News and Publications

Property News: 9 July 2018

First stage of new Nelson Airport terminal to open in October

Stage one of Nelson's new $32 million airport terminal is on schedule to open for use by airlines and the public by mid-October.

Nelson Airport chief executive Rob Evans said the first half of 2018 had been the most exciting yet for the development.

The new building was almost enclosed while the fit-out of toilets, offices and retail areas were also taking shape.

Final completion of the terminal was expected to be completed late next year.

(The Nelson Mail, Wednesday 4 July 2018)

House values drop in "less buoyant" market

A "subdued" winter property market has seen a sustained dip in house values in Nelson.

However values in the Tasman district continued to grow, according to the latest data from Quotable Value.

Residential property values in Nelson rose 5.9 per cent in the year to July, but dropped 0.5 per cent over the last quarter, with the average home now worth $563,287, the QV House Price Index showed.

It followed a 1.3 per cent drop in the city in the three months to May.

In the Tasman district values continued to rise to $574,000, an increase of 7.3 over the last year, and 2 per cent over the past three months.

Across New Zealand, values rose 5.7 per cent over the past year, but dropped 0.3 per cent over the quarter, to an average value of $675,680.

(The Nelson Mail, Wednesday 4 July 2018)

Golden Bay homeowners desperate plight to protect properties runs into wall

Anxious homeowners in a small seaside settlement of Golden Bay battling to save their homes from the sea have found themselves up against yet more opposition.

After years of pleading with the Tasman District Council to build a rock wall revetment to protect their homes, the Pakawau Residents Association near Farewell Spit has applied for a consent to construct a 345-metre rock revetment on esplanade reserve land and the coastal marine area in front of their properties.

The council has received 391 public submissions in support of the application and 12 opposing it.

Some have raised concerns about the detrimental effects seawalls have on the coastline and natural habitat, saying the council should look more seriously into longer-term solutions to help manage the affects of climate change and coastal erosion.

The proposed rock wall is tipped to have a $350,000 price tag, with a 50 per cent rates increase per landowner, coming to between $1000-2000 a year per ratepayer over a 20 year period.

A hearing for the proposed seawall will be held at Takaka soon.

(The Nelson Mail, Wednesday 4 July 2018)

Councillors told of issues

Nelson City councillors knew about the construction problems at the new Greenmeadows community centre in Stoke up to six months ago.

Councillors were made aware of the issues in public excluded meetings or workshops.

Cr Mel Courtney said the council had been ‘‘continually’’ updated on the project, but ‘‘I’m not going to go to bat for the Greenmeadows project, because you can’t sugarcoat it’’.

Courtney said he would not accept anything less than a complete review of the building by an independent professional before the council took ownership, ‘‘to be absolutely sure that we’re getting value for money, with good, solid, watertight construction’’.

(The Nelson Mail, Wednesday 4 July 2018)

Brook sanctuary reopening after successful pest blitz

The Brook Waimarama Sanctuary will reopen to the public on Sunday, July 15. Trust chair Dave Butler said the Nelson sanctuary was ‘‘thrilled’’ to be reopening following its predator-proof fence and poison drop programme to eradicate pests.

He said there were already increases in the population of tui, fantails and tomtits.

To preserve biosecurity, visitors will be asked to check their pockets and bags for any ‘‘stowaway guests’’ before they enter the predator-proof fenced area.

Entry will be by koha; the suggested donation is $5 per adult or $15 for a family. The sanctuary will be open from July 15 for winter opening hours: Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 10am to 4pm.

(The Nelson Mail, Wednesday 4 July 2018)

Dance contest helps hospice close in on target

The Nelson Tasman Hospice has cut the fundraising target for its new building to $1.5 million, partly because of the ‘‘wildly popular’’ Dancing for a Cause event in May.

Marketing and fundraising manager Paul McIntyre said the dance contest was such a success that the hospice planned to hold it again in 2020 to help with its yearly operational shortfall.

Meanwhile, the Trees for Hospice campaign, where businesses, organisations and individuals can sponsor a tree in the new hospice garden, has raised nearly $100,000.

Community groups are continuing to run fundraisers, with upcoming events including Big Night Out – A Steampunk Fantasy in August. To donate, visit www.nelsonhospice.org.nz/donate or contact McIntyre on 027 548 1845 or 03 539 0717.

