News and Notices

News Local Our Work Inglewood water pipes Inglewood multi-million dollar water project continues 09 July 2020 The $8 million dollar project to improve Inglewood’s drinking water is back in full swing following the Covid-19 lockdown using local contractors Downer. The next phase of the three-year upgrade of Inglewood’s water network is about to get under way with the installation of two modern flow meters at each of the town’s two reservoirs at the Inglewood Water Treatment Plant. These will replace the existing, aged single flow meter at these sites and help better manage the town’s water supply. “A huge thank you to the people of Inglewood for their patience as we continue work on this $8 million project to help reduce the likelihood of discoloured water coming out of people’s taps every now and then. So far more than 8 kilometres of pipes have been replaced and when we’re finished, we’ll have replaced nearly half the town’s water pipes, some 13 kilometres worth,” says NPDC Infrastructure Manager David Langford. The project began in late 2018 and is part of an additional $44 million improvement to the district’s water networks. This phase will take place during the second half of July and there is the chance it might cause short-term instances of discoloured water. Everything possible will be done to minimise this disruption and we apologise if we cause any inconvenience. Over the next few months the new water main pipes between the town and the water reservoirs will be connected, and the project will move onto replacing pipes in the northern part of Inglewood with the whole project due to be completed, subject to weather and logistics, at the end of next year. NPDC looks after more than 800km of water pipes throughout the district; they range in age from new to more than 110 years old.
Alcohol BIG BARREL DEVON ROAD Application 08 July 2020 JUST LIQUOR LIMITED of 633 Devon Road WAIWHAKAIHO, NEW PLYMOUTH has made an application to the New Plymouth District Licensing Committee for the grant of a Renewal Off Licence for the premises situated at 633 Devon Road WAIWHAKAIHO, NEW PLYMOUTH 4312 known as BIG BARREL DEVON ROAD. The general nature of the business conducted (or to be conducted) under the licence is a Bottle Store - Off Licence. Days and Hours: Monday to Sunday 9am to 9.30pm You may also inspect the application at the New Plymouth District Council, Liardet Street, New Plymouth. If you would like to object to the application, in accordance with the Act, please write to us within 15 working days of this notice District Licensing Committee at Private Bag 2025, New Plymouth 4342. This publication was made on 09 July 2020
News Our Work Local New Plymouth CBD Sprucing up our streets to support the local economy 08 July 2020 Building owners wanting to give their main street properties a spruce-up can now apply to a new $50,000 fund, thanks to NPDC.  Councillors on 30 June topped up funding to keep the District’s main streets looking great, as part of the Back On Our Feet $20 million relief package to help our economy recover from Covid 19. The extra investment will enable building owners in New Plymouth, Waitara and Inglewood to get a helping hand when they upgrade their properties, helping to encourage more people to shop locally. New Plymouth District Mayor Neil Holdom says the street-smart scheme is another great way NPDC is working to keep the central areas vibrant and lend a helping hand to shops, restaurants and cafes. “Many local businesses are hurting and we need to help them weather the Covid-19 economic storm. This extra funding can help transform your business at street level, bring in punters and keep the tills ringing. Small and medium sized businesses are the lifeblood of our community and we want to help them get Back On Their Feet.” The additional funding will go towards: Helping building owners to look at outside, structural or interior works and keep work and money coming in for property professionals, architects, and surveyors. Helping to brighten up building fronts and signage. In addition, owners of earthquake-prone buildings are allowed an extra 18 months to get engineering reports. More than 70 per cent of people supported the main street building funding in an NPDC public survey on its Covid-19 relief package with close to a 1,000 pieces of feedback received. Property owner John Shewry says the look of the buildings is a measure of the success of our CBDs and is key to attracting people. “Many of our main street buildings could do with smartening up and this is the time to do it. It’s a great opportunity to renew and reinvent what our main streets offer,” says Mr Shewry. Owner of Flora and Co. Indoor Plant Studio Maree Wiki said the façade fund had helped pay for a new shop frontage in May, which boosted her business and given work to local designers and tradespeople. “We’ve had a tremendous number of customers coming into our Devon Street shop since we gave our business a facelift – it’s really landmarked us in the CBD,” says Ms Wiki. As well as the street-smart funding, NPDC’s $20 million Back On Our Feet package includes: $8m in rates relief with the deferment of payments for six months or a year. $7.5m to expand the Home Insulation scheme, providing work for tradies to make residents’ homes warmer and greener. $1.3m on cutting fees for local businesses including restaurants, hairdressers, cafes and builders. $450,000 in extra funding for grassroots groups. $165,000 for small and medium businesses via Venture Taranaki SME grant. $90,000 community and commercial rent relief.Continuing to ‘Buy local’ and giving Taranaki contractors and suppliers an advantage when bidding for NPDC works. Go to newplymouthnz.com/PimpMyBuilding or call NPDC on 06-759 6060 for more details.
