News and Publications

Property News - 18 February 2021

Land problem for tiny homes

A tiny home showcase hopes to reduce barriers to the increasingly popular lifestyle that organisers say offers a way out of the housing ‘‘emergency’’.

The Big Tiny House Expo, which began in Motueka on Saturday, also illustrated another issue – the Covid disrupted supply chain affecting the building industry, which saw at least 12 suppliers withdraw from the show.

One of the expo organisers, Julie Jacobson, said she realised how tough finding land for alternative housing was four years ago, when she tried to help a homeless friend with a house bus to find somewhere to stay.

(Nelson Mail, Monday 8 February 2021)

Golden Bay has solution to crisis

The first nine homes in Golden Bay’s community-driven affordable housing project are expected to start being built in April.

It is good news for pensioners, with six of the nine homes being built for that age group – taking the waitlist for that kind of accommodation down to zero.

The Golden Bay/Mohua Affordable Housing Project has received at least a dozen offers from landowners throughout Golden Bay, all interested in hosting more than 30 homes.

The scheme would put $150,000 transportable homes on private or council-owned land for residents to rent or rent-to-own.

(Nelson Mail, Monday 8 February 2021)

Property market runs hot

Motueka is the latest area to experience ‘‘extremely strong growth’’ in its property prices as buyers move from cities and snap up real estate in the region’s hubs, pushing prices up, agents say.

The QV House Price Index results released yesterday show property values in Nelson and Tasman have continued their upwards trend over the past 12 months, as a lack of supply and returning New Zealanders put pressure on residential property prices.

The average price of a home in the Nelson Tasman region is now $719,927, which is 3.97 per cent higher than it was three months ago, and 9.46 per cent higher than the year before.

(Nelson Mail, Wednesday 10 February 2021)

Big demand for storage units

Some storage facilities are nearing capacity as people struggle to find somewhere to live in the tight Nelson housing market.

Storage Nelson owner operator Harry Pearson said he had noticed an increase in those seeking units for household goods over the past few months.

Recent data showed Nelson Tasman is one of the regions at the forefront of the housing shortage, with available stock dropping by 50 per cent during the past year.

Data from realestate.co.nz showed Nelson and Bays housing stock dropped by 49.2 per cent from December 2019 to December 2020, a reduction in stock of 172 houses, with an inventory of listings lasting for five weeks. There is a similar squeeze in the rental market, with the Trade Me rental price index showing in January the median rent in Nelson/Tasman was up 10.3 per cent on the previous year, to $480 a week.

(Nelson Mail, Friday 12 February 2021)

Rain washes out water restrictions

Rain that fell on a parched Tasman District on Tuesday and overnight into Wednesday was sufficient to warrant the lifting of all water restrictions in place, with immediate effect. Rainfall varied across the district, ranging from 3.5mm in the coastal Moutere area to 110mm at the top of the Anatoki Valley in Golden Bay. Dry Weather Taskforce convener Dennis Bush-King said the river flows should be good for two weeks, ‘‘but we didn’t receive enough rain to improve the soil moisture deficit in some areas like the Moutere and the lower plains of Waimea and Takaka’’.

(Nelson Mail, Friday 12 February 2021)

More fires, new crops – climate’s potential influence on Tasman

A warmer climate could see more citrus fruit and grape varieties grown in Tasman District, climate scientist Jim Salinger says.

But pine trees stood to be harvested more often, releasing more carbon, and could pose a greater fire risk, he said.

The internationally renowned scientist is due to speak in Tasman tomorrow about the expected impact of climate change on horticulture, pastoral farming and forestry in the area.

His talk at the Moutere Hills Community Centre comes two years after the Pigeon Valley wildfire which burned through more than 2300 hectares of mainly pine plantation forest in the area.

Salinger said pine trees could exacerbate the risk of fire as the climate warmed.

(Nelson Mail, Friday 12 February 2021)

Housing and transport top of agenda for new Nelson MP

Newly elected Nelson MP Rachel Boyack has pledged to tackle the city’s ‘‘gnarly issues’’ of housing and transport.

Boyack made the promise in her maiden statement to Parliament on Wednesday, outlining her vision for the electorate and its biggest challenges.

(Nelson Mail, Friday 12 February 2021)

Big range of options for flood defences

Flood walls, detention dams, a tidal gate and raising land are among the options presented to Nelson City councillors to tackle flooding in the central city due to climate change.

Engineers from the company Tonkin & Taylor told the council’s infrastructure committee that about 3000 buildings were expected be at risk from freshwater flooding in the Maitai River flood plain by 2090 – up from around 1800 today – in a ‘‘1 per cent AEP event’’ (an event that has a 1 per cent chance of happening in any given year).

Engineer Damian Velluppillai said the capital value of properties vulnerable to coastal inundation in the city was expected to grow from $2.2 billion to $3.1b, in a 1 per cent AEP event with one metre of sea level rise.

He presented eight scenarios of combined measures that could be used to manage the risk.

Six concepts were based on protection, including a possible 3.5m high riverside barrier at Nile St; stopbanks; widening the Maitai River channel upstream from about 15m to 30m; raising State Highway 6; and raising ground levels within city streets.

Detention dams at several upstream sites could store water beyond a ‘‘20-year event’’, and discharge water at a slower rate, Velluppillai said. A valley floor detention dam could do the work of the upstream dams combined, but also risked flooding the golf course near the Maitai Dam, and cutting off road access.

(Nelson Mail, Saturday 13 February 2021)

Extension granted for Snowden’s fundraising

The Snowden’s Bush Trust has been given a nine-month extension to raise the last $45,000 it needs to buy 3500 square metres of land at Brightwater to preserve a stand of ancient totara trees.

Trust chairman Jerry Cameron said the new deadline was November 1 for the trust to find the $350,000 total it needed to buy the land from the Nelson Diocesan Trust.

Once purchased, the trust intends to gift the land to the Department of Conservation so it can be integrated into the Snowden’s Bush Scenic Reserve.

The area is part of St Paul’s Reserve, near the Snowden’s Bush reserve, about 20 kilometres south of Nelson.

(Nelson Mail, Saturday 13 February 2021)

First Home Grant house price caps need to rise ‘‘to give first home buyers a fair go’’, says MP

Nelson-based National list MP Nick Smith is calling on the Government to raise the price caps of $500,000 for an existing home and $550,000 for a new build in Nelson and Tasman to help more people access a First Home Grant and buy a house.

‘‘The problem is the house price caps of the scheme . . . [are] just too low, with the median price regionally now $720,000,’’ Smith said in his annual Rotary speech. ‘‘People just can’t find the homes to buy below this cap.’’

As building and housing minister, Smith in April 2015 introduced the First Home Grant predecessor, the KiwiSaver HomeStart package. It provided grants of up to $20,000 for first home buyers to help fund a deposit, as well as enabling them to access their KiwiSaver funds.

Smith said the scheme had since helped 80,000 people nationally into their first home, including 2500 in Nelson City and Tasman District.

(Nelson Mail, Saturday 13 February 2021)

Frequency of testing at Mapua chemical site being reviewed

A review of years of sampling from the former Fruitgrowers’ Chemical Company site at Mapua is planned, following a long period of stable results, with an eye on reducing the frequency of testing.

‘‘We think it’s been stable for a long time now,’’ said Tasman District Council environmental information manager Rob Smith. ‘‘We think we can reduce the frequency of the sampling.’’

News of the planned review comes after the latest groundwater samples taken late last year from bores at the remediated site returned ‘‘stable or declining’’ results.

(Nelson Mail, Saturday 13 February 2021)