Newsline 259 - 9 September 2011
Friday 9 September 2011
Read articles from the September 9 issue of Newsline.
Download Newsline as a PDF: Newsline 259 - 9 September 2011
- All Blacks Make Flying Visit to Motueka
- Mayor’s Comment
- Culvert Flushes Mapua Estuary
- Bells Will Ring for Champion Flyers
- Futureproofing Theme Strikes a Chord
- Illegal Rubbish Dumping in Our Rivers and streams
- Tasman Becomes International Safe Community
- Swim School Wins National Award
- Commemorating Waitangi Day Fund
- Amalgamation Proposal
- Green Champions Proud of Success
- Trustpower Community Awards
- Long-serving Volunteers Honoured
- Tasman’s Great Taste Trail
All Blacks Ali Williams and Tasman’s own Ben Franks visited Motueka, Riwaka and Lower Moutere on Friday 2 September 2011 to hang out with their fans ahead of assembling for Rugby World Cup 2011.
First up was a flying visit to Riwaka School, literally, with the pair arriving by helicopter after a scenic flight over the beautiful Tasman coastline. A well-rehearsed and passionate kapa haka group of students greeted the pair to the schools grounds.
The All Black duo, escorted for the day by Rueben Chubb and Willie Hav from the Golden Bay/Motueka under 52kg Seddon Shield winning rugby side, then joined the 300+ school children in a round-robin of ball games, at which both players strength, speed and sense of humour were put to the test. Motueka’s longest ever high-5 was the parting shot before the World Cup bound pair headed back to their helicopter for a visit to Lower Moutere School.
Leaving Lower Moutere mid-morning it was back in the chopper for a tour of the Motueka Recreation Centre, Motueka highstreet, Woodlands Rest Home and the Jack Inglis Friendship Hospital. The grand finale was Ali and Ben both taking part in a huge ‘Jump Jam’ at Goodman Park with over 500 excited kids.
The visit was organised by Tasman District Council and Sport Tasman and was sponsored by Talley’s and Subway.
The amalgamation debate is about to enter its next phase where the Local Government Commission, at the end of September, will begin to hear verbal submissions on its draft reorganisation plan. From there they will take the opportunity to consider whether or not the proposal should go any further with an expected announcement at the end of the year. The Council will be speaking to its submission, which is summarised in this edition of Newsline, elaborating on the three main concerns of representation, cost effectiveness and the supposed lost opportunities. Remember, amalgamation will not proceed unless two steps are satisfied; first the commission has to decide to proceed with the proposal, if it does there is then a poll of all voters in Tasman and Nelson where at least 50% of those who vote need to vote in support of the amalgamation for it to progress.
Tasman District Council’s CEO Paul Wylie announced his resignation and as of 5 December 2011 he will take up the position of CEO in the Buller District. Paul’s decision is unrelated to the amalgamation debate but rather gives him a five year contract with Buller rather than the two year extension he had with Tasman. Paul is excited to be helping Buller address what is really a once in a lifetime chance for the District.
Council will announce its decision shortly on the process and timeframe for the appointment of a new Chief Executive. This is important in order for the Council to continue its focus on delivering services to the residents and ratepayers of our District.
– Mayor Richard Kempthorne
A new culvert under the Toru St causeway in Mapua is flushing out the estuary upstream much more quickly, improving plant life and banishing the smell of rotting algae.
Water would previously stagnate behind the road to the Mapua Leisure Park and the area “used to stink like anything in summer,” says David Stephenson, Tasman District Council Utilities Asset Engineer.
A new concrete pipe has given the estuary, fed by the Seaton Valley stream, more capacity to flow to the sea, reducing flood
risk. Two additional culverts were placed under private
“There’s been a significant improvement in the flushing of the estuary above the culvert, and a drop in the water level,” says David.
Toru Street resident Bob Melrose says the water flushes out in three hours now, less than half the time it used to take. He is pleased to be rid of the smell that used to come from the stagnant water, which was “worse than sewage”.
Local ornithologist Rhys Buckingham says it is too early to assess the effect of the change on birdlife.
Further work planned for the area includes widening the stream channel back to Stafford Drive, and providing a walkway alongside it.
Church bells will ring to welcome back world-champion flyers the godwits (kuaka), which star in Conservation Week activities from 11-18 September 2011, plus special events later in the month.
