The engineering committee meeting was held on 3 March 2016. Apologies were received from Cr Mirfin, Cr Dowler and Cr Edgar (for absence) and myself (for lateness). Cr Higgins also arrived late.
The agenda included: (1) Kaiteriteri wastewater pipeline replacement, (2) Utilities operations and maintenance contract renewals, (3) school zones, (4) NRSBU annual report, (5) engineering services activity update, and (6) chair’s report. I will highlight the main points of interest for me. The Richmond parking survey report was deferred to the next engineering meeting.
There were no public forum presentations. However, Cr Bryant noted that the Council had received a letter from the Murchison & Districts Community Council regarding the poor state of the Tutaki South and Matakitaki Roads.
Kaiteriteri wastewater pipeline replacement
Staff together together with Tonkin Taylor consultants spoke to a powerpoint presentation outlining the Kaiteriteri Wastewater Pipeline replacement project (formerly known as the Tapu Bay pipeline). Essentially the project sought to replace an existing temporary pipe with a larger 280mm pipeline, while catering for projected growth over the next 50 years. The new pipe would have a life expectancy of 90 years. Iwi were fully consulted throughout the project and supported the revised design.
In 2004 a temporary pipeline was installed as a temporary replacement for the existing pipeline (around 8.5km long) with a capacity of 27-35 litres per second. A larger pipeline is required for projected growth. The new pipeline will have a 90 year life. It will run from Cederman drive to Goodall road (around 8.7 km long), with a capacity of 29-38 litres per second. Pump stations at Tapu bay and Stephens bay will also be reconfigured.
The reduction in cost was mainly due to: (1) using a gravity fed system, so no pumps, (2) no significant private land purchases required, and (3) reduced consultancy fees. The design is also staged over two separate financial years. Spreading expenditure over two years reduces the pressure on rates. Had the work been done in one year, further rates increases may have been required to meet the expenditure spike in that year. The design phase will be completed by Q2 of 2016. A public tender is then expected to be called for in mid-2016. Completion of the project is expected by mid-2018.
Council endorsed the project.
For me the main highlight of this presentation was how the project had been revisited and redesigned to bring costs down. The initial cost estimate provided for in the Long Term Plan (LTP) was $4.5 million. However, the revised design was now estimated to cost $3.5 million.
My ambition for TDC is to bring about a culture change within the organisation. One that puts the customer at the centre of everything TDC does. For me, this presentation showed the culture was changing for the better within some parts of TDC. A culture of innovation and challenging cost assumptions. And that needs to be encouraged and complimented.
One of the design challenges with the new pipeline was a windy and steep road. The design also had to cope with variable wastewater flows which peak during the summer holiday period (illustrated below).
Normal flows vs summer flows
Hydraulic capacity – comparison of current route (left) vs redesigned route (right)
Maintenance contract renewals
The current Water Utilities Operations and Maintenance Contract (688) with Downer expires on 30 June 2017. Council approved the staff recommendation that a review be undertaken of the contract methodology and that a new contract be publicly tendered. Council also approved the existing contract being extended 12 months until 30 June 2018, so that the review and tendering process could be undertaken.
The current contract was awarded in July 2007 and was awarded for three operational periods (3 + 3 + 4 years), subject to satisfactory performance. The contract has a value of approximately $5 million per annum.
Staff also considered aligning the end of the new contract with the end of the Nelson City Council’s current utilities contract, held by Nelmac. This was considered a risk and the shorter term of the contract to achieve this would not be cost-effective for Tasman District Council.
It was suggested that a minimum overall term of 9 years 2018-2027 (5 + 2 + 2 years or similar) would be optimum both in terms of cost effectiveness and efficiency. This would also provide possible intervals for future alignment with Nelson City Council’s next procurement round, expected circa 2023 or later.
I support any opportunities for alignment that might generate future cost savings. Although I agree that that alignment must be balanced against ensuring we get good value for money now.
