Newsline 351 - 5 June 2015

Friday 5 June 2015

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You can also download: Newsline 351 - 5 June 2015

Long Term Plan 2015-2025 Update

The Tasman District Council’s decisions on submissions and the budgets for inclusion in its Long Term Plan have been finalised by Councillors in preparation for the Plan’s adoption in late June.

The average increase in the rates Council collects is 2.62% over the next 10 years (allowing for the predicted growth in the number of rateable properties). For the 2015/2016 year this increase will be 2.11%. Debt at the end of the 10 years is proposed to be $120.3 million, which is less than half the $311 million predicted by 2012 in the previous Long Term Plan.

The major changes to the financial position have been achieved while Council is still meeting the challenges of being one of the fastest growing districts in New Zealand and maintaining services across the District.

Council received a total of 544 submissions on its Long Term Plan Consultation Document and other documents. Of these, 33 commented on debt and 24 on rates affordability. Many of the submitters commented that they were pleased to see Council limiting debt and rates rises.

The submissions were also of assistance to Council when working through the other major issues facing the District discussed in the Consultation Document:

  • Developing resilient communities (water security and hazards)
  • Managing population growth (land and services and development contributions)
  • Maximising regional opportunities.

Key decisions Council made which will assist with the District’s resilience included retaining the $25 million of funding to progress work on the Waimea Community Dam and making a significant investment in improving stormwater management and systems in our communities. More information on the proposed Dam and other projects will be included in Newsline over the next two months.

We received 25 submissions on our draft Development Contributions Policy. As a result of the submissions some minor changes have been made to the Policy, but Council is sticking with the principle that those benefiting from growth should pay the costs of growth, not ratepayers.

Although our ability to develop more regional opportunities and projects is limited by our tight budgets, we still have over 100 shared services with other Councils, particularly Nelson City Council. Our focus going forward is on key projects, such as the proposed joint waste landfill.

Although funding for the Kohatu Motorsport Park was not included in our Consultation Document, we received 224 submissions supporting this project. Council acknowledges the value of the project to the region, but unfortunately we are not in a position to support the project financially.

There were a large number of submissions requesting that Council spends more money on a variety of projects and services including cycleways, roads and footpaths, and various community facilities. In order to keep rates increases and debt levels down, we have had to make a number of difficult decisions and were not able to fund most of these requests. Council did, however, confirm most of the proposed projects, for example completing Tasman’s Great Taste Trail over the next four years, contributing significant funding towards seismic upgrading of a number of community halls, and improving stormwater services.

The Council’s aim has been to create a financially prudent Long Term Plan that caters for future growth and demand while maintaining essential services to our communities. Council will adopt the final Long Term Plan on 25 June 2015.

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Message from the Mayor

We will adopt our Long Term Plan 2015-2025 on 25 June 2015 with a great feeling of accomplishment following the enormous amount of work that it has taken from Councillors, staff and contributing submitters.

This process started with commitments made two years ago to reduce our reliance on debt and keep rates at an affordable level. We made some progress through last year’s Annual Plan and gave notice that major changes were going to occur within this Long Term Plan process. I think those commitments have been met but our vigilance will remain as we need to manage the issues identified in the Consultation Document.

With regard to water security, we have agreed to continue supporting the further work on the Waimea Augmentation scheme. If the project proceeds, the Council’s contribution of $25 million will meet the needs of the future urban supply and also bring community and environmental benefits. The project now depends on whether the irrigation users can fund their share of the cost of the project. That is why Council has agreed to carry on with some of the critical preliminary work and to continue to support Waimea Community Dam Limited. Time needs to be allowed for the landowners on the Waimea Plains to demonstrate their funding commitment. The future of the project depends on them.

With a rapidly growing District we need to make sure we have the ability to provide essential services and this requires investment.

Council is investing in our District’s essential service. The delivery of essential services is a core role of the Council and one that challenges the financial strategy of any council. The fact we have managed to get to an average rates rise of 2.62% over the next 10 years and reduce our debt figure to less than half than previously identified without causing a ‘bow wave’ of deferred projects, is something I am proud of.

