Newsline 313 - 6 December 2013

Friday 6 December 2013

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You can also download: Newsline 313 – 6 December 2013.

River Restoration Projects Recognised at Awards

Two projects that Tasman District Council has been involved in won recognition at the inaugural NZ River Awards announced last week by the Morgan Foundation.

The Sherry River community won a New Zealand River Story Award for its 11-year effort to improve the quality of the river.

The judges said they looked for entries that stood out in terms of their ongoing commitment to their local stream or river; the application of science to their work; the extent of their collaboration with others; the obstacles they overcame and what they are achieving.

The Sherry River Catchment community ticked every box, and was a deserving inaugural NZ River Award recipient, the judges said.

The Tasman District Council was one of a wide range of organisations and individuals who collaborated on this project.

Regional award for Creek Clean Up

A regional award was also given to Keep Golden Bay Beautiful and Takaka Primary School who adopted Watercress Creek, which runs through a Fonterra farm and the Fonterra factory in Golden Bay.

The group obtained funding from the Council, Fonterra’s Grass Roots fund, World Wildlife Fund and the Cobb Dam Mitigation Fund. The combined efforts of Keep Golden Bay Beautiful, Fonterra and the school has seen the quality of the water in the stream dramatically improve over the last few years.

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Message from the Mayor

It has been a busy month since the election both at the Council and in the community.

Last week there was a public meeting to discuss the proposed changes to the National Policy Standard for fresh water. This standard, which gives central government direction for water management, aims to ensure that under local management the valuable resource we rely on for so many things is secure and safe. This is especially important for the District as we all rely on the effective management of the natural quality and quantity of the water in our rivers and ground water for a healthy environment, human health and economic prosperity.

At the other end of the community spectrum I have been privileged to be able to attend the KiwiBank Local Hero, the Nelson-Tasman Sports Awards celebrations and the annual Community Patrol get together. These are all events, large and small, celebrating the people in our communities who do so much for us directly and indirectly, contribute to our diversity and make Tasman the place it is.

As we enter the final month of this year we are getting ready for 2014 already, with discussions about what next year’s annual plan will focus on. Having just come out of an election the wishes of the constituents are foremost in our thinking and will play a major role in determining the path forward.

December is also the month of community and family celebration with a number of events throughout the District. I will be making the most of them with my family and I hope you are able to do the same.

Mayor Richard Kempthorne

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Pukekoikoi Improvements Started

The quality and safety of the road from Motueka to Kaiteriteri has been a matter of much discussion over the years, in particular the cliff side corner known as Pukekoikoi, or Turner’s Bluff.

The Council started to implement plans to improve the corner, and other sections of the road, over 12 months ago, but the discovery of a historically significant Māori pa site meant that work was put on hold while the Historic Places Trust, local iwi, the landowners and other stakeholders investigated the site. That investigative work has now concluded, resulting in the Council re-routing the road 50 metres further inland than was previously planned and the pa site being designated as a reserve.

Construction work has now re-started and the work is due for completion by 16 April 2014. To ensure minimum disruption during the busy Christmas period all work will cease from 10 December 2013 – 13 January 2014.

As part of the construction work an underpass is being built so that cyclists riding Tasman’s Great Taste Trail can safely ride from Motueka to Kaiteriteri without having to cross the road.

“Improving safety for those travelling between Motueka and Kaiteriteri is something that the Council has been working towards for a number of years, and it’s great to see the work progressing”, says Programme Delivery Manager Russell McGuigan.

“We have had fantastic support from all the project’s stakeholders, including those who got involved when the Māori pa site was discovered. We’ve had a very positive outcome to that unexpected find, and are now focused on the construction of the road. As well as making the corner safer we have also been able to straighten sections, and include an underpass for the cycle trail, which will benefit everyone.”

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Hot Dogs in the Summer Sun

Summer is a great time for taking your dog for long walks, in the early morning or evening, not in the heat of midday. If the temperature makes you feel uncomfortable when walking your dog, imagine what it feels like in a fur coat and bare feet on the hot ground.

It is extremely important that if you are in an area where you are in the presence of protected wildlife and birds, either on beaches or in the countryside, you must put your dog on a leash immediately.

There are designated areas in Tasman District where dogs are allowed at all times of the year, however, particular areas are declared dog free all year round. Some beaches are prohibited to dogs only over the summer months. These areas are listed on the Tasman District Council’s website, dog exercise areas.

All dog walkers need to be especially vigilant about keeping dogs under control at all times. This means that your dog must IMMEDIATELY respond to commands either by voice, whistle or hand signals. If you know that your dog is easily distracted and prone to “selective hearing loss”, putting a leash on is the best advice.

