Newsline 297 - 26 April 2013

Friday 26 April 2013

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Motueka Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade    

Motueka, Riwaka and Kaiteriteri residents and ratepayers are invited to attend Open Days about the future of the Motueka Wastewater Treatment Plant on 3 and 4 May from 11.00 am to 2.00 pm. The open days will include a guided bus tour of the current site.

Since 2005 the Tasman District Council has been working to find a sustainable disposal solution for treated wastewater from the Motueka Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP). The Motueka WWTP is located near the coast adjacent to the Motueka River mouth at the end of Thorp Street. The need for a new disposal solution is driven in part by periodic overflows of treated wastewater from the WWTP’s wetland to the river mouth in winter and spring. These overflows occur when groundwater enters the wastewater network during prolonged wet weather, increasing flows into the WWTP.

As the Motueka WWTP is so close to the coast and the Motueka River, there are several risks affecting the longer term viability of the site including flooding, sea level rise and coastal erosion.

A working party including councillors, community board members, iwi, Wakatu Incorporation, Fish and Game, Department of Conservation, Nelson Marlborough District Health Board, Council staff and consultants, have been working on possible solutions to these issues. The purpose of the working party is to act in the best interests of the community to select and construct the best practicable option for the treatment of wastewater from Motueka, Riwaka and Kaiteriteri.

The working party has indicated a preference for treated wastewater to be disposed of through land rather than directly to the Motueka River or the coast. The favoured method is for rapid infiltration, which is the method currently used at the Tapawera WWTP and is proposed for the Takaka WWTP.

The Open Day will be held at the Motueka Memorial Hall, 8 Pah Street from 11.00 am to 2.00 pm. Please note private cars and/or individuals will not be admitted to the site.

For further information, contact Robert Workman, Utilities Asset Engineer on 03 528 2022 ext. 315 or robert.workman@tasman.govt.nz

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Message From the Mayor    

Back in February, I acknowledged the resilience and sense of community in the Moutere following the fire in the Moutere Hills Community Centre. Unfortunately, Moutere has had to pull together yet again following a devastating fire in the same building. We will be supporting them, and encourage everyone in Tasman to do the same.

The recent work in our rivers particularly in the Matakitaki in the South and around Ferntown in Golden Bay is testament to what can be achieved when the Council and the community work together. Gravel management, as one of the means of managing rivers to avoid possible and recurrent floods, has and always will be, a hot topic in a predominantly rural district such as Tasman. Earlier in the year Tasman District Council CEO Lindsay McKenzie instigated a number of gravel workshops throughout the District as a means of capturing local expertise and growing a shared understanding of what can and cannot be achieved. These have been particularly positive in developing a way forward for this issue.

As Chair of Sport Tasman I had the privilege of being part of the Tasman contingent that attended the annual New Zealand Sport and Recreation Awards. The awards acknowledge individuals and organisations throughout the country in the sport and recreation sector recognising and celebrating the contribution made by these groups. The awards recognise all groups with the finalists including NZ Rugby and the Volvo yacht race stopover as well as other regional providers.

Sport Tasman won a heavily contested section, the Communications Excellence Award. This section is hotly contested as sporting groups fight for recognition. While pleasing to see Sport Tasman win national recognition for their work it is the results of the group’s work that is most important. Sport Tasman supports a large area including Tasman, Nelson, Marlborough, Kaikoura and Buller and sport plays a vital role in community well-being in all these areas. Their efforts have brought in results as well as awards with a growing number of participants in all activities. As Chair of Sport Tasman I congratulate the team and as Mayor I thank them for their contribution to Tasman’s way of life.

Mayor Richard Kempthorne

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Tasman Resource Management Plan Changes    

Tasman District Council will be releasing a number of major Tasman Resource Management Plan (TRMP) changes for public comment on 27 April 2013.

The TRMP is a combined district and regional plan. The Plan states objectives, policies and methods to achieve integrated management of various natural and physical resources in Tasman District.

