News and Notices

News Our Work Metro Plaza on Devon Street West. Metro Plaza purchased by NPDC 26 August 2019 Plans to open up one of the last covered stretches of the Huatoki Stream are now a step closer after the purchase of the Metro Plaza building in the city centre by NPDC. The building on Devon Street West sits across the road from the Huatoki Plaza, which is set for a green facelift early next year, and will be part of NPDC’s strategy to continue building a sustainable and thriving city centre. The move follows the two successful forums, the CBD 2050 Forum in October last year and the CBD 2050 Summit in May, when stakeholders met to discuss the city centre’s future. New Plymouth Mayor Neil Holdom says a key theme from the forums was a desire to see the city centre revamped through more spaces and places for people to enjoy.  “We’ve listened and now we’re seeing action to create a greener and more inviting central city. This project, and the plans to give the Huatoki Plaza a green makeover, are the first steps towards realising our long-term and transformational vision for our city centre,” says Mayor Holdom. Proposals for the site will be prepared for inclusion in the draft 10-year plan for public feedback. NPDC staff will be working with tenants, including a Subway sandwich outlet at the entrance, and leases will continue until plans for the site are finalised or other lease arrangements are negotiated. It is also talking with Te Atiawa iwi and Ngāti Te Whiti hapū, who have a long history with the Huatoki Stream.  The Metro Plaza was built at 33 Devon Street West in 1936 to house McGruer’s Drapery store but has been significantly altered over the years. Participants in the two forums highlighted themes to improve the city centre, including: More green spaces, such as “pocket parks”. A greater focus on pedestrians with more paths to get around. Family-friendly spaces, such as safe areas where kids can play. More public and shared transport options, like e-scooters. More consistent opening hours among retailers. More homes. “This is a fantastic opportunity to begin planning for a new riverside green space that will help draw people into town,” says NPDC Customer and Regulatory Solutions Manager Katrina Brunton. “Our community have told us they want a city centre that welcomes families and puts pedestrians first, a place people want to visit and hang out.”
News Waitara new home owner New Zealand history in the making: first freehold land purchased under historic Waitara Lands Act 23 August 2019 Waitara retiree Heather Tett made history on Wednesday (21 August) without even stepping out her door. After waiting more than 50 years, Mrs Tett was the first Waitara leaseholder to sign a sale and purchase agreement to buy her property off NPDC under the Waitara Lands Act and on Wednesday she took possession. Mrs Tett has lived in the home for 36 years and has been a Waitara leaseholder since 1966. “We’ve been waiting a very long time for this,” said Mrs Tett. “Being able to buy our land will be really good for Waitara. Hopefully more people will get on the property ladder and buy their land too.” New Plymouth District Mayor Neil Holdom says it’s an exciting time for Waitara. “NPDC congratulates Mrs Tett and we wish her many happy years in her freehold home. After 30 years of working towards a solution to a highly complicated situation, the historic Waitara Lands Act is now making a difference. We look forward to continuing working with leasees, hapū and the wider community to make sure the Act delivers positive change for the town, the river catchment and the people of Waitara,” says Mayor Holdom. The Act took effect in March, paving the way for leaseholders to buy their land on about 770 Waitara properties and unlocking up to $90 million to be invested back into the town. The proceeds from the land sales are being divided into three funds for the benefit of Waitara: A ring-fenced Hapū Land Fund to help the Manukorihi and Otaraua hapū buy land. The Waitara Perpetual Community Fund to help support community projects in Waitara. A fund to support the Waitara River and other environmental projects. As of Wednesday, NPDC had received applications to freehold on almost 400 properties. Five of these had been sold and about 70 others had either accepted the purchase price or had signed sale and purchase agreements, involving properties worth almost $8.4 million in total.
