Newsline 296 - 12 April 2013

Friday 12 April 2013

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Waimea Water Management Meetings Held 

Council has begun to draft plan changes to its Tasman Resource Management Plan, which will update and review the water management provisions for the Waimea Plains.

Over the last month, three meetings have been held in Appleby, Brightwater and Richmond to discuss the draft plan change that is to be notified for public submissions later this month. These early meetings were designed to give people a greater understanding of the aims, objectives and reasons for the draft plan change so they could be better informed and better prepared to make submissions.

Nearly 100 people turned out for the meetings and over 35 submissions covering a variety of subjects have been received since. It is apparent that some people believed the reason for the meetings was to help decide whether or not to build a community dam in the Lee Valley.

The real purpose of the meetings was to discuss the draft plan change that will affect the future management of the water resources of the Waimea Plains. The draft plan change includes minimum flows to protect the river during drier periods. This is a change required in order for the Council to sustainably manage our water resources and to meet the requirements of the Government’s National Policy Standards. It is likely that even if a modest minimum flow is set for the Waimea River, water use will be restricted to such an extent that land use may need to change.

Improving water supply by using a dam has been discussed for a number of years. It is a way to provide sufficient water to meet demand from existing and future water users while leaving enough water in the river to maintain water quality and its environmental health. The plan makes no decision about a future dam, but it includes water management provisions that would be adopted should the dam be constructed.  It also includes provisions to manage water if the dam does not get constructed.

The Council will be discussing funding and governance options for constructing the dam with the community later in the year.

The Tasman Resource Management Plan, through this plan change, will address these water management issues. The recent process has given people a clear idea of the plan change proposals and the likely implications for water supply with or without a dam.

To meet new National Policy Standards in place regarding the health of rivers, the need to combat the threat of salt water intrusion and the need to meet social and economic needs, things have to change.

Dam or no dam the planning has to take place. The Waimea water users have been operating under interim measures since 2001 and these measures will come to an end at the conclusion of this planning cycle. This plan change will bring more certainty and sustainability to the management of the essential resource.

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Message from the Mayor 

We have just concluded a series of meetings to introduce and discuss draft changes to the District’s resource management plan regarding water management on the Waimea Plains.

The current allocation measures have been interim since 2001. We are now in the process of formalising a plan which will not only identify appropriate allocations but also takes into account the health of the Waimea River. This is not about whether to build the Lee Valley Dam or not. This is a plan which must take into account both scenarios - dam or no dam - because a decision about whether to build the dam has not yet been made. There is currently no environmental flow limit in the river but we know that if the river runs dry there are severe environmental consequences. Salt inundation may irreparably damage aquifers and coastal springs and biodiversity will suffer. The river itself will take many years to recover. In order to prevent those consequences, we need to have a sustainable plan.

The reality is with an identified environmental flow to protect the river we will need to cut a number of current allocations and rationing will be enforced earlier and more dramatically in drier spells. These cuts in allocation are required to ensure that water permit holders have a reasonable security of supply. The rationing is required to protect the river and maintain river flows. That is not a threat, it is the reality. The Council is legally bound to provide for an environmental flow and sustainable allocation limits. We cannot ignore that need – legally or environmentally.

The question of the dam will be discussed at a later date in the year. At that time we will be engaging with the community about the construction, governance, costs and funding model. The proposed plan change will cover both eventualities.

The latest meetings were preliminary consultation. The Council will be notifying proposed plan changes for submissions which will have taken into account the feedback we have received over the last few weeks.

During the submission period, the Council will be carrying out further public meetings and discussions with stakeholder groups about the detail of the proposed changes and what they mean. Water users, including irrigators, urban water users, iwi and people who have an interest in how we manage the river for its in-stream uses and values should all take an interest in these proposed plan changes.

Mayor Richard Kempthorne

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Draft Annual Plan 2013/2014 – Make Sure You Have Your Say 

Time is running out for you to have your say on Council’s Draft Annual Plan 2013/2014. The closing date for submissions is 4.30 pm on Monday 22 April 2013.

The Council released its Draft Annual Plan for public consultation on Wednesday 20 March 2013. The summary is focused on the key changes Council is proposing from the Long Term Plan 2012-2022, and Council wants to know what you think. Your views will help guide Council’s decision-making.

