Monday, March 18, 2024

MetService mentions Tasman and Nelson in their Weather News Release


Autumn Settling in ahead of the Equinox


Covering period of Monday 18 - Friday 22 March

The weather has begun to feel more autumnal, with a noticeable chill felt in the early hours of the day. As we approach the autumn equinox this week, MetService is forecasting southerly winds and cooler mornings.

The week starts with a southerly flow over Aotearoa New Zealand, bringing showery weather, cloudy periods, and brisk southerly winds to the southern and eastern areas of both the North and South Islands on Monday and Tuesday. While the remainder of the country will see some sunnier weather, they won’t escape the chill.

MetService Meteorologist Clare O'Connor details: “A cloudier sky overnight is much like having a duvet on your bed – clouds overnight provide an insulating layer which keep the heat from the day from radiating away. Cloudless nights are often when the coldest temperatures are recorded, and frosts can occur.”

Over the weekend much of the upper North Island experienced their coldest morning temperatures of the year so far, and as we approach and pass through the equinox this week this trend will continue. 

MetService Meteorologist Clare O’Connor, says “unfortunately there isn’t a lot of precipitation on the way for Tasman and Nelson, though it  looks like some showers may drift over off the Richmond Ranges tonight and there is a narrow feature tracking northwards up the West Coast late Thursday and early Friday. Neither of these rainfall events have significant rain associated with them.” 

The autumn equinox occurs on Wednesday the 20th of March this year, marking the shift to longer periods of darkness as sunrises get later and sunsets earlier. Wednesday is also expected to be the most settled day for weather, with widespread blue skies and sunshine.

Later in the week, a low-pressure system from the Tasman Sea brings rain to western areas of the South Island on Thursday, reaching the North Island on Friday before quickly moving on.

MetSercice Comms.

Pigeon Post News, Richmond.

Your Tech Hubby: Making Technology Simple for Tasman and Nelson Residents



Navigating the Ever-Changing Tech Landscape

About Technology

In this fast-paced world of technology, keeping up can be a daunting task. As someone who has often felt left behind by the rapid evolution of computer technology, I decided to pen this article to introduce you to “Tech Hubby”. 

Welcome to “Pigeon Post News,” where we deal with the dynamic nature of online news production. Over the past years the tech landscape has transformed significantly, leaving me feeling sometimes bewildered. Thankfully, my discovery of ‘Tech Hubby’ has been a game-changer. He has the great ability to explain what is happening in a very clear non-tech language that everyone understands. 

Stevan Polder, affectionately known as ‘Tech Hubby,’ has been our guiding light, with a warm smile and decades of experience, he’s the go-to guy for all our tech-related things. 

Here is Stevan’s story.

Whether you need help setting up video calls to stay connected with loved ones, troubleshooting software issues, or simply learning basic computer skills, Tech Hubby has got you covered. "I can come to your home to offer advice on which device would best suit your needs," Stevan explains, "my goal is to make technology accessible and enjoyable for everyone."

That's where Stevan Polder, affectionately known as Tech Hubby, steps in to lend a helping hand in the Nelson, and Tasman areas.

With a warm smile and a wealth of experience, Stevan describes himself as your go-to guy for all things tech-related. "I'm here to help you with all your tech needs," he says in his friendly way. "I've been assisting seniors and the non-tech-savvy with their installations and setups for decades. Technology can be overwhelming, but I'm here to provide patient and reliable assistance."

No need to take your devices to a shop

One of the unique aspects of Tech Hubby's service is his emphasis on creating a comfortable and friendly environment for his clients. "Feel free to invite a friend along if that puts you at ease," he suggests. Prepare a list of questions or topics you'd like to discuss before I arrive. Remember, “there are no dumb questions, only dumb answers!"

As a mobile service, Tech Hubby prioritises convenience and customer satisfaction. "I do not sell anything," Stevan clarifies. "My focus is on providing top-notch assistance tailored to your specific needs." For those with a Gold Card, discounted prices are available, starting from $100 (travel included) for 1 hour at your home, making his services even more accessible to the community.

To get in touch with Tech Hubby and schedule an appointment, you can reach him at:

Phone: 027 23 275 23 or send a text. 

His email is:    

 Visit his website at

Whether you're a tech novice looking to learn the ropes, a seasoned user in need of some extra support, you’re setting a new tech device or a new Smart TV, Tech Hubby is here to make your tech experience smooth and stress-free.

Stevan Polder, aka Tech Hubby.

Pigeon Post News, Richmond.