News Local New Plymouth and Mount Taranaki drone shot Six candidates vying to be New Plymouth District Mayor 21 August 2019 The contest to be the next Mayor of the New Plymouth District will be a six-horse race. Incumbent Neil Holdom will face Max Brough, Irene Godkin, Joanne Kuvarji, Greg MacKay and Bill Simpson, the biggest field to challenge for the top NPDC governance job since eight candidates ran for the mayoralty in 2010. NPDC’s appeal for residents to Take A Stand for their community helped to inspire 30 candidates to throw their hat in the ring for the 10 spots in the New Plymouth City Ward. There are four candidates in each of the North and South-West wards, vying for the two seats in each ward. The Mayor and Councillors are involved in all the big decisions about the future of our district, what the priorities are and how we pay for them. Think drinking water, parks, the coastal walkway, safer roads, a vibrant central city, libraries, an art gallery, a museum, theatre, major events and pools. The Council manages assets worth $3.3 billion and has an annual operating budget of about $155 million. NPDC Chief Executive Craig Stevenson welcomed the response to Take a Stand for the district and urged voters to Get to Know the NPDC candidates running to be an elected member. “A sign of a healthy democracy is people being prepared to stand up and be counted. I’m delighted to see so many candidates take on this challenge. Now it’s time for voters to get to know who they are and what they stand for so they can make an informed choice come election time. “Our next challenge, is to get as many people as possible to vote. Turnout has been falling for many elections and slipped below 50% in 2016 so we want as many people as possible to take part. We’re using STV this year so voting is as simple as 1, 2, 3 or ranking your preferred candidates.” Voters can see the full list of candidates with contact details for the election hopefuls on the NPDC Know Your Candidate page: There will be an election for the Waitara Community Board with six candidates running for four seats while four candidates have been elected unopposed for the Kaitake Community Board. Elections will not be held for Inglewood and Clifton Community Board members because there were not enough candidates so a by-election will be required. The by-election must be held within 3 months following election day. Key election dates: 20-25 September: Voting documents arrive via post 20 September: Postal voting opens October 6: Recommended last day to send in postal votes. You can still drop your voting papers in to NPDC. Noon, 12 October: Voting closes Noon, 13 October: Preliminary results announced Candidates for Mayor:  Max Brough Irene Godkin Neil Holdom Joanne Kuvarji Greg MacKay Bill Simpson New Plymouth City Ward candidates: Colin Bell  Sam Bennett Katherine Blaney Gordon Brown David Bublitz Anneka Carlson Murray Chong Amanda Clinton-Gohdes Mike Crow Harry Duynhoven Barbara Fakavamoeanga Sarah Foy Bruce Gatward-Cook Bev Gibson Irene Godkin Richard Handley Stacey Hitchcock Louise James Joanne Kuvarji Greg MacKay  Chris Manukonga Jonathan Marshall Dinnie Moeahu Rob Needs Jack Newsome Phil Quinney Dwayne Sherwood Howie Tamati Deb Tawa Selwyn Watkins North Ward: Tony Bedford Colin Johnston Bill Simpson John Williams South-West Ward: Chris Hale Peter Henderson Richard Jordan Marie Pearce Waitara Community Board:  Trevor Dodunski Irene Godkin Andrew Larsen Jonathan Marshall Josephine Moore  Joe Rauner Kaitake Community Board (elected):  Graham Chard Paul Coxhead Doug Hislop Paul Veric Clifton Community Board*:  Ken Bedford Warren Petersen Inglewood Community Board*:  Mel Cook Graeme Hamilton Sykes *By-election for two remaining seats
Lifestyle Local News People Chaddy smiling in his office Master mariner honoured in Citizen's Awards 16 August 2019 David Chadfield – better known as “Happy Chaddy” of Chaddy’s Charters – works and lives by the motto “We’ll do anything to make you smile”. It’s that selfless attitude that has earned him and 10 other leading lights an NPDC Citizens’ Award on Thursday. The recipients were honoured for their outstanding and often unsung contributions in sport, culture, conservation, charity and other fields. New Plymouth District Mayor Neil Holdom says it’s one of the highlights of each year to recognise the local heroes who do so much for the community. “It’s a privilege and an honour to present these awards. These community heroes come from all walks of life but they all share the same things in common, a love of our district and a desire to give back. I’m delighted that our community is able to acknowledge and celebrate them and say a big ‘thank you’ with these awards.” A New Plymouth icon and one of our best-known local personalities, Chaddy has offered his experience to those thinking about a career at sea, mentored young people, helped dyslexic children and young boxers. The master mariner has also championed the native wildlife and the environment of Ngā Motu/Sugar Loaf Islands, and visitors can wander freely in his museum at Breakwater Bay and learn about the little blue penguins through live video links from nests. “What you give, you get back, I think, so I certainly give it my all to make people happy,” says Chaddy. “I’m proud to say I’m a Taranaki person and I’m lucky to do a job that I love in such a fantastic place to live. This award really means something to me.” The full list of the 2019 Citizens’ Award recipients is: Krystyna Beardman Anne Bovett David Chadfield Evan Cottam Craig Dent Barry Hartley Dinnie Moeahu Barbara O’Neill Michael Green Suzanne Smithers Bronnie van Lith.
