Newsline 281 - 10 August 2012
Friday 10 August 2012
- Top of the South Agreement Supported by Tasman
- Commercial Subcommittee Closer in Tasman
- Message from the Mayor
- Gravel Management Issue Tackled
- Smokey Outdoor Fires May Result in Fine
- Graduation Celebration
- Post-flood Planting Advice
- Youth Spirit Award Goes to Murchison Student
- Walk Motueka’s History
- TV Frequency Changing
- New Pontoon Christened in Style
- Home Insulation
- You can also download Newsline 281 - 10 August 2012
Tasman District Council has thrown its support behind the proposed Top of the South accord, already agreed to by Marlborough District Council.
A Memorandum of Understanding between Tasman District, Marlborough District and Nelson City Councils provides the political mandate for the Chief Executives to progress joint purchasing and shared services proposals.
The aim is to use shared services to achieve each, or all, of the three following objectives; improved or more resilient services; value for money and savings; good quality infrastructure, local services and performance of regulatory functions.
Tasman and Nelson already share a number of services and while Marlborough is involved in a small number of these the agreement to move forward will allow the three local bodies to give a greater commitment to ongoing collaboration in sharing services and procurement.
“This development is a natural progression of the relationships we share already with our neighbouring authorities”, said Tasman Mayor Richard Kempthorne. “Such arrangements have proven to assist in the cost effective delivery of essential services to our ratepayers.”
“As a partner we are committed to meeting the needs of our ratepayers and residents by taking advantage of the proposed joint approach to meet the unique needs of our respective areas.”
“This agreement will formalise what is happening already, with each Council able to identify any opportunity where the sharing of resources and expertise might be beneficial, and with recognition being given to the unique demands and aspirations of each area.”
The Council took another step toward the formation of a Commercial Subcommittee recently by agreeing to the proposed Subcommittee’s terms of reference.
The Subcommittee, already agreed to in principle, will oversee the Council’s forestry, camping grounds, aerodromes and commercial property portfolio, collectively worth approximately $50m. They will be charged with identifying and recommending appropriate return targets and monitoring the investments to ensure those targets are met.
The Subcommittee, which will report to the current Corporate Services Committee, will be made up of two elected members and three independent appointed members.
“The formation of a Commercial Subcommittee is further recognition of the Council’s commitment to sound and prudent financial management on behalf of the District’s ratepayers,” said Tasman Mayor Richard Kempthorne.
In recent times there has been a great deal of talk about the role of Councils within their communities.
The role of a Council is a multifaceted one, covering many varied areas of reponsibility. This is espcially so for our Council as a unitary authority in one of the fastest growing districts in the country.
In making decisions regarding policies, delivering services or providing infrastructure every Council must balance the needs of its communities, both current and future, to ensure the benefits outweigh the costs.
One of these facets is economic development, the ability to provide employment and provide investment opportunities for those already here and those, in turn, attracted by the opportunities.
It is not about picking winners, we cannot and are not in a position to pick the next trend. We can however, facilitate entry into the District for high quality, high value businesses, by providing a welcoming environment through sustainable planning and infrastructure.
To make this happen we have to provide good processes and transparency around our decision-making not only for those we wish to attract but also for those who live here already. It must also be done in a way that while inviting opportunity, enables sound risk and cost management and ensures any possible change does not negatively affect the lifestyle we are famous for.
Working with our communities and the environment we are blessed with, we can grow sustainably through facilitating opportunities and capping risk, a fine balance that I know we can achieve.
Mayor Richard Kempthorne
The contentious issue of gravel management is being addressed by a new working party.
Members so far include Councillors Stuart Bryant and Trevor Norriss, plus Chief Executive Lindsay McKenzie. They will be joined by representatives from other interested parties such as adjoining land owners, industry representatives, iwi and Fish & Game, says Stuart.
“We’ll be trying to work collaboratively to address the problems of gravel management, particularly gravel extraction.”
Big floods in the Aorere and Motueka River catchments within the last two years, plus problems in the Buller, have given the matter urgency, Stuart adds. The working party hopes to make significant headway by Christmas 2012, “a tight timeframe”.
Taking gravel from a river is seen by some as degrading it, and interfering with fish habitat and spawning, he says. On the other hand, the gravel is a useful resource, and adjoining landowners worry that a high riverbed will push water onto their farmland after heavy rain, or cause erosion.
“It’s certainly not an easy issue,” Stuart concedes, but he says he has confidence in the group members to sort it out. The working party will meet “as often as it takes” – perhaps monthly or six-weekly. An open day will be held soon to give all interested parties a chance to have input.