Keith Woodley, author of Godwits: Long Haul Champions, and manager of the Miranda Shorebird Centre near Thames, will give talks on the birds’ world record-breaking 12,000km flight to New Zealand from Alaska. Keith’s Motueka talk is at the Top 10 Holiday Park, Fearon Street, on Thursday 15 September 2011, and the following night he will speak in Takaka at the Senior Citizens Hall.
On October 1, Golden Bay ornithologist Richard Stocker will lead a trip to view godwits at various sites, ending up at the Farewell Spit Visitor Centre, where there are displays of the kuaka’s non-stop 8-9 day journey.
Motueka’s welcome for the godwits will centre on the Motueka Memorial Hall on 23 and 24 September 2011. The birds spend six months at the Motueka sandspit and estuaries, recuperating and preparing for the journey back.
Welcome celebrations include:
- Ringing of church bells (11.00 am on Friday 23 September 2011)
- Art and photography competitions for adults
- Student poetry, art and school displays
- Mask and dress-up parade
- Lectures by three prominent personalities
- Powerpoint shows on the godwits story and birds of our estuaries
- Viewing of the godwits feeding in the estuary
- Displays by local environmental groups.
The event is organised by the Motueka Arts Council, and major sponsor is the Tasman District Council, with help from Lions, Rotary, Lionesses, Maori Wardens, Floral Art, Camera Club, Ex-Soroptimists, Motueka On Line and the Quilting Connection. Local businesses have provided prizes and window space, and schools and kindergartens are invited to submit artwork or displays.
There will also be displays from the Council, Forest and Bird, Department of Conservation, Ornithological Society, Friends of the Raumanukas, and Farewell Spit Eco Tours.
Over the Takaka Hill, other Conservation Week events include a talk by well-known Nelson photographer and television documentary presenter Craig Potton. He will show slides of Golden Bay’s iconic landscapes. That talk is at the Senior Citizens Hall, Takaka (behind the Stone Catholic Church) at 7.30 pm on 9 September 2011, with supper to follow. Gold coin donation.
Keith Woodley gives his Takaka talk on Friday 16 September 2011, and on 23 September 2011 church bells will ring in Golden Bay to coincide with Motueka and Nelson. The following day is Moving Planet – Worldwide Day of Action, in which people across the globe join together to seek solutions to the climate crisis. In Takaka, marchers will rally at 2.00 pm at the little park beside the museum.
Ecofest 2011’s theme of ‘Futureproofing Your Family’ struck a chord with attendees, say organisers, attracting over 5000 people during its two days. The event provided people with practical knowledge and skills they could use to help cope in the event of natural (or man-made) disasters.
Ecofest is an annual event supported by Tasman District and Nelson City Councils and featuring a two-day expo, eco-home and garden tours, an eco-business seminar and an eco-challenge.
Ecofest organiser Jo Reilly says this year’s theme was triggered in part by the devastating Canterbury earthquakes as well as the flooding that hit Tasman in the past year.
“We felt that Ecofest would be the perfect opportunity to ensure that we, as a community, were as well-prepared as we could be. And of course the theme fitted really well with the whole Ecofest ethos of helping people to live more sustainably and self-sufficiently,” she said.
Many of the practical, hands-on workshops and seminars had a ‘futureproofing’ focus –
with topics such as using social media, setting up an emergency kit, growing your own food and tackling practical tasks such as installing a rainwater tank. The gardening and DIY-type of workshops were a particular hit, as were the cheese-making and other food demonstrations.
Adding a real-life twist to the future-proofing theme, Classic Hits Nelson sponsored a promotion which saw a local family challenged to live on-site at the two-day expo from the contents of their survival kit. Pen and John Rollston and their children Mya and Morgan (and dog George) camped out at the Trafalgar Centre for two nights and took part in a variety of survival-themed challenges including building a shelter and being ‘rescued’ on stretchers from the top of the Trafalgar Centre. In exchange, the family won a family trip to Sydney from Mondo Travel.
“There was a great atmosphere and many of the stand-holders and people running the seminars and workshops commented on the interest and commitment shown by those who attended,” said Jo Reilly.
Ecofest prize pack winners are:
- Emily Bolton of Nelson, who won $4,200 worth of insulation from Absolute Energy
- Kate and Skye Hampton of Motueka, who won the night at Stonefly Lodge
- Beni Rae, age 6, who won the bike and helmet prize from The Warehouse.
