Tuesday, October 31, 2023

What’s On - Richmond


It’s on, it’s special, I had to let you know. The lovely Tango community awaits you with lovely dancing and Tango festivals await you.

In Richmond this evening - your last chance to learn the beautiful dance of Argentino Tango - start tonight or start up the classes next week and catch up.

Grab a dance partner and come and join us for a 7 week course in Richmond then tango your way into 2024 with style!

Contact Anne-Maree directly on annemaree@tangolibre.com to register your interest.

No experience needed just contact: annemaree@tangolibre.com

Held at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Hall, 35 William Street, Richmond.

Time 6.30pm to 8pm this evening.

Pigeon Post News, Richmond.

Thursday, October 26, 2023

DOC and Air New Zealand partnership for conservation

Photo credit DOC.

Air New Zealand and DOC partnership renewed and expanded

Date:  26 October 2023

DOC and Air New Zealand have renewed their partnership to work together for conservation, today announcing a further five-year commitment and a doubling of direct investment annually.

Building on more than a decade of collaboration, the renewal will see Air New Zealand directly invest more than $5 million in DOC biodiversity programmes over the next five years.

The funding will continue the airline’s support for sustained pest control and species monitoring across five of New Zealand’s Great Walks, and the increased contribution will welcome DOC’s nationwide Conservation Dogs Programme to the partnership.

DOC Director-General Penny Nelson says that the enduring partnership with New Zealand’s national carrier demonstrates the value of nature in Aotearoa.

“The environment is fundamental to tourism. When people experience nature that is wild, healthy and unique, it has a positive impact on them. Our environment is a major drawcard for international visitors and New Zealanders alike.

“Sadly however, we have more than 4000 species threatened or at risk of extinction. This partnership with Air New Zealand means we can do more for native species than we could do alone.

“On the Milford track for example, our partnership has helped control predators to the point where we could bolster the population of pāteke/brown teal. Air New Zealand flew in 60 pāteke, plus funded radio transmitters to monitor their success. 

“When a tramper hikes along the track, they now have the chance to spot pāteke as well as many other birds, reptiles and insects thriving thanks to our partnership.

“This is the sort of impact we can make with long-term partnerships with business, so it’s great to be furthering our work alongside Air New Zealand.”

In addition to the direct investment, Air New Zealand will also provide more than $5 million of in-kind support. This support includes continuing to fly conservation dogs and threatened species, as well as through initiatives to raise awareness of the biodiversity crisis and ways that both New Zealanders and international visitors can support conservation efforts in Aotearoa.

Air New Zealand Chief Sustainability Officer Kiri Hannifin says the airline is delighted to expand its long-running partnership with DOC to include the world-leading Conservation Dogs Programme.

“New Zealand’s unique and precious biodiversity is under constant threat. Continuing to implement a range of science-based initiatives to respond to this threat is vital.

“Our increased investment will support the DOC Conservation Dogs Programme to mentor, certify and support dog-handler teams to detect New Zealand’s protected species or unwanted pests.

“These highly trained dogs and their handlers are at the forefront of the fight against biodiversity loss in Aotearoa.”

Since the partnership began in 2012, it has achieved more than 42,000ha of sustained pest control alongside some of the most iconic Great Walks, flown more than 4,300 threatened species and conservation dogs, and enabled over 30 million engagements with people through joint storytelling.


Pigeon Post News, Richmond

Māpua Streets for People pilot opens


Māpua 24 October 2023 - 

Streets for People pilot opens

After months of design work and weeks of construction Māpua’s Streets for People pilot layout of shared paths, cycle lanes and raised pedestrian crossings is now being used by riders and walkers.   

The project was officially launched with help from the students of Māpua School on Friday. (20 October 2023).  

Tasman District Council Transportation Manager Jamie McPherson is grateful to the many residents and business owners in Māpua who have given their time and energy to helping the design team with the incredibly challenging task of fitting the pilot improvements into the available street space.  

He says there was plenty of ambition for improvements – and the pilot layout is only a small step towards meeting it. 

“I hope people can look past some of the elements that clearly will not meet the future ambition, like the planter boxes that are temporarily in place of possible future gardens/trees, or the cycle lane that we would like to be wider if only there was enough space.” 

One of the innovations included in this Streets for People project was that our contractor, Downer, used more than 52 tonnes of recycled concrete aggregate as fill under the new footpath.  

The recycled concrete aggregate comes from stockpiled concrete from footpath replacements, kerb and channel and other jobs that have waste concrete which is then crushed and reused instead of being sent to landfill. 

But Jamie McPherson says the Māpua project is not over yet. 

