Newsline 276 - 1 June 2012
Friday 1 June 2012
Download: Newsline 276 - 1 June 2012
- Tasman District Council’s Long Term Plan Decisions Reduce Rates Increases
- Message from the CEO
- Pukekoikoi (Turners Bluff) – Significant Find Delays Work
- Happy Birthday to Aquatic Centre Gym
- Climbing Spindleberry
- Murchison Library Hours Fine-tuned
- Dog-owners Earn Praise
- Mapua Pontoon Ready to Go
At its meeting on Thursday 24 May, Tasman District Council considered what projects and activities would be included in its final Long Term Plan 2012-2022.
The decisions were made following consideration of the over 900 submissions it received.
“The Council’s final Long Term Plan will include projects and activities designed to maintain the existing core infrastructure in our communities, meet our legislative responsibilities and to meet the needs of our growing communities, businesses and industries.” says Tasman Mayor Richard Kempthorne.
“The submissions have provided valuable input into Council’s decision making processes. We have listened to all of the community views and considered the vast amount of information provided to us, prior to making our decisions on what should be included in the final Plan. Unfortunately a lot of requests for further funding and new projects have been rejected because of the Council’s desire to keep rates down but we did swap some priorities and projects around.”
The changes made by Council will mean that the general rate increase for 2012/2013 is likely to come down from the 4.75 percent increase proposed in the Draft Plan to about 4 percent (including an allowance for inflation).
“The Council has instructed staff to prepare the final Long Term Plan based on the decisions it made at the meeting. The Plan is programmed to come back to the Council for adoption on 21 June 2012, at which time appropriate resolutions will be passed to strike the rates,” says Mayor Kempthorne.
Some of the key changes the Council has asked staff to make include:
- Agreeing to retain the Lee Valley Dam project in the Long Term Plan, but noting that Council will work with the Waimea Water Augmentation Committee, and consult with other interested parties, to refine the funding model and costs of the project. The Dam project was the most submitted on topic with lots of submitters commenting on the funding model, and with some submitters supporting the Dam, while others opposed it largely due to concerns about the cost of paying for it.
- Providing funding towards the completion of the Tasman’s Great Taste Trail loop over the years from 2012–2019. This was the second most submitted on item requesting that Council add funding into the final Plan. To offset this project Council has deleted a number of projects previously planned for Saxton Field. Council has also signalled that the stages of the project are dependent on contributions from the Government and the community.
- Putting $3 million of the special dividend from Port Nelson into Council’s disaster fund and using the remaining $1 million to reduce debt.
- Introducing a Tourism Activity Targeted Rate to be charged as a flat rate across all the District’s rateable properties. Council has also agreed to undertake a review of its ongoing involvement in and funding of tourism activities prior to 2015.
- Including funding for a joint study of the three roundabouts near Champion Road with the New Zealand Transport Agency and Nelson City Council.
- Council’s share of funding for roading and other transportation projects has been retained at much the same levels as provided for in the Draft Long Term Plan, even though the New Zealand Transport Agency has reduced the Government funding for local roads in Tasman District.
- Funding has been provided in the Long Term Plan for erosion control work at Jackett Island.
- Changing the solid waste budget to amend the costs of the Emissions Trading Scheme and to delay some of the capital works projects.
- Amending the areas and properties where the refuse and recycling rate is payable.
- Delaying and deleting some of the projects proposed in the Draft Long Term Plan at Saxton Field to align Council’s work programme with the changes proposed by Nelson City Council but at the same time still providing for major new developments to meet community needs.
- Increasing the water rate due to the dispute with the Industrial Water Users not being resolved at this stage.
- Amending some fees and charges.
The final Long Term Plan will be available on Council’s website at the end of June.
As I write, it is the end of day two of week two in my new role as Tasman District Council’s CEO.
My family and I have been in the District a bit longer than that settling into our temporary home pending a purchase in or near Richmond. Over that time I’ve been privileged to reacquaint myself with the District and to meet most of the people who are elected to represent the community or who work for you at the Council. A few people have asked why the move from Gisborne with its self-proclaimed Mediterranean climate and 60+ days annually when the temperature is more than 24 degrees?
Well – it’s because I actually missed the odd frost, and here the mountains are higher, the rocks are harder – except for Separation Point granite I hasten to add – and the water is demonstrably clearer. Gisborne and Tasman are both great places to live and work and have much more in common than you might think.
Lindsay McKenzie, CEO.
The realignment of Riwaka-Kaiteriteri Road at Pukekoikoi (Turners Bluff) has been delayed after the discovery of the remains of an early Maori pa on the top of the bluff. Work has been suspended as the Council, iwi, NZ Historic Places Trust (NZHPT) and the landowner work together to find a solution.
The NZHPT says the pa tuwatawata (or fortified pa) is a significant discovery and it’s rare to find one in such good condition.
Ann Neill, Central Region General Manager for NZHPT says “While delays are regrettable, the search is on for an alignment that best delivers retention of the pa’s integrity and private property rights”.
Iwi have requested the preservation of this area because in the past so many similar areas have been destroyed and/or affected by land development and road works.
Gary Clark, the Council’s Transportation Manager says “Unfortunately with the road being located between the bluff and Maori pa and situated on a steep cliff bordering the sea there are limited options for realigning the road. Council staff have been developing alternatives to address the road safety and route security to this important area.
“Before any options can be progressed, alternative funding streams need to be explored and changes to existing resource consents applied for. Even then we need the buy-in of all parties involved before altering designs, drawings and progressing with construction. Understandably this process takes time.
“We are hopeful that a solution is close to being finalised involving a route that provides for the safe and efficient movement of traffic past this special site,” said Mr Clark.
