Saturday, December 24, 2022



Mayor Tim King's Christmas Message:

It’s at this time of year that many of us take time to reconnect with family and friends and reflect on the past 12 months.

We have again seen how resilient Tasman people are, helping family, friends and neighbours during the major weather events that we faced.

The last three years have shown how much communities rely on the often-unsung members of our community that work in our service industries and business.

In addition, thanks to the hundreds of volunteers that commit their own time to a broad range of community groups, from emergency services to sport and recreation and cultural and environmental research groups who provide value beyond what we could ever pay for. While some of these people are officially recognised from time to time, now is an opportunity to appreciate the value all of them add to our community. 

I would like to thank the people of Tasman who have taken the time to engage with us throughout the year. I reckon an engaged and committed population is the key to a healthy democracy and is always welcome. 

We live in one of the most beautiful places in the world. One that we share with thousands of others over the holidays, and it is not a hard place to relax and appreciate what we have. Best of all, we don’t have to go home after the holidays. 

Wherever you are, whatever you are doing and whoever you are with, take the time to chill out and enjoy the summer season in Tasman and all the best for 2023.

Mayor Tim King

Pigeon Post News, Richmond 

Merry Christmas to all from us.


Sally Jean Curtis  Great message and that is a really beautiful photo 

Pam Stinton-Whetnall
Here going on 21 years, it’s changed a lot in that time. Still love it 

Linda Hong
Great people and a safe, wonderful environment. What more could we ask for? Thank you to everyone who helps to make it so.

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Residents asked for thoughts about safer streets



Richmond and Māpua communities to be surveyed about streets

Tasman District Council’s Streets for People programme is beginning to take shape and is now seeking input from the wider Richmond and Māpua communities in a baseline survey. 

In October, the Government announced funding of $2.4 million for the Richmond Streets for People projects while $840,000 was earmarked for Māpua to shape the beginnings of a network of safe walking and cycling spaces in our streets. 

Currently two community working groups, made up of representatives of various interest groups, are preparing ideas and concepts of how these projects may look on the ground. 

Tasman Community Partnerships Officer Yulia Panfylova says the survey has been launched to get a broader picture of how people currently get around and how safe they feel on the streets.  


In Richmond, phase one of Streets for People focuses on Salisbury Road before moving on to other neighbourhoods, while in Māpua it is Aranui Road that will be worked on - each project has its own survey. 

Yulia Panfylova says over the next few months, development team members will also be out on the streets gathering feedback about specific areas being developed over the next 18 months. 

She says the key point of this programme and the way it is funded by backers Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency, is flexibility. 


“This means when any one of the various phases of a project hits the ground and then doesn’t quite work for any reason, we have the scope and ability to modify, change and improve it.” 

People can contribute by filling out the surveys on the council website, and clicking on the Streets for People banner.

Tasman District Council

Pigeon Post News, Richmond

The High Court and the Ombudsman have found fault with NZ’s MIQ system

Should the government apologise?

Over the past three years, the New Zealand government made a range of controversial decisions to protect the country from the spreading threat of COVID-19, none more so than the Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) system.

Designed as a way to prevent widespread infection, MIQ became a point of frustration for New Zealanders needing to travel in and out of the country. Many argued the booking system was unfair, rigid and unnecessarily difficult.

According to a new investigation by Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier, those complaints were not far off the mark. While recognising the unprecedented nature of the global pandemic, Boshier takes the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) to task for its blunt approach to the quarantine booking system.

As outlined by Alexander Gillespie, Boshier’s investigation echoes aspects of an earlier High Court decision, and highlights how the combination of the virtual lobby and the narrow emergency criteria operated in a way that meant New Zealanders’ right to enter their country could be infringed.

Given the profound impact the system was having on people, Boshier says, MBIE should have considered a more individualised allocation system that took into account personal circumstances. But given the extraordinary context of the pandemic response itself, argues Gillespie, a government apology is inevitably a political decision, not a legal one.

Although it has yet to begin work, the first finding of the forthcoming royal commission into New Zealand’s COVID-19 response has probably just been written by Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier.

The royal commission will likely agree with his finding: while it was justifiable for the government to restrict and control the flow of people coming into the country during the global pandemic, this should have been done with more finesse and empathy than actually occurred.

