Tagged: Water Treatment

Engineering committee meeting (14 April)


The engineering services committee meeting was held on 14 April 2016. Apologies were received from Cr Mirfin, and for lateness Cr Bouillir and Mayor Kempthorne. All other councillors were present.

The agenda (88 pages) included: (1) Richmond car parking survey 2015-2016, (2) Chairman’s report, (3) Water services – options for service provision – s 17A review, (4) Water and wastewater reticulation – Mapua, (5) Rivers works – options for service provision – s 17A review, (6) Rivers contract extension and procurement of new contract, (7) Severe rain event update, (8) Road safety update, and (9) Engineering services activity update.

Public forum

Mr Maxwell Clark spoke about the new funding model for the Waimea Dam. He considered the revised model was good because it made it clear that the irrigators needed to pay their fair share. Something they were not currently doing.

Mr Graeme Dick (a property developer) spoke about the development of Mapua and the major restrictions relating to water supply. He urged the Council to create urgency (as it was not in the LTP) and to fast track the supply of new water to the Mapua area. He suggested a water pipe to Mapua would cost approximately $6 million and that 140 new sections would cover that cost. From development levies.

Cr Sangster spoke about the recent Takaka flooding and the issue with water ponding at the wastewater treatment plant. He urged the Council to include gravel removal from the Waingaro River (near Duncan’s bank) as a matter of urgency.

Richmond Car Parking Survey

A powerpoint presentation developed by Ben Norrish and Dylan Waghorn (engineering summer students) was presented to the committee by staff. This presentation was subsequently followed up with a council workshop on car parking strategies.

Chair’s report

Highlights included:

  • Fluoridation. The mood of councillors was that the cost of fluoridation should fall on those who made the decision to fluoridate (ie the DHB) or central government, not TDC. Staff were asked to provide a report on the central government’s water fluoridation proposal including expected timeframes, costs, and the proposed legal framework.
  • State highway liaison meetings. Councillors discussed the frequency and timing of these meetings. It was agreed the meetings should continue, but perhaps less often.

Water services review and procurement

Council resolved to: (1) receive the report, (2) not to undertake a s 17A review, and (3) proceed with tendering for procurement of water utilities operations and maintenance services. Council also instructed staff to develop a s 17A service delivery review programme in the relevant Activity Management Plan (AMP) for the Long Term Plan (LTP) 2018-28.

Generally, a local authority must review the cost-effectiveness of current arrangements for meeting the needs of communities within its district or region for good-quality local infrastructure, local public services and performance of regulatory functions (under s 17 of the LGA). However, a local authority is not required to undertake a review if they are satisfied that the potential benefits of undertaking a review do not justify the cost of undertaking the review.

In this case, the expiry of the water utilities service deliver contract has triggered a s 17A review. However, there are potential benefits and efficiencies from deferring a future service delivery review until the review aligns with the water utility contract renewal at Nelson council (NCC). In effect, a major shared services alignment on water services with Nelson council.

Water and wastewater reticulation – Mapua

Council resolved to: (1) receive the report, and (2) approve the use of up to $300,000 for a feasibility study for water and wastewater options in Mapua in 2016-17, funded from activity balances for water ($200,000), wastewater ($50,000), and transport ($50,000). Council also requested that staff report back to council on the process to be followed, including: potential stakeholder engagement, and a breakdown of the budget prior to commencing work on the feasibility study.

Private developers have been exploring alternative water supply proposals in Mapua to either boost the council’s system capacity or create new schemes. Recent investigations into interim water supply solutions for Mapua confirm that the Council’s water network is at capacity and cannot accommodate more growth above the water already allocated. The wastewater network is also at capacity and must be upgraded before it can accommodate growth beyond the developments already consented in Mapua.


Under the current Long Term Plan, water and wastewater works to renew the water main and provide substantial additional capacity for growth won’t be completed for approximately 12 years. Ongoing significant water pipe breaks are threatening the delivery of an acceptable Level of Service (LOS) to residents. These are not yet at a level that justifies early intervention.

However, staff are concerned that either growth demand or excessive pipe failure in the future could warrant action before upgrade works are currently programmed – or adequately planned. Hence, staff propose to advance a feasibility study in 2016-17 that will allow the selection of a preferred design option, sizing, and programming, for both water and wastewater. The study will consider whether works should be brought forward in the future (if needed).

