News and Publications

Property News: 30 July 2018

On shaky ground

An expert engineering assessment shows that part of Nelson’s Christ Church Cathedral meets only 25 per cent of the earthquake building standards.

The Enhanced Initial Seismic Assessment by Wellington structural engineer company Dunning Thornton shows that the sanctuary, where the choir is, and east and west transepts of the cathedral are below the standards.

A building needs to be at least 33 per cent of the New Building Standard (NBS) to achieve an acceptable rating.

The main body of the cathedral, the nave, has a seismic assessment of 40 per cent, and the tower comes in at 50 per cent.

The assessment shows the nave is stronger than an Initial Seismic Assessment in late 2016 estimated. That report assessed the nave to be 25 per cent of the NBS.

Nelson Diocesan Trust Board trustee David Allpress said Dunning Thornton was able to find ‘‘sufficient’’ information from the cathedral plans to do its assessment. ‘‘There may be some X-raying to verify certain structural elements at a later time.’’

He said the next step for the board was to get a team of architects, structural engineers and quantity surveyors together to verify that the cathedral could be brought up to 67 per cent of the new building standard, and to provide an estimate of the cost to do so.

The 67 per cent figure is the standard normally applied to modern commercial buildings.

Allpress said the board ‘‘aspired’’ to get the building up to 80 per cent, as it would help in getting a more competitive insurance premium.

Nelson MP Nick Smith said the report highlighted that the cathedral was an earthquake risk.

Smith said last year the cost of strengthening the cathedral to 80 per cent of the New Building Standard would cost between $5 million and $8 million. This was a fraction of what it would cost to replace the building.

(The Nelson Mail, Wednesday 25 July 2018)

Tough water curbs possible if dam fails

Water tankers may be needed on the streets of Brightwater during severe droughts if the Waimea dam project is shelved.

‘‘We’ll be slipping into Third World provisions [in a severe drought],’’ said Tasman district mayor Richard Kempthorne.

‘‘I think the community doesn’t realise that’s what we have ahead of us without the dam.’’

Kempthorne said he expected to be accused of scaremongering, but the rules for tougher rationing in dry spells were in place under the no-dam provisions in the Tasman Resource Management Plan (TRMP).

The rationing and related restrictions would affect rural and urban water users in the Richmond, Hope, Mapua, Brightwater and Redwood Valley areas, including businesses and industry. This is more than 20,000 people, or 40 per cent of the district’s population.

If a decision was made not to proceed with the proposed dam in the Lee Valley, near Nelson, the tougher restrictions were likely to be implemented from November 1.

Kempthorne encouraged people to find out more at consultation sessions scheduled to be held at Richmond Mall on July 26 and August 2, from 3.30pm to 5.30pm, as well as on August 9 from 10.30am to 12.30pm.

Submissions close on August 10.

(The Nelson Mail, Wednesday 25 July 2018)

Centre of Trouble

Problems at the Greenmeadows community centre project in Stoke may not be remedied until early next year after an independent review revealed ‘‘far more’’ issues than anticipated.

The project is already several months past its original projected completion date of November last year, and was expected to be fully open next month.

Stoke Rugby have been using the clubrooms since June but have been told to vacate the building.

Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese said the council was taking ‘‘legal and expert advice’’.

The Nelson City Council on Wednesday announced progress results from an independent audit of the Greenmeadows project by consultant Grant Hunt.

Greenmeadows faults and fixes

(The Nelson Mail, Friday 27 July 2018)

Home affordability remains a problem

House prices and rents continue to climb in Nelson, Richmond and Hope, helping to make Nelson-Marlborough one of the least affordable regions in New Zealand.

The Massey Home Affordability Index shows a 6.4 per cent decline in home affordability for the Nelson-Tasman-Marlborough region in the 12 months to the end of February 2018. Based on this index, the region moved from third- to fourth-least affordable, behind Central Otago Lakes, Auckland and Waikato-Bay of Plenty.

However, Tasman District Council policy planner Jacqui Deans yesterday told councillors the latest indications were that the region had ‘‘slipped, and we’re back at third’’.

Deans presented to the environment and planning committee the fourth quarterly monitoring report under the National Policy Statement on Urban Development Capacity, which included the Massey affordability index. The report was completed jointly by staff from Tasman district and Nelson city councils.

‘‘House prices and rents are continuing to increase in the main urban area, which is most of Nelson together with Richmond and Hope,’’ Deans said. ‘‘We have also got that combined with poorer housing affordability, but we have noticed that the house prices in Tasman haven’t risen as much this quarter as the last quarter.’’

The report reveals that the price of houses across the Nelson and Tasman area increased 8.5 per cent during the year ended March 2018. The median sale price for the year was $550,875 in Tasman and $495,000 in Nelson.

(The Nelson Mail, Friday 27 July 2018)

Takaka 'starved' of growth

Takaka is being ‘‘starved’’ of development opportunities, businesses say.

A lack of light industrial, commercial and residential land and the huge extra compliance costs that come with flood-proofing new buildings in the township is putting people off developing.

Golden Bay Builders owner Steve Chamberlain has been searching for land to develop a commercial yard. He said there was ‘‘next to nothing’’ that was appropriately zoned in Takaka.

He felt the Tasman District Council wasn’t interested in opening up any more commercial or light industrial land because of flooding concerns and its forecast of no future growth in the township.

A positive, proactive approach was needed by council to keep young people in Golden Bay and in work, he said.

The council’s growth model projects that Takaka’s population will increase by only 1.5 per cent by 2028, and then decrease by 8 per cent in the following 20 years. For the Pohara, Tata and Ligar Bay areas, growth is expected to increase.

Council communications adviser Chris Choat said the council wasn’t trying to stop growth in Takaka, but it was required to mitigate risk, and the ‘‘sheer geography’’ of the township meant there were constraints. Growth modelling had said there was already sufficient zoned land available for the expected growth in Takaka for the next 10 years, with the exception of Takaka East, which might need to be rezoned to accommodate residential development.

The Pohara area has a high proportion of holiday homes. Golden Bay ward councillor Paul Sangster is frustrated that the majority of new builds and planned subdivisions are in such areas. It was Takaka where working residents and young families needed more opportunities to develop businesses, grow the township and find affordable housing, he said.

(The Nelson Mail, Friday 27 July 2018)

Thought for the Week

Thought for the Week 180730