Newsline 346 - 27 March 2015

Friday 27 March 2015

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Community Pulls Together for Tasman’s Great Taste Trail

During 2014 just under 200,000 people cycled or walked on Tasman’s Great Taste Trail and the overwhelming feedback has been that it's a valued piece of infrastructure that should continue to be developed.

The Canterbury Community Trust recently confirmed that it will contribute $150,000 towards the next stage of Tasman’s Great Taste Trail. This payment follows on from $70,000 it has already provided  to the project.

Local Canterbury Community Trust Trustees Sarah-Jane Weir and Bill Dahlberg said that Tasman’s Great Taste Trail will deliver considerable value to the Nelson Tasman area, by promoting cycling as a healthy pastime and also actively promoting the Nelson region as New Zealand’s leading cycle destination. Its support, along with significant construction support from Nelson Forests and Ewing Poultry, is sufficient to match the $300,000 the Council included in its 2014/15 budgets to construct  cycle trail through to Spooners Tunnel.

The Council placed a condition on release of Council funding that matching funding was secured from other sources. At a recent meeting it was agreed that the Nelson Tasman Cycle Trails Trust could provide a combination of cash and in-kind payments to meet the matched funding requirement.

To assist in gaining the in-kind support required, the Trust has secured a commitment from Nelson Forests Ltd to carry out upgrade work and supply materials towards construction where the Trail goes through their forest. Local company Ewing Poultry is also helping with construction by preparing the trail route and sharing the fencing cost.

This mix of grant funding and private business contributions, coupled with funding secured last year, means the Council and the Trust can move forward with construction of the next leg of the proposed loop.

Coupled with the 92km of easy walking and cycling trail already complete, this valuable community asset will ultimately be a 175km loop including Tapawera and the Motueka River Valley.

Economic benefit to the Nelson Tasman region from the Trail will continue to grow as it attracts more users. Companies that were early supporters are already experiencing business growth from Trail users.

The Trail has received considerable community support, including  from local Belgrove landowners providing access. Volunteer groups have contributed thousands of hours to Trail construction and this  has aided the project’s community ownership and social connectivity.  The support of the Nelson City Council and New Zealand Cycle Trails Trust is also acknowledged by the Trust.

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Message from the Mayor

In the last edition on Newsline I was delighted to present some of the documents that have been prepared as we consult on the next Long Term Plan 2015-25.

I’m currently on the road with a team of councillors and staff talking to our communities about those documents and the services that Council plans to deliver over the next 10 years. We are also talking about how we are going to fund them. The decisions we are planning, especially those to do with the District’s finances and its infrastructure, need your input. Based on the feedback I have had so far – we are on the right track.

You’ll probably know that rates affordability and debt are two of the big issues confronting councils and we are no exception. The last Long Term Plan that we adopted in 2012 was ambitious. Many of you told us that the level of debt previously forecast was unsustainably high and rates would become unaffordable. While  we responded in part to those concerns when doing the annual plans and budgets since 2012, this Long Term Plan 2015-2025 is really the first opportunity to address those concerns thoroughly; and we have!

The new Financial Strategy focuses on managing debt and keeping rates affordable. The new Infrastructure Strategy focuses on getting the best out of our past investments in roading and water services especially. New projects will deal with the areas of greatest need – water supplies and storm water. The result is that we propose to:

  • bring down rates increases from 4.82% per annum in the previous Long Term Plan to a projected average of 2.62% per annum over the next ten years.
  • significantly reduce Council's use of debt from $311 million in 2022, to $106 million in that same year and $109 million in 2025.
  • achieve this while providing $25 million to fund the community drinking water supply and environmental flow benefits from the proposed Waimea Community Dam.
  • invest $28.5 million annually in projects to support the growth of our district, that we continue to enjoy.

Everyone has worked hard over the past year to achieve this result and to provide the services we Tasman residents need both now and in the future.

I hope you enjoy reading the Consultation Document and any of the supporting documents you are interested in. We want you to feel that the Long Term Plan 2015-2025 is your Plan.

Support for Cyclone-stricken Vanuatu

I’m sure many of you are also thinking of the devastation in Vanuatu. Our hearts go out to our Pacific neighbours following the devastation caused by Cyclone Pam. We have many visiting Vanuatuans who assist with our apple harvest and this is a very distressing time for them. A bank account has been opened at the ANZ Bank in Motueka specifically to help them, their families and community. Below are listed other agencies who have appeals for Vanuatu. Can I encourage those who would like to donate to help in the recovery and rebuild our Pacific neighbour to do so through this account or known aid agencies below.

Mayor Richard Kempthorne

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Development Contributions Consultation

As part of the Long Term Plan consultation, the Council is reviewing how it charges development contributions.

What are Development Contributions?

When new development and growth occurs, the District’s infrastructure, including water pipes, sewerage and roading, also needs to expand to provide the services needed by the growth.

Development contributions contribute to those costs. The key purpose of the Development Contributions Policy is to ensure that the cost of infrastructure to meet growth, is funded by those who trigger the need for (and benefit from) the new or additional services.