Rivers and streams across Tasman are being used as dumping sites for dead animal carcasses from hunting excursions, household rubbish and disowned trash, including TVs, fridges and cars.
Whilst it is not a new problem, recent illegal dumping around various rivers and coastal areas in Tasman has required a concerted effort to clean up. Dumping litter is not only degrading the natural values of our environment but can also be detrimental to public health, as most waterways are used for domestic water supplies and/or public recreation. Each year the Council spends a lot of money cleaning up this waste, which diverts funds from other important areas.
Infringement fines of up to $400 can be served by Councils but the difficulty is catching the culprit in the act. Video surveillance is one option being considered by landowners and councils as the biggest disincentive for most offences is being caught. The public can help by being vigilant and reporting anyone seen dumping litter or ‘trashing it’, preferably with photographic evidence and vehicle registration details. Information on illegal dumping can be provided in confidence to the Tasman District Council on Ph. 03 543 8400.
Tasman was officially designated an International Safe Community at a ceremony on Tuesday
30 August 2011 at the Suburbs Football Pavilion at Saxton Field.
International Safe Communities is a World Health Organisation (WHO) concept that recognises safety as “a universal concern and a responsibility for all". This approach to community safety encourages greater cooperation and collaboration between non-government organisations, the business sector, local and government agencies.
Nelson and Tasman are the 19th and 20th communities in New Zealand to receive this international designation, which recognises the huge amount of work that is happening at all levels to make this a safe place to live.
The Safe at the Top working group has been aiming for this goal since 2008, but stresses that achieving the International Safe Community status is not an end, simply a milestone on a continuing journey.
Nelson Bays Police Area Commander Brian McGurk has been a member of ‘Safe at the Top’ throughout. He says, “This designation is an opportunity to celebrate what’s been achieved but also the beginning of the next phase. We hope now to get even more groups and individuals joining us as we work towards making the Nelson and Tasman communities safer.”
The ceremony featured presentations outlining the work of the task groups involved, the Safe Communities Foundation of New Zealand and speeches from MP Nick Smith, Tasman Mayor Richard Kempthorne and Nelson Mayor Aldo Miccio.
The ASB Aquatic Centre’s SwimMagic programme has been judged the national Swim School of the Year, taking the honour from the 12 other facilities run by pool management company CLM.
More than 1500 individual swimmers use SwimMagic’s services in Richmond every week, plus 20 schools are on the books. Classes range from babies and parents through to elite competitive swimmers.
The CLM award is based on customer retention, standard of service, growth, staff turnover and financial performance.
“I’m very thankful that we’ve got such a passionate team,” says Shirlene Spencer, the swim school co-ordinator, who also pays tribute to colleague Lisa Stove.
SwimMagic has settled into the new learners pool, an “awesome space” that opened in September last year. The 20m x 12m pool is heated to 32-34 degrees.
Higher level swimmers and multisport athletes use the lane pool in the main complex. The swim school has a staff of 31 full and part-timers.
Facility manager Robert Kennedy says the award is “wonderful”. Staff member Lisa Bergman also won SwimMagic Instructor of the Year.
Robert credits a team effort throughout the complex, with the Wave Rave, Life Shop, Customer Service and Aquatics departments all receiving nominations for the CLM awards. Friday night Wave Raves are drawing more than 330 children and teens.
The Aquatic Centre is Tasman District Council’s biggest leisure facility. It opened in 2004 and recorded its millionth visitor in June 2010. A new gym opened in June this year at the complex. Nationwide, SwimMagic provides lessons to 10,000 swimmers every week.
The Commemorating Waitangi Day Fund is now open. The closing date for applications this year is Friday 23 September 2011.
Proposals are sought from community organisations for specific events which:
- Commemorate the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi; and
- Take place on or near Waitangi Day, 6 February 2011.
The Government is especially interested in supporting events organised by local government and/or communities in partnership with tangata whenua that invite wide community participation.
For more information go to http://www.mch.govt.nz/ and search Waitangi Day Fund.
Tasman District Council’s submission – a summary
The Tasman District Council has made a submission on the Draft Reorganisation Plan issued by the Local Government Commission (LGC). The Council’s submission is available in its entirety on the website www.tasman.govt.nz or from any of the District’s libraries and service centres.
Below is a summary of the submission. The Council will be speaking to this submission at the hearings which will occur in late September 2011.
