Property News – 24 May 2024

This week’s Property News is a bumper edition

Region’s rental prices rise as demand outstrips supply

A Nelson renter was forced to move to Christchurch after missing out on 42 properties.

It comes as the cost of a rental has risen 7.3% year-on-year in the region, and property managers are reporting demand outstripping supply – all while investors are exiting the market due to rising costs.

Data from Trade Me shows the rental price index for Nelson-Tasman in March was $590, up 7.3% from $550 in March 2023.

For Nelson, the price increase had gone up 3.6% to $570, while Tasman had increased 8.1% to $600.

Compared to a year ago supply for the region was up 1%, while demand was down 1%. The median days for rental listings was 15 days.

(Nelson Mail, 29 April 2024)

Heritage houses struggling to find volunteers

Nelson’s heritage houses are struggling to fulfil their opening hours as the number of volunteers to keep them running shrinks.

But, while volunteer numbers are down, the number of visitors to the popular attractions is on the rise, a report to the Nelson City Council this month said.

Nelson has two heritage houses – Isel House and Broadgreen Historic House – which are open to the public.

(Nelson Mail, 29 April 2024)

Brook Sanctuary to breathe new life into holiday park

School groups waking to the sound of bird song; tourists looking for unique overnight stays: Nelson’s Brook Waimārama Sanctuary hopes to breathe new life into the neighbouring holiday park.

From June 1, Brook Waimārama Sanctuary Trust will take over the lease and management of Brook Valley Holiday Park from Nelson City Council.

Trust chairperson Chris Hawkes said while the holiday park could accommodate up to 400 people, the site had been underutilised, with poor marketing and low visitor numbers.

(Nelson Mail, 1 May 2024)

Mapua’s planter boxes to go, cycleway projects stay

Mapua’s controversial planter boxes are to be removed, but cycleway pilot projects in Richmond will continue, despite complaints about loss of carparking.

At a Tasman District Council meeting on Thursday, councillors agreed to make several changes to Mapua’s Streets for People designs.

That includes ditching planter boxes installed along Aranui Rd nine months ago and replacing them with yellow lines, removing plastic bollards, converting the Māpua wharf-bound shared path to cycle lane only with the footpath returning to pedestrian only.

(Nelson Mail, 4 May 2024)

$500 a week ‘dungeon’ shows rental squeeze — advocate

A $500 a week basement flat shines a light on Nelson’s tight rental market, says an advocate.

A link to the Nelson property, advertised on Trade Me, was posted in a tenancy group where posters described it as a “dungeon”.

The listing for the two-bedroom basement flat said the self-contained property was “freshly renovated” and partially furnished with “double bed, washer, dryer, dishwasher, electric frypan”. Heat pumps would be installed shortly, the listing said.

(Nelson Mail, 4 May 2024)

Innovative wetlands project to bring new life to valley

A collaboration between mātauranga Māori and western science is hoped to bring new life to Tasman wetlands.

Led by the Tasman District Council, the commencement of a wetland project at Mangatāwhai/Black Valley just north of St Arnaud is hoped to breathe new life into the previously drained land.

Between the 1800s and 1980s, about 8 kilometres of drains were dug in the earth to drain water from the land in an attempt to create more productive farmland.

However, the result had led to the degradation of the ecological system in the area, project manager Blair Reid said.

(Nelson Mail, 6 May 2024)

Boat ramp plan faces funding crunch

A call to advance $250,000 of council funds to progress a resource consent for a proposed new Māpua boat ramp has been deferred.

At a Tasman District Council meeting on Thursday, councillors passed a procedural motion to leave the request on the table to allow further talks with the trust behind the long-planned ramp.

Several elected members expressed concern about putting further funds into a project that may not be approved.

Project co-ordinator Trevor Marshall, presenting in the public forum, said the Māpua Boat Ramp Community Trust was not seeking extra funding, but was only looking to use the money the council had already agreed to.

In the council’s long term plan, funding for the development of a boat ramp in the Māpua Waterfront Park was set at $50,000 in 2021-22 and 2022-23, and $600,000 in 2023-24. Staff said as at March this year, the council had given $169,000 to the trust towards its resource consent bid.

A council report said the total cost of the ramp was now estimated at $2.3 million.

(Nelson Mail, 6 May 2024)

Hospital changes spark fears

Nelson mayor Nick Smith says he has been reassured changes to the long-awaited rebuild of Nelson Hospital will address a shortfall of beds and seismic issues at the facility.

But Smith reserved judgment on whether the new plan – for “a series of smaller builds” instead of a large acute services building – was the right approach for the ageing hospital, pending a full briefing from Health New Zealand.

On Monday, the Crown agency revealed it had changed tack on the hospital development after reviewing “lessons learned across major health projects”.

