Monthly Archives: December 2011

Little big plane now has a big big brother

Checking out the “flight-line” at Everett Field this past week, I noticed something unusual.

At first I thought who the heck, in this age of multi colour, would paint an airplane black.

(Real Estate relevance to this seemingly unrelated story – coming up…..)

Then after a couple of seconds it sunk in. ZK-OKQ sounds very much like a New Zealand rego.


Remember these planes above from NZ’s recent Rugby World Cup. (click here to be taken to the site to see the FULL SIZE version of this “perfect timing” photo of each airlines tribute plane in this great shot from Colin Hunter)

After the very choreographed new Allblacks RWC2011 BLACK Airbus 320 (ZK-OAB) introduction some time back, it seems that another three Beech 1900D from Air New Zealand partner, link airline Eagle Air have also been painted to commemorate our winning rugby team.

But the trump card comes this week with the unveiling of the largest commercial airliner to date, that has been painted with over 700 lit ( 700 liters ) of black paint.

And according to past legends of NZ Rugby;

……(it) looked “sensational” and would “really turn heads” at airports around the world.

Expect the usual Air NZ treatment when she arrives, and I for one am hopeing for once, that TV1, 2, 3, 4 or someone decides to pick up the expected continuous live feed.

After all folks, even though Air New Zealand does have over 100 aircraft, including already 12 B777’s this is a $200 million dollar investment in New Zealand. And lets not forget Boeings latest incantation, the B777-300 (the cuddle class things) Air NZ has 4, and at an average  age of less than 12 mths they are some the newest planes in the longhaul world. We need these big fellows to economically cover the sort of distances than NZ, being at the bottom of the world downunder demands.

Ooophs nearly forgot ~ the real estate relevance.

There are two really important demographics that an airline like Air NZ should correctly target. No. 1 are those from abroad for whom, but not always, after visiting Godsown….want to live here….and then there are returning Kiwis, for whom and lets not forget this small but significant point, the “ease of regular travel back home” is high on their list of desires.

On top of this there will be the aging ex-pat boomers who long for home (not forgetting NZ has the 2nd most highest ex-pat population in the World, behind Ireland)

And in case you are still wondering, as NZ’s sunshine capital, Nelson has more than just a little bit to benefit from this traffic.

Air New Zealand RELATED UPDATE 21-12-2011

Air New Zealand has just been granted type design ­approval for 330min extended operations (ETOPs) for its Boeing 777-300ER twinjets. This is also important because it could potentially mean even shorter trips on these planes over their longest ocean legs.





Worlds clearest freshwater discovered, yet again, in Nelson

December 19th, 2011

Ironic that I’m talking about water this week in Nelson isn’t it?

Looks like another world record is about to be broken, and it appears at first that Nelson, New Zealand is the loser. But Nelson, New Zealand is also the winner.

Confused, let me explain.

I’ve previously reported here, that Te Waikoropupu Springs (“Pupu Springs”) in Golden Bay, holds at 63m, the current world record for underwater visibility. In other words the clearest water in the world.


Well it looks like the Nelson region is about to lose its world record title to another part of the globe with a press release from NIWA today 18th December 2011.

This new discovery, as reported by NIWA today says;

Nelson-based NIWA hydrologist Rob Merrilees first recognised that Blue Lake might be optically outstanding, having observed on tramping trips that this water body appeared broadly similar to Te Waikoropupu, in which a visibility of 63 metres has been reported. He mentioned his suspicions to NIWA aquatic optics specialist, Dr Rob Davies-Colley, who had led the original work on Te Waikoropupu Springs. On a preliminary tramping visit to Blue Lake in March 2009, the two Robs were surprised to find that the visibility of Blue Lake exceeded that of Te Waikoropupu.

They subsequently organised a scientific study of the lake with involvement of NIWA scientist Mark Gall, an expert in ocean optics instrumentation. Several visits by helicopter (six in all) established that the horizontal visibility in the lake typically ranges from 70–80 metres.

That’s right, didn’t just beat 63m, they really trumped it!

“The theoretical visibility in distilled water is about 80 metres, as estimated from the best available instrumental measurements in the laboratory,” says Dr Davies-Colley. “So Blue Lake is a close approach to optically pure water”.

Where, well it just so happens that its at Nelson’s Blue Lake, up at the Nelson Lakes National Park so although we lose one title, we just picked up another.

That now means that here in little ole Nelson, the “Top of the South” of the South Island, of New Zealand (“Middle Earth” to many) now holds the Gold, and Silver when it comes to the clearest water in the world.

You can visit this area yourself, and stay overnight in the region, something that NIWA & DOC (NZ’s Department of Conservation) have stated;

  • Blue Lake is a side trip off the popular Travers Sabine Circuit multi day tramp.
  • The Blue Lake Hut receives in excess of 700 trampers a year, mainly through the summer months.
  • Numbers will be monitored to see if visitation increases.
  • The clarity of the lake will remain monitored to establish if there are any changes in the next year or two.
  • The waters of Blue Lake/ Rangimairewhenua are sacred to Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō iwi. The significance to them was acknowledged in their Treaty of Waitangi settlement signed in 2010.
  • The Department of Conservation would ask that the waters are respected and that people don’t wash themselves or their clothes or dishes in the lake.

Courtesy of it being the clearest, it could also be the cleanest water in the world?

Maybe not at present as NIWA mention in their press release today that;

“Because of the heavy rain in the Nelson region over the last few days, the lake is likely to be murky right now, but may be expected to clear within a few days.”

They also mention another couple of factoids that may greatly assist this body to have the clearest water on the planet.

