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Top Ten Focus Areas Survey - Have Your Say!
21 July 2017
Developing our district as New Zealand's lifestyle capital will take a team effort - and here's how you can get involved! The Mayor and Councillors have 10 proposed focus areas they would like your feedback on. This week's focus is on keeping talking. Have your say and be in to win an iPad! >> Keep Talking survey As a community, we want to have a conversation about these proposed focus areas for the next three years, which are underpinned by our 30-year plan called the District Blueprint. The 10 proposed focus areas are listed below and each week we'll be focusing on a different topic: Zero waste by 2040 survey Treasure our water survey Waitara stormwater survey Thriving central city survey People-friendly district survey Coastal walkway extension survey Breakwater Bay (East Port development) survey Flagship Projects survey Destination Taranaki survey Keep talking >> Watch the videos and read the opinion pieces about each focus area
Water Main Replacement on Endeavour Street
20 July 2017
Work to replace a water main on Endeavour Street begins on Monday (24 July) and will take three to four weeks to finish. One lane along a section of Endeavour Street will be closed throughout the works period, and drivers are asked to travel with care for the safety of workers and follow the direction of road signs. “At one point of the project we’ll need to close both lanes of Endeavour Street near the Omata Road intersection – we’ll advise when those dates have been confirmed,” says NPDC Infrastructure Manager David Langford. “We’ve also been contacting residents and Marfell Community School directly about this project and will be in touch again before we have to shut off the water for short periods, for instance when we switch a property over to a new water toby.”
Five Nominees for North Ward By-election
11 July 2017
Nominations for New Plymouth District Council’s vacant North Ward seat closed at noon today (Tuesday), with five people standing in the by-election. The five candidates are: John Williams. Pam Street. Bill Simpson. Vicky Dombroski. Jonathan Marshall. Voting documents 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 New Plymouth District Council by noon on Wednesday 6 September. If you live in or own property in the North Ward but are not on the electoral roll, you can apply to enrol as either a residential or ratepayer elector until Tuesday 5 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 elections.org.nz or newplymouthnz.com. The North Ward vacancy was created following the resignation of former Deputy Mayor Craig McFarlane. Nominations for the vacant seat on the Inglewood Community Board close at noon on Tuesday 25 July. Nomination forms are available at the Inglewood Library and Service Centre, the Civic Centre in New Plymouth, and online at newplymouthnz.com.
Join the NPDC Hot Topics Discussion Tomorrow
10 July 2017
The first in a regular series of free community discussions with experts will begin tomorrow (Tuesday) when Massey University’s Jonathon Hannon talks about Zero Waste. The NPDC Hot Topics programme of discussions will focus on issues of importance to the future of New Plymouth District. The public are invited to attend and ask questions of the thought-leaders who have been brought in for each topic. NPDC Infrastructure Manager David Langford says Zero Waste is a key part of the draft Waste Management and Minimisation Plan (WMMP), which is open for public submissions until 5pm this Friday (14 July). “Jonathon Hannon is from Massey University’s Zero Waste Academy and will be speaking about the theory and practice of Zero Waste and sustainable management of resources,” he says. “We’ll also be talking about the Council’s efforts towards Zero Waste and we’ll be encouraging questions from the audience. “Anyone who is interested is welcome to attend.” The one-hour NPDC Hot Topics talks will be held at noon and 5pm tomorrow at the Civic Centre of Liardet Street, New Plymouth. Light refreshments will be available. For more information about the draft WMMP or to make a submission, go to newplymouthnz.com/WastePlan.
Planning Ahead for our Children: What's our next Pukekura Park or Coastal Walkway?
