Ashburton District, Ashburton

19 hours ago

Remuneration Authority confirms councillor salary increases in Ashburton

The Team Reporter from The Press

From local democracy reporter Jonathan Leask:

Nominations for the local government elections open soon and a salary increase may get new faces putting their hands up in the Ashburton District.

The Remuneration Authority has confirmed the increased pool for councillor salaries which will see a … View more
From local democracy reporter Jonathan Leask:

Nominations for the local government elections open soon and a salary increase may get new faces putting their hands up in the Ashburton District.

The Remuneration Authority has confirmed the increased pool for councillor salaries which will see a jump from $41,214 closer to $50,000 for the next term.

The authority is the independent body that dictates the elected councillor’s salaries.

The council only has a say in how it is distributed.

The current Ashburton District Council opted to have the eight councillors on the same salary, which as of July 1 rose slightly to $41,214, and the deputy mayor on a higher salary, $59,182, due to the extra responsibilities.

The remuneration pool doesn’t apply to the mayor.

Councillor Angus McKay, who is yet to confirm his intentions for the upcoming election, said he hoped the next council would take a similar approach to allocating the pool.

“In my opinion this council has worked very well and one of the reasons I put that down to is the people sitting around the room and the other is that this council did away with the hierarchy of committees.

“I’m hopeful the new council will do the same.

“We have all been on equal pay, equal footing, and I think that’s what made this council work very, very well.”

Following the elections in October, the remuneration pool will increase $61,302 from $388,893 to $450,195.

The newly elected council decide what structure the division of the pool takes, with options to pay positions of extra responsibility more, such as the deputy mayor.

The Remuneration Authority has also confirmed the mayor’s salary of $123,201 will increase to $132,690 after the election.

There is no change to the Methven Community Board remuneration, with the chair still set to receive $5,544 and $2,777 to each of the other four members.

14 days ago

Is your broadband bill about to increase? Don't throw money away.

NZ Compare

Spark have recently announced a price increase of $3 - $5 a month for new and existing broadband customers and other providers seem likely to follow suit.

Information collated by our research team has found that tens of thousands of Kiwis are still missing out on hundreds of dollars of savings … View more
Spark have recently announced a price increase of $3 - $5 a month for new and existing broadband customers and other providers seem likely to follow suit.

Information collated by our research team has found that tens of thousands of Kiwis are still missing out on hundreds of dollars of savings each year on their broadband bill, because they are failing to shop around for cheaper broadband plans.

We estimate that over 500,000 households would be able to pay less for their broadband each month but many consumers are unaware of the fact that they could be making these savings and people often don’t know where to start when looking for a change in broadband plan or provider.

This is where NZ Compare can help. Our websites are simple to use and if you need more help, our friendly, Auckland based, customer support centre can advise on the most suitable broadband plan for your needs and help talk you through the switch. With unlimited fibre broadband plans available for less than $60 a month why would you pay more?

Find out more at NZ Compare or call the team on 0508 226672

CORRECTION: This post has been amended to clarify that the price of fibre and copper broadband internet services will increase, and that the increase is between $3 and $5 a month, not only $5 a month on fibre broadband plans as previously posted. (Amended at 10.31am, June 23, 2022)

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7 hours ago

Why aren’t Kiwis switching power providers?

NZ Compare

The chilly, gum boot wearing, kettle on, soup season has moved into town! Don’t get stung by your winter power bill neighbours, start shopping around now - even if you’re on a contract.

We asked neighbours why they’re not switching power providers and found out for many it feels a bit … View more
The chilly, gum boot wearing, kettle on, soup season has moved into town! Don’t get stung by your winter power bill neighbours, start shopping around now - even if you’re on a contract.

We asked neighbours why they’re not switching power providers and found out for many it feels a bit baffling with so many options and not enough help. Read why Kiwis aren’t switching and the easy steps to get your power sorted before bill shock hits.

Need to keep it stress free? Call our NZ based team on 0508 226 672, it’s free!

We’re here to help you compare, save and smile!
Help me switch

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7 hours ago

Give a little kindness this winter

Trade Me

Help Kiwis in need this winter by giving through the Trade Me Kindness Store. Trade Me has teamed up with three awesome Kiwi charities - KidsCan, RainbowYOUTH and Women’s Refuge. The Kindness Store’s virtual shelves are stocked with small things that make a big difference to the Kiwis these … View moreHelp Kiwis in need this winter by giving through the Trade Me Kindness Store. Trade Me has teamed up with three awesome Kiwi charities - KidsCan, RainbowYOUTH and Women’s Refuge. The Kindness Store’s virtual shelves are stocked with small things that make a big difference to the Kiwis these charities help.