Rivers work review

Council resolved to: (1) receive the report, (2) not to undertake a s 17A review, and (3) proceed with tendering for procurement of water utilities operations and maintenance services. Council also instructed staff to develop a s 17A service delivery review programme in the relevant Activity Management Plan (AMP) for the Long Term Plan (LTP) 2018-28.

Generally, a local authority must review the cost-effectiveness of current arrangements for meeting the needs of communities within its district or region for good-quality local infrastructure, local public services and performance of regulatory functions (under s 17 of the LGA). However, a local authority is not required to undertake a review if they are satisfied that the potential benefits of undertaking a review do not justify the cost of undertaking the review.

In this case, the expiry of the river works contract has triggered a s 17A review. However, there are potential benefits and efficiencies from deferring a future service delivery review until the review aligns with the water utility contract renewal at Nelson council (NCC). In effect, a major shared services alignment on river works with Nelson council.

Rivers contracts

Council resolved to: (1) receive the report, and (2) approves the extension of the rivers maintenance contract C840 with Taylors Contracting Ltd until 30 September 2016.

Council currently has a contract with Taylors Contracting Limited to provide physical works in “X” and “Y” classified rivers. This is a 5-year contract (3+1+1 years) which expires on 30 June 2016. Staff sought to extend the current contract by 3 months to enable a review and develop contract documents for the new tender process. If approved, the current rivers contract would expire on 30 September 2016.

Severe rain event

Council resolved to receive the report.


A severe storm event (across the whole district) occurred on 23-24 March 2016. Over 24 hours 250-350mm of rainfall fell across the northwest ranges and Kahurangi National Park area, and 150-200mm about the Richmond Ranges.


Total Rainfall (mm)

Aorere at Collingwood


Anatoki at Paradise


Takaka at Harwoods


Takaka at Canaan


Riwaka at Takaka Hill


Waimea at Appleby


Brook at Third House


Lee at Trig F


Nelson at Founders Park




The largest flood occurred in the Riwaka River. The flow in the South Branch tributary peaked at 96 cumecs and the flow in the North Branch tributary peaked at 94 cumecs, which was the second highest flow since records began in 1982.


The Takaka River catchment also experienced significant flooding. The upper catchment rivers reached flows corresponding to around 15-30-year flood events and the mid catchment 5-10-year floods events. The upper Takaka River at Harwoods flow site recorded the second highest level since records began in 1975.

Location Records Start This Event (rainfall mm) Previous Highest (rainfall mm)
Collingwood Repeater 2012 298 178
Takaka at Harwoods 1988 267 265
Riwaka North at Littles 1995 227 186
Tui Close (Motueka) 1998 179 140


Road safety

Council resolved to receive the report.

Tasman District has always had a relatively low crash history. Generally, around 70 people annually are hurt when using the road network. In 2006 and 2007, numbers were higher than normal.

In 2006, there were 3 fatal and 7 serious crashes on our road network. A further 50 minor crashes and 97 damage only incidents also occurred. In 2007, there were 2 fatal, 24 serious and 91 minor injury crashes, and 119 damage only crashes. Since 2010, there has been a steady decrease in the number of people injured on our road network. In 2015, there were no fatal crashes.

The first graph shows the fatal and serious reported crashes from 2006 to 2015. A trend line has also been added to show the reduction over time.


The next graph shows all injury crashes from 2006 to 2015.


The last graph shows the above data as well as non-injury (damage only) crashes.


The graph below provides crash data from 2006 to 2015.


The graph below shows the traffic growth (vehicle kilometres travelled) across the District from 2006 to 2015.


Engineering services activity update

Council resolved to receive the report. Highlights from the managers report included:

  • Finances. Overall operations income and expenditure is within or ahead of budget. A total year to date operating surplus of $5.8 million is recorded. The capital works programme is behind budget overall. We are still struggling to commit all the carry forward work from the last financial year and initiate all the new capital work in the current year.
  • Health and safety. Water main excavation work vs power line (11kv power cable) incident resulted in an arc touching a digger bucket. No injuries were reported. Downer began an investigation on the morning of the incident. Immediate action has been to change their procedures.
  • Planning. Staff have developed a 2016 activity planning business plan. The plan does not outline all of the team’s work, just priorities for 2016, and indicative priorities for 2017. Transport plans include: Tasman Speed Management Plan, and District Car Parking Strategy Review. Stormwater plans include: Richmond Catchment Management Plan (CMP), and Secondary Flowpath Management. Other projects include: Regional Water Supply and Demand model, Water related TRMP changes, Water Allocation Principles and Practice, and the Joint Land Development Manual.
  • Asset database. Since the last update, 3,474 utilities asset features have been added, edited, or deleted, based on new subdivision works, repairs and council contracts are received. Progress has been made in reviewing and improving the drains data set with 138 new assets added, 34 amended and 10 features removed (added in error or superseded by piped systems).
  • Developments. Three subdivision engineering plans have been received and approved since the last update. Council’s legal advisers are preparing a deed for an area in Richmond West which has a deferred residential zoning and has the potential for an additional 500 new dwellings. It is proposed that the area will be serviced by a new wastewater pressure sewerage system draining to Headingly Lane. Residential developments (future 60 lots) off Pitfure road in Wakefield are extending into residential zoned land; discussion with the developer’s agent is continuing. Pre-application discussions on future developments in Richmond south are continuing. The Hart subdivision (33 lots) on the corner of Hill street and Hart road is nearing completion. The Mapua Joint Ventures development is continuing with the next stages (24 lots) which will see the upgrades of the Seaton Valley Road and Mapua Drive frontages to the subdivision. Stage three (36 lots) of the subdivision in Grey Street Motueka is nearing completion.
  • Stormwater. Secondary flow paths protected by easements in new subdivisions continue to be blocked by fences/gardens and enforcement may be required to maintain these flow paths. Work is underway to remove a number of willow trees and place rock protection in Reservoir Creek, Richmond. A programme of hazard identification at water utilities sites has commenced, starting with an assessment of stormwater inlets. Staff will be using iAuditor software on site which will ensure that data is entered electronically directly into the system in a consistent manner.
  • Tender Portal. TDC now have our own portal for Tenderlink (www.tenderlink.com/tasman) which is linked to the Council’s website.
  • Waste. Recycling tonnages continue to track above 2015, with year to date tonnages 24% above last year. Resource recovery centres have been busy over summer and total waste volumes are tracking 6% above budget.
  • Roads. March has seen the completion of a 300 metre aggregate overlay and associated drainage work on Korere–Tophouse Road. This has remediated a section of road that suffered severe stress due to the logging activity along this route. The gravel section of Old House Road at the intersection with Central Road has been sealed as a safety improvement. Focus was also put on replacing, extending or installing a number of culverts including at Herring Stream Road, Tadmor-Glenhope Road, Hursthouse Street and the Motueka Valley Highway. Pavement repairs to various roads in Richmond included: Bateup Road roundabout at Wensley Road, Churchill Avenue and Hill Street Rip and Remake.
  • Lighting. The conversion of street lamps to LED is on track for completion by June. Also planning is underway to convert Parks and Reserves lights which will also be completed by late June.
  • Other work. Members of the Richmond’s Men’s Shed have recently completed painting (stain) the seats and gate in Sundial Square. Site Services re-cut a new track in the road reserve extension at the end of Hill street that connects to Hill Street South. Members of the Men’s Shed have also been involved in some of this work with clearing and cutting grass and they will also be constructing a short section of shallow steps.
  • Cycle trail. A funding application has been submitted to MBIE for $223,481 for: Pomona and Marriages Roads off-road trail, Coastal erosion protection (Fittal Street), and estuary boardwalk and signage. The next focus for development will be: Wai-iti Domain to Quail Valley Road via Tunnicliff Forest, Nelson Forests Limited and Ewing Poultry; and South of Spooners Tunnel to Norris Gulley Picnic area.
  • Jackett Island. Jackett Island has experienced two medium storm events since the last inspection on 7 September 2015. There are no reports of any damage to the sandbag wall. The sand bag wall was inspected on 21 March 2016 and is generally in good condition. A further quarterly survey of the sandbag wall and beach profiles was undertaken in March.
  • Rivers. Expenditure for the river maintenance related work year-to-date was $657,000. This is $622,000 or 50% under the even monthly proportional year-to-date expenditure budget.
  • Storms. Total costs to date for road cleanup and reinstatement from the storm event on 17-18 February 2016 is $60,000, which has been funded from existing maintenance budgets. This excludes costs to repair Tasman’s Great Taste Trail.


