Newsline 330 - 1 August 2014

Friday 1 August 2014

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

You can also download: Newsline 330 - 1 August 2014

Waimea Community Dam Consent

Recently the Council received a Resource Consent Application from Waimea Community Dam Limited (WCDL), which follows the work of the Waimea Water Augmentation Committee. The consent is for the construction and operation of a water augmentation dam in the Lee Valley. The resource consent application was publically notified on Saturday 19 July 2014 with a closing date of 15 August 2014 for submissions.

The proposed dam is designed to provide for the security of water supply to urban, rural and commercial users by supplementing the river and the aquifers it supports. The proposed Waimea Community Dam will capture water from the Lee River enabling a continual flow into the Waimea River even during periods of drought. If the dam proceeds, this increased flow will enable current and future uses to occur throughout the year, while providing for environmental flows and a sustainable future for the river.

The Resource Consent is a key requirement of the proposed dam’s development process. The consent will be heard by independent commissioners. The resource consent conditions set by the independent commissioners will inform the final design of the dam. Once the design is complete tender prices will be sought for the project, which in turn will determine the proposed dam’s final cost.

Separately to the resource consent process, the Council will be launching its own consultation process with the Tasman community regarding the proposed governance and funding models to support the proposed dam. It is a parallel process to the resource consent process. The outcome of both these processes will be considered by the Council prior to making a final decision on the dam during the Long Term Plan process next year.

The Waimea Water Augmentation Project has been going on for nearly 11 years, since the drought of 2001, with the aim of finding a solution to the water shortage on the Waimea Plains. Without the dam there is insufficient water available to allocate to meet all existing and future demands for urban and economic uses while retaining a minimum environmental flow in the river.

As noted above, following the current consultation on the resource consent application the Council will be consulting district-wide on the dam proposal. Subjects in this discussion will include the governance of the dam (i.e. who is going to own and manage it) and who and what mechanisms may be used to pay for it.

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Message from the Mayor

Last week I attended the Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) Conference in Nelson co-hosted by Tasman and Nelson Councils, where a number of issues affecting all councils in the country were discussed.

The main issue discussed at the Conference was the need for regions to focus on supporting economic development and growth. This involves identifying the key strengths that we as a region possess, and then supporting the high quality, high value development of our business sectors. Our key areas of economic strength are horticulture, forestry, seafood, pastoral farming and tourism. We also aim to support any other commercial development that maximises value for our local and national economy.

Also included within the conference was the LGNZ AGM where three important remits were discussed and supported. The first was the need for the government to provide a number of financial incentives to private building owners for seismic strengthening. The second remit urged the Government to amend the appropriate legislation so the addition of fluoride to drinking water supplies is a decision made by the Director General of Health, rather than a local authority.

The third remit was the need for a new policy position in relation to legislation and processes governing the reorganisation of local authorities. Specifically the need to ensure no reorganisation occurs against the wishes of a majority of potential voters, and that independent expert evidence is required to demonstrate any proposal has benefits substantially exceeding the costs.

The conference was a great success, and it was a pleasure for Mayor Rachel Reese of Nelson City Council and me to host members from most councils in the country, and many other organisations and political leaders, who all work together in the best interests of our local and national community.

These events are immensely valuable, as seen by the presence of a number of government ministers, as a means of forming a position for all councils on the issues that affect us. We are a small country and the lessons and shared expertise can go a long way to providing benefits for our ratepayers, which is the key driver for all that were at the conference.

The Rutherford Hotel proved to be a very successful venue for a conference with 550 registered attendees, many of who enjoyed hospitality within Tasman District and contributed to our local economy.

Mayor Richard Kempthorne

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State Highway 60 Management

The Tasman District Council has entered into an agreement with the New Zealand Transport Agency to provide management services for the highway network through State Highway 60 in Golden Bay. This new arrangement covers a 75km stretch of highway, from the Riwaka Bridge to Collingwood.

Before 1 July 2014, the highway was managed for the Transport Agency by external consultants. The Council already manages local roads in the region.

Regional Performance Manager for the NZ Transport Agency, Mark Owen said, “This new agreement reflects the strong working relationship that the Council and Transport Agency have developed over a number of years and has been made possible by the Council’s move to bring engineering expertise back in-house – a shift certainly recognised by the Agency.”

This ‘One network’ approach to operating the roading network in the region, ultimately benefits road users and creates greater efficiencies.  As the Council is currently looking after the maintenance of all other roads beyond the highway, the ability to package necessary work on both networks together creates an efficiency of time and investment for the Council, Transport Agency and road users. It also allows Golden Bay residents to have one point of contact for all roading matters. As well as contacting the Council direct, road users can also phone 0800 4highways (0800 44 44 49) if there are any emergency incidents on the highway.

The Council’s Transportation team will carry out a range of professional services for the management, surveillance and quality assurance of works required.

Funding for the network management and maintenance will continue to be provided by the Transport Agency.

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Seismic Remediation of Richmond Reservoirs

The safety and performance of the Council’s key infrastructure assets is regularly monitored to assess whether they are at risk from moderate seismic events. In July 2011 Council staff looked at the three concrete water supply reservoirs in Richmond – Valhalla Lane, Queen Street and Champion Road. The review compared how similar reservoirs had performed in the Christchurch earthquakes in 2010 and 2011.

The review found that the reservoirs had a deficiency with respect to the wall-to-foundation connection. These connection details were developed for static loading only (ie. they assume the tanks will not move) and this is a common deficiency in concrete tanks that were constructed up to the mid-1970s. During a moderate seismic event, some of these tanks are susceptible to the wall moving and causing failure. Tank failures can cause loss of water for extended periods and can also cause damage to neighbouring properties. More modern designs have the walls physically fixed into the slab or the ring beam to mitigate this issue.

The main problem discovered is that the bottom of the tank walls are not secured to the floor slab, as under normal conditions, the weight and forces in the tank design keep the tank in place. However, during seismic events the direction of forces can change and the tank can fail. Council staff decided to reinforce the wall to floor connections in the three Richmond reservoirs and the work was carried out by Kidson Construction. The Project involves drilling hundreds of holes in the tank base to fit steel dowels, which are then fixed into the concrete ring beam.

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Sport and Recreation Facility Fund Grants

Do your clubrooms need a coat of paint, renovation or repair,  do the greens need remarking or new irrigation, or do the courts need a new set of nets?

Whatever the facility, fixture or fitting needed to keep your sport and recreation activity functioning the Council may be able to assist.

The Council acknowledges ongoing development and maintenance of recreation facilities is needed to meet existing and future needs. Often the sport and recreation clubs and groups lead these developments with volunteer input but the cost of the materials can be a barrier.

If your club is in the Tasman District and its facility is owned by the club, not the Council, you can apply for support via a Sport and Recreation Facility Fund grant.

The Tasman District Council has allocated $35,000 per annum towards contestable grants to support club and or group-led sport and recreation facility developments.

Grants are up to a maximum of $5000 and applications close 31 August 2014. Application forms are available from the Council’s Service Centres and Libraries in Richmond, Motueka, Takaka and Murchison or you can download an application form.

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Tasman’s Woodburner Rules

At this time of year there is often a tension that exists between keeping homes warm and dry and also making sure our air quality does not compromise people’s health. Tasman District Council is managing both these issues in the Richmond Airshed.

The Council adopted an air quality strategy in 2007 to help address the air quality issues in Richmond. Air quality has been greatly improved since then with the maximum exceedence decreasing from over 110ug/m3 to below 70ug/m3 (these figures are a measure of how many small particles there are in the air). The number of exceedences is also significantly lower, going from more than 50 exceedences in some previous years to eight last year.

The Council’s strategy depends on several different measures, each of which cannot be successful on its own, but when taken together are providing good results so far.

First of all, the Council sets out to prevent any new contributions to the pollution by preventing the installation of wood burners where one didn’t previously exist. Secondly, the strategy recognises that the amount of smoke being discharged from a wood burner can be affected by how the burner is being operated, whether it is an old one or a modern clean air one.

All wood burners can be operated to minimise the amount of smoke being produced - things like using dry, seasoned wood and ensuring adequate air flow when the burner is operating. However, the modern clean air wood burner also uses improved technology to ensure it burns fuel efficiently and with reduced emissions. Clean air burners are tested to make sure they comply with the new standards for emissions and efficiency.