Council approved the installation of a variable speed limit school zone signage for Ranzau School, Motupipi School, and Hope School. Council also approved the installation of standard school warning signs for Central Takaka School and Dovedale School. In addition council, approved the installation of a static “40 when children present” signs for Brooklyn School, Mapua School, Lower Moutere School, and Mahana School. Additional standard school warning signs on Greenhill Road were also approved for Ngatimoti School.
|Ranzau School||Install variable school signs||$21,000|
|Motupipi School||Install variable school signs||$21,400|
|Hope School||Install variable school signs||$24,800|
|Brooklyn School||Install static school zone signs||$13,500|
|Mapua School||Install static school zone signs||$13,400|
|Lower Moutere School||Install static school zone signs||$9,000|
|Mahana School||Install static school zone signs||$9,000.00|
|Central Takaka School||Review location and install additional standard school warning signs||$1,200|
|Dovedale School||Review location and install additional standard school warning signs||$600|
|Ngatimoti School||Review location and install additional standard school warning signs||$400|
Funds of $20,000 were allocated in this financial year with a further $120,000 provided in the next financial year. The funding for these signs would come from the minor improvements budget.
NRSBU annual report
The council received copies of the Nelson Regional Sewerage Business Unit (NRSBU) Annual Report 2014-15 and the Business Plan 2016-17 (attached to the agenda).
The NRSBU reported a surplus of $1,934,722 for 2014-15 (in contrast to a $1,631,099 surplus in 2013-14). Total revenue was $7,568,700, less total expenses of $5,633,978. Equity at year end was $38,849,766.
Several performance indicators are illustrated below. The report included additional performance indicators.
Best Island treatment plant
Three overflow events occurred during the year (as illustrated below).
No odour events were reported during the year.
Average inflow to Bell Island
The graph below shows the application of nitrogen at Rabbit island and Bell Island is within capacity levels of these areas.
|Treatment plant||Operational costs||Daily average inflow m3/ day||Average BOD load mg/L||Power kWh/month||Dry solids||Cost per m3||Cost per kg BOD||Cost per population equivalent|
Capital expenditure (renewals)
|Sludge treatment A-train||$17,186.00|
Engineering activity report
Highlights from the manager’s report include:
- Asset management systems: Waugh Consulting has been engaged to lead a project to review asset management (AM) systems and processes across the council.
- Asset condition survey: Downer are currently undertaking a condition survey of above ground assets at all major sites (pump stations, reservoirs, treatment plants, floodgates). This is the first time that a major condition survey has been completed using digital systems rather than a paper-based system which involved double-handling to enter data.
- Property developments: Stage-3 of the Wahanga Ltd development off Grey Street, comprising 36 fully serviced residential lot is nearing completion. The final stage of Trek Developments Richmond (end of Fairose Drive), compromising 21 residential lots, has been completed. Hart Subdivision Richmond (Corner of Hill Street and Hart Road) comprising 32 residential lots, has begun. Stages 4 and 6 of Mapua Joint Ventures development, comprising 20 residential lots and a reserve is underway. Two new supermarkets are proposed (one at the corner of Salisbury Road and Champion Road, and the other at the corner of SH6 and Bateup Rd (Three Brothers corner). An application in Richmond South at the southern corner of Paton Road and Hart Road\Bateup Road (comprising around 200 to 300 residential sections) was expected (but did not eventuate).
- Water treatment plants: The Richmond Water Treatment Plant has been operating well with only some minor teething issues with electronic programming that were resolved. Prior to Christmas the bore pump at Riwaka failed on the Kaiteriteri water scheme. A spare pump was available from another pump station and was installed urgently over a weekend by the contractor. A spare pump was purchased for this facility as a backup and will be used as the standby pump for the next upgrade. E coli was detected at the Champion Road Reservoir just before Christmas, subsequent sampling for three days provided clear results.
