News and Publications

Property News - 11 December 2020

Councils up the creek

Combined Nelson and Tasman sewage treatment assets are at the point of collapse, literally held up by scaffolding in some areas, after 20 years of “sweat[ing] the assets”, and the price tag to fix it runs into the tens of millions.

Nelson City Council’s infrastructure committee was presented with a draft business plan from the Nelson Regional Sewerage Business Unit (NRSBU) with costs that were labelled “way too high and . . . not sustainable” by council staff, but which the NRSBU manager and chair said were critically important.

In one financial year of the multi-year plan, the draft included operating costs of $8.2 million, capital costs of $5.45m, and renewals of $2.194m. The total three-year capital budget was $17.575m and the total three-year renewals budget was $7.385m.

(Nelson Mail, Monday 23 November 2020)

Work begins on Nelson’s homeless hub

Nelson’s Rotary clubs have started work on Nelson’s new ‘homeless hub’, which is expected to be completed by the end of March.

The hub, named Whare Haumanu, is intended to provide a day shelter for Nelson’s homeless, and has been brought about by a collaboration between The Male Room, Nelson City Council, and Nelson city’s Rotary clubs.

Located on St Vincent Street, the site will include a 35 square-metre building with a shower, toilet, laundry and kitchen facilities, a dining area, and a supervisor’s office.

It will be open during the day on weekdays and members of the homeless community will have the chance to work in its kitchen.

On Saturday, members of the Nelson West Rotary club began the first stage of physical work, which included clearing the site and preparing the foundations for a shed that was on site, but is currently unable to be used.

(Nelson Mail, Monday 23 November 2020)

The ‘monstrosity’ next door

A former classroom awaiting redevelopment next to Terry Grooby’s home of 50 years in Motueka is casting a shadow over his final months.

The developers have consent to subdivide the section next to Grooby and establish two relocatable dwellings. The consents were granted by Tasman District Council on a non-notified basis, which meant neither Grooby nor anyone else had to be consulted.

At 395 square metres, the size of the lot meant a height restriction of 5m for any dwelling. However, consent was also provided for that generic dwelling to be up to 5.6m high.

Motueka ward councillor Trindi Walker visited Grooby and shared his concerns.

Walker on Monday afternoon said she had been told council staff would look into the matter.

(Nelson Mail, Wednesday 25 November 2020)

'Protect us' say Monaco residents

Some Monaco residents are 'frustrated' at the Nelson City Council and believe their community has been ignored following the flooding and sea-level rise projections released last week.

The council launched their virtual coastal inundation map last week, demonstrating the impacts of climate change and rising sea levels through Nelson. Monaco, a thin peninsula jutting out from Nayland, is predicted as one of the first areas to be vastly impacted by sea-level rise as early as 2060.

According to the council, a letter to 4500 residents in these at-risk coastal areas was sent out last week, but Rosie, along with other Monaco residents, has yet to receive her letter.

Council projections show sea levels may rise 0.5m from the year 2075 if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise. In extreme weather events, this could see significant flooding through Nelson's CBD as well as other coastal areas by the turn of the century.

Mayor Rachel Reese says, "there are no surprises" in the newly-released data and says she doesn't want Nelsonians to panic. However, Monaco resident Rosie Ross believes the council's announcement has left some residents "panicky" and confused, as houses continue to sell in the area.

The council is holding a community consultation period up until December 18, including drop-in sessions in Stoke and The Wood.

(Nelson Weekly, Wednesday 25 November 2020)

Freemasons still waiting a year after 'devastating' fire

It's been over a year since Nelson's Masonic Hall was significantly damaged by a fire and the future of the building is still on hold. Nelson Freemason representative and district grand master Ian McLean says no decision has been finalised regarding the future of the Nile St building, as they are still waiting to hear back from their insurance company.

(Nelson Weekly, Wednesday 25 November 2020)

Master builders honoured at awards

A home located on the banks of the Maitai River has come away with the supreme renovation award at the local Master Builders House of the Year awards.

