Newsline 272 - 6 April 2012
Thursday 5 April 2012
Download: Newsline 272 - 6 April 2012
- South Island Councils Collaborate for Enhanced Services and Efficiencies
- Mayor's Comment
- Motueka Sewer Upgrade Work Delayed
- Good Practice for Managing Burn-offs in Rural Areas
- Do You Have a Question About the Proposed Amalgamation Scheme?
- Time to Have Your Voice Heard
- Mental, Physical Wellbeing on Expo Agenda
- Magnifique – Literary Festival Soars
- Pest of the Month – Madeira Vine
- The Tasman Band Tour
- Free Bee for Holiday Entertainment
South Island local authorities have united in an alliance to initiate shared services, standardised procedures, and a combined approach with central government, led by Tasman Mayor Richard Kempthorne.
The newly formed South Island Strategic Alliance includes all 28 city, district and regional councils. “It has the potential to benefit ratepayers by providing better services and potential efficiency gains”, says Mayor Kempthorne.
A core group of twelve people, made up of Mayors, Regional Council chairs and senior management, plus the Department of Internal Affairs and the New Zealand Transport Agency, are now examining potential projects where there are opportunities for joint procurement or shared services, for example in roading, bulk purchasing, planning alignment, information technology and library services.
Tasman already participates in shared initiatives with other Councils. With Nelson City Council, for example, Tasman currently has over 40 shared service arrangements and joint programmes and projects. The collaboration provides better services to ratepayers and efficiency gains while preserving the separate identities and accountability arrangements enabling each Council to respond to specific needs and preferences of its local residents.
“Similar alliances of local authorities exist in the North Island. The advent of the ‘supercity’ Auckland has changed everyone’s thinking” says Mayor Kempthorne.
“There is expectation from our communities and central government that councils should be reaching out for opportunities for new and better ways of delivering service to our communities”, concludes Mayor Kempthorne.
By now you will have received your voting papers asking for your opinion on the proposed amalgamation between Tasman and Nelson. At the same time you will have received a fair amount of advertising material promoting the amalgamation.
My position has been widely circulated, as has that of some of my colleagues. However, my vote is only one in this poll; it is now up to the residents and ratepayers of both Tasman and Nelson.
This very important poll is an opportunity for people to decide what the governance of this region will look like for some time. It will determine how you will be represented, who is going to be making decisions that affect you and what it is going to cost. In looking to answer the questions you may have I ask you to look beyond the claims that have been made.
This is your choice and you need to vote, but I believe you need to vote from an informed position. If you are unsure please take the time to discuss it with myself or your Councillor.
Your vote is important.
Mayor Richard Kempthorne
Wastewater pipes have been renewed from Woodland Avenue, down Lowe Street and along High Street, after CCTV camera inspection had shown they were deteriorating. The poor condition of the road in High Street, Motueka however has caused delays to the upgrades.
The strength of the High Street section was found to be “unsuitable”, says Council Engineer Robert Workman. After consultation with the New Zealand Transport Agency, which manages state highways, it was decided to add 2% cement to the gravel and asphalt mix, hoeing it in to a depth of 150mm. Once watered, that binds and strengthens the road base.
The work and resealing of the southbound lane where the sewer pipes have been replaced will take place after the Easter weekend.
More pipework was added to the original High Street schedule after TV cameras revealed groundwater had seeped in during recent storms.
Robert says the Council and contractor Tasman Civil appreciate the goodwill of residents during the work. He has received little negative feedback other than when an entrance was temporarily blocked.
The project was included in the 2009 Ten Year Plan. Replacing the pipes reduces the chance of overflows from the sewerage system, which is both a public health and environmental risk. Tasman Civil began the work last October and had expected to finish before Christmas, but were then delayed by assessments and decisions being made about the road remediation.
There is still room for improving the management of rural fires to help reduce problems caused by smoke.
The Council recognises the use of fire as an important land management tool and permits fires in most rural areas provided adverse effects are minimised. There are greater restrictions in the Fire Sensitive and Fire Ban areas especially during winter time.
Adopting good practice is a way of minimising adverse effects.
If burning is really the best option, people wanting to burn must be aware of the potential for adverse effects from smoke and ash and they must manage fires to reduce the problems caused by smoke. Smoke can’t always be avoided, but a well managed fire can reduce the amount of smoke generated.
The Council has clear guidelines for good practice and how to reduce smoke from fires. These guidelines are available from Council offices or on the website www.tasman.govt.nz/link/outdoor-burning.
Council expects operators to adopt these measures.
The Council’s Good Practice Guidelines also require that even before lighting a rural fire that people look for alternatives to burning. Alternatives include:
- Composting grass clippings and garden wastes.
