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Proposed Revised Speed Limits for Public Safety
07 January 2017
In the interests of public safety and after community consultation, it is proposed that at an ordinary meeting of the New Plymouth District Council on 18 February 2017, the following revised speed limits will be adopted as follows: New Plymouth Create a 40km/h variable speed limit on Tukapa Street from No. 190 to No. 226 Tukapa Street. Create a 40km/h variable speed limit on Omata Road from No. 16 Omata Road to the Tukapa Street intersection. This 40km/hr variable speed limit will be in force on all school days: At the start for the day between 8.15am and 9.00am At the end of the day between 3.00pm and 3.30pm. At other times, not exceeding 10 minutes, when no less than 50 students need to cross the road.
Govett-Brewster Art Gallery and Len Lye Centre a Christmas Hit
30 December 2016
Lonely Planet, when naming Taranaki as the 2nd best region in the world to visit in 2017, said the Len Lye Centre was New Plymouth’s answer to the Guggenheim. And it seems holiday makers agree. Visitors from as far and wide as Frankfurt, Los Angeles, New York, and Zurich, have made the most of their Christmas visit to New Plymouth. More than 1,450 people visited yesterday (Thursday 29 December) and there was a queue of up to 50 people waiting for the doors to open. On Tuesday (27 December) more than 1,020 people enjoyed viewing the kinetic artwork. The Trilogy show is in hot demand and can be watched by 100 people at a time. Due to this interest and not wanting to turn people away, an extra daily show is being trialled. A New Plymouth District Council initiative, the Len Lye Centre is funded by both the Council and many community partners. For more information visit www.govettbrewster.com/len-lye/
Temporary changes for road users on Egmont Street New Plymouth
30 December 2016
The following areas will be subject to temporary traffic management to allow private works at 19 Egmont Street to safely take place: Affected areas: Egmont Street Car Park. Puke Ariki Car Park, sites at the rear of 19 Egmont Street. Egmont Street from the intersection with Molesworth and St Aubyn streets (SH 44) to Ariki Street. Ariki Street between Brougham and Egmont streets. Date and period: from 4 January 2017 to approximately 30 January 2017. For safety reasons, all or part of the Egmont Street Car Park will be closed to the public at times during the date and period outlined above. A temporary mobility car park will be available to all mobility card holders in site 8602 of the Ariki Street Bus Depot Car Park during times the Egmont Street Car Park is closed. All enquiries shall be directed to The Manager, Total Services 1998 Limited on 06- 758 8398.
Mercer appointed to manage New Plymouth District Council Perpetual Investment Fund
23 December 2016
The Guardians of the New Plymouth District Council Perpetual Investment Fund (PIF) are pleased to announce the appointment of Mercer (NZ) Limited (“Mercer”) as the Full Outsource Agent for the New Plymouth District Council’s (“NPDC”) Perpetual Investment Fund (“PIF”). The appointment of Mercer followed a rigorous process over the past two months by the newly appointed Guardians who were assisted by consulting actuaries, Melville Jessup Weaver. The agreement with Mercer will begin on 1 March 2017. The PIF Guardians are chaired by Mark Butcher.
Clifton By-Election Result
22 December 2016
Pam Street and John McLean have been elected unopposed to the Clifton Community Board. Nominations closed at noon on Thursday 22 December for two vacant positions. They will join Chairman Ken Bedford and current Community Board member Warren Petersen. The next meeting of the Clifton Community Board is 2 February where they are expected to be sworn in.
Public Feedback Wanted on New Water Quality Sign
22 December 2016
A new, more informative recreational water quality sign is being trialled in Waitara’s Marine Park. The sign will replace various smaller signs so that the key information about water quality and any warnings against swimming or collecting shellfish are all in the one place. Three temporary signs with the same look are also being trialled during the summer. These will be located at popular bathing sites if a warning is required based on the TRC monitoring results. 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. “If this trial goes well, we’ll roll out these signs in other locations throughout the region,” says Infrastructure Manager David Langford. “We’d like to hear from the public about whether they think this new sign format meets their needs, and whether it’s informative and easy to understand.” The new sign has 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. It includes a new ‘traffic light’ system to mark any warnings: Green – no health warnings. Yellow – no swimming. Orange – no shellfish gathering. Red – no swimming or shellfish gathering. The latest information about water quality will also be on the district councils’ websites, including a map of the region that displays the information for each site where water quality is tested. People can send in their feedback on the sign to firstname.lastname@example.org, facebook.com/newplymouthdistrictcouncil, twitter.com/NPDCouncil or phone 06-759 6060.