“We will soon be seeking feedback on how users now interact with the street, and whether they think the layout meets the goal of making it safer and more convenient for people who are not in motor vehicles to get around.” 

We have already made some early adjustments outside Foursquare and the bakery where planter boxes were removed to ease access for large delivery trucks and the disability park outside the Medical Centre is back.  

Jamie McPherson adds that he is proud of the team of people who have worked hard to deliver this first stage of the project. 

“It hasn’t been easy, especially when some people in the community don’t agree with the decisions being made or even the goal of the project, but the team care deeply about making Aranui Road and Māpua an even better place and have been buoyed by the many messages of support.” 

Jamie McPherson, Transportation Manager.

Tasman District Council. 

Pigeon Post News, Richmond.


Tākaka Hill night-time closures and day-time stop/go traffic management - State Highway 60 - for maintenance and resurfacing

Night closures: 

from 29 October to 24 November - Sundays to Thursdays from 8pm to 5:30am. Short opening around 1am for queued traffic. 

Day-time works: 

from 14 to 17 November from 6am to 6pm under stop/go traffic management. Plan ahead for 30 minute delays.

State Highway 60 Tākaka Hill summer maintenance

Night Closures & daytime works

Maintaining the resilience of a critical highway link will see night-time closures and day-time stop/go traffic management of State Highway 60 over the Tākaka Hill later this month.

Rob Service, System Manager, Top of the South, says doing the maintenance work now ensures the Tākaka Hill will be in tip-top condition for the busy Christmas holiday period.

Between Sunday, 29 October, and the morning of Friday, 24 November, the road will be closed every Sunday to Thursday between 8pm and 5:30am with a short opening around 1 am for queued traffic.

The highway will also be subject to daytime speed restrictions and stop/go traffic control between Tuesday, 14 and Friday, 17 November (weather dependent) from 6am to 6pm. During this time, drivers can expect 30-minute travel delays.

Mr Service says there is a substantial amount of work to be done, so night closures are essential if it is to be completed as quickly as possible.

“Contractors will reseal parts of the road on both sides of the hill and carry out other maintenance work, such as clearing water channels, fixing slips and guard rails, and attending to general maintenance.”

“This work is essential. It’s kind of like the maintenance you do on your house. Regular upkeep stops small jobs from becoming bigger and more expensive ones later on,” Mr Service says.

Because of the road’s narrowness and to keep contractors safe, the road will be closed at night while the work is done. It will allow contractors to complete their work faster.

Mr Service appreciates the closures and day-time speed restrictions will be inconvenient for residents and regular road users. But he says they are essential.

“Some of this work, such as chip sealing, must be done during the day when conditions are warm and dry. But we realise travel over the Tākaka Hill is vital for residents and local businesses, which is why we are ensuring there will be day-time access on the route."

“It’s also important people obey speed limits in road work areas and follow the instructions of our contractors. It is all about keeping everyone, both road crews and drivers, safe,” Mr Service says.

Drivers can expect delays when crossing the Tākaka Hill and should factor this into their travel plans.

Night closures

  • The closure will be in place between Riwaka Valley Road, Riwaka and Aaron Creek Road, Upper Tākaka and will run from 29 October to 24 November.
  • The closures will be between 8pm and 5:30am.
  • The road will open once each night around 1 am for traffic at two road closure points.
  • Vehicles travelling over the hill need to be at the Aaron Creek Road closure point by 12:30am or at the Riwaka Valley Road closure point by 1am.

Daytime Stop/Go traffic controls

  • Day time stop/go traffic management will be in place between Tuesday, 14 and Friday, 17 November.
  • It will run from 6am to 6pm.
  • Drivers should plan ahead and expect 30-minute delays.

Aaron Creek Road – road closure point for eastbound traffic. Road users wanting to travel over Tākaka Hill on the 1am opening, please be at this location by 12.30am. 

Riwaka Valley Road – road closure point for westbound traffic. Road users wanting to travel over Tākaka Hill on the 1am opening, please be at this location by 1am.

These roadworks are weather dependent and may be rescheduled.

Waka Kitahi

Pigeon Post News, Richmond. 


Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Weather News Release -


Snow and a Tropical Cyclone


Covering period of Tuesday 24 - Friday 27 October

MetService is forecasting a week of contrasting weather, with warm temperatures mid-week giving way to a chilly blast that is expected to bring unseasonable cold and snow to low levels on Friday for the South Island. This all plays out while Severe Tropical Cyclone (TC) Lola in the western Pacific tracks towards Vanuatu, with MetService meteorologists keeping a keen eye on what it might mean for Aotearoa New Zealand at the end of the weekend into next week. 

