Newsline 245 - 25 February 2011
Friday 25 February 2011
This page contains articles from Issue 245 of Newsline.
Download as a PDF: Newsline 245 - 25 February 2011
- Our Stories Find a Ready Audience
- Mayor’s Comment
- Census Day, Tuesday 8 March 2011 - Cancelled
- What Makes Your Place Special?
- Community Conversations
- Waimea Inlet Forum Moves into Positive Action
- Rates Rebate Help for Murchison
- Richmond Deviation Cycleway Taking Shape
- New Pensioner Cottages Planned
- Take Me to the Mardi Gras
- The Stuff of Young Dreams…
More than 91,000 people from throughout the world have visited www.theprow.org.nz, learning about Tasman, Nelson and Marlborough history, since the website was launched on the 15 February 2009.
Between its launch date and 31 January 2011, there were 221,645 page views from 91,029 visits to the website. Most of the “visitors” (67,000) were from New Zealand, with another 15,000 from the United States, Australia and Britain. Of non-English speaking countries, the most visitors came from Germany, with 707 visits.
The average length of visit is well above what would be considered ‘good’ for a website, with many visitors spending six minutes-plus on the site.
The main users of The Prow, which features more than 220 historical stories from the ‘Top of the South’, appear to be students and genealogists, says Nicola Harwood, project manager from Nelson Public Libraries. The bulk of the stories are commissioned from writers, but more than 70 stories have been contributed to the site, with most coming from Nelson schools and individuals, as well as some keen Marlborough writers and historians.
Nicola says there are still plenty of goals for the Prow: “We have applied for a grant to pay somebody to help support the development of The Prow. We would like to see it compartmentalised more so it is easier to find stories, and to be able to add more audio and visual material.”
Tasman District Council has supported The Prow from its inception. Cathy Vaughan, Tasman Information Services Librarian, joined the project team in late 2005. In 2008 the team received $100,000 from the Government’s Community Partnership Fund, which enabled them to create the website.
The Council, through its Library budget, has supported the ongoing development of The Prow. This funding contributes to story research and writing, website maintenance and development, says Cathy.
A do-it-yourself section of The Prow called Your Story lets anyone submit work. Cathy says schools use it as a factual writing exercise for students, since they have to follow a standard academic format of researching the topic first, then including a bibliography at the end.
Cathy says the stories of some elderly people who are not computer-literate have even been recorded through personal interviews. Contact your local library for details.
Community Led Decision-making
As part of the Annual Plan process the Council manages each year we have a number of projects and initiatives that affect local communities. Councillors are voted in by, and represent, the various wards which make up the Council. Within each of these wards are communities that require different levels of investment in infrastructure depending on their needs now and in the future. In this, and the last issue of Newsline, examples of such initiatives were and are highlighted; Takaka’s waste water treatment plant upgrade, the reticulated (piped) drinking water schemes affecting Motueka and Takaka and the flood protection scheme in Motueka. The cost impact of each of these schemes is significant and while they are deemed essential by some, the Council is well aware the affected communities need to identify their priorities as they may not all be affordable.
As elected representatives we represent the whole Tasman District, however, there are times, important times, where the individuals who live in communities contribute to the decision-making process. To this end we will work in partnership with the Community Boards as they help the Council consult with their communities and assist the Council to make decisions that will enhance these communities and the District as a whole.
It is very important to me and Councillors that we engage successfully with local communities or individuals on decisions that affect them. In the past the Council has been accused of ignoring the wishes of ratepayers in important decisions and we have taken that criticism on board. We are committed to facilitating community input and will make the discussions and decision making as transparent as possible, especially to those most affected. In order for this process to be successful ratepayer and resident feedback is essential, as this allows Council to understand local wishes when making decisions.
If people have any questions regarding the projects in question please do not hesitate to contact your local Councillors and/or Community Board.
– Mayor Richard Kempthorne
Note: The planned national census has been cancelled due to the Christchurch Earthquake on 22 February 2011. This article went to precess before the cancellation was announced.
Statistics New Zealand is counting the beat of the nation again. Everyone who is in New Zealand on Census Day must fill in a census form or have one filled in for them. This includes babies, children and any visitors staying the night of 8 March 2011.
The census is the official count of how many people, houses and flats there are in the country. The results help to determine how billions of dollars of Government funding are spent in the community, for instance on new hospitals, schools, kohanga reo, roads, public transport and recreational facilities.