TRMP 46: Water management provisions for the Waimea Plains, including what the water allocation rules might be in the event of the Lee Valley Community Dam either being built or not built. 

TRMP 43: Proposal to rezone extra land for urban development in Motueka West.

TRMP 44: Proposal to rezone for the allowance of extra commercial land in Central Motueka.

Private Plan Changes

Application from Foodstuffs South Island Properties Ltd to rezone land at Three Brothers Corner for a supermarket and small scale retail/commercial development.

Application from Network Tasman to extend the current depot site in Hope for limited industrial activity.

Public notice of the changes will be released in the next Tasman Resource Management Plan update on 27 April in The Nelson Mail. The Council will also hold open days for the public to find out more about the proposals before submissions close.

Further information will be available from 27 April on www.tasman.govt.nz.

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Ecofest Spreads the Word    

Ecofest is taking its sustainability message to a smaller centre once again with a pocket edition at Victory in Nelson on Saturday 11 May. The all-day event will still be jam-packed with exciting displays, workshops and demonstrations.

How to reduce your home heating costs, grow your own food (saving money on supermarket bills) and how to make your home warmer – the answers will be at Ecofest @ Victory, organised by Nelson City Council in partnership with the Tasman District Council and Victory Community Centre.

The event also includes bike and scooter skills for youngsters, plus streamcare and recycling information.

Like last year’s Ecofest @ Golden Bay, which targeted the Bay community, this mini-version is for Victory residents to come along and hear about sustainable living. Anyone else keen to hear about living more responsibly is also welcome to attend.

These events are part of the larger Ecofest expos, which are held annually and will be back on 17-18 August this year in the Trafalgar Centre, Nelson.

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Blue-Green Algae Warning Lifted    

The warning status about Blue-Green Algae in the Waimea River has been lifted. Regular sampling has shown a much reduced level of Phormidium, the weed that carries the deadly growth, also known as cyanobacteria.

While the sampling has shown reduced levels and people should feel more comfortable about walking dogs in the river area, owners should be aware that the algae is still present. The recent flushes of the rivers due to recent and ongoing rain have provided a safer environment, however it is never completely safe and care should still be taken when handling material in the river and walking dogs, and particularly puppies, in the Waimea and Wai-iti Rivers. As far as we know all the dog deaths this season were puppies and one puppy died when the coverage was at levels similar to the current low levels.

It is expected that the Blue-Green Algae will return again after stable flow periods in spring and the Council has a programme in place to monitor its coverage in the beds of the Waimea and Lower Wai-iti Rivers. Other rivers will be assessed but on a less-frequent basis given the much lower tendency for the Blue-Green Algae to bloom strongly. For further information:

http://www.tasman.govt.nz/environment/water/rivers/river-water-quality/monitoring-toxic-algae/ 

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Ward Structure Stays    

At least every six years, councils are required to review their representation arrangements for forthcoming elections.

For Tasman this includes how many councillors should represent Tasman District, whether these members should be elected at large or by ward, whether there should be wards, where their boundaries are and what the ward names are, and whether or not there should be community boards. 

In 2012 Council decided to retain its current arrangements for the 2013 elections, i.e. Mayor, 13 councillors elected by the current five wards, and the retention of the Motueka and Golden Bay Community Boards with four members being elected to each. This decision was publicly advertised calling for submissions or appeals. As Council received one appeal, the final decision on Tasman District’s representation arrangements was referred to the Local Government Commission for determination. The Local Government Commission upheld Council’s decision, and therefore there will be no change to the representation arrangements for the 2013 local body elections.

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Richmond’s Housing of the Future    

The Council is thinking about encouraging higher density housing in Richmond and that has raised two further questions;

“Where and how should higher density residential development be managed by Council?”  and

“Is such planning the role of the Council or should it be left to the market to meet the demand?”

The Council currently has a display at the Richmond Library about the subject and will certainly be involving the local community in any decision-making.

What is higher density?

Higher density residential development encompasses a wide range of housing, resulting in a population density greater than provided by the conventional 3 or 4 bedroom dwelling on allotments around 600m2 or greater.