The only rule the Council enforces about requiring wood burner upgrades is where a house has changed ownership. The Council considers that the need to upgrade to a clean air burner can be accounted for in the purchase price of the house. The rule is written so that either the purchaser or the vendor can upgrade. It enables the new owner to choose the home heating method they think is best for them.

The Council also encourages the voluntary upgrade of older model wood burners to clean air burners or some other form of clean heat. Some of the wood burners in Richmond are very old. They may no longer be operating as efficiently as they should and contribute more than a fair share of smoke.

As well as trying to manage the pollution problem in a way that avoids financial burdens on ratepayers, the Council also encourages and supports improvements to home insulation through its Warm Tasman programme.

Good insulation reduces heat loss and moisture levels in homes making houses warmer and healthier to live in. It also means less heat is lost overnight and reduces the temptation to “damp down” a wood burner.

Any wood burner installation or upgrade requires a building permit. Most existing woodburners would be compliant with the Building Act requirements, even though they are not clean air wood burners.

If you are buying a house in Richmond, information about the wood burner can be obtained through a LIM application from the Council, or you can ask to view the property file. If you are not sure if the burner is a clean air burner, information is available from the MfE website www.mfe.govt.nz/laws/standards/woodburners/ or contact the wood burner manufacturer directly. 

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Regional Sector Group Tour Visits Richmond

In July the Regional Sector Group, made up of representatives from 12 of New Zealand’s regional and unitary councils, made a 24 hour tour from Westport to Richmond. Mainly consisting of the Council Chairs, Mayors and Chief Executives, the groups visit led up to the Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) Annual Conference, which was held in Nelson 20-22 July 2014.

The Regional Sector Group tour occurs annually in different parts of New Zealand with the aim of being an informative learning experience where the host council highlights the successes and challenges of the regional council function in its area. Tour facilitator Pamela White says this was a real opportunity for the councils to share their knowledge and contribute to each other’s best practice in delivering their regional obligations.

First destination on the tour was Stockton Mine, where the group heard from Solid Energy New Zealand. The group discussed the contribution mining makes to the regional economy, and the regulatory and environmental challenges, particularly in restoring the environmental quality after mining operations.

Whilst in Richmond the tour heard about Tasman District Council’s activities, particularly in relation to our District being such a large geographic area, with a widely dispersed population. Specific topics included natural disasters (flooding and earthquakes), infrastructure needs, supporting the contributors to the regional economy, a large roading network and conservation and management of water resources.

At the conclusion of the tour, the delegates gathered with around 530 other participants in the three-day Local Government (LGNZ) Conference in Nelson. The focus for the LGNZ Conference this year was the building of a stronger New Zealand, including strengthening local economies, lifting governance practices, building vibrant communities and finding solutions to issues arising from demographic changes and the imbalance of city and regional development.

The responsibilities of the 16 Regional and Unitary Councils’ in New Zealand, of which Tasman District Council is one, include:

  • Sustainable regional well-being.
  • Managing the effects of using freshwater, land, air and coastal waters, by developing regional policy statements and the issuing of consents.
  • Managing rivers, mitigating soil erosion and flood control.
  • Regional emergency management and civil defence preparedness.
  • Regional land transport planning and contracting passenger services.
  • Harbour navigation and safety, oil spills and other marine pollution.

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Nelson and the First World War

The Nelson Historical Society is hosting a lecture on the First World War’s impact on the Nelson region, delivered by Dr Jim McAloon, Associate Professor of History, Victoria University.

The lecture is the History Society’s James Jenkins Memorial Lecture for 2014, and will focus on Community, Loyalty and Dissent in the Nelson region during the Great War. No part of New Zealand was unaffected by World War One, and while some dimensions of the wartime experience were common to most parts of the country, there were also significant differences from region to region and between town and country. This lecture explores how the people  of our region experienced the war.

Dr Jim McAloon has taught New Zealand history at Victoria University of Wellington since 2009, and for many years he taught at Lincoln University in Canterbury.

The lecture takes place on Monday 4 August 2014, Nelson College for Girls hall, Trafalgar Street, Nelson. Entry costs $5 per person, and is payable on the door. Refreshments will be served following the presentation.

For more information Email: info@contexo.co.nz  or Ph. 03 546 6394.

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Newsline Updates

Resource Consents

The Council has received an application for resource consents, which have been publicly notified in The Nelson Mail. The application and supporting information may be examined in any Council Office or Service Centre. The full public notice may be found online on Council’s website (www.tasman.govt.nz).