07 July 2017
The possibility of a flagship project every five or 10 years with strict financial management is being raised for discussion and public feedback by New Plymouth District Council (NPDC). A flagship project could be a new recreation or sports facility, or an initiative that boosts the district’s economy – for instance, by attracting a major event. Alternatively, NPDC could revamp an existing lifestyle facility, so they can continue to meet the needs of a growing population. Councillor Stacey Hitchcock says the visionary work of our forebears resulted in the creation of Pukekura Park, Puke Ariki and the Coastal Walkway – award-winning attractions that have put New Plymouth District on the map. “Success is a long-term project that’s built on good financial judgement,” she says. “These flagship attractions are a legacy of the foresight and investment of previous generations, which have contributed to Lonely Planet naming Taranaki one of the top-two destinations in the world. “We need to ask ourselves: how can we continue our success for our children? What’s our vision and how can we pay for it? “By keeping a tight rein on our finances, we think we could plan for a flagship project every five to 10 years.” Adds Councillor Harry Duynhoven: “Our district is growing fast. It’s home to about 80,000 people now and it’s forecast to hit 106,000 in 30 years. “But we want our home to be more than just habitable; we want the mod cons that keep it comfortable and attractive – for ourselves and our visitors. “We have to recognise that our district can’t stand still and we should prepare for the future.” The Council would like to know what you think – just go online to newplymouthnz.com/Top10 and fill in the short survey. Everyone who completes a survey will go in the draw to win an iPad.
Huge Growth Potential in Developing Breakwater Bay in Wake of America's Cup Win
30 June 2017
New Plymouth District Council is considering the potential for Breakwater Bay developments to boost the region’s economy. The bay, at the eastern end of the port where cafes and recreation businesses are grouped, could have a marina development, better connections to the Coastal Walkway and more leisure and shopping opportunities. And in the wake of New Zealand’s America’s Cup win, when the international yachting fraternity’s attention will be on our country more than ever before, the timing could be perfect. Councillor Murray Chong says Port Taranaki makes a significant contribution to the Taranaki economy and the areas of the port that are accessible to the public make for a great day out. “But is it an under-developed jewel in our crown?” asks Mr Chong. “Marina developments in other regional ports – like Picton, Nelson, Napier and Whangarei – have generated jobs and business with new leisure and shopping precincts. Some have drawn hotels too. “It could also attract international yachts – maybe trans-Tasman races – and bring more competitors to our fishing tournaments. “Our coastal attractions and links to the sea are an important part of our history and key to our appeal. We need to make the most of them.” Says Councillor Alan Melody: “The question is whether the public wants this to be one of the areas that the Council focuses its efforts, in partnership with Port Taranaki and Ngati Te Whiti. “We’ve got a survey up on newplymouthnz.com/Top10 and we’d really like to get the public’s feedback on how important this is to them.” Port Taranaki, NPDC, and Ngati Te Whiti already have a working relationship at the Ngamotu Beach area of the port. Port Taranaki owns the land but has made it available to the public for recreational use, while NPDC maintains the amenities such as toilets, open spaces, picnic tables, benches and play equipment. Ngati Te Whiti, a hapu of Te Atiawa, is mana whenua.
Saturday Car Parking Charges to Benefit Central Business District
29 June 2017
Charges for parking in New Plymouth’s CBD on Saturdays will begin this weekend (1 July) – and the revenue will be used to benefit the central business area. Earlier this year the Council decided to not continue with free Saturday car parking once the 12-month trial finished at the end of June. Instead, the estimated $310,000 that will come each year from the Saturday car parking charges will be invested back into the city’s CBD as part of the Council’s effort to support the region’s major business and retail area. Councillor Shaun Biesiek says New Plymouth’s CBD is the district’s and region’s business, social and cultural hub, but it is facing challenges. “Visitor and shopping trends are changing. To give the central city the support and energy it needs to thrive, we need to seize new opportunities and be more creative about how we do that,” he says. “The funding we get from Saturday parking revenue will help us entice local, national and international visitors, which will in turn bring jobs and business opportunities.” The funding will go towards more public events in the central city, enhancing the facades of selected heritage buildings, better management of CBD trees and the creation a Central City Liaison. Make parking easier The easy-to-use PayMyPark app enables users to pay for parking via their smartphone. Users can extend their parking time remotely, receive an alert when their paid parking is about to expire, or use the start/stop function and pay for only the parking minutes that are used. More information is available online at newplymouthnz.com/PayMyPark. Remember that the first 10 minutes in a paid parking space are free (so you can duck into a store quickly without feeding the meter – just be sure to return before the 10 minutes are up!) In addition, NPDC wants public feedback on whether reinforcing New Plymouth as a destination for leisure, events and cultural activities should be a key focus area of the Council. Just go to newplymouthnz.com/Top10 and fill in the Central City survey.
