Newsline 347 - 10 April 2015

Friday 10 April 2015

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

You can also download: Newsline 347 - 10 April 2015

Brighter Outlook for Financial Security

A fundamental change to the Council’s approach  to financial management has been outlined in the Draft Financial Strategy for the Long Term Plan.

This document sets the overall direction for the Council’s finances over the next ten years.

The change focuses on new approaches to depreciation and capital expenditure with a clear plan to more fairly allocate costs and to reduce debt levels over the long term to create a more financially sustainable future for our District.

As a result of this proposed strategy, significant debt reductions are forecast. Reductions in debt are mainly driven by three things:

  • Moving to fully funding the wearing out of assets over their lives (funding depreciation). This will result in improved cashflows into  the Council, so it needs to borrow less to fund the replacement of existing infrastructure;
  • Reprioritisation of capital works
  • Reducing the overall capital expenditure programme.

Reducing debt has multiple benefits, including more affordable rates over the long term, and the flexibility to respond to unexpected events as they arise.

Key Financial Goals

The Council has set out its key financial goals that drive the budgets  of the Long Term Plan 2015-2025. Key goals include:

  • Reducing net debt from a projected $172 million in 2015 (168% of operating revenue) to $109 million in 2025 (76% of operating revenue);
  • Limiting increases in rates income to a maximum of 3% per annum  plus growth;
  • Moving to fully funding the wearing out of assets over their lifetime (funding depreciation) and have this change fully implemented by 2025;
  • Ensuring there is sufficient funds or borrowing capacity available to fund the planned capital programme (i.e. provide essential infrastructure and services); 
  • Ensuring the costs of providing the growth component of infrastructure are paid by those that benefit (i.e. the growth component of capital projects will be primarily funded through development contributions).
  • Limiting the provision for new community facilities and renewals in the short term, and increasing the minimum community contribution in the long term;
  • Reviewing Council assets and investments for potential sale to reduce debt or fund key projects; and
  • Increasing the Council’s income by seeking better performance from the Council’s commercial investments and activities and to remove rates exemptions for utility networks.

Population growth and an ageing population, land use change, changing legislation, natural hazards, and infrastructure demands are just some of the matters that have been considered in developing this financial strategy.

The strategy dove-tails with the Council’s infrastructure strategy, growth strategy, activity management plans and other financial policies. The goals and proposals in this strategy will help inform the financial decisions in the Long Term Plan 2015-2025.

Read more about the Draft Financial Strategy and have your say on the Long Term Plan online at http://tasman.govt.nz/ltp

How is this Possible?

As the Council has moved engineering expertise in house, it has become possible to collect more accurate data about the condition of the infrastructure (roads and water, wastewater and stormwater pipes) and take a smarter approach to renewing it. Close monitoring of assets and better managing their maintenance means the assets last longer.

 In simple terms, the Council’s investment in bringing its engineering capability back in house has been repaid in the ability to have a closer view of how the Distirct’s assets are performing; we’re doing maintenance to keep everything working well, and we’re putting money aside for later use. This approach underpins the Council’s approach to all its infrastructure assets.

You will still see the same level of service, and improvements will still happen in the future. The improvements may happen slightly less often, and be part of the larger asset renewal programme.

Perhaps best of all, we’re able to stop the ‘bow-wave’ effect of future borrowing. Pre-funding renewals means that future borrowing can be dramatically reduced, as money has already been set aside.  

Capital Expenditure

The proposal to turn the tide on debt is partly based on reducing overall capital expenditure. However the goal to keep overall levels of service the same. This will be achieved by:

  • Reducing the trend of previous borrowing;
  • Reducing the number of service level improvements by focusing on and prioritising essential improvements;
  • Prioritising new capital works that provide the greatest benefit to the community and facilitates 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 are the Major Projects?

The Draft Infrastructure Strategy covers a 30-year timeframe. Major projects means projects or programme changes valued at $5 million or more.

  • 2015 – 2018  Richmond town centre improvements (stormwater, wastewater, roading)
  • 2015 – 2032  Borck Creek capacity upgrade (stormwater)
  • 2018 – 2020  Waimea Community Dam (water)
  • 2018 – 2023  Mapua/Ruby Bay rising mains and pump stations upgrades (wastewater)
  • 2018 – 2026  Pohara to Tarakohe pump station and rising main upgrades (wastewater)
  • 2023 – 2025  Wastewater trunk main upgrade from Wakefield to  Three Brothers corner (wastewater)
  • 2023 – 2026  Richmond new ground water source
  • 2025 – 2032  Richmond South water supply rising mains and reservoirs
  • 2026 – 2028  Thorp Street Motueka trunk main replacement and upgrade (wastewater)
  • 2026 – 2035  Lower Queen Street widening (roading)
  • 2027 – 2044  Eves Valley Landfill – development of stage 3 (solid waste)
  • 2040  Pohara’s new urban water supply
  • 2044  Coastal Tasman water supply pipeline
  • 2044  Full water reticulation for Motueka

Read more and have your say online at www.tasman.govt.nz/ltp

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Message from the Mayor

Late last month Jane and I joined Rebecca Malthus and Aine Byrne from Project Butterfly, regional winners for  Nelson and Tasman, alongside 24 other voluntary groups  from across the country in Wellington for the TrustPower National Community Awards.