- Allowing vegetation to decompose.
- Shredding or chipping prunings and smaller branches.
- Sorting bigger wood for firewood: contact local community or service groups for help.
- Recycling paper, cardboard and plastic.
- Read the Council’s Waste Management Composting brochure for more help and information about green waste recycling in your area.
The smoke PM10 (small particles making up the smoke) are known to cause adverse health effects, especially for the young, the elderly and those with asthma or other respiratory or cardiac conditions.
As well as the health risks, excessive smoke from fires is unpleasant and detracts from people’s well-being and happiness.
The Council has had to adopt very restrictive rules in urban areas, especially in Richmond, to manage adverse effects of smoke from domestic wood burners. It also needs to ensure that rural fires do not also cause adverse health effects, either for neighbours or in the surrounding environment.
The Council is taking an increasingly harder line with operators who do not adopt good fire management practices.
Where a fire is causing significant smoke problems, especially where the fire is badly managed, the Council will take enforcement action. This can include infringement fines or notices requiring the fire to be put out.
Remember also that all outdoor fires need fire permits issued through the Waimea Rural Fire Authority by the Rural Fire Network and some DoC offices. The fire permit system is in place to manage safety and risk of fire spreading and has conditions that reduce these risks.
Tasman District Council, Nelson City Council and the Local Government Commission have set up a website to help answer the questions that many residents have regarding the proposed amalgamation scheme – www.askaboutamalgamation.co.nz
Everyone is free to post a question to the site and most questions get an answer within 24hrs. Here are some examples of questions that have been asked recently and the response.
Posted on Thursday, 22/03/2012 - 18:02
Will the Maori Board - which represents ' Maori only interests' have a say over 'all' committee meetings and decisions within Council? Can they have input over other boards within Council? Will the Maori Board members be paid for attending their own board meetings, along with all other meetings? Eg; they are paid $250 each to turn up for a meeting, so if they attend two other meetings as well, they also get paid individually for those?
The Strateg.Ease Addendum Report on financial and service delivery matters estimated the total costs of the Māori Board at $56,575 per annum. This was based on meeting fees for the chairperson of $400 per meeting and members of $200 totalling $13,200 for six meetings and support costs of $43,375.
The role and responsibilities of the Nelson Tasman Māori Board are set out in Schedule 1 of the reorganisation scheme:
The role is to help ensure that the views of Māori are taken into account in the exercise by the Council of its functions, powers and duties. The responsibilities of the Māori Board are to:
- assist the Council to meet its obligations to provide opportunities for Māori to contribute to the decision-making processes of the Council
- advise the Council on the application of statutory functions referring to the Treaty of Waitangi
- assist the Council to foster the development of Māori capacity to contribute to Council decision-making processes
- promote cultural, economic, environmental and social issues of significance for all Māori (including manawhenua and matawaka)
- develop and maintain a schedule of issues of significance to Māori and give a priority to each issue in order to guide the Board in carrying its responsibilities
- advise the Council generally on matters affecting Māori.
Until at least 31 October 2015, the Board will be able, if it wishes, to nominate one member to Council committees. The actual remuneration policy to apply, including for which meetings members of any committee will be paid, will be up to the new Council to determine.
Representation and rural voice
Posted on Monday, 19/03/2012 - 18:54
Will the smaller communities have an equal say for their community. What will be the Power divide? Will Motueka still have as many representatives as now? Why is most of the talk to the public about the costs? What does it practically look like when a member of the public needs something from the council.
The Local Government Commission’s FAQ provides an overview of the proposed structure for the new council and the representation it provides for. The document states:
How many councillors will each area have on the new Council?
The new Council will comprise a mayor and 16 councillors. The councillors will be elected from the following wards:
- Golden Bay Ward: one councillor
- Lakes-Murchison Ward: one councillor
- Motueka Ward: two councillors
- Moutere-Waimea Ward: two councillors
- Richmond Ward: three councillors
- Stoke Ward: three councillors
- Nelson Ward: three councillors
- Atawhai Ward: one councillor.
A map of the wards can also be viewed on the Commission’s website – www.lgc.govt.nz/nelsontasman
Will there be community boards?
Yes, there will be two community boards – in Golden Bay and Motueka. Other areas could have community boards in the future if the Council decided to establish them, or if the community petitioned for them. The two community boards will each comprise four elected members and the ward councillor(s) for that area.
What other forms of representation will there be?
There will be a Maori board and a rural advisory committee to oversee and advise the Council on Maori and rural issues.
The Maori Board will comprise the mayor and representatives of each of the iwi whose rohe is in the Nelson Tasman District and a representative of matawaka.