National Award for Management of Infrastructure Contracts
29 June 2017
Saving Ratepayers More than Half a Million Dollars A new way of managing how engineering consultants design the district’s infrastructure is estimated to have saved New Plymouth District Council (NPDC) more than $600,000 in its first year. The success of the first 12 months of the new process was capped off with an award from the Institute of Public Works Engineers Australasia (IPWEA) at their national annual conference in Dunedin last week. “The innovative approach we’ve taken means Council staff and consultants are incentivised to work collaboratively to be more efficient and reduce the cost of doing the work,” says David Langford. “Cost savings made by the consultants are shared with the Council, which is great news for New Plymouth’s ratepayers – and expect this new approach to continue to deliver savings for the community’s benefit.” Mr Langford says receiving this recognition from the IPWEA shows that the Council’s new approach to engineering design contracts is considered industry best practice and that New Plymouth District is starting to lead the way. “It’s also great recognition for our team, who have worked really hard to make these cost savings possible,” he says.
A Home for Champions
28 June 2017
A Bell Block martial arts group has a new home thanks to a New Plymouth District Council community lease. >> Watch the video The Hurricanes Martial Arts Academy moved into the old Scout Hall earlier this year and have been slowly doing it up into a purpose-designed training base. The move was made possible thanks to a special NPDC lease on the land. Now the club with about 65 members – mostly kids – can grow with the community. “The Scout Hall has a long history from scout groups to the last occupants, Box Office Boxing, which produced some of New Zealand’s best boxers,” says Hurricanes founder Gavin Hughes. “The Hurricanes plan to add to the history by creating future champions both in the arena and in life.” The Hurricanes bought the building from Box Office Boxing for just $1 and NPDC approved a concessionary lease on the land for $1 a year for 10 years. Previously the Hurricanes had rented hall space in Bell Block. “Since moving to the Mangati Reserve site, we have been able to create a safer training area with fixed floor mats and permanently hanging boxing bags,” says Mr Hughes. “We are planning major internal and external upgrades over the next four years as we intend to grow and retain our membership base and upgrade the facilities and our equipment.” NPDC Property Management Lead Catherine Croot says the Council operates about 120 such community leases. “This is an example of the good that New Plymouth District Council community leases do, such as enabling the use of a run-down building for kids and adults to get together and keep fit and enjoy themselves,” says Ms Croot.
Temporary Road Closure: Dawson Street
27 June 2017
Installation of a stormwater manhole and associated pipework on Dawson Street requires the road to be closed to all traffic. When: From 7.30am on Monday 3 July to 4.30pm on Thursday 6 July or until works are completed (weather permitting). Closure: Dawson Street (between Devon and King streets). This closure is made in terms of Section 342(1)(b) of the Local Government Act 1974. The road will re-open without further notice. Contact Dave Read, City Care Ltd on 027 4349 517.
Damaged Suspension Bridge to Reopen After Repairs
26 June 2017
The historic Bertrand Road Bridge is expected to reopen by the middle of next month. The bridge was damaged on 20 May when an oversized truck drove onto it and damaged the running planks, decking boards and handrails. The bridge has been closed for inspections since then. Fortunately, these inspections have shown that no serious damage has been done to the structure of the bridge and its supports. As well as making repairs, the Council will replace the existing traffic bollards – which were in place to allow bridge access to only light vehicles – with larger ones. “Over the years the previous bollards had been nudged aside as bigger vehicles tried their luck,” says Infrastructure Manager David Langford. “As well as bringing in these larger bollards we’ll install four more – two on either side – 10m away from the bridge as an additional warning to drivers. “This is a historic suspension bridge and it’s important that road users respect it. When it reopens, it will be for pedestrians, cyclists, motorbikes and light vehicles only.” The repairs will cost about $60,000, with the company that employed the truck driver paying the bill. The Bertrand Road Bridge crosses the Waitara River and connects the communities of Huirangi and Tikorangi. It was closed in 1985 to vehicles and in 2004 to pedestrians due to safety concerns, then was reopened in 2016 after the Bertrand Road Suspension Bridge Trust raised $630,000 to have it restored.