Partnership Confirmed for Community Reuse and Recycle Centre
19 December 2016
Three community groups are working with New Plymouth District Council to provide a waste reduction and education facility for Taranaki. The Community Reuse and Recycle Centre (CRRC) will be on Colson Road between the transfer station and the material recovery facility, and is planned to begin operating by the end of next year. “We had seven applications from community groups who were interested in working with us on building a business plan and operating the facility,” says Infrastructure Manager David Langford. “We’re really pleased to announce that we’ve signed a memorandum of understanding with WISE, which is based in Waitara and has a strong background in community projects, and the Taranaki Education Trust. “We’ll also have Xtreme Zero Waste, which runs a similar facility in Raglan, on board as an adviser.” Mr Langford says the three groups provide a combination of skills and experience, with WISE to operate the reuse and recycle activities and the trust to operate the education services. “We’re really excited about the potential this partnership has for developing our community’s interest in reducing waste through reuse, recycling and education. “Exactly what activities and services are provided through the CRRC will be determined through the business plan’s development,” he says.
Pukekura Park New Venue for New Year's Eve McDonalds Super Smash T20 Cricket Match
19 December 2016
Cricket fans will be able to head into the New Year supporting the Central Districts Stags at the most picturesque ground in New Zealand. The New Year’s Eve match against the Canterbury Kings has been moved to Pukekura Park, with a new start time of 4pm. Manager Venues and Events Ron Murray says the game has been shifted from Yarrow Stadium because of a wet ground. “The game has been moved as a precautionary measure and we’re confident the ground will quickly dry out. There are no other cricket games scheduled for Yarrow Stadium this summer and other events at the stadium won’t be impacted.” Tickets for the New Year’s Eve game are available online at ticketek.co.nz or at the gate on the day at the ground. Existing tickets will be accepted at Pukekura Park or ticketholders should contact Ticketek for a refund.
Hospitality Upgrade About to Begin at Yarrow Stadium
16 December 2016
A revamped Yarrow Stand and new food and beverage facility will be open ahead of this year’s All Blacks test match at Yarrow Stadium in September. The contract for the $2.35 million project has just been awarded and work is due to begin early in the New Year. “The upgrade makes the venue more appealing for big events and a wider range of customers,” says Yarrow Stadium Joint Committee Chairman Michael Joyce. “It means we’ll be in a stronger position to pitch for national and international events, and a wider variety of sport and non-sport events, due to the increased number of quality hospitality packages that we can offer.” The project includes converting the existing two food and beverage outlets in the Yarrow Stand into hospitality suites that can be configured into four spaces suitable for 40 people each, or two spaces for 80 people each. The new hospitality suites will have glass frontages facing the pitch, as with the Legends Lounge in the TSB Stand. To accommodate the new suites, gate four will be relocated to the rear of a new food and beverage building constructed near the Star Gym. The facility will have 12 facings for food and drink purchases and provide a more efficient queuing system and workspace for staff. Construction is scheduled for completion in July. The All Blacks will face Argentina at Yarrow Stadium on 9 September. Yarrow Stadium is owned by TRC, which funds the facility’s maintenance and long-term development. It is operated by NPDC, which meets day-to-day staffing and operational costs. Major decisions about the venue are made by the Yarrow Stadium Joint Committee, comprising representatives of both councils. Ownership of the stadium is formally vested in the Taranaki Stadium Trust, whose two trustees are appointed by TRC.