Why is the Draft Policy Needed?

The Draft Development Contributions Policy is a review of the current policy that needed to change because of a recent change in legislation and to bring it into line with the wider needs of the District.

What are the Changes from the Previous Policy?

The Draft Policy includes changes to the expenditure programme, growth recovery period, recovery growth estimates, stormwater mitigation credits, and the use of a surplus in the existing transport development contributions account. The urban catchment maps have been changed slightly to better align with areas that will or can be serviced within the next 10 years.

Expenditure Programme

The development contribution charges are formulated alongside the Council’s long term capital expenditure plans. These are being discussed now as part of the Long Term Plan, so the charges included  in the Draft Policy represent the programme as at March 2015.

The Growth Cost Recovery Period

One of the main reasons Development Contributions are increasing is because the Council is changing the cost recovery period. The Draft Policy proposes recovering 10 years worth of growth costs from development over the next 10 years. Previously, due to concerns about affordability of the charges, the Council elected to spread the growth costs over a 20-year timeframe. However, this approach is not sustainable as it creates a backlog of development related debt that must be recovered in the future.

Stormwater Mitigation Credits

The current policy allows for credits for the stormwater development contribution charge where on-site mitigation has been provided by developers. This has been limited to a maximum of 50% in the Draft Policy. The cap has been introduced as all development receives a benefit from growth related stormwater works within the district even if they provide on-site mitigation, as householders and business can conduct their business unimpeded by stormwater issues.

Overall Effect

Overall, the effect of these changes is that the development contribution charges have increased by 18% over the current charges. The impact has not been even, with an increase in the stormwater and wastewater charges, while water and roading charges have decreased.

Have Your Say

You can have your say on development contributions online at www.tasman.govt.nz/ltp

Activity10 year growth costs to be recovered (incl GST)Recoverable GrowthFrom 1 July 2015 (incl GST)Current Charges (incl GST)

Water

$7,624,061

1,514

$5,039

$6,762

Wastewater

$17,062,205

1,699

$10,041

$8,322

Road

$2,025,024

2,412

$840

$917

Stormwater

$15,766,878

1,702

$9,264

$5,279

Total

$42,481,945

 

$25,184

$21,280

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What’s up with Infrastructure?

A new 30-year Draft Infrastructure Strategy has been released as part of the Long Term Plan 2015-2025 consultation.

Why is Infrastructure Important?

Infrastructure is a core part of what Tasman District Council provides its communities – it makes up the majority of the Council’s spending, and is worth over $1 billion. Essentially, it is the engineering we use everyday – roading, footpaths, and water, wastewater and stormwater system amongst other things. It is essential for all aspects of communities and failure to invest in it would inhibit the economic performance, health and prosperity of the District.

About the Draft Strategy

The new Infrastructure Strategy provides a single, long term strategy for all of the essential infrastructure assets combined; it is an overarching framework for the more detailed activity management plans.

The purpose of the infrastructure strategy is to identify the significant infrastructure issues for Tasman over the next 30 years, and to identify the principal options for managing those issues and the implications of those options. In setting out how the Council intends to manage the

District’s infrastructure assets, it must consider how to:

  • Respond to growth or decline in demand;
  • Manage the renewal or replacement of existing assets over their lifetime;
  • Allow for planned increases or decreases in levels of service;
  • Maintain or improve public health and environmental outcomes; and
  • Address risks posed by natural hazards.

What Does the Draft Infrastructure Strategy cover?

This Strategy covers the following essential infrastructure:

  • Urban Water Supply
  • Stormwater
  • Wastewater
  • Transportation
  • Rivers and flood control
  • Solid Waste

The infrastructure strategy will be reviewed every three years.

What are the Significant Infrastructure Issues?

Significant infrastructure are the engineering projects that cost a lot, have the potential to impact on public health or property, and/or are a big change to the approach signalled in the Long Term Plan 2012-2022.

The significant projects in this strategy are:

  • Waimea Plains water security
  • Stormwater management
  • Joint solid waste initiative with Nelson City Council

Natural Hazards and Resilience

The Council is aware of the growing importance of managing the effects of more intense storm events, rising sea levels and other natural hazards. It is expected these issues are going to become more prominent in future.

In the interim, the Council has increased its funding for response  to emergencies and natural hazards.

What’s in the Draft Strategy?

The document summarises the big infrastructure issues for the  District, including their financial and non-financial consequences,  and the options for managing them. It also signals a new approach  to infrastructure management. In particular, the Council intends to be more selective in its investment focus for infrastructure. This means:

  • Reducing the number of service level improvements by focusing on and prioritising essential improvements;
  • Prioritising new capital works to provide the greatest benefit to the community, and facilitate growth; and
  • Sensibly managing asset renewal risks by ensuring investment is justified on economic and service level grounds. This can be done  by making better use of information about our assets.

What Does this New Approach Mean?

The Council will pursue a smaller renewals programme, carefully monitor asset performance, invest in better asset condition information, and retain the financial capacity to invest more if the need arises.

What is the Benefit of this Approach?