The Submission is in two parts. Part A is Council’s submission in opposition to the proposal. Part B is its submission addressing aspects of the Draft Reorganisation Scheme as presented.
This submission was adopted by the Tasman District Council at its Full Council meeting of 11 August 2011.
Part A - opposition to the proposal
The Tasman District Council (by majority) opposes the implementation of the draft reorganisation scheme for the union of Nelson City and Tasman District as released by the LGC, dated 13 June 2011.
It does so, on the basis that the proposed union:
- Will not better represent the nature and interests of the diverse communities within the Nelson-Tasman area. The draft scheme promotes a one size fits all model that is a backwards step for the communities currently represented by the two existing Councils.
- Unnecessarily promotes a single approach to community decision making and action across the Nelson and Tasman regions. Tasman District Council submits that such a new approach is not required to efficiently and effectively address key issues facing the two regions of Nelson City and Tasman District. Both councils already have effective processes to deal with any inter-regional issues.
- Is unlikely to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of Council decision making and action as it is currently achieved. Instead the draft scheme promotes a large and cumbersome 17 person council, a number of additional community boards in communities that do not necessarily want them, and a single cumbersome bureaucracy.
- Is unlikely to improve the participation in the planning and development of the regions by their communities and other stakeholders. The draft scheme risks reduced participation at a local level due to the remoteness of the single decision making body and reduced access to Councillors, who would make the key decisions affecting the District, due to lower levels of representation. It also has the potential to adversely impact on the role and funding of community associations.
- Is unlikely to improve the representation of, and accountability to the residents of an existing district and an existing city. A single council dominated by urban interests will disenfranchise the various rural interests spread across the expanded district.
- Is unlikely to enhance the level of advocacy which is available to the two unitary councils working together. Two mayors properly representing their communities speak louder than one when advocating to central government and other nationally or internationally based organisations. It also provides for differences of viewpoints when issues may be beneficial for the Tasman District yet detrimental for a city area and vice versa.
Before proceeding to endorse any final scheme for a union of the two existing councils we expect the Commission to establish, on the basis of firm evidence, that: there will be improved financial advantages to ratepayers by the union, and the various communities of interest in both the city and the district will be better served by a union; and overall the proposed union will result in better local government for the combined region.
The Tasman District Council submits that no such case has been established.
We cannot see sound evidence of any financial benefit to ratepayers. Despite a range of unsubstantiated claims from the petitioner and others there is no empirical evidence or research to justify claims of savings for ratepayers. International and New Zealand evidence indicates costs following amalgamation tend to go up, not down. The Commission’s sole justification for financial savings lies in the Strateg.Ease Ltd report, which contains a number of errors.
On the basis of Strateg-Ease report, a likely financial “benefit” seems to lie in an increased capacity to borrow. However, there is an inevitable cost to this. Combining the two councils assets and borrowing more money will be no more affordable as it still has to be serviced by the same number of ratepayers.
The other key benefit identified in the Strateg-Ease report is a reduced operating cost through management and staff savings. The reliability of these perceived benefits is questioned and extensive reasoning for this is outlined in detail in the full submission. At the same time the LGC appears to have overlooked or ignored the extensive evidence that demonstrates the current high level of shared services between the two existing councils and the public commitment to continue to actively pursue further savings in those remaining areas where there could be economies of scale or improved critical mass. No union is required to make those savings.
The various regional communities of interest will not be better served by the union. The Commission’s report does not provide evidence of failure or missed opportunities as a result of having two councils instead of one. On the contrary, there is firm evidence that the present joint Regional Economic Development Strategy is working well with the BERL survey (and the Tasman District Council Communitrak survey) showing that the separate councils are succeeding in economic terms, with better than average growth rates and high rates of public approval.
The region is doing well, with the city looked after by a city council, and the district looked after by a district council, with each reflecting the priorities of their own communities and working together on inter-regional priorities.
In such circumstances the Tasman District submits that the LGC must conclude that the draft scheme will not improve local government in either the city or the district, and that the draft plan should be withdrawn.
The Tasman District Council has achieved much since 1989. The district unitary model is now proven and reliable for provincial New Zealand. In a similar manner Nelson City will claim that it has been successful. Both existing Councils are more than “sustainable in their present form.” Solid evidence (such as the BERL surveys) has been placed before the Commission to confirm the success of the existing local government model.
