Thursday, October 7, 2021

Heavy Rain Warning West of Motueka - Reported by Tasman District Council 7th October 2021

MetService advises that in the area west of Motueka expect a further 60 to 90mm of rain to accumulate on top of what has already fallen, especially about the ranges. 

The heavy rain may cause streams and rivers to rise rapidly causing slips and surface flooding. High than usual tides are also expected around 11.00pm Wednesday night and midday Thursday. Caution is urged in coastal areas.

For further information see the Met Service.

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Big vaccination drive leading to a National Day of Action on October 16

With over half the eligible population now fully vaccinated and more than 80% with at least one dose, we’ve all got to do our bit reach the remaining 20%, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says “We’ve got a plan and to make it work we’re asking everyone to contribute to a big, nationwide push for vaccination. This will culminate in a National Day of Action for vaccination on Saturday 16 October,” Chris Hipkins said.

“On that day, we will have vaccine clinics open throughout Aotearoa all day and into the evening. A bit like Election Day, we will be asking all our political and civic leaders to contribute to a big collective effort to turn people out.”

As of today half of the eligible population in New Zealand has been fully vaccinated. We’ve seen 85% of Aucklanders and over 80% of New Zealanders have at least one dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

“We all have a role to play in getting our vaccination rates up,” Chris Hipkins said.
“Our message to the 80% of the eligible population who have had their first dose is this: your job is not done. Please get your second dose, and help us reach those who have not yet come forward to be vaccinated.

“We need you to be talking to them about the reasons you’ve been vaccinated, we need you to make sure they are getting reliable, honest information about the vaccine. And we need you to help us to get the unvaccinated vaccinated.

“We are asking our business community, our media, and our community groups to play a role too. Those that want to offer incentives to the unvaccinated to get them in the door are encouraged to do so.

“We want parents and grandparents to encourage young New Zealanders to take up the opportunity to be vaccinated. We also want young people to check in with any older family members who aren’t yet vaccinated, show them where they can find reliable and accurate information online, and help the whole whānau to be protected.

“We must leave no stone unturned. No one should be left behind because they haven’t had the support they need to make an informed choice to be vaccinated.”

There are currently 350,000 appointments available next week on That doesn’t include general practice, where more than 20% of people are getting their vaccines. Work is being done with District Health Boards now to increase capacity even further.

“Our response as a collective nation to the challenges posed by COVID-19 has been world-leading. Now we need a world-leading uptake of vaccination,” Chris Hipkins said.

“The next week and a half is critical. We need to pull out all the stops to increase our vaccination rates. It has never been more urgent.”

Parliament: Teaming Up To Protect The Top Of The South - Environment

Hon Kiritapu Allan

Government support for a mountain-to-sea landscape scale project to clean up rivers in the Marlborough Sounds will open up dozens of new job opportunities, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says.

The Te Hoiere/Pelorus Catchment Restoration Project is one of three top-of-the-South initiatives receiving new funding through the Government’s Jobs for Nature programme, a multi-agency initiative with the purpose of creating nature-based employment in response to the economic impact of COVID-19.

“The community, including landowners, iwi, council, government agencies and businesses are already working together on the project, which covers more than 10,700 hectares of the Te Hoiere and Kaituna River and Cullen Creek catchments,” Kiri Allan said.

“The region is one of the country’s most scenic spots, with the Pelorus River used as backdrop during filming of scenes for the second of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit Trilogy. We want to keep it that way.

“A  $7.5 million Government investment will mean the project crew can push on with the next phase,  accelerating river restoration work, planting, weed control, animal pest control and  habitat enhancement for native species such as pekapeka/bats, mioweka/banded rail and shortjaw kōkopu. It will create job starts for up to 79 people over four years.

“A nursery will also be established on Ngāti Kuia land to propagate and grow eco-sourced natives to be planted as part of the project.

“The second project, led by the global non-profit organisation The Nature Conservancy, in conjunction with DOC, the Tasman, Nelson City, Buller, and Marlborough councils involves wide-scale organised weed management across 35,000 hectares of the northern South Island and will explore the possibility of expanding the protection of some sites through QEII covenanting.

“Funding of $6m through Jobs for Nature will employ 29 people with mobilised teams who can work across different locations and provides support to public and private landowners in their aim to leave an environmental legacy we can all share in.

“And lastly, but definitely not least the Picton Dawn Chorus/ Te Atiawa o Te Waka-a-Maui community group will receive $700,000, enabling them to expand their predator trapping efforts from 415 to 4,815 hectares.

“In just five years this group has encouraged more than 600 people to trap predators in their backyards and has a team of 165 volunteers working in surrounding bush areas,“The Jobs for Nature funding will mean eight people can be employed across three years to help with the regeneration of native birdlife, lizards, insects and forests.

“The top of the South Island has a rich and diverse landscape. These projects scale up the efforts of the wider community to retain that biodiversity and in doing so we all get to benefit,”  Kiri Allan said.

Background information

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is a global environmental non-profit organisation working to create a world where people and nature can thrive. Founded in the United States in 1951, TNC is involved in conservation in 72 countries and territories. TNC has partnered with Kotahitanga mō te Taiao to provide funding, science, global expertise and financial tools, and support engaging with stakeholders.

Other organisations involved in the Te Hoiere/Pelorus Catchment Restoration Project are Rangitāne o Wairau and other Te Tau Ihu iwi, the Ministry for the Environment, the Ministry for Primary Industries, Fonterra, the New Zealand Landcare Trust and Forest and Bird.

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Parliament: More Progressive Home Ownership Opportunities For First Home Buyers

Hon Dr Megan Woods


  • New shared ownership product to help first home buyers with deposit
  • Loan funding confirmed for 50 more homes via Progressive Home Ownership (PHO) Fund
  • Second round of funding through PHO Fund’s Provider pathway
  • Working with Iwi and Māori organisations through Te Au Taketake

The Government is creating more opportunities for individuals, families and whānau to purchase their own homes through the Progressive Home Ownership (PHO) Fund.

“A core belief of this Government is that everyone deserves a warm, dry and secure home, whether they own or rent,” says Housing Minister Megan Woods.

“Progressive Home Ownership enables people who might otherwise never have a chance, to own their own home. 53 families are now living in these homes since the launch of the programme last year, with a further 113 contracted and on the journey to home ownership. These changes mean even more people will have that opportunity,” Megan Woods said.

Today, Kāinga Ora launched a new shared-ownership product, First Home Partner, through which Kāinga Ora will take an equity share in a property to assist first home buyers who can service a mortgage but need help raising their deposit.

“This phase of the PHO scheme provides additional financial support to households who don’t require the kind of intensive support to manage their finances as offered through the Provider pathway,” Megan Woods said.

Habitat for Humanity and Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust will also build 50 more homes around the country for progressive home ownership after Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga – Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) approved their loans.

In addition, HUD has opened a second round of funding through the PHO Fund’s Provider pathway and is continuing to work with Iwi and Māori organisations through Te Au Taketake to establish their own progressive home ownership products.

The $400m PHO Fund will help between 1,500 and 4,000 individuals, families and whānau buy their own homes. Its priority is to support households unable to otherwise buy, and Māori, Pacific people, and families with children. 

“Decades of under-investment in housing and infrastructure has pushed home ownership out of reach for too many families. This Government is embracing innovative solutions to enable more families to own their own homes and secure their futures,” Megan Woods said.

More information on the Progressive Home Ownership Fund scheme is here:

Fishing In Tasman Bay

Fishing in the Tasman Bay, around Haulashore Island and the Boulder bank has not been very exciting on Sunday 26th September and Sunday the 3 October.

The wind was up out on the water both days and there weren’t many fishing boats out, but a few were fishing from Rocks Road Nelson.

The only fish we caught were mainly small sharks that went right back and then only one undersized Snapper that when back also.

The Boulder Bank is an iconic natural stone wall that stretches 13km from Mackay Bluff to the Cut, the entrance to Nelson Harbour. It is a popular fishing area because it attracts marauding kingfish, cruising snapper, kahawai and the odd trivally. However nothing is guaranteed.   