- Stormwater: Pre-storm checks were carried out prior to the start of the Nelson Anniversary-Waitangi Day holiday period and again prior to the recent rain storm event on 17-18 February 2016. The Annual Exceedance Probability (AEP) of the storm event in Richmond was 4% (1-in-25 year) over a 24-hour period. Overall the stormwater system capacities were tested and worked well with no pipe blockages.
- Footpaths: Concrete and Metals have now completed all the footpath rehabilitation and pram ramp sites in Richmond and Wakefield. A new footpath was also constructed in River Terrace Road Brightwater.
- Lighting: Over 1500 LED lights were installed up to the end of January 2016, with around 700 remaining. The total conversion should be completed by the end of March 2016.
- Consents: Engineering Services staff have recently received notification that the Global Spraying Consent has been granted. The Council has a 15 year consent to carry out a variety of activities with regard to weed management.
- Waste: Kerbside recycling volumes continue to climb, with an on-going increase of 22% when compared with last year. This is being driven by growth in non-glass recycling, while glass recycling is slightly down. Regional waste to landfill is illustrated below.
Agenda and minutes
The agenda and minutes are located at www.tasman.govt.nz/council/council-meetings/standing-committees-meetings/engineering-services-committee-meetings/?path=/EDMS/Public/Meetings/EngineeringServicesCommittee/2016/2016-03-03.
The engineering services committee meeting was held on 17 December 2015. Apologies were received from Cr Edgar and King. All other councillors were present.
The agenda included: (1) water allocation guidelines, (2) road maintenance procurement co-operation, (3) school zones, (4) engineering department activity report, and (5) the chairs report. Overall, this was a pretty straightforward information update meeting.
Presentations were received from Martyn Barlow and Jean Gorman.
Martyn speaking on behalf of the Mapua Boat Club updated council on a public meeting held in Mapua (120 people attended) about the Mapua wharf boat ramp. He expressed the communities feeling that they had been let down by the Waimea-Moutere councillors (Crs Norris, King and Ensor) and had not been well represented. He asked that council begin working constructively with the Mapua Boat club.
Jean from Spring Grove spoke about flooding and berm issues. She identified that a culvert pipe in Telenius Road was too small to take storm water flows And at least every 2 years the road flooded. A long term solution was needed. Jean also asked that council consider the installation of berms within the Pitfure Valley to help detain water (and reduce flooding).
Annual NZTA road trip
The annual New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) bus tour was held on 4 December 2015. The trip visited a number of road related sites between Richmond, Moutere, Tapawera, and Motueka. The usual suspects from the State Highway Liaison Group were present.
Water allocation guidelines
Council agreed to receive and endorse the water allocation guidelines. Status quo maintained.
Several council water supply schemes (in particular Mapua) are acknowledged to be close to their capacity (or are experiencing competition for water use). Engineering staff reviewed and reconfirmed the current practice guidelines (used to allocate, transfer, or share water) is sound.
The water allocation guidelines (a single page document on page 15 of the agenda) makes a clear distinction between rated water (water entitlements) for which a property is paying rates, commonly associated with a land use or building consent process, and allocated water generally associated with a subdivision process (or other mechanism) that is temporarily reserved for a property, but the council retains the right to reallocate.
Staff have pursued different approaches to water entitlements and water allocations in order to recognise different rights (associated with the water), while managing entitlements and allocations within a scheme to optimise water use. The amount of control that council exercises over water allocations is partly influenced by regulatory provisions and from the physical realities of water movement.
Under s 130 of the Local Government Act 2002, the council is required to continue to supply water to properties connected to the scheme. This underpins the existing user entitlement principle. The council’s Water Bylaw (at rule 9.17) restricts transfer of entitlements by customers, and provides authority for the council to have discretion regarding how to reuse any existing water entitlement or allocation surrendered by property owners.
