News and Publications

Property News: 8 October 2018

Call for submissions on dam

Submissions are sought on a local bill designed to enable the construction of the proposed Waimea dam.

The Tasman District Council (Waimea Water Augmentation Scheme) Bill last week passed its first reading in Parliament and was referred to the governance and administration committee, which is set to receive submissions until midnight on October 5.

‘‘This bill is the last critical piece of work required to enable the construction of this dam in the Lee Valley and resolve the long-term problems of water security and river health on the Waimea Plains,’’ said Nelson MP Dr Nick Smith, who sponsored the bill. ‘‘The project has full resource consents and the $100 million in funding required from horticulturalists, Government and council.’’

The local bill seeks to gain an inundation easement over 9.67 hectares of conservation land in the Mount Richmond State Forest Park needed for the creation of the reservoir for the proposed dam.

It would also secure a right to construct the dam on Crown riverbed. In a 112-8 vote, the National, Labour, NZ First and Act MPs supported the bill while the Greens opposed it.

Smith said he would be working closely with the select committee ‘‘to meet the requirement for it to be reported back to Parliament by 7 November’’.

Submissions can be made on the parliament.nz website or by emailing ga@parliament.govt.nz.

(The Nelson Mail, Monday 24 September 2018)

Solving Nelson's housing issue

Nelson has ‘‘wicked and complex’’ housing problems to deal with, Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese says.

The mayor spoke at a public meeting on Friday where local organisations and the public discussed housing needs in Nelson, including public housing, rental security and future development.

The region’s housing needs are many and varied, Reese said. ‘‘There are people wondering if they will be in the same place next year or next month. People who have been in secure housing all their lives but are now becoming vulnerable.’’

Declining home ownership in the older population was also under discussion.

‘‘Every week there’s someone who tells me they are looking for somewhere to live,’’ said Reese. ‘‘We have 147 housing units for the elderly but we are facing a challenge to maintain and renew the stock.’’

Area manager for Housing New Zealand Dale Bradley said Nelson’s public housing stock consisted of older housing that was, in many cases, no longer fit for purpose, he said.

In the 1950s, 60s and 70s, when the majority of the public housing were built, the demand was for family homes, so most of the homes have three bedrooms.

(The Nelson Mail, Monday 24 September 2018)

Council debt level lower than forecast

The district council has ended the 2017-18 financial year with $18 million less debt than budgeted and an underlying operating surplus of about $2.4m.

The Tasman District Council’s net external debt at June 30 was $141m, well below the forecast of $159m in its Annual Plan 2017-18.

Those debt and surplus figures are contained in the council’s draft 2018 Annual Report, which says the financial position reflects ongoing operational savings, delayed capital expenditure for some large projects and lower debt.

It also says the result was helped by some external factors that moved in the council’s favour including increased revenue from forestry, lower debt levels and borrowing costs, low inflation, higher-than-anticipated population growth and increased dividends.

Tasman district mayor Richard Kempthorne said he was pleased with the numbers, particularly the capital programme with an underspend of $2.47m.

Information in the draft Annual Report reveals the council made an accounting surplus of $23.69m, well ahead of a budgeted surplus of $9.17m. Explanations for the variation include:

  • fair value movement on forestry mainly due to increased log prices ($5m);
  • vested assets over budget due to growth in the district ($5.6m);
  • development contribution and reserve financial contributions ahead of budget due to growth ($2.9m); additional forestry income due to harvesting being brought forward ($2.2m);
  • share of associate’s income up due to ‘‘outstanding results’’ achieved by the council’s associates;
  • finance costs down on budget due to market conditions, more active treasury management and a decrease in loans raised due to the capital works programme being behind budget;
  • depreciation expenses down on budget due to capital work on major projects being delayed. The draft Annual Report is due to be considered for adoption by the council on October 18.

Councillors tomorrow will be asked to approve the carry-over to 2018-19 of capital budgets to the value of $24.2m.

(The Nelson Mail, Wednesday 26 September 2018)

Firm revises prospectus for dam

Dam proponent Waimea Irrigators Ltd (WIL) is revising its prospectus for the Waimea dam project.

WIL strategic adviser John Palmer on Monday said its revised project disclosure statement (PDS) was still being finalised. However, it was expected to be released this month.

WIL is changing the PDS it published in February for the sale of water shares in the dam project after changes were made to the financial model for the multimillion-dollar proposal.

Tasman District Council and WIL are likely joint-venture partners in the project, earmarked for the Lee Valley, near Nelson.

Changes to the financial model for the dam come after it was revealed estimates for the project had blown out.

Once finalised, the updated pricing took the remaining capital costs for the project from an estimated $75.9 million to about $99m, leaving the council and WIL to find an additional $23m between them.

(The Nelson Mail, Wednesday 3 October 2018)

Housing values buck NZ trend

First-home buyers have helped stoke the housing market in Nelson as property values continue to dip nationwide.

The average value of a residential Nelson property rose 0.8 per cent to $587,6960 in the three months ending September, according to the latest figures by Quotable Value – a rise of 7.7 per cent over the past year.