News Our Work street lights and car lights shown on a dark night LED lights shine bright 16 August 2019 Our project to replace old-school streetlights with low-emission LED lights has been hailed as a win, win, win for the district. The major project, which has replaced more than 8,000 streetlights, has finished a year ahead of schedule, the cost for ratepayers is close to $2m under budget, and the lower-power lights will cut thousands of tonnes of CO2 emissions. Infrastructure Manager David Langford says the ‘invest-to-save’ initiative has exceeded expectations and alongside Zero Waste 2040 initiatives will make a tangible difference to cutting greenhouse gas emissions in the district for decades to come. “We’re absolutely thrilled with the results of this project. It’s fantastic value for money for our ratepayers and it’s done and dusted a year ahead of schedule,” says Mr Langford. “We take the threat of climate change seriously and this is a real-world solution to cutting emissions. Over the next 20 years, these LED lights will cut close to 6,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions. This is just one of many projects from NPDC as we ramp up our approach to tackling climate change.” Other benefits over the next 20 years include a $6.53 million saving in electricity costs while electricity usage is expected to be reduced by 43.6 million KWh (65%) over the same period. We started the project in 2015 and the original budget was $5.5 million but a bigger subsidy from the New Zealand Transport Agency and lower costs meant the scheme came in at $3.66m. The cost for ratepayers was $619,000 compared with a forecast budget of $2.69m. By the numbers: 8,025 streetlights replaced 5,970 tonne reduction in CO2 over 20 years Five-year project completed a year early Project had 81% subsidy from NZTA Taranaki Electricity Trust contributed $100,000 for lights in Inglewood and Urenui. Our environment action: $21m investment over next decade for journey to Zero Waste 2040. Rubbish trucks for the roll-out of the new landfill and food scraps bins will be electric. Food scraps bin will cut down on food scraps going to landfill. Plastics 3-7 are being trialled in road resurfacing. Upgrades to the wastewater treatment plant have cut natural gas use by nearly 20% Efficiency improvements to wastewater pump stations have reduced electricity consumption by as much as 27% We have signed up to the Global Covenant of Mayors and report annually on our greenhouse gas emissions as part of the Carbon Disclosure Project. Co-hosted the Just Transition Summit in May, looking to a low carbon future. Our Venture Taranaki have created the Taranaki 2050 Roadmap on a low emissions future for our region. New District Plan looks at where we live amid expected rising sea levels.
News Local Pukekura Park hero shot Last chance to Take A Stand for New Plymouth District 13 August 2019 The clock is ticking fast for people wanting to Take A Stand and be at the table for the big calls that shape our daily lives. Nominations for NPDC’s Mayor, Councillor and Community Board representative positions close this Friday, 16 August, at midday.  The Mayor, Councillors and Community Board members make big decisions about the future of our beautiful district, how we pay for it and what the priorities are. Think drinking water, parks, the coastal walkway, safer roads, a vibrant central city, libraries, an art gallery, a museum, theatre, major events and pools. It manages assets worth $3.3 billion and has an annual operating budget of about $155 million. As of Tuesday morning, there have been 29 nominations confirmed for eight different elected roles, including the Mayoralty, and the City, North and South-West Ward Councillor positions. They are: Neil Holdom, Joanne Kuvarji, Greg MacKay and Bill Simpson (Mayor); Colin Bell, Sam Bennett, Katherine Blaney, Anneka Carlson, Murray Chong, Barbara Fakavamoenga, Sarah Foy, Bev Gibson, Richard Handley, Louise James, Greg MacKay, Chris Manukonga, Jack Newsome, Howie Tamati and Deb Tawa (NPDC City Ward); Tony Bedford, Bill Simpson, and John Williams (NPDC North Ward); Chris Hale (NPDC South-West Ward). External Relations Manager Jacqueline Baker says time is now running out for the public to get their nomination forms in by the 16 August deadline. “The current governance team does an amazing job but we’re looking for as many candidates as possible to stand up and be counted so the flavour at the top table reflects the many different faces of our District. More than half of the 83,400 people who live here are women but there are only two female councillors. So if you want to see more diversity and have a say in the big ticket decisions which touch everyday lives, Take A Stand for NPDC now before it’s too late.” Find forms, information and the 2019 Candidate Handbook here.
News Our Work Electric rubbish trucks NPDC August 2019 Electric rubbish trucks help NPDC cut district's carbon footprint 09 August 2019 Electric rubbish trucks are the latest weapon in NPDC’s Zero Waste arsenal, and they’ve hit the streets around New Plymouth this week. The six new electric trucks will be used for the new landfill and food scraps bin collection service when New Plymouth moves from bags to bins on 30 September.  Infrastructure Manager David Langford says the revamp of the collection service was the perfect opportunity to look into using electric trucks as NPDC ramps up its efforts to cut emissions. “We take the issue of climate change seriously and we strive to cut NPDC’s carbon footprint wherever possible,” says Mr Langford. “It’s a balancing act between our aspirations to cut emissions while ensuring we invest ratepayers’ money wisely. “We think these trucks tick all the boxes when it comes to a long-term solution to cutting CO2 emissions and we’re considering replacing the current diesel-powered recycling and bottle collection trucks with electric trucks when the contract finishes in 2024.” The new electric trucks are funded through existing budgets and are already on the district’s roads. The distinctive red-liveried trucks have been trialled over the last week ahead of the start of the landfill and food scraps kerbside service at the end of next month. The bins are part of $20 million NPDC is investing over the next decade as part of the journey to Zero Waste 2040. From 30 September, the food scraps bin will be collected weekly and the glass and landfill bin collected one week, recycling the next. Food scraps previously made up 40% of rubbish going to landfill but the new bins will divert this waste which will be used to make useful compost.  Other Zero Waste projects will include the opening of recycling and repurpose facility called The Junction on Colson Road and community conversations about extending the collection service into the CBD. 