You can fill out your forms online or on paper. Statistics New Zealand census collectors will deliver an Internet Access Code and paper forms to your home before the census. Forms are available in either English or Maori. Doing your forms online is secure, quick and easy.
Your personal information is protected by the Statistics Act 1975 and is not shared. No other organisation – including the Police, Immigration New Zealand or Inland Revenue – can obtain census information that will identify you.
Answers to census questions help Tasman District Council better understand the needs of the people living in our settlements and rural areas, so it is important that you provide full and accurate answers to all the questions. Census information can directly benefit you and your community.
Tell visitors to the Council’s website about your area and why you love it.
Feedback from visitors to Council’s website shows that there is a real interest in the various settlements around the Tasman District – what makes them unique and why people choose to live there.
To help address this desire for more information Council is developing a new “Settlements” section on its website detailing each area in the District and what it has to offer. This includes information on halls, parks, playgrounds, reserves, sportsgrounds, cemeteries, libraries, recycling, rubbish and planned development.
But something’s missing - the voice of the residents who live in each of the areas and the images you capture that tourists often don’t get to see.
Tasman District residents are invited to contribute words or images to introduce their area of the District to website visitors. The best introduction and photo will appear at the top of the main Settlement page. Other entries will be published on the website
in galleries capturing the local flavour.
Every person who sends in their written introduction or photo goes in the draw to win A Place to Live, a superb 112-page book filled with photos and history of the Tasman District. Five copies will be given away, one a month until the end of June 2011.
What is a Community Board?
The main role of Community Boards is to represent, and act as an advocate for the interests of their community. There are two Community Boards in the Tasman District, namely the Golden Bay Community Board serving the Golden Bay Ward and the Motueka Community Board serving the Motueka Ward. Community Boards are separately elected advisory bodies and are not Council Committees.
Each month Newsline will bring you an update from both the Golden Bay and Motueka Community Boards highlighting the key activities and issues they are working on..
Reticulated Water Scheme Subsidy Application
The Ministry of Health has announced that they are again seeking subsidy applications for reticulated drinking water schemes.
At the Golden Bay Community Board meeting on Tuesday 8 February 2011, Councillor Trevor Norriss and Utilities Asset Manager Jeff Cuthbertson sought support from the Community Board for the Council’s application to the Drinking Water Subsidy scheme.
Board members decided to send a letter to every ratepayer in Takaka asking if they support Tasman District Council making an application for a fully reticulated water scheme on behalf of the Takaka community. Letters were sent out on 15 February 2011.
If the subsidy application is successful the second stage will see residents canvassed again to gauge support for the scheme to go ahead.
Board Chair Carolyn McLellan says many bores are shallow and therefore vulnerable to contamination in a flood. A piped scheme would also improve Takaka’s firefighting ability, supporting the firemain work which has just begun in the Takaka central business district.
Old Library Site
The future of the old library site in Commercial Street, Takaka, is under discussion following the fire one year ago. The building was leased at the time of the fire and was insured.
Submissions on what to do with the site closed on 11 February 2011. Options include turning it into reserve, rebuilding, or refreshing and possibly moving the present playground.
The results of the submission process will be presented at a public meeting in March 2011 at which Council Reserves Officer Glenn Thorn will also present playground options based on the submission process.
Carolyn says that after the public meeting, the most popular ideas may then be put out for further public discussion.
“I have to say, at this stage, everyone is really enjoying having the open space.”
Health Board Representation
Members of the Board have endorsed a concern from Grey Power Motueka that the Nelson Marlborough District Health Board has no representation from the Motueka and Golden Bay areas, which have a combined population of about 20,000.
“We believe that’s a very relevant concern,” says Carolyn. The Board will write to Health Minister Tony Ryall.
Bouquet for Mural Maestro
Mural artist Chris Finlayson has been thanked for his latest work on a wall at the old Takaka library site, and for his ongoing support for public artwork in Golden Bay.
“He is involving as many people as want to contribute their time, including older children; what a wonderful experience, and to be able to look back and say, ‘I helped on that mural’,” says Carolyn.
Chris donated his services for the library project.
Councillors Pay Respects
New Tasman District Councillors Zane Mirfin and Kit Maling attended the 8 February Board meeting to introduce themselves. Mayor Richard Kempthorne also made the trip over the hill. Carolyn McLellan says that their combined presence reflected much warmer relations between the Board and Council.