Property values in Tasman district continued to rise, up 1.1 per cent over the quarter and 8.2 per cent year-on-year, with the average value at $583,877.

Nationwide, values fell 0.6 per cent in the last quarter to an average of $676,427, a 4.6 per cent rise in the year to September.

(The Nelson Mail, Wednesday 3 October 2018)

Land adjacent to 'NZ's beach' on the market

A four-hectare piece of land located next to the beach that ‘‘New Zealand bought’’ is up for sale.

The undeveloped Awaroa Bay section, with a rating valuation of $860,000, extends directly on to the beach and is bordered by an airstrip and Awaroa Lodge.

In early 2016, a piece of land adjacent to the property, known as Awaroa Inlet Beach or ‘‘New Zealand’s Beach’’, was subject to a massive crowd-funding campaign, which saw the New Zealand public raise $2,259,923 to buy the 7ha section and gift it to the nation.

The undeveloped property lends itself to holiday accommodation, but because the land is within the Coastal Environment Zone, it would require a resource consent to build on, and would need to comply with the Rural Residential Zone Rules for the Tasman District Council.

(The Nelson Mail, Friday 5 October 2018)

December completion date for Greenmeadows

The embattled Greenmeadows project may be completed in December.

Nelson City Council’s community services committee heard a progress report, delivered by infrastructure group manager Alec Louverdis, at its meeting yesterday.

The work is being completed from the front of the new Stoke community centre, facing Main Road Stoke, backwards, with the intention that tenants take up occupancy when their section of the building is complete.

Louverdis said he was monitoring the resources and progress of the work with frequent on-site visits.

The project, originally tendered for just under $5 million, has been subject to delays, shoddy workmanship, and budget blowouts throughout the course of its construction. The current cost of the project is just over $7m.

(The Nelson Mail, Friday 5 October 2018)

New plan to boost Nelson CBD

Nelson city won’t be getting its own mall, despite a Richmond Mall developer buying up a chunk of CBD real estate.

Local company Cephas Property, associated with Tinline Property and Richmond Mall, has bought numbers 31 to 55 on Bridge St, and more of the building at 126 Trafalgar St.

Cephas managing director Steve Baigent, who is spearheading the project, said he had been looking to develop in Nelson for some time.

Baigent was also a lead developer for Richmond Mall, as well as malls in Christchurch and Tauranga.

Cephas spokeswoman Elizabeth Crawshaw said the focus would be to reflect Nelson’s ‘‘unique culture and personality’’, and to have a ‘‘boutique element’’.

The project is still in the early planning stages, but it intends to retain and refurbish the existing buildings as much as possible. ‘‘However, some of the buildings will need to be demolished to make way for new buildings,’’ Crawshaw said.

(The Nelson Mail, Friday 5 October 2018)

Lighthouse gets brighter with a new coat of paint

The view from Nelson’s Rocks Rd looking out to sea has changed temporarily.

Scaffolding surrounding the historic Boulder Bank Lighthouse is giving the building a yellow tinge while it gets a fresh lick of white paint.

The 19th-century lighthouse, once used as a beacon for sailors, was decommissioned in 1982 after serving ships and boats on the high seas for 120 years.

It was lit for the first time on August 4, 1862.

Port Nelson customer and marketing specialist Jennie Harrison said the lighthouse was regularly maintained and had its last full paint job about two years ago.

(The Nelson Mail, Friday 5 October 2018)

Leak may lead to library revamp

A leak in the Stoke Library that revealed structural problems may lead to a complete overhaul of the community facility.

Nelson City Council’s community services committee has allocated $25,000 to investigating options for the library, from redesigns in its current location to potentially moving it.

Committee chair Gaile Noonan said problems uncovered because of a leak in the current building could open up other solutions.

‘‘It’s not a decision we thought we would be making. It’s only come to our attention because of the work that needs to be done. It might open up some doors we weren’t expecting, and hopefully they will all be good,’’ she said.

It was first discovered that the Stoke library building was not fully weather-tight in late June this year, with further testing revealing the potentially toxic Stachybotris mould in some areas of the walls.

The committee heard that tests had shown mould and spore levels to have been within safe measures, and the Stachybotris has since been eradicated and walls resealed to prevent further leaks.

Further inspection of the building found that there were some structural problems which needed to be addressed, which were temporarily fixed with the installation of scaffolding.

At Thursday’s meeting, the committee was presented with three options: to designate $200,000 to immediate repairs that would hold the library over until the next annual plan, with a further $25,000 to exploring other options for the library’s future; to commit $350,000 to have the library secured for a 6-10 year period; or to dedicate full funding of $570,000 to bring the building up to a standard to last the next 50 years.

Currently, the building is safe – we’ve put up scaffolding, we’ve killed the mould, the building is safe for the public to use.

‘‘We need to go to the next step [the $200,000 work] immediately, as soon as possible, and that gives us time to go to the annual plan of do we want a 6-10-year solution or a 50-year solution.’’

(The Nelson Mail, Saturday 6 October 2018)

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