled out based on 100-year projections of a sea level rise of up to one metre.

According to the document, most intensification under that scenario would occur to the south, including Nelson South, Stoke and Richmond. Urban expansion would be possible in areas such as the Maitai Valley, parts of Stoke, Richmond South, Brightwater, and inland from Mapua and Motueka.

(The Nelson Mail, Wednesday 24 April 2019)

Replanting at reserve after blaze

Native trees will be planted in Nelson’s fire-damaged Sir Stanley Whitehead Reserve over winter.

A suspicious fire tore through the area above Iwa Rd on February 8. Homes were threatened by the blaze, but a quick response by helicopters already fighting the Pigeon Valley wildfire contained it.

A large section of the fire-damaged area is privately owned, but the flames also damaged some Nelson City Council-owned land.

Council manager of parks and facilities Rosie Bartlett said there were ‘‘some concerns’’ about trees that had been felled by the fire at a slip site near the base of Iwa Rd.

‘[The council] is currently looking at options for removing those, due to potential safety concerns. Any other repairs or replanting in this area will be the responsibility of the landowner,’’ Bartlett said.

(The Nelson Mail, Friday 26 April 2019)

Dam's decline worries growers

Growers south of Nelson are hoping for enough rain to fill a dam that fell to its lowest level this summer, by the time they need to start irrigating again.

The Wai-iti Dam at Kainui, southwest of Wakefield, is at 20 per cent of its capacity, just 2 per cent higher than it was at the height of the drought that gripped the Nelson and Tasman region.

Ground conditions were still dry, meaning recent rain had disappeared into the ground before it could reach the dam, nearby growers said.

This summer was the first time the dam, which supplies nearly 100 permit holders in the Wai-iti area, had dropped to 18 per cent of its capacity, the Tasman District Council said.

In April 2010 it fell to 35 per cent, but it refilled by September that year, council environment and planning manager Dennis Bush-King said.

In March 2015 the dam was at 36 per cent of its capacity, but it refilled just in time for the start of the irrigation season at the start of October.

(The Nelson Mail, Friday 26 April 2019)

Request to council puts walkers on easier path

One man’s idea to improve a steep track on the Grampians has resulted in a zig-zag section being added for easier access.

Nelson’s Simon Jones made a submission to the Nelson City Council’s Long Term Plan (LTP) last year, asking that the council address the steep section of track. The Collingwood St resident is part of a group that has walked up the hill behind the city every weekday morning for 20 years.

For the last 10 years, he had joined the group on a loop up past Fairfield House and back down to Collingwood St, he said. The last part of the walk was rather steep.

But since the new section was cut at the end of March, the group has affectionately nicknamed it the ‘‘Simon Jones Memorial Zig-Zag’’.

The new section is on the main ridge south of Collingwood St, just north of Ronaki Track. It is about 350 metres long and bypasses the steep 200m section.

Council group manager community services Roger Ball said the new section would be left to settle before it was surfaced.

The Grampians Reserve is home to nine major tracks and covers 173 hectares.

(The Nelson Mail, Friday 26 April 2019)

Thought for the Week

Thought for week 190429