News and Publications

Property News - 17 March 2021

Cemetery fees to soar in Nelson to meet policy goals

Burial costs in Nelson are set for a major jump after the council voted to increase cemetery fees.

From July 1, fees for cemeteries will increase by 23 per cent.

The price of a single plot purchase will rise from $1814 to $2231, and burial interment from $776 to $973 – amounting to an increase of $714 per burial.

The changes have come about as a result of council moving towards more consistency on its revenue and finance policy – which requires 40-60 per cent of council-owned cemeteries’ operating costs to be privately funded.

(Nelson Mail, Monday 8 March 2021)

Maitai group goes to Ombudsman

Campaigners unsatisfied with the response to their concerns about council consultation processes around development plans in a Nelson valley have lodged a complaint with the Ombudsman.

Save the Maitai has been campaigning against the proposed Maitahi-Bayview development of up to 550 houses in the Kaka Valley and 150 houses in the Atawhai hills since July, and its petition has collected more than 10,000 signatures.

Earlier this year, the group alleged ‘‘serious flaws’’ in the Nelson City Council consultation process on whether to designate land in the Kaka or Maitai valleys for residential development.

(Nelson Mail, Wednesday 10 March 2021)

‘FOMO’, ‘FONFA’ dictating price lifts

‘‘Fear of missing out’’ is helping to keep house prices at record highs, with ‘‘fear of not finding anything’’ exacerbating the problem, according to the real estate industry.

The median price of a house in Nelson was $710,000 in February, an equal high with the month before, the latest data from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) shows.

This compared to the national median of $780,000, and represented a 23.5 per cent increase on the same time last year.

REINZ chief executive Bindi Norwell said Nelson had seen a record high price, or equal high, for the last four months in a row.

(Nelson Mail, Friday 12 March 2021)

NCC dam contribution request rises to $10.5m

The Nelson City Council has been asked to more than double its contribution to the Waimea Community Dam project – from $5 million to almost $10.5m.

News of the size of the request came on Wednesday morning via an email to grower Brian Halstead from the Tasman District Council. The council was responding to questions Halstead had asked about the dam project under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act.

‘‘Nelson city has been approached to increase their contribution from $5m to circa $10.5m,’’ the email to Halstead says. ‘‘Council is awaiting a formal response to that request.’’

Nelson City Council chief executive Pat Dougherty confirmed to The Nelson Mail that a formal request had been received from the Tasman council.

(Nelson Mail, Friday 12 March 2021)

Airport rebounds with healthy profit

Nelson Airport has flown back into the black with a before-tax profit of $629,000 for the six months to December 31, up from a loss of $601,000 for the previous six months.

Interim chief executive Andy Wotton said the result was heartening given that international travel, which normally accounted for about 15 per cent of the airport’s business, had been decimated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Wotton gave credit to ‘‘smart scheduling’’ by carriers Air New Zealand, Sounds Air and Originair in rebuilding demand.

(Nelson Mail, Friday 12 March 2021)

How much library can Nelson expect to get for $44 million?

The proposal to build a new $44 million library in Nelson’s Riverside Precinct is one of the most expensive projects considered by the Nelson City Council in recent memory.

If approved, the new library would replace the current Elma Turner Library, which has served the city at its Halifax St location for 30 years.

An architect’s report commissioned by the council in 2019 said that while the library continued to deliver a high level of service, the current building was described as ‘‘tired’’, unsuitable for contemporary library operations, and not adequate for Nelson’s current (and projected) population.

From feedback gathered from various meetings throughout 2019, recurring themes for a new library included a sustainable building which was connected with its surroundings and the adjacent Maitai River, with amenities such as a cafe, a community room, and a Nelson archive.

From the report presented to the council on the proposal, these features have been included in the cost of the new building, along with other services identified by the council as being a prerequisite for a ‘‘modern’’ library.

(Nelson Mail, Saturday 13 March 2021)

Projects deferred, ‘critical’ work continues

Five million dollars worth of sewerage projects in Nelson and Tasman are being deferred for five years, after pushback from councils over the increase in costs.

The Nelson Regional Sewerage Business Unit (NRSBU) met yesterday to discuss its quarterly report to December 31, and to approve its updated business plan and activity management plan for presentation to the Nelson City Council and Tasman District Council.

The NRSBU was forced to make several amendments to its plans when at the end of 2020, both councils balked at the budget proposed for capital projects and operating expenditure from 2021-23.

At a Nelson City Council meeting in November, council staff criticised the costs as ‘‘way too high and . . . not sustainable’’. The NRSBU manager and chair replied that the projects were critically important.

Yesterday, the NRSBU agreed to spread out the costs by deferring $5m worth of capital projects from the first five years of its 10-year programme, to the last five years.

This would mean a reduction in capital costs in 2021-22 from $5.45m to $4.8m, and over the course of three years from $17.5m to $13.9m, excluding renewables.

Associated with the reduced capital costs, there were also expected to be some operating cost savings as a result of the deferral.

(Nelson Mail, Saturday 13 March 2021)