Newsline 321 - 28 March 2014

Friday 28 March 2014

Read the latest issue of Newsline online, including the following articles: 

You can also download: Newsline 321 - 28 March 2014.

Richmond Water Improvements

A new water treatment plant at McShane Road will enable the Council to provide Richmond with drinking water that meets NZ Drinking Water Standards (NZDWS). This has been a long journey, with a plan put together some years ago, to evaluate the water quality issues and figure out how best to meet the standards. The new plant will be operational in the second half of 2015.

The Richmond area has two separate water supplies, the ‘Richmond supply’ and the ‘Waimea supply’. The Richmond supply comes from deeper bores and is not treated but slightly exceeds acceptable nitrate levels. The Waimea supply comes from shallower bores with much lower nitrate levels, but is classed as mildly corrosive. The Waimea supply is treated with chlorine, and for the corrosiveness, at the Waimea Water Treatment Plant and provides water to Mapua and the Champion Road reservoir in Richmond.

To meet the NZDWS the new plant will blend the two bore water sources to even out the corrosiveness and nitrate content of the two sources. The blended water will treated for protozoa using UV before being piped to the Richmond and Waimea water supply networks. Distributing the blended water from one plant also means that we can better manage water supply during dry weather. The best location for treatment plants is close to where the water is used. The McShane Road location is also a practical location at an intersection in the water supply network.

The $9 million project includes the construction of the treatment plant and changes to the water pipes between the Waimea and Richmond bores and the plant, and between the plant and the existing water network. Mapua will continue to be supplied chlorinated water by the Waimea water treatment plant.

The work on the new Richmond Water Treatment Plant is planned to start in April 2014. There will be some disruption on Lower Queen Street from April 2014 to July 2015 as the pipework and plant are constructed. Contractors and Council staff are liaising with the community to inform them of the works. If you would like to join a mailing list to receive regular updates on the project please email your details to projects@tasman.govt.nz

The water treatment plant is a concrete building designed to stop noise from affecting residents. The plant includes a 1000m3 water reservoir to store water before it is pumped to higher level reservoirs. The site will be screened by bunds approximately 1.5m high, which will be planted in keeping with Lower Queen Street.

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Message from the Mayor

You will have received your summary of this Council’s Draft Annual Plan for the 2014-2015 year. If you haven’t it is available on the Council’s website and in our libraries and offices. We would appreciate your thoughts on the proposals within it both for and against. We have continued on the path started, supported and reaffirmed at the election of identifying savings, reducing our reliance on debt and minimising rates increases. We have had to make some difficult decisions in an attempt to make the balance of providing for a growing population, maintaining our current assets and being financially prudent. Please take the time to read the Draft Plan and feedback your thoughts to us.

Last week the Land, Air, Water Aotearoa (LAWA) website was launched. LAWA is the website hosting information on the quality of New Zealand’s freshwater, displaying data from over 1100 monitoring sites in New Zealand. Water quality science is complex as a number of factors affect river health. LAWA brings together these factors to help us better understand what’s going on in our rivers at a local, regional and national level. Read more about this new website below.

I was privileged to take part in the reopening of the Moutere Hills Community Centre recently and it showed me once again the resilience of our communities. Coming back from two fires and dealing with the ongoing needs while the centre was being rebuilt was a great challenge. I offer my congratulations and admiration to the people of this community for overcoming the challenges and setbacks they have faced getting the centre back up and running.

Mayor Richard Kempthorne

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Motueka High Street – Signalised Pedestrian Crossings

Motueka High Street is to see some improvements this year that will make it a safer environment for pedestrians.

Since January 2011 there have been three reported injury crashes (pedestrian v car) associated with the pedestrian crossings on High Street. The existing zebra crossings encourage pedestrians to cross without looking and are uncontrolled. There are some safety issues with the location and the existing trees hamper visibility as well. The lack of control creates confusion for pedestrians and motorists, which increases vehicle congestion along High Street.

The proposal is to remove the three existing zebra crossings on High Street between Pah Street and Tudor Street and install three new signalised pedestrian crossings at the following locations:

  • Site 1 – between the Motueka District Museum and the Red Beret Cafe
  • Site 2 – between Unichem Pharmacy and Cyberworld Internet Cafe
  • Site 3 – between The Hospice Shop and Beetees

Signalised pedestrian crossings require pedestrians to wait for a green signal prior to crossing, which is much clearer for everyone to understand and improves efficiency for both pedestrians and car users. At times of heavy traffic flows the new signals will make it easier for vehicles to enter and exit the minor roads such as Wallace Street and Tudor Street as a result of the main flow being stopped.

The Council would like to see the installation and operation of the signals completed during 2014. Further information will be made available via Newsline, an open day and the Council’s website.

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Applying for a Special Licence Must Happen Well Before the Event

Selling and supplying alcohol at any special occasion or event may only occur if a special licence is held for that event or occasion.