Giving is easy – just pick, click and ‘Give Now’. Trade Me takes care of the rest. 100% of the donations go to the charities – Trade Me doesn’t take a cut.
Know more

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22 hours ago

Winter Warmers

Christine Ashburton from Red Cross Shop Ashburton

If you are heading to Dunedin this weekend for the rugby call into the Red Cross shop on Burnett Street and get some warm clothes to wear.

Negotiable

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1 day ago

Axminster Carpet in good condition - Used

Frank from Ashburton District

Carpet been in home for 60 years in good nick. No memory marks. Must be gone by 17th July. 65 meters square. Made of pure wool. Created in the Riccarton Mill when operated there, Was made in 690mm (27") runs known as Panel Persian. View by appointment only. Open to Offers

Negotiable

4 days ago

Finding funds for historic rail footbridge fix up

The Team Reporter from The Press

From local democracy reporter Jonathan Leask:

Ashburton’s historic railway footbridge could be in for a makeover.

The Ashburton District Council is investigating what can be done to the 105-year-old structure and how to fund it.

The council is in the process of obtaining a conservation … View more
From local democracy reporter Jonathan Leask:

Ashburton’s historic railway footbridge could be in for a makeover.

The Ashburton District Council is investigating what can be done to the 105-year-old structure and how to fund it.

The council is in the process of obtaining a conservation management plan (CMP) for the heritage overbridge, which infrastructure services group manager Neil McCann says will include what condition the bridge should be maintained to and if any changes or additions, such as lights, can be made.

Work had started on the CMP and should be completed as early as the end of July, he said.

A detailed inspection in August 2018 identified an estimated $290,450 worth of maintenance and repairs, which McCann said included painting the iron work and replacing some decayed timber.

An inspection of the bridge in November 2021 confirmed the work required, he said.

Once a CMP is completed the work will then be programmed once funding is secured.

Council roading manager Mark Chamberlain said funding was the big issue – like it was for any project.

“We have $100,000 to do maintenance on all our structures including that bridge,” Chamberlain said.

“If I had to choose to spend that on one bridge or another, I think I would choose one with the traffic on it.

“But it is a heritage listed bridge so we do need to look after it.”

McCann said once the CMP was received “we will make enquiries to determine what funding opportunities are available”.

Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga has the bridge listed as a category 2 heritage place, but the Rail Heritage Trust had the former railway station and footbridge listed together on its historic register so had designated the bridge as being demolished along with the station.

The council is contacting the trust to ensure its register is updated to list the footbridge as still existing as a stand-alone item and also plans to enquire about possible funding assistance.

History of the footbridge

The Railway Footbridge was constructed in 1917 and is the key surviving feature from the Ashburton Railway Station complex following the demolition of the main station building in 2013.

The Railway Footbridge, with its bowstring truss, is one of a few such railway footbridges that remain in situ.

Initially the east end of the bridge had ramps descending at right angles both towards the town centre and to the station building, but the northeast ramp was removed in 1983.

The Ashburton Railway Station, opened in 1917, remained a busy thoroughfare until the 1980s, when the number of passenger trains was steadily reduced.

In 2002, the passenger train service stopped altogether and the station building was demolished in 2013.

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4 days ago

Rakaia recreation centre plans boosted by council cash injection

The Team Reporter from The Press

From local democracy reporter Jonathan Leask:

Rakaia’s rugby club president says it’s an exciting time after receiving council backing for a new community facility in the Rakaia Domain.
The rugby club is leading a project to demolish the existing outdated facility at the Rakaia Domain and … View more
From local democracy reporter Jonathan Leask:

Rakaia’s rugby club president says it’s an exciting time after receiving council backing for a new community facility in the Rakaia Domain.
The rugby club is leading a project to demolish the existing outdated facility at the Rakaia Domain and build a new one that will serve as a community recreation centre.

The council, in the annual plan, resolved to fund public toilets in the new facility and to offer an up to $200,000 commercial loan to support the club’s fundraising efforts, none of which impacts rates.

“It’s an exciting time for us to now have the council on board with the public amenities and also the financial backing,” club president Mark Hanrahan said.

“The contribution from the council is a significant step towards the total package.

“It’s exciting for the club and the community.”

The rugby club completed its design and cost estimates in March 2021 and is making progress to secure funds, and Hanrahan said the timeline was still focused on completion by the second quarter of 2023.

Back in 2015, the Rakaia Stadium Trust had pitched to the council to back a new sports complex at the Rakaia Domain. But as the EA Networks Centre was readying to open the council balked at the $1.5 million funding request towards the estimated $5m facility.

Hanrahan, who was part of the project team for the stadium, said the current plan is fit for purpose.

The project first went before the council in December when the club was advised to submit its requests for financial support to the annual plan.