Outside of the conventional form there are a number of options including compact townhouses and duplex designs.

Why should we consider higher density housing?

There are good reasons for Council to consider higher density development as an appropriate development form into the future. Based on population growth estimations, demand for residential land in Richmond will continue over the next 20 years, and this growth must be accommodated. An ageing population and reduced household size are likely to result in a relative increase in demand for smaller properties. This means that demand for low-maintenance properties is likely to increase.

Another thing to consider is that compact communities are generally more affordable to service than ones that are spread out. Council is also thinking about how it can continue to provide services and infrastructure in a cost effective way. 

Where could this happen?

Being close to the Richmond Town Centre, and with good access to services and transport is a big priority. However, areas where land has a nice outlook or is close to public reserves and parks may also be suitable for more compact housing.

Re-development of land that already has housing on it may be required, so economic considerations are also relevant in choosing a location.

The economics of land development and the housing market play a significant part in providing for higher density housing. For that reason it may be said the Council has little or no place in this process, and that higher density development will happen when there is demand for it.

Council is also thinking about how it can encourage really good quality designs in higher density developments. Whether Council gets involved in encouraging compact dwellings or not, it does consider good urban design as being important. Good design for all developments can ensure that Richmond develops to be a healthy, functional and pleasant place for people to live. 

These are all things we need to consider when addressing the prospect of higher density housing. For more information and to join the discussion, check out the display at Richmond Library or go online to the Council website at http://www.tasman.govt.nz/tasman/projects/richmond-urban-density-project/

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Moutere Hills Community Centre Fire    

Despite the recent second fire, the plans for the rebuild of the Moutere Hills Community Centre following the first fire in January are still on track to be delivered at the end of May.

In the meantime, the generator will remain in place to provide power for the next three to four weeks until a new permanent mains cable is put in place. Once that is live a switch board can be installed for the recently converted kitchen, toilets and club and changing rooms, all due to reopen on ANZAC Day.

“We will still have to make some allowances during the rebuild such as the toilets and changing rooms cannot be used unless the generator is running which is only going to occur for specific events”, said Centre co-ordinator Katrina McLean.

“The main impact of the second fire has been the delay in restoring a permanent power source, which in turn, means the ability to use the training lights will be delayed for a further month.”

“The community will not let the second fire get in the way of their continuing support. They have contributed nearly $30,000 from donation of goods & services, fundraising, and grants towards the renovation of the old kitchen area to enable us to cater for the winter sports & some community activities & meetings.”

The recent findings from an investigation into the cause of the first fire in January, established the cause was a halogen light failing and exploding in the ceiling cavity of the function room.

The investigation into the cause of the second fire has not yet been completed, but the source of ignition appears to have started in the vicinity of the meter box. The second investigation findings should be released in a few weeks.

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Pest of the Month: Cathedral Bells    

Cathedrals Bells, also known as cup and saucer vine, monastery bells and Mexican ivy, is a native of Central and South America. In New Zealand, this plant is a threat to open and intact forest and forest margins, natural coastal vegetation and shrub land. In the Nelson-Tasman area, there are several known sites within Tasman Bay and Golden Bay.

It is a vigorous weedy perennial vine that can tolerate shading, drought, damp and wind. It can climb to 6m or higher, forming dense mats that smother larger plants and suppress desirable seedlings. It has angled stems with hook-like tips and leaves that are arranged alternately on the stems, dark green above and whitish below, with branched tendrils that are purplish when young.

The bell-shaped flowers (6 - 7cm long) are produced between December to May; these are green when young, changing to deep purple after pollen production (see photo). There is also a less common white-flowering form (Cobaea scandens alba). The fleshy green oval pods (5 - 8cm long) release winged long-lived seeds during summer and autumn (see photo). The seeds are transported over short distances by wind and over longer distances by water or in  soil and gravel. Fragments of the vine can also be spread by water and in dumped garden waste.

