Nelson Residents Association






BRUNCH MEETING- February 2017


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The NRA held another one of its popular brunch meetings on Sunday 19th February.  The speakers at this meeting were the four new Councillors (Mel Courtenay, Stuart Walker, Mike Rutledge and Bill Dahlberg). They spoke about their experiences to date as new Councillors. 



Quiz the Candidates - September 10, 2016

Stoke Memorial Hall

People and Nelson City Council and Nelson Marlborough District Health Board candidates at the Quiz the Candidates ...




Election Education - NRA Sunday Brunches - look for more in 2017




October 2015

Another walk on the Loop behind the Brook Sanctuary - educating people to what a wonderful assett we have... only 5 minutes from town.

Will this walk still be FREE TO RESIDENTS when the preditor fence is finished?

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 Members of the Residents Association, the Nelson Historic Society, the Brook Valley Community Group and Grey Power have read the “Decision on Application for Resource Consent”, drawn up by lawyers Duncan Cotterill in October 2009, for the Brook Waimarama Sanctuary.

Those who have read the 55 page document, and have seen the damage caused to the historic Dun Mountain Trail, feel there have been several breaches to the Resource Consent. These breaches have caused the slippage and damage to the trail due to the preparation for the Sanctuary predator fence and subsequent rains.

These groups will be taking this matter up with the council, but a good way to view the environs of this area is to take the 90 minute Loop Track behind the Sanctuary. This trail goes up one side of the Brook Stream and down the other, passing 4 historic stone weirs built in the 1890s, 100-year old hand-riveted water pipes, and several waterfalls. It’s perfect for a lunch time walk and there is a large outdoor classroom where you can sit and eat.  DO IT BEFORE THERE IS A GATE AND YOU HAVE TO PAY!

Be informed and spend a couple hours enjoying this area, read the plan, and have your say.

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 July 1, 2015


 In Loving Memory of Our Friend Ken Meredith

who passed away in hospital on 16 June.

We will miss his good company, humour and

 sharp witted tongue when he penned our thoughts to the Letters to the Editor.

 Devoted to club business, here is Ken doing research on how to save John Krammer's bach in Tapu Bay

 Ken Meredith's farewell

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"Our Ken"

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Boy Scout badges and medallions from Scout Jamborees on his walking stick


Ruhbarb, celery, lemons, oranges, leeks, and silverbeet out of Ken's garden

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 Rest in Peace Ole Boy

  NCC Council meeting June 11, 2015


Tahunanui School presenting a petition to the Mayor of 2000 names to save the modeller's pond


Christopher St.Johanser, Chair Brook Valley Community Group and Moira Bauer making statements at the public forum


2015 AGM - St. Stephens Church, Tahuna - 18 May, 2014

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A special thanks to publicity from the Nelson Residents Association, a personal plea by Mike Rodwell (NRA president) and others before the Tasman District Council, an online petition started by journalism student Anna Whyte… and folks like YOU who wrote in letters of support.

Tasman mayor pushes to keep Tapu Bay bach

by Helen Murdoch -March 25, 2015 – Nelson Mail

Tasman mayor Richard Kempthorne has filed a notice of motion to rescind the district council's resolution that Motueka pensioner John Krammer remove his family bach from Tapu Bay.

Kempthorne voted against the resolution to remove the bach, which was passed by councillors 9-4 early last month, saying at the time that letting the bach stay on esplanade reserve for the remainder of the 82-year-old's life was the only fair and right thing to do.

Now he has filed a notice of motion for tomorrow's community development meeting that the bach be allowed to remain.

Signed by Kempthorne and councillors Trevor Norris, Michael Higgins, Martine Bouillir, Paul Sangster and Barry Dowler, the notice asks the council to enter into a licence agreement with Krammer and sets conditions around the bach staying on the beachfront.

They include the payment of an annual $520 licence fee, the bach be maintained, only intermittent holiday use be allowed, the land around the bach be open for public use, the bach be removed within three months of Krammer's death at no cost to the council and a $3000 bond be put up.