Public Notice Road Closure Lets Go Car Free Day Temporary Road Closure 08 July 2020 NPDC’s Let’s Go Team has requested the closure of the following road to conduct a celebration of World Car Free Day: Date and period of closure: from 9.30am to 2.30pm on Wednesday 23 September. Roads to be closed: Queen Street between Devon street West to King Street. The application is being considered under the Transport (Vehicular Traffic Road Closure) Regulations 1965. Submissions to the closure should reach New Plymouth District Council by 4pm on 24 July 2020. Submissions must be made on the road closure form, which is available online at newplymouthnz.com/submissions, or by contacting the Council on 06-759 6060 or enquiries@npdc.govt.nz. Emergency vehicles will have unrestricted access at all times. During the proposed period of closure, an approved traffic management plan will provide for ordinary vehicular traffic which would otherwise use the roads.
Alcohol Simply Divine Cafe Renewal and Variation On Licence Application 07 July 2020 Nerissa Alison HOSKIN of 16B Maire Street, INGLEWOOD 4330, has made an application to the New Plymouth District Licensing Committee for the grant of a Renewal and Variation to hours for On Licence for the premises situated at 1281 Egmont Road NEW PLYMOUTH 4312 known as SIMPLY DIVINE CAFE. The general nature of the business conducted (or to be conducted) under the licence is a Restaurant - Class 3 On Licence. Days and Hours: Monday to Sunday 8am to 11pm You may also inspect the application at the New Plymouth District Council, Liardet Street, New Plymouth. If you would like to object to the application, in accordance with the Act, please write to us within 15 working days of this notice District Licensing Committee at Private Bag 2025, New Plymouth 4342. This publication was made on 06 July 2020
Alcohol Waitara Soccer Club Waitara Renewal and Variation to Club Licence Application 06 July 2020 NEIL ALLEN SMITH of 40 Mouatt Street, WAITARA 4320 has made an application to the New Plymouth District Licensing Committee for the grant of a Renewal and a change of name and hours - Variation to a Club Licence for the premises situated at 146 Manukorihi Road WAITARA 4320 known as WAITARA SOCCER CLUB. The general nature of the business conducted (or to be conducted) under the licence is a Class 3 Club - Club Licence. Days and Hours: Sunday-Monday 11am to 6pm Tuesday to Thursday 7pm to 10pm Friday-Saturday 12noon to 1am the following day You may also inspect the application at the New Plymouth District Council, Liardet Street, New Plymouth. If you would like to object to the application, in accordance with the Act, please write to us within 15 working days of this notice District Licensing Committee at Private Bag 2025, New Plymouth 4342. This publication was made on 07 July 2020
News Local Our Work Wastewater Treatment Plant $37m green wastewater plant upgrade a big win for District 01 July 2020 The Government’s announcement of a $37 million investment in a new and greener Thermal Dryer for the district’s wastewater treatment plant will be a shot in the arm for the local engineering sector in Taranaki and a long term asset for the community, says New Plymouth Mayor Neil Holdom.  Infrastructure Minister Hon Shane Jones announced the hi-tech investment this morning which will see New Plymouth-based Hiringa Energy supply hydrogen so the Thermal Dryer runs on a hydrogen/natural gas blend, servicing some 27,000 properties across the District. The new Thermal Dryer will significantly reduce the carbon footprint of running the facility by between 25% to 40%, cutting emissions.  “New Plymouth is the only council that produces and sells fertiliser as a by-product from treating our wastewater, avoiding the sludge going to landfill, protecting our stunning natural environment and generating some revenue from what would otherwise be a cost,” says Mayor Holdom. “We welcome the investment in a critical and ageing piece of infrastructure which will create a significant number of jobs for the very talented engineering sector in Taranaki who have time and time again proved our local expertise is on a par with anywhere in the world.” “We welcome the Coalition Government’s investment in our community in an initiative which is good for the environment, good for the engineering sector and just what our local economy needs right now as we recover from Covid-19.” “NPDC appreciates the support of Infrastructure Minister Hon Shane Jones, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Minister Hon Andrew Little who we know have all been instrumental in delivering this investment for the people of North Taranaki.”  Thermal Dryer fast facts It provides approximately 27,097 connections: 25,398 residential, 1,699 commercial & industrial. It serves approximately 61,946 residents or 76% of the district’s total population. It treats between 7.9 and 10.8 million cubic meters of wastewater per year, up to 4,300 Olympic sized swimming pools. When it was built in the 1984, the New Plymouth wastewater treatment plant was the first of its kind in New Zealand. It produces about 1,600 tonnes of Bioboost™ each year from biosolids or sludge. New Plymouth District is the only wastewater operator in New Zealand that produces fertilizer and sells it commercially. Others who have Thermal Dryers either put the dried product in the landfill or use it on their own parks. This project was one of 1924 applications considered by the Government’s Infrastructure Reference Group from across New Zealand.