Project Butterfly was founded in an effort to support parents experiencing the traumatic loss of a child and has been very successful in helping people affected by such a devastating loss.

The unique nature of Project Butterfly made a significant impact on those at the awards. As a representative of the area served by this group I was very proud to be there and recognise the tireless and selfless work they do. I also appreciate greatly the many volunteers we have across our region.

As we move into the last few days of the consultation period for our Long Term Plan (LTP) I have been reflecting on the public meetings held throughout the District.

We have spent four weeks attending these meetings where residents have the opportunity to discuss and ask questions about what we are proposing. These meetings are valuable for people to come to grips with the detail in the LTP and to understand what we are proposing to do on residents’ behalf.

The LTP is for ten years and it shapes the future of the District – we have reduced our reliance on debt and want to ensure rates are affordable, while creating an environment that will be able to deliver for the future needs of our District. This is your opportunity to comment on our proposals.

We have made a number of significant changes to previous plans. While we have discussed what we have been planning for some time, the scale and scope of the changes could be an agreeable surprise. The majority of people I have spoken to have greeted  the changes positively, some have asked what we must be losing  to achieve the substantial change of position we are planning  to deliver.

It is a matter of priorities, good information and a commitment to making decisions with the future in mind. We are certainly not going to scale back on meeting the essential needs of the District nor are we creating a ‘bow-wave’ of deferred work to be picked up by future generations.

We appreciate hearing if residents are supportive of the major changes we have made to the way we do things, or whether you think the Council should do something different. We would like to hear from you.

The Consultation Document can be found in any of our Service Centres and libraries and is online. Submissions close on 20 April. Thanks for letting us know.

Mayor Richard Kempthorne

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Stop the Startle

Our region has several shared pathways designed to provide people who are walking and cycling with a safe, motor vehicle-free environment. People have reported they are sometimes startled by other users when using shared pathways. Here are some ways you can help “Stop the Startle”.

  • Keep left
  • Control your dog
  • Move off the path when you stop
  • Control your speed
  • Warn when approaching – be considerate
  • Don’t block the pathways – they are not car parks

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Anzac Day 2015 – Services and Parades

Tapawera

Service – 9.45 am Memorial Hall

Richmond

Parade – 10.45 am from Sundial Square

Service – 11.00 am at War Memorial Gardens, Cambridge Street

Brightwater

Service – 9.00 am at Brightwater Memorial Hall Gates

Wakefield

Service –10.00 am at the Cenotaph

Motueka

Parade – 6.15 am from Countdown Supermarket

Service – 6.30 am at the Cenotaph

Murchison

Service – 11.00 am at the Memorial in Waller Street (Murchison Sport, Recreation and Cultural Centre if wet)

Mapua

Parade – 10.45 am Starts adjacent to tennis courts

Service – 11.00 am at Mapua RSA Memorial Library, followed by morning tea at the Mapua Hall. A plate would be appreciated.

Upper Moutere

Service – 10.00 am at the Domain

Tasman

Service – 10.00 am at the Memorial

Riwaka

Laying of Wreath – 9.00 am  at the Riwaka Memorial

Ngatimoti

Laying of Wreath and Service –  10.30 am at the Ngatimoti Memorial

Takaka

Dawn Service – 6.30 am  at Memorial Library

Collingwood

Dawn Parade – assemble 6.15 am

Service – citizens’ service 10.30 am in the Memorial Hall

Lake Rotoiti

Service – 10.30 am in the Lake Rotoiti Community Hall

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Tasman Youth Council 2015

Thirty-one motivated young people from across the District have been recruited to represent the Tasman Youth Council for 2015.

Since 1998, the Tasman Youth Council has provided a very important link between the youth community and the Council. Its role; make Tasman a better place for young people.

The new intake of young councillors recently completed an overnight training Hui hosted at Bridge Valley Camp, where they undertook workshops on team building, leadership, communications, and youth and local government.

The Tasman Youth Council is now starting to plan projects and activities for the year ahead.  If you have an idea which you would like the Youth Council to support, please get in touch.

Check out www.jamonline.co.nz for the latest updates and to contact the Tasman Youth Council.

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Pest of the Month - Cathedral Bells (Cobaea scandens)

Cathedrals Bells, also known as cup and saucer vine, monastery bells and Mexican ivy, is a native of Central and South America.  In New Zealand, this plant is a threat to open and intact forest  and forest margins, natural coastal vegetation and shrub land. In the Nelson-Tasman area, there are several known sites within Tasman Bay and Golden Bay.

It is a vigorous weedy perennial vine that can tolerate shading, drought, damp and wind. It can climb to 6m or higher, forming dense mats that smother larger plants and suppress desirable seedlings. It has angled stems with hook-like tips and leaves that are arranged alternately on the stems, dark green above and whitish below, with branched tendrils that are purplish when young.