Road maintenance procurement co-operation
Council agreed to receive the report and for staff to prepare a business case for joint urban road maintenance services (primarily in Richmond which immediately borders the Nelson urban area) with Nelson City Council (NCC).
I supported this resolution as part of my desire to see more shared service arrangements (where financially beneficial for all ratepayers) between TDC and NCC.
By way of background, a number of informal discussions have already occurred between NCC and TDC staff to consider opportunities to work together to gain efficiencies with road maintenance service delivery. These discussions have concluded that both networks are of a sufficient size that mutually beneficial economies of scale may be realised for the urban network including road marking, street sweeping, and general maintenance.
The council resolved to receive this update report. The report updated the committee on the work program and costs to install school zone signs (eg, static school zone signs, and 40km/hr variable school speed limit signs).
The report highlighted a priority list of all schools within the Tasman District that were likely to receive signs. The priority lists reflected those schools most at risk. Funds to cover the purchase and installation of signs would be taken from the Minor Safety Improvements budget.
Costs for the installation of static signs are outlined below. The cost for the installation of static signs includes signs placed on both sides of the roads and on both approaches to the school.
|Signs – “school zone 40”||
|Signs – “school zone ends”||
|Poles, bases, brackets and installation||
Costs for the installation of the 40km/hr variable school speed limit signs are outlined below. These costs are for installing one sign on both approaches to the school.
|Signs – “40 school zone”||
|Signs – “school zone ends”||
|Technology to run signs||
|Poles, bases, and brackets||
Budget constraints resulted in identifying the top 10 at risk schools for the project. Schools were ranked using several factors, including: speed environment, parking facilities, and average daily traffic count. Data on numbers of children walking/cycling to school, entering or leaving a vehicle on the roadside, and crossing the road still needed to be collected for some of the schools, before a final decision could be made in early 2016. The data would also be used to determine whether a school fits the NZTA warrant for a 40km/hr variable speed limit.
The schools (in ranked order) are: Ranzau, Motupipi, Hope, Central Takaka, Dovedale, Brooklyn, Motueka Rudolf Steiner, Mapua, Ngatimoti, Mahana, Lower Moutere, Takaka primary, Brightwater, Parklands, Appleby, Riwaka, Richmond primary, Henley, Golden Bay, Lake Rotoiti, St Peter Chanel, Motueka High, Upper Moutere, Tasman, Motueka South, St Pauls Catholic, Wakefield, Garin College, Tasman Bay Christian, Murchison Area, Tapawera Area, Te Kura Kaupapa, Salisbury, Waimea Intermediate, Waimea College, and Collingwood Area. Motueka Rudolf Steiner school was ranked seventh, but was removed from the top 10 list, as it fronts onto a state highway under the control of the New Zealand Transport Agency.
Cr Mirfin asked why Richmond schools were not ranked higher. It was explained that road speeds in Richmond were already low, and there were limited opportunities to place additional signage, without compromising visibility.
The engineering committee could expect a decision report in early 2016. Councillors asked that staff gave this issue urgent attention for an early decision.
Engineering department activity report
Highlights from the manager’s report include:
- Richmond catchment management plan (CMP) for management of quality and quantity of runoff in the Richmond catchments to support flood management and compliance with a discharge consent is behind schedule.
- Regional water supply and demand model is a a joint investigation with NCC as to the water future needs and supply options is on track.
- Joint Land Development Manual providing a common engineering standards/land development manual for NCC and TDC is on track. Good progress has been made on all chapters. Recent changes to the timing of the Nelson resource management plan review means this work will now take about 2 months longer. Staff expect to hold a stakeholder workshop in April or May 2016, before seeking approval to issue the draft manual for public-wide consultation. The manual requires changes to the two regional plans to give the new manual “effect” under the RMA.