The Commission’s Draft Reorganisation Scheme states that a union will address unspecified “missed regional opportunities” puts all that success at risk.
There has to be proven evidence to substantiate what the missed regional opportunities are and that there is a need for change from the status quo.
The Draft Scheme and its supporting documents do not provide such evidence. In the few areas where specific detail has been used by the LGC to justify its conclusion that a union is needed, that evidence does not stand up to scrutiny. In other areas such as regional planning and shared services, the evidence of numerous examples of positive outcomes appear to have been discounted or ignored.
The suggested additional borrowing capacity is academic, while the claimed staff savings calculations are shown to be based on inaccurate comparisons.
The Draft Scheme is not evidence based, and it should therefore be withdrawn.
The draft reorganisation scheme itself
Tasman District Council also addressed in its submission the draft reorganisation scheme itself.
There are a number of key matters in the draft reorganisation scheme prepared by the LGC that make it unworkable in its current form and should amalgamation proceed these will need to be corrected in the final reorganisation order.
Nothing in the comments below should be interpreted as support for the proposed scheme. The draft reorganisation scheme is defective in a number of respects. Part B of the submission has the unanimous support of the Tasman District Council.
One Ward for the Former Nelson City
Tasman District Council is concerned that the draft scheme proposes only one ward for the whole of the area of the existing Nelson City. It notes that the “blue report”, the LGC relied on an observation by Nelson City staff that individuals and local community groups within the city tended to form “Communities of Interest” around particular issues, and that these communities were not necessarily ongoing.
Tasman District Council questions the veracity of that observation. Communities of interest form geographically in urban areas just as they do in rural areas. Tasman District Council believes that an improved vertical and horizontal integration of communities of interest in the area of the existing Nelson City would be better achieved by dividing that area into a number of wards. Council suggests that any new scheme should reintroduce the original four wards, or alternatively establish three new wards covering Stoke/Tahunanui, Nelson Central and Nelson North. Either approach would ensure more appropriate coverage. The existence of such wards would focus electors on the needs of geographical communities, rather than special issues or interest groups, or party politics.
Tasman District Council believes that the single Nelson ward, as proposed in the draft reorganization scheme, with seven members elected “at large”, will be so much larger than any other ward, that it may also encourage the development of a hierarchy of wards within the proposed new Nelson-Tasman District Council.
Nelson-Richmond Community Board
Council cannot support the establishment of the very large proposed Nelson-Richmond Community Board to represent the “community of interest” of all of the area of the existing Nelson City and the proposed Richmond ward, for similar reasons as those traversed above.
Separate Ward and Community Board for Richmond
Richmond is its own geographical area and it should have its own Community Board. It is a clearly distinct community of interest and is a township in its own right. It is not, and has never been a suburb of Nelson.
Council is also concerned at the difference in the size of the proposed Nelson-Richmond Community Board compared to the other proposed boards. It is possible that a board representing such a large proportion of the proposed district’s population could have an inappropriate level of influence with the new Council.
Council proposes that to maintain consistency and equity, at least four community boards be established, one for Richmond ward and one each for the three or four proposed “Nelson” wards. These community boards could then truly represent a specific geographical community of interest and serve and be supported by the relevant communities.
Other Boundary Matters
Council is concerned about the proposal for the Tasman township to be included within the Motueka Ward. Tasman township is separated from the Motueka area by the State Highway and relates well, as a small coastal township with other communities within the Moutere/Waimea Ward.
Other Community Board Matters
Council questions why there will be more elected members (Council and Community Board) for the Motueka ward, than for what is currently the Richmond ward, which has twice the population of the Motueka ward.
Council questions the appropriateness of having community boards across the whole district. There are definite communities of interest in Golden Bay and Motueka that justify community boards. However, it is difficult to see how such boards will work in wards like Moutere-Waimea and Lakes-Murchison. For example, Moutere-Waimea comprises a number of very distinct and different communities and settlements. It is possible that a rural community board in this area would be dominated (due to population size) by people from the larger population centres within the ward.
In total there could be eight community boards, each with delegated functions and powers as per the LGC’s Draft Scheme. These “empowered” boards will have to be remunerated and supported at considerable cost. The full cost will not be less than $50,000 per board and could be higher depending on the activity level of each board. Conservatively it is estimated that this second tier of local government will cost rate payers an additional $500,000 per annum.