The Draft Annual Plan and Draft Annual  Plan Summary are available for viewing on Council’s website at www.tasman.govt.nz and during normal office hours at the following Tasman District Council offices:

  • Richmond Office, 189 Queen Street, Richmond
  • Motueka Office, 7 Hickmott Place, Motueka
  • Takaka Office, 78 Commercial Street, Takaka
  • Murchison Office, 92 Fairfax Street, Murchison

And libraries:

  • District Library, Queen Street, Richmond
  • Motueka Library, Pah Street, Motueka
  • Takaka Memorial Library, Junction Street, Takaka.

The Draft Annual Plan 2013/2014 is a large document and Council encourages people to view it electronically to minimise production costs. It can be downloaded from the Council website.

Please post your submission to: Submissions on Draft Annual Plan 2013/2014, Tasman District Council, Private Bay 4, Richmond 7050

Or deliver to your local Tasman District Council office; or email to annualplan@tasman.govt.nz; or fax to 03 543 8560. Submission forms are available on Council’s website and in the  Newsline Draft Annual Plan Summary.

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Revitalisation of Richmond Town Centre 

The Richmond Town Centre project has been the subject of discussion for some time. Driving the project has been the need to upgrade the underground infrastructure within the Richmond Town Centre and while that work is being undertaken it is a logical opportunity to make improvements above ground including footpaths, parking, trees and lighting.

A project team established in 2010 worked extensively in the first year to establish the core purpose of the project, to engage with the community and to audit the existing infrastructure.

The need for an upgrade was confirmed and that some form of revitalisation was required. In doing so, the many positives of the town centre were identified and time was spent deciding how these could be further developed. Consultation at that stage provided material for the development of the framework/structure plan.

The project team was reconvened to develop Revitalisation Opportunities in Richmond with a number of work streams developed.

Output from a later workshop was a draft framework/structure plan based around the original eight revitalisation opportunities that also included an economic retail assessment. That initial economic assessment was developed further to a combined study of Nelson and Richmond and their future growth. This study related to the growth of the economic centres and their need for resilience in dealing with that growth. The reports and framework showed that there is potential for growth in Richmond Town Centre.

Previous consultation has shown there is considerable public interest in this project.

A stakeholder reference group was put together to be involved in early discussions on the project. A priority is the need to revise the membership of the stakeholder group as some people have moved away or are no longer involved in the business community.

The project team will also be re-engaging with the businesses and property owners based in Richmond. Their commitment to the framework/structure plan is essential to its success.

There will certainly be further opportunity for the community to provide feedback as part of a more formal consultation process. Pleasingly, Richmond Unlimited have agreed to take a lead in promoting the project with its members.

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Richmond Community Gardens 

Our region’s newest community garden in Lower Queen Street, Richmond is now underway! Everyone is warmly invited to come down and have a look or get involved, whether it’s growing something or just helping out with the weeding. If you have unwanted garden tools, wheel barrows, or implements, these would be gratefully accepted. There are usually people at the gardens at the following times:

Sunday 2.00 pm – 4.00 pm, Wednesday 10.00 am –  12 noon and Tuesday 4.00 pm – 5.30 pm. For more information or to check if someone will be at the garden, email richmondcommunitygardens@gmail.com.

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Whitebait Spawning Sites at Risk 

Over the big tides of March and April whitebait (inanga) lay eggs along the coastal end of streams throughout Tasman. If you are planning work on areas of tall grass, even back 2 metres from waterways, please consider protecting such spawning sites, not only to benefit whitebaiters, but also for improved coastal fishing and the whole stream and coastal ecosystem.

Tasman District Council staff, Department of Conservation and volunteers have recently found more than a dozen new egg nest sites, bringing the total of known sites to almost 40. Most were in tall grass. At a few sites eggs were probably destroyed or could not be laid because of digger work, cattle grazing, herbicide spraying or rock work for river protection. One site was destroyed by well-intentioned spraying to prepare for replanting of native trees.

Inanga eggs require sites that are “moist, cool and out of sunlight,” says Tasman Resource Scientist Trevor James. “The base of ‘rank’ grasses are exactly that, as well as providing protection from predators such as mice.”

Sensitive areas are around the upstream extent of the so-called “saltwater wedge” where sea water comes in under the freshwater of the stream. If you plan to plant native trees in these areas, it is best to do so in a way that does not completely shade out the grasses. Give Trevor a ring at the Council, 03 543 8562, if you have any comments or questions about sites that may be used for inanga spawning.

