Newsline 300 - 7 June 2013

Friday 7 June 2013

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Dog Registration Expires 30 June 2013        

Dog registrations will expire on 30 June 2013 and anyone who keeps a dog aged three months or older is required to register their dog by 31 July 2013.

Registration forms for all dogs currently on Council’s database will be posted at the end of May 2013. If you have moved from another area, or have changed address within the Tasman area, and do not receive a registration form, please immediately contact your nearest Council office on phone 03 543 8400 to update your details so that a form can be sent to you.

As Infringement Notices will be served on owners who fail to register their dogs, it is essential that your invoice goes to the correct address. Any change of detail, whether it is a change of dog owner or address, must be made in writing.

Registration update forms are available from all Council offices, or by emailing dogcontrol@tasman.govt.nz, or as a pdf download from Council’s website www.tasman.govt.nz

The fee for dogs that have not been registered by 1 August 2013 will increase by 50% on top of the standard urban or rural registration fee.

All current fees can found on the Council’s website www.tasman.govt.nz.

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Message from the Mayor        

Against the backdrop of the recent optimistic economic growth report from the ANZ, the Councillors and I have been debating the issues present in any Annual Plan process.

Despite being part of a region that has outperformed every region outside of Canterbury, we are well aware that we are not in a position to ease back on our hunt for savings and efficiencies. It is, and will continue to be, a focus of this Council to provide an economically and environmentally sustainable place to live. This outcome has to be achieved in a cost effective manner that balances the cost of meeting the needs of the current residents with catering for the future ratepayers who choose to live in Tasman.

Our level of growth is a factor not many places in the country have to deal with. For each city, district or province that does, the issues will be different. We live in the best place in the world and we want to keep it that way. Catering for the growth in our District means we have to take account of enabling the productive use of high quality land, natural hazards, efficient settlements, environmental features and future social and economic needs within the unique environment we call Tasman.

This is a constant balancing act but an exciting challenge for us as a community.

Mayor Richard Kempthorne

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Waimea Water/ Lee Valley Dam Progress        

Since 2001 the issue of a secure and environmentally sustainable water supply to the Waimea Plains has occupied many minds. This led to the formation of the Waimea Water Augmentation Committee (WWAC) made up of representatives of the community and the Tasman District and Nelson City Councils.

The WWAC has concluded that the best way to resolve the water supply issues is the formation of a dam in the upper Lee Valley. If the dam goes ahead it will be, financially, the largest project that the Council has committed to.

The Council has been providing the WWAC with project management, coordination and administration resources. In late 2012 the WWAC requested the Council’s support for project management and additional funding for the next critical phase of this project. The project has become increasingly complex with multiple work streams to manage including undertaking the Plan Change, applying for resource consents, securing access to and acquiring land, financial modelling, and partial activation of the company that will eventually own the dam in the Lee Valley should it proceed.

As one response to this, the Tasman District Council is appointing a Project Manager. The manager will have overall responsibility for the successful planning, execution, monitoring, control and closure of this phase of the project. A Request for Proposal has just been issued by the Council for this Project Manager.

This is a multi-stakeholder project involving central and local government, Iwi, water users, recreational users, community representatives, consultants and advisers, among others. Managing those relationships well is the key to the success of this project.

The Request for Proposal can be found on page 7.

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Time to get FireSmart        

With the unfortunate Glenhope fire currently in the media, now is the time to assess your fire preparedness and ensure that you are insured in case the worst should happen.

Although a number of factors can contribute to a wildfire such as slope, wind and radiant heat, there are precautions that you can take to reduce that risk. The Waimea Rural Fire Authority’s FireSmart programme aims to raise awareness of the risk of wildfire and what you can do to reduce the risk to your property. The FireSmart programme gives advice on how to reduce the risk of a wildfire to you and your property.

Insurance is a must for anyone living in a rural area. Any fires you light, be it camp fires cooking fires, braziers, rubbish fires, controlled burns are your responsibility. You could be liable for costs associated with any property you destroy and the costs of putting the fire out. There are two types of insurance to hold, Public Liability Insurance covers property that is damaged from the fire and Forest and Rural Fire Suppression Cover for putting the fire out. Talk to your insurance company to determine if and how you could be covered.

To find out more about FireSmart or Rural Fire visit http://www.ruralfirenetwork.co.nz/public/firesmart.htm or call 5442441.

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Identifying Use of Non-compliant Woodburners in Richmond        

Richmond’s winter air quality will improve as more people operate wood burners in ways that minimise smoke emissions, and as older model wood burners are replaced by compliant (more efficient, cleaner burning) wood burners or other forms of ‘clean-air’ heating.

