Newsline 339 - 5 December 2014

Friday 5 December 2014

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Tasman Towns Win the Battle of Big Hearts

Upper Moutere has defended its title for the fourth year in a row as New Zealand’s most generous town according to the 2014 Oxfam Unwrapped Generosity List.

Waimauku took second place, followed by Taupiri and Russell in third and fourth places. Rankings are based on the number of Oxfam Unwrapped gifts purchased per capita in each town.

The Tasman District featured strongly in the top five with last year’s second place winner Takaka taking fifth place this year. Collingwood placed tenth.

Kiwis purchased a total of $305,375 worth of Oxfam Unwrapped gifts last year ranging from perennial favourites like the Oxfam goat, to flocks of chicks and toilets for communities.

The top three gifts for 2013 were a pair of chickens, safe water for 10 people, and magic tarp.

In the past seven years, the Oxfam Unwrapped campaign has raised a staggering $5.3 million to help lift the lives of people in the developing world.

Money raised by Kiwis through Oxfam Unwrapped helps build clean water supplies and enables people to grow more food to feed their families, it protects women from violence and gives children a chance at an education.

Tasman Mayor Richard Kempthorne said: “it’s wonderful to again have the opportunity to congratulate the Upper Moutere and Takaka communities for continuing to reach out to those in less fortunate circumstances. The results are a testament to the altruistic spirit of Tasman citizens.”

Through Oxfam Unwrapped, Kiwis are making a huge difference to communities in developing countries. Luke Ledi’s Village in the Solomon Islands was devastated by flash flooding earlier this year. He thanked Oxfam supporters for their contributions with an important reminder:  “…never mind if your help is very small… it’s a very big something.”

Rachael Le Mesurier, Executive Director of Oxfam New Zealand said: “We’re so humbled by the generosity of Kiwis and want to say thank you on behalf of the many, many people whose lives you have saved from natural disasters and who you have helped leave poverty behind”.

Oxfam Unwrapped gifts can be purchased online or by calling toll-free 0800 600 700. Check out www.oxfamunwrapped.org.nz to find out more.

The top 10 most generous towns in Oxfam Unwrapped’s Generosity List are:

  1. Upper Moutere
  2. Waimauku
  3. Taupiri
  4. Russell
  5. Takaka
  6. Geraldine
  7. Amberley
  8. Port Chalmers
  9. Wellsford
  10. Collingwood

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Message from the Mayor

As we enter the last month of the year and get ready for the holiday period it does not seem to be slowing down. I am sure we are not alone in feeling this. The last month has been very busy with the public consultation process regarding the funding and governance options for the proposed Waimea Community Dam.

We will have concluded hearing public submissions on the proposals by the time you read this, but we will have yet to decide what the next steps for the Council are, which we will do on 11 December 2014. Thank you to those who have submitted to the Council on the funding and governance proposals. Your submissions will help inform our decision making.

Motupipi at Reillys Bridge the most improved Tasman River

Last week I was proud to attend the annual river awards run by the Morgan Foundation where the Motupipi at Reillys Bridge received the most improved river award for the Tasman District, because of long term decline in dissolved reactive phosphorus levels.

As a largely rural district we are well aware of the need to ensure our rivers and associated land are well managed. Sound environmental stewardship is an important factor in our economic growth and this award demonstrates ongoing improvement. The award also recognises the work and time contributed by the children and Motupipi School, local farmers, Fonterra and council – without such positive partnerships we couldn’t achieve what we have.

Gigatown energy will not be wasted

The close of the Gigatown competition may not have seen the top honours coming to Nelson, but the region is going to be richer for the passion, enthusiasm and hard work put in by the many volunteers who rallied to the cause.

The work, connections and the digital strategy born out of the endeavour will provide for more economic choice and capability – ultimately the dream held by the Gigatown team. Entry into Gigatown was always about the opportunities available to Nelson and the wider region and resulting the strategy should be taken up and supported to realise those opportunities.

As Christmas approaches we should all look forward to spending time with our families and friends and reflect on our achievements of the past year. For many of us the planning for the holiday period can seem just as much work, however the outcome is well worth it.

Mayor Richard Kempthorne

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Waimea Community Dam: Summary of Feedback on Funding and Governance

The call for public submissions on the proposed Waimea Dam governance and funding options closed on 14 November 2014. It was followed by six hearings for those who wished to speak to the Council direct.

With nearly 800 submissions received and over 170 people choosing to speak to the Council it has been a very busy few weeks, however the process is far from over. The record number of submissions we have received reflects the high level of interest ratepayers have taken in the proposal - as they should. The proposed dam is the largest infrastructure project this Council has, and probably ever will, consider.

The Council will consider the submissions and make a decision on the funding and governance options available for the proposed dam. The themes raised in submissions included affordability; the timing and scale of the project; targeting costs to direct beneficiaries; external funding opportunities; re-consideration of water demand and water management options; and questioning the need for the proposed dam at all.

A strong message in the submissions was to pause, take stock and develop a solution that is affordable and fair. The submission process has closed and the councillors will be making a decision on the proposal with a meeting on 11 December 2014.

The decision prior to Christmas is focused on the funding and governance options, however it does provide an opportunity for the wider issues raised to be considered.  

The proposal as a whole will be considered as part of the long-term plan process early next year.

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Property Revaluations on the Way

Quotable Value (QV) will be sending out updated Rating Values for Tasman District properties from 10 December 2014.

The effective date for this revaluation is 1 September 2014, and any objections to your property’s revaluation must be made to QV by 9 February 2015.

How do revaluations impact rates?

The 2014 Revaluations will be used by the Council as a basis for distributing individual rates obligations for the next three financial years, starting from 1 July 2015.

There is no direct relationship between your property valuation and an increase or decrease in rates.

A revaluation of the District does not increase or decrease the Council’s total rating income. The Council sets its rates requirement annually.

Revaluations redistribute the proportion of the Council’s rates individual ratepayers have to pay – which may lead to an increase or decrease in rates per property.

Some factors that contribute to increasing rates on an individual property are:

  • If an individual property value increases by more than the average increase for the rating area;
  • If an individual’s property value decreases by less than the average decrease for the rating area;
  • If an individual property value alters as a result of new improvements being added – e.g. consented building work.

Rates levied on a uniform charge basis (e.g. Uniform Annual General Charge, District Facilities Rate, etc.) are unaffected by a district-wide revaluation.

If the Council increases the total rates requirement, this will also impact your rates.

About Revaluations

The revaluation is conducted every three years for the Council by Quotable Value Limited (QV), New Zealand’s largest valuation company.

How are rating values determined?

Rating Values reflect the value of properties (excluding the chattels) as at the effective date of 1 September 2014. QV use a “mass-appraisal” process and consider relevant property sales from your area around the time of the valuation. A market trend is established and applied to similar properties. A number of individual properties are also assessed every year because of issued building consents and other inspections.

The entire process is independently audited by the Office of the Valuer General. Strict quality standards must be met before new rating values are confirmed.

What is the difference between a Rating Value and a current Market Valuation?

A Rating Value is one factor used to apportion your rates. The revaluation occurs every three years. The value is calculated using  a mass-appraisal process.

Market Valuations are different. You can request one at any time from a Registered Valuer. The Registered Valuer will inspect the interior and exterior of the property. They will also use their local knowledge and analyse recent sales data. All this information will be presented in a comprehensive report.

What is the objection process?

If you feel your property’s rating value doesn’t reflect your property’s market value (as at 1 September 2014), you have the right to object. Objections allow valuers to assess individual components which may not have been considered in the mass-appraisal process.

The closing date to lodge an objection to your new rating value is 9 February 2015.

You can make an objection online at www.ratingvalues.co.nz, or call 0800 787 284 to discuss the process to make a written submission. Please note you must contact Quotable Value to make an objection, not Tasman District Council.

For further information:

If you have questions about the revaluation process, please contact QV.

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Why is Old Man’s Beard so Successful?