The Ombudsman’s report comes on the heels of the High Courts April decision in a case brought by lobby group Grounded Kiwis. That decision found the border restrictions breached the right of New Zealand citizens to enter the country, as contained in the Bill of Rights – but that the border measures were still justified.

The self-initiated investigation by the Ombudsman focused on hundreds of complaints that claimed the managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) allocation system was unlawful, unfit for purpose, unfair and poorly managed.

As such, the investigation took a broader view than the High Court’s specific focus on rights. This bigger picture took in considerations of reason, justice, sympathy, honour and fairness. Taken together, the two findings give a clear picture of what happened and why.

Officials did not adequately take into account the “very real impact” the MIQ allocation system would have on people’s lives, the Ombudsman says.

Border controls were justified

The High Court decision accepted that having to possess a voucher to get into MIQ did not, in and of itself, amount to an unjustified infringement of the right to enter the country.

Similarly, the isolation requirements placed reasonable and proportionate limits on the right to enter, while those requirements were in operation. Other options would not have achieved the public health objectives the government had legitimately set.

The Ombudsman’s opinion also recognised the important aims of MIQ and the vital role it played in preventing outbreaks of COVID-19 in the community. Boshier also commended the work of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and the wider public service in managing New Zealand’s COVID response.

The system was working in a novel and complex policy context, under time pressure, and in a high-stakes environment with limited access to reliable information.

The Ombudsman is also clear that MBIE did not act unreasonably in its efforts to increase MIQ capacity, given the limitations imposed by public health settings and workforce constraints.

Grounded Kiwis spokesperson Martin Newell says the Government needs to apologise for the "injustice" of the MIQ system.

A blunt instrument

But while MIQ was a critical component of the government’s elimination strategy, which achieved positive health outcomes, the High Court decision reasoned that the combination of the “virtual lobby” system and the narrow emergency criteria was too blunt.

The system should ideally have been able to detect and prioritise differences in individual circumstances, the High Court found. As it was, the virtual lobby did not prioritise New Zealand citizens over non-citizens, nor did it prioritise based on need or timing. The offline emergency process was too tightly constrained to compensate for this deficiency.

At the time, there appeared to be have been no proper system to gather information from overseas New Zealanders about their circumstances. While the MIQ system achieved the government’s health objectives, the result was that some New Zealanders experienced unreasonable delays in exercising their right to enter the country, according to the High Court decision.

The Ombudsman reached a similar conclusion. He reasoned that MIQ, and the operation of the managed isolation allocation system in particular, caused immense stress and frustration for tens of thousands of people.

Granted, a more individualised allocation system that considered and prioritised personal circumstances would have been difficult and costly. But this should have been done, given the profound impact the system was having on people.

Should the government apologise?

The royal commission will probably learn from the decision of the High Court and the opinion of the Ombudsman. And it’s to be hoped future generations will not suffer from the same mistakes. But the more immediate question is whether the ministers involved should apologise.

While the Ombudsman has been clear that for some people in certain situations a personal apology from MBIE may be necessary, he lacks the legal jurisdiction to make the same recommendation for the ministers involved.

There’s something of an anomaly here, given key decisions about the allocation system were made by ministers. A firmer recommendation might come out of next year’s royal commission.

For now, however, the ethics of an apology have less to do with the law and everything to do with politics.

Alexander Gillespie

Professor of Law, University of Waikato

The Conversation

Pigeon Post News, Richmond, Tasman

Final days of SH6 emergency repairs


NZTA still on track to fully reopen SH6-Hira and Rai Valley

NZTA are still on track to fully reopen SH6 to all vehicles from 10pm on Sunday 18 December.

They are very conscious of the weather and monitoring the rain forecast, which may impact asphalt and line marking as they complete the resurfacing work.

If the rain interferes with the programme, they will still re-open the road on Sunday from 10pm, but in that event you may see some minor temporary traffic management in place until they complete the road surfacing and marking.  They are pulling out all the stops to minimise this occurring. 

NZTA will update everyone on Saturday 17 December to let you know what work is remaining. Any work that is remaining will be done under traffic management with the road remaining open.

In the new year, they expect to complete minor finishing works and two reseal sites. This will require shoulder closures and isolated short one-way sections controlled by traffic lights or manual stop/go. The total time needed to do this work is expected to be several days. NZTA are combining this work with general maintenance activities to minimise disruption.