This winter Council staff will be taking extra steps to detect use of non-compliant wood burners within the Richmond Air Shed. Properties that have had a transfer of ownership since 13 January 2007, and are known or thought to have a ‘non-compliant’ burner, will be subject to thermal imaging of their chimney or flue, to see if they are complying with Council rules. Council rules prohibit the use of non-compliant burners following a transfer of ownership of a property in the Air Shed (this rule took effect from 13 January 2007). Information about the Air Shed rules is provided in Land Information Memorandums (LIMs), and, as a courtesy, the Council also sends the new owners of Air Shed properties a letter advising them of these rules.

If use of a non-compliant wood burner is detected, the Council will issue a notice to the property owner requiring that they install a cap on the chimney/flue (which prevents further use of the non-compliant wood burner) within a specified timeframe. Failure to comply with the notice will result in significant fines being issued.

Those who decide to install a replacement compliant wood burner will first need to obtain building consent from the Council. The government funding previously available for replacing wood burners is no longer available, with an alternative scheme focused on insulation in low-income homes currently being proposed by the government.

We want to reassure residents that the use of thermal imaging cameras will be focused purely on the chimney or flue of houses, not on the living quarters. Council staff will use the thermal imaging camera to make sure that the rule relating to non-compliant burners in houses that have been sold since 2007 is being complied with. This procedure will help us in moving towards a better level of air quality for all Richmond residents.

The three images below were captured using a thermal imaging camera. When a wood burner is in use, the heat generated by the burner heats the chimney or flue, making it appear a distinct lemon/white colour when viewed with the camera. The picture on the left shows a double chimney servicing two open fires, with only the rear fire alight. The hot tip of the flue can be seen in the middle picture. The picture on the right shows the cold chimneys of two unused open fires in the foreground, but the hot metal flue of a wood burner to the rear.

Thermal image

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Delivering Your Infrastructure Services        

The Council’s Engineering Services department is responsible for keeping the District’s infrastructure services operating smoothly. We manage the District’s roads (excluding State Highways), rivers, stormwater, wastewater, water, rubbish and recycling as part of the department’s work. We also develop new infrastructure in response to the needs of our growing community.

Since 2000 the Engineering Services department has largely outsourced its professional services through competitive tendering to private consultants to manage operations and maintenance.

In November last year the Council approved a reorganisation of the Engineering Services department. This involved a review of our business for the most cost-effective delivery of our infrastructure works and services. The end result is that we are bringing in-house the management of our operations and maintenance contracts.

From 5 June all roading and rivers maintenance contracts will be directly managed by Council staff. Three weeks later on 26 June the utilities contracts for stormwater, wastewater and water will follow suit. Finally in August the rubbish and recycling activities will complete the reorganisation.

Why Reorganise?

Managing all aspects of the District’s infrastructure within Council will allow better linkages between our strategy, planning, operations and project delivery. Council staff working on these activities will all be working in the same office. This will ensure that the relationship between the Council’s overall strategies, asset management planning and delivery is maximised. It will also allow the Council to better meet the community’s needs including the best value for the Council’s maintenance and capital works expenditure.

Issues that directly affect ratepayers such as a road needing surface repairs, a burst water pipe, a flooding issue or a missed recycling bin – will now all be managed directly by Council staff and, where necessary, sent directly to the network maintenance contractor for resolution. We aim to be more effective, more efficient, and provide better infrastructure services to our community.

What Will it Mean for You?

The Council is committed to providing high quality customer service to its residents, ratepayers and visitors. This reorganisation aims to deliver a better and more cost-effective service. Through more direct involvement our staff will have a greater sense of ownership and control of the delivery of our services to meet the needs of the people in our District.

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Urban Density Project Feedback        

We have had some interesting feedback to the idea that the Council could be more encouraging about compact housing in the Richmond area, said Project Manager Sonya Leusink-Sladen.

“Some respondents have said that it’s ‘not the Council’s business’ in response to whether the Council should be facilitating more compact options, or letting ‘the market’ provide for it.”

“Others have written in and told us that it is a good idea, especially the encouragement of the development of compact, low maintenance houses for older or single people. Which leads to the next question: Should Council require that these smaller homes be well designed, sunny, warm and close to amenities?”

What do you think about more compact or higher density housing? You can still give us your ideas, up until 26 June 2013.

Go to Council’s website www.tasman.govt.nz or call in to Council to pick up a feedback form.