Enclosed below are a series of you tube video’s showing the development of a number of engineering projects council have started during my first term on council:

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/2016/14April2016.


Full Council and Community Development meetings (13 February 2014)

February and March 2014 have been a very busy period for myself, with attendance at council meetings and planning workshops taking up a lot of time – not to mention all the associated reading of documents that has to be undertaken. So much for trying to also sustain a personal income. I can now see why some councillors are so keen to top up their part-time remuneration with as many director appointments, chair roles, and commissioner roles, as they can leverage or muster.

February 13th was certainly a busy morning, with the Community Development meeting following hot on the heels of a Full Council meeting. Together with Richmond Ward councillors meeting to discuss the revised Richmond reserves fund. Interestingly, full council meetings are suppose to happen every 6 weeks, but this has not been the case over the start of this year – and in the process has caused some understandable confusion for some residents.

Apart from the mayor (who submitted his apologies for not attending), all councillors were present for both meetings.

Full Council Meeting

The council considered the following agenda items: (1) appointment of advisors to the regional transport committee, and (2) the Richmond water treatment plant project (located in lower Queen Street). The agenda was unusually much shorter than a normal full council meeting and was subsequently followed by another full council meeting a week later on 19 February. Neither were called as extraordinary meetings.

In public forum, Jo-anne Ellis spoke about her concerns about the recycle centre’s demise and the Richmond water treatment plants location and design. She expressed concerns that it was not widely communicated to the public other than in the long term plan.

Regional transport committee advisors

Questions were raised about the need for the appointed of advisors to the regional transport committee and the projected cost ($4,500 per year). However, it was explained that the advisors rarely claimed the $150 meeting fee (eg the police and TRNZ covered their own costs), and advisors had been used before. Further, the appointment of advisors provided a more robust discussion from targeted interest groups (eg cultural and mobility groups) ensuring issues did not arise later in the process. An ambulance at the top, rather than the bottom, of the process. Appointed advisors included: Karen Leee (environmental issues), Bill Findlater (economic issues), Inspector Jeniffer Richardson (safety), Geoff Cameron (public health), Donna Smith (mobility), Frank Hippolite (cultural issues). Together with a representative from Nelson and Marlborough councils.

Richmond water treatment plant

Most of councils time was spent discussing the Richmond water treatment plant. And this was of particular interest to me given the size and importance of the investment.

The water treatment plant will be located in lower Queen Street near Headingly lane and McShanes Road. A good map of the pipework is provided in the agenda (page 15, para 7.10). Effectively the treatment plant will blend two groundwater sources to achieve required nitrate levels together with an ultra-violet treatment to achieve protoza levels in accordance with New Zealand drinking water standards prescribed by statute. Pumps will also be upgraded.

The project is planned to cost roughly $9.5 million. Work will be spread over two years (roughly $4.7 million per year). However, tenders for the project placed its cost well over budget. Council staff have since reviewed the scope of the project finding a number of savings to bring it back into budget. Most of the savings involve deferring replacement of estimated pipework (31% of the tender value).

Apparently for some time now council have been deferring expenditure on a water treatment plant. However, due to potential national water standard breaches (resulting in water boil notices being issued), and water management plans having to be resubmitted if the project did not proceed (a costly exercise), council could no longer defer this project. Richmond is one one of the few towns left in the country that does not currently comply with protoza treatment.

Why such an important project was deferred given $26 million dollars was borrowed to fund community facilities raises some questions over council’s earlier priorities. However, thats history now and this council is reprioritising where it spends ratepayer’s money.

Community Development Meeting

The committee considered the following agenda items: (1) presentation from the Nelson School of Music, and reports on (2) the Moutre Hills Community centre extension (ministerial consent), (3) portable seating for rugby events, (4) the Golden Bay Community facility working party, (5) funding applications, and (6) the ecofest and environment awards. Together manager’s reports on community development and relations. A useful action sheet of council activity is also provided in the agenda.

Portable seating

The most discussed topic was the request from the rugby union to reduce the council’s charges for the use of the council’s portable seating for both the Marko games and the Crusaders game. After some discussion about the equipment being repaired by volunteer groups it was judged that a reduced rate could be afforded and the council was directed to return to the unions with a revised proposal. The poor state of the equipment (and possibly pieces being lost or swapped with other companies equipment) raised questions over the proper management of the potable seating and equipment warranties. Apparently floors were crumbling, when they were suppose to be manufactured from marine ply.