NZTA advise that it’s been a huge week for the team, with final concrete pours to Sites One, Two and Three  to complete the walls. Now that the walls are complete, backfilling is well underway. Once backfilling is done, the sites will be ready for laying asphalt, reinstalling the guardrails and completing the surface drainage. The final step is road marking. 

Site Four continues to be the most challenging site. There is still work to do before the asphalt can go down. This week the team are completing the structural concrete at the tie in. After this is completed, the team will complete the backfilling and welding on the walers on the front face of the retaining wall. The aim is to have asphalt placed on Saturday, immediately followed by guardrail and roadmarking in time for opening. 

Two smaller sites, Sites Five and Six have had all rockwork complete and the team are finishing the small walls, guard rail and backfill this week.

The overslip site near the well-known Christmas tree is going well with excavation completed and minor cleaning work to do. The team are installing water-filled barriers to protect the road from any stones or vegetation from the fresh cut slope.

The Whangamoa river realignment is on track, culverts have been installed and the team have installed the membrane seal. The next step is structural paving, which will require 1,400 tonnes of asphalt.

Site one

Site two

Site three

Site four

 The Whangamoa River realignment.

Road to open from 10pm on Sunday 18 December

On Sunday 18 December the road will reopen to all vehicles from 10pm. NZTA will have two lanes re-established.

NZTA currently have no planned longer periods of full road closure for 2023.

In Autumn 2023, there will be short overnight road closures to enable crews to clear drainage as they have done in previous years as part of the annual maintenance schedule.

To minimise disruption to people on the road, NZTA have been holding off doing road repairs to other parts of the State Highway network south of Nelson on SH6 and on SH63 whist the section between Hira and Rai Valley has been closed. With SH6 between Hira and Rai re-opening, they will now undertake urgent repairs on the worst spots on SH6 and SH63 prior to the Christmas break. We will be making sure to minimise delays for everyone. NZTA advise to please plan your journeys and you will notice some short stop/go areas on these roads.

Plan your trip with travel time information, traffic cameras, and updates on delays, roadworks and road closures, visit


Pigeon Post News, Richmond, Tasman

New Waimea Water Director Appointed


Waimea Community Dam Overview Photo Waimea Water

Tasman District Council  -  13 December, 2022

Tasman District Council has appointed Graeme Christie to the board of Waimea Water Ltd as one of its representative directors. 

The appointment follows the resignation of Ken Smales earlier in the year to take up a key management role with the company. 

Tasman District Council has four Directors appointed to the Board of Waimea Water Limited. These Directors are charged with managing the Council’s interests in the building and ongoing operation of the Waimea Community Dam. 

Tasman Mayor Tim King said Graeme brings over 30 years of extremely valuable legal, contractual and construction skills that will be of benefit to Waimea Water Limited as the dam progresses through its final stages of construction to fulfil its role augmenting the Waimea River as the area’s main source of water.   

As an internationally recognised practitioner Graeme has been regularly called on to advise and represent issues on some of New Zealand’s most significant construction projects. 

The appointment will be formally recognised at the Board meeting of Waimea Water Ltd. on 16 December.

Waimea Water is a Council-Controlled Organisation established in November 2018 to manage the construction, operation and maintenance of the Waimea Community Dam. 

The dam is a significant infrastructure project for the region and is set to secure the water supply for Nelson Tasman for the next 100+ years.

Waimea Water represents the shared interests of Tasman District Council (majority shareholder) and Waimea Irrigators Ltd to oversee and manage the Waimea Community Dam’s development, construction and operation.


Waimea Water is a Council-Controlled Organisation established in November 2018 to manage the construction, operation and maintenance of the Waimea Community Dam. 

The dam is a significant infrastructure project for the region and is set to secure the water supply for Nelson Tasman for the next 100+ years.

Waimea Water represents the shared interests of Tasman District Council (majority shareholder) and Waimea Irrigators Ltd to oversee and manage the Waimea Community Dam’s development, construction and operation.

The Waimea Community Dam will use nature's delivery system - rivers - to increase water to the aquifers that supply our community.

