Newsline 295 - 29 March 2013

Friday 29 March 2013

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Tasman’s Draft Annual Plan – Your Chance to be Heard    

Tasman District Council’s Draft Annual Plan 2013/2014 was published on Wednesday 20 March 2013 and residents and ratepayers now have the opportunity to comment on the proposals outlined within it.

A 24-page Newsline Summary of the Draft Plan was delivered to every letterbox in the District last week, marking the beginning of the public consultation period. The Summary is focused on the key changes Council is proposing from the Long Term Plan 2012-2022, which is available online at www.tasman.govt.nz or in any of the Council’s service centres or libraries.

The consultation period is open from 20 March 2013 until 4.30 pm  22 April 2013.

There will be a number of public meetings throughout the period  giving you the chance to ask questions or seek clarification to aid  your submission.

If you aren’t able to make the meetings you are welcome to contact the Council for any information you may require to inform your submission.

DateWard / GroupTimeVenue

26 March

Motueka

4.00 pm – 5.30 pm

7.00 pm – 9.00 pm

Motueka Memorial Hall

27 March

Richmond Public meeting

Meet the Ward Councillors meeting Richmond

3.00 pm – 5.00 pm

7.30 pm

Tasman District Council Chambers

02 April

Brightwater Community Assn

7.30 pm

Brightwater School Hall

08 April

Mapua public meeting

Mapua & Districts Community Assn

4.00 pm – 6.00 pm

7.00 pm

Mapua Boat Club

Mapua Boat Club

09 April

Wakefield public meeting

Wakefield Community Assn

3.30 pm – 5.30 pm

7.30 pm

Wakefield Village Hall

Wakefield Worship Centre, 120 Edward Street, Wakefield

10 April

Murchison public meeting

Tapawera Community Assn

2.00 pm – 4.00 pm

7.00 pm – 9.00 pm

Murchison Sport Rec & Cultural Centre

Tapawera Community Centre

15 April

Takaka

Collingwood

2.00 pm – 4.30 pm

6.30 pm – 8.00 pm

Fire Brigade Hall

Collingwood Sunday School

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Message from the Mayor    

Now is the time Tasman residents and ratepayers have the opportunity to contribute to the Council’s plan for the next year. The Draft Annual Plan is an open process where a line-by-line plan and costs for each activity over the coming year is published to enable people to contribute to the decision-making process.

In addition to the Summary, which you would have received last week, there are a number of public meetings throughout the District at which Councillors and staff are available to answer questions and take part in conversations regarding the Draft Plan and its contents.

I ask you to take the time to look at the Draft Annual Plan Summary, come to a meeting and if you have any questions please contact us. This is your time to give us your opinion on our work program for the next year and we are listening.

While looking for comment on, and finalising, our Draft Annual Plan for the next year we still busy completing this year’s work program. Included in this is the Proposed Tasman Resource Management Plan Change we are about to put out for consultation regarding changes to the water regime in the Waimea Plans. We have had interim measures since 2001. The Draft Plan Change is proposing to set allocation limits and has taken account of both scenarios – whether or not we have the Lee Valley Dam.

Having just finished two weeks of pre-consultation public meetings in an effort to gather and disseminate as much information as we can, the draft Plan Change should provide enough information for people to assist in the decision-making process. The Draft Plan Change, which is coming out in the next couple of weeks for consultation is not about who owns the Dam and how much it is going to cost. It is about how we are going to manage the Waimea water resource. The question of the Dam’s future is to be discussed later this year.

Mayor Richard Kempthorne

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Water Restrictions Lifted –  but Care Still Needed    

Tasman District Council’s Dry Weather Taskforce Convenor,  Dennis Bush-King, has lifted all water restrictions in rural and  urban areas except for the Moutere Eastern groundwater zone.

The recent rainfall was sufficient to boost river levels and provide at least a two week buffer. The Moutere Eastern aquifer will remain at Stage 1  as staff assess its further recovery over the next week.

Council staff will continue to keep an eye on river flows, groundwater levels and coastal salinity. Mr Bush-King said this situation will be reviewed weekly.

“The rain is welcome but I still encourage people to conserve water and use it wisely. There are growers out there who still need to use water, but hopefully this rain event will be seen as a drought breaker.”

Please make an effort to continue to conserve water. Water gardens  in the evening, reduce car washing to a minimum and set up systems that enable you to capture and re-use rain water.

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Murchison Creek Flooding Addressed    

The power of computing will help to alleviate flooding in and around the Neds Creek area of Murchison. Tasman District Council engineering staff and consultants MWH have prepared a computer model of the creek, including last year’s floods, to better understand what is causing the overflows.

Adjoining landowners have also been consulted to make sure the model accurately represents what happens on the ground. When improvement works such as stream widening or larger culverts are factored into the model, it shows the likely effects on water flow.

Potential solutions are still being evaluated, but it has become clear that a combination of solutions will be required, says David Stephenson, Council Utilities Asset Engineer. These options are being assessed for cost and potential timing.

In the meantime, smaller, simple works will be carried out. Many of them, such as clearing blockages at boundary fences, will require cooperation with landowners, who will be contacted individually.

