Nelson Property Investors' Association

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February Newsletter




Our next meeting is being held at the Nelson Suburban Club, Tahunanui Drive on Tuesday 21st February.

The meeting proper commences at 7.30 pm with the ever popular meal at 6pm when you will have the opportunity to chat to other investors. We are privileged to have David Whitburn the President of the Auckland Property Investors Association speaking.

David is a professional property investor, lawyer and educator. He has graduated with both law and science degrees from the University of Auckland and holds a current legal practising certificate. David is author of best-selling book Invest and Prosper with Property published by Random House in 2011. He is a director and trustee of his own, family members and clients' property owning entities. His passion is for long-term property investment and growing wealth for himself and his private clients. David is regularly sought by New Zealand and also international media for his opinions on the property market. He has appeared on major live television programmes like Close Up, AMP Business and the 6pm news, as well as numerous times on the leading radio stations, in major newspapers, in the NZ Property Investor Magazine and major financial websites. David blogs on the APIA website and regularly on his own website at David is frequently sought as a speaker and has been a paid presenter in a number of countries and has spoken at New Zealand Property Investors' Federation Conferences and at regional property investors' associations around New Zealand. He spends a lot of time on his quality property investment information courses offered through Positive Property Investment.

David has served on the Board of APIA since June 2004. David has grown a multi-million dollar property portfolio since he started investing in 2002. He loves to watch cricket, rugby, soccer and plays indoor soccer and tennis and also enjoys playing the piano and guitar, lying on beaches, reading non-fiction books, watching movies and to spend quality time with his wife and young family & close friends, and holidaying at Auckland’s beautiful Waiheke Island.

David will be speaking about some of his recent investing and development projects.

Please remember to book the meal by emailing Glenn.



Thus says my tenant when I visited to investigate reports of astronomical power accounts. The story started with a request to pay $250 for a power company investigator to check out their house to determine why they had high power bills. I have had a large number of these calls this year with accounts ranging between $150 through to $2000 for one month. The $2000 man was in tears. He was sub letting to a group of Indian students from Calcutta. He was convinced the power was disappearing down a hole or something. He demanded an electrician immediately. The boarders assured him they only used the heater sparingly. I got hooked on treasure hunts as a child at birthday parties and still get a buzz from it.

I turned up at this house kitted out in woolly hat with ear flaps and hearing aids turned off (that saves me having to listen too carefully to silly stories). I was greeted at the door by a gaggle of thin serious looking students who could have just stepped out of Rudyard Kipling’s stories. They were dressed in shorts and thin singlets. No sahib we no use heaters. See we only have one little heater in our room. Sure enough the heater was off in the old high stud bedroom, but to me, the spy who had come in from the cold, it seemed as if the very walls of the grand old lady house were radiating heat. Clearly they had been running several heaters continuously. Problem solved case dismissed, must rush, got another crisis around the corner.

Having solved the power struggles of the Indians I was feeling confident as I moved almost next door. These tenants had moved from a modern compact town house to an old rambly hulk of a house in St Vincent Street where they could have their dog and mess with cars. Their power account had doubled to $300 or so. The power company told them their hotwater system must be faulty.


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First step was to thrust my digital thermometer into the water to make sure the temperature was 55 deg. Next I looked at the account. Almost every household is the same. Look at the back of the invoice and compare the KWh consumed for 24 hour rate compared with controlled rate for hot water. They should be roughly the same. If there is a problem like hot water leak or faulty thermostat usage shoots through the roof. No that looked normal. The dollar amounts looked high though. Scratching my head I soon discovered the sneaky power company had convinced them to change to low user rate. They were paying over $0.30 per KWH for a large family. But the tenants were still not convinced. That is when they chanted the heading above. I sighed and felt sorry for my poor tenants. I better check the shower rose I said. It might have one of those big old fashioned shower roses that goggle up the water. Oh we do not use the shower these days they said. We use the bath.  

The power stories actually never stop. Those of us with mobile phone problems sling off at call centres in foreign places but power company call centres located in New Zealand are not much better. I was called out to investigate reports from a new refugee tenant of a “one shower only capacity” hot water problem. I soon figured out that the ripple control relay was not working correctly. My lovely good tenant’s English was not up to telling me which power company they were signed up with. I rang Network Tasman. Being locals they were great and suggested ringing Contact and even gave me the number. Contact were also great and were able to tell me the tenants were signed up with Meridian and gave me that number. I rang them explaining the tenants could not speak English and this was the problem. Well they demanded to know the account number and name of the tenant. I apologised saying I could not pronounce the name nor could I remember how to spell it. But really if Contact can tell me from the address who the supplier was they must be able to work it out. The silly girl said she could not deal with the complaint unless authorised by the tenant. So I thrust the phone into the hand of the startled tenant and waited whilst the poor Chin lady did her best. After a respectable period I grabbed the phone back and said well I trust you are happy. Just fix the problem. But no the call centre girl still wanted to try to talk to my tenant. I handed the phone back for an agonising conversation then asked. Well I trust you have got what you were asking for. Oh she says I could not understand your tenant. Hold on a minute I will see if we have someone here who can speak her language! By this time my patience had run out. I was rude and cruel in what I then said. Really what planet do these mono cultural morons live on? Surely they must understand not everyone in the world or even in Nelson can speak English. At times logic, common sense, and speaking politely has to give way to the urgency of the situation. They then tried to tell me the repair man would be there in 4 hours. That would have made it about 10 pm at night. I could not help myself. I said this is Nelson New Zealand. It is 6 pm at night in my city. Do not send someone to a non English speaking customer in the middle of the night. Come only during day light hours. These people have just moved from a refugee camp with armed soldiers patrolling it.

I just wonder who the stupid people in the world are.




Well we all know that the referendum on merging Nelson and Tasman is about to take place. Actually would someone remind me were Tasman is. I have done a Goggle map search for it and the pin falls in the middle of the mountains behind Motueka. There is a small locality called Tasman on the road to Motueka.  Many of the rural residents are suggesting the urban based bureaucrats can not be trusted to care for them.  If they left their farm gates they would discover Richmond has already been swallowed up and merged in the urban sprawl from the city. With the planned administrative hub planned to be housed in the rapidly expanding TDC empire state building I fail to see what they are on about. Let’s hope common sense prevails with the voters and we can reclaim Nelson’s province for ourselves. We all have a great future together.

Just in case the news about Auckland’s 1.5 million population bubble and talk about its economic power house makes you envious have a look at these figures.

I have been studying the To Let advertisements on Trade Me and comparing them with published statistics on rental housing around the country.


Hamilton has a residential vacancy rate of 3.3%

Auckland’s rate is 2.9%

And here in Nelson we have 1.4%


Things look good to me. What do you think? Pen a couple of lines and share them with the rest of us.

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