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New Plan for Management of PSA-V in Kiwifruit        

The National Psa-V Pest Management Plan (NPMP) sets out a strategy for managing the virulent bacterial disease on kiwifruit orchards in New Zealand. Psa-V was first detected in a Te Puke orchard in November 2010 and could cost the industry up to $885 million over the next 15 years. Kiwifruit Vine Health (KVH), established to lead the industry response to the Psa-V incursion, will manage and implement the plan that was recently approved by the Minister for Primary Industries.

This plan means the kiwifruit industry and those associated with it (beekeepers, nurseries and kiwifruit processors) can work collectively at an orchard, regional and national level to manage its impact. In the Tasman-Nelson region, there are 143 commercial growers, totalling around 570 hectares of kiwifruit varieties. The region is classified in the NPMP as an Exclusion Region because it is Psa-V free and it is imperative that the industry works together to keep it this way using industry best management practices.

Those visiting kiwifruit orchards are asked to:

  • make contact with the owner or a representative before coming onto the property
  • follow the owner’s requirements for hygiene 
  • avoid contact with any plant material while on the property
  • stay on the hard formed tracks and off the grass.

For more information on orchard management plans, go to  www.kvh.org.nz/Orchard_Management_Plans

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Pest of the Month: White-edged and Woolly Nightshades        

White-edged Nightshade (Solanum marginatum), a native of North Africa, was originally introduced as an ornamental plant during the 1880s. In the Tasman-Nelson region, there are known sites in Dodson Valley and Brook Valley, on the Richmond foothills and in the Wairoa Gorge.

White-edged nightshade is a thorny, multi-branched perennial shrub or small tree growing up to 5 metres. The leaves are green with white edges and prominent white veins. The flowers are white but sometimes pale mauve. Light brown seeds are contained in a large green poisonous berry up to 4 cm in diameter which ripens to yellow.

The seed appears to have a very long soil life and is spread in many ways including water, wind, contaminated soil and feed, machinery, wildlife and people.

White-edged nightshade is listed as a Progressive Control plant and all occupiers are required to destroy plants.

Woolly Nightshade (Solanum mauritianum) is a native of South America that is related to White-edged nightshade. It is a fast-growing shrub or tree up to 9 metres tall with white large grey-green oval-shaped leaves that are covered with furry hairs. The leaves give off a strong kerosene-like smell when crushed. They shed fine hairs when touched, and can irritate the skin, eyes and cause respiratory problems. Purple flowers grow on clusters at branch ends, with green berries ripening to a yellow colour that are attractive to birds. Individual plants can produce more than 10,000 seeds and these can remain viable for up to 30 years.

It can be treated in a similar way to white-edged nightshade. For further information on identification and control, contact a Biosecurity Officer at 03 543 8400. Information on plant pests can be found at http://www.arc.govt.nz/environment/biosecurity/search-for-plants/regional-plants_home.cfm.

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Community Recreation        

The South Island Masters Games Are Back!

If you enjoy sport and you love to socialise then the South Island Masters Games are for you!

Saxton Field will be front and centre as the sporting, social and administrative hub for the South Island Masters Games returning to Nelson from 5 – 13 October 2013.

The $30 million, world class complex, will be in full use as over 3,000 participants sweat and strain during this nine day sporting festival.

Participants from across New Zealand and beyond will visit Tasman to take part in over 50 sports, dress up for the themed social functions and extend their stay to enjoy our beautiful region.

Participants compete for medals in their own age group and don’t have to qualify or belong to a club to enter. The only criteria for entry is a minimum age and for most sports that’s 35+ years. Entries are accepted from any area of New Zealand or overseas, not just from the South Island. Simply put, anyone can enter as long as they’re old enough!

Tasman will host cycling, darts, duathlon, equestrian, golf, half marathon, indoor bowls, kart racing, motocross, pool, clay target and smallbore shooting, snooker, squash, tennis and twilight 400 events. Saxton playing fields will host archery, athletics, football, netball, softball, ultimate, running, walking and cross country events.

Entries are now open. Go to www.simasters.co.nz for more information. Enter online or pick up an entry form at Tasman District Council offices or Sport Tasman.

Don’t want to participate as a competitor? Join us as a volunteer! If you have some hours to spare and want to become involved in this exciting event contact Jane Miles at events@sporttasman.org.nz or phone 03 923 2317.

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Nelson Tasman Residents Recognise the Importance  of Volunteers

Locals have really got behind their volunteers with 113 entries received for the TrustPower Nelson Tasman Community Awards.

Entries for the Community Awards closed on Friday 17 May 2013. The TrustPower Nelson Tasman Community Awards, which recognise and reward voluntary groups for the outstanding contribution they make to the local community, are run in partnership with the Tasman District and Nelson City Councils.

TrustPower Community Relations Representative Teresa Partridge says she is very pleased with the variety of entries from across the District for the year’s Community Awards.