Old Man’s Beard has had plenty of time to naturalise and invade our region after being sold for 1s 6d as a garden plant in New Zealand in the 1920s.

Old Man’s Beard produces copious amounts of seed. The seeds have a fluffy plume-like tail which aids dispersal by wind and water. They can be transported by animals, in gravels, on machinery and by people in their clothing and gear. The plant can also be spread vegetatively by floodwaters and by dumping of garden waste. Old Man’s Beard seeds remain viable for up to ten years.

Old Man’s Beard is deciduous, enabling it to survive cold winters. The plant’s stems are capable of growing more than 4m a year and a single plant can blanket an area up to 180m².

Old Man’s Beard is a persistent plant that grows in a variety of conditions and has a lifespan greater than 30 years. Its vines are self-fertile and so one isolated vine can establish a new population.

Native to UK and Europe and originally named ‘travellers joy’, this plant was first recognised as a serious pest in New Zealand in the early 1970s. In 1986, it was declared a noxious plant in Golden Bay and the upper Buller catchment. It was subsequently designated as a progressive control pest for these areas in the Tasman – Nelson Regional Pest Management Strategy.

The factors limiting its spread are related to altitude (usually not found above 750m), lack of suitable growing conditions (light and moisture), dense forest canopies, the presence of stock, and control undertaken by both government and private initiatives. 

Before a decision is made to designate an organism as a pest in the Strategy, it is important to have a good knowledge of its distribution and its position on the ‘infestation curve’ i.e. – lag phase, explosion phase or widespread phase (see below). The lower a pest is on the curve, the better the chance of eradicating or controlling it. The higher along the curve, the more difficult and costly it will be to manage.

Old Man’s Beard sits at the lower end of the explosion phase for Kaiteriteri/Golden Bay and the Buller Catchment and the upper end for the rest of the region. Our focus has been on those areas of lower infestation where it is still considered feasible to achieve control.

If you know of plants within the control areas above, or would like to discuss the many options available for control, contact a Biosecurity staff member  on Ph. 03 543 8400.

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Redwood Valley Lane Intersection Improvements

The Moutere Highway is an increasingly busy road with the traffic it carries predicted to increase in-line with growth and residential development. Access to and from Redwood Valley Lane onto the highway is within an open road speed limit area with limited visibility on the western side of the lane.

Driven by the concern of residents, and the need for increased safety in light of continuing growth, the Council has altered the intersection.

Work includes:

  • Channelling of the intersection to provide for left turns only,
  • Narrowing of the intersection to encourage vehicles to slow down through the intersection, especially when entering from the Moutere Highway. The narrow alignment of the intersection helps to prevent vehicles from making an illegal right turn,
  • Speed limit reduction in Redwood Valley Lane (30kmh) and Redwood Valley Road (80kmh).
  • Improved warning signage. Residents will be aware of the sharp bends but visitors to the area will not be familiar with the road environment.
  • The narrow nature of the intersection means that heavy vehicles are not be able to negotiate the intersection unless they drive over the mountable kerb. The purpose is not to exclude heavy vehicles, but is a necessary side effect.

Design Pros:

  • The intersection alignment provides for safe turning.
  • Residents of Redwood Valley Lane will maintain an all-weather exit onto the Moutere Highway.
  • Speed limit reductions will improve safety within the valley.

Design Cons:

  • Some residents will have to change the way they travel to and from their homes/properties and it may add slight delays to their travel time.

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Toxic Algae Monitoring Underway

The Council has started its summer toxic algae monitoring programme in the Lee, Wairoa, Waimea and Motueka Rivers. Early results have shown no sign of any toxic algae in our main rivers at this stage.

Monitoring in these rivers will continue weekly throughout the summer months and results can be viewed on the Council's website.

The latest results are available from the link below:

Monitoring Toxic Algae

If you are a regular user of our rivers and take dogs or toddlers down to play in the water, we strongly recommend that you become familiar with the toxic algae and avoid contact when it is present.

The algae that is of most concern is relatively distinctive, forming mats that are soft, dark coloured (black, dark green or dark brown), sometimes thick (over 5mm) and somewhat jelly-like.