Temporary Road Closure Egmont Street Fredericks Marquee Event
25 June 2017
Haven Holdings Limited has requested the closure of the following road to conduct the Frederic’s All Blacks test marquee Party. The application is being considered under Schedule 10 of the Local Government Act 1974. Please send written submissions about the closure to New Plymouth District Council by 4pm on 7 July. Submissions must be made on the road closure form or by contacting the Council on 06-759 6060 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Date and period of closure: from 7am Saturday 9 September to 9am Sunday 10 September. Roads to be closed: Egmont Street from King to Ariki streets. Emergency vehicles will have unrestricted access at all times.
Temporary Road Closure Egmont Street Peggy Gordons Marquee Event
24 June 2017
Bannockburn Holdings Ltd has requested the closure of the following road to conduct Peggy Gordon’s All Blacks test marquee event. The application is being considered under Schedule 10 of the Local Government Act 1974. Send written submissions about the closure to New Plymouth District Council by 4pm on 7 July. Submissions must be made on the road closure form or by contacting the Council on 06-759 6060 or email@example.com. Date and period of closure: from 7am Saturday 9 September to 9am Sunday 10 September. Roads to be closed: Egmont Street from Devon Street West to King Street. Emergency vehicles will have unrestricted access at all times.
Inglewood Community Board Member Resigns: Second By-election Coming
23 June 2017
A member of the Inglewood Community Board has tendered his resignation letter for personal reasons. Phil Rowe, who was Chair of the board during the 2013/16 term, has confirmed his resignation. Mr Rowe was first elected to the board in 2007, with his fourth successful election last year. Current board chairman Kevin Rowan says he regrets the resignation as Mr Rowe has brought substantial local knowledge to the community board. “However I wish him well for the future and I thank him for his service to the community over the years,” says Mr Rowan. “We’ll be opening nominations for election on Tuesday the 27 June. I really encourage people to stand for election as the community boards are a great way to make real changes in our community, especially with the Council’s draft long-term (10 year) plan coming up.” Nomination forms will be available online at newplymouthnz.com and at the Inglewood Library and Service Centre as well as the Civic Centre in New Plymouth. Voting papers will be delivered to South-West Ward residents who are on the electoral roll by 29 August, with voting closing on 20 September. It is the second by-election that will be held by New Plymouth District Council following the resignation of former Deputy Mayor Craig McFarlane so that he can concentrate on recovering his health following a stroke. The by-election for Mr McFarlane’s North Ward seat will be held from 15 August to 6 September. The by-elections for the Inglewood Community Board seat and the Council’s North Ward seat are being held separately as they involve different groups of electors.
New Governance Partnership Between NPDC and Senior Iwi Leaders Created
22 June 2017
New Plymouth District Council (NPDC) and iwi leadership have created Te Huinga Taumatua Committee to bring the expertise of iwi leaders to the Council’s decision-making process. “This is a pleasing step forward and is about iwi leaders having a seat at the governance table,” says Mayor Neil Holdom. Te Huinga Taumatua Committee will consist of five iwi leaders and five elected Councillors to identify and discuss issues of cultural, economic, environmental and social importance to Maori in the district. Unlike the former Iwi Relationship Subcommittee, Te Huinga Taumatua will generate items for the Council to consider as well as make recommendations on Council issues. “The committee consists of iwi leaders with strong mana and governance experience. It will focus on issues of importance to Maori and provide strategic guidance to NPDC,” says Cr Gordon Brown. “It’s a pleasing step forward in our partnership and we’re looking forward to the future of this governance committee,” says Cr Marie Pearce. The committee consists of: Mayor Neil Holdom. Councillor Gordon Brown. Councillor Richard Handley. Councillor Stacey Hitchcock. Councillor Marie Pearce. Larry Crow (Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Tama Trust). Leanne Horo (Te Kāhui o Taranaki Trust). Glenn Peri (Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Maru Trust). Liana Poutu (Te Kotahitanga o Te Atiawa Trust). Colleen Tuuta (Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Mutunga). The committee’s name has two parts: Te Huinga, which has a dual meaning for a gathering of people and a gathering of leaders, and Taumatua, a place where birds gather high in the trees. The committee will meet every five weeks starting 17 August, pending Councillors’ confirmation of its terms of reference at their next meeting on 26 June. It will also help NPDC meet its statutory obligations relating to the Treaty of Waitangi/Te Tiriti o Waitangi under the Local Government Act 2002. The committee’s full terms and references are online at newplymouthnz.com in the 26 June Council Meeting agenda.