Applications for special licences to sell and supply alcohol, must be made with plenty of time to spare before the planned event. Special Licence applications go through a number of steps, with investigations and reports on the proposed event from the Police, the Medical Officer of Health and the Council’s Inspector all required before the application can be considered.

The District Licensing Committee (DLC) must then consider the application and produce a written decision. Usually the DLC meets once a week on Wednesdays, typically to deal with ten or more applications of varying types. After the decision has been written, the DLC secretary is then able to produce and send out the special licence.

On top of the obvious practical time demands for each step in the process, the legislation also imposes a minimum lead in period for a special licence to be processed. The Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act requires applications for special licences to be filed with the DLC secretariat at least 20 working days before the day on which the event concerned begins. The Act does allow the DLC to consider an application for a special licence that is filed inside 20 working prior to the event if satisfied that the need for a special licence could not have been foreseen earlier. Special Licences associated with funerals are an example where it is unlikely that the need for an application could be foreseen.

If applications are received at short notice, staff do their best to push them through the required steps, but there is a risk that they may not be processed in time for the intended event. Those that leave their applications too late run the chance of not having the licence in time for the event, and have no alternative but to not sell alcohol at the event.

Application forms and advice on the process can be found at www.tasman.govt.nz/services/licensing-and-environmental-health/alcohol-licensing/special-licence/ or you can contact the Council on Ph. 03 543 8400 if you have any questions.

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Building Consents go Electronic

In April 2014 Tasman District Council will introduce the option of an electronic building consent application, processing and issuing system – resulting in a more streamlined service.

From Monday 7 April, you will be able to submit building consent applications in electronic format – i.e. application forms, specifications and plans can be emailed to the Council, and payments can be made electronically too. There won’t be any need to come into the Council’s Service Centres in person.

The Council will process the consents in electronic format, and once consent has been granted, you’ll receive the certificates and approved plans by return email.

Why are we going electronic?

Modern technology is providing us with a smoother, more efficient way to handle and process building consents. We want to be able to respond to consent applications as quickly as possible, and a digital process will give us opportunities for speeding up our work.

We should also save a few trees by not having to print off and provide so many sheets of plans and documents.

Also, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is driving electronic processing as the preferred approach for Building Consent applications in the future.

It will still be possible to apply for a minor building consent in the traditional, paper-based, way if that is your preference.

On Monday 7 April 2014 our website will be updated with the new forms and instructions for electronic application submission.

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Community Partnerships

Nelson Tasman Positive Ageing Expo

Headingly Centre Thursday 3 April, 10.00 am–3.00 pm

The annual Positive Aging Expo brings together suppliers and experts on Health, Hobbies, Entertainment, Activity, Welfare, Retirement, Finance amongst other subjects that help make aging a positive experience. It provides an opportunity to come along and talk to stallholders, find out what they do, how they can assist you and how you can get involved.

In addition to the more than 60 stallholders confirmed, there will be recreation demonstrations including Nordic walking, Yuan Gong, Tai Chi and the cake decorating - you can watch or “have a go”. You’ll also be able to get your hearing tested, have a chat to the Men’s Shed and get you car fitted to you by the CarFit team.

The seminars, in the Oak Room, start at 10.15 am with a welcome by Minister for Senior Citizens, The Honourable Jo Goodhew.

  • The first seminar is called “Staying Active and in Control” with Dr Jenny Keightley Christchurch GP and Chair of Health of Older People work for the South Island Alliance. Jenny will discuss home-based support, respite and restorative care.
  • The second will be lead by Margaret Owens, President of the Retirement Villages Association NZ, will explore the realities and explode the myths of residential care.

The second seminar session starts at 1.00 pm.

  • “Life in 3D” Talking about Dementia, Delirium and Depression with Dr Mike Ball Geriatrician with Nelson Marlborough DHB. Dr Ball will differentiate between the three Ds, followed by
  • Heather Lackner of Alzheimers Nelson, who will talk about local support available for dementia clients and their families.

It’s all happening at Thursday 3 April, 10.00 am–3.00 pm, The Headingly Centre, Headingly Lane (off Lower Queen Street, Richmond)

The Headingly Centre car park is 100m on the right.

A shuttle bus will leave from Sundial Square in Richmond every half hour from 10.00 am to 1.30 pm. If you’re cycling ride the coastal leg of Tasman’s Great Taste Trail to Headingly Lane.

Admission is free with complimentary tea, coffee and biscuits. There will be a range of hot and cold lunches available for purchase.

Mapua Ferry Cycle Commute to Richmond or Nelson – what a way to get to work!

Catch the ferry from Mapua then have a social, safe, healthy and scenic cycle to work in Richmond or Nelson.

The ferry leaves Mapua at 7.00 am and returns at 5.10 pm. Buy your ticket on board. Operates every Friday until 11 April 2014.

Sport NZ Rural Travel Fund

A reminder that the Sport NZ Rural Travel Fund applications close 30 April 2014.