When the Waimea Community Dam is operational along the Lee River, it will work like this: when it rains in wet months, the Lee River will run higher and the Dam system will capture those higher flows and store the water in a reservoir that is being built in the Lee Valley. 

During drier months when the Lee and downstream Waimea and Wairoa systems are running below desired flow levels, the Dam will release some of the stored water (slowly!) down the river, increasing their flows and naturally adding water to the aquifers.

Everyone living in Richmond, Brightwater, Mapua, and other urban areas along the Waimea Plains relies on these aquifers for their water supply, including for drinking. 

Where other dams function with lots of piping to extend the water supply to urban areas, the system will be using nature as the piping system. Topping up the river flows naturally will refresh and resupply groundwater aquifer levels.

Importantly, a higher minimum flow throughout the Lee, Waimea, and Wairoa River system means improved river health, which benefits fish and other aquatic life, recreational pursuits, and environmental amenity values.

Regional water security

Access to water affects every person in Nelson Tasman. The Dam will provide access to water for 100 years for residential, industrial and commercial needs across the region. 

Water users in Richmond, Brightwater, Mapua and Wakefield (Wakefield currently has a sufficient supply of water for the next 30 years with the Wai-iti Dam at Kainui) will have water security for ongoing residential and commercial needs. 

The Dam can also be a third water source for Nelson.

The question is whether the increased flow in summer will be able to dilute the nitrate levels in the drinking water.

Tasman District Council press release concerning Mr Graeme Christie

Pigeon Post News

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Summer Tango in Nelson New Zealand 3-5 March 2023 - Make you plans!


Tango Libre

"a weekend of social dancing , in celebration of the milonga"

12 WEEKS TO GO ….!

Time to plan your trip to New Zealand for Summer Tango In Nelson . 

Only twelve weeks to go till Summer Tango in Nelson and you know how fast that time will pass with Christmas and long-awaited summer holidays in between!    

The last 2 Summer Tangos were cancelled due to Covid - so we are super-excited to receive you here in 2023 and show off our beautiful little city located at the "Top of the South" where our friendly tango community

and a warm embrace await you.

5 milongas with great DJs, 2 x outdoor milongas and a massive indoor space to really strut your stuff! See you here! Vineyars, beaches, parks, artists, great cafes and markets - we've got it all!

NB: there are other events in Nelson that weekend so please get your accommodation sorted asap to avoid disappointment.


For Locals:::  Flights from most NZ cities are still under $100 so now is a good time to book in!





  • SINGLE FOLLOWERS ON WAITLIST till the numbers even up
  • BOOK accommodation and airfares to get the best deals
  • GATHER your tango paraphernalia for our awesome tango store
  • GET excited!


  • 5 Milongas with DJs from Sydney, Christchurch, Auckland and Nelson
  • A very special inside venue at Nelson  College for Boys
  • Our favourite outdoor venue in the Queens Gardens
  • A strong Aussie crew who have already registering
  • Friendly participants all ready to dance up a storm!

Don't forget to like our Facebook page to see some great pics of Nelson and what awaits you!

The website will be updated as more info comes to hand.

Spread the word now tangueros so you can get your favourite dancers coming to Nelson and in the meantime ... have a safe and happy Christmas everyone.  I'll be in touch in the New Year.  Let's make 2023 a cause for dancing celebration!

Yours in Tango

Tango Libre
+64 (0) 27 238 0568

starts 3 March 2023

Sign up today, this event will sell out!


Copyright ©

Places to see:

Top of the South Island of New Zealand from space

Pigeon Post News, Richmond, Nelson, New Zealand.

Watch those lithium-ion batteries this Christmas


Fire and Emergency has issued a warning for Christmas

Christmas shopping is well underway and Fire and Emergency New Zealand is reminding people to be cautious around lithium-ion batteries.

"These batteries are used in a lot of the presents people buy each other for Christmas, including toys, tools, devices and phones," says Fire and Emergency’s Community Education Manager, Adrian Nacey.

"Lithium-ion batteries provide a large amount of power in a small package and are safe if used correctly. But, like any product, can sometimes fail and overheat, catch fire or explode," he says.

"It’s important to take care when using these batteries as they are a fire risk when not stored, charged, used or disposed of correctly.

Make sure you charge them on a hard, flat surface not under a pillow, on a bed or couch - they can overheat and cause a fire.”