The bell-shaped flowers (6 – 7cm long) are produced between December to May; these are green when young, changing to deep purple after pollen production (see photo right). There is also a less common white-flowering form (Cobaea scandens alba). The fleshy green oval pods (5 – 8cm long) release winged long-lived seeds during summer and autumn (see photo below). The seeds are transported over short distances by wind and over longer distances by water or in soil and gravel. Fragments of the vine can also be spread by water and in dumped garden waste.

This plant can be readily controlled by hand removal of the stem/root system from the ground or by cutting and treating the stump. The vine should be placed in a plastic bag or air dried.

 Cathedral Bells is listed as a Total Control Pest in the Tasman-Nelson Regional Pest Management Strategy with the goal of eradication.  This plant is classified as an unwanted organism and listed in the National Pest Plant Accord, meaning it cannot be propagated or offered for sale throughout New Zealand.

For further information on identification and control, contact one of the Council’s Biosecurity Officers Ph. 03 543 8400. Further information can be found on the Weedbusters website http://www.weedbusters.co.nz

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Back an Outstanding Voluntary Group Today

Volunteers hold our communities together, and the time has  come to say “thanks” via the TrustPower Nelson Tasman Community Awards.

The annual awards, run in partnership with Tasman District and Nelson City Councils, are open to all voluntary groups and organisations working to make their communities a better place to live.  Since the awards began in 1999 more than $82,000 has been given away to deserving voluntary groups and organisations, and this year more than $7500 is up for grabs.

The awards cover five categories; Heritage and Environment, Health and Wellbeing, Arts and Culture, Sport and Leisure, and Education and Child/Youth Development. Category winners receive $500, runners-up receive $250 and the Supreme Winner will take home $1,500 and an all-expenses paid trip for two representatives to the 2015 Trustpower National Community Awards.

Last year’s Trustpower Nelson Tasman Community Awards Supreme Winner was Project Butterfly. 

Tasman Mayor Richard Kempthorne says the awards are a marvellous opportunity to recognise the impressive volunteering culture that takes place across the region. “Many activities, events, projects, programmes, sports, and services are provided thanks to hard-working volunteers. We would not be able to function as a community without the generous voluntary efforts that are made.”

Entry forms are available from Council offices and service centres, or can be completed online at www.trustpower.co.nz/communityawards.

You can also contact Jess Somerville on Ph. 0800 87 11 11. Entries close at 5.00 pm on Friday 1 May 2015.

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Newsline Updates

Public Notices

Rates Rebate Deadline

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

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

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.

Community Notices

Sport NZ Rural Travel Fund

Does your sports team have places to go and games to win?

The Sport NZ Rural Travel Fund is aimed making it easier for young  people living in rural communities to participate in team sports.

The fund can help subsidise travel costs for junior teams to enable them to take part in local sports competition. It is targeted at young people aged between 5-19 years.

Who is eligible?

The Rural Travel Fund is open to support rural sports clubs and rural school teams with players aged between 5-19 years.

The closing date is 30 April 2015 with applications to be considered by the Tasman District Council Grants and Community Facilities Rate Subcommittee.

Application forms and further information is online at  www.tasman.govt.nz/council/grants-funding

Roading

Closure of Road to Vehicle Traffic

In accordance with the Transport (Vehicle Road Closure) Regulations 1965, the public is advised that for the purpose of allowing the Nelson Car Club Inc to hold a hill climb, the following road will be closed to ordinary vehicles for the period and time indicated below.

Any person objecting to the proposal should lodge notice of their objection before Friday 08 May 2015 to the office of the Tasman District Council, 189 Queen Street, Richmond.

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

Riwaka-Sandy Bay Road, from the intersection with Takaka Hill Highway (State Highway 60) to just over the crest of the summit of Marahau Hill, Sunday 24 May 2015 from 8.00 am to 5.00 pm.

Dated at Richmond 04 April 2015

Tasman District Council: Richmond Office, 189 Queen Street, Private Bag 4, Richmond, Nelson 7050.

Phone 03 543 8400  Fax 03 543 9524

Email: info@tasman.govt.nz Website: www.tasman.govt.nz

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IDEC2015 – UNITY & DIVERSITY – HAUMI E HUI E TAIKI E

Nelson – Founders Park & Whakatu Marae 9–12 April 2015

IDEC is the annual international democratic education conference that, in its 23rd year, brings together educational leaders and change-makers from all over the world. This conference is hosted in a different country each year. This year it’s right here in Nelson, Aotearoa!

This conference is aimed at educators, but also at families. Youth from different nationalities will co-create and share ideas about learning and teaching. The Youth Program allows for (creative) projects with mentoring by loop artists Mihi Mihirangi & Matiu Te Huki, and actor Wiremu Saarich. The conference offers the smaller kids a wide range of activities at the very kid friendly Founders Park, so parents can soak up some knowledge and inspiration at one of the interactive sessions or listen to one of the international keynote speakers. Come for a day or for the complete four days, there are different options available.

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