Golden Bay shared recreational facility

Unfortunately, the Golden Bay recreational facility is a hotly debated topic. In part, this is because of decisions and agreements made around the council table by earlier councils. In my opinion, it should have been the first community facility constructed by the council as it went about borrowing over $26 million to fund a number of community and recreational facilities around the Tasman area. Unfortunately it was not, and has been the last cab off the rank.

This is disappointing, as the Golden Bay community is probably the most isolated of all the Tasman communities. It is now even more unfortunate, given the current financial environment. Council is now confronted with keeping debt down – and projects now have to be revisited with a fresh perspective and revised priority. The question we face is do we spend money now Golden Bays community facilities or do we wait another 10 or 20 years time, when we might be in a better financial position to afford them.

I’ve visited the community facilities in Golden Bay. The sports ground facilities are in reasonable condition and have been well looked after by the community, who are clearly proud of what they have. Apart from the stand (located above the rugby club rooms), not meeting current earthquake standards (and these standards could change), and the need to improve discrete access to showers for visiting teams, it would appear the asset has a number of years still left in it.

To my mind I wonder if we have been replacing community assets to quickly and not sweating them a little more. For the sports ground in Golden Bay I wonder if a cheaper option would be for council to close the stand (and wait for earthquake standards to be lowered by forthcoming legislation), as well as provide some temporary screens between visitors changing rooms and showers.

Another important consideration that council needs to weigh up whether deferring investment in community facilities is a wise decision, is that the community already has on its door step the most amazing natural facilities and parks – something Richmond does not have. It has fantastic beaches and reserves. Do we need to provide even more public activities for the community than are already available? Are we over capitalising our community development expenditure in a region that has the smallest population base?

As you can see the debate is hard. Expectations may not be fulfilled in the short term. But council has to confront these hard choices. I think deferring further investment until we can afford it is the most prudent decision we can make. Council is obliged to take a district wide view. We’ve already made a sizeable investment (and debt) in community facilities already. Our spending priorities must now shift to protecting peoples homes and ensuring we have adequate storm water protection in place for now and in the future.

That all said, the decision of council was to approve the design phase to get a better picture of overall costs and to cap any investment of council to $3.5 million (being 80% of the overall cost). This allowed the community to also have a better picture of how much they would need to raise towards the project to get it over the threshold and off the ground.

A copy of the recreational facility plans can be found here http://www.tasman.govt.nz/policy/public-consultation/feedback-form-golden-bay-community-recreation-facility-concept-plan/

Note! Since that meeting, council has decided to remove the Golden Bay recreational facility from the annual plan for the 2014-15 year. And to leave discussion about future investment in the facility to the long term plan. If you support the council’s decision to do this you should make a submission to the annual plan acknowledging your support. A risk of council showing some leadership on this issue is that all of the submissions on the annual plan may come from only those people opposed to the decision to remove the facility from next years planned expenditure. And therefore result in the facility being put back into the plan. This is because council are obliged to take into consideration submissions on the annual plan from the community. That is why we have a consultation process on the annual plan. Therefore, if you think the facilities removal from the annual plan is a good idea, do tell council. And if you have any other ideas to save money – do tell council.

Richmond reserves fund

Each Ward has a reserves fund that is used to make improvements to local reserves and parks. For the next financial year we are looking to ensure that funds are spent on the basis of money received, rather than on planned income. In the past, money was spent on the basis of projected income. However, sometimes that projection did not materialise, leaving a short fall between planned expenditure and projected income. As part of a new approach of living within our means we will only be spending money we have actually received. This means that we will not be doing a lot of reserves work in the next financial year. Further, as part of our collective wish to reduce debt, we will be looking to direct surplus reserve funds towards debt reduction.

Agenda and minutes

The Agenda and minutes for the full council meeting and community development meeting can be found at: (1) http://www.tasman.govt.nz/council/council-meetings/standing-committees-meetings/full-council-meetings/?path=/EDMS/Public/Meetings/FullCouncil/2014/2014-02-13 and (2) http://www.tasman.govt.nz/council/council-meetings/standing-committees-meetings/community-services-committee-meetings/?path=/EDMS/Public/Meetings/CommunityServicesCommittee/2014/2014-02-13.