Continued Existence of a Lakes/Murchison Ward
In its draft scheme, the LGC has recognised the need for continuance of a separate Lakes/Murchison ward, despite the fact that it falls significantly outside the “+/- 10%” rule. The degree of exception has been softened to some extent by the proposed enlargement to a 17 person council. Tasman District Council is concerned that any reduction in the size of that 17 person council would make the exception untenable.
Air Quality Plans
The Draft Reorganisation Scheme at paragraph 21 (3) determines that “The Nelson Air Quality Plan is deemed to be the regional plan of the Nelson-Tasman District Council”.
However, at Paragraph 21 (2) the Draft Scheme also determines that the Tasman Resource Management Plan is deemed to be a plan of the new Nelson-Tasman Council.
The Tasman Resource Management Plan includes an air quality plan for the existing Tasman district. This creates a potential conflict.
Transition Committee Issues
Tasman District Council notes that clause 14(1) of the draft scheme proposes that the affected local authority must unite in appointing a Transition Committee. No date has been specified by which time this must be done. If it is intended that the new Council be ready to operate the day after the election on 13 October 2012, sufficient time and clarity of powers is essential. There is little direction on matters such as servicing and funding of the committee.
We note there are many references to ‘the Council’ contained in sections 19(a) through to (h) and a reference to “Community Boards” in 19(i). The context requires that these references are to entities that will not come into existence until the day after the declaration of the results of the election for them by the Electoral Officer.
In particular, the Tasman District Council notes that the functions and powers of the Transition Committee are poorly stated and will not efficiently lead to the new Council being ready to conduct business from day one if the proposal proceeds. In particular, there are a range of recommendations that have to be made by the Transition Committee to the new council. Tasman District Council presumes that these will not, and indeed cannot, be considered, adopted and implemented until such time as the new Council has been established and would like the LGC to clarify this if it issues a final scheme.
Given the complications, Council questions the appropriateness of the Commission’s proposal that elections for the proposed new Council be brought forward to October 2012. Instead it is suggested that any elections be held at the normal date of October 2013. In the period between any vote establishing the union of the two Councils and the elections of councillors, an Auckland “Super City” style independent interim transition committee should be established under a Commissioner.
Provisions for Existing Staff
Tasman District Council on behalf of its staff seeks the Local Government Commission’s assurance that clause 67 of schedule 3 of the Local Government Act, referred to in Section 23 of its draft scheme, and in particular the references in that clause to “contracts” includes employment contracts that staff currently have with the Chief Executive, and indeed, the employment of the Chief Executive. If that is not the case, the draft scheme is silent on such issues, it would mean that all the staff were redundant on the last day of the existing Councils there would be no staff, apart from the Acting Chief Executive, on the first day of the new Council.
New Council’s Headquarters and Rating Systems
Tasman District Council supports the provision that the new Council’s headquarters would be in Richmond, and that the existing service centres be maintained for at least five years. It also supports the adoption of the capital value system of rating for the combined Council.
Long Term Plans and Long Term Council Community Plans
Clause 20 of the draft reorganisation scheme states as follows:
“20. Long-term council community plans
The long-term council community plans prepared by the Nelson City Council and the Tasman District Council continue in force in respect
of their areas until a new long-term plan is made by the Council.”
Under the Local Government Act 2002 both existing Councils have to have new Long Term Plans in place by 30 June 2012. As the election for the new Council is after this date, clause 20 is incorrect. The current long-term council community plans of the two Councils will not exist in October 2012.”
The clause needs amending to state that “The long-term plans 2012-2022 to be adopted by Nelson City Council and Tasman District Council by June 2012 will continue in force in respect of their areas until a new long-term plan is made by the Council.”
The full submission can be found at http://www.tasman.govt.nz/link/summary.
Where is the process now and what happens next
- 19 August 2011 Submissions on the proposal for amalgamating Tasman District and Nelson City close.
- September 2011 Hearings throughout Tasman District and Nelson City.
- December 2011 The Local Government Commission makes a final decision whether to proceed further – if it decides to proceed it will issue a final plan for the amalgamation.
- March 2012 Polls Held – where by voters in both Tasman District and Nelson City have the ability to vote on the proposal.
- April 2012 If the proposal is supported by 50% of those that vote in Tasman District and 50% of those that vote in Nelson City an order in Council will be prepared to give effect to the scheme. This means that the union of Tasman District and Nelson City will go ahead. The Order in Council would constitute the Transition Committee.