Yesterday Krammer said it was a case of having to accept the agreement or go to court.

He had discussed the situation with Kempthorne, who had visited him at his Te Awhina Marae kaumatua flat recently.

"It's a bit like having a glass half full - rather than no glass at all," he said.

The council's February resolution also drove journalism student Anna Whyte, a family friend of Krammer's, to launch a petition after she read a story on the council's decision.

Krammer was surprised by the depth of support from petitioners.

"It's quite amazing, some of the names which have appeared on the petition - there are even some from Australia and from one end of New Zealand to the other. I always had a feeling there was a fair bit of support out there, but it's the depth that has impressed me."


Feb 25, 2015

Recently 6 members of the Nelson Residents Association took a trip to the Motueka Marae to collect John Krammer. The Tasman District Council want to take away his bach at Tapu Bay (Kaiteriteri). The bach has been in John’s family since 1899, but since the Council have changed the designation of the beach to Reserve and Esplanade and they want to destroy the building.

We went to see it for ourselves and feel this iconic holiday bach is not an eye sore, is in excellent condition, is out of the way from any picnickers or beach walkers and should be left in place for John’s lifetime. John is 82, he is not “house-bound in a wheelchair” as stated in Council chambers, and we feel it would be an emotional hardship on John to have to see his family’s crib destroyed.

We know other baches have “had to go” as the Council moves to make more areas public, but we feel this one needs to be revisited and given a dispensation. If anything it is picturesque and a quaint reminder of a by-gone era.

Members at the church and meeting hall at the Motueka Marae

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 John with a painting of his bach at Tapu Bay; the bach tucked into the rocks beneath residential homes

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email_john_5.jpg  email_John_6.jpg                                                                    If you also feel this would be an unnecessary hardship on John, please write/email your favourite Councillor and state your opinion. Tell them to vote that it would be more compassionate to have the bach remain in place until John’s passing.

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We voted, hope you did too.


 © Fairfax NZ News - July 24, 2014

Annual General Meeting - May 2014 - Guest Speaker Hon Nick Smith



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Governance Committee – May 21, 2014 at the Tahuna Motor Camp:

Kerry Neal speaks on Trafalgar Centre


Oral Submissions to the Draft Annual Plan - May 13-14, 2014


April 28, 2014 - Liquor store plans ignore community wishes

 April 29, 2014 - Liquor store "blow" to community



Mike Rodwell and Malcolm Saunders speaking before the Community Services Committee on Jan 28th 2014. 

Bringing to their attention the importance of the Historic Dunn Mountain Track.  Referring to concerns of Council staff and interested parties, they specifically asked the Counsellors to review with care the Resource Consent granted for the Brook Sanctuary Preditor Fence. 

They emplored the Counsellors to make sure the engineers can guarantee no damage will be caused to the track during the construction and future maintenance of the fence.

They also spoke before the Tasman District Council.


Mike Rodwell presenting a Life Member certificate to Tony (and Ngaire) Small for their work with the Residents Association over the years.


October 16, 2013 - © Fairfax NZ News

 Meet the Candidates / Speech Night - Trafalgar Centre

Nelson Mail September 18, 2013

Alcohol-fuelled violence a big worry

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Photo: GUTS NEEDED - Nelson Residents Association vice president Kerry Neal speaks at the Nelson City Council candidates meeting at the Trafalgar Centre last night.


Promises and platitudes fell thick and fast last night as Nelson City Council candidates jockeyed for pole position as the start of voting nears.

About 400 people turned out to the Trafalgar Centre to perform due diligence on the people they want to run the city, at a candidates meeting run by the Nelson Residents Association and helped by the Nelson Youth Council.

The audience had candidates hopping to the microphone to answer questions about how committed to the job they might be and their views on a southern link road through Nelson, but it was a question on how they might manage alcohol-related violence in the city that drew the most fervent response.

All but three of the 38 council and mayoral candidates were present to give a two-minute spiel about themselves and what they believed they could do for ratepayers.

