Newsline 319 - 14 March 2014

Friday 14 March 2014

Read the latest Newsline online, including the following articles:

You can also download: Newsline 319 - 14 March 2014

Let Us Know What You Think

The Tasman District Council’s Draft Annual Plan 2014/2015 is out for public consultation from 15 March 2014. As signalled last year this year’s Draft Plan features a reduced reliance on borrowing and the need to prioritise projects and initiatives, so the Council needs your feedback for the year ahead.

A series of public meetings around the District begins on Monday 24 March 2014 in Murchison. A mix of drop-in sessions and presentations on key proposals aims to help residents and ratepayers find out more, including how to put in a submission on the proposals.

This is your chance to find out what is proposed in your area, ask questions and to be heard. If you can’t get to any of the meetings, please contact the Council if you have questions when writing your feedback on anything in the Draft Annual Plan.

A Newsline Summary of the Draft Annual Plan will be delivered to every letterbox in the District next week. The Summary focuses on the key changes the Council proposes, compared to what had been included in the Long Term Plan 2012-2022, for the year ahead. It also explains how to make a submission. The Summary and the full Draft Annual Plan will also be available online at www.tasman.govt.nz or you can pick up a CD of the documents or a printed copy from any of the Council’s Service Centres or libraries.

Submissions on the Draft Plan have to be received by the Council by 4.30 pm on Tuesday 15 April 2014.

See page 2 for the public consultation meeting schedule and find out the date for the meeting closest to you.

Get the date into your diary for the meeting closest to you.

DateVenueTime

Monday 24 March 2014

Murchison Sport Recreation and Cultural Centre

3.00 pm – 4.00 pm drop in session

Tapawera and Districts Community Council, Tapawera Community Centre

7.00 pm presentation

Wednesday 26 March 2014

St John Hall, 15 Courtney Street, Motueka

4.00 pm – 5.30 pm drop in session

7.00 pm presentation

Monday 31 March 2014

Collingwood Sunday School Hall, Elizabeth Street, Collingwood

4.00 pm – 5.00 pm drop in session

Takaka Fire Station Hall, 6 Motupipi Street, Takaka

7.00 pm – 8.30 pm presentation

Tuesday 1 April 2014

Brightwater Community Association (Brightwater School Hall)

7.30 pm presentation

Tuesday 8 April 2014

Wakefield Village Hall, Whitby Road, Wakefield

4.30 pm – 5.30 pm drop in session

Wakefield Community Association (Wakefield Worship Centre,
120 Edward Street, Wakefield)

7.30 pm presentation

Wednesday 9 April 2014

Council Chamber Tasman District Council, Queen Street, Richmond

4.30 pm – 5.30 pm drop in session

7.30 pm presentation

Monday 14 April 2014

Mapua Hall

4.00 pm – 5.30 pm drop in session

Mapua and Districts Community Association (Mapua Community Hall)

7.00 pm presentation

 Back to Top

Message from the Mayor

We have just adopted the Draft Annual Plan for the 2014-15 year. This is an important document, not only providing residents and ratepayers with a comprehensive view of the Council’s operations and the services it delivers, but also giving you the ideal opportunity to contribute to the decision-making process.

This Draft Annual Plan carries on the theme set last year of reducing the Council’s reliance on debt and keeping rates affordable. This theme gained support during the last election and this focus has been retained and built upon for the coming year by Councillors and staff.

The Draft Annual Plan will be available in full from 15 March 2014, with a summary being sent to residents on 21 March 2014. The Draft Plan is open for consultation until 15 April 2014. It is during this consultation phase that residents have the opportunity to provide the Councillors with their thoughts and suggestions in relation to the direction and individual initiatives. The Council needs to hear both sides – support for, or objection to – often throughout these exercises we do not hear from those that support the proposals. Such opinions are just as important.

In the previous week we saw the release of a number of changes, large and small, to our District Plan. Becoming operative over the last week were Plan changes related to Richmond West, Part IV Lakes and Rivers, two private Plan changes including one pertaining to the development of a supermarket near Three Brothers Corner, but perhaps the most noteworthy is the updated Water Management Plan for the Waimea. This Plan change, discussed in more detail on page 6, will have a determinative effect on how water in the Waimea is managed in the future as well as informing the future decision-making about the Waimea Community Dam (previously named the Lee Valley Dam).