I thank all of you who played a role in achieving this positive outcome.

Mayor Richard Kempthorne

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A Curly One for Mayor Kempthorne

“What do you do for a real job, Mr Mayor”? That was one of the questions posed to Mayor Richard Kempthorne when he and Cr Trevor Norriss hosted the Ngatimoti School leaders group at the Council’s Richmond offices recently.

The visit was an opportunity for the children to sit in the Council Chamber and learn about what the Council does on behalf of the community. They also visited a number of the departments talking to staff and learning about what they do. A special treat for the children was meeting up with former Ngatimoti School pupils, Shannan Scott and Jeremy Katterns who both work at the Council.

Ngatimoti School Principal Ali Turner said “the visit was an example of real life learning where students were expected to connect with the community, listen, ask questions and make comparisons with their own lives. Learning about being in leadership roles, making decisions and considering issues from a variety of perspectives was of value to our young leaders, and the support given by the Council to help facilitate this learning has been most appreciated”.

And the answer to the curly question “I do a whole range of different things, helping many people in the District and all parts of our community and it does take me all of my time to do it. My biggest challenge is keeping up with answering emails because meeting with our people takes a lot of my time.”

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New Bins Roll Out

The roll-out of the new recycling bins has just about finished, with over 17,000 being delivered.

There have been calls from a small number of people concerned about the size of the bin or questioning how they will bring it to the road. It is new and it is larger than what we have had in the past but we are asking people to give it a go first, then let us know if the issues persist.

Experience of similar roll-outs throughout the country – Tasman is certainly not the first district to have such a system – is that people get to grips with the bin quickly and generally recycle a whole lot more than they thought they would. If we recycle more we reduce the amount that goes to landfill.

The bins themselves are made out of recycled plastic, which should help to highlight to people the real world value of recycling.

Remember the new service does not start until 29 June 2015, until that time the new bin will not be emptied.

There are some changes to the collection routes. The new collection day, if yours has changed, and what week your recycling will be collected is printed on the side of the bin.

We’re asking people to give the new service a try and get back to us after services start if problems persist.

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Dog Registration Expires 30 June 2015

Anyone who keeps a dog aged three months or older is required to register it annually.

Registration forms for all dogs currently on the Council’s database will be posted at the end of May 2015. If you have moved from another area, or have changed address within the Tasman area, and do not receive a registration form please contact the Council on Ph. 03 543 8400 to update your details so that a form can be sent to you.

Registration fees for the 2015-2016 period remain the same as last year, that is:

  • Urban dogs (properties under one hectare in area) $50.00
  • Rural dogs (properties over one hectare in area) $30.00

The fee for dogs that have not been registered by 1 August 2015 will increase by 50% on top of the standard urban or rural registration fee.

Infringement notices and the associated fine of $300.00 will be served on owners who fail to register their dogs prior to 1 September 2015. Any change of details, 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 as a pdf download from the Council’s website. Information relating to dogs and all current fees can also be found on the Council’s website.

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Want Better Rural Broadband Access?  So do we!

The Council is hosting a survey quizzing residents on their internet speed and access. We need your help to get an accurate picture of what internet access is like for Tasman residents so we can apply for government funding to help improve the situation.

The idea of this survey is to gain information on:

  1. Demand for broadband and mobile Internet services for home, community and business use across our District
  2. Areas with no (or limited/poor) service

By completing this survey, local people can help clarify where the greatest needs and demand are in the region. This will support our application for government funding for the next phase of fibre deployment in towns, the next phase of broadband in rural areas, and coverage of what are known as 'Mobile Black Spots'.

There are limited funds available for the extension to the rollout and the Government has signalled the most productive and appropriate needs will be met first.

The goal of the application is faster and more reliable internet access in our region. You can support this work by completing the survey yourself if you live in Tasman, or passing it on to friends, neighbours and associates. The more responses we have, the stronger our application.

