News and Publications

Property News - 8 September 2020

Fears for rare native forest

A Nelson family is concerned a proposed subdivision will threaten a rare remnant of lowland forest they have nurtured, with the support of the community, for more than three decades.

The Kelly Conservation Forest is an 11-hectare slice of native bush inside the Kelly family’s working farm in Enner Glynn, that dates back to pre-European times.

Kelly says a proposal to divide the neighbouring land and build six houses, which requires an exemption from the rural zoning rules, will threaten the conservation area that has become a much-loved sanctuary for the thousands of people who visit it on public open days each year.

The forest is protected by a Department of Conservation covenant and has been identified by Nelson City Council as a ‘‘significant natural area’’, providing important corridor connections or habitats for rare indigenous species.

Developer and neighbouring landowner Justin Irvine said the proposed subdivision had been designed to be sympathetic to the site, with an awareness of the nearby conservation area and local water catchment.

Irvine has lodged a resource consent application with the Nelson City Council to build an additional six houses on the property adjoining the Kelly’s, which is a non-permitted activity in a rural zone.

Nelson City Council group manager of environmental management Clare Barton said under the Nelson Resource Management Plan the rural zone involved would allow two additional house lots of at least three hectares as a controlled activity.

Applications for more house lots could be made as a ‘‘noncomplying activity’’ which meant resource consent may or may not be granted.

Barton confirmed the development for six additional house lots was being sought in Enner Glynn Rd.

Barton said 2.3 hectares of lowland hill country on the Kelly property was mapped as a significant natural area in 2007. It was not directly adjacent to the subdivision on Enner Glynn Rd and the community planting area on the property, which is adjacent to the subdivision, was not recognised as a significant natural area (SNA).

There are around 160 SNAs on private land in Nelson, and they do not currently have any special planning protections, although that was being considered under the Nelson Plan review.

Barton said through the resource consent process, the application will be assessed for any effects on the environment including on any habitats and ecosystems.

(Nelson Mail, Monday 31 August 2020)

Coal emissions drop at hospital after upgrade

Nelson Hospital’s coal emissions are decreasing after an upgrade to its gas boiler.

Nelson Marlborough Health facilities manager Stewart Lawson said a new burner installed on the gas boiler in June meant more heat generated from the same volume of gas.

‘‘The first two months of burner use show that 70 per cent of the hospital’s heating needs have been supplied, which is the same net rate achieved for the whole of 2019, allowing for the fluctuation between summer and winter heating needs.’’

He said the new burner cost $80,000 and was proving its efficiency over the winter period when heating requirements were at its peak.

‘‘We expect that during spring and summer, when our heating demand decreases, the landfill gas boiler could provide 100 per cent of our energy needs.

‘‘We estimate this would give an annual net result of approximately 85 per cent use of landfill gas in a year.’’

(Nelson Mail, Monday 31 August 2020)

Buyers flee the cities to Golden Bay

Covid-19 has stoked Golden Bay’s real estate market with agents receiving multiple offers, including from those looking to move away from cities.

Real estate agent Billy Kerrisk said the key difference between now and before lockdown was the volume of interested buyers going for each property and how quickly the homes were selling.

(Nelson Mail, Monday 31 August 2020)

Critical council plan almost ready

An update on Nelson’s new overarching regulatory plan, delayed by Covid-19, will be delivered to the council this week outlining general feedback from key stakeholders.

The Whakamahere Whakatu Nelson Plan is an overarching document laying the groundwork for all other Nelson City Council plans and works under the Resource Management Act (RMA).

It was originally meant to go up for public consultation earlier this year, but after the disruption of the Covid-19 lockdown, the council said it delayed its release to ensure a smooth public consultation process.

Nelson City Council’s environment committee will meet on Thursday to approve the draft of the plan for its first round of public consultation on October 6.

The plan has been in the works for years, and will be a major change for the city council when it comes into effect. Whakamahere Whakatu will incorporate updated versions of the existing Nelson Air Quality Plan, Regional Policy Statement, and Resource Management Plan into one overarching plan.

(Nelson Mail, Wednesday 2 September 2020)

Toi Toi sheds unfashionable tag

When George Connor and his partner bought their first home almost five years ago on Nelson’s Murphy St, the couple rolled up their sleeves and set to work.

CoreLogic data shows that Toi Toi is still the cheapest place to buy a home in Nelson. The median property value of $468,900 is the lowest in Nelson, where the average home is now valued at $662,839.

