Newsline 305 - 16 August 2013

Friday 16 August 2013

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Volunteer’s Dedication Recognised at Annual Awards       

Volunteers are the glue that hold our District’s communities together, and six of the longest serving were recently selected to be the recipients of the 2013 Tasman District Council Outstanding Community Service Awards.

Held on 30 July 2013 the awards are an annual event that encourage those who are on the receiving end of volunteer assistance to take the time to nominate those that have supported them, as a way of saying thank you. Nominees must be residents of the Tasman District and have been involved in a range of voluntary activities that have benefited their communities for 20 years or more.

This year’s recipients come from all four corners of our District and have dedicated a large portion of their lives to helping others.

New Zealand is a leading nation in the contribution made by volunteers. A 2008 study of the New Zealand non-profit sector estimated that volunteers make up 67% of non-profit workforce, equal to 133,799 full time positions, representing 6.4% of the economically active population.

New Zealand volunteers contribute more than 270 million unpaid hours of work valued at over $3.3 billion to non-profit organisations each year.

Jo Hillerby

Jo is at the centre of the Tapawera community as a teacher but is also recognised as the community’s carer, from those too young to go to school to those for whom school is a distant memory. Her associations with Plunket, the PTA and friends of the school, means that teaching at the Tapawera Area school is just part of her relationship with the community.

Helen Bracefield

Helen Bracefield has been a key provider in the rural nursing service in Golden Bay for decades. Working within the medical field and beyond, her focus has always been on the heart of the community. Whether it be for children or adults in need, Helen has been in the mix, directly or indirectly.

Colin Andrews

Colin has made the natural view of the walkways and reserves in and around Richmond a key area of his focus, bringing his extensive history with Forest and Bird to bear on his roles with Keep Richmond Beautiful, including a number of years as chairman, vice chairman and now as a committee member.

Annette Smith

For over 20 years Annette has donated her time to the Richmond community through the Soroptimist International Waimea Branch,  with a particular focus on the blind community, including involvement with the Royal New Zealand Foundation for the Blind.

Annette has also been the secretary for Keep Richmond Beautiful and  is the race secretary for the Nelson Kart Club.

Jenny Leith

Since the Sarau Festival started six years ago Jenny Leith has been at its heart. Not only was Jenny the spark that started what is now a fixture on the region’s event calendar she is also at the centre of the Trust that distributes the proceeds of the festival throughout the community.

Barbara Barker

Barbara has served with Plunket and on the Tapawera PTA and has provided over 30 years of volunteer commitment to the Tapawera and Stanley Brook communities. In addition to her many other roles, including Domain and Church committee membership, Barbara’s main focus has been the Boys and Girls Agriculture Club.

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Managing the Waimea River       

In 2001 the Council updated its Resource Management Plan (The TRMP) to include water management provisions for the District. The Waimea plan existing at that time already had provisions that largely prevented new water permits being issued and these moratoria had been in place since the early 1980’s as the Waimea Plains is an area long recognised to be short of water.

With the TRMP update in 2001, the management of the Waimea  River was re-assessed. It was found that the allocation and river flow regime previously existing would not adequately protect the river. The Council at the time decided a minimum flow of 500 litres per second  (l/sec) would be better than the previous minimum flow of 225l/sec and initially sought to adopt that as a new minimum flow. There was very mixed reaction at that time to the new minimum. Water users,  in particular, were opposed to this increased minimum flow.

Droughts in 2000/2001 and 2002 then severely tested the Council’s water allocation model (the first severe droughts since the early 1980’s). It was found that the impact of water takes on river flows and sea water intrusion was much greater than expected.

The allocation model and minimum flow requirements proposed in 2001 over-estimated the amount of water available in a drought. Council subsequently withdrew many of the water management provisions for the Waimea and adopted a set of interim measures to give itself time to look at water augmentation options to address the over-allocation.

The interim measures removed the minimum flow and allowed for water permit holders to continue water use as allocated, however earlier rationing was adopted as a way of reducing the impact of water takes on river flows. Even without a specified low flow, the Council protected river flows for longer by introducing earlier rationing.  No new permits were able to be granted during this interim period.

Since then, the Waimea Water Augmentation Committee (WWAC), established by Council but operated largely independently, has carried out extensive studies and reports on water augmentation options for the Waimea plains. This included analysis of the current and potential future water demand, options for augmentation including considering a range of sites for possible dam construction, costs and technical feasibility studies for a dam on the Lee River and possible funding and governance models. The reports are publicly available.

The work of the WWAC has enabled Council to revisit the interim water management provisions in the TRMP and to adopt water management provisions based on more accurate water information. The prospect of a feasible water augmentation dam has been clearly acknowledged and provided for by the Council. A dam will avoid the inevitable contest between abstraction interests and the instream and environmental interests in setting minimum flows for the Waimea River, and also protecting against sea water intrusion. The Council has also clearly indicated the water management regime that would have to be adopted should the Lee Valley Dam not proceed.

The implications of either scenario are recognised as being very significant and Council intends to undertake a lot more consultation on whether the dam proceeds through annual and long term plan processes.