The Council will place warning signs at the most popular sites if the algae reaches levels exceeding 20%.

Any resident concerned about toxic algae, or who wishes to report a site where algae is present, can contact the Council any time on Ph. 03 543 8400. A photo of the algae and/or the site would also be helpful.

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Newsline Updates

Public Notices

Notice of proposal to lease part Paradise Way Recreation Reserve for stabilisation

Tasman District Council is calling for submissions under section 73 of  the Reserves Act 1977, regarding its intention to grant a lease to an adjoining owner a lease to undertake a stabilisation structure (retaining wall) on the reserve.

The Council is the owner of a recreation reserve between Paradise Way and Bay Vista Drive. This reserve is Lot 45 DP 16650 (5269 m2). The title reference is CFR NL10D/767.

Following a significant rain event, Council was approached by an adjacent landowner. Stabilisation work was required to protect their home. The majority of the retaining wall will be on their private land, but part of the reserve will contain part of the retaining wall. Council does not want to have any financial interest in the stabilisation work, so needs to grant the adjacent owners, being Neil Wilson and Margaret Braggins, a lease of a small part of the reserve. The lease will be for 30 years, and cover approximately 40 m2.

The proposal should have a minor initial impact on the reserve. The portion of the reserve where the retaining wall will be constructed does not get a lot of public use. Once the retaining wall has been constructed, there should be no ongoing impact on the reserve. There will be a short period during construction when access to the relevant part of the reserve is limited, but the lease will provide for continued public access over the whole of the reserve, once construction is complete.

If the retaining wall is not constructed, there is not only a very real risk to the adjacent home, but also a risk that the reserve could suffer in the event of further slipping. Council staff believe the granting of the lease will benefit both the adjacent land, and the reserve.

Plans of the location of the retaining wall, and other details can be obtained by contacting either Robert Cant or Beryl Wilkes on Ph. 03 543 8400, or via Email: robert.cant@tasman.govt.nz. Copies of this notice, plus a locality plan, will also be available on the Council’s website.

Written submissions or objections should be sent to:

Tasman District Council, Private Bag 4, Richmond 7050

Submissions or objections will be received up to 4.00 pm on 16 January 2015. Please state whether you would like to be speak to your submission in the event that a hearing is required.

River Spraying Notification

Tasman District Council’s Engineering Services Department gives notice of our intention to undertake our regular ground based river spraying operations from November 2014 to April 2015 inclusive.

The spraying will be focused (but may include other waterways) on the fully funded sections of rivers/waterways within the Tasman District which includes the Waimea/Wairoa, Wai-iti, Redwood & Eves Valley Streams, Moutere River and company ditches, Pawley Creek, Upper Motueka, Motupiko, Sherry and Tadmor Rivers, Dove, Lower Motueka, Riwaka mainstem and delta waterways, Takaka, Waingaro, Anatoki, Aorere and Kaituna Rivers. The main purpose is to control woody weedgrowth on the fairways that could impede or divert flood flows, with herbicide application to control pest plants within waterway management corridors to also be undertaken.

For any objections, queries or comments on the operation please contact:

Giles Griffith, Rivers and Coastal Engineer,  Ph. 03 543 8400 or Email: giles.griffith@tasman.govt.nz

Roading

Temporary Road Closure

Tasman District Council advises that its contractor, Taylors Contracting will be commencing road works on the Baton Valley Road on the bluff at the 7.5km mark for approximately two weeks starting from 8 December 2014.

The work will involve the use of heavy machinery and blasting. As a result there will be delays for traffic with complete road closure during blasting as follows:

  • Blast 1:     Wednesday, 10 December 2014 – the road will be closed from 9.00 am – 5.00 pm or until the road is cleared of debris for light vehicle access.
  • Blast 2:     (If required) Tuesday, 16 December 2014 – the road will be closed from 9.00 am – 5.00 pm or until the road is cleared  of debris for light vehicle access.

Landowners in the area have been advised of this closure by separate letter. Any questions relating to these works can be directed to:

Neil McKay, Taylors Contracting Limited, Ph. 021 501 840.