News Our Work Have Your Say Local Te Huinga Taumatua new The big calls: Three takeaways from two NPDC meetings 30 June 2020 Public feedback on Māori Ward likely In a nearly full chamber, Te Huinga Taumatua committee has recommended seeking public feedback on three options for the creation of a Māori Ward and NPDC lobby Central Government for law changes to remove the provision of a binding poll on the Māori Ward. They removed one option that would have let respondents say no to creating a Ward. A final decision on the consultation will be made at the Full Council Meeting on 21 July. Under local government rules, the Council has review its makeup every six years and this includes deciding if a Māori Ward should be set up. New Plymouth Airport recapitalised NPDC is to provide a $22m equity injection to its independent airport company, Papa Rereangi i Puketapu (PRIP), following the economic downturn caused by Covid-19. A partial share dividend, to offset the impacts of the debt for equity swap, is also on the cards by 2023. The travel sector has been one of the areas hit-hardest by the pandemic and the New Plymouth Airport saw its revenue drop to almost zero as New Zealand went into full lockdown to stop the spread of Covid-19 in March. At an Extraordinary Council meeting on 30 June, the Mayor and Councillors considered options from independent financial advisors PWC on the financial future of the 100% NPDC-owned airport. Back On Our Feet budget passed A Get Us Back On Our Feet yearly budget has been approved by the Mayor and Councillors and includes a $20 million package to help residents and local businesses recover from the impact of Covid-19. The $175 million Annual Plan has been revised due to the unprecedented impact of the global pandemic including a projected $5.4 million drop in income. Proposed rate increases for the average residential ratepayer were cut from nearly 5% to 2.71%. Nearly 1,000 people gave their feedback on the stimulus measures with support for initiatives to help keep tradies in work by making homes warmer and greener, boosting grassroots groups, slashing fees and charges to cut the cost of doing business, favouring Taranaki firms for NPDC’s works and help with sprucing up town centre buildings. The package includes $8 million in rates relief while city centre shops and cafes will get a shot in the arm with one hour of free parking until 30 September.
Alcohol Application - Variation - The Eliot 29 June 2020 RIG 66 LIMITED of 280 Devon Street East NEW PLYMOUTH has made an application to the New Plymouth District Licensing Committee for a change of trading name - VARIATION Renewal On Licence for the premises situated at 280 Devon Street East NEW PLYMOUTH 4310 to be known as THE ELIOT. The general nature of the business conducted (or to be conducted) under the licence is a Tavern - Class 1 On Licence. Days and Hours: Monday to Saturday 8am to 2am the following day Sunday 8am to midnight ENCROACHMENT AREA Monday to Saturday 8am to 1am the following day Sunday 8am to midnight You may also inspect the application at the New Plymouth District Council, Liardet Street, New Plymouth. If you would like to object to the application, in accordance with the Act, please write to us within 15 working days of this notice. District Licensing Committee at Private Bag 2025, New Plymouth 4342. This publication was made on 30 June 2020.