- Asset management. Changes have been made to Explore Tasman to assist with visual identification of assets. A pipe break viewer will be expanded to allow live reporting of breaks, rather than a static snapshot. Improvements to the Confirm system setup and processes are continuing. Since the last report, 810 utilities’ asset features have been added, edited or deleted based on new subdivision works, repairs and council contracts as-built data received. Tracking and reporting of developments, infrastructure and subdivisions (TARDIS) system development is on track.
- Land developments.
- The council’s legal advisors are preparing a development agreement for an area in Richmond West which has a deferred residential zoning and has the potential for an additional 500 new dwellings. This area will be serviced by a new wastewater pressure sewerage system draining to Headingly Lane.
- Pre-discussions on future developments in Richmond South are continuing.
- Residential developments (60 lots) off Pitfure road in Wakefield are extending into residential zoned land. Discussion with the developer’s agent is continuing.
- A residential application (28 lots) to extend Talisman Heights at Kaiteriteri is about to be issued.
- Council has now secured land in Seaton Valley next to the Mapua Joint Venture (MJV) site in Mapua to act as a detention basin for the MJV development as well as all other deferred land in the vicinity. The lack of water supply to Mapua is still raised by developers and limits growth in this area. Investigations will continue to find ways to assist developers in overcoming this hurdle.
- Engineering plans for the Hart subdivision have been lodged and are currently in the final sign off process. The subdivision involves the construction of 31 new residential lots with a new connecting road from Pine Crest Drive (Trek Developments) to Hart Road. The existing creek within the property will be realigned and upgraded to cope with a Q100 flood event with 500mm of freeboard.
- Stage three of a subdivision in Grey Street Motueka is currently under construction comprising 36 residential sections.
- The last stage of the Trek Development (22 residential allotments) extending off Fairose Drive is nearing completion and all construction works except the final sealing of the road will also be completed prior to Christmas.
- Projects. Waimea Community Dam (P1025) $25m funding in LTP. Additional funding required. Irrigator business case and CCO/JV structure is under review. Richmond Church Street Water Pipeline (P1039) installs a new water line and remove the existing while maintaining water to properties. Project on hold. Bateup Road Widening (P1047) The widening and upgrade of Bateup Road from 3 brothers corner to Paton Road to accommodate residential and commercial development in Richmond South. Lower Queen Street Widening (P1043) Reconstruction of Lower Queen Street to provide for future growth in Richmond West. Consent submitted. Design complete. Land purchase close to completion. Richmond Central Infrastructure (P967) Richmond central storm water improvements, upgrade utilities, reshaping road, amenity improvements in Queen Street. Subject to public engagement on Queen Street reinstatement design.
- Water network. Renewal of the Tapawera water treatment plant is nearing completion. A split in the liner of the Kaiteriteri main reservoir liner has been identified near the top of the tank and will require repair.
- Wastewater. Blockages at pump stations continue to be an issue. The aeration basin at Motueka WWTP has been repaired, scour pads laid and the pond refilled.
- Solid waste. Recycling ollection tonnages are around 20% higher than last year.
- Jackett Island. The last inspection was carried out on 7 September 2015 and everything was found to be in good order.
Cr Norris chaired the Hearings Panel for the Speed Limit Bylaw Review together with Crs Dowler, Higgins, and Sangster. According to Cr Norris there were 19 submitters. Although, as I later discovered one submission (in relation to Ranzau Road) included over 160 signatories. Despite his acknowledgement of the submitters “passion”, the panel did not deviate from the staff’s recommendations, and in Cr Norris’s own words “I am pleased to report that all proposed speed limits were agreed”. So much for listening to the passionate plea’s of a few residents? Just another example of the captured, rubber stamping attendance culture, that has existed on this council for far too long.
Of course, its no secret that Cr Norris (a self confessed “dinosaur” – his words, not mine) and myself, do not always see eye to eye, in my efforts to push back against a long history and culture of increasing debt and poor spending decisions (I won’t rub salt into the Mapua development wound). However, I take comfort, in the knowledge that there are already some outstanding candidates putting up their hands to stand in the Waimea-Moutere Ward. I look forward to a few more good people standing up for their communities and putting up their hands in Waimea and Motueka Wards.