(The Nelson Mail, Wednesday 4 July 2018)

Cost may put dam in doubt

Cost always had the potential to sound the death knell for the proposed Waimea dam, near Nelson, and the early build pricing doesn’t augur well for the controversial project.

Tasman mayor Richard Kempthorne yesterday said the price to build the proposed concrete-faced rockfill dam in the Lee Valley was ‘‘higher than expected’’, and indications were that there would be ‘‘significant challenges’’ for it to remain within the estimated cost.

The statement of proposal for funding and governance arrangements for the dam project – which went out for public consultation – lists the budget for the base construction of the dam at ‘‘around $50 million’’, with an additional $13.5m contingency for changes in scope and unexpected costs.

When pressed to provide that early pricing or an indication of how much it was above the estimate, Kempthorne repeated that he did not know, nor did he want to know.

(The Nelson Mail, Friday 6 July 2018)

Rental WOF by app?

Nelson won’t be getting an official Rental Warrant of Fitness programme, but could adopt a voluntary scheme.

A report was presented to the Nelson City Council’s planning and regulatory committee meeting on a proposed rental WOF programme. The report’s findings indicated there was not enough evidence to support the council adopting such a scheme.

However, Mayor Rachel Reese expressed interest in the voluntary approach adopted by Wellington in August last year. The voluntary WOF takes about an hour to complete, comprising 63 questions accessible through a free app. In the nine months since the voluntary rental WOF was adopted in Wellington, only two properties have registered.

(The Nelson Mail, Friday 6 July 2018)

Fronting up over Greenmeadows

The company subcontracted to work on the Stoke Greenmeadows project is no longer trading.

The main contractor, Auckland construction company Watts & Hughes, fronted up to media questions yesterday about shoddy workmanship at the site and said delays were due to the subcontractor’s performance.

TCT Ltd were employed after the previous subcontractor, Canstruct Interiors, went into receivership. No TCT workers have been seen on site since Tuesday morning.

Watts & Hughes regional manager Dave Gamlen said TCT stopped trading because it couldn’t pay its staff.

He said he believed both Canstruct Interiors and TCT used the same staff to work on Greenmeadows.

Watts & Hughes director Rob Murphy [said] it was not unusual to continue with the same workers on a project. It had used the subcontractors before on projects in Christchurch and had not had any problems with them.

Watts & Hughes said any poor quality work will be rectified and has admitted it will end up out of pocket due to construction issues at the site.

Infrastructure group manager Alec Louverdis said the aim was still to ‘‘deliver a facility that is of the highest standard’’.

Louverdis agreed that unexpected costs, such as the removal of asbestos from the old tennis courts, were higher than expected.

‘‘We have learned lessons from this,’’ he said. "The contingency on this project was too low."

Watts & Hughes won the tender in June 2016, undercutting local firms with a $4.6 million bid. Other tender bids ranged from $5.4m to $6.6m.

Watts & Hughes said their tender bid at the time was a realistic offer.

The budget was originally set at $6.15m, however, this has since increased to $7.19m.

Louverdis said it was because of additions to the original design, such as the kitchen, and because of variations to the design requiring input from architects and other professionals.

(The Nelson Mail, Saturday 7 July 2018)

McKee reserve may reopen to campers

Campers may again be able to pitch their tents at the popular McKee Memorial Recreation Reserve, near Nelson.

Already prone to flooding, the picturesque seaside site was hammered on February 1 by the effects of ex-Tropical Cyclone Fehi. Inundated by stormwater as well as seawater from a surge that swamped several coastal areas around the Nelson-Tasman region, the reserve has not reopened since.

The campground, which sits on a thin stretch of shoreline under the Ruby Bay bluffs, also had failures of its sewerage system since the summer of 2016-17, which were exacerbated by a series of high rainfall events and storm surges.

With repairs tipped to be costly, one of the options for Tasman District Council was to close the site permanently to campers. However, that was not the preferred option for many councillors, who highlighted its popularity among Nelson/Tasman residents as well as visitors.

The campground, which is relatively cheap at $6 per person, with youngsters under 16 free, is always full over the key summer period, with many campers returning regularly.

(The Nelson Mail, Saturday 7 July 2018)

Thought for the Week

A person without a sense of humour is like a wagon without springs. It's jolted by every pebble on the road.

(Henry Ward Beecher)