An Open Day and special offers are planned for first-birthday celebrations on 10 June 2012 at the ASB Health and Fitness Centre in Richmond.
The open day will run from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm on the Sunday, giving the public a chance to try out the fitness centre’s resistance and cardio equipment and its Les Mills group fitness classes, which will run from 10.00 am onwards, all for free.
The gym, run by pool manager CLM in a profit-sharing deal with the Tasman District Council, has been very well received, especially by Richmond residents, says Facility Manager Vaughan Hope. CLM part-funded the gym, and paid for the fit-out. The Council uses its gym profits to offset the costs of running the Aquatic Centre.
The gym has a staff of five who assist members using equipment such as treadmills, weights, cycles and rowing machines. Twelve instructors run group fitness classes, says Vaughan. Programmes include a suite of eight different Les Mills workout classes, a weight loss challenge, aqua-fitness classes, “Boot Camps” and Green Prescription exercises. There are plans for an aquatic version of Boot Camp, plus programmes targeted at teens – either tailored for their sport or to motivate those less inclined towards exercise.
The Fitness Centre is open seven days a week, with an early start at 5.30 am Monday to Friday and closing at 9.00 pm, and on weekends from 8.00 am to 5.00 pm.
Membership of the gym also gives access to the pools, sauna and spas of the complex.
The Aquatic Centre is the Council’s biggest recreational facility and has been a success since the doors opened in 2004. It now encompasses the 25 metre main pool, a wave pool, tots pool, learners pool, Lazy River, spa and hydrotherapy pools. The millionth visitor was recorded in June 2010.
To find out more about the ASB Aquatic and Fitness Centre go to www.clmnz.co.nz/asb
Climbing Spindleberry (Celastrus orbiculatus) is a vine that was first planted in gardens for its small round orange-yellow berries that display scarlet arils (the flesh around the seed) after opening. The berries and arils were popular with floral arrangers for use in dry arrangements. The vine is spread by birds and by human activity through dumping.
Climbing Spindleberry has heart/oval shaped serrated leaves with a tiny bur located at the base of each leaf petiole. The vines often twist themselves around the trunk of host trees and smother plant canopies. It is a very difficult plant to kill due to a persistent root system which has the ability to put up sucker vines. It requires a methodical and ongoing annual treatment to destroy it.
The Tasman-Nelson Regional Pest Management Strategy classifies Climbing Spindleberry as a Total Control plant – a classification that aims for its eventual eradication through the Tasman-Nelson region. Plants have been found in Nelson City, Atawhai, Wakefield, Motueka, the Motueka Valley, Murchison, Spring Grove, Mapua, Marahau, Ligar Bay, Takaka, Upper Takaka and Bainham and all have been treated.
Climbing Spindleberry leaves turn yellow in autumn before falling, so the yellow dash of a vine in evergreen canopies is noticeable during autumn. Occupiers who think they have this vine are advised to contact a Tasman District Biosecurity Officer on 03 543 8400 who can offer advice and assistance.
From 1 July 2012 the Murchison Library and Council Service Centre opening hours will be reduced to better suit the usage patterns.
The facility will be open Tuesday to Friday, 10.30 am to 12.30 pm and 1.10 pm to 4.00 pm.
Suzanne Westley, Council Customer Services Manager, says library issues have dropped 35% over the last eight years, and much of the foot traffic is now tourists using the free Wi-fi internet access. “The volume of use isn’t there to justify longer opening hours” says Suzanne.
The Council approached the Murchison Area School to see if the town library could be merged into its library, but it was deemed to be an unsuitable solution that offered as many new challenges as it did solutions.
Suzanne says Service Centre and library transactions were analysed to find peak times, and the new hours were tailored accordingly. In all, the facility will open 10 hours less a week. A survey of users last year indicated most were comfortable with the prospect of reduced hours.
Tasman dog-owners have received a pat on the head from the man who should know. Aside from the occasional breach, “the vast majority of dog-owners are excellent,” says Phil Bergman, of Control Services, which polices dog exercise areas for the Tasman District Council.
The contractor has been keeping a close eye on the Wakefield area after reports of fouling and roaming dogs. Phil says the “blitz” is also a welcome chance to reward good dog-owners, with free packets of dog biscuits, donated by Masterpet, being given to owners with their pets on a leash and doggie-doo bags handy.
“A lot of people only see us when we are telling them off so it’s nice to be able to recognise considerate dog owners.”
Details of dog exercise areas, on or off the leash, are available at Council’s Richmond Office, Service Centres and at www.tasman.govt.nz (under Services / Dog Control). Please remember that when your dog is off the leash, it must still be under control, i.e. respond to your commands promptly.
The basic good manners of dog ownership apply. All faeces must be picked up and disposed of hygienically. Doggy bag dispensers are sited at popular walking areas around the District, or you can collect bags free of charge from Council’s Richmond office and Service Centres.
All Council sportsfields and complexes are off-limits to dogs, and dogs are also banned within 10 metres of playground equipment and picnic tables, for obvious hygiene and safety reasons.
The new pontoon at Mapua wharf should be in place in early June 2012.
The 20 metre structure, with a 15 metre gangway, will sit across the front edge of the wharf for pleasure craft to tie up to as they load/unload – or to enable boaties to pop ashore for a cup of coffee, says Selwyn Steedman, Council’s Transportation Network Engineer.
The old pontoon was damaged beyond repair by a yacht in 2010. Specialist Auckland firm Anchorage Pontoons Ltd has fabricated the new structure and trucked it down as a kitset. Once new piles are driven, the pontoon will be assembled “like a Meccano set,” says Selwyn. Given good weather, the whole job should be completed in about four days.
The entire project will cost about $150,000, he says. While the pile-driving barge is on-site, the Council will take the opportunity to replace foreshore poles with new navigation beacons.