Mayor Richard Kempthorne

 Back to Top

Nominations Sought for Richmond Residential Density Advisory Group

Ensuring there is a range of accessible and affordable housing in Richmond is a significant issue for the community. Have you got the skills and passion to be part of the group that will help decide how that need is catered for, and where the housing will be built?

The Council is setting up an advisory group for a term of one year to facilitate community and professional involvement in the Richmond Residential Density project. The advisory group will assist in the consideration of where and how higher density housing in Richmond should be managed by the Council.

A symposium was held at the Council in November last year, attended by local organisations and individuals involved in local housing, at which the delegates said an elected local forum should be created.

Nominations for membership of the advisory group are being invited from people with an interest in Richmond’s housing market. The 14 member group will be made up of nine external representatives from relevant professional bodies, the community and iwi together with one ward Councillor and four Council officers.

The group will meet up to five times during the year and will consider issues and potential solutions to the challenges of increased housing density for Richmond. The group will provide advice to the Council with the aim of providing a consensus about where and how higher density housing should be managed by the Council.

Any recommendations from the advisory group will contribute to further development of the Tasman Resource Management Plan policy framework or non-Plan change options.

The Council’s Environment and Planning Committee will select members from the applications received. A person seeking membership can be self-nominated or nominated by another person or organisation. The Council will also approach related professional institutes for nominations, however members will be appointed as individuals not as organisational representatives.

In considering membership of the group the Council will take into account and balance the following interests:

  • Live or work in Nelson/Richmond, or
  • involved in the residential sector and
  • able to work in a collaborative, consensus-seeking manner.

Further information and online application forms are available on the Council’s website, www.tasman.govt.nz, search ‘Richmond Residential Density Project’ or application forms can be obtained from the Council’s Richmond Service Centre.

Nominations must be received by 4.00 pm, Thursday 17 April 2014.

Back to Top

Library Staff Help with Schoolwork Questions

Are you studying and in need of some help with a tricky question or need some information on a subject you’re new to?  www.anyquestions.co.nz is here to help.

AnyQuestions offers online schoolwork help to school students via its website between 1.00 pm and 6.00 pm, Monday to Friday. You can search through frequently asked questions or speak to a librarian via webchat for one-to-one help.

Tasman District Council has three staff working as AnyQuestions Operators and all three of our team received a rating of ‘highly effective’ in a recent review of the service.

For more information go to  www.anyquestions.co.nz or contact  the library on Ph. 03 543 8500.

 Back to Top

Warm Tasman – Still Available to Assist Homeowners

The Council is continuing to offer homeowners assistance to upgrade insulation through its Warm Tasman Voluntary Targeted Rate. Warm Tasman will also enable homeowners in Richmond to upgrade solid fuel heaters to more clean-air friendly heating options.

The programme continues to offer homeowners assistance to fund the capital costs of upgrading their home insulation, or wood burner upgrades, by setting up a voluntary rate for the property. This means a home can be made warmer, drier and healthier. The rate with interest is paid back over the next nine years and is also subject to an administration fee. See www.tasman.govt.nz/link/warmhome for more information.

A well insulated house makes great economic sense because it saves you money you might otherwise need to spend on keeping your house warm. It also means potentially less wood being burnt and adding to the winter air pollution problem. Warm, dry homes are also healthier and more comfortable for your family to live in.

Did you know that insulation standards have been greatly improved since 2000? Insulation installed  prior to 2000 is not likely to meet the current standards for good insulation.

Insulation also deteriorates over time and its effectiveness will decrease. Flat, tired batts in your ceiling will need to be upgraded to ensure your house continues to be well insulated.

While you are thinking about insulation, you may also want to upgrade your heater. Open fires are the most costly and inefficient way of heating your house and you should think about upgrading as soon as possible. You might also consider upgrading solid fuel burners to more efficient models, especially clean air compliant models in the Richmond Airshed, to help improve air quality.

You can get a free quote for options to upgrade insulation in your house from the Council approved service providers. They will also provide advice and assist with applying for the EECA subsidy and Council assistance to upgrade your heating.

The Service Providers you can contact for more information about insulation and home heating options in Tasman are:

  • Absolute Energy Ltd 03 547 2503
  • Air Con Nelson Limited 03 544 1616
  • Kiwi Insulation 03 538 0622
  • Days Plumbing 2012 Ltd  03 544 1989

More service providers may be added to this list. Contact Tasman District Council on Ph. 03 543 8400 for more information about this offer or updates to the list.

