Property News – 14 December 2023

Students face rent rise as rates bill more than doubles

A student accommodation provider in Nelson says it will be forced to charge residents up to 20% more after its rates bill increased by nearly $30,000.

In 2021-22 Nikau Apartments, which has three buildings, paid $19,285.62 in commercial rates.

But, in 2022-23 the Nelson City Council changed it to residential rates, more than doubling the bill to $48,804.18. “We just can’t absorb it; we just have to pass it on,” owner operator Michael Stump said.

Now, he’s questioning why his business is being charged differently to other accommodation businesses.

The council says the rates are a reflection of the number of apartments in the building and its likely use if it was sold.

Nikau Apartments offers both long-term and short-term accommodation for students and travellers and is the preferred accommodation provider for NMIT Te Pūkenga students.

(Nelson Mail, 4 December 2023)

Historic house gets character kitchen

Six years ago, Ashley Frechette and Nigel Perks took on a massive challenge – restoring historic Kirkpatrick House in Nelson back to its original glory.

The former stately home, built around 1903 for one of the city’s early entrepreneurs, Samuel Kirkpatrick, was left to the Freemasons when he died, and for six decades it was a home for more than 250 schoolgirls.

The couple have been fixing it up gradually, and now have a stunning new kitchen designed by Karen Harlen of Bays Joinery in Nelson.

(Nelson Mail, 4 December 2023)

Plant back in action

Motueka’s wastewater treatment plant is running again. In late September, Tasman District Council engineers noticed a problem in the filtration system involving membranes that remove bacteria and minute particles before water is discharged. As an emergency measure the council reverted to the system used prior to 2016 to pump treated water into an adjacent soakage area where it is filtered through the ground. A rāhui was put in place banning the collection of fish and shellfish from an area along the adjacent coastline. Waters and wastes manager Mike Schruer said new membranes, sourced from the Marlborough District Council, had now been installed and were functioning well. Pumping into the soakage area had ended. “We carried out regular water quality testing at numerous sites around the plant and are very pleased to see the laboratory results showed no significant rises in bacteria levels following the emergency pumping programme.” A decision on when the rāhui will be lifted is yet to be made.

(Nelson Mail, 6 December 2023)

Tackling energy efficiency urged as Mail building shows the way

The Nelson Evening Mail building shows age is no barrier to energy efficiency, proponents of a new sustainability rating for the building say.

Purpose built in the early 1900s, and mostly rebuilt in the 1990s, the landmark building in central Nelson – owned by local property, investment and development company Gibbons – has received a 5-star rating from the National Australian Built Environment Rating System New Zealand (NabersNZ).

That put it in the “market leading” category of the programme, which rated office buildings’ energy performance through the buildings’ use (not construction).

(Nelson Mail, 8 December 2023)

Nelson’s main library to fully reopen next month

Nelson’s main library will fully reopen next month, marking the end of almost two years of strengthening work and repairs. The last of the Elma Turner Library’s closed areas, the Halifax St entrance and adjacent space will reopen from 10am on January 17. As staff prepare for the reopening, the entire library will be closed from January 8 to 16. The library was closed in June 2022 after it was discovered heavy ceiling tiles throughout the building posed an earthquake risk and the ceiling grid itself was in some parts of the building under 34% of New Building Standard, meaning the building was earthquake prone. Parts of the library have been progressively reopened as repair work was completed. The earthquake strengthening and additional truss and roof repairs cost $2.7 million. The public reopening will be marked by special events, including a sci-fi and fantasy fiesta. The Stoke Library will have extended hours while Elma Turner is closed, opening on Saturday, January 13, 10am to 4pm and Sunday January 14, 1pm to 4pm. The Nightingale Library Memorial will also open for longer hours, 10am to 4pm, on Wednesday, January 10.

(Nelson Mail, 8 December 2023)

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