Health NZ head of infrastructure delivery Blake Lepper said the plan now involved a phased approach for prioritised builds, that “bring forward the required health service benefits” and meet “the market capacity for construction.”

(Nelson Mail, 8 May 2024)

Proposed rates rise for Tasman gets extra hike

An extra proposed rates revenue increase for Tasman ratepayers on top of the 9.6% already projected is “disappointing”, the council’s chief financial officer says.

On Monday, the council released a statement advising ratepayers that due to “circumstances largely outside of its control”, the proposed rates revenue increase of 9.6% may increase by between two and three percentage points.

This will create a new starting point for councillors at deliberations later this month.

The council blamed the rise on cost pressures including: increased costs stemming from water services maintenance, the Waimea Dam, water supply maintenance, insurance costs, and a downturn in building consent activity.

(Nelson Mail, 8 May 2024)

Long-term plan hearings

The Nelson City Council and the Tasman District Council begin their long term plan hearings today. In Tasman, 142 speakers are scheduled to have their say on the plan that sets out council projects, services and spending for the next 10 years. In Nelson, there are 121 submitters. The hearings at both councils will continue tomorrow and Friday. They are open to the public and will be livestreamed.

(Nelson Mail, 8 May 2024)

PM quizzed on key projects in dam visit

Prime Minister Christopher Luxon stood by the “phased approach” to changes to the long-awaited rebuild of Nelson Hospital, but wouldn’t be pinned down on a date for the rebuild to start.

Luxon made a visit yesterday to the Waimea Community Dam, where he faced questions from reporters as to whether the Government could afford the $1 billion project.

The prime minister said the Government was very committed to “upgrading” the Nelson Hospital, and that the budget had changed, not had the bed count.

“But what is changing … is probably the phasing of the development, rather than doing it in one big set bang piece.

(Nelson Mail, 10 May 2024)

Public has say on 10-year plan

Some came to admonish, some to plead, and many to ask for money or projects to be prioritised.

Over three days, 121 submitters and groups from across Whakatū addressed Nelson City councillors about the council’s proposed long-term plan, which sets the budgets and priorities for the next 10 years.

Here’s some of the key themes to emerge from the three days.

– Storm recovery – $300 levy

– Slip-affected properties buy-out

– Climate change threats

– Tāhunanui Beach facilities

– Kerbside kitchen waste scheme

– Demand for hubs

– North Nelson access

– All weather sports turf

– Rates and council debt

– Special requests

(Nelson Mail, 11 May 2024)

Collection facility boost

Nelson Provincial Museum’s $14.9 million Archive, Research and Collection facility is moving towards its fundraising goal thanks to a $500,000 grant from Rātā Foundation. The facility, which is to be built on Church St, will house Nelson-Tasman’s regional heritage collection, which is currently in the Isel Park Research facility, in a substandard building that has been subject to flooding. Just over half the required funding has been secured, with the museum fundraising and applying for grants. Construction is likely to begin at the end of the year.

(Nelson Mail, 11 May 2024)

Trail access uncertainty worries mountain bikers

A long-term deal for mountain biking access to key Nelson trails is urgently needed, say biking leaders.

An interim access agreement between the Nelson City Council and Ngāti Koata, which owns land that hosts 80% of Nelson’s main trails, expires at the end of June.

In 2020 the council agreed to an $80,000 one-year grant to Ngāti Koata for access to the recreational trails on the iwi-owned land, which is largely leased for forestry. The access agreement has been rolled over for several years while a long-term deal was pursued.

However, no agreement has been reached. That has created anxiety among the mountain bike community which says the region risks losing out on events and damaging its growing reputation as a world-class riding destination.

(Nelson Mail, 13 May 2024)

Building projects ‘becoming untenable’ with dumping cost increases, council told

A reclassification of waste soils has led to a blow out in dumping costs and concern that construction projects, including housing, are becoming unviable, contractors say.

The issue could add $50,000 to $60,000 to the cost of building a house, the Tasman District Council has heard.

Fulton Hogan environment manager Bruno Brosnan, submitting to the council’s long term plan, said the council had reduced the acceptable natural background concentrations for metals that naturally occur in soils, resulting in more waste soil being disposed of at the York Valley Landfill at much greater cost.

(Nelson Mail, 18 May 2024)

Residents support council buying out flood-affected properties

The majority of Nelson residents who have made submissions to the council’s long-term plan support it buying out private properties affected by slips from the August 2022 storm.

Last September, the government offered Nelson City Council a $12.3 million support package as part of the flood recovery, with $6m earmarked for the buyout of up to 14 properties and $6m towards the betterment of remediating slips on council land – both in a 50/50 cost-sharing deal with the council.

The funding also included $300,000 to cover a 10-year monitoring programme for the Tāhunanui slump.

The council accepted the $12.3m offer – subject to consulting with the community as part of its on long term plan on the buyout element.

(Nelson Mail, 18 May 2024)

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