The good news is that despite the long hot summer, the base of the long grass has been found to be remarkably moist at spawning sites, giving inanga a healthy chance of replenishing their numbers.

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A Salute to Fine Schools 

Tasman region’s schools have a proud report card of achievement going back a century or more, nurturing many students who went on to stride the world stage. A bus tour has been arranged for World Heritage Day, Thursday 18 April 2013, to acknowledge that heritage.

The “Back to School” trip takes in six historic schools and places of learning in the Waimea and Motueka areas:

  • 125-year-old Brightwater School.
  • Tasman School, which recently celebrated its centenary.
  • The former Motueka High School building, which clocks up a century this year. It is now home to the Motueka Museum.
  • Waimea West School, now the community hall.
  • Sarau School, which has been incorporated into Upper Moutere School.
  • Te Awhina Marae in Motueka.

There will be an opportunity to view inside some of the buildings along the way, plus a historical commentary at each stop.

If you wish to join the tour, book at the Tasman District Council office in Richmond by Tuesday 16 April 2013. Cost is $20 + gold coin koha. Morning tea provided.

The bus departs from the Council office on the Thursday at 9.00 am (assemble 8.50 am), returning 3.00 pm. Please bring a drink and own lunch (or buy in Motueka), and wear comfortable footwear.

For more information, contact Tasman District Council Ph. 03 543 8400.

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Joint Work on Matakitaki River to Proceed 

The Tasman District Council and the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) are set to begin work to protect the Murchison community and State Highway 6 road users from the risk of future flooding of the Matakitaki River.

NZTA and the Council have reached agreement on the combined work programme, which will cost an estimated $500,000 with NZTA and the Council meeting the costs of the work at the bridge and associated work on a 50/50 basis. No agreement has yet been reached with the private landowners to contribute to the river training work.

NZTA is responsible for the highway bridge and the Council has an interest in any work up and down stream to try and control the edge erosion and gravel build-up, with a particular interest in the impact of the bridge. The works will mitigate a number of local flooding and erosion issues in the river while minimising any risk to the bridge structure.

The work on the bridge is preventative work that will help to maintain its structural integrity. It is in very good shape structurally, but constant flooding does create debris which wears away at the land abutments at either end of the bridge. By doing the work now the bridge will be well-protected and sturdy well into the future.

Earlier this year the two organisations reported to a meeting of the Murchison and Districts Community Council on the proposal. Following this, the necessary design work was completed and approved which involved a clear identification of where the source of funding and responsibility lay.

The different ownership relationships have been a feature of this project and the result is a testament to the good working collaborative relationship between the two agencies.

Any work in the river will affect a wider area. All work needs to be done at the same time in order to manage the effects and only impact the ecosystem once.

The work will involve rock protection of the bridge abutments and the adjacent river bank, gravel relocation onto the true right bank and the removal of about 80,000m3 of gravel for the island that extends upstream of the bridge.

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TV Takeback Rolls out in Tasman 

With the switch to digital TV taking place on 28 April 2013, now is the time to start thinking about how it will affect you. Almost any television can be made digital ready with the aid of a set-top box, and you can find out more information at www.goingdigital.co.nz/what-you-ll-need/equipment-3/equipment.html

However, if you are looking to dispose of your current set and upgrade to a new TV, local retailers are currently accepting TVs for recycling as part of the Ministry for the Environment’s TV Takeback programme. Harvey Norman, Powerstore, Smith City and Noel Leeming are all offering to recycle old TVs for a $5 fee – or free when buying a new television.

A list of all stores that are a part of the TV Takeback is available at www.tvtakeback.govt.nz/where-can-i-recycle.

From 22 April 2013, Tasman residents can also take their old sets to the Richmond, Mariri and Takaka Resource Recovery Centres. The $5 fee also applies to the Recovery Centres. Councils are supporting the cheap drop-off initiative as televisions contain heavy metals that can be harmful if released into soil or waterways. Longer-term, Council will be looking at a sustainable solution to the recycling of e-waste, and support the development of a product stewardship approach, where manufacturers and retailers are actively involved.

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Community Recreation 

Tasman Band Tour returns to rock the region

Does your band rock? Do you want to be part of the Tasman  Band Tour?

Recruitment of touring bands is in progress, so if you have a sizzling hot band, get in touch with tour organiser Paul McConachie for your chance to be part of the show.