In the annual plan the council committed to $351,000, loan funded, for new public toilets in the facility, as the current ones are part of the existing facility that will be demolished.

The rugby club has sold its clubrooms that were on the other side of town and is currently utilising the neighbouring bowling club as a temporary clubrooms.

The Rakaia Reserve Board’s Bruce Perry told the council in December that the board supported the project as the existing facilities were past their use-by and most likely did not meet earthquake building standards. An assessment had not been undertaken.

Hanrahan said as well as the reserve board they had the support of other sporting codes and now the annual plan has been adopted it has council support.

4 days ago

Time to escape your neighbourhood?

The Team from Neighbourly.co.nz

Are you overdue a getaway? You could win a 13-day Sir Edmund Hillary Explorer South Island Rail & Coach tour by participating in Neighbourly’s 8th birthday celebration.

To enter the competition, just tell us what you love about your neighbourhood. It could be your favourite spot, a … View more
Are you overdue a getaway? You could win a 13-day Sir Edmund Hillary Explorer South Island Rail & Coach tour by participating in Neighbourly’s 8th birthday celebration.

To enter the competition, just tell us what you love about your neighbourhood. It could be your favourite spot, a beautiful view, or something that makes you smile. You could be in for a once-in-a-lifetime getaway!
Share now

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5 days ago

Ashburton councillor fires up over funding ‘tourist roads’

The Team Reporter from The Press

From local democracy reporter Jonathan Leask:

An Ashburton councillor is furious at the intention of spending more money on “tourist roads”.

Councillor Stuart Wilson slammed the proposed direction of the Ashburton District Council’s $1.7 million of additional roading funding, saying it was… View more
From local democracy reporter Jonathan Leask:

An Ashburton councillor is furious at the intention of spending more money on “tourist roads”.

Councillor Stuart Wilson slammed the proposed direction of the Ashburton District Council’s $1.7 million of additional roading funding, saying it was all going on just two roads.

“I’m very disappointed with where you are spending the money,” Wilson told the council's roading manager Mark Chamberlain.

“You are spreading $1.7m on [Arundel Rakaia Gorge Rd], which is a damn tourist road.

“I know it’s a busy road but I thought we put $1.7m in to be spread across the district.

“The majority of our maintenance is going into those two roads.”

In the council’s subsidised road rehabilitation funding, Arundel Rakaia Gorge Rd, part of the Inland Scenic Route 72, has $1.75m of works across five sections and Thompsons Track has $730,400.

That equates to 67% of the total $3.68m budget.

From the additional $1.7m taken from the forestry reserve for unsubsidised road funding, Arundel Rakaia Gorge Rd ($492,200) and Thompsons Track ($424,200) combine for 53% of the spend.

Wilson said he knew the decisions were based on traffic volume but “there are roads just as important” to the district.

Chamberlain said that the two roads had the most work scheduled because they had most of the potholes and failures on the network.

“If we look 10 years down the track we shouldn’t have to be spending money there.”

He said they were the roads that, from a safety aspect, needed the work done.

In his report to the council, Chamberlain said the rehabilitation work would eliminate anything other than minor routine maintenance, second coat seals and reseals for at least 25 years. It would also avoid using resources for ongoing patching to hold the older failed sections of pavement.

But Wilson disagreed, suggesting the funding should be spread further across the district and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency should be stumping up more money for the two busy roads.

“Those [two] roads are semi-tourist roads and I think if NZTA don’t want to help us spend more money on those roads, I say stiff luck,” Wilson said.

“People can growl and you can say to NZTA, ‘you are not giving us enough money to maintain those roads’.”

Chamberlain said the proposed list of rehabilitation work would go to the council for final approval.

5 days ago

Ashburton’s ‘realistic' annual plan budget adopted

The Team Reporter from The Press

From local democracy reporter Jonathan Leask:

The adoption of one of the Ashburton District’s biggest rate increases in over a decade is a “realistic budget”.

The near 10% average rates increase was approved by the Ashburton District Council on Wednesday when it adopted its 2022-23 annual … View more
From local democracy reporter Jonathan Leask:

The adoption of one of the Ashburton District’s biggest rate increases in over a decade is a “realistic budget”.

The near 10% average rates increase was approved by the Ashburton District Council on Wednesday when it adopted its 2022-23 annual plan.

“We have done a very realistic budget,” councillor John Falloon said.

“It will be interesting to see where other territorial authorities are in 15 months’ time when they report on their actual results to the end of June 2023 and where we will be because I don’t think we will have to dip into reserves or anything like that to get through because we have done a realistic budget.”

Mayor Neil Brown highlighted that the external pressures from inflation, Covid-19, and supply chain issues were “not our friend in this year’s budget”.