The home, renovated by Jason Gardiner Builders Limited, won the title for a complex renovation that required a high level of care and skill to carry out, according to judges.

Salter Builders Limited won the Altus Windows Systems New Home $750,000 - $1 million category. Its four-bedroom house is set into the hillside in Wakapuaka with steps that lead down from the entry to the open plan living area. It also has wide views of Tasman Bay.

(Nelson Weekly, Wednesday 25 November 2020)

Rules leave couple cold

A Nelson couple left out in the cold by woodburner restrictions are facing a $30,000 bill to find an alternative heating source for their home.

For the past year, Marc and Talya Horrocks have been battling the Nelson City Council to resolve a dispute over their fireplace at their home in Nelson South. They are urging the council to rethink its restrictions on woodburners in the area.

The couple said that after purchasing their house in August 2017, they were sent council records which showed that their burner was registered and permitted.

However, two years later, after a visit from environmental services, they were told that the fire was not legal. They were served an abatement notice a week later – while Talya Horrocks was recovering from major surgery.

Under the current airshed rules for the Toi Toi/Washington Valley/Bishopdale area, enclosed burners installed between 1996 and 1999 are no longer allowed to be used or replaced. The Horrocks’ burner was installed in 1996.

When the rules were passed in 2010, homeowners were given until 2012 to replace their old woodburners with cleaner burning models.

What makes the predicament worse for the Horrocks is the potential cost of replacing their current woodburner with a heat pump or radiator.

Nelson City councillor Tim Skinner said that while he was in complete support of the Horrocks, the only solution would be to amend the airshed rules through the new Nelson Plan.

From 2014, Skinner successfully pushed for woodburner restrictions to be eased in other airsheds around Nelson, and to allow old woodburners to be replaced by low-emission models.

(Nelson Mail, Friday 27 November 2020)

Minister backs Hope project

Hopes have been raised that a proposed affordable housing development at Hope will get the go-ahead, after Environment Minister David Parker agreed to refer the project to an expert consenting panel.

For landowners Jason and Ange Mudgway, who have been trying to get approval since early 2019 for the residential subdivision on 3.67 hectares of Rural 1-zoned land they own on Main Rd Hope, Parker’s decision represents a milestone.

(Nelson Mail, Friday 27 November 2020)

Covid pushes village inquiries through roof

Retirement villages were seen as safe havens during the Covid-19 pandemic and experienced a hike in inquiries, says Retirement Villages Association executive director John Collyns.

‘‘Village operators tell us that during and after lockdown, people who were already signed up wanted to bring forward their move-in date because they could see that village residents were being looked after, and they wanted to be part of that,’’ Collyns said.

(Nelson Mail, Friday 27 November 2020)

Mussel Inn goes carbon positive

A popular Golden Bay cafe and music venue has taken its sustainability efforts a step further by becoming the country’s first carbon-positive brewery.

A handful of breweries and pubs around the country have become carbon-zero, but the Mussel Inn, near Collingwood, recently earned the ‘‘climate positive’’ certification from not-for-profit enterprise Ekos.

The business has opted to offset 120 per cent of its carbon emissions.

Co-owner Jane Dixon said she wanted to ‘‘benchmark’’ where the business was at and start tracking its carbon footprint. Located in isolated Golden Bay, freight made up a large part of its footprint, and it used a diesel van to deliver beer to Nelson each week.

(Nelson Mail, Saturday 28 November 2020)

Post-lockdown rural burnoffs spark air quality breach

Richmond exceeded air quality standards on three days in the year to September.

While two of those breaches were in the depths of winter – on July 3 and 10 – the third occurred during a period of ‘‘quite mild’’ weather on May 23.

That third exceedance has been attributed to a spate of rural burnoffs near Richmond following the end of the Covid-19 level 4 lockdown and the lifting of a fire ban.