The Rural Advisory Committee will comprise the mayor and representatives of rural industries and representatives from Rural Women NZ.
The Maori Board, Rural Advisory Committee and the two community boards will be able to nominate members to be full (voting) members of certain committees of the new Council.
The administrative headquarters of the Council are to be located in Richmond.
The existing services to the public, provided by the Nelson City Council in Nelson and the Tasman District Council in Motueka, Murchison, Richmond and Takaka at the time this Scheme comes into effect, must continue to be provided in those locations for a period of not less than five years from the date that this Scheme comes into effect.
What if it doesn’t work?
Posted on Saturday, 24/03/2012 - 21:06
If in 5-10 years time we find that amalgamation didn't work, will it be another referendum for separating the council to its old formation?
No, there is no legislative provision for a further poll in say 5 to 10 years time. A further reorganisation proposal would have to be prepared and considered.
If you have a question you want answering go to www.askaboutamalgamation.co.nz Make sure you have all the facts before casting your vote.
Voting papers on the proposed amalgamation of Nelson City Council and Tasman District Council were sent out to all registered voters in Tasman and Nelson on the Friday 30 March 2012.
You have until noon on Saturday 21 April 2012 to decide how you want your region to be governed in the future, fill out your voting form and return it.
If you need further information before making your decision you can read all of the Local Government Commission's reports and supporting information at www.lgc.govt.nz or you can have any questions answered at www.askaboutamalgamation.co.nz.
Mayor Richard Kempthorne and your local Councillor are also available to ask any questions you might have - they can be contacted on Ph. 03 543 8400.
This is your only chance to have your voice heard. All votes are important.
Mental health as we age, body changes, DIY demonstrations and negotiating Facebook are just some of the items on the agenda of the Age 2 Be – Positive Ageing Expo on Monday 23 April 2012 at the Headingly Centre in Richmond.
With more than 60 stalls, the expo will showcase a diverse range of groups, products and services, from advice and assistance in health and social services to exciting hobby and recreational options. This is the fourth such expo, open to older adults and their families. Admission is free, with entertainment and complimentary tea, coffee and biscuits provided.
A new addition this year is a health section, where information and resources will be available from providers. Psychiatrist Dr Matthew Croucher will give a presentation, ‘Looking after ourselves – Mental Health as we age’, from 11.00 am to 12 noon.
Dr Suzanne Busch’s seminar is entitled ‘What really happens to our bodies with ageing – the good, the bad and the ugly … What you can blame on getting old and what you can’t’. That’s from 1.30 pm – 2.30 pm.
The main organiser for the expo is the Tasman District Council, in partnership with Age Concern, Work and Income, Nelson City Council, Nelson Marlborough District Health Board, Nelson Bays Primary Health, and Grey Power.
Another innovation this year is a CarFit session, which offers older drivers a free check on how well they personally ‘fit’ their vehicle. The check takes about 20 minutes. Assessments will be done on the spot but to book a set time, contact Margaret Parfitt on Ph. 03 546 0390.
Age 2 Be – Positive Ageing Expo 23 April 2012, Headingly Centre, 2-46 Headingly Lane, Richmond. For further information contact Mike Tasman-Jones on Ph. 03 543 8400, or Email email@example.com
A small piece of Mapua was transformed into a French bistro for the second Literary Festival, “Soar Again”, hosted by the Community Library on 23-25 March 2012. Co-organiser Sue England says the community hall became the Café Ooh La La for talks on the Sunday by the festival’s keynote authors, Joe Bennett, Jenny Pattrick, Vanda Symon and David Young.
Jenny talked about a new walkway she will open soon on the Denniston Plateau, crime writer Vanda revealed a passion for Star Wars (and her new nickname Darth Vanda), David was “deep and spiritual” about his love for the environment, and Joe was Joe – very funny, says Sue.
The event kicked off with a cocktail evening on the Friday, at which children’s author and singer Craig Smith entertained. MPs Chris Auchinvole and Damien O’Connor joined the throng at the bowling club.
On the Saturday Joe’s all-day workshop, supposedly capped at 20, swelled to 29 and “was just buzzing”, Sue says. Local children’s author Melanie Drewery held a half-day workshop for budding writers aged 10-13.
Sue says that overall the festival went “brilliantly” – even better than the first in 2010, “and we were pretty pleased with that”. The accompanying short story competition was won by Max Francis of Mapua (young children), Bella Goode of Wairarapa (older children), and June Bowen of Blenheim (adult).
Barbara Mercer of Ruby Bay took out the contest for best limerick, which had to contain one or more of the words: “book(s)”, “writer(s)”, and “fun”. The winning entry:
Jim came from a family of crooks,
But his in-laws were world-famous cooks,
So with peer pressure mounting,
He took up accounting,
And compromised – Cooking the books.