Piped Supply Support Conditional
The Motueka Community Board has given its conditional support to a Tasman District Council proposal to apply for a Health Ministry subsidy to provide a piped drinking water supply in the town. The application should be subject to later community consultation, Board members decided at their meeting on 8 February 2011. Board Chair David Ogilvie says that, unfortunately, the water scheme comes at the same time as ratepayers are being asked to fund the Motueka River stopbank upgrade.
“Flood protection of the Lower Motueka River is becoming the main rating issue at the moment.”
Council would apply to the Ministry for the domestic water reticulation subsidy, and “if it gives a yellow, or even a green light,” then ratepayers should be consulted for the final say, with information made available on the relevant costs and benefits,
Preferred Bypass Route
The Board will write to the NZ Transport Agency and Tasman District Council to report on the public’s “strong preference” expressed at a meeting late last year for a Chamberlain Street/Anderson Road/Swamp Road bypass through Motueka.
Straw polls at the meeting rejected the idea of a “temporary” bypass, or heavy traffic diversion, along Thorp Street (east) or Queen Victoria Street (west).
Board members want to see a bypass opened by November 2025,
or 2030 at the latest.
“There’s a conflict between domestic and through traffic” in High Street, Motueka, says David. “It’s a major problem.”
Entrance Makeover Sought
The Board will write to Council seeking the services of a landscape designer to enhance the southern, or Nelson/Richmond, entrance to Motueka. David says an overall plan should combine the elements of the estuary, river, the new gateway sign area and the wide grass berm to the Clock Tower.
Members envisaged tree plantings and perhaps a different roundabout design, he says.
Creative Communities Grants
- Motueka Recreation Centre $750
- SeniorNet Motueka Digital Interest Group $250
- Motueka High School $1238
- Motueka Arts Council $1500.
(Creative Communities is the local arts funding scheme to support community arts and cultural activity. There are four rounds per year. The next round closes on 10 May 2011. For more information go to www.tasman.govt.nz or e-mail email@example.com)
The next round of Community Board meetings take place on Tuesday 8 March 2011.
The Waimea Inlet, from Tahunanui Back Beach to Mapua, contains a wonderful richness of natural places, recreational opportunities, places where people live, and a place of diverse industry.
Over the last year, people who live around or care about the Waimea Inlet have been starting to gather around a proposed “Waimea Inlet Forum”, a quarterly forum where the issues of the inlet and its longterm care can be explored together. A “Charter” for the inlet described the Forum as seeking “to support local collaboration and promote local and wide appreciation of the Inlet, its communities and its treasures; and wise, positive steps of action and learning together.”
A hugely successful Symposium last May drew a huge crowd to the Greenacres Golf Clubhouse, Richmond, and as a result of that meeting the two Councils – Tasman and Nelson – the Fish and Game Council, the Department of Conservation and local iwi, signed up to a shared Strategy. The Strategy invited people and organisations to take a stand for a “regenerative future” for the Waimea Inlet. In simple words that means that year by year, decade by decade, the inlet becomes a more rich and diverse place for nature and people.
On the afternoon of 4 March 2011, at 1.00 pm - 5.00 pm at the new Headingly Centre (or Grace Church) on the corner of Lower Queen Street and Headingly Lane in Richmond, the Forum will launch and move immediately into positive action.
Signatories of the Waimea Charter, as well as any individual or group who has a positive interest in the Inlet, are welcome to attend. The particular focus of this meeting of the Forum will be to explore the most positive opportunities for the development of the National Cycleway that is proposed to traverse from Nelson via the ASB Centre to Mapua and beyond to Motueka.
This will be a practical workshop, where people can learn and explore together the on-the-ground issues. It’s expected that a core group will work on the issues raised, doing further research and thinking, and will convene again a week later on Friday
11 March 2011 at the same time (1.00 pm - 5.00 pm) and venue, to share what they have learnt and explore what are the most positive pathways forward. Members of the Forum and the public are also welcome at that session.
If you would like to attend the event please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you live in Murchison and think that you might qualify for a rates rebate? Do you have any questions around how the rates rebate is calculated or simply want some help filling out the forms? On Wednesday 2 and Thursday 3 March 2011 a Customer Services representative from Council will be at the Murchison Service Centre to help guide you through the process and help you lodge an application if you are eligible.
No need to book an appointment – just drop into the Murchison Service Centre at 92 Fairfax Street between 9.00 am and 12.00 noon, 1.00 pm to 4.30 pm and ask to speak to Vicki.
This service is not limited to Murchison and is available at all Tasman District Council offices at any time during opening hours.