Association vice president Kerry Neal said it took ‘‘a lot of guts’’ to stand for local government.

‘‘The direction of your city will be in their hands,’’ he told the crowd.

‘‘I also know that in about three weeks’ time there will be a lot of satisfied candidates, and the rest of you will be councillors,’’ Mr Neal said.

A dominant theme in 2013 has been a desire among candidates to ‘‘stick to core services’’, in response to a call from the public for councils to rein in spending on what many see as extravagances.

Others showed a dismal lack of awareness of the council by pledging to install programmes and plans already under way, or discarded in recent years.

There was talk of tunnels as an alternative to the proposed southern link through Victory, denials of tunnel vision and even an admission to not liking asparagus, with reference to the Dance to the Music of Time sculpture in lower Trafalgar St.

New candidate Jean Edwards’ early baptism came at question time when Nelson doctor Mark Reeves asked about what the council might do to reduce alcohol-related harm in the community. Ms Edwards asked him what he thought the council should do.

‘‘With all due respect, I’m not a candidate,’’ Dr Reeves said.

Ms Edwards answered him by saying she was keen to show a willingness to consult, which was why she asked his advice.

Ruth Copeland handled a ‘‘boo’’ from the audience with aplomb when she replied, ‘‘good evening to you too’’.

Robbie Siataga Kavanagh said a vote was a ‘‘terrible thing to waste’’, and suggested voters might like to consider how well they trusted candidates to get the job done.

Brian McGurk believed that choosing a mayor and councillors was one of the most important decisions people could make.

Derek Nees promised to vote with his head and not his heart. He said later in answer to a question over how he planned to juggle work commitments and council demands if elected, that his job required him to be on call and in the last few weeks, ‘‘I haven’t been called’’.

There were ruffles of discomfort among the audience when candidates backed mayor Aldo Miccio, using their time to promote him and the work of allied colleagues.

Colin Robertson promised decisions based on measureables and not rhetoric.

‘‘Much of what you hear is about economic growth but we need to live within our means,’’ he said.

Long-serving city councillor Derek Shaw said he often wondered why he kept subjecting himself to the criticism and that ‘‘maybe I’m a slow learner’’.

He believed that Nelson continued to be a special place to live.

Kent Robertson confessed to already having done a lot for Nelson without being on council, while fellow former radio announcer Matt Lawrey said the council needed critical thinkers and good communicators with a depth of local knowledge.

Nelson lawyer Luke Acland said being on stage gave him ‘‘terrifying flashbacks to school productions’’ .

‘‘I don’t bring grand visions, but I want to find out what the community wants,’’ prompted by his experience fighting the council’s pokie machine decision on behalf of the Victory community.

The lineup’s sole iwi member Cindy Batt, took the prize among all those claiming to be descended from multiple generations of Nelsonians, for being the longest generation settler. She said it was easy to denigrate the council, but that was not productive.

- © Fairfax NZ News

October 9, 2012 - © Fairfax NZ News

Meet the Candidates - Market Place, Suburban Club, Tahunanum

Nelson Mail - Spetember 10, 2013

Speed dating yields valuable insight

By Ro Cambridge


I've just staggered in from an afternoon at a speed dating event, exhausted but exhilarated. Speed dating, which often takes place in hotels or clubs, is an organised way of bringing unattached men and women into contact with potential mates rapidly and efficiently.

Usually, the women sit at tables and the men move between tables at set intervals enjoying (or not) a brief "date" with each of the women. A bell rings at 5 minute intervals to signal when they must move on the next woman. Contact details aren't exchanged during the event, so no one has to accept or reject a suitor personally. Instead, participants advise the organisers who they are interested in and the organisers pass this information on.

Ticktock Dating is one company that manages speed dating in New Zealand. Their website describes how their events work. "On your arrival you will be met by two of our charming and entertaining hosts" it explains and "you'll enjoy free champagne and gourmet canapes in a private area at one of our exclusive venues.

"Our hosts guide you through the night, making sure you are having a great time".