Water Restrictions Coming in the New Year
16 December 2016
New Plymouth District’s new three-month water restrictions will start on Sunday 1 January. There will be a ban on sprinklers, irrigation systems and unattended hoses, and hand-held hoses may be used only on the odds-and-evens system. The restrictions will apply throughout the district and will be lifted on 31 March. The three-month restriction is part of a suite of actions the Council is taking to reduce the district’s high water consumption. “By all benchmarks, our district’s water consumption is excessive and unsustainable in the long-term,” says Infrastructure Manager David Langford. “We’re undertaking a number of measures to lower the district’s water use, including to improve our water infrastructure, reduce water pressure where appropriate and encourage the voluntary adoption of water meters by residential customers. “However, the best way to safeguard a natural resource, regardless of whether the water’s sourced from a river or an aquifer, is to be smart about how much of it we use. “This blanket three-month restriction will cover the period of highest water use and also help us develop a new habit of better water conservation.” The current average residential water consumption within the New Plymouth supply area is 334 litres per person per day (L/p/d), placing New Plymouth in the top-third for water consumption among provincial councils. In comparison, the national average is 275 L/p/d, Australia’s national average is 195 L/p/d and the Netherlands’ is 119 L/p/d. For tips on how to reduce your water use, go to the Water Usage and Saving Water webpage.
100 Per Cent Pass Mark for District's Alcohol Outlets
15 December 2016
Alcohol outlets throughout New Plymouth District are getting a tick of approval after none sold alcohol to underage buyers during a controlled purchase operation (CPO) earlier this month. A controlled purchase operation is where young people under the age of 18 who are under police supervision are sent into licensed premises in an attempt to purchase alcohol. Ten off-license premises and 11 on-license premises were visited during the 3 December operation in Oakura, Bell Block, Inglewood, Moturoa and New Plymouth’s CBD. Manager Customer and Regulatory Solutions Katrina Brunton says none of the outlets would sell the two teens alcohol without first seeing ID to prove they were 18 or older. “To get a 100 per cent pass-rate from the outlets is superb – especially in the lead-up to Christmas and New Year,” she says. “Not only do few districts record a complete clean slate, but this is our third CPO operation in a row where no outlets sold to the minors. “These licensees, managers and their staff are to be congratulated because they stuck to their processes to ensure their businesses operated legally.” Mrs Brunton says the controlled purchase operation is a timely reminder that bottle stores and supermarkets should have clear processes in place, including till prompts, that require sellers to seek identification and record the date of birth of people who appear to be under 25-years-old before a sale can take place.
Taranaki Councils to Consult on Easter Trading
14 December 2016
Taranaki’s three district councils have all agreed to consult with their communities early in 2017 about whether they want shops open on Easter Sunday. All three councils made the decision this week at their final meeting for the year. South Taranaki District Council Group Manager of Environmental Services, John McKenzie, says the councils decided to consult at the same time to make it less confusing for the public and reflect the collaborative relationship the three councils had. The move comes after the Government changed the law in August to allow territorial authorities to choose their own Easter Sunday trading policies. While Easter Sunday is not officially a public holiday in New Zealand, shops are required to be closed, although a number of shops like dairies, cafes, pharmacies, and service stations are already exempt from the rule. McKenzie says that Foodstuffs NZ, who own New World and Pak’nSave supermarkets and Retail NZ, have already written to the councils asking for public consultation on this issue. Each council will undertake consultation early in the New Year so decisions can be made in time for Easter 2017.
New Local Alcohol Policy Adopted
13 December 2016
The joint Local Alcohol Policy (LAP) for New Plymouth and Stratford districts has been adopted by New Plymouth District Council. Most of the policy will come into effect on 28 February 2017 although the new closing hours, including hours for alcohol sales at off-licence premises – such as bottle stores and supermarkets – will not begin until 1 May. These new off-licence hours are 9.30pm in New Plymouth District and 10pm in Stratford District. Stratford District Council has also adopted the policy today. NPDC Group Manager Strategy Liam Hodgetts says the LAP enables the districts to regulate aspects of the sale of alcohol in their areas. “The District Licensing Committees will use their LAP as a guiding document for liquor licensing decisions in each district,” says Mr Hodgetts. “Having a consistent approach in both New Plymouth and Stratford will make it less confusing for businesses to operate and easier to manage the potential harm from alcohol.” The adoption of the LAP reflects the end of a thorough community-wide discussion regarding alcohol within New Plymouth and Stratford districts, including extensive research and community engagement starting in 2013, submissions and a hearing in 2014, and the resolution of appeals in 2015.
