News and Publications

Property News: 18 March 2019

Firefighting damage nears $2m

The battle to contain two fires in Tasman district may have caused up to $2 million worth of damage to land and infrastructure, according to Civil Defence recovery manager Richard Kirby.

Firebreaks were also created to contain another, smaller fire that started near the summit of Moutere Hill on February 27.

Kirby said the recovery team was working with government agencies to source funding for remediation, including for damage to land, fences and other infrastructure caused by the construction of firebreaks, or damage caused by securing water to fight the flames.

Landowners or leaseholders with damage on their land needed to utilise their insurance cover initially, Kirby said. Where there was no cover or the cover was insufficient, the next alternative could be the Mayoral Disaster Relief Fund.

(The Nelson Mail, Wednesday 13 March 2019)

World-class apple packhouse 'as good as it gets'

A major player in Motueka’s fruit industry says its new apple packhouse is as ‘‘good as it gets in the world’’.

Golden Bay Fruit Packers’ new 25,000-square metre packhouse was officially opened yesterday on a 4.6-hectare site on Queen Victoria St. More than 800 guests from the Motueka community and the company’s 200 Pasifika RSE workers attended the opening ceremony inside the new building.

Planning to build the new facility began almost four years ago, and it was designed and constructed by Apollo Projects over an 18-month period.

Golden Bay Fruit founder and managing director Heath Wilkins said the idea was to provide a central facility that would enable the company to better meet the demands of its overseas customers.

Wilkins said the latest cool store technology and robotics were key parts of the project, to ensure efficiency among the labour force. ‘‘With the minimum wage going up and the cost of running a business now, we need to be actively looking at all robotic technologies that can keep us competitive.

The new facility will deal solely with apples. The company’s kiwifruit will be packed at its original Lyndhurst Drive facility.

(The Nelson Mail, Wednesday 13 March 2019)

Consents delayed by lack of staff

Consultants are being used by Nelson City Council to help with a backlog of unprocessed building consents.

A lack of staff, along with a change in IT systems, has contributed to 19 per cent of building consents missing their deadline and filling vacant positions has been identified as key to meeting a Long Term Plan goal of lifting council performance.

An audit risk and finance subcommittee report from February showed that lack of staff was having an impact on consents being issued on time.

A planning and regulatory committee meeting held late last month also reported that staff vacancies was a contributor to 19 per cent of resource consents not being processed in the correct time frame of 20 days.

External consultants are now being used to try and help with the backlog but limited capacity for these consultants to help with processing resource consents means consents not being issued within the 20 day timeframe and this is likely to continue until more staff are employed.

(The Nelson Weekly, Wednesday 13 March 2019)

Nelson air terminal so hot people feared 'heat-stroke'

The head of Nelson Airport accepts that its new terminal building has struggled with overheating issues this summer, making working conditions difficult for staff.

The first stage of the new airport’s terminal was opened to the public last October.

It was designed with a natural ventilation system, so it would be as environmentally friendly as possible.

Nelson Airport’s chief executive Robert Evans acknowledged that the temperatures had been very high and the heat wave took them by surprise.

Stage two of the build would be finished in October and once that was completed, Mr Evans said overheating shouldn’t be a problem.

“We’ve just been slightly caught out, we accept that. We’ve been caught out by a very warm summer and the building not performing the way it should,” he said.

(The Nelson Weekly, Wednesday 13 March 2019)

Marahau switching to natives

Native trees are to be planted on 114 hectares of erosion-prone land behind Marahau as a replacement for radiata pine.

The area, which was badly damaged in February 2018 when ex-tropical cyclone Gita slammed into Tasman district, is to be replanted with 114,000 manuka trees.

Tasman District Council environment and planning committee chairman, deputy mayor Tim King, said the replanting project was proposed in an effort to mitigate the effects of adverse weather events in areas with Separation Point granite.

The extremely erodible bedrock covers an area about 10km wide and extends more than 100km, from Separation Point in Abel Tasman National Park to Mt Murchison. It is deeply weathered at the land surface.

A partnership between iwi and the council is driving the replanting project, in an effort to manage sediment and land disturbance.

Ngati Tama ki Te Waipounamu Trust, Ngati Rarua Settlement Trust and the council received $144,000 from the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Hill Country Erosion Fund as a grant for the project. That grant is to be topped up by $140,000 each from the council and iwi.

King said changes to forestry regulations through the National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry had given the council the ability to introduce rules appropriate for areas on Separation Point granite.

As well as $144,000 for the replanting project behind Marahau, the Hill Country Erosion Fund assessment panel granted an additional $600,000 for a ‘‘shared employee’’ to oversee this and other projects in the top of the south.

A council staff report says the role is for four years, from 2019-23.

(The Nelson Mail, Friday 15 March 2019)

Fire recovery effort gets $1 million boost

Landowners whose pastures were ripped up during the battle to contain rapidly spreading wildfires in Tasman district may get help via a $1 million grant announced yesterday.

Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin said the Lottery Grants Board would allocate up to $1m to the Mayoral Disaster Relief Fund.

Martin, who is also the minister responsible for Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ), made the announcement at a public gathering at Hope. A crowd of more than 100 people responded with applause.

The funding will be made available through the Lottery Minister’s Discretionary Fund and the Department of Internal Affairs, which administers Lottery funding and will work with the council on how it can be distributed. It will be available for community benefit purposes, which may include repairs to community facilities, support for community organisations, and repairing land damaged by the creation of firebreaks.

(The Nelson Mail, Saturday 16 March 2019)

Thought for the Week

Hate and violence have no part in our society. New Zealand is in mourning and our hearts go out to all those families impacted by the tragedy.

Christchurch Shooting 190315