The new water management provisions have recently been notified by Council and submissions have been received. There is now an opportunity to oppose or support submissions already made – go to www.tasman.govt.nz for details. Commissioners will hear submissions on the Plan Change in late October 2013.

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Takaka Service Centre on the Move       

The Council’s Golden Bay Service Centre has moved.  The building at 78 Commercial Street, Takaka, has closed.  The new Service Centre is at 14 Junction Street, Takaka.

The Service Centre is open from 8.00 am–4.30 pm Monday–Friday.  You can contact Council for assistance 24hrs a day, seven days a week, on Ph. 03 543 8400.

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Take the Time to Get Prepared       

Recent seismic activity has once again brought into focus the fact that Tasman, and New Zealand as a whole, is an area that is prone to earthquakes and their affects. This doesn’t stop us from getting on with our lives and loving where we live, but it  is something that we can, and should, ensure we are prepared to deal with.

Get Ready Get Through is a campaign that offers advice and practical tips on how you and your family can be better prepared for extreme natural events.

Before an Earthquake

Getting ready before an earthquake will help reduce damage  to your home and business and help you survive. 

  • Develop a Household Emergency Plan. Assemble and maintain your emergency survival items for your home and workplace, as well as a portable getaway kit.
  • Practice Drop, Cover and Hold.
  • Identify safe places within your home, school or workplace.
  • Check your household insurance policy for cover and amount.
  • Seek qualified advice to make sure your house is secured to its foundations and ensure any renovations comply with the New Zealand Building Code.
  • Secure heavy items of furniture to the floor or wall.

Visit www.eqc.govt.nz to find out how to quake-safe your home.

During an Earthquake

  • If you are inside a building, move no more than a few steps, drop, cover and hold. Stay indoors until the shaking stops and you are sure it is safe to exit. In most buildings in New Zealand you are safer if you stay where you are until the shaking stops.
  • If you are in an elevator, Drop, Cover and Hold. When the shaking stops, try to get out at the nearest floor if you can safely do so.
  • If you are outdoors when the shaking starts, move no more than a few steps away from buildings, trees, streetlights, and power lines, then Drop, Cover and Hold.
  • If you are at the beach or near the coast, Drop, Cover and Hold  then move to higher ground immediately in case a tsunami follows the quake.
  • If you are driving, pull over to a clear location, stop and stay there with your seatbelt fastened until the shaking stops. Once the shaking stops, proceed with caution and avoid bridges or ramps that might have been damaged.
  • If you are in a mountainous area or near unstable slopes or cliffs, be alert for falling debris or landslides.

After an Earthquake

  • Listen to your local radio station as emergency management officials will be broadcasting the most appropriate advice for your community and situation.
  • Expect to feel aftershocks.
  • Check yourself for injuries and get first aid if necessary.  Help others if you can.
  • Be aware that electricity supply could be cut, and fire alarms and sprinkler systems can go off in buildings during an earthquake even if there is no fire. Check for, and extinguish, small fires.
  • If you are in a damaged building, try to get outside and find a safe, open place. Use the stairs, not the elevators.
  • Watch out for fallen power lines or broken gas lines, and stay out  of damaged areas.
  • Only use the phone for short essential calls to keep the lines clear  for emergency calls.
  • If you smell gas or hear a blowing or hissing noise, open a window, get everyone out quickly and turn off the gas if you can
  • If you see sparks, broken wires or evidence of electrical system damage, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box if it is safe to do so.
  • Keep your animals under your direct control as they can become disorientated. Take measures to protect your animals from hazards, and to protect other people from your animals.
  • If your property is damaged, take notes and photographs for insurance purposes. If you rent your property, contact your landlord and your contents insurance company as soon as possible.

For more information go to  www.getthru.govt.nz

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Improvement Projects Get Underway       

Improving the corner of School Road and the Moutere Highway is the first of the minor improvement projects for the year signed off by the Council as part of the Annual Plan.

The changes to the corner have been the subject of discussion between the Council and local residents for some time now. The changes, which include greater delineation between road and footpath through shaping and kerb and channelling, is one of the minor improvement projects on the annual program throughout the District for the year.

Attracting subsidies from NZTA of 59% the minor improvement program is focused on those projects that have a budget of up to $250,000 throughout the District.

The priority setting for the projects is achieved through a matrix that has been reviewed by NZTA which considers the process to be best practice for ensuring value for money is delivered. The matrix looks at a range of weighted measures, which include traffic volumes, pedestrian and cycle movements, crash data, location of schools and other public amenities and community requests.

There are in excess of 25 projects on this year’s list, which can be found on www.tasman.govt.nz under Item 9.3 in the Engineering Services Committee Agenda for 1 August.

This year’s projects include:

  • Lower Queen Street/ Stratford Street intersection – looking to improve the intersection’s capacity and safety measures.
  • Edward Street below St Johns Church in Motueka – investigate and complete cycle/walkway in the vicinity of the church to address local concerns and cycle trial needs.
  • Abel Tasman Drive/Glenview Road Golden Bay – realign the intersection to better represent priority route and reduce the speed into Motupipi.
  • Upgrades to district-wide Clear Zones – upgrades to guardrail ends, sight rails, removal of instructions and relocation of infrastructure.

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