Our Work News Local Ruru Native birds return to wild after Brooklands Zoo rehabilitation 31 July 2019 Behind the scenes at NPDC’s Brooklands Zoo, staff take care of injured native birds so that they can be returned to the wild.  “We’ve helped six ruru get back to their forests in the last 12 months, as well as kereru and tui. It’s just fantastic to see injured native birds take flight after their rehabilitation,” says NPDC Manager Parks and Open Spaces Stuart Robertson.  “We care for them behind the scenes at the zoo as they need a quiet environment to help them recover.”  Brooklands Zoo has a Wildlife Act Authority permit from the Department of Conservation to rehabilitate injured native reptiles and birds (except kiwi and whio). Zoo staff have been trained to care for these protected species.  All injured native species are brought to the zoo by DOC or New Plymouth Vet Group – the zoo cannot receive them directly from the public.  “If you come across a native bird or animal that needs care, please contact DOC straight away,” says Mr Robertson.  What you can do to help: Ruru/morepork are prone to injury in urban areas, mostly with concussion from colliding with vehicles or windows. We can all take simple measures to help protect them putting stickers on large windows and driving to the speed limit. Taking part in the work of Towards Predator Free Taranaki 2050 by cutting the number of stoats, possums and rats also helps native birds.  Ruru at Puke Ariki Kids can get a ruru hunt badge by taking part in the Puke Ariki Ruru Scavenger Hunt. Head to the Host Desk in the museum foyer to take part and for more info.
News Our Work Food scraps From two bins to four: NPDC's Zero Waste bin deliveries starting soon 29 July 2019 A step-change is coming to the way New Plymouth District residents’ rubbish is collected as NPDC ramps up its journey towards Zero Waste 2040. The family of kerbside bins is growing, and from mid-August NPDC will start delivering landfill and food scraps bins to all properties in the collection area, replacing the red rubbish bags.  The new four-bin service begins on the week starting 30 September. “We’ll be going suburb by suburb with the bin deliveries so don’t worry if you haven’t got your bins in the first few weeks – they’ll be coming,” says NPDC Manager Resource Recovery Kimberley Hope. “The deliveries will be between mid-August and mid-September so please wait until Wednesday 18 September to contact us at NPDC if you don’t have your new bins.” About $21 million was set aside for the Zero Waste 2040 journey, including the kerbside collection changes, by councillors in 2018 after the idea proved popular with the public in the Long-Term Plan process and attracted more than 3,000 supporting submissions. The landfill and food scraps bins will help our community work towards Zero Waste by cutting down the amount of waste that goes to the landfill. Currently, about 40 per cent of residential rubbish bags is food waste, but the food scraps collection will enable that waste to be turned into useful compost. When the new collection starts on 30 September, the food scraps bin will be collected weekly. The landfill, recycling and glass bins will be collected every fortnight: glass and landfill bins one week, recycling the next. Households should keep using their red bags until Friday 27 September. After that, any leftover bags can be taken to the Civic Centre in New Plymouth or your local library for reuse by community groups or recycling.  “We don’t want piles of excess plastic bags going into the landfill bin. You could either use them one by one as a bin liner, or get them back to us so we can make sure they have a useful second life,” says Ms Hope. The red plastic bags won’t be picked up at the kerbside after 27 September. More information about bin delivery dates and how to use the new collection system is online at Also, a collection calendar and information booklet will be delivered with the bins.
News Have Your Say a crowd gathered at Puke Ariki landing sitting on the grass in small groups Take a stand for a diverse NPDC in 2019 26 July 2019 If you think some of NPDC’s publically elected members have been a bit pale, male and stale, it’s time to take a stand and throw your hat in the ring. Nominations to stand for NPDC’s Mayor, Councillor and Community Board representative positions are open and you’ve got until midday 16 August to enter the election race. The Mayor, Councillors and Community Board members make big decisions about the future of our beautiful district, how we pay for it and what the priorities are. Think drinking water, parks, the coastal walkway, safer roads, a vibrant central city, libraries, an art gallery, a museum, theatre, major events and pools. It manages assets worth $3.3 billion and has an annual operating budget of about $155 million. The current governance team features two female Councillors out of 15 positions compared to 2018 Statistics New Zealand data which shows of our 83,400 people living here, 49% are male and 51% are female. NPDC Chief Executive Craig Stevenson said it’s 2019 and it’s time for the public to stand up and make their vote count. “The current NPDC governance team do an amazing job but I’m sure we’d all agree it would be great to see a truly representative mix around the table. If you would like to see greater diversity among our elected members, now’s your chance take the plunge and do something about it by Taking A Stand and becoming a candidate,” he said. Find out more about standing for election.