The financial benefits of the new approach to infrastructure planning and management are significant. Over the next 10 years, the capital works programme in our activity management plans for infrastructure has been reduced by over $100 million. This short term financial squeeze helps reduce our borrowings.

You can read the Draft Infrastructure Strategy, as well as detailed activity management plans, as part  of the supporting information online at www.tasman.govt.nz/ltp

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Diggers, Cranes, Big Culverts and Lots of Precision

Regular users of the Motueka Valley Highway will have noticed the hive of activity around the site of Narrow Bridge. The old bridge, constructed in the 1930s, is single lane with a very poor alignment and is weaker than modern structures, causing issues for trucks and larger vehicles.

Local contractors CJ Industries and their partners Alpha Precast are busy constructing a new bridge and road alignment on behalf of the Council. The relatively large project, which includes the construction of a very large box culvert and the placing of thousands of tonnes of fill material, has required a number of machines, all visible from the current bridge. When finished, the project will result in a safer two-lane route for the approximately 830 vehicles using this road every day.

The work is scheduled to be completed by early May (weather permitting). The project which will cost $540,000 is subsidised (59%) by the New Zealand Transport Agency’s Financial Assistance Rate which is available to local authorities throughout New Zealand.

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Newsline Updates

Rates Rebate Deadline

The rates rebate deadline for the 2014/2015 rating year is quickly approaching. Applications MUST be in before 30 June 2015 to be accepted.

The Rates Rebate Scheme operates under the Rates Rebate Act 1973. The purpose of the Scheme is to provide a subsidy to low income home owners on the cost of their rates. The maximum rebate possible for the 2014/2015 year is $605.

Forms are held in each of the Council’s offices. These have a Rates Rebate Income Eligibility Table on the front. The property you are applying for must be your principal place of residence. You cannot claim a rates rebate for the rates payable on a property that is used principally for business, farming, commercial or industrial purposes, or a home that is not  your usual place of residence.

To check your eligibility and download a rates rebate form please go to our website www.tasman.govt.nz/property/rates/rates-rebate

Long Term Plan Community Meeting

Rotoiti District Community Council meeting regarding the Long Term Plan 2015–2025. Community Hall, St Arnaud, 7.00 pm, 27 March 2015.

Feedback Sought – Rural Land Use and Subdivision Policy Review

In recent months, the Council has been preparing changes to rural land use and subdivision provisions in its Tasman Resource Management Plan. Feedback on a Draft Plan Change is now being sought from residents.

The proposed changes could provide opportunities for rural housing and subdivision with specific opportunities for rural commercial activities, cooperative living and rural-residential development. The new ideas have been developed from an earlier period of consultation on issues and options and Council workshops on the feedback received.

The Council is now seeking public input into the Draft Plan Change until the end of March 2015.

To find out more and see a copy of the Draft Plan Change you can go to the Council’s website or view at the Council’s Service Centres.

For more information about the rural review and the Draft Plan Change contact:

Notice of intention to grant lease of part Tasman District Council land at 29 Cornwall Place, Tata Beach to Golden Bay Kayaks Ltd

The Council is contemplating granting a lease for the operation of a commercial kayak business on a portion of Council land at 29 Cornwall Place, Tata Beach. The land, which is a Council park, is currently being used for this purpose but a new lease agreement is now required.

The lease will be for the portion of the existing building located partially on the Cornwall Place park. The building straddles the boundary of Council’s land and the intended lessee’s adjacent freehold land.

The Council intends to issues the lease to Golden Bay Kayaks Limited, who are the existing occupants of the building and have operated their kayak guiding and rental business in the park for several years. The lease area will be limited to the land/building under the roofline of the building where it is located on the “Park”. It will be clear that use of the surrounding “Park” is not included in the lease, and kayaks must be moved promptly from the building to the foreshore. Kayaks are not intended to be stored on the surrounding grassed area of the park.

There will be provision for a small ‘sandwich board’ sign to be placed near the road to direct customers to the area during times when the business is operating. No other signage will be allowed, and neither will parking of the applicant’s vehicle on the “park” be authorised.

A plan showing the proposed lease area is available on the Council’s website www.tasman.govt.nz, together with a copy of this notice.

Further information may be obtained by contacting Robert Cant on  Ph. 03 543 8400, or Email: robert.cant@tasman.govt.nz.

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 Tuesday 14 April 2015. Please state whether you would like to be speak to your submission in the event that a hearing is required.

Roading

Proposed Road Closures to Ordinary Vehicular Traffic

In accordance with the Transport (Vehicle Road Closure) Regulations 1965, the public is advised that the following roads are proposed to be closed to ordinary vehicles for the periods and times indicated below.

Nelson Car Club Inc – Rally Sprint

Tadmor-Glenhope Road, from 4.3km north of the intersection with Kohatu-Kawatiri Highway (State Highway 6) to 2.7km south of the intersection with Tui Road and Kereru Road.

  • 9.30 am to 7.00 pm, Sunday 26 April 2015.

Any person objecting to the proposal should lodge notice of their objection before Friday 10 April 2015 to the office of the Tasman District Council, 189 Queen Street, Richmond.

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