The fund’s aim is to reduce the barriers to participation for rural 5–19 year olds by subsidising rural sports teams travel costs to enable them to take part in regular competition.

For grant details and application forms go to www.tasman.govt.nz/council/grants-funding.

Motueka Dogs Breakfast

The Motueka sandspit is an internationally significant site for shorebirds, providing roosting and nesting space for variable oystercatchers and banded dotterel, and temporary lodgings for the bar-tailed godwit. Being so close to town, however, it is a popular spot for Motueka dog owners to walk their dogs.

To improve awareness of the birds in the area Department of Conservation, Tasman District Council and Birds NZ got together to try out an idea – the Dogs Breakfast. This event provided dog owners an opportunity to learn about the birds of the foreshore and sandspit over a bacon and egg butty.

Around 50 dog walkers turned out to breakfast with their dogs over a 2 ½ hour period on Saturday 8 March 2014.

With the smell of sizzling bacon in the background, Ross Connochie from Tasman District Council spoke about the reasons behind the current dog control bylaw, and the upcoming review.

“It was a fantastic turnout, and the messages were well received by dog owners.” One dog owner said “Simply hosting the event helped to remind me of the bird life down at the spit. I will now take a little more time to watch out for birds.”

Sincere thanks to Purina for the generous donation of dog food, tennis balls and brushes.

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Public Notice of Alcohol Licensing Applications

Applications for new and renewed alcohol licences are now being publicly advertised on the Council website.

The use of a website for public notices is allowed under the new Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act, and is good for the community and for businesses. The public notices remain accessible to everyone online rather than just appearing sporadically in the local newspaper. This allows the community to view the public notices at their leisure on the website. There are also links and information for people wanting to object to an application. Site notices will still be displayed on the premises to alert the public to an application.

Businesses applying for an alcohol licence will benefit from this service as it eliminates the expense of advertising. This is welcome as the fees for licences have generally increased across the board.

Public Notices of applications can be viewed at www.tasman.govt.nz/link/alcohol-licensing-applications

Applications for licences are decided by the new District Licensing Committee. The decisions are now also available online at www.tasman.govt.nz/council/council-meetings/other-committees/district-licensing-committee-meetings.

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Moutere Hills Community Celebrates

The official re-opening of the Moutere Hills Community Centre on Saturday 15 March 2014 was celebrated with a family focussed evening with activities, sports and live entertainment which brought the laughter and smiles back to a facility that has seen it’s fair share of drama over the past year.

Following fires in January and April 2013 the local community had a huge task ahead of them. Insurance covered the cost of the repairs but the centre’s board took the opportunity to upgrade the centre at the same time incorporating better lighting, insulation, expanded offices and improved sound insulation. The extra work was paid for by fund raising initiatives as well as support from the Canterbury Community Trust and the Council.

“I thought it would take about two years to get the centre up and running again after the fire, but the community has been so supportive it’s taken less than half that time,” said the centre manager Katrina McLean.

During the opening ceremony Tasman District Councillor Judene Edgar was presented with a bouquet of flowers as a thank you for chairing the rebuild committee. “Judene has been a tower of strength and support to the board,” said Katrina.

The centre is now back in full swing and is receiving bookings.

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Water Website a First for New Zealand

A new website housing water quality data from New Zealand’s freshwater monitoring sites has been launched – www.lawa.org.nz

Fran Wilde, chair of the Regional Council Sector Group said the Land, Air, Water Aotearoa (LAWA) website would provide a wide range of information that will help New Zealanders make good choices about using and enjoying our highly valued resource – fresh water.

“Never before has there been such a focus on the state of New Zealand’s freshwater but until now there has been no single place to access information about the quality of our rivers,” said Fran Wilde.

“Freshwater is a vital asset to our country and its important that the public can see and understand for themselves the state of a particular river or catchment and how it may be affected by what’s going on around it,” she said.

The LAWA website, is a collaboration between New Zealand’s 16 regional and unitary councils, the Ministry for the Environment (MFE), Cawthron Institute and Massey University.

A New Zealand first, LAWA displays state and trend information for over 1100 freshwater monitoring sites, giving the public access to all of the country’s water quality monitoring in one place and in a common, easy to understand format.

Tasman District Council measures a range of parameters when assessing water quality. The most common are bacteria, nitrogen, phosphorous, water clarity and acidity. LAWA allows users to see where a river or catchment sits in comparison to others for each parameter and indicates whether things are improving, degrading or remaining stable.

To give the public assurance around the accuracy of the data displayed, New Zealand’s largest independent science organisation, the Cawthron Institute, has partnered with the councils and MFE to validate the way the data is collected, processed and analysed.

“We’re excited to partner with regional councils and the Ministry in what we see as a truly innovative project bringing complex science into an easily accessible and understandable format,” said Cawthron’s chief executive Charles Eason.

“Many people can so often be put off by overly complex scientific information but we believe LAWA has simplified the science and allows everyone to connect with what’s going on in their river.”

LAWA also allows people to share information about what’s happening in waterways.