Have Your Say Local Pukekura Raceway Give your feedback on Pukekura Raceway lease options 29 June 2020 Pukekura Raceway has been the home of racing in New Plymouth for more than 160 years and now NPDC is seeking public feedback on the future of the 38-hectare central New Plymouth site. Taranaki Racing Incorporated’s (TRI) lease arrangements are currently uncertain, due to complex and historical reasons. They have approached NPDC to ask for a “forever” or perpetual lease on the same terms as their original agreement, drafted several decades ago. The paperwork for this would require changing or drafting new laws via Parliament. Another option is to grant a short-term lease under the Reserves Act. It comes as the Government is looking at racing reforms across New Zealand which could result in the amalgamation of racing clubs around the country. Sport Taranaki, supported by TRI, has suggested a multi-purpose sports hub could be housed at the raceway in the future. The Mayor and Councillors want to know what you think to help them with their decision-making. More detailed information and the two-minute survey are available here. Feedback closes 5pm, Friday, 10 July.
News Our Work Local Plastics recycling Tackling the plastics problem 26 June 2020 We’ve come a long way in seven years. We can claim our district is now leading the way in recycling and waste management. We came from a low start.  In 2013 Council decided to do something about recycling and later set an ambitious target of Zero Waste by 2040. It’s a huge ask but one that our environment demands. We can’t keep dumping rubbish in a hole in the ground and think that is OK. It is not OK. In 2013 all households had a large black plastic bag, all rubbish was collected in it and it all went to the dump.  At that time 52,000 tonnes of rubbish from our district was dumped at Colson Road – a horrible, dirty scene but the realm of seagulls and smells. Since then the Council has delivered bins of different sizes, colours and shapes to pepper our sections to the annoyance of some, but the environment is starting to smile. A blue crate for bottles, yellow for recycling, green for food scraps and a red top bin for the dump.  What has the Zero Waste initiative achieved in just seven years? Total district waste to landfill has now decreased to 32,000 tonnes – a whopping 40 per cent reduction in seven years. Recycling from kerbside has increased to 6,800 tonnes - about 50 per cent of kerbside waste - with markets earning revenue for most. Nearly 1,000 tonnes of food scraps has now been diverted so far to commercial composting. Home composting is being encouraged and is growing fast. The Materials Recovery Facility (the “MRF”) was an early development at The Junction on Colson road with another specifically designed to manage commercial and industrial waste being planned (the “dirty MRF”).  Major builds or demolitions in future will be required to have an approved recycling plan.  Council has now added The Junction Zero Waste Hub and a new and much improved transfer station soon to start. But sometimes we have to rethink how to manage some recycling – in particular plastics. We have been collecting all plastics which are numbered 1 to 7.  The many plastic bottles and packaging that come into our homes with the weekly shop usually carry a number from 1 to 7 in a triangle logo. This shows what type of plastic they are. But sadly not all plastics are created equal.  We used to have a recycling market for all plastic types 1 to 7 but that has changed. We still have a recycling market for types 1, 2 and 5, which make up about 85 per cent per cent of the plastics that have been going in the yellow-top bin. They’re used in the packaging of a wide range of food and drink, bathroom and cleaning products.  Council is now proposing that we no longer recycle types 3, 4, 6 and 7 as nobody anywhere in the world wants to take them as they’re much harder to recycle, so we’ve been stockpiling these and they may well end up in the landfill. Type 3 plastics are mostly biscuit and cracker packet trays; type 4 is used for some ketchup, mustard and barbecue sauce bottles; type 6 is commonly found in some yoghurt and soft cheese packaging as well as some sushi and meat trays; type 7 is found across a range of packaging including fresh pasta and sliced meat trays. China and other countries that took this rubbish have had enough of dealing with the health and environmental problems it brings.  