“It is going to be an interesting year ahead," Brown said. “This is our best estimate and I think it is a pretty accurate estimate.

“We will be doing everything we can to stick to it and deliver the work programme.”

Deputy mayor Liz McMillan said the council had left no stone unturned during the process.

“The 9.4% seems very high but we have put the work in. We have looked at everything,” she said.

Behind the 9.4% average rise is inflation factored in at 5%, flood recovery, new drinking water regulation compliance and the completion of the new library and civic centre.

Any projects carried over from the 2021-22 financial year will go before the council in a report for deliberation over the future of those projects.

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5 days ago

Springtime craft

The Team from Resene ColorShop Ashburton

Brighten up your life and home with these fun party cup dolls, beads of joy and blooming plant pots with your favourite Resene testpot colours.

Find out how to create your own.

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5 days ago

Get Upcycling to win in 2022!

Resene

Unleash the artist within you, showcase your DIY creative skills and spruce up an old item or completely repurpose it! Resene and Neighbourly are challenging everyday Kiwis like YOU to take part in the Resene Upcycling Awards.

We want to see your amazing creations so don't be afraid to go … View more
Unleash the artist within you, showcase your DIY creative skills and spruce up an old item or completely repurpose it! Resene and Neighbourly are challenging everyday Kiwis like YOU to take part in the Resene Upcycling Awards.

We want to see your amazing creations so don't be afraid to go all out! Check out some of the previous entires here.

Take part in the 2022 Resene Upcycling Awards. There are four great prizes worth $500 up for grabs: a $200 Resene voucher and a $300 Prezzy® card!
Find out more

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6 days ago

50% off all childrens

Christine Ashburton from Red Cross Shop Ashburton

The Red Cross shop on Burnett Street has 50% off all childrens wear this week

Negotiable

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7 days ago

7 x Female Pekin Ducks - Free to a good home

Bronwen from Hororata

We have 7 adult Female Pekin Ducks that require a new home. We have just moved to the property and our dogs and the ducks do not get on very well. They are healthy and plump and we have ensured they have been well looked after since we moved here a month ago. Here is some more information about … View moreWe have 7 adult Female Pekin Ducks that require a new home. We have just moved to the property and our dogs and the ducks do not get on very well. They are healthy and plump and we have ensured they have been well looked after since we moved here a month ago. Here is some more information about the breed: chooks.co.nz....
Please contact Bronwen on 021 610 053. Pick up is in Hororata.
Many thanks!

8 days ago

Councillor concerned over ECan’s public transport plans

The Team Reporter from The Press

From local democracy reporter Jonathan Leask:

News that Ashburton could end up part-funding Environment Canterbury’s public bus transport fares is concerning the organisation’s Mid Canterbury councillor.

Ian Mackenzie thinks the possibility of contributing to the annual funding of ECan’s … View more
From local democracy reporter Jonathan Leask:

News that Ashburton could end up part-funding Environment Canterbury’s public bus transport fares is concerning the organisation’s Mid Canterbury councillor.

Ian Mackenzie thinks the possibility of contributing to the annual funding of ECan’s generous public bus subsidies across Canterbury would result in zero benefits for the Ashburton District.

Ashburton has no public transport, other than an on-demand community connector bus run by volunteers to and from rural locations to the township.

ECan hopes to establish a Climate Change Action levy where all ratepayers would contribute.

One of ECan’s climate change action focuses is to get more people using public buses rather than their own vehicles.

Mackenzie is not convinced it is the right model and is concerned the climate change levy would be used to have the entire region subsidising public transport.

“That threat of charging for public transport, because of climate change across the whole region, sits within the climate change levy," Mackenzie said.

“That needs to be opposed, unless it’s specifically targeted for actions we can do, which will genuinely protect our community from climate change. That might be better flood protection.”

With the impacts of Covid still playing out, and many people still uncomfortable about using public transport while the virus was still rampant, Mackenzie said bus patronage was only about 70% of what it was pre-the pandemic.

“ECan has gone ahead and pumped several million dollars into buses, which I’m not sure is the right timing,” he said.

“We should have waited for Covid to finish, and it’s nowhere near finished yet, and then analyse what permanent changes are to the way people behave.”

He said there were a “whole lot of things we are yet to understand" but ECan was still insistent on “pouring money into buses as if it's business as usual".

ECan’s annual pricing plan would introduce a $2 flat fare across Greater Christchurch for metrocard holders, including areas like Lincoln in Selwyn or Rangiora in Waimakariri. The fare is $1 for tertiary students, under-25s, and total mobility and community service cardholders.

Mackenzie was also concerned that people in outlying towns were simply subsidising parents who opted to send their children into Christchurch for school.

“I’m not convinced that is something ratepayers should be asked to do,” he said.

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