(Nelson Mail, Saturday 28 November 2020)

Expansion plans under microscope

Two potential sites for Nelson City’s urban expansion are being considered to help ease the city’s housing supply crisis.

The Maitahi/Kaka Valley and Saxton area have been identified as the two greenfield sites that could be rezoned for residential growth.

Growth forecasts predict that up to 40,000 more people will come to live in Nelson City and Tasman District over the next 30 years, which would require about 24,000 new homes to be built.

While much of that growth is expected to come from urban intensification and redevelopment, new development options are also on the table to meet the demand.

According to the 2019 Nelson Tasman Future Development Strategy, there is scope for up to 1600 houses to be built across the Kaka  Valley and Saxton sites between 2030 and 2050.

The plans for the Saxton development area are more advanced, with the Maitahi chapter of the plan unable to be written before a Private Plan Change application process for the development is resolved.

Located south of Saxton Field, the proposed Saxton development area covers 42 hectares and would connect the Hill St and Suffolk Rd residential areas – and would have room for up to 800 houses to be built.

(Nelson Mail, Saturday 28 November 2020)

Owner says native forest under threat

A ute decked with hay bales, farm dogs and placards driven through Nelson’s centre has highlighted a conservation area its owner says is under threat.

Lindy Kelly is fighting a proposed subdivision adjacent to the Kelly Conservation Forest, and on Saturday morning she drove her farm ute up Trafalgar St to make a statement.

The Kelly Conservation Forest is an 11-hectare slice of native bush inside the Kelly family’s working farm in Enner Glynn, which dates back to pre-European times; but Kelly said it was at risk of erosion and losing its ‘‘pristine oasis’’ if the subdivision went ahead.

Developer and neighbouring landowner Justin Irvine said the proposed subdivision had been designed to be sympathetic to the site, with an awareness of the nearby conservation area and local water catchment. Irvine has lodged a resource consent application with the Nelson City Council to build an additional six houses on the property adjoining the Kelly’s, which is a nonpermitted activity in a rural zone.

(Nelson Mail, Monday 30 November 2020)

Nelson property stocks low, online sales rise

Out-of-towners are buying Nelson property online as homes on the market fall to an all-time low, according to one real estate indicator.

Website reported Nelson’s housing stock fell to a record low in November, with the number of homes on the market 44.7 percent lower than November 2019. Marlborough was close behind, with a 42.9 percent drop in available properties.

November saw 12,622 properties come onto the market across New Zealand, 16.9 percent lower than November 2019.

(Nelson Mail, Wednesday 2 December 2020)

Dam funding change posed for overruns

Tasman District councillors are to consider making a change to the funding policy for the Waimea dam project, which could lead to general ratepayers picking up a bigger slice of the overrun costs.

Under construction since 2019 in the Lee Valley, the dam has already faced multiple budget blowouts. Its expected cost now stands at $129.4 million – $53.5m above an estimate of $75.9m that went out for public consultation in October 2017.

(Nelson Mail, Wednesday 2 December 2020)

Nayland zoning would be harmful, says board

The board of a Nelson high school believes some students could be psychologically harmed if the Ministry of Education continues with a plan to zone the city’s only co-educational school.

Nayland College board chair Pat Davidsen said ‘‘the great majority’’ of more than 100 submissions, made during community consultation on the enrolment zone, firmly opposed the measure.

In a letter sent to the ministry this week, Davidsen said there was a strong community feeling that implementing the zone for the Stoke school was not in the best interests of young people in the region.

Submissions were overwhelmingly in favour of retaining choice for parents to send their child to a single-sex or mixed-gender school, Davidsen said. Parents in Nelson who lived outside the zone would lose the ability to choose a mixed-gender secondary school for their child if the ministry-requested zone went ahead as planned next year.

(Nelson Mail, Friday 4 December 2020)

Swipes at previous forestry committee

The first meeting of Nelson’s new forestry subcommittee was a fairly straightforward affair, despite comments about ‘‘frustrating’’ meetings of its predecessor, the Forestry Advisory Group.

Nelson City Council group manager of infrastructure Alec Louverdis presented the subcommittee with a draft forestry activity management plan at its meeting on Tuesday. The plan includes retiring 25 per cent of the council’s commercial forestry operations, and a ‘‘nominal’’ $100,000 budget to investigate alternative commercial tree species.

(Nelson Mail, Friday 4 December 2020)

Parking condition kicked to the kerb

The Nelson City Council will no longer be able to require car parking in new developments come New Year’s Day, as it puts the Government’s new policy into effect.

The newest policy statement for urban development requires councils to remove on-site parking rates by no later than the end of next year.

Under current rules, residential and commercial developments must meet minimum parking provisions set by the council in consent conditions. Under the new policy, councils must remove those requirements ‘‘as soon as practicable’’.

Developers are still free to provide parking spaces, but the number would be at their discretion rather than by council requirement.

(Nelson Mail, Friday 4 December 2020)

New Richmond supermarket going green

Supermarket operator Countdown is building the first Green Star-rated supermarket in New Zealand in Richmond.

The new building will have better indoor air quality, less glaring lights, more electric vehicle chargers and cycle racks, and solar panels on the roof.

Other factors that will allow the building to have a four-star Green Star rating for its design and operation is less use of steel, paints and sealants that give off volatile organic compounds, recycling of waste, water conservation, energy-efficient lighting, and building materials that carry a green tick or environmental product declarations.

(Nelson Mail, Friday 4 December 2020)

Retreat from sea ‘the only logical option’

Storms are likely to cause more flooding than new Nelson City hazard mapping indicates, and a retreat from the sea is the only logical option, climate campaigners say.

The coastal inundation maps released on the Nelson City Council website have identified about 4500 properties at risk of flooding from sea level rise scenarios and a one-in-100-year storm tide.

Geologist Dr Aaron Stallard said a 100-year flood event by today’s standards would occur far more frequently with rising sea levels, and future 100-year events would reach further inland.

(Nelson Mail, Saturday 5 December 2020)

Riwaka’s grand old lady ready for new era

Riwaka’s 166-year-old grand dame has had a makeover for the ages, but its co-owners say it’s the locals she’s dressing up for.

The sound of tradies working hard will soon be replaced by clinking glasses and guitar riffs, with the Riwaka Hotel expected to reopen on December 17.

Co-owner Carsten Buschkuehle bought the hotel in December last year, with a vision to ‘‘bring back the vibes and live music from the old times’’ after several years of dormancy.

(Nelson Mail, Saturday 5 December 2020)

Tasman freedom camping sites culled

Sites at Waitapu Bridge and Taupata in Golden Bay will not be open to freedom campers this summer, while visitors in non-self-contained vehicles must also steer clear of Decks Reserve at Motueka.

Tasman District councillors on Thursday agreed to amend the council’s Freedom Camping Bylaw to accommodate the changes, which are due to take effect on December 7.

The move comes after the council received more than 120 submissions in response to a proposal in October to amend sections of the bylaw.

A hearing panel of elected representatives in November considered the submissions and recommended the changes to the full council.

(Nelson Mail, Saturday 5 December 2020)

Maitai partnership to revive ecosystem

A project to restore the health of Nelson’s Maitai Valley is under way, with local and central government and iwi pitching in to help out.

Project Mahitahi has been granted a total of $3.7 million to restore the Maitai over a five-year period, providing employment to plant 125,000 trees, restore 1.3 hectares of wetlands, and carry out pest plant control in the Maitai/ Mahitahi and Brook Waimarama catchment.

The official launch of the project was held on Wednesday, and included representatives from the Kotahitanga mo te Taiao Alliance – Ngati Koata, the Nelson City Council, the Department of Conservation, and Iwi Trust Boards including Ngati Rarua and Te Atiawa, as well as the Ministry for Primary Industries.

(Nelson Mail, Saturday 5 December 2020)