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Property News: 7 October 2019

Waimea nitrates a worry

New tests show that nitrate concentrations from some bores on the Waimea Plains exceed the New Zealand Drinking Water Standards.

‘‘I don’t let my grandchildren drink the water when they come to my place,’’ said plains landowner Cathy Hughson, who arranged the tests in association with fellow Tasman District resident Lew Solomon.

Solomon, who raised concerns about nitrate levels in Richmond’s drinking water at a Nelson Marlborough District Health Board meeting in July, also sought information from more than 20 councils about the nitrate levels in their drinking water supplies – and found Richmond had the highest.

A laboratory report from the tests arranged by Solomon and Hughson shows the nitrate levels in water taken on September 5 from six private bores, along with samples from the Mapua and Richmond urban water supplies. Water from Neimann Creek was also tested.

The maximum acceptable value for nitrates is 50mg per litre for nitrate, equivalent to 11.3mg per litre nitrate-nitrogen.

Water from the creek and the Mapua urban supply had the lowest concentration, at 1.4mg/L nitrate-nitrogen. Tests from two of the private bores showed levels of 14 and 15 respectively.

Water from the Richmond urban supply had a reading of 5.1. Solomon said this was well below the level in the drinking water standards, but was well above a much lower risk level highlighted in a Danish study of 2.7 million people over 33 years.

(The Nelson Mail, Monday 30 September 2019)

Census confirms strong growth

The first release of data from the 2018 Census confirms what Tasman District mayor Richard Kempthorne has long suspected – the resident population is growing fast.

A 2018 Census count of 52,389 for the ‘‘usually resident’’ population of Tasman District is up from 47,157 in 2013, putting growth above 10 per cent.

According to the Census data, the district gained 1700 dwellings between 2013 and 2018, taking the total to 23,001.

The population ‘‘usually resident’’ in the Nelson City Council area has also increased, from 46,437 in 2013 to 50,880 in the 2018 Census count, with growth at just under 10 per cent.

The number of dwellings in Nelson increased by 1194 to 21,210 over the same period.

(The Nelson Mail, Monday 30 September 2019)

Nitrate fears for springs

Regular testing of the clear waters of Te Waikoropupū Springs leaves ‘‘no room for doubt’’ that nitrate levels have climbed over the past three years, says a volunteer sample taker.

Andrew Yuill, who has been collecting samples for conservation group Friends of Golden Bay since February 2016, said 600 readings made the changes clear.

‘‘It’s going up,’’ he said. Yuill said the level of nitrate-nitrogen in Main Spring had risen from 0.40mg per litre in 2016 to 0.49 in recent tests.

However, Tasman District Council environmental information manager Rob Smith said data provided for a Water Conservation Order hearing in 2018 showed that the range of nitrogen levels for the springs had been between 0.29mg/L and 0.66mg/L over the past 40 years.

(The Nelson Mail, Wednesday 2 October 2019)

Modellers won't move

The modellers society is staying put, and wants the base of the Modellers Pond at Tāhunanui concreted as soon possible, a founding member says.

Dave Frost, one of just two remaining founding members of the Nelson Society of Modellers, said the idea of moving to a different location might be well-meant but would not work.

He said that apart from the amount of work that club members had already put into the current location, there were practical reasons why the pond at Saxton Field, which is smaller than the Tāhunanui pond, wouldn’t be suitable.

Frost spoke to Stuff after Champion Green Facility Committee chair Murray Cameron said it was time for the society to move to Champion Green Pond at Saxton, where other modellers are already setting sail.

(The Nelson Mail, Friday 4 October 2019)

Logging postponed after pushback

A proposed closure of Nelson’s Codgers recreation area has been postponed at the last minute.

Access to Codgers was set to be restricted from next week until just before Christmas, so logging could take place in the Tantragee and Atmore reserves. However, after significant pushback from recreational users, the closure has been delayed.

The Nelson City Council announced its intention to close the area on its Facebook page, in a post which garnered 81 comments. Many of these complained about the timing, which coincided with daylight saving, when people would be wanting to use the tracks in the area.

The closure has now been delayed to an unspecified time at the end of summer.

(The Nelson Mail, Saturday 5 October 2019)

All hands on deck for repairs

The Nelson Yacht Club knows all about rocking the boat, but it wasn’t prepared for the thrashing extropical Cyclone Fehi gave its deck last year.

Club manager Tim Fraser-Harris said it was quite a sight watching the waves thrash the wooden boards around as if they were as light as a feather during the February 2018 storm.

The deck attached to the concrete slabs was fixed last winter, while the decking closer to the club’s entry has just been completed, bringing it up to scratch and reinforced in time for summer.

While the deck was complete and paid for by insurance, the inside of the club still had some ‘‘bits and bobs’’ to work on, Fraser-Harris said, including the flooring, which was looking a bit ‘‘worse for wear’’ due to ‘‘probably 10 inches of water flowing through and rocks and stuff getting rolled in’’.

That extra work would need to be paid for by fundraising, he said.

The club is holding an open day on Saturday, October 12, where around-the-world yacht racer Bianca Cook will be sharing stories of her races to inspire young sailors. To RSVP for the 11am talk, email

(The Nelson Mail, Saturday 5 October 2019)

Thought for the Week

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