If you notice anything unusual with your battery, stop using it straight away.

"This could be anything like a strange smell or a change in colour, too much heat, a change in shape, swelling, leaking, or odd noises," says Adrian Nacey.

People also need to be careful when disposing of lithium-ion batteries. Do not put them in the rubbish - contact your local council to find out where they can be recycled.

As always, make sure to have working smoke alarms installed and have a three-step escape plan that you have practiced with a first escape route, second escape route and safe meeting place.

Pigeon Post News Richmond

Saturday, December 10, 2022

Road closure for State Highway 6 for emergency repairs just about over


SH6 on track to open to all vehicles from 10pm on Sun 18 Dec

NZTA announced today that they are into  the last two weeks on the emergency repairs to State Highway 6 from Picton to Nelson after the August flooding at Rai Valley. 

NZTA’s email states “we are on track for opening State Highway 6 on Sunday 18 December. The road will reopen to all vehicles from 10pm.”

“We are also keeping a careful eye on the weather, and the expected heavier rainfalls over the weekend. We are doing our best to protect the sites and are working around options if the weather does work against us.” 

“This week we worked across Sites One to Four, the Whangamoa River scour site, and on the overslip site, near the well-known Christmas tree on the Whangamoa saddle. We also started a fifth minor site, which is well underway.”

“The four main sites have now gone through the ground improvement process, with construction on one wall complete, and the other three on track for completion for Sunday 18 December. We are now turning our focus on backfilling and laying the road surface.”

“As well as completing the emergency repairs, crews will be working extended hours to get the road resurfacing finished. This will start on Sunday night of week six with over 2,500 tonnes of asphalt required to be laid at the repair sites. In the final week, the crew will start on chip seal renewal, which is maintenance work that has been brought forward to utilise the current road closure. This maintenance work was scheduled for next year and would have required further road closures to complete.”

Site One

The crew are placing reinforcing steel so that the last concrete pour and backfilling can be finished mid-week six. Installation of a 1,200mm culvert on the downhill site of the wall was also completed and the 2,000mm manhole will be installed early in week six.

Site One

Site Two

The crew have been busily working on getting each layer of the wall closer to the top. The team are aiming to have all the layers completed late in week six, with the 40m long reinforced concrete beam to be placed after.

Site two

Site Three

The last concrete pour for Site Three was completed on the weekend. The final tie-ins, culvert works, and backfilling will be completed next week in preparation for asphalting in the final week.

Site three

Site Four 

For Site Four, the crews worked hard to get the reinforcing steel and timber walers installed. The final concrete pour on the main beams is completed too. The welders will arrive on site in week six and have the mammoth task of welding all the walers onto the columns in the challenging location. This site is likely to be the last site to have the road surfacing completed.

Site four

Site Five 

A new site was started by the crew and is now well underway. This Site is located at close to Duckpond Road and was started later in the programme as it is a smaller site, which needed less time to complete. Rock armour has been placed to help protect the site against scour and water erosion. Gabions (big cage structures with rock boulders inside them) will be installed next week.

Whangamoa River scour site

The realignment work at the Whangamoa River site continued with increased resource and working hours. The team completed the subgrade improvements and culvert installation works. 

Overslip site

The crew excavated an estimated 12,000m3 of materials at the overslip site this week. The weather has been great through the week, so the crew were able to shift a large portion of the dry material into the adjacent fill site. The crew is now focused on pulling down the last of the material for planned completion late next week. Because the excavation required a very large excavator and dump trucks, seal repairs will be required and are planned for later in the final week.

Excavation work at the overslip site, which is near the well-known Christmas tree on the Whangamoa saddle.

Road on track to open from 10pm

We are on track to open State Highway 6 on Sunday 18 December. The road will reopen to all vehicles from 10pm.

On Sunday 18 December, we are aiming to re-establish two lanes of road for the holiday season. We may need to return to complete minor repairs in 2023, and these may cause short delays under traffic management.

We currently have no planned longer periods of full road closure for 2023.

Pigeon Post News,   Richmond

Volunteer Online News.

Looming changes forecast for Tasman District Council's 10 Year Plan

  Changes looming for Tasman District Council's 10 Year Plan   5 May, 2024 Tasman District Council’s Chief Financial Officer Mike Drum...