Excessively smokey fires are a nuisance and cause health problems and the Council will take action against people who have fires that cause such adverse effects.
The Council recognises that some vegetation waste may need to be burnt, including diseased material from orchards. However, anyone lighting an outdoor fire must manage it to reduce smoke. Good practice guidance is available through the Council’s website (Guidelines for Good Practice), plus from Council Service Centres or the Rural Fire Network.
The Council deals with numerous complaints about smoke and gets frequent requests for tougher regulation, including requiring resource consents for rural fires. Burning is a permitted activity, allowing it to be used as a land management tool, but it must be done in a way that reduces the risk of nuisances.
Good practice means making sure material is dry enough to burn vigorously, generating only a minimal amount of smoke. Some material, such as macrocarpa branches, will take months, not days, to be dry enough to burn without causing problems.
The burning of treated timber or plastics is prohibited as they produce toxic smoke. Any synthetic twine or clips should be removed before the vegetation is burned, and plastic pipe used for irrigating crops should not be burned either. Remember also that you can recycle agrichemical plastic containers through the Agrecovery rural recycling programme. Plastic silage wrap can also be recycled.
Where a fire is suspected of breaking the rules, the Council will investigate and may take enforcement action. This can include infringement fines or abatement notices.
Apprentices and trainees will have their success recognised on Monday 13 August at the 2012 Nelson Tasman Regional Industry Training Graduation.
The ceremony, for those who have completed their training on the job through an Industry Training Organisation (ITO), offers friends, family and employers the chance to give trainees a well-earned pat on the back.
The event is supported by the Mayor’s Taskforce for Jobs, the Tasman District and Nelson City Councils, and the Nelson Regional Economic Development Agency.
Graduates come from a wide range of industries, all important to our regional economy. Most graduates have juggled work, study and family commitments to achieve their qualifications – which takes real dedication and motivation.
The ceremony takes place on Monday 13 August 2012 at the Annesbrook Church and Community Centre, Saxton Road West, Stoke, starting at 6.00 pm. For more information, visit http://www.eda.co.nz/ito-graduation-ceremony or Ph. 03 545 6858.
Landowners affected by last December’s big flood have access to free advice and cheaper plants through the Council.
Reserves Officer Glenn Thorn has been visiting properties affected by slips or wash-outs in Golden Bay and Richmond. He advises on suitable plants for particular locations, and landowners can then order the quantities they want, “I can recommend what will grow well in what situation.” said Glenn. The Council then puts together bulk orders for local nurseries, with any leftover plants assigned to other properties. The Council can also supply fertiliser tablets.
About 18 property owners have used the service, with orders varying from 20 plants up to 200-300. Plants can be supplied as root trainers or bagged seedlings, to suit the landowners’ budget and how much work they want to do. Glenn says the plants are mostly natives, although property-owners are entitled to use ornamentals if they wish.
The scheme will run until the end of August 2012, but if property owners receive their EQC payouts after that date they are welcome to ring, he says. Some people are looking at planting next year.
If you would like help restoring your property, give Glenn Thorn a ring on Ph. 03 543 8400.
A Murchison student who is on the Tasman Youth Council, teaches youngsters first aid and planted trees in Nepal is the winner of the 2012 TrustPower Nelson Tasman Youth Community Spirit Award.
Rimu McGrath, from Murchison Area School, is the student representative on the Board of Trustees, serves on the student council, has been in Area School tournaments for the last four years for netball and volleyball, plus mentors junior students.
She has been part of St John’s Youth programme for five years, teaching young people valuable life skills such as water safety, home technology, camping and more.
Earlier this year Rimu spent 18 days in Nepal as part of a trek called Youth to Everest, comprising senior school students from throughout New Zealand. They planted 600 trees for a restoration project and visited the school that Sir Edmund Hillary built.
The Youth Community Spirit Award, run in partnership with the TrustPower Nelson Tasman Community Awards, is jointly run by the electricity company and the Tasman District and Nelson City Councils.
The competition was tough this year, with seven of the local high schools putting students forward. Runner-up was Brittney Benson from Nayland College and the other finalist were Chris Goodyear (Waimea College), Andrew Baxendine (Nelson College), Anna-Kate Goodall (Motueka High School), Elise Cautley (Nelson College for Girls) and Rupert Wockner (Garin College).
TrustPower spokeswoman Teresa Partridge says Rimu is “a remarkable young lady who has a strong social conscience, a deep passion for her community and its people.”