The Engineering Services Committee meets in Murchison on Thursday 28 March 2013, with Councillors and staff taking the opportunity to have a close-up look at the creek.

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River-clogging Weeds to be Sprayed    

A helicopter will spray gorse and broom over 15km of riverbanks in the Upper Motueka and Motupiko Rivers in the second half of April 2013.

If left to grow on shorelines and islands, these exotic weeds could reduce floodway capacity and divert flood flows. Ground spraying of herbicide will still be done, but the helicopter gives much more cost-effective control. The aircraft is equipped with a boom dispensing raindrop-sized droplets for greater accuracy.

Spraying will take place over two half-days between 15 and 30 April 2013, dependent on weather conditions. There are two sites in the Motupiko River – just upstream of the boundary of Quinneys Bush for 1.6km, and from 1-3km below the Korere Bridge – and 10 sites in the Upper Motueka, from just above the confluence with the Wangapeka to the downstream end of Goldpine Industries’ timber processing yard. Council’s Engineering Services department has obtained resource consent for the spraying.

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Marine Biosecurity Update    

The sheltered coastal waterways around the top of the South Island are particularly attractive to marine pests and diseases. The three top of the South councils are working together with the Ministry for Primary Industries to counter these threats.

This region has already experienced the impacts of exotic organisms on marine farms. Didemnum vexillum arrived in the Marlborough Sounds on 23 April 2001 on a disused vessel and now creates ongoing costs for marine farmers. This leathery sea squirt presents like a yellowish wax dripping over structures such as rope or mussel lines.

The club tunicate, Styela clava, a native of Japan, is in Nelson but has yet to reach the Sounds. While eradication proved impossible, slowing the spread to the Sounds could save up to $53 million. Styela is certainly not the worst we could get.

Of immediate concern are those invasive organisms already in New Zealand and yet to reach the Top of the South. Mediterranean fan worm stands out as the number one threat. This large encrusting species is now reaching epidemic proportions in the Waitemata Harbour and is present in Lyttelton Harbour.

In southern Australia, the abalone virus is a herpes-like virus affecting black and green lip abalone populations. It has had a severe impact on the Australian abalone industry. Stock abundance surveys in Australia have suggested declines in affected populations from 40 - 95%. It is possible that New Zealand’s native päua could be infected if this virus arrives here.

The Top of the South Marine Biosecurity Partnership was formed in 2009 to reduce biosecurity risks to the region. The Partnership is a first for New Zealand, with cooperative arrangements well established between the three councils and the Ministry for Primary Industries. It is equally funded by the three councils with matching funding from the Ministry. Prevention plans and incursion plans have been developed with input from industry partners, agencies and iwi. Membership is open to any organisation willing to support the implementation of the Strategic Plan for the region.

On 15 May 2013, the Partnership is hosting a forum where new developments and techniques will be discussed. The keynote speaker will be Don McKenzie from the Northland Regional Council where the community is battling to prevent invasion of the fan worm from Auckland.

For more information, contact Peter Lawless ToS Marine Biosecurity Partnership Coordinator, Ph. 021 894 363, Email thelawlessedge@gmail.com

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Grand Old Lady in Motueka    

The Motueka District Museum building, which was formerly the Motueka District High School, is 100 years old this year.

The old high school brick building was built in 1913, replacing an older wooden structure built in 1866. It first housed the high school students and then primary students. The building has always been a centre for the community hosting dances, boxing, flower shows and school balls. In 1970 the Education Department pronounced it as surplus to requirements and gave it to the Motueka Borough on the condition it was used as a museum. By 1975 the building was  well on the way to being restored.

In 1987 the museum opened its doors to the public and has continued to provide historic information for locals and visitors to this day. The museum will be included in the Back to School Heritage Bus Tour to celebrate World Heritage Day on Thursday  18 April 2013. See Updates for more details.

Thanks to Pauline Westall and Motueka Online for providing  the information for this article.

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Tasman Youth Council 2013    

Forty-four motivated young people from across the District have been recruited to represent the Tasman Youth Council for 2013.

Since 1998, the Tasman Youth Council has provided the all important  link between the youth of our District and Council. Their role; to make Tasman a better place for young people.

The new intake of young councillors recently completed an overnight training Hui, hosted at Bridge Valley Camp where they undertook workshops on team building, youth development and leadership, communication, event planning and management, and youth and  local government.

Potential projects planned for the year include:

  • Public transport consultation
  • Youth Spaces consultation
  • Motueka Public Swimming Pool submission
  • Youth and Community Events: Amazing Race, Quiz Night, Country Fair.

Check out www.jamonline.tasman.govt.nz for the latest updates and  to contact the Tasman Youth Council.

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Are You Prepared for Winter?    

Huge improvements in Richmond’s air quality were being made until last winter when levels exceeded the National Standard for airborne particulate matter 15 times. (Before last winter we had reduced exceedances from around 50 in 2002 to 7 in 2010).Smoke from domestic fires contributes around 80% of night time pollution, which is especially harmful to children and people with respiratory health problems.