News Local Lifestyle People young couple holding a puppy and smiling on the coastal walkway NPDC welcomes newcomers to our diverse District 25 July 2019 New Plymouth District’s legendary lifestyle is proving a drawcard for many and NPDC loves to make newcomers feel at home. Our place has got good career opportunities, a great outdoor lifestyle, and a vibrant city life that still retains the charm of a small town – not to mention a hospitable attitude to our new neighbours. A Welcome to the District event is being held on Tuesday August 6, at the NPDC Civic Centre to help new arrivals settle into the district. If you are new, please come along and say hello. Aucklanders Scott Johnson and Aleshia Bowman are among those who recently made the move to the district. The couple are in their 20s and were drawn to the district by the affordable lifestyle it offered them. “About six years ago Scott and I came to New Plymouth for a long weekend getaway. We climbed Paritutu, surfed, biked at Mangamahoe and ate some great food. On the way back home Scott said this is where he wanted to live, this is the lifestyle he wanted for us and so after a few years of travelling the world we have finally made the move down here,” Aleshia says. Scott says the big drawcard for him was the district’s fantastic lifestyle. “Last Friday I finished at 4pm and was in the water surfing by 4.20pm with the mountain out as a backdrop. That’s opposed to sitting on the motorway, crawling in traffic trying to get across the bridge. New Plymouth’s Fridays are better Fridays than I am used to,” Scott says. And Scott says another bonus is they can both have great careers in the thriving district. Aleshia is a pharmacist and Scott has recently started a building apprenticeship. “Here I get to start a new career, one I am really passionate about,” adds Scott. “In Auckland I would have had to choose between saving for and servicing a mortgage or pursuing the career I wanted. Because the cost of living is lower here, it’s given me an opportunity to try something new, pursue my dream.” NPDC’s Welcome to the District event is a great opportunity to meet new people who have recently made the move to New Plymouth. You will learn a little more about local life with talks from Venture Taranaki and local community groups. All are welcome. Event details: When: Tuesday 6 August  Time: 5.15pm Where: Council Chambers, NPDC Civic Centre Cost: Free RSVP: before 1 August.  Nibbles and drinks provided
News Our Work Botanical Records Officer Ian Hutchinson Behind the Green Flag: Exploring the history of Pukekura Park 12 July 2019 Did you know a record 12,000 people turned out to the Pukekura sports ground on 16 July 1921 to watch the Springboks draw 0-0 with Taranaki’s own rugby 1st XV? The Hawera and Normanby Star reported “the largest crowd that ever mustered in the park” was three deep on the famous terraces. It’s just one of the Pukekura Park highlights recorded by NPDC Botanical Records Officer Ian Hutchinson. Ian started his career as an 18-year-old horticulture apprentice with the then New Plymouth City Council in 1979. For the last seven years, he’s been digging through the history of NPDC’s Pukekura Park to find out about early plantings and to prepare for the park’s guided walks. “Pukekura Park has a Green Flag awarded to world-class parks and it’s a Garden of National Significance. We need to keep records of the older plant specimens in the park and in amongst that is an enormous amount of New Plymouth and Taranaki social history,” says Ian. “Because the park dates back to 1876, a lot of the research throws up fascinating information that still helps us manage the park today and tells us more about one of our historic landmarks and the community around it.” Ian, who grew up in New Plymouth, has worked on various projects around the district including the plantings when Puke Ariki Landing was first developed in the 1980s. He’s also a regular with the New Plymouth Operatic Society and familiar in local arts circles. Did you know? Pukekura was a shooting range before the park was created in 1878. The local militia used to practice rifle shooting across the valley at targets on the hillside east of where the main lake is now. A winery was once planned in Pukekura. From 1875 to 1881, German father and son Heinrich and Johann Briedecker had a vineyard in Stainton Dell. The business was abandoned, but plants grown from cuttings from the vineyard today grow near The Gables. A swimming club was formed at the newly created main lake in 1879, and a bathing shed was constructed where the Tea House now stands. Cannon Hill was once known as Flagstaff Hill because a flag pole once stood on top of the hill and a flag was raised to warn the gentlemen away when ladies were bathing in the Main Lake. The sports ground was originally a swamp, which was filled in 1881 using soil from the cutting through to Liardet Street and from the creation of the southern terraces. The level of the ground was raised with more soil from the creation the other seating terraces. A boxthorn hedge maze was planted in what is now Rhododendron Dell in 1892. The maze was abandoned in the late 1890s as the Recreation Grounds Board could not afford its upkeep. Kiwi were successfully bred in an aviary near the Fountain Lake in the early 1900s. Next time you’re taking in a band or Carols by Candlelight on the Hatchery Lawn, try to imagine that it was a lily pond until 1954. It is named for a trout hatchery there from 1909 until about 1928. The pond was filled in with soil from an island that was dug up to build the fountain in the Fountain Lake in 1954. Now it draws some of the biggest music acts from around the world, but the Bowl of Brooklands was a paddock where Newton King grazed stock and racehorses until his death in 1927. Slit trenches were dug alongside the main pathways in case of air raids during World War II. In 2003 filming of parts of The Last Samurai took place on the sports ground and the first WOMAD festival was held at Brooklands Park.