This is a global problem. Central Government is drawing up policies to discourage the use of problem plastics and to build better recycling systems at home. We can all help by reducing our purchase of products which exclusively use this packaging and thereby we can influence manufacture. Changing our spending habits and how we shop and looking for alternatives to plastic will make a massive difference to what we have to throw away. We can break free from how we’ve all come to rely on plastics to contain our fresh food and hundreds of other products. Plastic-Free July is a perfect time to start doing this. So in Taranaki, we’re considering refining our region-wide Zero Waste drive to screen the problem plastics out of recycling. We all have a part to play in this. You can help by checking the plastic type number on packaging. If it’s 3, 4, 6 or 7, try looking for alternative products that have no packaging or are in recyclable packaging. If you can’t find an alternative, put it in the red topped bin.  We’ve made huge strides already towards Zero Waste. We know our people are supportive of this vision. We knew there would be some hurdles on the way, but if we all do our bit, we can get over them. Richard Handley New Plymouth District Councillor
News Local Airport terminal Airport seeking recapitalisation as economic curveball of Covid-19 bites 26 June 2020 The economic impact of Covid-19 has struck regional airports across New Zealand and New Plymouth’s independent airport company, Papa Rererangi i Puketapu Ltd (PRIP), is asking its owner, the New Plymouth District Council (NPDC), for a $19-25 million debt for equity swap. On Tuesday (30 June 2020) the Mayor and Councillors are likely to give the green light to their $175 million Get Us Back On Our Feet yearly budget after receiving close to 1,000 pieces of public feedback. Approximately $20 million has been set aside to help struggling businesses and residents recover from Covid-19 in this Annual Plan and they will also consider the recapitalisation of PRIP after approving additional debt funding of $1.9 million to carry the company through until the end of July 2020. NPDC’s Chief Operating Officer and Shareholder representative Kelvin Wright says the timing is unfortunate as the new Puketapu hapu designed airport had just opened in March when the global pandemic struck which has been devastating. “New Plymouth Airport is an important strategic asset and a vital economic gateway to Taranaki which has been economically decimated by Covid-19. Almost all air travel was suspended during lockdown and at Alert Level 3, effectively cutting revenue at the airport to zero which is a major headache for all regional airports across New Zealand. Independent financial advisors PWC have investigated the options and recommend a major recapitalisation as soon as possible of between $19-25 million so the airport can secure its financial future and recover to pre-Covid revenue by about 2023,” says Mr Wright. The report says a partial share dividend to help pay back the money is on the cards and the Council has a Covid Recovery Reserve that could be used to minimise the impact on rates. The other option explored in the paper is to return the airport to owner NPDC, who would operate and fund it. For more information see here.
News Local People Volunteering New Plymouth Getting Back On Our Feet starts at the grassroots 18 June 2020 NPDC has put together a $453,000 lifeline for grassroots groups that will help get our District through the Covid-19 storm and back on its feet. Councillors on Wednesday (17 June) topped up the community funding pot for the 2020/21 financial year to bring it to a total of $760,000. The funding will be open to groups delivering essential services which: saw a spike in demand or costs during the Covid-19 response; or will help our District recover after lockdown; or are struggling to survive amid the Covid-19 response. While most of us stayed in our bubble during the lockdown, many of our vulnerable people found themselves exposed. Without friends or family to rely on or left behind in the Internet era, the elderly and those in poor health found a helping hand in Volunteering New Plymouth which receives NPDC funding. They organised Police-checked volunteers to assist in their Covid-19 work to help the needy and bridge the lockdown gaps. “A huge amount of our work was just buying groceries for people who couldn’t get out themselves and they had nobody to call on,” said Volunteering New Plymouth Manager Marie Riordan. “COVID-19 has changed our world in so many ways and not-for-profit services, such as Taranaki Computer Access Centre Trust’s tutoring on digital devices and the internet, will need to adapt.” With National Volunteer Week next week highlighting the benefit of working together, it’s important to remember that grassroots groups like Volunteering New Plymouth are the cornerstone of our community and are vital to our recovery, says Mayor Neil Holdom. “Many of our households and businesses are having a tough time coming through the Covid-19 economic storm and our grassroots groups can make the difference between sinking or swimming. But they need help too and this NPDC funding top up worth nearly half a million dollars will help them get back on their feet.” The funding will be issued in two rounds with the applications for the first round closing on 9 July. Click here for more details or call the Community Partnerships Team on 06 759 6060.
