Butters Trail, ‘Dad's track', officially opens
Named in memory of the late Dr Bernard Simmonds, the Butters Trail above Nelson was officially opened on Saturday by his 4-year-old son, Emrys, who referred to it endearingly as ‘‘Dad’s track’’.
Bernard ‘‘Butters’’ Simmonds, a respected resource scientist at Tasman District Council and a member of the Nelson Mountain Bike Club, died in September 2020 after a crash on the Kaka mountain-bike track in the Hira forest.
About 20 of Simmonds’ friends joined his partner, Kristie Hughes, and Emrys for a moving ceremony to officially open the club trail on Fringed Hill.
Club manager Belinda Crisp said she believed Simmonds would have loved the Butters Trail. ‘‘It would have been one of his favourites.’’
Built by Easy Trail Services, the line had been carefully chosen to fit with the topography of the area, which included ‘‘stunning scenery’’ and native bush.
(Nelson Mail, Monday 28 June 2021)
New library build on target for November
The construction of the new Motueka Library is on schedule with the building expected to be closed in by mid-July.
In a statement, Tasman District Council says the 1100 square metre library, under construction on Decks Reserve between the i-SITE and the Kiyosato Japanese Gardens, is due for completion in November and scheduled to open in February.
Work began in September 2020, with the screw-pile floor laid in February and the mono-pitch roof installed in March.
Project manager Adam Henderson said progress had been driven by good weather, which meant minimal delays.
(Nelson Mail, 28 June 2021)
Commercial rates ‘out of kilter’ in Nelson
The proportion of council rates paid by the commercial sector is out of kilter, Nelson mayor Rachel Reese says.
‘‘We’re working to address this by reducing the commercial differential by 0.5 per cent each year,’’ Reese said.
Nelson Tasman Chamber of Commerce chief executive Ali Boswijk said any step to reduce the commercial rates had to be supported by the business community though ‘‘we’d like it a little faster’’.
It was generally believed the commercial rates in Nelson were high.
‘‘If you talk to just about any small business owner, they would agree with that,’’ Boswijk said.
Raw data in the latest Ratepayers’ Report from the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union reveals average non-residential rates, which includes commercial rates, in Nelson were $9583 in the year to June 30, compared with $4618 in Tasman District.
(Nelson Mail, Wednesday 30 June 2021)
Nelson's Lost Projects: Kirby Lane container mall
Was it a project that was too far ahead of it's time?
The man behind the Kirby Lane shipping container mall believes so.
Galen King, the owner and creator of The Bridge Street Collective, first proposed the development in 2016.
However, after three years of "bureaucracy and red tape" getting in the way, idea fizzled into oblivion.
The proposal included creating a temporary mall in the central-city lane with shipping containers that would house boutique shops, eateries, offices and even a children's playground.
(Nelson Weekly, Wednesday 30 June 2021)
Dam and water uncertainty as 10-year plan adopted
Uncertainty over construction costs for the Waimea dam and the Government’s three waters reform programme have been highlighted by the auditor in his report on Tasman District Council’s Long Term Plan 2021-31.
Ahead of councillors adopting the plan on Wednesday, auditor John Mackey, of Audit NZ, told them he proposed issuing an unmodified opinion saying ‘‘we are satisfied that the Long Term Plan provides a reasonable basis for long-term, integrated decision-making and coordination of the council’s resources and accountability of the council to its community’’.
That opinion would also say that the information and assumptions underlying the forecast information in the plan were reasonable and ‘‘the disclosures required under the prudence regulations are complete’’.
(Nelson Mail, Friday 2 July 2021)
Last-ditch bid to move ‘monstrosity’
Dying Motueka resident Terry Grooby plans to head to court in a last-ditch attempt to get a ‘‘monstrosity’’ of a building removed from the property next door to his home of 50 years.
Diagnosed with cancer and expected to have less than a year to live, Grooby, 84, wanted to enjoy that limited time in his Courtney St home but says the relocated former classroom on the other side of the fence is blocking most of his sun.
It is also causing him to lose sleep. ‘‘I have been having to take medication to sleep because as soon as I shut my eyes, all I can see is this,’’ Grooby said.
Disappointed the building was still in place despite complaints made on his behalf to Tasman District Council and the Ombudsman, Grooby said he intended to take the matter to the Environment Court.
(Nelson Mail, Saturday 3 July 2021)