According to the Maori Fishing Calendar for October 2021 the 6th, 13th to the 27th are the excellent days for fishing.

The Bill Hohepa fishing calendar has taken information from a variety of historical sources, including Mr Best’s book, together with actual fishing research taken over the past 30 years on when and how long fish bite in relation to the moon phases. There are many variables that contribute to fish feeding habits including the effect of the moon, barometric pressure, water temperature etc, so the calendar is only a guide.

Government To Consider Next Steps In Three Waters Reforms

Today marks the final day of the two-month long engagement between the Government and local councils on the proposed reforms to New Zealand’s drinking, storm and waste water services.

Local Government Minister, Nanaia Mahuta, acknowledged the feedback councils have provided over the engagement period.

“This time was agreed to enable Councils to assess the impact of the proposed reforms on their communities, and the considerable amount of information put forward” said Nanaia Mahuta.

“I acknowledge the wide range of views that have come forward, and want to thank councils who provided constructive feedback for the Government to consider.

“More than 150 meetings and engagements were held with councils, iwi, industry bodies and other stakeholders in August and September to discuss the proposed reforms..

“This follows four years of work on the reforms, including the last 15 months working with local government, industry and iwi through the joint Central-Local Government Steering Committee.

“The challenges facing our water system and services have been around for more than two decades and we need to address them now. We are taking feedback on board, while reaffirming that the status quo will not continue. With the passing of the Water Services Act earlier this week, monitoring and enforcement of compliance will increase – communities will not have to put up with second rate water services," said Nanaia Mahuta.

Work is underway as part of the July Heads of Agreement between the Government and LGNZ to consider refinements to the proposals within the Government’s bottom lines of good governance, partnership with mana whenua, public ownership and operational and financial autonomy.

“I have been receiving reports throughout this process and expect a final report in the coming weeks, including any advice on changing aspects of the proposals. Cabinet will then consider the next steps for the three waters reforms, including a process for public consultation.

“This is not the end of discussions between local and central government on these reforms. We are committed to continuing this partnership over the course of the reforms to ensure that present and future generations of New Zealanders have water services that are safe, reliable and affordable," said Nanaia Mahuta.

Government Press release.

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Gardens - Takaka Midwinter Memories

I had a midwinter Christmas holiday and had an exquisite Turkey Christmas dinner in Takaka, Golden Bay, staying with friends who have an impressively lush garden. We were welcomed by Mr and Mrs Weka and two chicks fossicking around in the rose garden. 

The whole garden is flowering down one side with Rhododendrons and Camellias and the rest of the garden is lush bush. Many Tree ferns, of various sizes, sprawl up the  bank spreading their fronds sheltering other smaller ferns clinging to the bank below, further up there is a lush beech forest. 

The centre lawn is surrounded by box hedge. A canopy of naked cherry trees leads one through a pergola, covered with denuded rambling roses, into an intimate, secret, and neglected old brick paved barbecue area with lush native bush all around. To one side there is a large antique Sacklock Orion coal range, with a high brick chimney, built into the centre of a long rustic brick bench. An intricate brick oval shaped cavity is set into the bench to store coal. The coal range iron utensils hang cobweb covered in front of the bench and a cast iron kettle, with no spout, sits on top awaiting patiently to be fixed. The water heating tank attached to the coal range is begging to be filled and heated. On the other side of this area is a chunky, solid, wooden, table and benches all moss covered. Reminiscent of something you would find out the back of an old run down farm house. 

I was overwhelmed by one Rhododendron (see photo below), which I don’t know the name of, but the bush is absolutely smothered in pinkish white flowers. I could’t but imagine  how these beautiful flowers reflect the snow covered high rangers surrounding me in the Takaka Valley. The leaves mirroring the highly manicured, rich-green Takaka Valley farms. One of the most compliant, environmentally conscious, dairy farming areas in New Zealand. 

Through the middle of the valley flows the sparkling Takaka River out to Golden Bay.

A gardener’s dream holiday. Some may call it a little slice of heaven.

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...