I should note, that all councillors swear an oath (clause 14, schedule 7 of the Local Government Act 2002) to act faithfully and impartially in the best interests of the district, not just the ward (or other communities) they wish to represent. A point made very clear by Mr Foster, during the public forum presentation at the recent Golden Bay Community Board meeting (of 10 May 2016), that I attended. And again, I extend my offer to talk about my experiences on council with any prospective candidates.
Interestingly, given the storm brewing in Nelson (see http://www.stuff.co.nz/nelson-mail/news/73755660/councillor-under-fire-for-interference-into-southern-link-investigation), Cr Norris stated that “I have been involved with New Zealand Transport Agency, Nelson City Council and other affected parties looking at the business case for the southern link” (my emphasis).
In contrast, Cr Davy had suggested that he was invited to take part because of his knowledge of Nelson’s transport network, and not as a representative of Nelson City Council (see http://www.stuff.co.nz/nelson-mail/news/74796878/Councillors-clash-over-Southern-Link-investigation, http://www.stuff.co.nz/nelson-mail/75210791/councillor-eric-davy-ousted-from-regional-transport-committee).
Agenda and minutes
The agenda and minutes are located at www.tasman.govt.nz/council/council-meetings/standing-committees-meetings/engineering-services-committee-meetings/?path=/EDMS/Public/Meetings/EngineeringServicesCommittee/2015/2015-12-17.
The engineering services meeting was held on 5 November 2015. Apologies were received from Cr Canton, Higgins, and Edgar (with the mayor arriving late). All other councillors were present.
The agenda included: (1) chair’s report, (2) Wakefield development water development contribution, and (3) engineering activity report. A late in-committee (confidential) report was also received in relation to shared landfill services (York valley). There were two items in public forum.
Given the agenda was somewhat brief, I decided to ask a number of questions throughout the meeting. Much to the frustration of the chair (Cr Norris).
Graeme Thomas, speaking on behalf of Richard Martin (property developer), spoke about his clients concerns with the Ben Nevis development in Wakefield. He raised a number of concerns that I will discuss below. He asked that the land be excluded from the contributions, or the development contribution be deferred until connection.
Martin Barlow spoke on behalf of the Mapua Boat Club. He raised concerns about the restricted access to the Mapua boat ramp. He thought the mayor had supported a range of solutions the club had offered. Yet none appear to have been implemented? Without access, they would be the only boat club in NZ without a boat ramp. They acknowledged the tension with health and safety issues (regarding public walking in the area vs cars and boats), but wanted a solution for the summer period.
The brief report (a page of text) mentioned the pending draft speed bylaw review and the relationship with the NZTA’s speed management guide. Staff advised that the NZTA guide would have little impact on the review.
The report also mentioned joint land development manual initiative between Nelson and Tasman councils. This is an important initiative for ensuring the two councils better align. I asked the chair if a little more detail could be provided around the joint land development manual given its importance – perhaps including an update on progress, topics covered, or tension points. The chair refused, becoming very upset with my request. As I expected he would. However, I think its important council are kept abreast of developments rather than wait for a staff report at the end of the process. Its about being kept informed, so we can keep our residents informed.
Finally, my family want to share their sincere condolences with the family and friends of Paul Bennett (skipper), Jared Reese (Timaru), and Terry Donald Booth (Ruby Bay), who lost their lives at sea off the Canterbury coast on the FV Jubilee. Coming from a fishing family we are very aware of the risks of this type of work (as were they). These were three very experienced fishermen who were well known in their community. They will be missed.
Wakefield development water development contribution
This issue was discussed in public forum. Essentially, it concerned the charging of a water development contributions on a property development (known as Ben Nevis) comprising 100 lots located in the Wakefield area. The developer has been responsible for other property developments bordering this development.