The working week kicks off with a strong, moist northwesterly flow that brings wet weather for the western South Island, Tararua Range and Taranaki Maunga, as well as strong winds for central Aotearoa New Zealand. 

MetService meteorologist Mmathapelo Makgabutlane comments: “Heavy Rain and Strong Wind Watches have been issued to cover many areas in the South Island, lower North Island and Mount Taranaki into Wednesday morning. This weather system is a bit of a taster of what’s to come later this week.”

“Temperatures rise to the mid to upper-20s on Wednesday and Thursday for the eastern stretch of the country. Christchurch, Kaikōura, Napier and Hastings could see some of their warmest temperatures this spring on Thursday."

The truly changeable nature of spring is on full display from Thursday to Friday, as the next approaching weather system comes through with a contrasting cold blast. 

“It will feel like someone has turned the dial back to winter mode. Dunedin, for example, goes from a warm 21°C maximum on Thursday to just an 8°C high on Friday – a very noticeable change!” Makgabutlane says.

The bitterly cold southwesterly flow also brings showers of snow to much of the South Island on Friday, even falling near sea level in Southland and coastal Otago, including Clutha. 

“This may have an impact on livestock and farmers are encouraged to take advantage of the next few days to prepare accordingly. Travel may also be impacted on Friday as widespread snow showers are expected across the South Island,” Makgabutlane details. 

In addition to the icy blast, the weather system brings a dousing of heavy rain to the western South Island and strong winds for much of the South Island and lower North Island on Thursday and Friday.

Meanwhile, Vanuatu and the western Pacific are bracing for Severe Tropical Cyclone Lola, which as of Tuesday morning was a Category 5, making it the most intense tropical cyclone to form ahead of the official start of the season (1 November to 30 April) in recorded history. Thoughts are with our neighbours in the Pacific.

Signals at the moment are that the system will weaken as it heads south, but is likely to interact with another system forming in the Tasman Sea.

“There is still plenty of time to clarify where and what impacts the remains of Lola will have on Aotearoa New Zealand. Early indications are that into early next week the northern parts of the country are most likely to see wetter weather and strong winds, while high pressure builds across the southern parts of Aotearoa New Zealand,” Makgabutlane comments. 

“The MetService forecasting team will continue to monitor the situation in the Tropics. The best advice is to stay up to date with the latest MetService forecasts and any Watches and Warnings issued.”

Severe TC Lola will be bringing strong winds, heavy rain and damaging swell to Vanuatu and New Caledonia, and people in these areas are advised to keep up with any Warnings issued by the local meteorological centres and emergency services.  While Severe TC Lola remains in the Tropics, Fiji Meteorological Service will be producing the warnings and track maps, which are available on their website.

Meteorological Operations MetService.

Pigeon Post News, Richmond.

Monday, October 23, 2023

What do you want freshwater in the Tasman region to look like?  

Riwaka. Photo credit Tasman District Council.

 Tasman District Council - opening of engagement for Freshwater Management Unit Draft Environmental Outcomes

Tasman District Council is working on the development of a Land and Freshwater plan, and we want your help to get it right. 


We have already defined the Freshwater Management Units, the smaller areas the region will be broken down into under the new plan and set draft Visions and Values for each FMU.


Now we need to define the Environmental Outcomes for each of those values. 


The draft Environmental Outcomes will set the direction for the new plan change and will be used to set the targets and limits for land and freshwater use in the region, and the rules that we need to achieve them.


As the Outcomes define the end goal, it’s important they get them right, and that they reflect what the people of Tasman want the region’s land and freshwater to look like in the future. 

Pines Ford swimming hole. Photo credit TDC.

At each stage of the process, we have been engaging with the public to make sure that people agree with what we are doing. 


We also recognise that any changes to land and freshwater use will mean changes for people working in the rural and environmental sectors, so we really want to hear from those people. 


The engagement on the Environmental Outcomes stage 3 opens on 20 October and closes 30 November 2023. You can find out more, and have your say at: https://shape.tasman.govt.nz/mountains-to-the-sea 


Please note - we are not currently planning any public engagement events, as our online approach has yielded more feedback to date. 


However, we invite you to attend one of our webinars over the engagement period, which anyone can attend and ask questions: 

  • Tuesday 7th November – Midday 
  • Wednesday 8th November – 6:30pm  
  • Wednesday 22nd November– 6.30pm 
  • See Shape Tasman for more details.  


We are also happy to attend community or industry group meetings to speak to them about the Environmental Outcomes and the new plan. Just contact us on: freshwaterplan@tasman.govt.nz 


Tasman District Council Communications.

Pigeon Post News, Richmond.

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...