News Our Work Local Parking CBD Green light for central city free parking proposal 17 June 2020 A winter-boost of one hour of free parking a day in New Plymouth’s central city for the next three months has been added to a proposed package of Back On Our Feet measures. The parking move will run from 1 July to 30 September and was added after public feedback on a number of other measures, valued at approximately $20 million, that were proposed as NPDC looks to help local businesses and residents hit by the Covid-19 economic storm. The change aims to give a boost for restaurants, cafes and shops in the central city with the first hour free on all metered parking from Monday to Saturday and is estimated to cost about $410,000. The measures were adopted by the Mayor and Councillors, at their Extraordinary Council meeting on 17 June and they will now look to confirm the Annual Plan at an Extraordinary Council meeting on 30 June. The yearly budget has been revised because of the impact of Covid-19, including a projected $5.4m drop in income. Proposed rates increases have been halved to about 2.5% for the average home and the operating budget is about $175m. Five other measures that will boost local businesses and provide extra funding for grassroots groups are part of the package that already includes $8m in rates relief, $165,000 to support small to medium businesses and rent relief for NPDC’s commercial and community group tenants impacted during and after the lockdown. Nearly 950 residents gave their feedback on the plans with support for all the proposals while more than 150 people attended three ‘Zoominars’ where the Mayor and Councillors answered questions about the Covid-19 stimulus measures. The measures are: Continuing to ‘Buy local’ and giving Taranaki contractors and suppliers an advantage when bidding for NPDC works. $7.5m to expand the Home Insulation scheme, providing work for tradies to make residents’ homes warmer and greener. $1.3m on cutting fees for local businesses including restaurants, hairdressers, cafes and builders. $450,000 in extra funding for grassroots groups. $50,000 to help property owners enhance main street buildings.
News Our Work Local Ben Ingram CDEM lead Emergency team rose to the challenge of Covid-19 12 June 2020 It took months – but it’s fair to say the world changed in a blur.  And, while celebrating and settling back into Level1 over this week, it’s also a perfect time to reflect on the journey we’ve been on, and how we continued to deliver for our community. Back on 22 January, when the coronavirus was still confined to China, the NPDC Civil Defence team first sat down to discuss it. We pulled out our Pandemic Response Plan and looked at some of the actions required. We considered what might happen in New Zealand, but we were all thinking the same thing: “Surely this thing won’t make it here, and even if it did, the impact would be small.” As the virus raced around the world, that attitude changed. We realised it was a matter of “when”, not “if”. Once New Zealand had its first confirmed case of Covid-19 we acted. NPDC activated its Incident Management Team (IMT), which would manage and coordinate our response. Led by NPDC Local Controller David Langford, it comprised managers for intelligence, operations, logistics, public information, and myself as Response Manager. Our priority was the delivery of essential services, like water, rubbish collection and safe roads, which our residents would need to get through an emergency. As NPDC’s Civil Defence and Emergency Management Lead, I’ve been deployed to some major emergencies, including the Kaikoura earthquake and Edgecumbe floods. Every response is unique, but COVID-19 was unlike any other. After a natural disaster, such as a flood or tornado, you can see the damage and how it affects the community. It could disrupt lifelines such as roads or the water supply. It could halt transport and isolate people. Usually we can estimate how long it will take to fix the damage and restore services. Our role is to fill the gap until then. If the water supply is affected, as it was in New Plymouth by ex-Cyclone Gita in 2018, we can deliver water in tankers until the damage is fixed. If people are isolated and stuck on the other side of slips, as in the June 2015 floods, we can fly supplies to them by helicopter. Covid-19 was the invisible disaster. The damage was – and still is – unseen. There was no broken infrastructure, no access issues. It also changed more rapidly than any other emergency I’ve ever seen. This made it difficult to keep people effectively informed. Emergency managers must be very flexible as circumstances are fluid. Events often don’t pan out as we expect. We can spend a day planning how to deal with a specific situation, but the situation could change totally in an instant. Then it’s back to the drawing board. With Covid-19, we seemed to be taking curveballs almost every day. For example, the ban on gatherings of more than 500 people had a major impact on our events and venues, but the very next day the 500 became 100, followed by a complete closure of all public facilities. The IMT had been operating out of our Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) at the TSB Stadium for about two weeks when Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made her most significant announcement: We were to be in Alert Level 3 for 48 hours, then go straight to Alert Level 4. Lockdown, essential services only. The moment felt surreal. The team was speechless. In a strange way this made the emergency response job a lot easier. It’s the only time I can ever remember an emergency getting more serious, while our outputs