- October 2012* Elections are held for the new council.
- 1 November 2012 The new council takes office.
When you are the only secondary/special needs school in the country to achieve Green Gold Enviroschools status, you are entitled to be proud.
The 68-odd students at Salisbury girls’ school in Richmond are just that, says teacher aide Carolyn Shirtliff, who started the Enviroschools programme there in 2003.
Salisbury has just erected a sign to proclaim its Gold status, one of 37 Enviroschools nationwide to make the top grade, out of a total muster of 735. (Ngatimoti primary school is the only other Gold recipient in Tasman District.)
Even Salisbury’s sign is eco-friendly. Maintenance man Gary “Doc” Paterson opted for a pole of yellow pine, found only on the West Coast and about 600 years old, he says. Being turpentine wood, “it will never rot”, avoiding the need for chemically tanalised timber. The sign framing is beech.
Carolyn says the whole school gets behind the green ethos. Students are only at Salisbury for two years, but old hands induct new arrivals into the sustainable philosophy.
Salisbury has won the schools section of the Tasman Nelson Environment Awards three times, plus runner-up placings. Carolyn says the $1000 prize from last year’s win has been spent on an 8m tunnel house, with tomato plants already in – the crop destined for the school kitchen.
Salisbury recently won the NZ Plant Conservation Award for its reforestation project, which began in 2004 after students discovered that there wasn’t any native bush left on the Richmond/Hope plains – so they created a harakeke (flax) grove at the back of the school.
Students also propagate trees, plus have a large vegetable garden and a pumpkin patch.
They are involved in restoring an urban stream and do volunteer work for a natural wetland enhancement project. Teachers and students take part in Conservation Week, Sea Week and in-house recycling initiatives.
At the awarding of a Gold-status flag for Salisbury last November, Enviroschools Foundation director Heidi Mardon said such achievements couldn’t be done without partnerships.
“The Tasman District Council has done a fantastic job of co-ordination and facilitation.”
The Enviroschools movement is mainly funded by local councils, with some Government support.
Tasman-based organisations and community groups took out some of the top prizes at the recent Trustpower Nelson Tasman Community Awards 2011. The annual awards, run in conjunction with Tasman District and Nelson City councils attracted 109 nominations. A full list of the winners can be found on the Trustpower Community Connect website – www.communityconnect.co.nz. Award winners from the Tasman District were:
Tasman District Overall Award
Winner: Motueka Recreation Centre Twenty-four years ago there was an apple packhouse in the heart of Motueka but a small group had dreams for the place. They wanted to see it turned into a community hub – a place for everyone. Today, the Motueka Recreation Centre is a far cry from the converted packhouse. It’s just had a $2.1 million dollar makeover and is now a multi-purpose sport and recreation centre boasting an international standard roller-skating rink, sports stadium, gym, group fitness lounge, youth lounge, cafe, two martial art dojo’s, five outdoor netball courts and a commercial cinema. The Centre is now managed by the Tasman Regional Sports Trust and attracts around 270,000 visitors every year.
Heritage & Environment Award
Winner: Salisbury School - students were recognised for their environmental restoration work at Blumine Island in the Queen Charlotte Sound, Mangarakau Swamp and Reservoir Creek.
Commended: Keep Motueka Beautiful for completing 38 garden plots which have been ‘adopted’ by individuals, families and community organisations to plant and maintain and transforming Link Park.
Commended: Motueka District Museum Trust for “bringing back Lassie” – a 1928 Cadillac La Salle V8 first owned by a local family and restored by a group of volunteers. Lassie is now used at parades, street festivals, A&P Shows and schools.
Arts & Culture Award
Commended: Motueka Arts Council for their successful Welcome to the Godwits festival run for the first time in Spring 2010.
Sport & Leisure
Winner: Tapawera Sport and Recreation Society – although only running a few years, this small but focussed group always has a project on the go. They run the school swimming pool for the community over summer and have set up a group to look at establishing a youth centre.
Runner up: Wakefield Bowling Club – there are 93 members and over the last year they have implemented two major projects – a winter bowling programme and the club’s successful centennial in January.