Two Route Options Considered for Coastal Walkway Extension
16 June 2017
Planning has begun on potentially extending the Coastal Walkway from Bell Block to Waitara and two options for the route are being considered. One option is to go inland, possibly through newly rezoned residential land in Bell Block, and develop side-paths along streams down to the coast. The second and harder option would be a potential coastal route. “We could create the walkway beside the sea but we would have to factor in coastal erosion, protecting numerous historical sites and consider airport security,” says Councillor Mike Merrick. Whichever route is eventually chosen as the favoured option, the extension would enable NPDC to tell the region’s story at important sites along the pathway while preserving areas that are important to iwi and hapu. The area has a rich history as the rohe of the Puketapu hapu and is believed to be the first area settled by Maori on this coast. “Extending the walkway would bring visitors to Waitara’s West Beach and Marine Park and link it to the Waitara River walkway,” says Councillor Colin Johnston. “The extension would bring more visitors to the town, support tourism growth and be an opportunity to tell more of our unique history. It would connect Waitara to the proposed Taranaki Traverse route, up the Waiwhakaiho River to Egmont National Park.” The walkway is currently 12.7km long. Depending on the chosen route, the proposed extension could increase the Coastal Walkway to 20km. “Imagine waking up in Waitara and cycling an eco-friendly and safe route to work in the city; free of cars, buses and trucks,” says Councillor Marie Pearce. “You could stop in at New Plymouth Airport along the way for a bite to eat and a cuppa while watching the planes. “Our award-winning Coastal Walkway is a great feat of imagination. Who would have imagined 20 years ago that we would have one of New Zealand’s best coastal attractions?” The proposal to extend the Coastal Walkway to Waitara is open for public comment through the Council’s proposed 10 Focus Areas discussion. The public are asked to share their thoughts on the proposal by filling in a survey form at newplymouthnz.com/Top10 – all participants will go in the draw to win an iPad.
New-Style Water Quality Signs Coming to More Sites
14 June 2017
A new style of recreational water quality sign is being rolled out across New Plymouth District. Nine more sites will receive a version of the one trialled at Waitara’s Marine Park since December last year, which generated positive public feedback. “As a result of that feedback we’ve made some slight changes to the design but, overall, people find this style of sign informative and easy to understand,” says Infrastructure Manager David Langford. The large signs will replace various smaller ones so that the key information about water quality and any warnings against swimming or collecting shellfish are all in the one place. The design includes a ‘traffic light’ system to mark any warnings. On the marine signs the warnings are: Green – no health warnings. Orange – no shellfish gathering. Red – no swimming or shellfish gathering. On the freshwater signs the warnings are: Green – no health warnings. Orange – no swimming or food gathering. Red – no dogs or swimming. The district councils use Taranaki Regional Council’s monitoring and national health guidelines to notify the public if the water quality of a site becomes unsuitable for swimming and other water-based recreational activities. The signs have been developed through a collaboration involving hapu, the Taranaki District Health Board, Taranaki Regional Council and the three district councils in New Plymouth, Stratford and South Taranaki. The latest information about water quality is also on the district councils’ websites, including a map of the region that displays the information for each site where water quality is tested.