The survey is available online at  www.surveymonkey.com/r/tasmaninternet

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Project Predator

Stoats beware! There are now over thirty Top of the South secondary students keen on completing Project Predator with their own newly built traps.

Whenua Iti hosted the one day training course for students from Collingwood and Murchison Area, Motueka High, Salisbury and Te Kura Correspondence Schools. This course aims to give students interested in conservation and biodiversity some relevant skills and helps them gain applicable NCEA qualifications for their environmental actions.

Project Predator has been run successfully as part of the Enviroschools Programme support for the last four years in Northland by Marty Taylor of Papa Taiao Earth Care, an environmental education consultant and Primary ITO assessor, now based in Wellington. Taylor ran Project Possum here last year. Schools hope Project Possum will be run alternately with Project Predator.

The course emphasised why trapping is so important to retain our native biodiversity and a variety of research revealed how destructive stoats are. One story illustrated how stoats have to eat their own body-weight each day, which could be the equivalent of 40 birds plus insects. Stoats act alone and can cover a huge area, so to even catch one stoat will be of great benefit to bird and insect breeding.

To complete this course the students have to run ten or more trapping lines in their area. Adie Leng, Education and Partnerships Officer at Tasman District Council is pleased the students will also work with local community groups, the Department of Conservation and Tasman District Council in reducing the numbers of stoats and rats predating on our native biodiversity.

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Road Safety – When the Weather Turns Bad

No matter how good a driver you are, winter presents its own set of driving hazards. It’s important that you know how to spot them and react to them. This may mean it takes a few minutes longer to get prepared for a trip, or to get to your destination, but the safety of you, your family and other road users is far more important.

Bad weather has been a contributing factor in a number of fatal crashes every year.

The good news is that with a bit of knowledge you can greatly reduce your chances of being caught out. There is loads of great information on www.aa.co.nz and here are some tips to get you started:

Stay out of trouble

  • Slow down and take your time – it only takes a split-second to lose control in wet or icy conditions.
  • Avoid sudden movements. Accelerate smoothly and brake gently.
  • When travelling uphill, use a higher gear than normal. When going downhill use a lower gear.

Plan your journey

  • When conditions are bad, postpone your trip if possible.
  • Check road conditions (call 0800 44 44 49 for state highways, visit www.highwayinfo.govt.nz, or listen to local radio stations).
  • Carry warm clothes in case you get stuck or break down. On a long trip, take food and something to drink.

See and be seen

  • Clear windows before driving. De-ice and wipe windows.
  • In fog, rain or snow, turn your lights on.
  • Switch headlights on earlier in the day.

Watch for danger spots

  • Ice lingers in shaded areas such as high banks, tall trees and road cuttings.
  • Bridges can stay slippery longer than other road surfaces.
  • Expect a dawn frost. If it is not frosty at 6.00 am, it could be an hour later.
  • Slow down in glare from low winter sun.

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Our Water is not Hard

Recently the Council has received a number of queries from customers regarding the need for water filters in their homes. These queries were from customers who already receive treated water from a Council supply. Their particular concerns were about the presence of high levels of chlorine and an unhealthy level of minerals in the water requiring the use of a filter to make it safe.

One of the customers had been told by a third party that the water was very high in chlorine when in fact that particular supply had no chlorine in it at all. This customer was told this even after the third party tested their water supply.

All of the Council groundwater supplies across the District are classified as relatively ‘soft’. This means that there is a low level of minerals naturally occurring in the water, and that you are unlikely to experience scale build up in your kettle or around your taps. If water is too soft, it becomes corrosive (it can leach out metals in your tapware and plumbing). Where water is ‘hard’, softeners can be used to remove minerals, but as the minerals present locally are low, there is no need to install softeners in households in the Tasman area.

For those customers who receive chlorinated water and particularly dislike the taste, installing a carbon filter under the kitchen sink, or using a carbon filter in a jug in the fridge are much cheaper examples of how you can treat your water to make it taste nicer.

The new Richmond Water Treatment Plant uses UV sterilisation to treat the water. There is no chlorine in this supply.