Health & Wellbeing
Special Commendation: NZ Response Team 2 – there are 24 members of NZRT2 and they provided urban search and rescue, emergency response advanced first aid and welfare support to Canterbury after the earthquakes. Group Controller Jim Frater, in accepting the award on behalf of NZRT2 said he was very proud of the work done by team leader Barry Rowe and his team of highly skilled volunteers.
More on the award winners will feature in future issues of Newsline.
Barry Bartlett reckons his wife Kay should have shared in his Outstanding Community Service Award, received from the Tasman District Council recently. The pair are avid boaties and still live in the house they built together in Richmond more than 45 years ago.
Barry was a foundation member of the Monaco Boat Club in 1956, and is an honorary launch warden. The role involves educating boaties, pointing out basic rules such as speed close to shore or the use of ski-lanes, and keeping an eye on information brochure stocks at launching ramps.
“Rough and ready customers” are a rarity while wearing his warden’s cap, he says.
Barry built his first boat with his dad Murray in 1955, using the new marine plywood. He traces his local ancestry back to great-great grandparents who arrived in Nelson in 1858.
As Monaco club patron, he keeps “a fatherly eye” on younger members, offers his long experience, and even passes on a few computing tips – Barry and Kay are keen web surfers.
In their younger days they were waterskiers, but now confine themselves to cruising and fishing on their 4.4m runabout or small dinghy. They launch from Kaiteriteri to explore Abel Tasman, from Tarakohe in Golden Bay and also Croisilles in the Sounds.
Barry is a regular poppy-seller out on the streets of Richmond for the RSA. He served in New Zealand after the war, including as a guard on the Queen’s visit in 1953-54.
Barry and Kay have two sons, one a television executive in Australia and the other Moutere potter Owen Bartlett.
Lester Royds received his award for a quarter-century of service to the Hope community, both on the Reserve Board and in the tennis club.
He moved up from Christchurch in 1979 and, once settled in, was elected to the Reserve Board in 1986, becoming chairman from 1993-1999.
The Board oversees maintenance and bookings for the Hope hall, which is well-used for weddings, reunions etc, “suitable for big events at a reasonable price,” says Lester.
As part of the Hope Tennis Club, he helped to develop courts and buildings on the reserve, as well as mucking in with court maintenance and working bees. Lester has seen the club expand from four courts to six, and now 10.
Fellow Hope Reserves Board stalwart Lois Tunnicliff also received an award.
It’s all go for Tasman’s link in the New Zealand Cycle Trail project with the trail name and brand being launched, new sections of trail being completed, a bridge over the Wairoa River under construction and the ferry between Mapua and Rabbit Island launched and almost ready for its first passengers.
Tasman’s Great Taste Trail, the official name for what has been previously known as the ‘Tasman Loop’ is part of the New Zealand Cycle Trail project, which is being created to generate lasting economic, social and environmental benefits for New Zealand communities through a network of world-class cycling experiences.
The Trail, which is being built in stages through a partnership between Tasman District Council and the Nelson Tasman Cycle Trails Trust, will run from Nelson Airport in an anti-clockwise loop around Tasman District passing through Mapua, Motueka, Riwaka. Ngatimoti, Tapawera, Kohatu, Belgrove, Wakefield, Brightwater and back to Richmond. Funding has so far been secured for the first sections of trail, which are mainly situated between Nelson, Richmond, Mapua and Brightwater. The Mapua section of trail will be linked to those across Rabbit Island by ferry – a new and unique element for visitors to Tasman.
The new 12m ferry was launched into the water in classic Kiwi fashion on the 30 August 2011, shunted by a Hilux with tyres roped to the bullbars and sliding on scaffolding planks with pipes for rollers by builders John Ward and Paul Nankivell. They have been working on the barge since last December, and will use it to ferry cyclists from Rabbit Island across to Mapua, plus for “cruise and coffee” trips on the estuary and out into Tasman Bay in calm seas.
The ferry is equipped with 15 bike racks and can take 50 passengers. Marine engineer John says he and house-builder Paul, who both have their skipper’s licences, will “suck it and see” as far as how the vessel is used, but they plan channel crossings once every 2 1/2 hours in busy periods.
The ferry will have its official opening on Sunday 2 October 2011 and will be operating to take visitors and their bikes across the estuary. The opening coincides with the completion of the cycle trail through Rabbit Island making the day the perfect opportunity for individuals and families to get their bikes out and take in the latest, and most unique, cycle trails in New Zealand.