Rimu receives a framed certificate and $500 prizemoney, with $250 going to her personally and the rest to a community group or organisation of her choice. Rimu nominated the St John Youth Division.
Motueka is proud of its history, judging by a good take-up of memorial plaques that will soon line a walk through Decks Reserve, recording significant events by both Maori and Pakeha.
More than 50 of the 62 marble plaques have been sold so far.
Sponsorship of the A3-sized plaques costs $200 each. Photographic images and text have been compiled by the Motueka and District Historical Society (special thanks to Eileen Stewart), with help from iwi, the Community Board and Arts Council Motueka. The sponsor’s name is engraved in the bottom right-hand corner.
A booklet on the plaques will give people more historical detail as they walk the walk.
The project has been seven years in the making, and Tasman District Council Reserves Officer Glenn Thorn says the plaques should be in the ground within a month. Unsold plaques can be engraved onsite.
If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, contact Glenn Thorn or Tara Cater Ph. 03 543 8400.
Tasman TV viewers who receive a Freeview|HD signal via UHF aerial will experience frequency changes on 14 August 2012.
This change only applies to aerials pointed at Mount Campbell. If you watch Sky or Freeview satellite services, or still have an analogue television, you will not be affected.
A message will appear on your TV screen in the week before the change. If you lose Freeview|HD reception on 14 August 2012, your TV or set-top box will need to be retuned. This can be done through the onscreen menu using your remote control, by following simple instructions available on www.retune.co.nz.
For any questions regarding the change, visit www.retune.co.nz or call toll-free Ph. 0508 33 66 33.
Meanwhile, the big nationwide switch from analogue to all-digital signal happens on 28 April 2013 in the Tasman area, although Murchison and St Arnaud get in early on 30 September 2012 when the West Coast changes over.
Mapua’s new pontoon wharf was christened recently in a colourful ceremony that also paid tribute to Hamish the heron.
The 20m aluminium pontoon, with a 15m gangway, sits across the front edge of the wharf for pleasure craft to tie up to as they load/unload. The old pontoon was damaged beyond repair when a yacht hit it in 2010.
Specialist Auckland firm Anchorage Pontoons Ltd fabricated the new structure as a kitset. It was assembled onsite “like a Meccano set,” says Selwyn Steedman, Tasman District Council Transportation Network Engineer.
The entire project cost about $150,000, and was funded by the Council. While the barge was on-site, the Council took the opportunity to replace foreshore poles for new navigation beacons.
A pole at the end of the pontoon sports a statue of Hamish, the rare kotuku who became a much-loved visitor as he spent winters at Mapua over more than two decades. He failed to show up last year. The statue was made by well-known local sculptor Arthur Hawke.
He told the crowd at the opening that Hamish “appears to have fallen off his perch”.
About 350 people gathered for the ceremony, which included a model boat race, nautical dress, cannon fire and Tasman Sea Scouts forming a guard of honour for dignitaries, who included Tasman Deputy Mayor Tim King. Mapua Boat club president Annette Walker said the big turnout, in miserable weather, was “a huge vote of support for the wharf”.
The crowd heard that the derelict wharf was threatened with demolition 25 years ago until the boat club stepped up as saviour. The pontoon was added in 1998.
Have you been thinking about your home insulation? Did you know that you can get a free assessment about the state of your home’s insulation from Warm Tasman Service Providers?
The Council is working with EECA (the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority) to promote a better standard of insulation in the District’s homes. If your home was built before 2000, then there is a good chance that your home insulation is not as good as it could be. If your home is older, then your level of insulation is likely to be very low and it may have deteriorated over time and become ineffective.
EECA has subsidy money available for upgrading your home and the Council can also help you pay for upgraded insulation through a targeted rate on your property. Community Card holders may be able to get additional assistance; you will need to contact a registered service provider to find out. Assistance is also available for upgrading home heating.
The registered service providers will make things easy for you. Their assessment will show you exactly how good your home insulation or home heating is, and what needs to be done to improve it. They will help you complete any application forms that you might need either for the subsidy or for the Council Warm Tasman rate.
You can get more information about the Warm Tasman scheme and a full list of registered service providers from www.tasman.govt.nz or by picking up a Warm Tasman brochure from any Council Service Centre. See also the EECA website www.eeca.govt.nz/node/3107.
The EECA subsidy programme is due to finish in June 2013 so it would pay to get that free insulation assessment and upgrade done soon.