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NELSON IMPROVEMENT ACT.

An Act to provide for the Improvement of the Town of Nelson. [31st Jlareh, 1856.] Preamble. — Whereas an Ordinance was passed by the Lieutenant-Governor of New Munster, with the advice and consent of the Legislative Council thereof, Session 1., No. 7, intituled "An Ordinance to authorize the Levying and Collecting of Rates for the Making and Repairing, of Roads, Streets, &c, in any Town in the Province

of New Munster :" And whereas it is expedient that the said ordinance be repealed, and other provisions made for making and repairing roads and streets and other public works, and for draining and otherwise improving the town of Nelson : Be it therefore enacted, by the Superintendent of the Province of Nelson, with the advice and consent of the Provincial Council thereof, as follows : — 1. Recited Ordinance repealed. — The said recited Ordinance, so far as regards the Province of Nelson, shall be and the same is hereby repealed. 2. Interpretation of the roords "Board" and " Town of Nelson." — In the construction of this act, the word " Board " shall be deemed to mean the "Board of Works" elected to carry out the provisions of this act ; and the words "town of Nelson" shall be deemed to mean the town of Nelson as defined by the Provincial Council Enlargement Ordinance, Session 11., No. 7. 3. Qualif cation of Electors. — Every person whose name shall appear on the Electoral Roll for the time being in force, as entitled to vote

in the election of members of the Provincial Council for the town of Nelson, shall be qualified to vote and take part in the proceedings at the general meetings which shall take place previous to any rate being levied under this act ; and after any such rate shall have been levied, then every person who shall have paid the last rate so levied shall be entitled to vote and take part at such meeting: Provided always that such person shall have paid all rates for which he shall be then liable. 4. Meeting of Electors to decide ivhat Rate, if any, shall be levied. — On a day in the I month of April, in each year, and at a conve- ; nient place within the said town, and hour, to be fixed by the Superintendent, or such other person as he shall appoint, in the first instance, and afterwards by the Board as hereinafter to be constituted, the voters shall assemble, and, having appointed a chairman, shall proceed to consider and determine what rate (if any) upon the lands and hereditaments within the said town shall be made and levied for the ensuing year for the purposes of this act. 5. Rate to be made upon estimated value of Lands to sell. — The rate shall be made upon the estimated value to sell of the lands and tenements rated thereto, and shall not exceed two-pence in the pound. 6. Board to be elected. — At the first meeting of the voters for the purposes aforesaid, after the passing of this act, and at the annual meeting in every year thereafter, the meeting:, after having determined the amount of rate (if any) to be levied, shall elect by ballot from amongst the persons qualified to vote at such meeting nine persons to be a Board to carry into effect the provisions of this act, any three of whom shall be a quorum ; and such Board shall be styled the Board of Works for the town of Nelson ; and the chairman of such meeting shall report in writing to the Superintendent the names of the persons elected to form the Board. 7. Board to continue in Office one Year. — The Board shall continue in office one year, and until the next election of a Board : any member going out of office may be re-elected, if then qualified. ' 8. Members of Board to be disqualified in certain cases.— lf any member shall refuse to ect, or be absent from the province for four months at any one time, or become bankrupt, or an insolvent debtor within the meaning of any laws relating to insolvent debtors, or a public defaulter, or be convicted of felony or any infamous crime, he shall cease to be a member of the Board. 9. If Members of Board be reduced below Five, new Members to be elected. — If at any time, by reason of death, absence, resignation, bankruptcy, or otherwise, the members of the Board shall be reduced below five, the Board shall appoint a meeting of voters at such time and place as it shall think expedient ; and such voters shall, at such meeting, after electing a chairman, elect from amongst the persons qualified to vote at such meeting, a number of new members equal to the number of vacancies ; and the chairman shall report in writing to the Superintendent the names of the members so elected : such new members shall hold office until the next general election. 10. AH Disputes relating to election of Members of the Board, or making Rate, to be determined by Superintendent and Executive Council. — All questions and disputes which may arise concerning the election of any members of the Board, or the making of any rate, or respecting any other proceeding at a general meeting, shall be referred to the Superintendent and Executive Council by the petition in writing of five or more electors, presented within ten days after the day of meeting at which the disputed proceeding shall have taken place ; and all questions respecting the vacancy of the office of members shall be referred to the Superintendent and Executive Council, whose decision shall be final. 1 1 . Board to have power to make Roads, fyc- — The Board shall have power within the limits of the said town to make and keep in repair roads, streets, causeways, footpaths, bridges, and the like, and to provide for the establishment of markets and construction of market-places, and other works of public utility. 1 2. Board to have power to make Drains, $ cc ' — The Board shall also have power from time to time to make all such ditches, drains, sewers, and watercourses, as they may deem necessary for effectually draining or supplying the said town with water, and to carry such ditches, drains, sewers, and watercourses through, across, or under any street, or road, or place laid out as or intended for a street, ana also into, through, or under any lands ■whatsoever, and ta cleanse, alter, or stop up the same when necessary, paying to the owner fad. occupier of such lands for the damage he

shall sustain thereby ; and the Board may from time to time enlarge, lessen, alter, cover over, or otherwise improve all or any of the existing sewers, ditches, drains, and watercourses, and may discontinue, close up, or destroy such of them as may be deemed unnecessary : Provided always, that if by reason thereof any person is deprived of the lawful use of any drain, ditch, or sewer, the Board shall provide some other drain, ditch, or sewer as effectual as the one of which he is so deprived.

13. If Owners and Occupiers do not consent to Drains, fyc, being made, Notice to be given of Application to Justices, and Plan to be deposited with Clerk to Justices. — Before any such drain, sewer, or watercourse shall be made through any private lands, unless the owner, or agent for the owner, and the occupier of such lands, shall signify their consent thereto in writing, the said Board shall cause a written notice to be given to the owners and occupiers of such lands, of their intention to apply to the Justices on a day and at a place to be therein named, and which shall not be less than one month nor more than six weeks from the time of giving such notice, for an order for making such drain, sewer, or watercourse, and shall cause a plan showing the drain, sewer, or watercourse so proposed to be made, together with a reference containing the names of the owners and occupiers of such lands, so far as known, to be deposited with the Clerk to the Magistrates previously to giving such notice as aforesaid: — Provided always that, in case the owner of any such land shall be unknown, or shall be absent from the province, or cannot be found, the said Board may cause such notice to be published for two successive weeks in any newspaper published in the province, instead of being served upon such owner.

14. Justices may order Drains to be made. — Any two or more Justices of the Peace having jurisdiction in the province, may, at a meeting to be held at the time and place mentioned in such notice, hear and determine such application, and any objection thereto; and, upon proof duly made to them of such notice having been given, and that it is expedient to make any such drain, sewer, or watercourse through such lands, the said Justices shall make an order, directing such drain, sewer, or watercourse to be made according to the said plans.

15. Board may make Contracts, and appoint Surveyors, fyc. — The Board shall have power from time to time to enter into any contracts for the execution of any work to be done under the authority of this act ; and to appoint and employ such collectors, surveyors, clerks, and workmen as they may deem necessary to enable them to carry into execution the provisions of this act, and, as they shall think proper and necessary, to remove any such officers or workmen, md appoint others in their stead; and out of the moneys which shall come to their hands, under or by virtue of this act, to pay such officers and workmen sucli remuneration as shall be reasonable.

IG. Persons obstructing Works liable to Penalty. — If any person shall obstruct or in any manner interfere with any such drain, sewer, or watercourse, such person, on being convicted thereof before any Justice of the Peace, shall be liable to reimburse all charges and expenses which may be occasioned by reinstating and making good the work so altered, obstructed, or interfered with, and shall aLo forfeit any sum not exceeding ten pounds, nor less than five pounds.

17. Penalty for making xinatithorized Sewers, and building over Servers, and erecting Windmills, Limekilns, fyc., in certain cases. — It shall not be lawful for any person to cause any drain or sewer to communicate with or be emptied into any drain, sewer, or watercourse to be made as {iforesaid, nor to cause any building to be erected over such drain, sewer, or watercourse, nor to cause any vault, arch, or cellar to be built or constructed under any street, without the written consent of the Board first had and obtained ; nor to erect, or cause to be erected, wilhin fifty yards of any road or street, any steam-engine or wind-mill, unless such steam-engine or wind-mill shall be behind some wall or fence sufficient to screen the same from the road, so that the same may not be dangerous to passengers, horses, or cattle ; nor to make any fire for burning or calcining any limestone, bricks, ur clays, or the making of coke or charcoal, within twentyfive yards of any rond or street, unless the same shall be within some building, or behind some wall or fence, sufficient to screen the same from such road ; and any person offending against this enactment shall be liable to a penalty for every such offence not exceeding ten pounds, nor less than five pounds, and v. further penalty, not exceeding forty shillings, for every day during which the offence is continued after notice in writing from the Board in this behalf: and the Boaid may cause any sewer, drain, building, arch, or cellar, erected or constructed contrary to this enactment, to be pulled down or otherwise dealt with as they may think fit, and the expenses incurred by them in so doing shall be repaid to them by the offender, or be recoverable in a summary manner before any Justice of the Peace, as hereinafter provided.

18. Disputed Compensation to be settled by Arbitration. — In case of any dispute as to the amount of any compensation to be made under the provisions of this act, unless both parties concur in the appointment of a single arbitrator, each party on the request of the other shall, by writing under his hand, appoint an arbitrator, to whom the matter shall be referred, and such appointment shall be delivered to the arbitrators, and shall be deemed a submission to arbitration by the part : es making the same : and, after the making of such appointment, the same shall not be revoked without the consent of both parties, nor shall the death of either party operate as a revocation.

19. If either Party neglect to appoint Arbitrator, or if Owner absent, Resident Magistrate to appoint Arbitrator. — In case either of the said parties shall refuse or neglect to appoint an arbitrator for the space of fourteen days after being requested so to do by the other party, or in case the owner of any land through which any drain or sewer shall be made shall be absent from the province, or cannot be found, the Resident Magistrate shall appoint

an arbitrator to act on behalf of such owner or other party as aforesaid. 20. Arbitrators to appoint Umpire, and if Arbitrators do not make Award icithin Three Months, Umpire to make Award. — In case there be more than one arbitrator, the arbitrators shall, before they enter upon the reference, appoint by writing under their hands an umpire ; and if the person appointed umpire die or become incapable, or refuse to act, the arbitrators shall forthwith appoint another person in his stead ; and in case the arbitrators cannot agree, or shall fail to make their award within three months from the day on which the last of them was appointed, the matters referred shall be determined by the umpire, and such umpire shall make his award within three months from the day on which the matters in dispute shall be referred to him as aforesaid.

21. Costs of Reference in discretion of Arbitrators, and Submission may be made a Rule of Court. — All costs consequent upon the reference shall be in the discretion of the arbitrator, or arbitrators, or umpire, as the case may be ; and any submission to arbitration under the provisions of this Act may be made a rule of the Supreme Court of New Zealand.

22. Board to have power to construct Reservoirs, fyc. ; Persons injuring same liable to penalty. — The Board shall have power to construct and maintain (except on private lands) such wells, tanks, reservoirs, aqueducts, and other waterworks as they shall think proper for supplying the inhabitants of the town with water ; and also to prevent any such well, tank, or other waterwork, or any public spring within the limits of the said town from being fouled or rendered impure or unfit for drinking ; and any person or persons who shall by themselves or their agents do or cause to be done any act calculated to pollute or render foul any such wells, tanks, reservoirs, or aqueducts, or who shall throw into the same any rubbish, dirt, filth, or other noisome thing, or who shall wash or cleanse therein any cloth, wool, leather, or skin of any animal, or any clothes, or other thing, shall, on conviction before any Justice of the Peace, forfeit and pay any sum not exceeding Ten Pounds, and every such 'person shall forfeit a further sum of Twenty Shillings for each day (:f more than one) that such offence shall be continued.

23. Keio Streets not to be less than 20 feet. — It shall not be lawful for any person to make or lay out any new street, road, court, alley, or thoroughfare, in the said town, unless the same, being a carriage-road, be at least thirty feet wide, or, not being a carriage-road, be at least twenty feet wide.

2-1. Power to order Chimneys to be heightened, fyc. — If the Board shall consider any chimney, by reason of its being* of an insufficient height, or from any other cause, likely to endanger any building near or adjoining, they shall cause a notice in writing, signed by any member of the Board, or their clerk, to be given to the owner of such chimney, or left upon the premises where such chimney shall be standing, requiring such owner, within a time to be specified in such notice, to heighten or repair such chimney, as occasion shall require ; and if such owner shall fail or neglect to perform the work so directed to be done, he shall be liable to a penalty of any sum not exceeding Ten Pounds, and also a further sum not exceeding Ten Shillings for every week he shall neglect to heighten cr repair such chimney, as the case may be, after the time specified in such notice, to be recovered in the same manner as rates in arrear.

25. Dangerous Buildings to be taken down. — If any building;, or wall, or anything affixed thereon, within the said town be deemed by the Board to be in a ruinous state, and dangerous to passengers, or the occupiers of the neighbouring buildings, the Board shall cause notice in writing to be given to the owners of such building or wall, if he be known and reside within the said town, and shall also cause such notice to be put on the door or other conspicuous part of the said premises, or otherwise to be given to the occupier thereof, if any, requiring such owner or occupier forthwith to take down, secure, or repair such building, wall, or other thing, as the case shall require : and if such owner or occupier do not begin to repair, take down, or secure such building, wall, or other thing within the space of three days after any such notice, and complete such repairs, or taking down, or securing, as speedily as the nature of the case will admit, the Board may make complaint thereof before two Justices of the Peace ; and it shall be lawful for such Justices to order such building, wall, or other thing, or such part thereof as they shall think necessary, to be taken down, rebuilt, repaired, or otherwise secured, within a time to be fixed by such Justices : and in case the same be not taken down within the time so limited, the Board shall, with all convenient speed, cause all or so much oi such building, wall, or other thing as shall be in a ruinous condition and dangerous state as aforesaid, to be taken down, repaired, rebuilt, or otherwise secured, in such manner as shall be requisite ; and all expenses attending the same shall be paid by the owner thereof, or be recoverable in a summary manner before any 1 Justice of the Peace.

26. Expenses of pulling down dangerous Buildings to be paid by the Owner. — If any building or wall as aforesaid, or any part of the same, be palled down by virtue of the powers aforesaid, the Board may sell the materials thereof, or so much of the same as shall be pulled down, ( and apply the proceeds of such sale in payment of the expenses incurred in respect of such building or wall, and the overplus thereof shall be paid to the owner on demand : nevertheless, the Board, although they sell such materials for the purposes aforesaid, shall have the same remedies for compelling the payment of so much of the said expenses as may remain due after the application of the proceeds of such sale as are hereinbefore given to them for compelling the payment of the whole of the said expenses.

27. Persons permitting Nuisance liable to Penalty. — It shall be the duty of the Board to appoint an Inspector of Nuisances : and any person who shall permit any nuisance to exist, in the shape of any noisome or unwholesome trade, or of any privy, sty, or receptacle for filth of any kind, upon any premises in the occupation of such person, after the expiration of ten days' notice from such Inspector to abate the same, shall be liable to a penalty of

any sum not exceeding Ten Pounds, to be recovered in a summary manner before any Justice of the Peace.

28. Board may impose Dues for use of Market-places, ty-c. — It shall also be lawful for the Board to impose such dues as they shall deem reasonable upon all persons making use of any market-place or other public work established under the authority of this Act ; and in case of non-payment of such dues, the same may be recovered in a summary manner before any Justice of the Pence.

29. Board to levy Rules. — If at the annual meeting it shall be determined to levy a rate for the ensuing year, the Board shall make and levy, in manner hereinafter provided, such rate on all houses, lands, and tenements situate in the town of Nelson (except such as belong to the Crown, or are reserved for public purposes, or are places set apart for public worship).

30. Assessors may be appointed. — The Board may from time to time, by warrant under their hands, or of any three of them, appoint one or more fit person or persons to be assessor or assessors, to assess all such houses, lands, and tenements ; and such assessor or assessors shall, within thirty days after the delivery to them of the warrant of their appointment, return to the Board an assessment for the said town, or such part thereof as shall be named in such warrant; and the assessment shall specify the full and fair value to sell of all houses, lands, and tenements comprised in such assessment, and the names of the owners and occupiers, where known.

31. Notice of Place where Assessment may be inspected to be given. — When the assessment shall have been made, the Chairman of the Board shall sign the same, and, in some newspaper published or generally circulated in the Province, shall cause public notice to be given of such assessment, and of the place in the said town where the same may be inspected for the period of twenty-one days ; and the person in whose custody such assessment may be shall permit every owner or occupier of property included in such assessment to inspect the same during office hours.

32. Persons aggrieved may appeal. — If any person shall think himself aggrieved by such assessment, on the ground that such assessment includes any property for which he is not ratable under this Act, or that it assesses his ratable property beyond its full and fair value, or that the name of any person is omitted out of such assessment, or that the property of any person is assessed below its full and fair value, the person so considering himself aggrieved, upon giving seven days' notice to the said Board of such his intention, may appeal to a bench of not less than three magistrates, within twenty-eight days after public notice of such assessment shall have been given as aforesaid ; and in case the said Court of Appeal shall think the appellant entitled to relief, it shall order the assessment to be amended in such manner as it may deem necessary ; and in case he shall have appealed on the ground that the name of any person is omitted out of the assessment, the said Court of Appeal may order the name of such person to be inserted in the assessment, and to be therein assessed at such an amount as it shall deem just ; and in case the appellant shall have appealed on the ground that the property of any person is assessed below #fs full and fair value, the said Court of Appeal may order the amount at which such person is assessed to be altered in such manner as it shall deem just ; and the said Court of Appeal shall, in each of the cases aforesaid, forthwith cause the assessment to be amended accordingly, but the assessment shall not be questioned or altered with respect to any other person named therein ; and the said Court shall have power to order the costs of such appeal to be paid by either party ; and the determination of the said Court of Appeal shall be final and conclusive.

33. Rate to he paid by Occupier. — The rate shall be paid by the occupier of the house, land, or tenement, or, in case there shall be no occupier, by the owner thereof.

34. Rate to be paid as directed by the Board. — -The said rate shall be paid to some person appointed by the Board for that purpose, by the persons liable to the payment thereof, on a day and at a place to be fixed for that purpose by the said Board, by public notice in some newspaper published or generally circulated in the province, not being less than twenty-one days from the time of giving such notice ; and such notice shall set forth the names of the persons liable for the payment of such rate, and the sums payable by each of such persons ; and if the rate or any part thereof shall not be paid on the day so to be fixed for that purpose, the same may be l'ecovered in a summary manner before any Justice of the Peace.

35. If Rate in arrear for 12 Months, Property may be sold. — In case any part of the amount to be recovered as aforesaid shall remain unpaid for the space of twelve calendar months, the whole amount due, together with interest thereon, at the rate of ten per centum per annum, for the time at which the same became due, and all expenses incurred and to be incurred in recovering the same, shall be leviable by sale of a sufficient portion of the property upon or in respect of which such mount shall have been imposed, and such sufficient portion shall be set out by the Resident Magistrate or any two Justices of the Peace having jurisdiction within the town, upon requisition to be made to him or them by the said Board : Provided always that, before any such property shall be sold, one calendar month's notice of such sale shall be given in the Government Gazette of the Province.

36. Superintendent may execute Conveyance. — Such property shall be sold by the Treasurer of the Province, by public auction ; and a conveyance thereof, signed by the Superintendent, shall vest the property so conveyed in the purchaser, free from all incumbrances whatsoever.

3/. Special Rate may be levied upon Lands materially benefited by Drainage.. — In case any lands, at present unavailable in consequence of their being at certain periods flooded or covered with water, shall be materially benefited or rendered available by the formation of any such drain or sewer, a special rate, not exceeding two shillings in the pound upon the sum at which such improvements shall be assessed, may be levied annually

for five years in respect of such lands, in addition to the rate hereinbefore authorized ; and such rate and assessment shall be settled by arbitration, in the same manner as hereinbefore provided in respect of disputed compensation ; and the amount of such rate shall be paid by the owners of such lands, at such times and places and to such person as the Board shall appoint for that purpose ; and if such special rate, or any part thereof, shall not be paid on the day so to be fixed ibr that purpose, the s>ame may be recovered in the same manner as is hereinbefore provided for rates in arrear.

38. Moneys to be paid to tfie Treasurer of the Produce. — All moneys levied or received under this Act shall be paid to the Treasurer of the Province, to be appropriated by the said Board, in defraying the expenses of carrying out the provisions of this Act ; and the said Board, or any three of them, may from time to time issue their warrants to the said Treasurer for any sum or sums of money not exceeding the sum liable at the time to be appropriated by the said Board.

39. Superintendent may pay Money appropriated for Roads, §'C, to the Board. — It shall be lawful for the Superintendent, if he shall think fit, to commit to the said Board the expenditure of any moneys appropriated to the construction and maintenance of streets, bridges, drains, or other public works within the said town, and to pay over the same to the account of the said Board, to be appropriated in such manner and for such purposes as the Superintendent shall direct or appoint.

40. Meetings of Board. — The business of the Board shall be transacted at meetings which shall be holden at such times and places, and shall be adjourned in such manner as the Board shall direct or appoint. Any two of the members shall have power to call a special meeting of the Board, by giving to the other members, or leaving at their places of abode, notices in writing, signed by the members calling the meeting, specifying the time and place thereof, which notices shall be given three clear days at least before such meeting ; and no business shall be done at any meeting unless three members at least be present.

4 1 . Questions to be decided by a Majority present, and Minutes to be kept. — All questions which shall come before such meeting shall be decided by a majority of the members who shall be present thereat, and a minute of every resolution agreed to shall be entered in a book to be kept for that purpose, and shall be signed by the Chairman.

42. Accounts to he kept and audited. — The Board shall, in books to be kept by them for that purpose, enter true accounts of all sums of money by them received and paid, and of the several matters in respect whereof such sums shall have been received and paid. All such accounts, with all vouchers and papers relating thereto, together with a full abstract or balance-sheet thereof, signed by three at least of the members of such Board, shall yearly, at such general meeting as aforesaid, be submitted to such meeting, and shall (as soon thereafter as conveniently may be) be examined and audited by two or more persons to be appointed for that purpose by such meeting. 43. Copy of Balance-Sheet to he published. — A copy of such abstract or balance-sheet shall be posted up by such Board, at or before the commencement of such meeting as aforesaid, upon some conspicuous part of the place in which such meeting shall be held.

44. Money, Books, fyc, to be handed over to new Board. — All moneys found by the auditors to be due from any retiring Board, together with all such books of account, vouchers, and papers, shall be forthwith paid and delivered over to the Board for the time being. 45. Board may sue and be sued in the name of their Clerk, §-c. — The said. Board may sue and be sued in the name of their clerk, or any member of such Board for the time being ; and legal or equitable proceedings taken by or against the said Board, in the name of any one of the Board, or their clerk, shall not abate or be discontinued by the death or removal of such clerk or member; but the clerk for the time being, or any member of such Board, shall always be deemed to be the plaintiff or defendant (as the case may be) in any such proceedings : Provided always, that the said Board and their clerk respectively shall in no case be personally liable, nor shall the private estate and effects of any of them be liable for the payment of nny moneys, or costs, or otherwise, m respect of any contract which bhall be made by them, or any of them, or for any act, deed, or matter done or executed by them, or any of them, in their or his official capacity and on the public service.

40. Members of Board not to become Contractors, §'c. — No member of the Board shall, during the continuance of his office, become a contractor, or hold any paid office in the gift of the Board.

47. No Judge, Resident Magistrate, or Justice of the Peace to be disqualified from acting tinder this Act. — No Judge, Resident Magistrate, or Justice of the Peace shall be disqualified from acting in pursuance 1 of any of the provisions of this Act by reason ofj his being assessed as a ratepayer under this Act. 48. Proceedings Jor Penalties. — All proceedings under this Act, except as hereinbefore is otherwise provided, shall be regulated by Ordinance No. 5, Session No. IL, of the Council of New Zealand, for the R°gulation of Summary Proceedings before Justices of the Peace ; and all fines, forfeitures, and penalties to be had and received under this Act shall be recovered in a summary way, and be paid to ( the Treasurer of the Province, to be appro-: priated by the said Board. j 49. Short Title.— This Act shall be termed and may be cited as the " Nelson Improvement Act, 1856."

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NELSON IMPROVEMENT ACT. Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, Volume XV, Issue 8, 26 April 1856

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