“I’m over the moon with the amount of entries this year! The Community Awards are all about recognising and thanking the hard work of these voluntary groups. The work is often done behind the scenes and the volunteers work tirelessly and give so much for the benefit of those who live in the Nelson City and Tasman Districts.

A huge ‘thanks’ must go to those who entered these wonderful voluntary groups as well,” says Mrs Partridge.

The Awards cover five categories; Heritage and Environment, Health and Wellbeing, Arts and Culture, Sport and Leisure, and Education and Child/Youth Development. The category winners receive $500 and runners-up receive $250.

The Supreme Winner will take home $1,500, a trophy, framed certificate and an all-expenses paid trip to the TrustPower National Community Awards. The 2013 TrustPower National Community Awards will be held in the Invercargill and Southland region in March 2014. The 2012 Supreme Winner was the Mapua Easter Fair Organising Committee.

The entries for the TrustPower Nelson Tasman Community Awards are currently being prepared for judging. The TrustPower Nelson Tasman Community Awards will be announced and presented at a function on Monday 29 July, to which all entered organisations as well as those that entered groups will be invited.

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Cool Riding        

Some winter motorcycle riding tips and advice from the Marlborough Motorcycle Road Safety Group.

Top of the South motorcyclists are blessed with a climate that - when accompanied with some care and common sense – let’s motorcyclists ride all year. However winter riding is different and without some preparation and planning, winter conditions can quickly sneak up with potentially nasty results. Here are some tips to get you through.

Dress warmly - Make sure you have a good pair of winter gloves. Remember that wind chill increases dramatically when you’re riding at speed so don’t just dress for the actual temperature. When your body core and hands get cold, reaction times and manual dexterity are both compromised so dress like Sir Ed and finish it all off with a hi-visibility vest before you saddle up.

Check the bike – Make sure your tyres are in good order, your battery is strong, lights and mirrors are working and clean and you have a full tank of fuel. 

Short days - On the road it’s short days, so maybe think about just riding between 10.00 am and 3.00 pm. A sunny winter afternoon can quickly turn dicey when the sun gets low in the sky. That shaded corner can harbour a biker’s worst fear – black ice – so get off the road early. Keep your eyes and ears on the weather reports for snow too.

Changeable road conditions - With less light and sun, road conditions change, and rarely for the better. Keep an eye out for wet leaves and loose grit; neither is much fun if you go into that curve with a bit too much speed.

Winter riding is a bonus and with care and common sense there’s every reason to enjoy it. Before you head out, dress warmly and check your machine. On the road, think ahead, signal early and double down on margins and distances.

Be careful out there and enjoy your ride.

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Aorere Effluent Monitoring        

In late May 2012 marine farms operating offshore of the river mouth were affected by bacteriological contamination when they were open for harvest. While the Aorere was in flood at the time, the marine farmers considered this contamination was disproportionate to the size of the flood event and the data from their salinity measures used to control harvest, and suspected that the source must be from dairy farms in the Aorere River catchment.

With investigations showing no evidence of a dairy effluent discharge having occurred, this prompted questions from the marine farming industry on the effectiveness of the Council’s dairy monitoring programme and more importantly the accuracy of its reported data, particularly performance against the Clean Streams Accord measures for stock exclusion from the waterways. In order to address this concern it was decided that a comprehensive walk over be undertaken of each and every farm within the catchment in order to assess the quality of the information Council held. The survey was undertaken between November 2012 and April 2013 with every farm waterway walked, effluent disposal system including soil profiles mapped and risk assessed.

The key findings of the survey were:

  • There were no obvious sources of contamination from a single point discharge found during the period of the survey.
  • The survey shows that there are no non-compliant stock crossings remaining in the Aorere catchment and 89% of those waterways requiring stock exclusion of the waterways are done and further fencing has occurred since the completion of the survey.
  • The extent to which the significant waterways have been bridged and fenced has reduced the likelihood of them being major contributors to any wider problem of faecal contamination.

A bigger question is what effect the many small waterways and artificial watercourses not subject to regulation and accord targets are having on water quality particularly in times of high ground water. While there may be a potential for these to have an effect, it is difficult to quantify.

In the interim it is likely that establishing some short-term investigation sites may give additional data and useful guidance on resources and effort.

It is the intention of the Council to undertake this full farm survey throughout the remaining parts of the Tasman District as it provides a useful benchmark. It is also envisaged that in future years the Aorere will be resurveyed.

It is noted that this work has been assisted by the agricultural community’s willingness to work to enhance the wider relationships created by the use of common waterways and their place in the wider environment.

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