Soil moisture patterns for Tasman and Nelson and New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI) - NIWA

Soil moisture anomaly (mm) at 9am on 14/03/2024

Hotspot Watch 15 March 2024

A weekly update describing soil moisture patterns across the country to show where dry to extremely dry conditions are occurring or imminent. Regions experiencing significant soil moisture deficits are deemed “hotspots”. Persistent hotspot regions have the potential to develop into drought.

Recent rainfall and current soil moisture conditions:

South Island:

  • Much like the North Island, a majority of the South Island saw only meagre rainfall in the past week, with 5 mm or less observed in most of the upper and eastern South Island.
  • Pockets of the upper West Coast, central Canterbury, and Southland received up to 20 mm.
  • Weekly rainfall totals in the lower West Coast and Fiordland were much higher, however, with generally 50-100 mm observed.  
  • This resulted in small to moderate soil moisture decreases across most of the upper and eastern South Island, with little change observed elsewhere.    
  • The driest soils across the South Island, when compared to normal for this time of the year, are found across parts of Tasman, Nelson, Marlborough Sounds, and Canterbury, while the wettest soils for this time of the year are found in western Southland.  
  • Hotspots are currently located across much of the upper and eastern South Island, including eastern Tasman, Nelson, parts of Marlborough, nearly all of Canterbury, and eastern Otago.
  • As of 13 March, the New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI) map below shows that abnormally dry conditions are currently found in eastern Tasman, Nelson, Marlborough, northern and southern Canterbury, and eastern Otago. Very dry to extremely dry conditions are located in Nelson, Marlborough, parts of northern and far southern Canterbury, and northern Otago.

Soil moisture anomaly (mm) at 9am on 07/03/2024

Soil moisture anomaly (mm) at 9am on 14/03/2024

Pictured above: Soil Moisture Anomaly Maps, relative to this time of year. The maps show soil moisture anomalies over the past two weeks.

New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI) 

As of 13 March, the New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI) map below shows that abnormally dry conditions are currently found in Northland, Auckland, part of the Coromandel Peninsula, eastern Bay of Plenty, much of the lower North Island, eastern Tasman, Nelson, Marlborough, northern and southern Canterbury, and eastern Otago. 

Very dry to extremely dry conditions are located in much of Northland, Wellington, Nelson, Marlborough, parts of northern and far southern Canterbury, and northern Otago. Please note: some hotspots in the text above may not correspond with the NZDI map. 

This difference exists because the NZDI uses additional dryness indices, including one which integrates the rainfall deficit over the past 60 days. Changes are therefore slower to appear in the NZDI compared to soil moisture anomaly maps that are instantaneously updated.


New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI) - 13 March 2024 [NIWA]

The week ahead:

South Island:

  • Areas of light to moderate rain are moving north across the island today (15 March), but high pressure will begin moving in on Saturday (16 March).
  • A few showers will affect the eastern and lower South Island on-and-off from Saturday to Tuesday (16-19 March), but other regions will remain mostly dry.  
  • A better chance for some rain may reach the lower West Coast by late next week.
  • Weekly rainfall totals of 25-50 mm will be possible along the West Coast, with pockets of 15-25 mm in the eastern and lower South Island.
  • However, the upper South Island again looks to see meagre rainfall totals that will likely be less than 10 mm.   
  • Due to the expected rainfall in the next week, moderate soil moisture decreases are likely in the upper South Island, but rest of the island may only see small decreases.
  • The current hotspots in the upper South Island will likely strengthen and expand in the next week, with those in Canterbury and Otago likely seeing little change overall.

Key Messages for the Top of the South Island:

  • From October 2023 through April 2024, Blenheim recorded just 88 mm of rain – the lowest rainfall over that period since at least 1941.
  • Many parts of the region experienced six or seven consecutive months with below normal rainfall, depending on the location.
  • This severe rainfall deficit culminated in a precipitation drought for parts of Marlborough, Nelson, and Tasman.


Pigeon Post News, Richmond.

Sunday, March 17, 2024

Top of the South drought conditions


Government classifies drought conditions in Top of the South as medium-scale adverse event

Agriculture Minister Todd McClay

Agriculture Minister Todd McClay has classified the drought conditions in the Marlborough, Tasman, and Nelson districts as a medium-scale adverse event, acknowledging the challenging conditions facing farmers and growers in the district.

“Parts of Marlborough, Tasman, and Nelson districts are in the grip of an intense dry spell. I know this has made day-to-day conditions on the ground extremely tough for farmers and growers,” Todd McClay says.