The only Council supply where the water is not always safe to drink straight from the tap is the Dovedale supply, which has a permanent boil water notice in place. This water requires boiling or UV sterilisation. Carbon filters and cartridge filters on their own would not have the same effect.

For those with private shallow bores or roof water supplies, as with the Dovedale supply, the primary concern for the householder should be the removal of bacteria and protozoa, which can be achieved most easily with a UV steriliser. You can have your private water supply tested locally at the Cawthron Institute if you are concerned about the quality.

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Ngatimoti Celebrates New Bridge

The Ngatimoti community was joined by Councillors, Council staff and the Council’s contractors recently to celebrate the opening of the new Bogie Creek Bridge. The bridge, which replaces the one-lane Narrow Bridge, overcomes the final stumbling block for High Productivity Motor Vehicles (read big trucks) being able to use the Motueka Valley Highway.

The bridge was formally opened by local historian Ed Stevens and Ngatimoti school pupil, Archie Anderson. The new name was approved by the Council as a result of Ed’s research. Strathbogie was the Scottish home of one of the Marshall ancestors who first settled in the Ngatimoti area.

The bridge construction was a local affair with CJ Industries the main contractor while the concrete materials for the culvert were manufactured by Alpha Precast.

At the opening, Council Kaumatua, Archdeacon Andy Joseph blessed the bridge while a group of children from Ngatimoti School responded with a waiata.

Afterwards morning tea was taken at the Ngatimoti Hall where  Ed Stevens provided a photographic display showing the history of the old bridge and construction of the new one.

While they were in Ngatimoti, the Councillors took the opportunity to hold the Engineering Services Committee meeting in the hall followed by a visit to the community rooms/fire station and the swingbridge which connects the community on each side of the Motueka River.

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Rabbit Island Hosts Region's Biggest Cycle Event

The fantastic off road cycle trails at Rabbit Island will be the venue for our region's biggest cycle race on 21 June 2015 as Nelson Mountain Bike Club hosts its annual 6 hour Mid-Winter relay race.

Now in its 10th year this fun event, aimed as much at beginners and families as it is the racing crowd, is returning to Rabbit Island after having been held at Kaiteriteri for the past few years. Fancy dress is almost compulsory, and with a 7km loop that is mostly flat, flowing and fun to ride the organiser, Wayne Pool, is expecting a massive turnout, “Numbers for this event have been increasing steadily to well over 500 since we first started running it ten years ago, with growth coming mainly from those who wouldn't class themselves as competitive cyclists. We have corporate teams enter from the likes of Tasman District Council and Nelmac, and a huge amount of youngsters entering through their schools and colleges. We have riders ranging from 8 years old right through to over 70 years and a lot of female only teams.”

The format for the event is simple. As a solo rider, or in a relay team of two, three or four, you complete as many laps of the circuit as you like in 6 hours. If you are in a team of four that would average around 15km to 20km each.

With over $7000 of spot prizes on offer, including four brand new bikes for one lucky team, there is a good chance of winning something, even if you are more concerned with getting your fancy dress outfit perfect than putting in huge amounts of training.

“My favourite thing is seeing teams of four ride who have never entered a cycling event before,” said Wayne. “People bring tents, BBQ's, they socialise and occasionally do some riding when their team mate tags them in. It's a really fun way to spend the day and to get involved in a community event that promotes healthy activity for all. The trails at Rabbit Island are fantastic for everyone to enjoy, the Council has done a really good job building them, and I'm excited to see how many smiles they bring to people's faces on the day”.

To find out more, and to enter a team, go to www.nelsonmtb.club

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Newsline Updates

Public Notices

Planning for Brightwater and Wakefield’s Future

The Council is planning for long-term population and business growth in Brightwater and Wakefield. To support this conversation with residents and businesses we have prepared a strategy and a draft plan change for each township.

This stage builds on last year’s conversations with the community using those as a base for this next step in the planning.

Within both documents we are looking to address the current issues including;

  • managing flooding and its associated risks,
  • more open space and walkways, and
  • identifying the best place for residential and business opportunities.

