News and Publications

Property News - 20 January 2021

Hail damage expected to top $100m

As Motueka orchardists continue to count the cost of the freak Boxing Day hail storm, local leaders are warning the economic ripple effects will be significant and long-lasting.

Motueka Fruit Growers Association president Richard Clarkson said that while there was still more work needed to fully assess the situation, there was likely a cost of more than $100 million through loss of income and damage.

Clarkson said there was huge variation from orchard to orchard, with some farmers losing 100 per cent of their crop while others survived relatively unscathed. He said the length, intensity and geographic spread of the hail – lasting more than half an hour in areas such as Motueka, Riwaka, Tasman and Lower Moutere – was unprecedented. ‘‘It is not like all our apples have two or three dents in them – some of them look like golf balls or have open wounds.’’

(Nelson Mail, Friday 15 January 2021)

Unusual restoration project to aid fire-hit ancient forest

Planting New Zealand’s most flammable native trees in a pocket of ancient forest damaged by wildfire may not seem the most obvious way to regenerate the land.

But the Department of Conservation (DOC) hopes introducing manuka and kanuka in a scenic reserve near Nelson will help speed up the regeneration of parts of a beech-podocarp forest damaged by one of the country’s largest wildfires.

The conservation efforts in the nearly 30-hectare Eves Valley Scenic Reserve include planting a buffer zone of native plants with low flammability to help slow down or stop another fire reaching the remnant of lowland beech forest. But the problem of regenerating the slow-growing beech trees destroyed on the ridges of the reserve in the 2019 Pigeon Valley wildfires has prompted another approach.

(Nelson Mail, Friday 15 January 2021)

‘Mini national park’ dream for river land

A ‘‘mini national park’’ with restored lowland forest, wetlands and walking tracks to Cable Bay is the vision for two Nelson landowners.

More than 500 hectares of land surrounding the Wakapuaka River is owned by the Kidson family and Richard and Elina Ussher from Cable Bay Adventure Park.

Since purchasing the land together then subdividing it several years ago, restoring the forest and improving the river health has been a priority for both.

A $1.3 million award from the Ministry for the Environment’s Freshwater Improvement Fund this month means the restoration work will soon kick up a gear, with 21 jobs to be created over the next five years.

The project, which is being overseen by the Tasman Environmental Trust, will see 10.1 hectares along the banks of the Wakapuaka River and two of its tributaries planted with natives.

Kidson family representative Liz Gavin said it was thought to be the largest restoration project in Nelson on private land.

(Nelson Mail, Saturday 16 January 2021)

Bruised growers may need extra Government help

The horticulture industry could call on the Government to provide further help as growers worst hit by the Boxing Day hail storm in Motueka face several years of struggle.

New Zealand Apples and Pears chief executive Alan Pollard met orchardists in Nelson on Thursday and yesterday to get more feedback on the effect of the Boxing Day hail storm, and to help coordinate support for those struggling through the aftermath.

At a meeting in Upper Moutere, Pollard was joined by service and technical support providers from the industry, representatives from the Ministry of Social Development and the Ministry for Primary Industries and the Rural Support Trust.

(Nelson Mail, Saturday 16 January 2021)