Ticktock caters for all types, including High Achievers ("real go-getters"), Lesbians, Fitness Freaks, Professionals in the City and Cougars and Cubs (older women/younger men).

The speed dating event I went to wasn't quite as glamorous as a Ticktock do which was just as well: I'd made a spur-of-the-moment decision to attend, and arrived in my Sunday market attire: unwashed hair, an elderly pair of jeans, a merino and red clogs. Thankfully, some residual shred of sartorial instinct had prompted me to throw a beaded cardigan on at the last minute. I'm hoping that my suitors won't have looked past the sparkly bits.

Two very friendly gentlemen greeted me at the door of the Suburban Club in Tahunanui and placed my gold coin donation into their plastic bucket. This entitled me to a typed list of participants, entry into a large, plain room filled with ragged groupings of tables and chairs. There were raffle tickets for sale but no champagne. And no gourmet canapes.

The organisation was very laid back. At a Ticktock event I would have had only 5 minutes with each participant to decide if they "tickled my fancy". Here, I could stroll up and talk to whoever I liked, for as long as I liked. No one was at all cagey about revealing personal details. In fact I was inundated with email, website and home addresses and Facebook pages, as well as a welter of personal and professional information.

You've guessed, haven't you, that this wasn't really a speed dating event? It just felt like one. It was actually a meet-the-candidates-for-Nelson-city-council event hosted by the Nelson Residents Association.

The analogy probably shouldn't be pushed too far, but the parallels are striking: the rampant tension between hope and cynicism; distrustful survivors of painful affairs looking for a less fickle Mr or Ms Right; suitors on their best behaviour using every moment at their disposal to convince you of their sincerity, understanding, honesty and dependability.

As I sat with each candidate, I tried to short-circuit any talk about policy and platforms - information which is readily available from hand-outs. I resisted charm, bonhomie, Clintonesque handshakes and wafts of cologne. I wanted to know the candidates as human beings, a glimpse into their hearts.

You see? I said the process was like looking for a date. Some candidates were unable to abandon their sales pitches and connect on a personal level.

Others took great pleasure in engaging in conversation, wherever the conversation led. From one candidate I heard about a formative experience he'd had in Cambodia, after the fall of the Khmer Rouge. Another told me about her dad. One confessed that in spite of the travelling he does, everything which gives his life meaning is to be found within one small slice of Nelson.

One with a mixed cultural heritage talked about the feeling of not quite belonging in either culture. And one admitted that his first term as councillor involved an awful lot of learning.

Of course the ability to be open and talk easily with a stranger is no guarantee that a person will make a good mayor or city councillor. These roles demand huge reserves of patience, optimism and resilience as well as intelligence and hard graft.

But for me it is an important quality. When I left the Suburban Club, I felt I had learnt more about the candidates in an afternoon than I would have gleaned from hours poring over flyers, policy statements and media reports.

It wasn't until I got home that I was able put my finger on the essential difference between dating and electioneering. Dating involves a couple who decide to marry if they fancy each other enough.

The poor dears who are elected to council, however, must join a menage a treize with people they may not fancy in the slightest. They can't choose who they will marry (we voters do that for them) and they have to get into bed with whoever we choose, regardless of their temperament or personalities.

Given that about a third of marriages in New Zealand end in divorce, it's amazing that a marriage involving thirteen people ever survives for the statutory three years.

Winston Churchill famously said that "Democracy is the worst form of government . . . except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time". Less famously, he also said that democracy is "the little man, walking into the little booth, with a little pencil, making a little cross on a little bit of paper".

He forgot to mention the little woman with a little pencil who's done a bit of speed dating. She'll be making a few little crosses on a little bit of paper later this month.

- © Fairfax NZ News

  Candidates at the Suburban Club for a "Market Place" gathering - September 7, 2013

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 Nelson Mail - May 31, 2013

  - © Fairfax NZ News


- © Fairfax NZ News - 2012

Seen out and about in Nelson - at the Turf Hotel





















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