News Our Work Have Your Say Lifestyle Two women walking on the coastal walkway Parks and walkways big contributors to high quality of life in New Plymouth District 04 July 2019 The majority of New Plymouth District residents are happy with NPDC’s parks, green spaces and the Coastal Walkway, according to a new independent survey by the National Research Bureau (NRB). The phone survey of more than 400 residents found 94% were very or fairly satisfied with the quality of our parks and reserves including the world-class Pukekura Park while 94% were also happy with how easy it is to access the district’s natural environment. That satisfaction with parks and green spaces contributed to some 76% of residents saying the quality of life in the district was very good, well above the national average of 40%. The District also scored well on financial management, with 84% of respondents either fairly satisfied or very satisfied with how rates were being invested. “Our vision is to Build a Lifestyle Capital and this independent data shows we are on the right track to achieving that. Investment in our parks and great community facilities like the Coastal Walkway has been money invested wisely as they are a big part of so many people’s daily lives. It’s also satisfying to see support for how rates are being used as we manage assets worth $2.6 billion and a $155 million annual operating budget,” says New Plymouth District Mayor Neil Holdom. Other key findings of the Communitrak survey by NRB include: 89% of residents were satisfied with the district’s urban landscapes and streets 88% of people who contacted NPDC in the last year were satisfied the help they received 90% were very or fairly satisfied with Puke Ariki’s Museum 78% were happy with the quality of the district’s roads 84% were happy with the Todd Energy Aquatic Centre and the community pools. Meanwhile, Stats NZ’s Wellbeing Statistics for 2018 show Taranaki had the highest mean overall rating for life satisfaction compared to other regions. The data also revealed the province had the highest rating for people feeling safe in their neighbourhood and the highest percent rating for residents having enough money to meet everyday needs. View the full survey here. Please note this will download as a PDF.
News Events and Exhibitions People Lifestyle Local Poster showing someone's hand holding a Polaroid photo showing a boy at Puke Ariki museum. Text says tell us your favourite museum memory Share your Puke Ariki memories 03 July 2019 Do you remember your first visit to Puke Ariki? What's your favourite all time exhibition? Do you have photos from the Taranaki Museum? We would love to hear from you! On 28 August 1919 the Taranaki Museum opened its doors for the very first time, and now a century later Puke Ariki will be marking this milestone during the last week of August in all sorts of exciting ways (details coming very soon!) and we want YOU to be part of it! Our community is an integral part of the Museum’s history and success and we would love to hear your fondest memories from any time in the past century - so send us your stories, old photographs or videos. We’d like to hear from anyone who has a connection, whether from going to Puke Ariki as a child, delving into their collections as a researcher or just because you’re a long-time fan with a favourite memory to share. Puke Ariki are collecting your Museum Memories throughout July and their favourites will be included in a digital display as part of the August celebrations at Puke Ariki.
News Our Work Kristian Davies with Truxor Pukekura Park work to create inner city haven for wildlife 28 June 2019 Desilting NPDC’s Pukekura Park lakes will be the first step in creating a rare inner city haven for some of our native wildlife. Often called the jewel in New Plymouth’s crown, the park is also home for kākahi (freshwater mussels) and banded kokopu. But silt has been building up in the park’s waterways in recent years, and contractors will start trial work to clear them next month. The trial, phase 1 of a multi-million-dollar project, will use a one-person Truxor amphibious dredge. Made in Sweden, the Truxor runs on rubber caterpillar tracks to avoid damaging the paths and it can carry a range of tools for removing silt and debris. The Truxor has already been used successfully on projects for Auckland Council and in other parts of the country. “NPDC’s Pukekura Park is a Garden of National Significance and holds the Green Flag of a world-class park. It’s the green heart of New Plymouth – we have to keep it pumping so locals and visitors continue to enjoy it,” said NPDC Infrastructure Manager David Langford. “It’s also a rare urban habitat for some of our native species and we need to give them an environment where they can flourish,” said Mr Langford.  “The last attempt to desilt the lakes hit technical problems, and we don’t want to repeat the mistakes of the past which is why we’re doing extensive trials. It’s a major project and we want to ensure ratepayers’ money is being spent wisely so these trials will tell us if it works as a large scale project.” As well as the plant-life on the banks, the lakes are also home to eels (tuna), kōura (crayfish) and other water life. Desilting the lakes would also make a better home for native birds such as the kawau paka (little shag), which can be seen in the trees on the banks, and pūtangitangi (paradise shelduck), an unusual duck because the female has a pure white head making it more eye-catching than the male. If the trial is successful, visitors should see clearer water and fewer weeds in the lakes, and it should put an end to the distinctive smell that can come with low water levels. The trial will take place in the Main Lake and the tributary waterway in the Truby King Dell which runs between Brooklands Road and Vogeltown Park. “We’re asking our community to bear with us as NPDC carries out this essential work to care for our environment and maintain one of our district’s star attractions,” said Mr Langford. It’s been more than 20 years since the lakes were last fully desilted, and this is a multi-million project which will be done in phases.  How the desilting trial will work: The Truxor uses a range of tools for collecting and chopping up silt and debris from the lake floor. This is sucked up through a hose and pumped to a Geotube bag, which looks like a large tube. The Geotube keeps in the silt and allows the water to drain back into the lakes. When the water has drained, the Geotube with its sludge is trucked away to be disposed of in an environmentally-friendly way.