Your Fireplace

At this time of year we need to focus on how our burners are being operated. The things that all woodburner owners can do to help reduce the level of particulates in the air are:

  • Check your chimney and fireplace-make sure your chimney is clean so that it can draw properly and that the fireplace is well-maintained and ‘ready to go’ Check your flue for gaps and leaks.
  • Make sure your firewood is less than 25% moisture – ask your wood supplier to demonstrate the moisture content of the wood with a moisture meter before you buy it. All Good Wood suppliers have moisture meters.
  • Get your wood in advance of needing it – dry wood may not  be available in the middle of winter.

Toxic Wood is No Good

Residents should be wary of burning ‘free’ firewood and offcuts given away from building sites or industrial areas. These may include treated timber. Freshly treated wood has a greenish tinge and the planks are labelled with the treatment process. As it ages this tinge disappears. If you are using odd pieces of wood you have collected from various sources they may include pieces of CCA-treated timber. Burning treated timber creates toxins that are released into the  air. Consequently the Council prohibits treated wood from  being burned.

The Good Wood Scheme

The best way to prevent releasing toxins is to buy your firewood from a Good Wood supplier. Good Wood suppliers in the Tasman District can be found at www.tasman.govt.nz/link/good-wood

Managing your Firewood

When it comes to stacking, split your wood first and open stack it in a criss-cross pattern for maximum air circulation. Ventilation and warmth are more important than cover, so cover the top but not the whole pile. Keep seasoned but rain wet wood inside to dry out for a couple of days before burning and remember it’s better to buy more wood than you think you will need – you can always use it next year. Ask your Good Wood supplier for tips about getting your fire to burn well. “A lot of the responsibility for good burning sits with the person purchasing, collecting and storing the firewood”, says Rob Francis, Tasman Environmental Education Officer.

Action This Winter

Council is pleased that many people are doing the right thing and have upgraded their fireplace and/or are operating their fireplaces efficiently. However this winter Council staff will be looking for smokey chimneys and fireplaces that are not compliant and should not be in use. Staff will be using a new device that can detect heat coming from chimneys in night time situations. Council staff will also be visiting Richmond properties to speak with occupants about ‘good practice’ for using and maintaining woodburners, using untreated and seasoned wood and wood storage methods.

Warm Tasman and Assistance to Homeowners

Warm Tasman funding support (through a voluntary rate on a property) is still available for both insulation and upgrading heating to clean heat. The government subsidy is also still available for insulation. People can get free quotes for this. The subsidy for upgrading heating however, is only available in the Richmond airshed – up to $1000 for decommissioning old heaters and replacing them with new clean heat. Check also with your bank about using your mortgage if you need funding support to upgrade insulation.

For more information:  www.tasman.govt.nz/link/warmhome

The Government requires Tasman District to meet the National Air Quality Standard which will mean healthier air for everyone.

We need to do better this winter!

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Richmond Urban Density Update    

What kind of higher density housing might work in Richmond?  Should Council be getting involved in encouraging more compact homes and smaller sections? 

These are some of the questions that Council want you to answer during the month of April.

Your input will help the Council figure out whether it needs to be taking action to encourage higher density housing. Statistics tell us that the population is getting older, and that more of us are living alone or as a couple. Council is also thinking about how it can slow down how quickly good rural land is being taken up by the growth of the town.  And it is trying to find better ways of providing more cost effective and efficient services. 

These are the main reasons why Council is looking into this issue  of ‘higher density’ housing.

There will be lots of ways you can get involved in the discussion.  There will be a display in the Richmond Library in early April,  and questionnaires will be available. You can also get involved  in an online discussion via Council’s website, go to  www.tasman.govt.nz/link/urban-density, for more information  and to register your interest.

More information can also be found at  www.tasman.govt.nz or you can contact Sonya Leusink Sladen on Ph. 03 543 8400

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Positive Ageing Expo 2013    

The Age to Be Positive Aging Expo is on again, showcasing services and activities to help elderly residents get the most out of their senior years.

More than 60 stallholders, including groups, clubs, services and Government agencies, will be on hand at the Headingly Centre in Richmond on 5 April 2013. The event also features seminars, demonstrations, quick health checks and a range of activities and games. MenzShed tools will be displayed, alongside DIY demonstrations.

Seminars include ‘Talking about the tricky stuff’, covering wills, living wills, Enduring Powers of Attorney and facing a funeral, chef Richard Till on ‘Healthy eating and preparing meals for one or two’, plus ‘How to make gardening easier’, by columnist and radio host Philippa Foes-Lamb.

The Expo will offer free CarFit checks, making sure older drivers “fit” their vehicle for maximum comfort and safety.

Admission to the event is free, with complimentary tea, coffee and biscuits provided. Lunch will be available for purchase.

Age to Be Positive Aging Expo is led by the Tasman District Council in partnership with the Age Concern, Ministry of Social Development, Nelson City Council, Nelson Bays Primary Health and Grey Power, with generous support from the stallholders.

Friday 5 April 2013, 10.00 am–3.00 pm at the Headingly Centre, Richmond.

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