Failing Tree to be Removed from Pukekura Park
12 December 2016
Work will begin tomorrow (Tuesday) to remove a large pine tree in Pukekura Park that is a danger to the public. The tree, on the side of Cannon Hill, has an 11m spiralling crack that goes 30cm into the tree’s trunk. “We’ve had three arborists inspect it and they all have significant concerns about the condition of the tree and say it should be removed as soon as possible because it could fail,” says Manager Parks and Open Spaces Stuart Robertson. “At a bit more than 47m tall, that’s a lot of unstable tree to have alongside public walking tracks. We can’t afford to take risks.” The removal, which is weather-dependent, will take three days to complete. During this time the public will be directed to alternative walking routes outside the work area.
Mayor and Councillors Spell Out Top 10 Focus Areas for the Next Term
08 December 2016
New Plymouth District’s governance team has produced a top 10 list of focus areas Council will take out to the community in the New Year. Mayor Neil Holdom said many of the focus areas were already part of the Council’s long-term planning such as the 30-year Blueprint and the Water Master Plan. “The list is a conversation starter as the council looks to develop the next Long Term Plan to set the direction for the future of the New Plymouth District,” he says. “We have an excited and engaged team of councillors who have learned a lot through the electoral campaign. “This top 10 doesn’t cover all of the issues people talked to us about as being important to them but it does capture many of the key focus areas. We think it’s a good starting point to have a conversation with our community, the people who employ us, as we consider the pros and cons of each of these areas.” The focus areas are: Treasure Our Water. Current residential water usage in the district is estimated at 336L per person per day which is significantly higher than the New Zealand average of 275L. The current Water Master Plan provides for investment in the necessary infrastructure over the next 10 years and looks at ways to reduce usage in our community. Central city. The Shaping our City Action Plan, which is already under way, will explore a mix of activities that continues to build on New Plymouth as a strong destination to draw visitors to the city and the region. Zero waste. Through the Waste Minimisation Plan, consider becoming a zero-waste district. This would require a significant shift in the community’s approach to managing waste, including the commercial sector. Iwi/Māori input. Working with iwi leaders, continue to consider the options for Māori to participate in governance decision-making. Flagship Projects. People-friendly city. Our district already has a good reputation for being friendly and welcoming. The new Councillors are keen to build on this by enhancing engagement, including building on the Council’s current digital strategy to connect with younger members of our district. Destination New Plymouth. Consider how the New Plymouth Destination and Taranaki Regional Economic Development strategies, which are being developed now, fulfil the district’s potential to grow the economy and position the district as a world-class gateway to the region. Coastal Walkway extension. Explore potentially fast-tracking the continuation of the Coastal Walkway from where it currently ends at Tiromoana Crescent, Bell Block, to Waitara. Waitara stormwater. Continue to investigate solutions for the legacy issue of intermittent storm flooding in Waitara. Port Taranaki development. Work with Port Taranaki on its future plan for development and how this links into the district’s transport network and community infrastructure. The Mayor says discussions with the community will help inform their thinking and most decisions will be made as part of the 2018/28 Long-Term Plan consultation process.