Driving the Change to Zero Waste: Have Your Say on Draft Plan
14 June 2017
The public can now have their say on how we transform New Plymouth District into a Zero Waste community. Public consultation opens today (Wednesday) on the Council’s draft Waste Management and Minimisation Plan: a six-year overview that details where the district is at with waste and recycling, the areas we can improve and what action we can take to achieve Zero Waste. “It’s important that we hear from the rural community, commercial operators and urban residents because we all have a part to play to reducing the volume of waste we produce,” says NPDC Infrastructure Manager David Langford. “As a community, we’re doing better with our waste volumes but there are some options we can consider that would cut that volume a lot more. “For instance, 40 per cent of the waste that currently goes to the landfill could be diverted into reuse and recycling, and 60 per cent of the waste that’s put out in our kerbside rubbish bags could be recycled or composted.” Submission forms are available online here and from the Civic Centre, Puke Ariki and community libraries. “We’ve also launched MyRates.co.nz so that homeowners can look at how the various options would affect their rates, make the selections they prefer and, if they wish, send their selections as a submission,” says Mr Langford. “We’ll also be at the Seaside Market at Ngamotu Beach in the first weekend of July and talking directly with community groups so that we can answer any questions and encourage people to have their say.” The draft plan lists the district’s key goals as: Maximising opportunities to reduce levels of waste sent to the landfill. (The region sends about 55,000 tonnes of waste to the landfill each year – about 40 per cent of which could be recycled or composted.) Reducing the harmful and costly effects of waste, e.g. reducing the instances of illegal dumping. Improving efficiency of resource use. NPDC proposes to deliver on these goals by: Changing the current kerbside collection of a weekly 60L rubbish bag and two fortnightly recycling bins (one for glass and one for general recycling) to a fortnightly 120L rubbish bin and three recycling bins (for glass, general recycling and food/green waste). Growing the Council’s education programmes to drive behaviour change. Developing collaboration and partnerships in the district, regionally and nationally. Showing leadership and innovation by modelling good practice in Council facilities and addressing commercial waste. If all of the proposed changes are approved after public consultation, it would result in an additional $2.15 per week on household rates. Submissions close on 14 July.
Are you a Big-Picture Thinker with a Vision for the Future of our Community? Do You Want a Seat at the NPDC Governance Table?
13 June 2017
New Plymouth District Council (NPDC) is gearing up for a by-election in the North Ward following the resignation of former Deputy Mayor Craig McFarlane. Nominations for the vacant seat open today (TUESDAY). NPDC has total assets worth about $2.5 billion dollars and provides all the core services you’d expect – water, waste and roads – as well as a dynamic cultural and recreational opportunities for our people and visitors alike. The person elected to the North Ward seat will play a key role in continuing to guide the growth of our district. People standing in the by-election will need to be: Over 18 years old. On the electoral roll. A New Zealand citizen. Nominated by two people who reside in the North Ward (Waitara and Clifton areas). Nomination forms are available online and at the Waitara Library and Service Centre and the Liardet Street Civic Centre. Voting in the by-election will open in mid-August with voting closing on 6 September. Every registered voter in the North Ward will be able to vote – to check if you’re enrolled, go to elections.org.nz. Timeline for the North Ward by-election Tuesday 13 June – nominations open. Tuesday 11 July – nominations close (noon). Tuesday 15 August – voting documents delivered to voters registered on the electoral roll in the North Ward. Wednesday 6 September – voting closes (noon). Saturday 9 September – declaration of results.
Public Safety Project Begins at Tongaporutu
12 June 2017
A key road safety project begins on Wednesday (14 June) at Tongaporutu in an effort to keep pedestrians off the state highway. The pathway that runs beneath State Highway 3 at the Tongaporutu Bridge is being concreted by New Plymouth District Council with support from local residents. NPDC Manager Parks Operations Stuart Robertson says concreting the path, which connects the north and south sides of the village, was included in the Tongaporutu Development Plan after community consultation. “This underpass is the only safe way to get from one side of the residential area to the other, as walking on the state highway isn’t advisable,” says Mr Robertson. “By concreting the path we’ll be making it accessible in all weather and it’ll be an easier and more inviting route for everyone to use.” The work is expected to take three weeks, during which time the area under the bridge will be closed. “We’ve scheduled the project for June because it’s a quiet time of year for visitors,” he says. “Anyone wanting to walk from one side of the village to the other will need to cross the state highway during the works period so we ask people to take extreme care. It’s a busy state highway and people will need to be certain there’s no oncoming traffic before walking across.”
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