News and Publications

Property News - 24 November 2020

Dam’s Covid costs ‘will be significant’

The cost impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the Waimea Community Dam project is yet to be determined but will be significant, says Waimea Water Ltd chief executive Mike Scott in the company’s annual report.

Released on Friday, the report covers the year to June 30 for Waimea Water – a council-controlled organisation responsible for managing the construction, operation and maintenance of the dam, which is being built in the Lee Valley, about 36km southeast of Nelson.

Waimea Water is a joint venture between majority shareholder Tasman District Council and Waimea Irrigators Ltd.

In his report, Scott says suspended construction and ongoing supply chain challenges due to Covid-19 will have cost and schedule implications.

The site was shut down for five weeks from late March to late April. When work recommenced on April 28 under Level 3 restrictions, additional measures were required that affected productivity.

(Nelson Mail, Monday 16 November 2020)

House-hosting to ease crisis

For Christopher Bennett, doing nothing about the housing crisis is not an option.

‘‘We do not need to – nor should we accept – having so many people living in un-consented and illegal dwellings,’’ he said.

The World Bank engineer has developed a housing model, which could place $150,000 transportable homes on private or council-owned land for residents to rent or rent-to-own.

The 60 square-metre, two-bedroom, kitset or modular homes would be built on Golden Bay properties, with tenants paying $250-$350 per week in rent, and landowners given a return for hosting them.

Three-bedroom homes would be feasible at a higher price.

(Nelson Mail, Wednesday 18 November 2020)

First-time buyers get first dibs

Watching their daughter struggle to buy her first home made a Nelson couple realise just how hard it is to get on the property ladder.

So when the time came for Fiona McConnochie and Graeme McGrath to sell their family home, they decided first-time buyers should get first dibs.

‘‘We are in the price bracket for first-home buyers, so we decided we wanted to talk to first-home buyers who might otherwise be pushed out of the market,’’ McConnochie said.

(Nelson Mail, Wednesday 18 November 2020)

City suburbs at risk of flooding

About 4500 property owners in Nelson are being told that their land is at risk of potential inundation from sea level rise and other coastal hazards.

The Nelson City Council is sending letters to landowners on the back of new coastal inundation maps, which show that parts of central Nelson and coastal suburbs stand to be flooded under the worst-case scenarios.

The interactive maps, published on council website shape. nelson.govt.nz, show how low-lying areas may be affected by sea level rise scenarios in half-metre increments, from 0.5m to 2m.

The areas most affected are parts of the central city, The Wood, Tahunanui and Monaco.

A ‘‘bathtub model’’ has been used to show the possible effects of seawater flooding the land, either occasionally, due to storm surge, or regularly, due to high tides. Users can search for an address or zoom in on the maps and choose a sea level rise scenario.

(Nelson Mail, Friday 20 November 2020)

Flood maps leave owners concerned

Nelson homeowners in areas at risk of coastal inundation are worried that their property prices may fall and insurance costs rise, after notification of the hazard was put on their property files.

Letters have been sent to the owners of about 4500 properties identified as being at risk of potential coastal inundation, in maps released by the Nelson City Council on Wednesday.

Anyone requesting a Land Information Memorandum (LIM) on the properties will be directed to the modelling on the council website.

The interactive maps show which low-lying areas of the city are expected to flood in different sea level rise scenarios – of half-metre increments up to 2m – and one-in-100-year storm tides.

(Nelson Mail, Friday 20 November 2020)

Inner-city living on council’s agenda

Encouraging inner-city living is one of the key priorities for the Nelson city centre in the Draft Nelson Plan.

Under the current Nelson Resource Management Plan, the city centre is ‘‘fundamentally a non-residential area’’, but the new plan would seek to actively encourage residential living there.

In the draft proposal, the inner-city zones from the current resource management plan would be replaced with a new City centre zone and a Mixed use zone on the city fringe.

This would allow residential activity above ground level within the city centre and mixed-use zones.

(Nelson Mail, Friday 20 November 2020)

Camping site plan ‘foolish, reckless’

Submitters at a freedom camping bylaw hearing have overwhelmingly supported the removal of two popular sites in Golden Bay, but oppose a proposal to turn a former tip into a new freedom camping spot.

The Tasman District Council’s proposed amendments to its freedom camping bylaw would allow up to 60 vehicles to stay at the former landfill along the estuary on Rototai Rd, five kilometres from the township.

The council has also proposed dropping the controversial sites at Waitapu Bridge and Taupata Point.

At a hearing in Takaka on Wednesday, 15 submitters spoke to a panel about the proposed changes.

(Nelson Mail, Friday 20 November 2020)

Hipkins wants to get ahead of growth curve

The Government aims to get ahead of the roll growth curve in New Zealand schools, says Education Minister Chris Hipkins.

‘‘We’ve got to try and get ahead . . . so that we’re building enough capacity,’’ he said during a visit yesterday to fast-growing Waimea College in Richmond, where he announced Government funding of $32 million for school building projects in the South Island.

Waimea College – the largest school in the top of the South Island, with a roll of 1658 in 2020 – is to receive $2m of that $32m to complete a block of eight classrooms now under construction.

The eight-classroom building follows the opening in July of a two-storey block on the school campus, comprising nine classrooms and a breakout area.

The $32m for South Island schools is part of a $164m commitment nationally to build new classrooms and upgrade schools.

(Nelson Mail, Saturday 21 November 2020)

Landlord’s request for $5000 bond draws fire

A Nelson landlord says it was inexperience that led to him asking for a $5000 bond for his rental property.

When a prospective tenant replied to Bijendra Shrestha’s listing on Facebook marketplace, she was surprised when he responded with a bond request that amounted to more than twice the legal requirement.

‘‘I spoke to my insurance team they said my [excess] is 5k so if u could do that we could talk more,’’ Shreshta messaged her.

Under the Residential Tenancies Act, a landlord can ask for a bond that is equivalent to up to four weeks’ rent. For the $450 property, this amounted to $1800.

The woman, who asked not to be identified, contacted local real estate agents to double check. ‘‘They all stated this was illegal, and [the landlord] cannot ask for that much,’’ she said.

When asked if he lodged his tenants’ bonds with Tenancy Services, another requirement under the Residential Tenancies Act, Shrestha said he was unaware of this, and asked for more information.

Summit property manager Stewart Henry said managing a property required a degree of expertise.

‘‘It’s not just the Residential Tenancies Act, it’s the Housing Improvement Act and council bylaws,’’ he said. ‘‘There’s a bit of teeth in the RTA now, so landlords need to research.’’

Henry recommended that landlords and tenants look at the Tenancy Services website, which had a lot of information.

(Nelson Mail, Saturday 21 November 2020)