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 (Club Waimea) on Saturday 1 June, Motueka (Motueka Memorial Hall) on Saturday 8 June and Golden Bay (Pohara Hall) on Saturday 15 June. 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 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 shredding guitars and bashing drum kits in the confines of parent’s basements and rehearsal spaces.”

“The tour provides an avenue for young bands to play in front of a screaming audience and learn professional skills associated with live gigging along the way.”

If you’re interested, get in touch with Community Recreation Officer Paul McConachie on Ph. 03 543 8525 or email paul.mcconachie@tasman.govt.nz.

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Sport NZ Rural Travel Fund

Does your sports team have places to go and games to win?

The Sport NZ Rural Travel Fund is aimed at making it easier for young people living in rural communities to participate in team sports.

The fund can help subsidise travel costs for junior teams to enable them to take part in local sports competition. It is targeted at young people aged between 5-19 years.

Who is eligible? The Rural Travel Fund is open to support rural sports clubs and rural school teams with players aged between 5-19 years.

The closing date is 30 April 2013 with applications to be considered by the Tasman District Council Grants and Community Facilities Rate Subcommittee.

Application forms are online at  www.tasman.govt.nz

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Get FOUND

Are you looking for contacts for local  clubs or groups? The best place to start is www.found.org.nz This comprehensive database of contacts for community groups has been operating for 30 years and has over 1700 groups listed.

 

TYC Youth Week Photo Competition

Runs: Friday 5 April – Friday 3 May 2013

Open to: Youth aged 13 – 18 years old

Theme: ‘Live like a Legend’.

Winning photograph will be decided by public vote during Youth Week and will be displayed at Motueka High School for public vote.

Winning Photograph will be announced at the ‘Live like a Legend Quiz Night’, Friday 10 May, 7.00 pm at Motueka Recreation Centre and will win a Fujifilm Instax Mini Camera 7S White.

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Time to Acknowledge Local Heroes

Volunteers hold our communities together, and the time has come to say “thanks” via the TrustPower Nelson Tasman Community Awards.

The annual awards, run in partnership with Tasman District and Nelson City Councils, are open to all voluntary groups and organisations working to make their communities a better place to live. More than $6,000 in prizes is up for grabs this year.

The awards cover five categories: Heritage and Environment, Health and Wellbeing, Arts and Culture, Sport and Leisure, and Educational and Child/Youth Development. Category winners receive $500, runners-up $250 and the Supreme Winner takes home $1,500 and an all-expenses-paid trip to the national final. Last year’s regional winner was the Mapua Easter Fair Organising Committee.

Anyone can enter a voluntary group or organisation – who can even enter themselves. Last year 134 groups entered for the region, a heartening total for TrustPower spokeswoman Teresa Partridge.

“Nelson and Tasman are both community-minded districts that have an impressive volunteering culture,” she says. Many activities, events, projects, programmes, sports, and services are provided thanks to hard-working volunteers.

Tasman Mayor Richard Kempthorne says the awards are a marvellous opportunity to recognise that contribution. “We would not be able to function as a community without the generous voluntary efforts that are made.”

Entry forms are available from Council offices and service centres, or can be completed online at www.trustpower.co.nz/communityawards. You can also call Teresa Partridge on 0800 87 11 11. Entries close at 5.00 pm on Friday 17 May 2013.

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Pohara Flood Solutions 

In the December 2011 storm that inundated Golden Bay, low-lying land and properties between the Totally Roasted Café and Kohikiko Place inundated when the swollen Ellis and Bartlett Creeks were flooded by a combination of heavy rainfall, sediment and high tides. 

Since then Council has been working with local residents and landowners to identify solutions for the area. Since January this year, Council has been developing a computer model of stream flows in the area, to identify the most cost effective solutions. The work has been commissioned jointly with a local landowner and consent applicant.

In the meantime, Council has already remedied one blockage on Ellis Creek near Selwyn Street which should reduce ponding in that area.  Also, a short culvert and flapgate (effectively a one-way valve) have been installed alongside Abel Tasman Drive. The flapgate should prevent water doubling back and pooling behind the Totally Roasted Café. This work is intended to be a short-term solution, but could well be incorporated into long-term remedies once the computer model is verified.

Engineer David Stephenson says residents have been helpful with ideas on how to prevent the flooding, and the computer model will identify the most cost-effective measures before committing ratepayer funding.

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