Proposed Closure of Roads to Ordinary  Vehicular Traffic

In accordance with the Transport (Vehicle Road Closure) Regulations 1965, the public is advised that for the purpose of allowing the Nelson Drag Racing Association to hold a drag racing event, and the Nelson & Westland Car Club, to hold a rally sprint, the following roads will be closed to ordinary vehicles for the periods and times indicated below.

Proposed Road to be closed to Ordinary Vehicles and  Period of Closure

Nelson Drag Racing Association
  • Queen Victoria Street, Motueka from King Edward Street to Green Lane.
  • Saturday 6 December 2014 – 7.30 am to 5.00 pm.
Nelson and Westland Car Club
  • Tutaki Road North, 200 metres after the intersection with Mangles Valley Road and Braeburn Track, from the intersection with Tutaki Road North to 291 Braeburn Track.
  • Saturday 6 December 2014 – 8.00 am to 5.00 pm.

Proposed Closure of Roads to Ordinary Vehicular Traffic

In accordance with the Transport (Vehicle Road Closure) Regulations 1965, notice is hereby given that for the purpose of enabling Richmond Unlimited to conduct the Richmond Market Day, the following road will be closed to ordinary vehicles for the period and time indicated below.

Any person objecting to the proposal is called upon to lodge notice of the objection before Friday 19 December 2014 to the office of the Tasman District Council, 189 Queen Street, Richmond.

Proposed Road to be closed to Ordinary Vehicles

  • Queen Street, Richmond from McIndoe Place to just below the entrance to the Warring Car Park (lane beside Night ‘n’ Day).
  • Period of Closure: 6.00 am to 5.00 pm, Monday 29 December 2014.

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Shared Pathways User's Guide – 'Stop the Startle'

The Tasman District has several shared pathways with Tasman's Great Taste Trail being the most well known, but there a several others linking streets and in parks and reserves. These are designed to provide walkers and cyclists with a safe environment enabling users to avoid motor vehicles. The shared paths are being used by a range of users including beginner and novice cyclists, experienced cyclists, mobility scooters, skateboards, walkers and runners. It’s great to see all ages and abilities out benefitting from these facilities, but to ensure the shared pathways remain safe and enjoyable here is a user’s guide.

When you are using a shared path always remember to:

Keep left

Users should keep to the left of the path at all times whether they are walking, running, cycling, scooting or skating. When passing let them know you’re there, give a wide berth, ensure you have enough space to complete the pass and return to the left.

Control your dog

Shared path users include those people who are walking dogs. Some dogs can get excited in the presence of moving bicycles, children or other people. Owners should ensure their dogs do not upset other people on the path.

Move off the path when stopped

Shared paths are designed to be wide enough to accommodate two way traffic. If you meet a friend on your journey, or want to stop to enjoy the view, please move off the path. This will allow other users to continue their journey unimpeded and is safer for you and the other path users.

Warn when approaching – be considerate

Leave your invisibility cloak at home - it is essential fast moving path users, such as cyclists and rollerbladers, warn pedestrians before overtaking them. Calling out ‘passing’ or ringing a bell will alert slower path users they are about to be overtaken. Being startled by faster path users is one of the key issues affecting users’ enjoyment of our shared paths.

Control your speed

Our shared paths are used by a variety of people for a variety of reasons – so all users must ensure that other people’s safety is never compromised by the speed they are travelling. Cyclists who want/need to go fast are advised to ride on the road. Electric mobility scooter drives should keep their speed moderate and alert pedestrians as they approach. Anyone using the shared path at more than walking speed should alert other users as they approach and slow down for corners and intersections.

Don’t block the pathways – they are not car parks

Drivers are asked not to park on the pathway. Having to go round a parked car can create a hazard for everyone – children could get hit if forced on the road, mobility scooters, wheel chairs and pushchairs can't get past, vision impaired may injure themselves and, of course, path parkers can be fined or towed.

Look out for shared pathway promotions over summer – we will be handing out bells to cyclists to help ‘stop the startle’.

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