Information is available on the Council website

View the Public Consultation section

We are accepting comments until Tuesday 9 June 2015.

For more information about the strategy and draft plan change please contact:  Rose Biss, Ph. 03 543 8421 – for Brightwater.  Shelagh Noble, Ph. 03 543 7229 – for Wakefield.

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 for this rating  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 Stop Unformed Legal Road Adjacent to Teapot Valley Road

At the request of the adjacent landowners, Tasman District Council is notifying its intention to stop a section of unformed legal road of 7344 square metres situated adjacent to the formed Teapot Valley Road. The road stopping application is being made jointly by two adjacent landowners.

The total width of Teapot Valley Road (including the existing formed road) in this area will be reduced from an average width of 47m to 15m, which provides an adequate road corridor for the future.

Adjacent to the area proposed to be stopped is a small area of former Reserve Land. This is proposed for disposal to one of the landowners, but will be dealt with separately to the road stopping.

For further information please contact Susannah Peckham at Tasman District Council on Ph. 03 543 7207 or Email: susannah.peckham@tasman.govt.nz

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Community Notices

Mapua Community Library Winter Book Sale

On Saturday 13 June, 10.00 am - 4.30 pm, the Mapua Library will hold its Annual Winter Book Sale in Mapua Village on the corner of Aranui Road. and Toru Street. Stock up for winter reading from our huge collection of surplus books (like-new) which will be offered for sale at great prices!  For more info phone 03 540 2545

Richmond & Districts Information Centre

Volunteers are required to work three hour shifts on a weekly or fortnightly basis at the Information Centre in Gladstone Road.

Initially successful applicants would be required to work with more experienced volunteers before being asked to work on their own. Although applicants should preferably have a good knowledge of the local community, this is not necessary, as the Centre has a large database. You should be well presented and enjoy meeting and conversing with visitors from all over New Zealand and the world. The Centre is well appointed with good facilities.

If you are interested in this type of work, call in to the Centre or Ph. 03 543 9521 or contact Sally Symonds, Ph. 03 542 3983 for further details.

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Community Plantings Screen and Protect

Local Students Design and Plant New Plant Screen

The upgrade of the Takaka Wastewater Treatment Plant has taken another step towards its completion with the planting of a native plant screen. This new screen will enhance the rural outlook, meeting an agreed outcome from the consultation on the upgrade.

Nearly forty Year 10 students from Golden Bay High School have planted over 300 native plants sympathetic to the Golden Bay environment. The students’ involvement has been multi-year with  last year’s then year 9 students designing the landscaping plan  for the screening, taking into consideration the concerns and preferences of local residents and iwi, and the opportunity to  enhance the site.

“Not only was a phenomenal number of plants planted in the half day available, the students then proceeded to distribute six truckloads of bark to protect the new trees and shrubs!” said community partnership officer Claire Webster.

The upgrade project provided an opportunity for the students to learn about essential services within a community and to play a role in transforming a functional infrastructure project into an attractive amenity for the community.

The new plants will provide the pleasant outlook many of the local residents wished to see from the upgrade. Once the new plants grow sufficiently to screen the wastewater treatment plant, the existing willows will be removed leaving a distinctly Golden Bay plant vista.

Parapara Planting to Restore Beach - A Community Activity

Two of three plantings have taken place over the last month at Parapara beach as part of the sand push-up to replenish the beach following the storms of Easter 2014.

Supported by 35 locals, bach owners and other Golden Bay residents Council staff have managed to plant over 2000 locally sourced sand binding grasses that will assist with the natural regrading of the beach. The regrading is a natural process as the beach settles back into its natural rhythm with the sea. The grasses help the beach to cope with this process.

In conjunction with the planting four beach accessways have been formed with posts and rope for pedestrian access to the beach. The use of these accessways is encouraged as this will allow the plants to remain undisturbed and establish as quickly as possible.

A third planting of a cold sensitive spinifex will occur in spring this year. This species will bind with those there already to reinforce the natural matting of the sand.

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