In 2016, most of Toi Toi’s properties were less than $400,000. Now, only a third of the homes are valued at less than $500,000.

(Nelson Mail, Wednesday 2 September 2020)

Port plan gets $20m loan

The planned redevelopment of Golden Bay’s Port Tarakohe has received a major financial boost, with Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters announcing up to $20 million of government funding for the project.

Peters revealed the investment – a limited recourse loan – during a visit to Richmond yesterday.

The Tasman District Council-owned port is earmarked for a $28.3m redevelopment, largely to cater for an expected surge in mussel production. Over the next decade, production is tipped to climb from 8000 tonnes a year to about 41,000 tonnes, of which 32,000 tonnes is expected to pass through Port Tarakohe.

Just over a year ago, the council agreed to apply for just over $22m from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) for the project. A mix of council and industry funding is expected to cover the rest.

(Nelson Mail, Friday 4 September 2020)

Historic hut work helps to fill void

Murchison rafting guide Tim Marshall was meant to be in China this year, helping to set up a rafting business before returning home to run his own guiding company on West Coast rivers.

Covid-19 sank those plans – and Marshall, who has more than 20 years’ experience as a rafting guide, said bookings for his Murchison-based company, Ultimate Descents New Zealand, had all but disappeared by the end of March. ‘‘We closed our doors.’’

Now a $2 million expansion of the Backcountry Trust programme to repair and maintain remote huts, as part of the Government’s $1.3 billion Jobs for Nature fund, has kept Marshall and his crew in work, while ensuring that some classic Kiwi tramping huts will be preserved for generations to come.

(Nelson Mail, Friday 4 September 2020)

Forests a poor investment, says councillor

It is time for Nelson to rethink whether the environmental costs of commercial forestry are worth its ‘‘marginal’’ profits to ratepayers, a city councillor says.

Councillor Rachel Sanson said that with a large portion of the council’s 640 hectares of forestry due to be harvested over the next few years, there was a great opportunity to consider ‘‘a different way forward’’ to make use of the land.

Sanson, who chairs the Nelson City Council’s governance and finance committee and is a member of the Forestry Advisory Group, said that over the past 15 years, the council’s forestry operation had averaged a net profit of $213,735 per year.

(Nelson Mail, Saturday 5 September 2020)

Fast-tracked SHAs no ‘silver bullet’

Special Housing Areas were supposed to help usher in affordable housing by flooding the market in expensive areas with new houses.

Though the houses to be built under the Housing Accords and Special Housing Area Act (HASHAA or SHA) were not required to be more affordable than any other development, the act was meant to ‘‘enhance housing affordability by facilitating an increase in land and housing supply in certain regions or districts’’.

When the Government announced last year that it would not extend the SHA act, then-housing minister Phil Twyford said houses within an SHA were sometimes 5 per cent more expensive than their non-SHA counterparts.

Nelson mayor Rachel Reese is philosophical about the end of the SHA era, saying the SHAs were ‘‘helpful, no doubt about it, but they weren’t the solution’’ to the city’s housing problems.

The Cadiz Court development on lower Trafalgar St was first gazetted in August 2017, and finally received resource consent on August 6 this year, in a drawn-out process which property owners Jim Hussey and Georgina McGrath said was expensive and stressful.

Hussey said the panel seemed to come up with "weird things that no urban design team should have come up with", and seemed to go against its own remit to not delay or create additional difficulties.

"The bottom line is, if someone came to me and said, 'I'm thinking I'm going to do a development here in Nelson', either under the HASHAA and or the RMA, I'd tell them not to do it. Go to another city."

Tony Vining and project development manager Jacques Reynolds said that ultimately, properties that other would not have been financially viable were made possible with the SHA legislation.

Despite the hurdles, Vining said the SHA legislation had been a big help.

"All in all, the SHA [legislation] has been a wonderful process, and it's enabled more kinds of development, whereas you'd never get that under the RMA. Without the SHA, Haven Rd would have been a storage warehouse."

(Nelson Mail, Saturday 5 September 2020)

Air quality milestone for Nelson

Nelson City is celebrating a milestone, having achieved an entire year without a single air quality exceedance for the first time since monitoring began.

The Nelson City Council’s environment committee heard from manager of environmental planning Maxine Day that the achievement was part of an ongoing trend since records began in 2001, and was probably not attributable to the general improvements to air quality seen during the Covid-19 lockdown.

(Nelson Mail, Saturday 5 September 2020)