Environment and planning committee (10 July)

The environment and planning committee meeting was held on 10 July 2014. Apologies were received from Cr Bouillir, Cr Sangster and myself.

The meeting agenda received several reports including: (1) Horse Terrace Bridge – historic schedule inclusion, (2) dairy farm effluent compliance, and (3) the environment and planning managers report. The council also received a deputation from the Murchison Community Council.

Horse Terrace Bridge

A deputation by Murchison Community Council on the historic value of Horse Terrace bridge was received by council before considering the staff report. The report recommended that the bridge at Upper Matakitaki be included in the heritage schedule in the next Tasman Resource Management Plan change.. The report advised that the Heritage listing would not require the bridge to be maintained beyond its expected life of 40 years. Nor was there any planned roading work. On this basis council agreed with the staff recommendation.

Dairy farm effluent compliance

Council received the staff report. The report outlined the compliance results from the 2013-14 farm dairy survey. In the 2013/2014 season a total of 146 dairy sheds had active discharges in the Tasman District. Of those 140 farm dairies operated as Permitted Activities and the remaining 6 held Resource Consents to discharge treated effluent to water. The final compliance results for all 146 farms were: 87% – Fully Compliant, 17% – Non- Compliant, and 1% – Significantly Non-Compliant and related to the direct discharge of effluent to water. Similar to past seasons, ponding featured as the most common issue of non-compliance in the non-compliant category.

Minor ponding is present after more than one hour has passed since effluent disposal (8 farms). In 6 cases this was less than 5m2, the remaining 2 farms had intermittent ponding over an area less than 10m2. In all cases the ponding was just deep enough to splash.

The one farm graded “Significantly Non-compliant” was a new venture involving re-establishment and expansion of a former dairy operation. The direct discharge of animal effluent into a significant and protected waterway form the effluent system forced the Council to prosecute with the matter now before the courts.

Managers report

The removal of land-based navigation aids over the last 18 months has raised some concern around safety in terms of navigation into some of our channels such as Mapua and Waitapu. However, teething problems with the floating bouys along the appropriate channel has now been resolved.

The Safer Journeys to Schools work program is ongoing with 5 schools agreeing to take part. They are: Appleby, Mahana, South Motueka, Brooklands and Lower Moutere. It is anticipated more schools will join the program.

Feedback from the community regarding possible speed limit changes closed on 30 June 2014. Over 110 requests were received.

Expenditure through the river maintenance contract with Taylors Contracting Ltd is estimated at $1,770,000 as opposed to that forecast of $1,884,000 (underspent by $114,000 or 6%). Rock bank protection work was completed in the Tadmor, Riwaka and Upper Motueka Rivers. The spray season ended in early May with nearly all river lengths completed. The native riparian planting programme began in early May with nearly half of the 14,000 plants now in the ground.

Five new signs have been put up around Waimea/Wairoa, Wai-iti and Upper Motueka at illegal dumping hotspots and staff are considering electronic monitoring of these sites.

Staff have put a hold on granting further subsidies in River Z areas as the remaining budget for this financial year along with $150,000 (50%) of next year’s budget has already been committed.

The Nelson Environment Centre (NEC), jointly contracted by Nelson City and Tasman District Councils, is delivering a waste minimisation programme over a three year period.

The first Second Hand Sunday event proved very successful, with approximately 200 households taking part (around 40 in Richmond). It is likely that the event will become a regular event and in future will be across the whole district.

One contractor has defaulted on their contract resulting in council defaulting on its payment to the contractor. Legal proceedings are being considered.

Ten subdivision engineering plans and as-built plans have been received. Seven have been approved, two have been returned to the applicant and one is in progress.

An initiative to improve cycle crossing on lower Queen Street has been placed on hold pending a potential joint project with NZTA.

More traffic lights?

Staff have identified that vehicles are using residential streets as a short cut onto Salisbury Road to avoid traffic signals. What a surprise (not)! Staff are investigating potential solutions. Hopefully, none involve more traffic lights! Although I suspect they will.

Staff need to realise that its the traffic lights that are causing the problems on Salisbury road. We need less not more of them. I’d like to see the Talbot\Salisbury Rd Traffic lights replaced with a roundabout as it defies any logic to be sitting at a traffic light early in the morning when there is no oncoming traffic.

I’d like to see Richmond as a town where we don’t have any traffic lights – and another reason why its better to live in Tasman. If towns in the UK can remove their traffic lights in favour of self regulating traffic management solutions – why can’t we.

Agenda and minutes

The agenda and minutes for this meeting are located at http://www.tasman.govt.nz/council/council-meetings/standing-committees-meetings/environment-and-planning-committee-meetings/?path=/EDMS/Public/Meetings/EnvironmentPlanningCommittee/2014/2014-07-10.

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