shrank. Everything was to be closed to the public, with only a skeleton staff on essential sites, such as the water treatment plant. Everyone else was to work from home if they could. So where we are five months down the track? We’re well and truly in recovery mode, but that’s not quite a return to pre-Covid-19. Over the next 12 months the unseen impact of COVID-19 will become clearer, particularly the social and economic effects. As Local Recovery Manager, I’m now looking at how we live with the new BAU. Emergency management is about constant improvement, and how we can do better next time. I believe emergencies bring out the true character of our people and our organisation. I’m extremely proud of how NPDC responded to Covid-19, and kept delivering essential services to our residents. I’m proud of all those who put up their hands to volunteer at the EOC and at the Taranaki Emergency Management Office throughout COVID-19 response. And I’m confident that, for however long it takes, we’ll keep being flexible, being kind and being united when it counts. Ben Ingram  NPDC Civil Defence and Emergency Management Lead
News Our Work Local Question mark generic photo Top takeaways from latest NPDC meeting 09 June 2020 Māori ward decision The Strategy and Operations Committee has recommended seeking feedback from residents about establishing a Māori ward for the 2022 local body elections. Under local government rules, NPDC has to review its representation mix every six years and this includes deciding if a Māori ward should be set up. The review is set to take place in 2021 and will examine things like how many councillors there should be, the wards system and community boards. At the 9 June meeting, the Mayor and Councillors voted to recommend a Māori ward be consulted on. A final decision will be made at the Full Council meeting on 22 July. The plastic problem The issue of what to do with certain types of plastic is a local, national and global problem, a report to the Strategy and Operations Committee says. Only plastics 1, 2 and 5 – things like milk containers and coke bottles – can now be recycled in New Zealand and abroad following changes to the global market for recycling plastics 3, 4, 6 and 7, also known as ‘mixed plastics’. The report says the problem plastics only make up a fraction of all the recyclables collected in the green bin – about 3% - and urged residents to try to avoid buying products using plastics 3, 4, 6 and 7. The Mayor and Councillors approved a recommendation to stop collecting mixed plastics in the yellow recycling bin with the final decision to be made at the 22 July meeting.
News Our Work Sports Mike Roberts Indoor pool ready after lockdown upgrade 09 June 2020 A safer, more flexy indoor pool will greet swimmers when NPDC’s Todd Energy Aquatic Centre reopens on Wednesday 10 June after its lockdown upgrade. Flexy? Yes, thousands of metres of rubber-like sealant in special joints set in the floor of the pool have been replaced, which will help the pool surface to expand and flex in an earthquake, says NPDC Aquatics Lead Mike Roberts. “Lockdown gave us a unique opportunity to empty the indoor pools and give them a much-need makeover,” said Mr Roberts. “That included a new non-slip surface on the ‘beach’ area at the shallow end of the pool, a good clean and replacing the sealant, which will minimise the risk of cracks in a tremor.” Up to 40 staff have been working on the TEAC spruce up since the country moved to Alert Level 2 on 14 May. Other renovations include a new bubble machine, new hair and lint screens for the hydro slide water, a new reception counter, and a fresh coat of paint throughout the pool area and the changing rooms. Staff have refilled the pool, which took about three days and a million litres of water, and have brought the temperature up to a comfortable 28 degrees centigrade. About 370,000 people used the TEAC last year and revenue topped $1million. The outdoor pool complex opened in 1963 and holds about 1.6 million litres of water, and the indoor centre opened in 1993 and was New Zealand’s first pool to have a wave machine. The indoor hydro slide is the tallest in New Zealand, with a family slide that has a ride length of 62 metres and the higher turbo at 92 metres long.
News Local Drone shot of Oakura Oakura rezoning recommendation adopted 05 June 2020 NPDC’s Mayor and Councillors have voted to adopt an Independent Commissioner’s recommendation not to allow nearly 60 hectares of land in Ōākura to be rezoned. The application was to change what the 58 hectares of land is allocated for in the District Plan. The area south of Ōākura is currently zoned as rural and the Private Plan Change Request was to change this to residential, business, rural lifestyle and open space, paving the way for subdividing it into 399 sections. The application received more than 436 submissions with more than 390 of those opposing the plans. The applicant amended the request in response to evidence at hearings held last year, cutting the scale of the rezoning bid to 15.9ha and 144 subdivisions. Some of the commissioner’s key reasons for turning down the application include: The plan change is not aligned with the ‘growth and direction’ for Ōākura. The social and cultural impact on the size of the township had not been adequately evaluated. There is already capacity for development and growth for at least 30 years. The decision to adopt the recommendation was made at the 2 June Full Council meeting and the applicant and submitters now have 30 working days to appeal the decision to the Environment Court. For the full decision and further details about the commissioner’s recommendation, see here.