News Huatoki Plaza, New Plymouth Huatoki Plaza to go green in CBD revamp 21 June 2019 NPDC is to give the Huatoki Plaza a green makeover in the first step towards creating a sustainable and more welcoming CBD. The move follows the two successful mayoral forums, the CBD 2050 Forum in October last year and the CBD 2050 Summit in May, when stakeholders met to discuss the city centre’s future. Out will go much of the concrete on the top level of the plaza and the tarmac in James Lane. In will come lawn and native plants such as nikau to soften the concrete edges and help filter the breeze through the plaza. Other changes include: New seats with USB charging ports. New lighting in the plaza and James Lane. A pathway connecting Devon and Ariki streets. Removing the big yellow roof that currently forms a wind tunnel through the plaza. NPDC intends to reuse it at The Junction, the community’s Zero Waste centre that is being developed on Colson Road. NPDC is also working with the owners of buildings next to James Lane about opening into the laneway and creating more vibrancy. “Imagine coming to meet friends for lunch or sit and have a coffee in a green space bang in the middle of town. Our community has told us they want a CBD that welcomes families and puts pedestrians first, a place people want to visit and hang out,” said NPDC Regulatory Solutions Manager Katrina Brunton. “The CBD is the business centre of our district as well as the cultural and social hub. We all have a stake in success. NPDC is listening to our community and we’ll be working together for its sustainable future.” Participants in the two CBD forums highlighted themes to improve city centre, including: More green spaces, such as “pocket parks”. A greater focus on pedestrians with more paths to get round the CBD. Family-friendly spaces, such as safe areas where kids can play. More public and shared transport options, like e-scooters. More consistent opening hours among retailers. More homes in the CBD.
News Our Work Leopard tortoises at Brooklands Zoo Wai Warrior message brings tasty reward for leopard tortoises 14 June 2019 They might be slow but two new leopard tortoises at NPDC’s Brooklands Zoo have been quick off the mark to take up the Wai Warrior message. Kids will help newcomers Kobe and Kamba to settle in with some tasty treats thanks to a new rainwater tank installed next to their habitat. “We’re encouraging children to use it to water the plants that the tortoises will eat, so they’ll be actively involved in the care of our new animals,” says NPDC Infrastructure Manager David Langford. The rainwater will also be used for cleaning paths and the tortoises’ new home. “It’s a chance for visitors to think about how they might store and use rainwater around their own homes. We can all make small changes in our water use that can add up to a big saving,” says Mr Langford. “We’re really happy that we can combine a fun new animal habitat with smart and easy water-saving tips.” Brooklands Zoo has been exploring ways to reduce its water use. Initiatives including the recently upgraded otter enclosure water recycling system could save as much as 90% of the water used by the zoo. Leopard tortoises fast facts The leopard tortoises were born in Auckland Zoo but have come to Brooklands Zoo from Ti Point Reptile Park in Auckland. Kobe (Swahili for ‘tortoise’) and Kamba (‘tortoise shell’) are currently 30cm long and weigh 3kg-5kg. They’re expected to grow up to 2ft/32kg, and can live for up to 100 years. Brooklands Zoo fast facts Brooklands Zoo opened in 1965. Zoo is open seven days a week and is visited by more than 110,000 people each year. It’s home to a diverse range of species from farm animals to meerkats. As well as the leopard tortoises, another recent addition was a scheltopusik, or European legless lizard.