 Back to Top

Jim Frater Receives CDEM Award

Jim Frater, Group Controller for the Nelson-Tasman Civil Defence Emergency Management Group has been presented with a Silver Award by Civil Defence Minister Nikki Kaye at an event at Parliament on 25 February 2014.

“Recipients of these awards deserve recognition at the national level,” Ms Kaye said. “Through their efforts they have made a vital contribution to our wellbeing as a nation and they are the backbone of New Zealand communities when there is a crisis. They have been there to serve their communities with practical assistance at times of great need.”

Jim was presented with his award for his outstanding leadership and ability as a Controller in managing numerous responses. Jim became involved in civil defence emergency management in 1984. Since then he has been responsible for controlling the response to floods in 1990, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013. During the 2010/11 earthquake response Jim was responsible for arranging and managing the Nelson-Tasman Group’s CDEM support teams deployed to Christchurch.

 Back to Top

Brightwater and Wakefield Flood Modelling Completed

The Brightwater and Wakefield townships are located beside the Wai-iti and Wairoa Rivers and amongst several smaller streams, such as the Pitfure. The Council has received results of investigations into flood modelling to better understand the flood hazard in these two urban areas and surrounding rural land.

The results show the majority of the two urban areas are not likely to be affected by large flood events. However some urban and rural areas are affected by floodwaters from the main rivers and smaller streams.

The new information will be used to inform the Council’s infrastructure and regulatory activities that may be affected by flooding and will be used in the upcoming strategic development reviews being undertaken for both townships looking at future development.

“The modelling has not changed the flood risk, but gives us another tool in understanding how flood waters might affect existing and future development. It has already been used to inform the design of new developments to help provide a better level of flood protection in the future.” says Council’s Resource Scientist Glenn Stevens.

Two public information sessions on the results of the flood modelling are being held in March so that the local communities can learn about the results and ask questions of Council staff. The session for Brightwater will be on Monday 24 March 2014 from 6.30 pm to 8.30 pm at the Brightwater School Hall and the Wakefield session will be on Thursday 27 March 2014 from 6.00 pm to 8.00 pm at the Wakefield Village Hall.

Further information on the flood modelling, including the summary report, is available on the Council’s website www.tasman.govt.nz/link/brightwater-wakefield-flood-hazard

 Back to Top

Waimea Water – Managing our Most Precious Resource

In 2001 the Tasman District endured one of the most notable droughts in the region for decades. This was felt most in the Waimea Plains where the Waimea River ran dry having a significant economic and environmental effect on the area.

In response two actions were taken; the moratorium on all new water permits was continued while a new holding pattern water management regime was instigated. This allowed time for a community group, the Waimea Water Augmentation Committee, to be set up to identify a means of augmenting the river to ensure a secure supply of water for current and potential new water users in the future.

While much has been discussed recently regarding the augmentation proposal developed by the Augmentation Committee there is a need to focus on the recently adopted changes to the Tasman Regional Management Plan (TRMP) to manage Waimea water resources. A great deal of work by the Council and directly affected stakeholders in the area culminated in the development of a proposed plan change. The plan change was open for submissions last year following which a panel of independent commissioners considered the written and verbal submissions in late 2013.

Following the hearings, the commissioners presented their recommendations for the decisions on the submissions to the Council for adoption. The Council made no changes to the recommendations. As a result of the commissioner’s recommendations, a number of significant changes to the regime proposed by the Council were made, enabling the Council to manage the most valuable resource  on the Waimea Plains for all users.

The water management provisions for the Waimea Plains Zones (Plan Changes 45-48) became operative on the 10 March 2014.

Background

The plan changes introduced new water management in the Waimea Plains to replace the interim provisions that had been in place since droughts in the early 2000s.

The plan changes also incorporate provisions to enable the construction of a dam on the Lee River as a solution to the water shortage issues identified in the Plains. The plan now provides for water management in the absence of any augmentation and also for the scenario of water augmentation with a dam  on the Lee River.

The independent commissioners heard all submitters over two days of hearings in early November 2013. They examined all the reports prepared by Council as well as all submissions submitted in support and prepared opposition to the proposals. The commissioners also accounted for the requirements of the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2011.