Mapua Community Library is run by an enthusiastic group of 40 volunteers who issue and care for the stock of 9000 books. The library fundraises and receives grants from trusts, most notably the Canterbury Community Trust. Tasman District Council pays for utilities and ground maintenance, and the Richmond Library provides 70 large-print books each six months.
Founded in 1943, the Mapua library had various premises before moving into a new building in 2002. The Literary Festival debuted in 2010 and is held biennially. Another of the library’s initiatives was the sandblasting of a poem by Cliff Fell into concrete benches at the new waterfont park.
Mapua Community Library was a recent winner of the Supreme award for Tasman District in the TrustPower Community Service Awards.
Tasman Creative Communities Scheme provided funding to the Literary Festival of $750.
Madeira vine (Anredera cordifolia), also known as Mignonette vine, is an evergreen South America vine that has been planted in New Zealand gardens for its numerous fragrant tiny creamy-white flowers and succulent heart-shaped leaves.
The vine will tolerate a wide range of soils and climatic conditions and will grow in sandy coastal areas as well as inland garden sites. It is not known to produce seed from its flowers, but it produces prolific amounts of small irregular ‘warty’ aerial tubers which are spread by streams or by dumping. These can remain viable for up to five years in soil. Its vigorous growth, fleshy leaves and aerial tubers make it heavy enough to smother or topple host trees.
The vine is very difficult to kill because of its fleshy rhizome, the number of viable tubers it produces and its ability to re-grow from stem remnants. It requires methodical and ongoing annual treatment for eradication. This will involve intensive ground raking to remove tubers, and using ground covers to catch them if vine pulling. All tubers and vegetative material must be collected and placed in plastic bags to prevent further spread.
The Tasman-Nelson Regional Pest Management Strategy has classified Madeira vine as a Total Control plant. Although plants have been found in Nelson City, Motueka, Wakefield, Wainui Bay, Motupipi, Collingwood, Pakawau and Patarau, Council believes that it is possible to eradicate it.
Madeira vine flowers in autumn and its distinctive creamy-white flowers will be noticeable during the next few months.
If you have seen this plant, please advise a Council Biosecurity Officer at Ph. 03 543 8400 who can offer advice and assistance tothe occupier.
The Tasman Band Tour is set to return to the region, providing up and coming high school bands and young musicians with an opportunity to perform in a series of live shows across the District.
Youth friendly music gigs are scheduled to take place in Richmond (Richmond Town Hall) on Saturday 2 June 2012, Motueka (Motueka Memorial Hall) on Friday 8 June 2012 and Golden Bay (Pohara Hall) on Saturday 16 June 2012. The tour provides a supportive pathway for bands building towards the SmokeFree Rockquest finals.
Besides the pride and prestige associated with playing music in front of their peers, participating musicians will also have the opportunity to work alongside music and event professionals and further develop skills associated with sound engineering, setting up sound and lighting equipment, stage management, promotion, marketing and event management. The professional mentoring component of the tour has been made possible via a $6000 funding grant received from the Ministry of Youth Development.
Tasman District Council Community Recreation Officer Paul McConachie says the Tasman Band Tour offers a great opportunity for bands to hone their skills in front of a live audience.
“There are a lot of talented young musicians out there who are restricted to strumming guitars and bashing drum kits in the confines of parent’s basements and rehearsal spaces.”
“These dedicated musicians deserve an opportunity to play in front of a screaming audience and learn professional skills associated with live gigging along the way.”
The inaugural Tasman Band Tour travelled across the region in 2010, and featured a collection of nine Nelson-Tasman bands, most of whom of have since disbanded and dissolved, however, as it the nature of the band lifecycle, some have evolved and reformed into new entities. Recommended by Your Mum, who headlined the 2010 tour, have since gone on to release multiple singles and signed a record deal to send their music global.
Expressions of interest are now being accepted for youth bands to be involved in the upcoming Tour. If you are in a youth band and would like a slot on the bill, please contact tour organiser Paul McConachie.
Paul McConachie Community Recreation Officer Tasman District Council 189 Queen Street, Richmond Ph: 03 543 8525 or 027 325 6883 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wondering what to do during the first week of the holidays? Why not get a picnic together and bring the kids down to Sundial Square in Richmond for an hour of free entertainment with Kath Bee.
She’ll be singing and jumping around as always, blowing some bubbles and generally having fun – Kath may even have some ‘special guests’ with her. 12.30 pm – 1.30 pm 10 – 14 April 2012. Bring your friends, family and singing voice with you! Gold coin donations.