 “The Top of the South Drought Committee met yesterday to discuss the situation. “After receiving an urgent update from Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) staff on the ground in the area this morning, I have made the decision to classify drought conditions in Marlborough, Tasman, and Nelson districts as a medium-scale adverse event. 

“It is clear conditions are tough. This decision will unlock further support for farmers and growers, including tax support.” 

Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson visited the Marlborough area last week to see conditions first-hand. “Today’s classification is on top of funding of up to $20,000 we made available to the Top of the South Rural Support Trust last month to provide extra support,” Mark Patterson says. “The proactive step ensured early support is available for farmers, growers, and rural communities.” 

MPI has been working collaboratively with central agencies, sector groups, regional bodies, and farmers and growers across the country to prepare for El Niño since its arrival last year. “Forecasters predict the dry weather will linger into the autumn,” Mr McClay says. “I know farmers and growers in other parts of the country are also experiencing dry conditions and we’re keeping a close eye on the situation in those regions.” 

Farmers and growers who require support are encouraged to contact their local Rural Support Trust on 0800 787 254.

Government Press Release.

PPN, Richmond.

Friday, March 15, 2024

Tasman Dry Weather Task Force


Tasman Dry Weather Task Force update


15 March 2024

Tasman's Dry Weather Task Force has updated its water restrictions for consent holders across the district. 

The following Water direction notices will apply from Monday 18 March 2024 for consent holders in these Water Management Zones:  

  • Takaka – Water Management Area – FMU – Stage 1 (a 20% cut for authorised weekly usage) remains 
  • Moutere/Dove/Powley Creek – Cease takes remains 
  • Moutere Eastern Groundwater – Stage 4 (a 65% cut ) remains 
  • Moutere Western Groundwater – Stage 2 (a 35% cut) remains  
  • Baton/Wangapeka/ Glenrae/Tadmor/Tapawera – Stage 1 commences 
  • Stanley Brook - Stage 1 remains 
  • Motupiko – Stage 2 Commences 
  • Rainy – Stage 2 continues 
  • Wai-iti Zones – Stage 1 remains 
  • Waimea Affiliated and Unaffiliated – No Restrictions 

The rain from the early part of last week has dissipated and since then there has been little more than minor drizzle in a few localised areas.  A majority of our rainfall sites recorded no rain over the last week. 

The rainfall forecast only indicates minor showers over the coming week with no meaningful rainfall expected until late March, during the Easter Weekend. 

 All the other rivers in Golden Bay and Upper Motueka catchment have since been in decline post the rain last week. 

Moutere Eastern Groundwater Zone has stabilised over last week with groundwater levels recorded between 29.1 and 29.4 metres.   

The Moutere Western Groundwater has risen slightly but continues to fluctuate over the same period. Therefore, current rationing remains in place for both zones. 

The Wai-Iti zone remained very dry and the Kainui dam has dropped to being 31% full and water release has been throttled back to conserve dam storage.  

Waimea Dam augmentation continued over the weekend with flows being about 2770 litres/second at Wairoa Gorge and the lower river flow at Appleby was about 1700 l/s. 

The dam, which is currently 97% full, continues to release water intermittently while various commissioning works are also underway.   

Dry Weather Task Force Convenor Kim Drummond said despite the valuable assistance that the dam had demonstrated, all parts of the district needed to be carefully monitored as ongoing dry weather conditions prevailed.  

“While the Waimea management zone is in a much better space, thanks to the augmented water release, we need to be mindful that other areas are not as fortunate. 

“Therefore, decisions made need to address areas where the impact of the dry conditions is still being felt. In some cases water users in those areas may be facing an extended dry spell.” 

Kim said the declaration of a drought across the Top Of The South by Central Government on 14 March underlined the seriousness of the situation.  

He hoped that the announcement would ease the current hardship faced by providing further support for farmers and growers, including tax support for those enduring the intense dry spell. 

Regarding water direction decisions, it was important that Consent holders are familiar with Resource Consent conditions.  

Watering of lawns or decorative gardens is not permitted for any water user situated in water management zones where rationing is in effect.  This excludes users of Council managed reticulated water supply (where alternative restrictions will apply).  

Stock drinking water is not affected by these water restrictions.  

The position will be reviewed at the next meeting of the Dry Weather Taskforce on 19 March 2024.  

Please note, these restrictions do not apply to users of Council-managed reticulated water supplies, which are subject to alternative and different restrictions.       
For more information, go to

Tasman District Council, Communications.

Pigeon Post News, Richmond.

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