The developer is installing “dry” pipes (for a future water reticulation system) as the development progresses. An extension of the reticulated water supply is planned to service this land in 2021-24 (according to the 2015 Long Term Plan (LTP). This was illustrated in one of the maps enclosed in the LTP set of documents. Until the site is reticulated, the developer is required to provide for on-site water collection, storage and treatment (as a condition of the developments approval). Generally, payment of development contributions is due when the development plans are approved. The contributions are a partial contribution to the cost of planned water infrastructure.
The developer raised two main issues (notification failure and a double up of water costs) to support his request for the development contribution to be deferred until connection.
The applicant argued that the council failed to notify the developer of any development contribution liability. He was unable to find any public notification or any information in the LTP. He also noted that an earlier adjacent development had not been subject to any contributions. Given his pre-existing relationship with council in relation to an earlier adjacent development, he thought he should have been advised of a change.
In response staff, acknowledged and apologised for failing to inform the developer of the plan change that created a new liability for development contributions. The issue would be addressed so that it would not happen again. However, the plan change (and corresponding development contribution) had been notified through the LTP process and therefore it was legally enforceable.
In response to questions raised during public forum, I asked staff to inform the developer of the location of the relevant plan changes in the LTP. Which staff confirmed they would do.
Cost double up
The applicant argued that the imposition of development contributions, as well as requiring the developer to provide an on-site water supply, placed a heavy financial burden on the developer, making it uneconomic to continue to lay dry pipes. This would mean that the council would have to dig up the road at a future date and lay pipes for the future water reticulation system. Again a way forward was to defer the imposition of development levies until the planned reticulation system was connected sometime in 2021-24.
This would mean that liability for the development contribution would lay with the property owner at the time of connection. However, owners could still opt not to connect. If an owner choose not to connect they would still be liable for the daily water charges (ie pipe maintenance costs), but not the water charges (as they would not be receiving water).
Council unanimously agreed that the development contribution would be imposed on connection. In my opinion, deferring the imposition of development contributions was the most pragmatic solution. This enabled the development to continue and for council to receive development contributions for infrastructure.
Engineering activity report
The manager’s report contained the following highlights:
- Financials: I asked two questions. First, if the over spend in the transportation budget (ie operating expenses) was a timing issue (or not). Staff confirmed it was a timing issue. Second, if the financials could provide a similar level of analysis contained in the environment and planing (E&P) reports. The E&P reports provided detailed analysis of staff and contractor costs. Whereas, engineering did not. The question was put to other councillors. Unfortunately, I received no support from other councillors for more detailed analysis.
- Health and safety: MWH and TDC managers are developing a safety training workshop for constructions site visits. Cr Mirfin questioned (rather rhetorically) whether this was at all necessary and wondered whether it bordered on over-kill. Especially as there had been no incidents to date in relation to on-site visits? Unfortunately the HSE Act imposes a number of obligations on council. Failure to show we have provided sufficient H&S training could expose council to potential liability should an incident occur. Effectively, training is a form of insurance against potential liability.
- Parking strategy: A consultant (traffic design group) has been contracted to conduct dta collection and aid in development of a parking strategy. A final draft report has been presented to staff and a workshop for councillors is planned for early 2016. Public consultation is expected around March 2016. I will be watching this with interest. In my opinion, we need to be ensuring new commercial developments are providing more car parks (including under or within the development itself), as well as utilising areas on the fringes of the CBD, rather than widening roads for parking (at cot to the ratepayers). For example, Club Waimea have a large carpark that is under utilised throughout the day. Enabling them to promote a fee based carpark service would take the pressure off parking in other parts of Richmond. A similar arrangement could be developed as an income stream for A&P Society land. These areas could also be supported by a connecting bus service.