News Our Work Local Sanders Park mowing Grass is greener in lockdown Level 2 thanks to NPDC 04 June 2020 NPDC staff haven’t been letting the grass grow under their feet since getting back on the fields after the Covid-19 lockdown. With winter sports looming fast and people heading out to enjoy the last of the golden autumn weather, the team has gone that extra mile to get our parks and reserves - some of which went up to 8 weeks without a good mow during the unprecedented state of national emergency - back into top nick. The district has about 283 hectares of grass along our 82km of walkways and 1,600 hectares of parks and reserves. “It’s a huge area to mow, but we’ve been pulling out all the stops and taken on extra contractors that’s helped us to catch up with the backlog in some areas, while working under safe Alert Level 2 working rules. Employing the additional contractors is also a boost for local workers as we all work to get us Back On Our Feet,” said NPDC Infrastructure Manager David Langford. “We’re lucky to have so many awesome green spaces, which are a big feature of our Lifestyle Capital, especially as we gear up for the winter sports season.” The grass area includes 24 sports fields and some of the turf, like Yarrow Stadium, the Pukekura Park cricket ground and Puke Ariki Landing, requires special care. NPDC has 12 full-time equivalent staff on lawnmowing operations, and contractors help year round on areas such as steep banks and outside the main urban areas. The team has also finished upgrading our sports fields and fully renewed the Pukekura Park outfield and cricket wickets.
News Our Work Local People Oxfam Trailwalker Oxfam Trailwalker charity fundraiser heading to Taranaki 01 June 2020 New Plymouth District walkers looking to keep their lockdown exercise and goal-setting going as the alert levels ease can take part in a major charity fundraiser coming to Taranaki in 2021. Oxfam Trailwalker is heading to the region next March after NPDC in partnership with Venture Taranaki won the right to host the event and be the destination partner for the next three years. Mayor Neil Holdom says securing the Oxfam Trailwalker event was another feather in the cap for the New Plymouth District and would be a major boost to the region as it recovers from the economic downturn caused by the Covid-19 crisis. “We’re absolutely thrilled to host the Oxfam Trailwalker challenge for the next three years,” says Mayor Holdom. “It’s another major event in our beautiful region as we continue to Build a Lifestyle Capital and it will be a superb showcase for our wonderful corner of Aotearoa. It’s perfect timing too as it will bring hundreds of much-needed visitors to our region as we all work to get Get Back On Our Feet as the economic shock of Covid 19 bites.” VT Chief Executive Justine Gilliland welcomed the addition of another premium event to Taranaki as the region turns its focus onto economic recovery. “From Mounga to moana, Taranaki has so much to offer. On the back of COVID19, the announcement of Taranaki as 2021 Oxfam Trailwalker hosts provides an exciting glimpse into our economic recovery and the possibilities and opportunities that lay ahead.” Those looking to get a head start in training for the 50km or 100km treks for teams of four people can join Oxfam’s #whyIwalk campaign, which encourages people to exercise and sign up for the 2021 Trailwalker event. Oxfam New Zealand’s Executive Director Rachael Le Mesurier says: “Oxfam Trailwalker is a truly inspiring experience and one we hope the Taranaki community will enjoy being part of as much as we and our walkers do. We are delighted with the support of our Taranaki hosts, as the spirit of local hospitality and encouragement will make all the difference as hundreds of walkers set out to challenge poverty over 50 or 100 kilometres. “Participants in Oxfam Trailwalker 2021 will enjoy Taranaki's wonderful scenery and the region's other special attractions. We also look forward to seeing many Taranaki locals stepping out on the start line or supporting in some other way, as we make history with the first Oxfam Trailwalker in the region.” About 1,000 walkers take part in the event, helped by 1,500 friends, family and support crew, and the event was previously held in Whakatane and Taupō. For more information and to find out how you can get involved in the next event, head to https://www.oxfamtrailwalker.org.nz/