New Bridge Feature Taking Shape
07 December 2016
Plenty of magic will be radiating from Poet’s Bridge at this year’s TSB Bank Festival of Lights, with more lights than ever being installed on the iconic feature. More than 1,000 dancing LED lights will make up the TSB Bank Tunnel of Light, designed by architectural lighting consultants Toulouse Group. Work began this week installing the bespoke archway structure that takes its inspiration from Mounga Taranaki. Supported by TSB Bank, the new feature took about 150 hours to design and develop, 120 hours to programme, and is expected to take around 200 hours to install at Pukekura Park. New Plymouth District Council Venues and Events Manager, Ron Murray, says he is looking forward to seeing the TSB Bank Tunnel of Light come to life when the festival kicks off on 18 December. “Poet’s Bridge is always a focal point of the festival and we think this year’s feature will be a summer highlight. “It’s been great to work with TSB Bank, Toulouse and the guys from MJF Lighting to get something of this scale into the festival. It’s been a huge undertaking and we think the final result will be something quite striking.” TSB Bank General Manager of Marketing Brent Woodhead says it is exciting to play a part in a new lighting feature, as well as support the festival as a whole. “We’re always excited to see what’s in store when the festival rolls around, but this year we’re particularly looking forward to seeing the tunnel light up. “This event is such a huge part of the Taranaki summer and we are continually impressed by the creativity and work that goes into developing such a fantastic seven week long community event.” This year’s light trail through Pukekura Park is set to cover the most ground of any previous lights festival in the park. The trail includes another great new feature along the Goodwin Dell Loop created by local electronic artist Ian Clothier, while some of the festival’s favourite lighting features will be back, including Tripping the Light, which brings the Fountain Lake to life with colourful LED globes.
Yarrow Stadium Wins National Venue Award
07 December 2016
Taranaki is continuing to be recognised on the national and international stage, with New Plymouth’s Yarrow Stadium last night winning a major venue award. The stadium took out the Ticketmaster Large Venue of the Year award at the 2016 Entertainment Venue Association of New Zealand awards in Hamilton, edging out big players Eden Park and Hagley Oval for the accolade. The award recognised venues of more than 5,000 seats that had a clear vision, met their objectives, demonstrated growth and provided visitors and guests with an exceptional experience. New Plymouth District Council Events and Venues Manager Ron Murray says it was exciting and extremely satisfying to win the award as it recognised all the hard work that had gone into developing and executing a new strategic plan for Yarrow Stadium. “The team has worked very hard to deliver the plan of being a multi-sport venue that maximises the use of the stadium, as well as optimising the visitor experience and strengthening the connection our local community have with the venue. “Looking back on the year, we’ve hosted some amazing events, and as we look ahead, we’ve got plenty more diverse and entertaining events on the calendar to look forward to.” Throughout 2016, Yarrow Stadium hosted an NRL match between the Vodafone Warriors and Canberra Raiders, the Investec Super Rugby clash between the Chiefs and Sharks, and will this weekend host McDonald’s Super Smash cricket. Team Taranaki’s home football matches were also hosted at the stadium in 2016, along with six Taranaki Mitre 10 Cup rugby matches, including a semi-final. It was also revealed the stadium would host an A-League Football match between the Wellington Phoenix and Western Sydney Wanderers in February, along with extreme sports event Nitro Circus Live, while an Investec Rugby Championship match between the All Blacks and Argentina is being held in September 2017. However, Mr Murray said it wasn’t just the major events that had contributed to the recognition. “We also have a number of great function spaces which have been used on a regular basis by organisations for various events, awards, meetings and conferences. “We must thank both the local community and those who have come in from outside the region, for their continued support of the venue.” Yarrow Stadium will soon begin developing new hospitality facilities in the Yarrow Stand, which will offer fantastic opportunities for those looking to host events in the future. Work is expected to begin in the New Year.
Safety Improvements for Busy Urban Road
02 December 2016
Road safety improvements are proposed for the section of Coronation Avenue outside Highlands Intermediate School, and the public is being asked for their comments. The changes to the road between State Highway 3 and Tarahua Road are designed to reduce confusion for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists, says Manager Transportation Carl Whittleston. The proposed improvements include widening the footpath from SH3 to the school’s gates, widening the cycle lanes, removing some car parking, shifting the pedestrian crossing away from the Evelyn Place intersection and shifting the bus stops. “This is a key urban road that becomes particularly busy before school starts and when school is let out,” says Mr Whittleston. “These changes will increase the safety of pedestrians and cyclists and make the road less confusing for drivers.” The project is partly funded through the NZTA Urban Cycleway Fund, with two-thirds coming from the New Zealand Transport Agency and one-third from New Plymouth District Council. More details about the project and a submission form are online at newplymouthnz.com/HaveYourSay. Feedback closes on Wednesday 21 December.
New Plymouth District Officially a Safe Community
30 November 2016
New Plymouth District has been reconfirmed as an International Safe Community – a designation that is endorsed by the World Health Organisation. Chief Executive Barbara McKerrow says the reaccreditation is the result of the combined efforts of key community agencies. “Taking active steps to reduce harm in our community requires buy-in from a large number of organisations and individuals, and I’m proud that we’ve been able to do this for several years now. “The work is ongoing and we’ll keep aiming for an even safer environment for residents and visitors to live, work, and play,” says Mrs McKerrow. New Plymouth District has been an International Safe Community since 2005 – only the third in New Zealand at the time. To be reaccredited, the relevant agencies had to show the district is safe and that they are working on it becoming safer. This includes demonstrating safety leadership, data analysis, creating and delivering safety programmes, setting priorities and measuring the agencies’ effectiveness. The main agencies involved in the International Safe Community collaboration are New Plymouth injurySafe, the Council, NZ Police, NZ Fire Service, Taranaki District Health Board and the Public Health Unit, ACC, Tui Ora, Bishops’ Action Foundation, Kidsafe Taranaki, WorkSafe NZ, Taranaki Rural Support Trust and Be Safe Taranaki. NPDC is the lead agency for projects around road, pedestrian and cycle safety (e.g. road safety improvements and Let’s Go’s bicycle and scooter skills programmes in schools) and for alcohol harm reduction (e.g. the Alcohol Accord and Local Alcohol Policy). The reaccreditation process will be completed on 8 December in the Council Chamber with the Mayor signing the accreditation document.
Council takes a Proactive Approach to Addressing Traffic Congestion at Popular Pouakai Crossing
23 November 2016
A potentially world-class one-day walk might get a dedicated car park to enhance safety for our community and visitors. Currently, users of the Mangorei Track – which forms part of the Pouakai Crossing – must leave their vehicles on the roadside at the top of Mangorei Road, which can cause safety issues for road users. “It’s a narrow road towards the end and there are some homes in that area, and increasingly more people are wanting to walk the Pouakai Crossing,” says Group Manager Strategy Liam Hodgetts. We’ll be making some small safety improvements along the last three kilometres of Mangorei Road over the next three years. “We’re also planning to build an off-road car parking facility that can accommodate cars and busses – not just for current users but also for the growth of visitor numbers that we’re expecting over the coming years as a result of the growing national and international profile of the route. “There would also be toilet facilities and a water supply on the site.” Mayor Neil Holdom says the facility will be a huge boost for development of the Pouakai Crossing. “The Mangorei Track currently has about 8,500 walkers a year but this is expected to increase if the Pouakai Crossing is developed to a one-day walk of international standard,” says the Mayor. “The Pouakai Crossing is getting more and more publicity, and Lonely Planet highlighted it when naming Taranaki the second-best region in the world to visit in 2017. This car park development would make the crossing much easier to access and more popular as a result.” The region is attracting an increasing number of international visitors – up 21.3 per cent in the last year (to September 2016) compared to the national growth of 9.9 per cent. “Ensuring our tourism infrastructure meets their expectations will be important to ensure this growth continues,” says Mayor Holdom. The Council has an unconditional agreement for the purchase of a 1.15ha section of suitable land for $225,000 and is consulting with immediate neighbours regarding the car park’s development. However, the construction of the facility is subject to available funding. Says Mr Hodgetts: “Next year we plan to apply to a Government fund for regional tourism facilities.” The District Blueprint has a key direction of having New Plymouth and Taranaki become a world-class destination. “Having the Council contribute to the development of the Pouakai Crossing as a whole will help build our reputation as a world-class recreational and environmental tourism experience,” says Mr Hodgetts.
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