- Digital systems (Confirm and Tardis): The “confirm” (asset) database has been altered to make it easier to operate (including a shift from printed reports to PDF reports). The “tracking and reporting of development information system” (TARDIS) is a web based multi-purpose relational database. It was developed in-house and is used for tracking subdivision and planning documents and was introduced to the resource consents team as a collaborative development. I asked that staff liaise with Nelson council when these opportunities arise in order to share and leverage technology. We should be aiming to align the same systems and processes in both councils to maximise cost savings and efficiency gains. There is no point reinventing the wheel.
- New Richmond South developments: A request to relocate a storm water designation in Richmond South was received. I asked what this meant. Staff advised the request sought to divert storm water further south (along the bottom of the hill crest, parrallel to Harts Road). Land either side of Patons Road and Bateup Road has had its deferrment lifted, allowing development of 250 sections over the next couple of years. At the same time Bateup Road is being investigated for road improvements (for increased traffic), including under-grounding stormwater and road widening. I suggested to staff that any road improvements should give serious consideration to secondary flow paths (similar to the proposed inversion of Queen Street) as the Paton\Bateup Road was one of the 5 flooding hotspots in the 2011 and 2013 floods.
- Fairise Drive development: Around 20 lots are nearing completion at the end of Fairise Drive. A new pedestrian connection will be provided from Hill Street into the new cul-de-sac. Lots adjoining Hill Street will direct storm water into Harts creek. Storm water from other lots in this development are to be piped via a detention pond. I asked staff (after the meeting) to provide me a detailed briefing so that I could keep downstream residents informed of planned developments.
- Hill Street and Harts Road development: A proposed 33 lot development at the corner of these roads has been lodged with council for consideration.
- Mapua water network: Major breaks on the Mapua water network have recently occurred. Staff are investigating and will be making a recommendation on the likely timing of an upgrade. Most likely bringing forward the planned upgrade in the LTP.
- Waste: Recycling volumes continue to grow (23% up on the July to September period last year). This means less pressure on landfill. Landfill operations have focused on excavating cover material from on-site, and developing the next cell for refuse. Landfill volumes (for July to September) were 2% above budget.
- LED lights: A total of 512 of 2400 lights (21%) have been converted to date.
- School speed zones: 40km\hr advisory speed signs will be installed at 29 (of 36) schools. Priority will be given to 11 schools (Ranzau, Hope, Dovedale, Motueka Rudolf Steiner, Ngatimoti, Lower Moutere, Motupipi, Centrl Takaka, Brooklyn, Mapua, and Mahana) who either have no crossroads, are near high speed areas, and have no parking to drop children off. The other 7 schools are either on state highways (NZTA responsibility) or urban environments (low speed areas) where additional signage might be considered a hindrance to visibility. NZTA will be investigating use of 40km\hr signs for schools on state highways.
- Rivers: Increased fly tipping (rubbish dumping) has been observed near the Waimea. River tracks between Appleby bridge and lower Queen Street may have to be closed (after the white bait season ends) to mitigate the increase.
I also asked for an update on the interim lower Moutere speed signage (discussed at the last meeting in relation to proposed footpaths). Staff advised that the speed signage had experienced a few glitches in providing data on road usage. It was hoped this would be available for the next meeting.
I also passed on an observation from a resident that the traffic lights in gladstone road were not sympathetic to motorcycles – and that this meant sometimes cycles had to run a red light to get across the road.
Unfortunately, the chair (Cr Norris) became quite upset with me asking so many questions during consideration of this report. He suggested that rather than ask questions in public, I should direct them to staff after the meeting. I disagreed and was not going to be intimidated by his bullying tactics. In my opinion, it was important questions were asked in public, so they could be minuted. Furthermore, preventing questions being asked, undermined the need for the meeting in the first place. I certainly do not consider my presence at council meetings to be a rubber stamping (or attendance) exercise.
Agenda and minutes
The agenda and minutes are located at www.tasman.govt.nz/council/council-meetings/standing-committees-meetings/engineering-services-committee-meetings/.
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.
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.