This plant can be readily controlled by hand removal of the stem/root system from the ground or by cutting and treating the stump. The vine should be placed in a plastic bag or air dried.

Cathedral Bells is listed as a Total Control Pest in the Tasman-Nelson Regional Pest Management Strategy with the goal of eradication. This plant is classified as an unwanted organism and listed in the National Pest Plant Accord, meaning it cannot be propagated or offered for sale throughout New Zealand.

For further information on identification and control, contact one of the Council’s Biosecurity Officers on Ph. 03 543 8400. Further information can be found on the Weedbusters Website at www.weedbusters.co.nz.

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Golden Bay and Motueka Community Board Targeted Rates    

The Golden Bay and Motueka Community Board Targeted Rates, charged to cover the cost of each Community Board, were first introduced in 2009. These rates are levied on all properties in each of the wards and for the 2013/2014 year the Motueka rate is $12.26 per property, while the Golden Bay rate is $15.07. The difference in the rate is due to the relative population in each ward with the greater number in Motueka paying less per property.

The rate is charged for the local governance provided by the Boards to the two wards, which unlike the other wards of Richmond, Moutere-Waimea and Murchison-Lakes, have chosen to have a greater level of local representation.

In 2012/13 the Motueka rate collected $66,000. Of this, $22,300 funds special community projects that are decided by the Community Board. This equates to approximately $5 per property.

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Awards Recognise Youth Who Give Something Back    

Do you know a young person, or a group of young people aged 12-25 years, who voluntarily donate their time and energy towards enhancing the community?

Nominations are open for the 2013 Nelson Tasman Youth Volunteer Awards, and it’s time to recognise the voluntary efforts of the young people who make our communities better places to live.

“Volunteer work could be anything from working with Big Brothers, Big Sisters or helping run sports events to work for Canteen or Purple Cake Day,” says Petra Higgins, who is on the Nelson Youth Council and will be one of the judges. “Basically it is anyone who has given their time, energy and inspiration to the community to support a whole range of great causes. We want heaps of nominations because we know there are so many people our age who are out there doing good work, often behind the scenes. What they do really makes a difference,” she says.

This is the ninth year young people’s efforts have been celebrated. Last year the awards were not judged, with all nominees receiving a certificate of recognition. However, this year will see the awards return to their original format with 10 special awards across both group and individual categories being awarded and receiving a $50 gift voucher.

Winners will be announced at the annual Youth Volunteer Awards celebration evening at the St John’s Church, Hardy Street, on Thursday 20 June 2013, as part of National Volunteer Week.

All nominees will be invited to attend the Youth Volunteer Awards, and the evening will feature performances by Nayland College Theatre Sports, 2bitbob, Paper City, Evolution Dance Crew and guest speakers.

Nominations close Friday 17 May 2013.

For more information contact Volunteer  Nelson on Ph. 03 546 7681 ext 3 or email admin@volunteernelson.org.nz

Nominations can be made at  http://www.volunteernelson.org.nz/youth-volunteer-nomination/

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Share Your Local Knowledge with Tourists    

Local knowledge is a boon for tourists, and the Richmond Visitor Centre is seeking volunteers willing to share their expertise.

Volunteer co-ordinator Keith Chaplin says the Gladstone Road centre is open every day except Christmas, steering up to 50 visitors daily to attractions in Tasman and nationwide, or giving advice on travel and accommodation. The centre does not do bookings, but can send clients to travel agents or explain how to book online. If the visitors have a credit card they can make ferry or flight bookings, for instance, from the public phonebox outside the centre.

The facility has a roster of 30-40 volunteers who normally work a three-hour shift once a fortnight during winter, but are stretched at present to cover for illness, holidays etc. Keith would like to see up to 60 people on his roster. New staff members work with experienced volunteers before going solo.

Some volunteers have been with the centre since it opened 25 years ago, obviously relishing the contact with visitors from throughout the world. Rotary set up the service, which was later taken over by the Tasman District Council. 

If you are interested in this type of work, call in to the centre or phone 03 543 9521 for further details.

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