Property News – 27 May 2021

Public back fee hikes, investment

Submitters looking into the nitty-gritty of the region’s 10-year landfill and sewerage plans generally supported the proposals.

Both the Nelson Tasman Regional Landfill Business Unit (landfill unit) and the Nelson Regional Sewerage Business Unit (sewerage unit), combined Nelson City and Tasman District Council business units, which look after waste in the region, had meetings on Friday to summarise specific feedback to their proposed plans from each council’s Long Term Plan (LTP) submissions.

The landfill unit’s plans included a proposed 20 per cent fee increase for the York Valley landfill, from $171/tonne to $204.70/tonne, to help fund stormwater control and gas management, and to cover a Government increase in the Waste Minimisation Levy and increased carbon emission costs.

(Nelson Mail, Monday 17 May 2021)

City ratepayers looking at greater first-year increase

The Covid-19 nil rates rise has left the Nelson City Council in a ‘‘hole’’, and the only room to wriggle out of it is to potentially increase rates in the first year of its 10-year plan to 5.9 per cent.

The financial plan the council put out to the public for feedback in its Long Term Plan (LTP) consultation included increasing its debt to $291 million by the end of the 10-year plan in 2031, with every year bar the first having rates increases at the highest point possible.

However, yesterday morning, on the first day of a three-day council meeting to deliberate on submissions to the plan, councillors were told that additional requests for funding and further calculations changed things.

(Nelson Mail, Wednesday 19 May 2021)

New option to pay dam costs

A modified proposal to fund the irrigators’ share of cost overruns with the Waimea dam project has been tabled and agreed during the Tasman District Council deliberations for its Long Term Plan 2021-31.

Called revised option A, it proposes that some council and irrigator debt associated with the overruns be held in Waimea Water Ltd (WWL), which is a joint venture between the council and Waimea Irrigators Ltd. Part of the interest on that debt would be paid via WWL water charges to the council, and the rest via Waimea Irrigators Ltd water charges to its shareholders.

(Nelson Mail, Wednesday 19 May 2021)

Library gets green light

Nelson’s $44 million central library redevelopment has been approved, after city councillors were given assurances about flood protection and the council’s ability to deliver the project.

The controversial proposal for a new library on a riverside site at the corner of Halifax and Trafalgar streets was approved at the council’s Long Term Plan (LTP) meeting yesterday after four hours of discussion.

The decision was taken in two parts – first confirming the preferred riverside precinct option, and then a suite of associated decisions about further community consultation, climate change objectives, and negotiations of land exchange with Wakatu Incorporation.

(Nelson Mail, Friday 21 May 2021)

Extra funding for science hub at port in the pipeline

The proposal for a ‘‘world-class’’ science hub at Nelson’s port has been welcomed, but it’s unearthed an unwelcome snag at the site.

The planned precinct is a collaboration between Port Nelson and the Cawthron Institute. The Nelson City Council had proposed to contribute $5 million to support the project, which is estimated to cost $60m.

On Wednesday morning the council discussed a proposal to increase its contribution to $5.5m and cap that contribution regardless of the final cost of the project, after investigations found that a stormwater pipe running through the site would cost an estimated $2.8 million to move, $600,000 over the original estimates.

Council group manager of infrastructure Alec Louverdis said moving the pipe would allow unconstrained development of the site and gave the council better maintenance access in the future.

‘‘To compensate for that [increase], we’ve made a recommendation to increase the total recommendation from $5m to $5.5m.’’

(Nelson Mail, Friday 21 May 2021)

Port-airport merger takes flight

Port Nelson and Nelson Airport will come under a new holding company structure, which will act as funding vehicle for both organisations.

The Nelson City Council voted 11-2 in favour of the holding company proposal at a meeting yesterday afternoon – following the lead of the Tasman District Council, which voted the same way on Tuesday.

Initially, Nelson council officers had recommended another option (Option 1), which would have established a single board of directors and chief executive across both companies along with the holding company. This was also Port Nelson’s preferred option.

(Nelson Mail, Friday 21 May 2021)

Major revamp for growing school

Plans for six new classrooms, further expansion and an enrolment zone are underway at Motueka High School, as student numbers climb.

Principal John Prestidge said development to cater for up to 1000 students included an ‘‘exciting’’ re-structure of the school, that would better connect students to their community and diverse career paths.

After roll growth of 5 to 8 per cent a year, for the past five years, the school was nearly full, with 740 students, Prestidge said.

Designs for a six-classroom block had been drawn up as part of the first phase of development, which would take the school’s capacity to 800.

The Ministry of Education had identified the school as needing new classrooms over two years ago, and contacted the school about the need for an enrolment scheme late last year, Prestidge said.

(Nelson Mail, Friday 21 May 2021)

Happy surprise for Mapua boaties

In a move labelled a pleasant surprise by a Mapua Boat Club member, Tasman District councillors have agreed to advance up to $700,000 for a new boat ramp at Waterfront Park.

That $700,000, excluding inflation, is to be released in tranches of $50,000 in 2021-22, $50,000 in 2022-23, and the remaining $600,000 in 2023-24. The funding is to come from the Moutere-Waimea Ward Reserve Financial Contributions (RFC) account, which has a balance of $3.8 million.

(Nelson Mail, Saturday 22 May 2021)

Budget ‘helps first home buyers’

A Budget announcement of a boost in infrastructure investment could help first home buyers get into new builds in Nelson, says electorate MP Rachel Boyack.

The Government on Thursday announced $57.3 billion of infrastructure investment over five years as part of Budget 2021. This was an increase from $42.2b already on the books for infrastructure investment over the next four years.

Boyack, who campaigned on working to end the housing crisis, said the funding would provide support for housing development.

Infrastructure items such as road networks and water pipes were an expensive component of any development, Boyack said. She hoped that with such a ‘‘significant’’ investment from central Government towards infrastructure, some new homes could be built for the recently raised $600,000 price cap that allowed first home buyers in Nelson to access a First Home Grant.

(Nelson Mail, Saturday 22 May 2021)

Backyard project plants the seeds of a brighter future

An emergency housing makeover has given its residents a reason to get up in the morning and helped them get back to their roots.

The once bare backyard of a Nelson emergency housing complex has been transformed with four raised gardens, a recreational hub, a tool shed and a covered barbecue area, with the help of a handyman crew.

The initiative was a joint community effort, including Paradiso Backpackers owner Niels Kroger, who facilitates the emergency housing, some of its residents, and the Salvation Army, which recommended that Kroger use the skillful group of men at the local Menzshed.

(Nelson Mail, Saturday 22 May 2021)

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