The commissioners produced a report of their findings, along with the revised plan provisions, which are available on the Council’s website or can be provided on a disc upon request.

Amendments to the notified changes

There have been a number of amendments made to the notified plan changes as a result of the submissions received.

Many of the changes improve clarity and have little substantial effect compared to the notified version. There are however a number of more substantive changes to policy and rules which are summarised  as follows:

Chapter 15 (Strategic Infrastructure)

The “with dam” provisions have remained largely as notified.

The significant amendments include:

  • Acknowledging the potential connection between land use changes and benefits of the Waimea Community Dam to primary production, and requiring information about water use for new subdivision applications.
  • Clarifying policy for biodiversity management
  • Allowing for subdivision that might be required to enable proper management of the dam
  • Revising the explanatory text to ensure it properly reflects the Council’s commitment to the dam, and its dependence on associated funding decisions through Long Term Plan processes and further consultation.

Without Dam Provisions

Flow Management

The minimum flow remains at the notified 800 l/sec.

The river flow levels that trigger the need for water rationing, calculated in litres per second, have been reduced with Step 1  now 2750 l/sec at the gorge.

The river flow level that triggered the cease take has been replaced by a new Step 4 rationing step. Cease take can still be imposed beyond Step 4.

The Dry Weather Task Force is still an integral part of making decisions about rationing, and a new policy provides more explicit guidance.

Step 4 Rationing

This new rationing step 4 requires reduction in water use to 30% of the allocated amount.

Except that these specified uses may continue to take their step 3 allocations:

  • Water for essential human needs.
  • Water necessary to avoid significant adverse effects on animal welfare.
  • Community water supplies subject to any consent conditions for demand reduction to reasonable and justifiable levels during droughts.

Beyond Step 4

The Council will still retain powers under Section 329 to impose more severe restrictions including requiring cessation of some takes should there be a high risk of salt water intrusion.

Reallocation of Water

The bona fide assessment has been amended and clarified;

  • Allocation will be no more than the maximum weekly water use  in any one week within the ten years before April 2013.
  • Irrigation use is further reduced according to;
    • area irrigated as at April 2013 (but accounting for crop rotations during the ten years)
    • both soil and crop type (as notified)

The requirement for further bona fide assessments during the term of the permit has been deleted (although the ability to review any permit to ensure efficient use of water still remains)

The term of the permits remains as 20 years.

Allocation Limits and Targets

New allocation limits: The total amount of water re-allocated to existing users upon renewal of permits in 2016/17 will be calculated for each zone. This amount will become the allocation limit for that zone.

Allocation targets: In addition to this, the allocations in the notified plan change for each zone will remain as “allocation targets” and will guide decision making for new permit applications and any re-allocation of water.

Security of Supply

The new allocation limits along with the new rationing triggers influence the security of supply for water takes.

An amendment to the policy for security of supply acknowledges that the Waimea Zone water users will have a lower security of supply than the normal standard.

A revised policy commits the Council to review this new allocation regime (and its impact on security of supply) by 2030.

Community Water Supply

Existing allocations will be preserved for community water supplies at consent renewal. However, constraints are now more explicit:

  • New water takes only provided for within existing urban footprint (including deferred zones) and
  • New water takes from a community supply are now limited to low water uses (maximum of 15m3/day) including for industrial land uses.
  • New consent requirements to ensure demand reduction through measures such as pricing or physical restrictions and end use efficiencies via management and technology are considered, so that use is reasonable and justifiable during droughts and restrictions necessary to comply with rationing can be met.

Irrigation Management Plans

The specifications for Irrigation Management Plans have been included in Schedule 31E.

Water Quality

Some amendments made to assist interpretation and clarity of the notified policies.

A new Policy and methods have been introduced to describe how water quality limits are to be introduced including through community collaboration.

Resource consent requirements now require keeping of specific records about nutrient use and stock and plant production (detailed in Schedule 31E) that will be used in future modelling and monitoring of nutrients.

Plan Changes – Rivers and Lakes

Part IV of the Tasman Resource Management Plan (TRMP) contains provisions to manage activities in the beds of rivers and lakes.