Where a dog sees a ball on the beach, or birds taking off, it is often too much of a temptation and they just have to join in and chase the ball, or the bird. What your dog may see as fun can be a frightening experience for children or adults who are nervous of dogs. It is an offence to allow your dog to rush at people or to chase protected wildlife, even if the dog’s motive was to play a game, not to harm.

Ensuring that your dog has adequate shelter, shade and plenty to drink is necessary at any time of year, but especially so in the hot weather. If your dog is kept indoors while you are at work, ensuring it remains cool is vital for his health and well-being. Providing adequate ventilation is essential. If the dog is outside, it must have shade and a good supply of water.

The heat of summer means that cleaning up after your dog is most important. Always carry a Doggie Doo bag when you take your dog for a walk, and use it. Dog owners are legally responsible for cleaning up after their dogs in any public place. For any advice or questions you may have on the care and control of your dog, call Tasman District Council Dog Control on Ph. 03 543 8400.

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Reminder: Rubbish Collection Times Have Changed Throughout the District

From this week (starting 2 December 2013) kerbside collections throughout the District for both rubbish and recycling start from 7.30 am. This is a change from the previous time of 8.00 am.

The earlier start time is to allow the Council’s partner Smart Environmental to get rubbish and recycling off the streets earlier, particularly heading into the busy summer season.

The exception to this start time is that business areas will now have their kerbside collections start no earlier than 8.30 am.

For more information go to www.tasman.govt.nz/services/rubbish-recycling

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Water – Our Precious Resource

Water is one of our most precious resources and you have the ability to manage what you use. Here’s how your water meter can help can keep tabs on your water consumption, and reduce your costs.

Where is the meter?

Water meters are usually located below ground in a meter box near your road boundary and should be kept clear from overhanging shrubs, plants and bark or soil. Our customer services staff can help if you have trouble locating the meter, Ph. 03 543 8400.

How do I read the meter?

Water meters show the total water used. The white numbers on the red background in the example below show litres, so the reading below is 2406.3905 m3 (1m3 = 1000 litres).

water-meter-numbers-example.jpg

This newer type of meter (below) also shows litres in white numbers on a red background. It reads 489.793 m3 (or 489 m3 and 793 litres). The newer meters have dials as well as numbers – one rotation of the dial counts out one litre.

 newer water meter numbers

What is typical water usage?

This can vary greatly but a typical household of three people could be expected to use about 750 litres/day. If your water bill shows consumption that seems higher than usual, you may have a water leak.

How do I check for a leak?

To check, shut off all household appliances that use water and any outside taps. Take a note of the meter reading and record the time. Leave the water shut off for as long as possible, then read the meter again. If the reading has changed – or the red numbers have moved – you have a leak.

Common Leaks

Leaking taps and constantly filling toilets are the most common causes of leaks.

HINT: To check if a toilet is leaking you can put a piece of toilet paper on the back of the toilet pan and see if it gets wet.

Locating the leak

To try and locate the leak, trace the water pipe from the meter  to the house. Can you locate any wet areas e.g. water pooling on concrete/lawn or any damp areas? If you can’t find the leak, call your registered plumber as soon as possible.

Water saving tips:

  • Water your garden during the cool of morning or evening to minimise evaporation.
  • Do not leave sprinklers or hoses unattended.
  • Repair leaky taps, hoses or fittings.
  • Make sure every load in the washing machine is a full one.
  • Turn the tap off when brushing your teeth.
  • Install a dual flush toilet. By using the half flush, you can save  up to 5 litres of water per flush.
  • Re-use water where possible rather than putting it down the  drain (e.g. use a bowl for washing up and water the plants with  it in the summer).
  • Install a low-flow shower head – these can save more than five litres per minute of showering.

Tips for Rural Water Users

If you live in a rural water area, you will be supplied water to a tank via a restrictor (low-flow unit). To help manage your water usage:

  • Please ensure you keep your storage tank in good condition.
  • Please maintain your property reticulation, e.g. stock troughs, and repair any leaks promptly.
  • It is recommended that you fit your tank with a water level indicator, which gives you an early warning when your water level is running low.
  • Ensure you have at least 25,000 or 7 days of storage, whichever is the greater. Note that this only covers drinking water – additional storage is required for fire fighting purposes.
  • If you notice any leaks on the supply line, ring the Council on Ph. 03 543 8400 (24 hours).
  • The Council relies on people calling in water leaks to ensure they are fixed, and appreciates your vigilance to report leaks.

For more information contact the Council on Ph. 03 543 8400.

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Engineering Introductions: Krista Hobday

Krista is Tasman District Council’s Road Safety Coordinator. She works with a wide range of road users throughout the year, from motorcyclists to school children, all with the aim of improving the safety of individuals as they travel.

Krista’s work is focused on education and prevention, and is part funded by the New Zealand Transport Agency. Currently a large part of her role is working with motorcyclists to up-skill and refresh their skills by organising training courses. These are available for all levels and ages of rider and on all types of bikes, from those on a theory car licence riding a 50cc scooter to those on full motorbike licences who have ridden for years or are returning to riding.