Any person may make a submission on the application in accordance with Section 96 of the Resource Management Act 1991. Submission forms are available from Council Offices, Service Centres and on the Council’s website. Please note that the following is an abridged advisory notice only.

  • Applicant: Waimea Community Dam Ltd
  • Location: Lee Valley
  • Application Reference No: RM140540: Proposed Lee Valley Community Dam

Resource consents are being sought to allow the construction, operation and maintenance of a dam and associated infrastructure on the Lee River in Tasman District, as part of the Waimea Water Augmentation Project.

The application includes creation of a reservoir behind the dam, and discharge of that water from the reservoir for downstream flow augmentation purposes.  Resource consents for the take and discharge of water for construction purposes are also sought.  A small scale hydroelectric power generation plant at the dam is included in the proposal.

A 10 year term of consent is being sought for activities relating to construction.  A maximum consent term of 35 years is being sought for the permanent components of the proposal.

The application does not include resource consents for the take and use of water released to the downstream river and groundwater.  These consents will be applied for at a later date by the future users of the water and are not part of the Lee Dam application.

Submissions due: 4.30 pm on Friday 15 August 2014.

Public Notices

Notice of Exceedence

Public Notice pursuant to Clause 16 of the Resource Management (National Environmental Standards Relation to Certain Air Pollutants, Dioxins, and Other Toxics) Regulations 2004, of Breach of National Environmental Standard for PM10.

On this, the 22nd day of July, 2014, Tasman District Council hereby gives notice that, PM10 concentrations exceeded an average 24-hour concentration of 50 micrograms per cubic metre (μg/m3) as specified in Schedule 1 of the above Regulations within the area gazetted as Richmond Air Shed on the following occasion:

Day

PM10 Concentration measured (μg/m3)

Extent of PM10 Exceedence (μg/m3)

Location at which Exceedence was Measured

6 June 2014

58

8

Richmond Central

The total number of exceedences to date this season is 1. The total for last winter was 9.

Look up www.tasman.govt.nz/environment/air/air-quality for the latest (updated hourly) information on air quality in Richmond and other historic monitoring in other Tasman towns.

Tasman District Council Community Grants Close 31 August

Applications are now open for Tasman District Council’s Community Grants.

The Tasman District Council allocates grants to organisations that run activities in line with the Council’s community outcomes. Grants are one-offs and are made to organisations whose services and projects provide community-wide benefit.

Applications can be submitted online or via hardcopy application forms available from Council Service Centres and Libraries. Applications close 31 August 2014.

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Feedback on Ice Warning Markers Called For

Solar-powered ice warning markers have been on trial now for some months on isolated selections of some roads around Tasman. Designed to alert drivers to when the temperature is low enough to support a risk of ice on the road, the raised markers will glow blue when the road starts to freeze.

They have proved successful in the sturdiness stakes and have operated consistently in areas that have reduced sunlight during winter, however have they aided drivers?

With over 200 markers placed in over 10 locations throughout the District, Council staff are looking for feedback on whether;

  • People knew what they were,
  • They assisted your driving,
  • They made a difference to people’s driving habits.

The lights that flash blue when the temperature drops to freezing will remain in place, with the engineers wanting to test their longevity over the year, and will be watching keenly for them to start flashing next winter.

While winter and colder temperatures are still with us, the Council wants to remind road users that the markers cannot be guaranteed to be working, so always drive to the conditions and use caution. It is also worth noting that when there is ice on the roads it will likely extend beyond the marker trial area, so when the markers end the ice will continue.

To provide feedback please call the Council on Ph. 03 543 8400, or Email: info@tasman.govt.nz

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Dog Registration 2014

Dog registrations expired on 30 June 2014. The fee for dogs that have not been registered by 1 August 2014 increases by 50% on top of the standard urban or rural registration fee.

Registration forms for all dogs currently on the Council’s database were posted at the end of May 2014. If you have moved from another area, or have changed address within the Tasman area, and did not receive a registration form, please contact the Council immediately on Ph. 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 Service Centres, or by emailing dogcontrol@tasman.govt.nz, or can be downloaded from Council’s website.

All current fees can also be found on the Council’s website.

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