Most of this Part has been unchallenged and effectively operative since 2011, however two appeals were received concerning the management of gravel and the specification of rivers uses and values. These appeals have now been resolved and this Plan Update 48 incorporates amendments made as a result of the appeal resolutions and formally enables Part IV to be made fully operative.

For more information on how the Council is managing water on the Waimea Plains go to www.tasman.govt.nz.

  Back to Top

Pest of the Month: Reed Sweet Grass (Glyceria maxima)

Glyceria is a tall robust perennial grass with lush, light green leaves. It grows up to 1.8 metres tall, forming dense stands along the edge of streams, in wetlands and in damp pastoral zones, smothering other vegetation. In these situations, it can be a particularly aggressive and troublesome plant. It is also a weed of conservation concern because of its transforming impact on wetlands.

It forms a sprawling mat of rhizomes (underground stems) that can comprise up to 50% of the plants total biomass. In spring and summer, these rhizomes produce numerous shoots that rapidly expand to full height. Growth slows in autumn and stops with the arrival of cooler winter temperatures, dying back with the onset of frosts.

Glyceria can produce vast numbers of small dark brown seeds with varying levels of dormancy; most germinate immediately, but some remain dormant for several years. In dense stands, reproduction seems to be entirely by vegetative means. Its rate of spread along waterways is accelerated by farm machinery, vehicles and livestock carrying mud containing seeds or fragments of stems or rhizomes.

A native of temperate Europe and Asia, it was introduced to other countries to provide animal forage in seasonally wet pastures but has since been implicated in cyanide poisoning of stock. It is currently found throughout most of the North Island and much of the South Island.

In the Tasman-Nelson region, there are known infestations in the Upper Buller and Murchison catchments, along with a site in Golden Bay and one in the Motueka Valley. It is classified as a Progressive Control pest in the Regional Pest Strategy and occupiers are required to destroy it on their land. 

If you think you have found this grass, please contact a Biosecurity Officer at the Council on Ph. 03 543 8400 for advice  on control options.

  Back to Top

What is the Dry Weather Task Force?

Due to the continuing dry weather there are water restrictions currently in place in Tasman. When these restrictions start and end, and how severe they need to be to ensure that rivers remain healthy, is decided by the Dry Weather Task Force.

The Dry Weather Task Force comprises elected Councillors, Council staff, members of the various water user groups in Tasman, Fish and Game Nelson Marlborough Region, Nelson City Council staff, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and Rural Fire representatives.

The Dry Weather Task Force was formed many years ago to manage water during dry periods in an informed and collaborative manner. The Task Force normally meets on Tuesdays of each week where a regional water resource update, water use/compliance and forecast of both climate and water demand is discussed. Recommendations are made to the Task Force and agreed decisions are then notified via a press release.  Water permit holders who have restrictions placed on them may also be notified directly, depending on the requirements of the restrictions imposed.

The Dry Weather Task Force is made up of primarily Waimea water users due to the susceptibility of this area to water restrictions. Other user groups are involved when it is relevant.

The Convenor for the Dry Weather Task Force is the Environment and Planning Manager of Tasman District Council. Key Council staff involved with the Dry Weather Task Force are:

  • Convenor:  Dennis Bush-King – Environment and Planning Manager
  • Water Resources:  Joseph Thomas – Resource Scientist/Water
  • Water Metering:  Jim Trembath – Compliance Officer.

For more information on water restrictions go to www.tasman.govt.nz or see the Council’s Updates page in your local paper.

  Back to Top

Water Meter Renewals 2014

As part of the Tasman District Council’s ongoing programme of water meter renewals the Council’s contractor, Downer NZ Ltd, will be undertaking work to install approximately 900 new water meters in Brightwater and Richmond.

The programme will run from 10 March 2014 to 25 July 2014, and will involve replacement of the existing water meters and Toby boxes, and reinstatement of the excavated area.

Affected customers will be issued a letter approximately 48 hours prior to any shutdown of the reticulated water. The work may require interruptions to water supplies between 9.30 am and 11.30 am and 1.30 pm and 3.00 pm to enable meters to be connected. Interruptions will be kept to a minimum.

The new manifold meters are easier to read by sitting higher and less likely to get buried by dirt. They have a longer life span and are cheaper and easier to replace.

This is a 10-year project with the funds coming from the closed water account. If you have any queries regarding this work please contact the Programme Delivery Manager Russell McGuigan by  Email: projects@tasman.govt.nz