Courses are held at an off-road location – the go kart track on the Moutere Highway for motorcyclists and Nayland College tennis courts for scooters. Courses run for four to eight hours depending on the level of the course and only costs $20 per rider.

A large promotion campaign has been run across the region to highlight the Ride to Live website and Facebook page, which contain a wide range of information for motorcyclists. The website also has all the details on training courses, and a page for riders to register for a specific course.

Other road safety projects currently being run are aimed at the younger driver through the RYDA (Rotary Youth Driver Awareness) programme, pedestrian promotion and stopping distance demonstrations.

Krista arrived in New Zealand from England in 1998 on a one-year  working holiday. She liked it so much that she decided to stay, living  in Queenstown for five years before moving to the top of the south 10 years ago. She has worked for the Council for five years. When Krista isn’t working, or improving her own motorbike riding skills, she enjoys spending time with her family, ‘pottering around in my garden’ and going to the movies.

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New Brochure a Must for All Boaties

The Council has launched its 2013/14 Boating and Water Sports brochure – pick up a free copy from boat ramps and various outlets throughout the District.

The brochure contains all the information you’ll need to have fun and stay safe on the water this summer in Tasman District, including:

  • Full list of Tasman’s boat access ramps
  • Tide timetables
  • Basic rules of the sea
  • Safe boating tips
  • Navigation advice
  • Essential equipment advice
  • Details of all waterski access lanes
  • Information on marine reserves and farms
  • Emergency contact numbers.

The brochure is printed on waterproof stock so you can keep a copy on your boat at all times.

Have fun on the water this summer, stay safe and help those around you stay safe!

Further information and to download the 2013/14 Boating and Water Sports Brochure

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Please Help Protect Our Shorebirds

Golden Bay is internationally important for shorebirds – it is an area where shorebirds come to rest at high tide. These birds are protected under the Wildlife Act and it is an offence to disturb them. Please do not disturb shorebirds, they need rest as much as we do.

Disturbance to godwits at high tide roost sites means that they burn up energy that they should be saving before their 10,000 km flight to Asia.

In Golden Bay there are a variety of birds and together with the godwits you will also see variable Oystercatchers and South Island Pied Oystercatchers roosting.

Roosting birds are resting or sleeping and at high tide they do this on the small areas of the sand spit and beach that remain above the water. As these high tide areas are now very limited it is really important to avoid areas where the birds are congregating. Walking, horse riding, exercising dogs and riding motorbikes etc. up close to the birds will disturb them. When the birds move, fly up in the air or generally get agitated by your activities, they use up their energy resulting in precious weight loss.

The best times to use the beach are at half and low tide when the birds are feeding along the water’s edge and there is room for everyone.

To help with bird protection:

If you see dogs disturbing protected wildlife contact Tasman District Council’s 24 hour line Ph. 03 543 8400 and speak with Animal Control.

If you see people disturbing protected wildlife contact the Department of Conservation, Golden Bay Area Office Ph. 03 525 8026 or the Department of Conservation 24 hour hotline Ph. 0800 362468.

For more information about New Zealand’s birds see The Ornithological Society of New Zealand’s website

Thank you for your assistance in making Golden Bay beaches a welcome place for birds.

Godwit Information

Bar-tailed Godwits breed in western Alaska and spend the non-breeding season in New Zealand, arriving here in September/October and departing in March/April.

They migrate from Alaska to New Zealand nonstop – a journey of some 11,000 km which they complete in about eight days and nights.

On arrival in New Zealand they are exhausted and emaciated. The first thing they have to do is “rebuild” their digestive organs. They then moult, replacing all of their plumage (flight feathers, body feathers). Once this moult is completed (late December-early January) the birds start to lay down fat stores ready for northward migration and also start a second moult of the body feathers to acquire breeding plumage.

Male and female godwits more-or-less double their weight before departing New Zealand on northward migration. They fly non-stop from New Zealand to the Yellow Sea, in northeast Asia – a journey of some 10,000 km which is completed in about seven days and nights.

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Our Trees Belong to Everybody

Trees are the unspoken heroes of our parks and landscapes and Tasman is blessed with a number of fine examples. These often magnificent plants, large or small, all add something to their environment.

Recently some people have decided it’s their right to kill publicly owned trees that don’t fit their lifestyle choice, whether on their property boundary or in a park. Unfortunately a small number have poisoned trees for no other reason than personal gain. It is a criminal act to cut down or otherwise destroy a publicly owned tree, and the act carries a hefty fine.

The Council is charged with the protection of all publicly owned trees in Tasman District, and these trees are there for all to enjoy and also serve an important environmental role. Contact the Council on Ph. 03 543 8400 if you would like to discuss any matters relating to publicly owned trees.