News Waitara Board announced for multi-million dollar investment in Waitara 14 June 2019 Six representatives have been chosen for a Board to oversee the new Waitara Perpetual Community Fund, created as part of the Waitara Lands Act, which came into force in March. The Act allows leaseholders to buy their leased land on 770 Waitara properties valued at about $90 million and there have been approximately 300 expressions of interest in freeholding. The proceeds from the land sales will be divided into three funds for the benefit of the town: The Waitara Perpetual Community Fund to support community projects. A ring-fenced Hapū Land Fund. Te Kōwhatu Tū Moana* (TKTM) will decide how this fund will be distributed. A fund to support Waitara River and environment projects managed by Taranaki Regional Council and iwi and hapū with interests in the river. The Board members of the Waitara Perpetual Community Fund are: Pat Bodger (TKTM) Donna Eriwata (TKTM) Mawhaturia White (TKTM) Graham Armstrong (NPDC) Pauline Lockett (NPDC) Darrel Nicholas (NPDC). NPDC and TKTM each selected three board members and an alternate. The positions were advertised and potential Board members interviewed. “We’ve been able to form a highly competent Board with a wide range of skills and a passion for the Waitara Community prepared to lay the foundations for the next chapter in the town’s history. It’s an exciting time as after 30 years of mahi and negotiations on the Waitara Lands Act, it is finally beginning to come alive. It’s a great example of NPDC and iwi/hapū working together for the benefit of Waitara,” said New Plymouth District Mayor Neil Holdom. “Te Kōwhatu Tū Moana is pleased with the quality of the inaugural Board and congratulate all members. We look forward to the Board working through its establishment phase and determining those matters of importance to support the Waitara community,” said TKTM chair Jamie Tuuta. For more information on the Waitara Lands Act visit: *Te Kōwhatu Tū Moana is the trust Board that represents Manukorihi and Otaraua hapū.
News Lifestyle woman walking on teh footpath with a reusable bag Less plastic, more fantastic 12 June 2019 Another big step towards Zero Waste is on its way. There are new nation-wide rules around single-use bags coming our way. From 1 July all thin single-use plastic bags with handles will be banned. Supermarkets have already made big changes, but this will affect all businesses, from takeaway stores and corner store retailers to farmers markets. Most shoppers have already got a selection of reusable bags so they should be ready to go when the changes kick in. Just remember to take them with you to any kind of shop, whether you’re picking up takeaways or stocking up on socks! Not all plastic bags are covered by this new rule, for example heavy-duty plastic bags and bags without handles (like those you put your fruit in). So this is a good chance to look at other ways to cut down on single-use plastic that may be available. You can: Take a mesh bag to the supermarket to pop your fruit in. Wash and reuse zip-lock bags for nuts and snacks rather than getting a new one each time. Say no to heavy-duty plastic bags from retailers and use one of your reusable ones instead. Choose brands that use paper or recyclable packaging over those packaged in non-recyclable soft plastics. Take your own clean container to your supermarket deli or take away shop, then wash and reuse. If you’re a business owner you can find more information on the changes here, or give us a call on 06-759 6060.
News Our Work Liardet Street Plas Mix road trial Zero Waste hits the road as NPDC trials plastic roading system 07 June 2019 It may look like an ordinary stretch of inner-city road, but below the surface, New Plymouth’s Liardet Street contains an innovation that could lead the next recycling revolution. World-leading technology is being used to take waste plastic from NPDC’s kerbside recycling collection in New Plymouth and mixing it into asphalt to make a new type of road resurfacing. NPDC, EnviroNZ, Road Science and Downer have partnered to test the new material, Plas Mix, on a section of Liardet Street leading up to Pukekura Park.  The project, a New Zealand-first, has been driven by New Plymouth District’s vision of Zero Waste, says NPDC Infrastructure Manager David Langford. “It looks just like an ordinary road surface, but there’s actually the equivalent of more than 83,300 yogurt pots inside,” Mr Langford says. “After China stopped accepting the world’s recycling we found it increasingly difficult to sell our 3-7 plastics. Instead of stockpiling or landfilling these plastics, we took this as an opportunity to innovate and come up with a better solution, which is where the idea to put it into asphalt came from. “Road Science laboratory testing has shown the new material is stronger and should perform better than standard asphalt while also being cost effective, but the proof is in a real-world trial on our roads. So we’ll be monitoring closely how it performs over the next several months.” Murray Robertson from Road Science says: “The creation of Plas Mix is a collaboration between two commercial companies actively working together to solve significant local and global waste minimisation issues. The team are tasked with developing a meaningful outcome that can successfully repurpose waste plastic while not compromising the integrity of the pavement solutions.”  Mr Langford says finding a local solution for 3-7 plastics is an opportunity to take ownership of the end use of a difficult waste rather than exporting it for someone else to manage. “Previously we’ve had to pay to export these plastics more than 10,000km to be recycled overseas. For this trial, the plastic has only travelled about 10 to 15km from where it was picked up at the kerbside to finishing its journey on Liardet Street, which is much more sustainable for our environment. “If this proves successful, there’s the potential to reuse a big portion of our region’s residential waste plastics locally here in Taranaki. That will be much more sustainable in the long-run, saving our ratepayers money and cutting our carbon footprint as well as taking a huge step towards us becoming a Zero Waste district.” This is the first time in New Zealand that residential plastics have been incorporated into road resealing, with 500kg of residential plastics being used in this trial.  Both asphalt and plastics are made from crude oil.