You can apply for a rates rebate if:
- You pay the rates on the address that you live at, and
- You were living at the address at the beginning of the rating year (1 July), and
- Your name is recorded in the Rating Information Database (RID) as ratepayer
Rebates are calculated based on your household income, rates and the number of dependents. The income eligibility threshold is $22,340. However, if your household income exceeds this amount you could still be entitled to a rebate depending on the total cost of your rates and the number of dependents.
The maximum rebate amount for the 2010/2011 year is $570.
Rebates are granted under the Rates Rebate Act 1973 and you must provide income information so your rebate can be worked out.
For all queries regarding the rates rebate, ratepayers can call 03 543 8400 between 8.30 am and 4.00 pm Mon to Fri or go to www.tasman.govt.nz/property/rates/rates-rebate/
Motorists travelling along the Richmond Deviation over the past four weeks will have noticed significant construction activity along the seaward side of the highway.
This is the 1.5km Richmond Deviation Cycleway (shared path) taking shape. When completed, it will form a continuous pathway linking the Railway Reserve pathway in the south to the Wakatu Drive and Stoke Railways reserve pathways in the north.
Thanks to the efforts of local contracting firm Fulton Hogan and JC Contracting, construction has reached the halfway mark and to date has involved minor earthworks, culvert installation, and construction of the hardfill under the cycleway. Sustainability has been a key design feature of the cycleway, and some of the sustainability features of the project are:
- Recycling suitable hardfill and pavement material, and reusing it on site
- Retaining existing landscaping where possible
- Removal of undesirable and unsuitable vegetation along the boundary of the cycleway
- Enhanced landscaping
Trubet Holdings have kindly donated a hardwood seat, which will make an attractive feature sited at the northern end of the project with views over the Waimea Estuary.
The project is on schedule for opening in mid April 2011. Being the first leg of the Tasman Cycleway Loop (part of the national cycleway) an opening ceremony is being planned by the New Zealand Transport Agency (who are funding the project) to celebrate the completion of this community facility.
Tasman District Council will build four new pensioner cottages in Richmond this year. The units in Aotea Place, off Hill Street, are expected to be ready for occupancy in mid-July 2011.
There is a genuine need for long-term affordable accommodation for the elderly across the District and the Council has a role in meeting this need.
The Council currently owns 97 such cottages, all of which are one bedroom, except for four bedsits in Motueka (which will be upgraded as and when funds allow). Five of the 97 cottages have been adapted for tenants with physical disabilities.
Richmond currently has 30 cottages, but has a waiting list of 27, hence the need for more to be built. Motueka has 45 cottages, with a waiting list of 27. There are seven each in Brightwater and Wakefield, and four each in Murchison and Takaka.
Generally, the cottages are available to people aged over 65 with limited financial assets. Demand for pensioner housing often exceeds the number of cottages available, as is the case at the moment, therefore priority is given to applicants: Who live in the District; Whose present housing conditions are unsatisfactory; Who have close relatives in the area; Who have been referred by a doctor.
Council’s investment in pensioner housing is self-funding with rents covering all costs, including administration. No rates-generated funding is involved. Any surplus funds are used to write off debt, support improvements to disabled facilities or are retained for future maintenance, upgrades or developments to pensioner cottages.
Close to 1000 people descended on Takaka for the annual Mardi Gras on Saturday 5 February 2011 enjoying 12 hours of music, merriment and food.
The Grand Parade, held at 6.00 pm, featured some towering metallic aliens, wild masks and the Mardi Bras contest – won by Britta Schroeter with a “Roadkill” bra of tyre-tracks over a dead pukeko and possum. The musical lineup included local bands and thumping marimba beats.
Organiser Dave Myall said numbers were slightly down this year, probably because of the sizzling heat and a big whale stranding at Pakawau, which many locals attended to offer help and support.
The Mardi Gras receives funding from the Tasman District Council as part of its commitment to supporting our District’s vibrant communities.
Applications are now open for Variety Gold Heart Scholarships, which help Kiwi kids realise their dreams in education, music, art and sport.
The programme provides talented youngsters who are disadvantaged by illness, disability or financial circumstances with up to $5,000 per annum for a maximum of three years, and matches them with a mentor to assist them to reach their long-term goals. This assistance could include helping with tuition fees, personal development, coaching, buying training equipment, travel or accommodation.
To apply, children should already be at a high level in their field and show passion and commitment, as demonstrated by achievements to date. For application criteria and to download an application form, visit www.variety.org.nz or contact Heather Stevens on Ph. 09 520 4111. Applications close on 31 March 2011.