The spring-fed source of the water, and its altitude above sea level (1200m), just below the tree line of stunted mountain beech, ensures that Blue Lake is always cold, ranging between 5 and 8°C.

SOURCE:  NIWA Press Release – Nelson’s Blue Lake – The clearest freshwater ever reported


Worlds Clearest Water Site is Regional Treasure

What’s a “Karst Aquafier”?

Where is the clearest water in the World?

 20th Dec 2011 UPDATE

NZ Media website picks up the story, but I believe, goes one better in releasing an outstanding photo (again from NIWA) which hints at illustrating the cleanest water on the globe at present. Just breath takingly beautiful I suggest.


Although at first the Nelson Mail didn’t quite see the gravity of the situation…


…. The Press did recognize the significance of the occasion.

Possible word of caution to private buyers

Dec 19th, 2011

New Zealand now has the Real Estate Agents Act 2008,  for want of a better term, its there to protect consumers,  and to a more major part, buyers of NZ real estate.

Disclaimer appearing on Private Sale online advertisement

Which just makes the disclaimer on some private sale advertisements all the more difficult to comprehend.

Why would anyone want to opt out, or point out that the ACT doesn’t apply?

What’s a bit sad is that some time back many, if not most of the private adds, actually did carry such a disclaimer. That seems to have fallen by the wayside of late.

Most agency agreements now contain information that details disclosure from the agent.

Importantly now, most agency agreements also feature a seller disclosure, for the obvious reasons.

The REAA makes it very clear on the obligations of a licensee in its “Professional Conduct and Client Care” booklet (you can read or download a copy here)

Clause 6.6 is very important indeed.

A licensee would not be following the law if they ignored the weight of this point, let alone any associated moral obligations.

So again, it makes me curious why someone would insert such a disclaimer?

Any reader like to enlighten me on this one?

Where is the clearest water in the World?

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the clearest water in the world is in our region, the Top of the South.

You’ll find it at Te Waikoropupu Springs, also known as Pupu Springs in Golden Bay.

Pupu Springs

The springs are the largest freshwater ones in NZ and the clearest in the world.

They are estimated to pump out a combined 14,000 litres of water a second, or 1,200,000m³ per day, yup that’s right! (How much is that in plain english? – 1.2billion x 1 litre milk containers a day that’s all – or for those of you Imperially inclined according to = 2,536,051,702.6 pints a day [US, liquid] )


According to Wikipedia that’s enough, or it was in an older TV documentary to provide all the water to Boston for 24 hours.


Clear, well the world record is at 63m for visibility in fresh water and this is where that record was set.

In fact so clear that, with optical instruments, scientists have said it approaches the theoretical maximum for optically pure water. If you are interested in the full terminology for “average black-body visibility” then I believe the above link will satisfy your craving.

And its world famous for diving, although that has practically ceased lately.

The clearest seawater, by comparison, is under the Antarctic ice cap, perhaps not the easiest to view even with a long range tank on your back.


Part of the reasoning for this is the unique topography of the region, for example the large cave system, part of which is Nettlebed Cave. Nettlebed Cave is NZ’s deepest cave system, 889 metres below the surface. It spans 24 kms through the Mount Arthur region of the Top of the South.

From a caving website comes this information too…

…the extreme optical purity, which is uncommon for karst water, is interpreted as a result of the long residence time between aquifer recharge and re-emergence in the springs. According to Williams (1992) the water stays underground roughly three to eight years.


And while we are on the topic of water, another famous export from the area and concerned our clear water is 26000 Vodka, with the claim that the vodka is made from 26,000 year old, ice age water – water entirely untouched by humans and contaminants and sourced from a bore in a secret location.

In related news from the Pupu Springs, check out the underwater clarity of this absolutely “spellbinding” photo here.

UPDATE Dec 2011

Worlds clearest freshwater discovered, yet again, in Nelson



1] NZ Gazettes Worlds Clearest Water Site as a Regional Treasure just check out the photo in this article!

2] of what significance is a Karst Aquafier to the Springs? Check out “that photo” half way down the page for proof!)

3] three more photo’s of the springs here

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November 2011 Nelson Property Home Sales Report

Dec 10th, 2011

Like last month, Nelson city saw an uptick in November 2011 with the release of sales data figures by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) yesterday, Friday.

Overall they said;

The REINZ Housing Price Index rose 1.1% in November compared with October. The REINZ Housing Price Index recorded increases in all markets apart from Other South Island. Compared to November 2010 the REINZ Housing Price Index rose 2.6%, and the Index is now 2.3% below the peak recorded in November 2007

Nelson is included in that “Other South Island.”

So again, just like I reported for Oct 2011 figures, a steady month with the DOM (days on market) stat in a healthy range for our core 2-3-4 bedroom market.

Homes Sold Nov 2011 - Nelson City Zone


…click on the above chart to see a more “readable version.”

Officially the Institute state that house sale numbers “increased only modestly” but noted

Volumes increased more strongly in Nelson and Richmond, after falling back in October.

They also report that the median price across the region (that’s the whole region, not just the Nelson City figures I quote) eased back by almost 4.0% compared to October but held steady
compared to November 2010.

However mirroring what I’m seeing and hearing happening at street level, they comment;

Anecdotal evidence suggests that buyers in the region remain cautious, although there is increasing interest from buyers coming from other South Island locations.

Although they note “the number of days to sell for Nelson/Marlborough eased by five days to 38 days in November, compared to 33 days in October, and improved by 11 days compared to November 2010”, Nelson City zone actually saw the reverse, down from 33 days in Oct to 28 days in November.

Section sales picked up, with 14 transpiring over November 2011.

DATA SOURCE – Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (website