News and Notices

John Williams Wins NPDC's North Ward By-election 06 September 2017 John Williams has been voted in as a Councillor on New Plymouth District Council in the North Ward by-election. Mr Williams won the seat with 741 votes. The final results of the remaining votes are: Vicky Dombroski 605. Pam Street 476. Jonathan Marshall 451. Bill Simpson 311. The official declaration will be published on Saturday 9 September. The vote return was 34 per cent of the registered voters in the North Ward. The date for Mr Williams’s swearing-in will be confirmed shortly. Design of New Plymouth Airport's New Terminal is Fit for Purpose 01 September 2017 Plans for a new terminal at New Plymouth Airport have been given an independent seal of approval. The new board of directors for the airport company, Papa Rererangi i Puketapu (PRIP), spent much of July and August reviewing the terminal design and business case. The directors say in a report to the Council that they have agreed the proposed design, including the cultural narrative created in partnership with the Puketapu Hapu, is fit for purpose. They cited an independent report by chartered surveyor and former Auckland International Airport executive Peter Alexander. “It is my opinion that users of the building will find it a memorable and differentiated experience that will positively contribute to the region’s tourism proposition,” Mr Alexander said in his report. The PRIP board report also has cost comparisons with other regional airport terminal redevelopments. It noted that the New Plymouth Airport project cost of $6,100 per square metre compared favourably with other recent or proposed regional airport terminal works. “While the directors were specifically asked to maintain the cultural narrative, we did review it and we noted that it had no overall impact on the footprint of the terminal and that the approximate cost of the narrative was in the order of $1 million,” says board Chair Philip Cory-Wright. The Council will consider the board’s report at its meeting on 5 September. The proposed terminal cost is estimated at between $21.7 million and $28.7 million. The new board will be responsible for ensuring it is completed on time and within budget. The airport is moving from direct Council control to becoming a Council-controlled trading organisation, a commercial company owned by NPDC. The company operates as Papa Rererangi i Puketapu (‘the airport at Puketapu’), but the name of New Plymouth Airport will remain. The PRIP board is: Chair Philip Cory-Wright, who has worked in law and corporate finance for 30 years, advising companies including Air New Zealand, Auckland International Airport and Powerco. He is a Chartered Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Directors and his specialties include infrastructure, airports and project management. Leading Maori lawyer Shelley Kopu, who is a trustee of the Te Kotahitanga o Te Atiawa Trust. Ms Kopu is a member of the Institute of Directors and has held senior management positions in large companies, law and accountancy over her 20-year career. Her father is Te Atiawa and from Waitara, and her mother, who is Pakeha, is from Hawera. Former Air New Zealand senior executive Chris Myers, who returned to New Zealand in 2016 after 10 years abroad in airline executive roles, including offshore governance experience. Business adviser and professional director Rachel Farrant, who has more than 20 years’ experience in chartered accountancy and as a business adviser. More than 420,000 passengers and about 150,000 ‘meeters and greeters’ a year currently use the airport terminal, which was originally designed for 50,000 passengers in the 1960s. Tourism, Food and Energy Key Pillars of the Bold Tapuae Roa: Make Way for Taranaki Strategy 31 August 2017 The first step in furthering economic growth in Taranaki is here, with the launch of the Tapuae Roa: Make Way for Taranaki Strategy. The vision of Tapuae Roa comprises three key things: attractive lifestyle, talented people and a modern high-value economy. “To have any one of these on a sustained basis, you have to have all three. To have a great lifestyle, you have to have a modern high-value economy. To have a modern high-value economy you have to have talented people. Part of the attraction for talented people is the lifestyle,” says Lead Team Chair Peter Tennent. “The strategy is a bold and Team Taranaki approach. This vision is our compass, the power of us all working together will mean we are unstoppable, so watch out New Zealand!” says Team Lead Chair Peter Tennent. Tapuae Roa has two parts. Firstly, ‘showing the way’ by investigating how to develop the tourism sector further, how to build on the existing food products and processes, and how to build on the knowledge and expertise of the existing energy industry. Secondly, ‘making way’ by progressing six areas that will enable the economy to move more efficiently: transport access; science, research and technology; talent and training; Maori; innovation; and investment.  “We are sitting on some real opportunities but we are also staring at some real threats. We have to make the most of the wealth above our feet – our people – as well as that beneath our feet. We can’t rely on energy and dairy to carry us through. They are both facing their own challenges. If we can’t provide jobs and especially good jobs, the quality of our community life will suffer,” says Peter Tennent.  The Lead Team is: Peter Tennent (Chair), Wharehoka Wano (Deputy Chair), Neil Holdom, David MacLeod, Bronwyn Muir, Dan Radcliffe, Robin Brockie, Scott Walls, Kevin Murphy, Sophie Braggins, Andrew Clennett, , Te Pahunga (Marty) Davis, Liana Poutu, Al Morrison. Having set the strategic direction, the next step is an Action Plan that all parties can invest in such as local and central government, business and community interests. It will be completed by the end of the year. Check out our great video here. Public Feedback Wanted on Proposed Road Safety Improvements 30 August 2017 Plans have been released for a road safety project along a key arterial route in New Plymouth. The upgrades are designed to improve the safety of pedestrians, cyclists and drivers on Devon Street West between Belt Road and Belair Avenue, as part of NPDC’s Let’s Go programme with funding from the NZ Transport Agency. “It’s a state highway with a high volume of traffic and pedestrians, and our goal is to make better use of the space to make it easier and safer for people using it,” says Infrastructure Manager David Langford. “We have the plans online and we’ve delivered information to residents along this section of road because we want to get public feedback on the proposals.” Devon Street West has some challenges as both the road and footpaths are narrow, says Mr Langford. “The six schools that are on or near this length of road say that safety improvements would result in more students walking and cycling along it, whereas right now the road is seen as more of a barrier to safe active travel.” The proposed plans would provide enough road width for continuous cycle lanes on both sides, bus bays and inset parking areas. Where possible, the footpaths would be widened. There would also be a right-turning bay into Calvert Road, and the Belt Road pedestrian crossing would be moved further away from the intersection. The two-stage project, which would be funded by NZTA, follows the successful upgrading of South Road in 2015 to increase users’ safety. Please have your say by 5pm on Friday 15 September by going Hand-Deliver Your Vote for North Ward By-election 29 August 2017 There is just one week left to have your voice heard in the North Ward by-election! All votes must reach New Plymouth District Council by noon on Wednesday next week (6 September). “Given how much time it can take for the papers to go through the post, we strongly recommend that people now hand-deliver their votes to either the Waitara Library and Service Centre or the Civic Centre or they risk not having their votes reach the Electoral Officer in Auckland before the deadline,” says NPDC Group Manager Strategy Liam Hodgetts. “Any late votes can’t be counted.” A progress result of the by-election will be released on the afternoon of 6 September, which will be updated the following day once special votes and those votes received on the last two voting days are counted. The result of the by-election will be confirmed on 9 September. So far, 24 per cent of the possible votes have been returned. About 23 per cent of possible votes had been returned at the same point of last year’s local body election’s voting period, and 29 per cent in the 2013 local body election. Flood Damage in Popular Parks and Walkways 29 August 2017 Floodwaters during yesterday’s (Monday) deluge have caused slips on New Plymouth’s two main riverside walkways and scoured out walking paths in parks and reserves. The Huatoki Walkway has been closed by a large slip, with diversions in place on Glenpark Avenue and Frankley Road (at the Maratahu Street intersection). Smaller slips on the Huatoki and Te Henui walkways are being cleared by hand but the Council will need a fine period to dry out the soil before machinery can be brought in to clear the large Huatoki Walkway slip. “The soil is too unstable for us to get heavy gear onto the walkway so we’ll need some dry weather before we can remove the slip,” says NPDC Manager Parks and Open Spaces Stuart Robertson. “We’ve also had the streams flood onto the tracks and scour out the surfaces. It’ll take some time to fix them so walkway users should take care as the paths are very rough.” Pukekura Park had small slips on Brooklands Park Drive and on some walking tracks. While all tracks are open, the paths were scoured out and some barriers made unstable when the lakes flooded, and the public is asked to take care. Mr Robertson says the staff and contractors are inspecting parks and reserves throughout the district and he expects more issues to be reported. “However it appears that the worst of the damage was in New Plymouth and part of Oakura,” he says. Keep an Eye Out for Rubbish Bag Delivery 28 August 2017 The next year-lot of rubbish bags are about to be delivered to New Plymouth District residents who receive a kerbside rubbish and recycling collection service. The packs of 52 red rubbish bags will be delivered to letterboxes between 4 and 22 September. “The next 12-month period for the kerbside collection service starts at the beginning of October so these bags will arrive in time for everyone,” says Infrastructure Manager David Langford. “It will take time to deliver the tens of thousands of bags to each property so please be patient.” Rubbish bag delivery 2017 All residential properties that are charged for a kerbside rubbish service will receive their bags by Friday 22 September. There will be 52 bags delivered to each property – one for each week for the 12 months from the start of October. Delivery trucks will follow a route mapped to be the most efficient. On some streets, the truck might deliver to properties on one side but not deliver to the other side until later. If the rubbish bags will not fit into your letterbox and there is no safe place to leave them, a non-delivery card with a unique ID number will be left. Please bring this with you to the Civic Centre, or a library and service centre in Waitara, Inglewood or Bell Block, to receive your rubbish bags. If your neighbours have received their rubbish bags but you have not, please wait until Monday 25 September to phone or email the Council – 06-759 6060, – as your property’s delivery might be scheduled for another day. If you do not have a letterbox, please come into the Civic Centre or a library and service centre from Monday 25 September with proof of address to collect your bags. Taking rubbish bags from another person’s letterbox is theft. Please report any incidents to the police where you have evidence (e.g. a car registration plate) that would enable the police to follow up. Any missing bags should also be reported to the Council by the end of November. Up to that date, the Council will replace the bags if you have proof of address. Voting Packs for Inglewood Community Board By-election Arriving Next Week 25 August 2017 Voting packs for the Inglewood Community Board by-election will be delivered by post to electors next week (from Tuesday 29 August). A by-election is being held as the result of an extraordinary vacancy, following the resignation of a board member. Voting will close at noon on Wednesday 20 September. Candidates standing in the by-election are: Mel Cook. Megan Hale (Independent) Michael Self. Any elector who believes they are eligible to vote but hasn’t received a voting document by Friday next week (1 September) is advised to contact the electoral office for a special vote – telephone 0800 922 822. Voting documents can be returned by post or hand delivered to the New Plymouth District Council’s Civic Centre, 84 Liardet Street, New Plymouth between Tuesday 29 August and Tuesday 19 September during normal office hours, and on Wednesday 20 September until noon. For more information please contact the Electoral Office, New Plymouth District Council; telephone 0800 922 822. Taste of Asian culture as part of sister city exchange 19 August 2017 Three-Month Wait No Barrier to Happy Dog Adoption 15 August 2017 Three months in the New Plymouth Dog Pound turned out to be worth the wait for greyhound-retriever cross Mya. Remove Your Headphones, Remove the Risk 14 August 2017 Keep an eye out for safety volunteers at two pedestrian railway crossings in New Plymouth tomorrow (Tuesday), as part of Rail Safety Week. The goal of the promotional campaign is to encourage people to remove their headphones before crossing railway lines. “We know from a death at the Weymouth Street crossing last year that music can be a fatal distraction, and as a Council we support KiwiRail’s national campaign to improve pedestrians’ safety,” says NPDC Infrastructure Manager David Langford. “The Council has taken steps to improve safety at our pedestrian railway crossings – but we need pedestrians to also play their part to keep themselves safe. “Trains can’t stop quickly so it’s up to pedestrians to take a moment to check whether a train is coming or not.” The national campaign promotes: Remove Your Headphones, Remove the Risk. To support the campaign locally, the Council is installing vinyl decals on the footpath entrances to pedestrian railway crossings along the Coastal Walkway. Volunteers, including Mayor Neil Holdom, will be at the Weymouth and Egmont streets’ crossings tomorrow to discuss the safety week with pedestrians. Following last year’s fatality the Council removed vegetation to improve visibility along that section of the railway line, worked with KiwiRail to assess the safety of all pedestrian crossings at railway lines and built a formal pedestrian railway line crossing at the end of Calvert Road. NPDC Citizens' Awards Recognise Outstanding Volunteers 14 August 2017 Nine outstanding members of New Plymouth District’s community will tonight receive Citizens’ Awards! The years of voluntary work by the nine recipients cover a wide range of sectors, from emergency services and sports to employment and health. “It’s a real pleasure to be able to give an official ‘thank you and well done’ to these nine people,” says Mayor Neil Holdom. “Volunteers are the life-blood of our district – there are many services that would grind to a halt without them. “So often our volunteers work behind the scenes without recognition. This year’s recipients of the Citizens’ Awards are outstanding due to their years of dedication and how much they have given back to the community, so this is an opportunity to put the spotlight on them and give them some well-deserved praise.” The recipients of the 2017 Citizens Awards are: Nigel Cash (Waitara) Nigel has supported the Waitara Fire Brigade for 20 years as a member of the Operational Support Unit. His duties include traffic control support at motor vehicle accidents and scene lighting assistance; however, it is the extra voluntary work over and above his brigade duties that has led Nigel to this award. The New Zealand Fire Service runs a programme offering the elderly, young families and the disabled free home fire safety checks, resulting in the installation of a free smoke alarm. Each check takes about an hour to complete. For some time now Nigel has unselfishly given up his day off to provide these checks to Waitara and surrounding communities. Elaine Gill (New Plymouth) Elaine has been in New Plymouth for 40-plus years and involved with over 30 trusts, committees, forums and advisory groups during that time. As founding member and Chair of the Taranaki Employment & Support Foundation Trust (TESFT), she has been the driving force behind the success of the trust, holding a number of roles within it. She has worked tirelessly, often putting in more than 40 hours a week on funding applications and end of year reports. The current projects that Elaine has played a key role in include Volunteering New Plymouth, Taranaki Computer Access Centre Trust and Dress for Success, with funding sourced from the Department of Internal Affairs, New Plymouth District Council, WITT and the Ministry of Social Development. There have been a number of other community focused projects under the TESFT umbrella including assisting jobseekers over the age of 40, providing support and educational workshops for migrants and helping unemployed youth complete work experience within community organisations, just to name a few. Elaine’s wealth of knowledge, understanding and empathy for the Taranaki community has led her to be a significant innovator and promoter for Taranaki as a whole. Until recently Elaine was also Chair of the Taranaki Festival of the Arts Trust and Taranaki Community Health Trust. Among other accolades, Elaine was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit, she has received a Kiwi Bank Local Hero Award, and earlier this year she was a finalist for the New Zealander of the Year Awards. Next month she is a finalist for the Women of Influence Award. Jim Hook (Waitara) Jim has been involved in the Waitara community for more than 40 years. Of particular note is the time and effort Jim has put into the Waitara Savage Club. Known as the “fix-it man”, Jim has been a member for 45 years and the “go to” person when things need repairing. Jim was initiated into the Haka Group and also takes part in sketches and songs for the public. Jim now holds the title of Club President. Jim spends time at the Waitara Salvation Army where, along with his wife Pat, he helps with gardening, preparing items for sale, moving items for display and sorting any problems that may arise. If anything needs doing, Jim will sort it. For the Waitara Railway Preservation Society, Jim exemplifies what is good in being a multi-tasking volunteer with a no fuss, no bother attitude. Jim has been on the committee and is a train guard. If people show up when they’re not operating, Jim will take them on a motor trolley up and down the line. Jim now has his own little pad, with radio, bench, tea maker and a sign on the door that says “strip joint” – the “strip joint” is used for restoration projects to bring in cash for the society. TV sets, telephones, electric kettles – Jim will tinker with it. Jim also received a Volunteer Service Award in 2014. Kit Lea (NP) Kit has shared her time and skills with the community for more than 30 years. During that time Kit has put her avid knitting skills to good use by tirelessly creating beautiful singlets, cardigans, hats, booties and blankets for the babies of the neonatal unit at New Plymouth hospital. Kit has mostly purchased the wool herself and knitted these garments that, not only keep the small babies warm, but help the families too. There have been hundreds of babies and families who have benefitted from Kit’s knitting as they have come through the unit. Kit joined the Waitara Lioness Club in 1987 as a charter member and, through natural attrition, was part of the Merrilands Lions and is now with the Bell Block and District Lions Club. Kit has held many positions within the club throughout the years and, in April this year, received her 30 year service Chevron Award. Kit is unassuming and carries on doing the things she loves to do. Katrina McNab (Lepperton) Kat has provided support to the Lepperton and Waitara communities for more than 10 years. Affectionately known as “Hurricane Katrina”, Kat volunteers tirelessly and has endless energy. She manages to stir many helpers into action to make things happen. Kat is not afraid of hard work and will happily roll up her sleeves to get stuck in to anything that needs doing. Over her many years on the Home & School Committee, Kat has raised significant funds for the school, as well as organising calf day and lawnmower racing. Kat helps cook school lunches every second Wednesday, has coached sports teams and transported children to different events throughout the district. Within other parts of the community, Kat assists with the running of weekend events for children with special needs, providing interaction with other children and respite for parents. Running school holiday programmes and organising Lepperton schoolchildren to raise funds to purchase Christmas presents for those less fortunate, form part of the continuing support Kat provides to the community. Maureen Lonsdale (New Plymouth) For more than 40 years, Maureen has devoted herself unstintingly to the service of people in Taranaki who have diabetes. Maureen began her work supporting and counselling diabetic patients on a voluntary basis. Over the years Maureen has developed and widened the scope of her activities in the field of diabetes education and promotion. Maureen has been a major instigator and support person of Diabetes Taranaki, Diabetes Youth Taranaki and holiday camps for children with diabetes. Her innovative ideas have received nationwide recognition and she is often consulted by national organisations. Her activities have encompassed all ages and all population groups affected by this major and increasing health problem. Maureen has always made herself available, providing an invaluable and reassuring support service. In retirement she continues to provide this support in all aspects relating to diabetes. Maureen has been involved with, and is a life member of, Diabetes New Zealand and has received the Diabetes New Zealand Volunteer Award. Maureen has also been involved with basketball, the Mothers Union and theatre. Her goals have been, and are still, helping people.  Terry Parkes (NP) Serving the community stems from Terry’s love for the region and the people who live here. As a doer, Terry gets in and gives his support. Whether it’s sponsorship, support for the visual and performing arts, saving of a significant historical building, support for the hospital and the services it delivers, business and art mentoring, or feeding school children in need of lunches, Terry is at the forefront and often working quietly behind the scenes. Terry is a passionate advocate for the region and spends personal time ensuring visitors experience the cultural highlights of the region, through itineraries he has put together. Visitors depart New Plymouth as champions for the region. Always ready to jump in behind a cause and he has the ability to encourage others to follow suit. His passion and interests are not contained to one sector and, with Terry involved, things tend to happen and quickly. To name a few, Terry is involved with the WITT Advisory Group, Lotteries Commission, Art in Public Places, Taranaki Arts Festival, Tropfest, WOMAD, Garden Spectacular, Taranaki Health Foundation, Govett-Brewster Foundation and prominent fundraising the for Len Lye Centre. Terry’s service to the community is far-reaching and continues to extend into many areas. Neil Sulzberger (New Plymouth) Taranaki cricket has had the pleasure of Neil’s services for more than 50 years. Player, club secretary, selector, board member, coach and chairman are just a few of the roles that Neil has held within the sport. Neil’s contribution to cricket at both the national and international level has been tremendous. For 20 years Neil volunteered his time as Chairman of the Taranaki Cricket Association, only retiring last year. Earlier this year he was honoured with receipt of the Bert Sutcliffe Medal for Outstanding Service to NZ Cricket. Tirelessly supporting the cricket ground at Pukekura Park, Neil has personally managed the majority of matches held at the ground in recent years. He has been responsible for ensuring the continuation and growth of first class cricket at this venue and, largely through his efforts, a number of T20 and 50-over semi-finals and finals have been held at the park. Neil was the prime mover behind the building of the Sulzberger Indoor Cricket Centre, which is situated in New Plymouth and is a tremendous asset for the district. Promotion of cricket in the schools programme, promotion of coaching for secondary school and age group representative teams, and fostering a close association with New Plymouth Boys’ High School and Francis Douglas Memorial College are just a few of the other ways that Neil has supported the Taranaki Cricket Association and the district. Clair Tart (Waitara) Clair has made a significant contribution to the Waitara High School community and Taranaki Cancer Society through her involvement in the school’s Relay for Life team. The success and longevity of the Waitara High School team is attributed to Clair’s enthusiasm and her driving force to enter a team each year, since the relay began. The relay teams have raised more than $25,000 since 2010 for the Cancer Society and earned “Dream Team” status three times, which is no mean feat! To achieve the title the team needs to have raised more than $5,000 per relay and in 2016 Waitara High School was one of only four teams out of 63 to achieve this. Clair teaches the students that raising money for a cause like this is important, and it feels good to do something completely selfless. The students realise that they are making a difference to the lives of people they may have never met. Preparation for the event is months in the making. Clair is camp mum, taxi driver, secretary, treasurer, cook and team manager. She also creates promotional material and supports students in the clean-up of the venue and performing the haka. Clair is the classic example of a teacher going the extra mile for her students, setting them on the path of thinking about others. Voting Packs Being Posted Next Week for North Ward By-election 11 August 2017 Voting packs for the North Ward by-election will be delivered by post to electors next week (from Tuesday 15 August). A by-election is being held as the result of an extraordinary vacancy, following the recent resignation of the Deputy Mayor. Voting will close at noon on Wednesday 6 September. Candidates standing in the by-election are: Vicky Dombroski. Jonathan Marshall. Bill Simpson. Pam Street. John Williams. Any elector who believes they are eligible to vote but hasn’t received a voting document by Friday of next week (18 August) is advised to contact the electoral office for a special vote – telephone 0800 922 822. Voting documents can be returned by post or hand delivered to the New Plymouth District Council’s Civic Centre, 84 Liardet Street, New Plymouth between Tuesday 15 August and Tuesday 5 September during normal office hours, and on Wednesday 6 September until noon. Craig Stevenson Appointed NPDC Chief Executive 04 August 2017 The Mayor of New Plymouth District is delighted to announce Craig Stevenson is the new Chief Executive of New Plymouth District Council (NPDC). There was a strong pool of applicants from around New Zealand and abroad but Craig really stood out says Mayor Neil Holdom. “Craig has 40 years’ experience in Local Government and we are thrilled he will be our new NPDC Chief Executive,” says Mayor Holdom. “He has a wealth of senior management experience, is a people person and has strong relationships across Taranaki and New Zealand. “Craig joins us at an important time as we plan our 10-year work programme called the Long-Term Plan.” The decision was made by the full Council and was unanimous. Craig Stevenson is currently in his 13th year as Chief Executive of South Taranaki District Council. He has a strong reputation within the sector and an excellent understanding of the ‘business of local government’ due to holding dozens of different roles, ranging from office junior to CE. “As a born and bred Taranaki man I’m delighted to secure this new role which will enable me to continue my passion for our outstanding province. I am really excited about this new opportunity but sad to be leaving the great team at South Taranaki District Council,” says Craig Stevenson. The starting date for the new CE is being confirmed and is likely to be in late October. NPDC has $2.5 billion worth of assets and an operating budget of approximately $135 million. It reliably provides core services such as water, waste and roads, along with managing parks, pools, libraries, a regional museum, a zoo, an art gallery, commercial forestry/property, Housing for the Elderly and a crematorium. Historic Day for New Zealand: Maori Affairs Committee Recommends NPDC's Waitara Lands Bill Be Approved 02 August 2017 The Maori Affairs Committee’s recommendation that Parliament approves a Bill to free up leasehold lands in Waitara is a historic moment for New Zealand, says New Plymouth District Mayor Neil Holdom. New Plymouth District Council (NPDC) has worked with the Māori Affairs Committee to make amendments to the Bill.  If approved by Parliament, funds from the leasehold land – both rents and sales proceeds – will now be used as follows: Fifty per cent of NPDC’s share of rent or sales proceeds will now go to a fund for Manukorihi and Otaraua hapū to enable them to own land in or around Waitara. The rest of NPDC’s funds would continue to go into a perpetual fund for the benefit of the Waitara community, with a governance team comprising NPDC and Te Atiawa representatives. Taranaki Regional Council’s share of rent or sales proceeds will now be used on the Waitara River catchment by a joint TRC and iwi committee. The Bill balances the aspirations of hapū and leaseholders as well as NPDC’s legal obligations. “This is a huge step forward and something we as a community have been working towards for more than 30 years,” says Mayor Holdom.  “Waitara’s story is New Zealand’s story. It’s an example of how we can work through an extraordinarily complex matter that at times hasn’t been easy, to achieve a great result for our community while balancing the needs of all our 80,000 residents.” A second reading of the Bill will occur in Parliament in the coming weeks. Further detail on the Bill is online at and FAST FACTS - New Plymouth District Council (Waitara Lands) Bill Why are these lands so important? The Crown’s attempt in 1860 to purchase the Pekapeka Block (a large portion of what is modern-day Waitara) sparked the first Taranaki War, which led to confiscation of Maori land. The Crown gifted confiscated land to local authorities for the development of a harbour and the township at Waitara. What are the leasehold lands? Of the approximately 170 hectares of Council-owned endowment land in Waitara, 133ha was former Waitara Borough Council land held under the Waitara Harbour Act 1940, and the balance land that the Crown gave to borough authorities for municipal purposes under various pieces of legislation and Crown grants. Around 51ha are leased for around 700 homes on 21-year perpetual leases. The remainder is used for around 80 commercial and industrial perpetual leases, grazing, parks and reserves, and Council purposes, or is vacant, flood-prone land. What is the Bill trying to achieve? The Bill now: Transfers almost half of the endowment land to iwi and/or hapu ownership. Removes the restrictions on how income from the leasehold land can be used (which is currently limited to meeting administration costs and limited other purposes such as bridge maintenance). Fifty per cent of NPDC’s funds from the leasehold lands will go to a fund for Manukorihi and Otaraua hapū to enable them to own land in or around Waitara; the rest will go into a perpetual fund for the benefit of the Waitara community. Taranaki Regional Council’s funds from the leasehold land will be used on the Waitara River catchment. Provides leaseholders the right to buy the freehold title to their properties at the current market value of the section. What is the next step? Parliament is scheduled to hold a second reading of the Bill on 9 August, although this is subject to Parliamentary processes. Waitara Lands Bill timeline 1941: all endowment land in Waitara was in the hands of the Waitara Borough Council, one of NPDC’s predecessors. 1989: local government amalgamation in New Zealand. At its first standard council meeting, the newly formed New Plymouth District Council decides to freehold its leasehold lands in Waitara. 1992: NPDC introduces a Bill to Parliament but the Government raises concerns about the sale of such significant land and asks NPDC to try to reach a solution with Te Atiawa. 2002: NPDC starts a review of its position in relation to the Waitara leasehold lands, involving extensive public consultation. 30 March 2004: NPDC resolves to sell leasehold land to the Crown at fair market value for inclusion in Te Atiawa’s treaty settlement and withdraws its 1992 Bill. 31 March 2004: first court proceedings against the Council issue by Waitara Leaseholders Association. 4 November 2005: High Court decision against NPDC. 20 March 2007: Court of Appeal ruling in favour of NPDC. 14 May 2008: High Court strikes out six test cases of individual leaseholder claims against NPDC. 7 September 2010: conditional sale and purchase agreement entered into between the Crown and NPDC to enable endowment land to be used in the settlement. 23 August 2011: final individual leaseholder claim disposed of by Court of Appeal. 30 May 2014: NPDC advised by Office of Treaty Settlements and the Te Atiawa Iwi Authority of their decision not to include Waitara lands in the settlement. 8 August 2014: heads of agreement signed between NPDC and Te Kotahitangi o Te Atiawa (Te Atiawa’s post-settlement authority). April to May 2016: public consultation on draft New Plymouth District Council (Waitara Lands) Bill. 14 September 2016: Bill introduced to Parliament. 21 September 2016: Bill’s first reading in Parliament and is referred to the Maori Affairs Select Committee. 2 August 2017: the committee recommends that Parliament approves the Bill. Community Funding Allocations Announced 01 August 2017 More than 30 community organisations have received grants from New Plymouth District Council’s Community Funding Investment Committee for 2017/18. The grants include multi-year funding to several agencies through a strategic partnership, which will enable the groups to continue their work for more than one year.  Committee chair Harry Duynhoven says as always there were more applications than available funds but it was inspiring to see so many organisations achieving positive outcomes for the people of New Plymouth District. “They contribute so much to our community and we’re pleased to be able to support them in the great work that they do,” he says. The recipients of the 2017/18 funding round are: Strategic partnerships (annual payment over a multi-year period) Big Brothers Big Sisters Taranaki: $3,000 per year (five-year period). Foundation for the Blind: $5,000 per year (three-year period). New Plymouth Indian Community: $8,000 per year (three-year period). Migrant Connections: $18,000 per year (five-year period). Multi Ethnic Council: $12,000 per year (three-year period). Surf Lifesaving New Zealand: $75,000 per year (five-year period). Toimata Foundation: $13,000 per year (three-year period). Taranaki Rescue Helicopter: $30,000 per year (three-year period). New Plymouth City Band: $10,000 per year (five-year period). Victim Support: $3,500 per year (five-year period). New Plymouth injurySafe Trust: $30,000 per year (three-year period). NP Orchestra: $10,000 per year (five-year period). Taranaki Elite Athletes: $20,000 per year (five-year period). East Taranaki Environment Trust: $18,000 per year (five-year period). Community Services and Grants (one off payment for the 2017/18 financial year) Hearing New Zealand: $1,500. New Plymouth Basketball Association: $10,000. Dress for Success New Plymouth: $17,000. Taranaki Women’s Refuge: $18,000. Access Radio Taranaki: $12,000. English Language Partners Taranaki: $2,500. Waitara Alive: $7,000. New Plymouth Emergency Shelter: $15,000. North Taranaki Neighbourhood Support: $7,000. Taranaki Adult Literacy Services: $3,000. Chamber Music New Zealand: $6,000. Taranaki Futures Trust: $47,000. The Parenting Place: $2,000. Taranaki Retreat Trust: $20,000. Intercreate Trust: $20,000. Ars Nova Choir: $5,000. Wellstop Taranaki: $2,500. Taranaki Disabilities Information Centre: $4,000. New Plymouth and District RSA: $15,000. Zero Waste and Coastal Walkway Winners in NPDC Proposed Focus Area Community Survey 28 July 2017 Thousands of people have taken part in conversations on the proposed Focus Areas for New Plymouth District Council (NPDC) with Zero Waste and extending the Coastal Walkway from Bell Block to Waitara coming out tops. Zero Waste had the highest level of support with 559 of the 670 responses in favour. Just 50 were against and 61 were neutral. The second-most-popular proposal was extending the Coastal Walkway to Waitara with 490 of the 580 responses in support (with 36 opposed and 54 neutral). Further down the list were: Thriving central city: 440 positive responses, 48 neutral, 30 negative. Breakwater Bay: 429 positive, 51 neutral, 70 negative. Treasure our water: 289 positive, 70 neutral, 64 negative. “Our awesome natural environment has come out tops, along with extending the coastal walkway from Bell Block to Waitara,” says Mayor Neil Holdom. “We’re delighted that more than 3,500 people have completed the survey and tens of thousands watched our videos, giving valuable feedback about what our focus areas should be for the next three years.  “These opinions will be factored in, as we begin our public conversation about our 10-year work programme called the Long-Term Plan 2018-2028. “However we’re aware that plenty of people haven’t joined the discussion yet, so this coming week we’re encouraging people to Keep Talking and letting us know, what our focus should be.  “What have we missed? Do you have any other big ideas? How can we keep the conversation going and communicate with you better?” says the Mayor. For more information or to have your say, fill in our online survey at and go in the draw to win an iPad. Three Candidates for Inglewood Community Board By-election 25 July 2017 Nominations for New Plymouth District Council’s vacant Inglewood Community Board seat closed at noon today (Tuesday), with three people standing in the by-election. The three candidates are: Mel Cook. Megan Hale (Independent). Michael Self. Voting papers will be delivered to South-West Ward residents who are on the electoral roll for the Inglewood Community Board area by 29 August, with voting closing on 20 September. If you live in or own property in the Inglewood Community Board area but are not on the electoral roll, you can apply to enrol as either a residential or ratepayer elector until Tuesday 19 September – the day before the close of voting – by going to a Post Shop or the Civic Centre on Liardet Street, New Plymouth, or online to or The community board vacancy was created following the resignation of board member Phil Rowe. Voting documents for the North Ward by-election will be delivered to voters registered on the electoral roll in the North Ward (the Waitara and Clifton areas) from Tuesday 15 August. Voting papers must reach the Council by noon on Wednesday 6 September. New Plymouth Lands Major Events Conference 25 July 2017 New Zealand’s premier event industry conference will be held in New Plymouth this year, in what is a major coup for the district and region.  Eventing the Future is the key national conference for event professionals across all sectors of the industry, from sports and arts, to festivals, not-for-profit organisations and government agencies. The conference is traditionally held in the major centres, however, a high-quality bid put together by New Plymouth District Council and Venture Taranaki resulted in the region being awarded the event. NPDC Venues Lead, Nelita Byrne, said more than 140 delegates would descend on the region from  August 2-3 to experience first-hand what Taranaki has to offer and why it was named one of the top two places in the world to visit. “This will provide a great opportunity for us to showcase the region as an event and visitor destination and highlight some of our unique events and the talented individuals behind them. “Having all the major players here could also lead to wider opportunities for the region which we’re very excited about.” Byrne said the conference would also provide an opportunity for those involved in the local events sector to grow, through providing access to seminars and workshops with some of the most successful event experts in the country. “We really are a world class destination here in Taranaki and this conference is another string to our bow in terms of being recognised as a place with a great reputation when it comes to hosting, innovation within the industry, and also the facilities we have on offer.” New Plymouth’s TSB Showplace will be the host venue for the conference, while those attending will also experience the award-winning Yarrow Stadium, and internationally renowned Govett Brewster Art Gallery Len Lye Centre. Energy, Dairy and Tourism? 21 July 2017 Should Taranaki increase its share of New Zealand’s tourism pie?  New Plymouth District Council (NPDC) is considering whether to focus more on tourism, as a major plank of the region’s economy, alongside the giants of energy and dairy. Currently visitors make just over a million trips a year to Taranaki and the questions needs to be asked, should our region take advantage of our top-two in the world accolade from international travel guide publisher Lonely Planet and ride the wave of investment in the Pouakai Crossing, the State Highway 3 upgrade at Mt Messenger and New Plymouth Airport? “We have enormous potential. That’s why Lonely Planet put us on the global tourist map as one of the top-two regions in the world to visit,” Mayor Neil Holdom. “Keeping ourselves on the tourist map means more opportunities for our people, more visitors, more jobs and a more secure future.” According to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, visitors make just over a million trips a year to Taranaki, spending about $340 million a year.  “What if we could double this?” asks Councillor Stacey Hitchcock. “Adding another major pillar to our economy, alongside energy and agriculture, will keep the tills ringing and support our lifestyle.” There is enormous potential in telling the stories of our past – including the Taranaki Wars and New Zealand’s oldest stone church. Working with neighbouring districts could see the creation of tourist trails – for example, visitors to Waitomo could be directed to Mokau, then to the Three Sisters, the White Cliffs and so on. DOC has started to help make the Pouakai Crossing a walk of national significance – one that is on a par with the Tongariro Crossing – and the NZ Transport Agency will ensure our connection to Auckland and the rest of the North Island is even stronger with an improved highway around the Awakino Gorge and Mount Messenger. Should NPDC be doing more to grow the tourism sector and Destination Taranaki? A survey is online at for people to share their thoughts – and everyone who completes the survey goes in the draw to win an iPad!
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