News and Publications

Property News - 15 May 2017

Steep ask for Stoke subdivision

A special housing area taking shape on a steep Stoke hillside has faced "challenging" engineering issues, but its developers say the end result will improve the area.

The Three Ridges development, located on the hillside between Arapiki Rd and The Ridgeway in Stoke, was one of the first Special Housing Areas to be gazetted under the Nelson scheme in 2016.

The 64-lot subdivision is in stage three of four to be sold as house and land packages using a syndicate incorporating three home build firms.

Three Ridges is being developed by Home Living Solutions, whose directors include Nelson contractor Andrew Spittal, Gary Donaldson, and the heads of local home build franchises, Simon Collett and Graham Vercoe.

Collett said developing the subdivision under the SHA enabled them to do something on a ‘‘very, very challenging piece of land’’, and that the SHA development had allowed a piece of land that ‘‘has sat up there forever because it’s too hard to develop’’ to be used in a way that improved the area.

(The Nelson Mail, Monday 8 May 2017)

Council's flood maps queried

Nelson residents are questioning why the council’s new hazard mapping is based on predictions for 2100 and is already on official property reports.

More than 60 people turned out for the fourth and final community meeting last night to learn what the Nelson City Council’s changes to flood and earthquake danger zones mean for them.

Council officers held one-on-one meetings on with residents at computer stations at the meeting where they explained how the new mapping affected individual properties.

About 7700 letters were sent to residents whose properties lie in areas which are projected to be threatened by flooding and earthquakes.

Why the new maps?

The council is reviewing its Resource Management Plan and preparing a replacement overarching plan, the Nelson Plan, which includes management of natural hazards including earthquakes, river flooding, coastal erosion and coastal inundation.

An updated natural hazards map has outlined areas potentially affected by floods and earthquakes, including parts of Stoke, Nelson East, Enner Glynn, Nelson South, Atawhai and The Wood.

It’s based on a one per cent annual exceedance probability rainfall event (also known as a one in 100-year flood) for both the present day and the year 2100.

Feedback requested

The council wants to hear about:

  • Property specific information. Council officers said the maps cannot reflect all the nuances of individual properties and the council is keen to hear if you think your property has features that mitigate flooding.
  • Whether the council should identify flood hazards in categories of high, medium, low risk, or just have a blanket classification.
  • How the council should manage hazards

Feedback closes on May 31 at 5pm and can be emailed using a council feedback form available from, or hand delivered to Civic House.

(The Nelson Mail, Wednesday 10 May 2017)

House too expensive for renters

Four-fifths of potential first home buyers cannot comfortably afford a house in New Zealand, according to a new government measure.

The picture is even worse in Auckland, with 86 per cent of renting households not making enough to meet rocketing house prices, up from 74 per cent in 2003.

The long-delayed Housing Affordability Measure (HAM) was released yesterday after almost two years of delay. The renting households HAM looks at is roughly a third of the population.

Officials at the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE), who built the tool, wrote that they were worried about a ‘‘lack of ministerial agreement’’ with the measure in a 2016 briefing released under the Official Information Act.

The measure shows a gradual increase in housing unaffordability disrupted by the financial crisis in 2008, then stabilising since. In Auckland, a marked increase in unaffordability is shown after 2013, while Canterbury has become steadily more affordable.

(The Nelson Mail, Thursday 11 May 2017)

TDC's commercial property return 'sound'

Tasman District Council’s commercial property portfolio returns $403,000 a year, according to a new report.

In the report considered by the full council yesterday, Commercial Manager, Gene Cooper, says the result gives TDC an average weighted return of 5.3 per cent across the portfolio.

As at the end of March 2017, TDC held commercial properties with a total value of $7.4 million.

These are:

  • Investment properties valued at $5.1m, which includes Mapua ($3.3m), 183 Queen St, Richmond, (Armadillo’s, valued at $1.3m) and 11 Fittal St, Richmond ($500,000);
  • Motueka harbour land ($2.3m);
  • Land and buildings including management of 13 Fittal St ($0.2m) and remediated land at Mapua ($2.7m).

However, these assets are recorded elsewhere in the council balance sheet, Cooper says.

The commercial assets have a current debt of $3.3m, which includes $1.975m for Mapua and $875,000 for 183 Queen St.

Gross rentals for each site are:

  • Mapua wharf, $267,000 (a yield return of 7.8 per cent a year);
  • 183 Queen Street, $90,000 (6.8 per cent a year);
  • Motueka, $46,000 (2 per cent);
  • Fittal Street, nil.

(The Nelson Mail, Friday 12 May 2017)

Mapua School plagued by flooding

Mapua School parents are concerned that a failure of stormwater systems has twice led to wastewater leakage and school closures.

The school was closed all day yesterday after a heavy downpour caused the wastewater system to overflow onto the grounds.

The last time it happened was in October.

TDC Communications Manager, Chris Choat, said the overflow was caused by an ‘‘isolated downpour’’ which overloaded the system.

Choat said the Mapua School issue was unrelated to larger concerns around the capacity of the infrastructure network in Mapua.

(The Nelson Mail, Friday 12 May 2017)

Brook Sanctuary asks for $250,000

The Brook Sanctuary is asking the council to triple its funding to a quarter of a million dollars.

Trust General Manager, Hudson Dodd, told the Nelson City Council it needed funding to increase from the $72,000 earmarked in the longterm plan, to $250,000.

In its written submission to the council’s annual plan, the Brook Waimarama Sanctuary Trust states the funding boost will address an ‘‘operational shortfall’’ which came about due to delays to pest removal.

It said the $250,000 was needed for ‘‘operational expenditure’’ including fence and track maintenance, power and telephones, salaries and contractors, computer software, and health and safety training and equipment.

(The Nelson Mail, Friday 12 May 2017)

Public feedback rejects SHA plan

The two-week period is over for Nelsonians to speak up about the proposed Special Housing Area on rural-zoned land at Wakapuaka, with a majority of submitters saying no.

Serious concerns around accessibility, traffic increases, affordability and suitable infrastructure for the harsh topography of the proposed development were highlighted in the 123 items of feedback the city council received. The majority of those opposed the plan.

Public feedback was sought for the area at 12 Wakapuaka Rd which developers want to subdivide under the Special Housing process. If approved by the Nelson City Council, the plot would be fast-tracked for development.

While many respondents were against the development, most accepted development of the land was ‘‘inevitable’’.

(The Nelson Mail, Saturday 13 May 2017)

Gallery revamp earns top prize

Nelson’s Suter Art Gallery has been awarded a prestigious award for its design and construction.

The gallery underwent a two year $12m refurbishment, led by Scott Construction, and reopened to the public in October last year.

On Friday night the team that brought about its reconstruction was awarded the Civic Project Award at the New Zealand Commercial Project Awards.

It was also awarded Gold in the Value Awards category, for a project valued between $5m and $15m.

The judging panel said the team had faced a number of challenges, including the seismic upgrade of sensitive heritage buildings, new building adjoining existing buildings, a fixed budget, numerous stakeholders, and a tight construction site incorporating protected trees.

(The Nelson Mail, Saturday 13 May 2017)

Thought for the Week

I am an optimist. It does not seem to be much use being anything else.

(Winston Churchill)