Let's strive for a Zero Waste Christmas says NPDC
15 December 2017
New Plymouth District Council (NPDC) is urging residents to get recycling right this Christmas so we can all give future generations the gift of going zero waste by 2050.
From wrapping paper, to empty bottles, to cans, to cardboard from packaging - it can get confusing where it should all go. About 40 per cent of what we throw away in a landfill could have been recycled or composted.
NPDC Chief Operating Officer Kelvin Wright said every little bit helps and it costs about $10 million a year to run all of our rubbish services including our landfill and kerbside collection.
“We want all our residents to have a fantastic Christmas this year and it would be great if we also think about how much we’re throwing away. Let’s try to change our behaviour to reduce, reuse and recycle. Our Zero Waste 2050 goal is ambitious but we know it’s important for future generations to act now.”
It’s important to make sure the right rubbish is going in the right bins otherwise it makes the job of sorting out the recycling much harder. Christmas wrapping paper is fine for the yellow bin but foil should go in red bags. Cardboard and numbered plastics should also go in yellow bins but plastic bags can’t be recycled.
And if residents have had a very merry Christmas and have too many bottles for their blue bins, these can be recycled for free. Head to newplymouthnz.com to get info on what to recycle and find out how they can help the push towards zero waste.
• NPDC has an app to help you get recycling right as well. Head to the app store on your smartphone and you’ll find it by searching for NPDC Rubbish & Recycling.
• It costs us about $10 million a year to run all of our rubbish services including our landfill and kerbside collection. This is paid for by rates and user fees.
• About 60 per cent of our kerbside rubbish is food waste that could be composted.
• Each year Taranaki throws out (into the landfill) an entire rugby field worth of rubbish.
• That’s about 54,801 tonnes. Or about half a tonne per person.
• Being a Zero Waste Hero is easy, using the 3 Rs:
– Reduce the waste you create
– Reuse what you consume
– Recycle the rest.
Christmas rubbish fast facts and tips:
• There is 10 per cent extra mixed recycling and 20 per cent extra glass at Christmas.
• The Colson Rd recycling facility handles 450 tonnes of recycling and 300 tonnes of glass per month.
• Old toys and clothes can’t be recycled – but can be given to the op shop if they are in good condition.
• Weird items included for recycling include an imitation Christmas tree, Christmas lights and ham on the bone.
The Cat and the Canadian - Summer at the Bowl
08 December 2017
Red Roses with no leaves and Kinder Surprise chocolate eggs are just a few of the unusual requests from artists who play at the TSB Bowl of Brooklands.
But these are small details in the years of planning that goes into bringing names like Elton John, Dire Straits, Paul Simon, Sting, R.E.M. and Fleetwood Mac to the Bowl.
And this summer the Bowl will be alive with two international acts within weeks of each other, starting next Saturday night with Yusuf/Cat Stevens and, Canadian rocker Bryan Adams on 4 January with support from Dave Dobbyn and the Jordan Luck Band.
Bringing major concerts to the Bowl can be a long undertaking, sometimes taking years but it’s worth the effort, New Plymouth District Council’s Manager Venues and Events, Ron Murray says.
“It’s a very complicated process. We have to fit in with the international touring schedule and it can be tricky,” Mr Murray says. “We started looking at bringing Cat Stevens here about three years ago but it will be fantastic to have such an iconic star at our Bowl next Saturday.”
The work the NPDC Venues team does involves liaising with Australian promoters usually about 18 months before the concerts. There’s a huge amount of work behind the scenes as they negotiate with promoters to find which artist would be the ‘best fit’ for the Bowl.
It’s also a massive job to convert the public park into a world-class concert venue. At least 100 crew work on setting up seats, installing the stage and sound system and bringing in catering, toilets and other infrastructure to make the venue work.
“We have a number of first class venues in New Plymouth and we do very well in attracting top acts. There’s an expectation that we’ll get huge acts coming each year and that doesn’t always happen.
“But one thing that does happen is bands love playing the Bowl and the audiences are fantastic. I remember when Sting said ‘Whose back garden is this?’ and the audience all shouted back ‘Ours’.
“A beautiful summer’s evening, with a top act and a wonderful audience, is what the Bowl is all about,” adds Mr Murray.
Summer at the Bowl kicks off this Sunday with Christmas at the Bowl.
• There are tickets still available for Yusuf/Cat Stevens and Bryan Adams. However NPDC is warning people not to buy from Viagogo as the ticket may have been sold more than once and they will not gain entry to the event.
Yusuf/Cat Stevens concert advice:
• No bags larger than A4 (21cm x 29cm) can be brought into the venue.
• All bags will be checked and as part of international security standards we will be operating hand-held metal detectors at points of entry.
• No glass, BYO alcohol or commercial food (takeaways).
• Sealed water bottles are allowed.
• Full Conditions of Entry can be found on npeventvenues.nz
Airport's 'vision' starts with changes to parking, roads
07 December 2017
Motorists heading to New Plymouth Airport will find changes to the car park and road layout this month.
These will be the first phase of the enabling works that lay the groundwork for construction of the new terminal.
Entering the airport zone on Airport Drive, motorists will see the speed limit has been lowered from 50km per hour to 30km/h.
This will help them adjust to changes in the road ahead and to accommodate traffic movements related to the construction work.
The route to the drop-off area and the taxi and shuttle road will divert to the right just past the main car park entrance.
The new road layout will help separate airport user traffic from construction traffic going to the new terminal site just to the west of the current terminal.
The main entrance to the car park will stay where it is initially, but will be moved southwards (away from the terminal) as work progresses.
Part of the northern side car park will be temporarily reallocated to rental cars, while additional public spaces will be created at the southern side.
“This is when the vision starts to become reality. Over the coming months, airport visitors will see the new gateway to Taranaki taking shape just to the left of the old terminal as they come along Airport Drive,” said airport Chief Executive Wayne Wootton.
“We would urge airport users to give themselves plenty of time when travelling to the airport as traffic movements might be a little slower as people adapt to the works.”
In September, the directors of the airport company, Papa Rererangi i Puketapu, said in a report to the Council that they had agreed the proposed design, including the cultural narrative created in partnership with the Puketapu hapu, is fit for purpose.
The proposed terminal cost is estimated at between $21.7 million and $28.7 million.
Construction of the new terminal is scheduled to start in April next year and it is expected to be operating in the second half of 2019.
The new board will be responsible for ensuring it is completed on time and within budget.
More than 425,000 passengers and about 150,000 “meeters and greeters” a year currently use the airport terminal, which was originally designed for 50,000 passengers in the 1960s.
Airport fast facts
• It’s the fourth busiest regional airport in New Zealand.
• It’s the gateway to Taranaki and about 425,000 people use it each year.
• Air New Zealand (flying to Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington), Jetstar (Auckland) and Originair (Nelson) all use it.
• Built in 1967, the terminal is being regenerated at a cost of about $25 million.
• Construction starts in April 2018 and will be completed by August 2019.
• It’s owned by NPDC and independently managed by a board of directors.
Inglewood pedestrian crossing to be removed
05 December 2017
A pedestrian crossing in Inglewood where a schoolgirl died in September will be removed tomorrow.
Seven-year-old cyclist Emma Warren died following a collision with a truck at the pedestrian crossing at the intersection of Miro and Rata streets in the north Taranaki town.
NPDC Chief Operating Officer Kelvin Wright says the crossing’s removal follows an independent review and discussions with police, Emma’s family, Inglewood Primary School, the Inglewood Community Board and the NZ Transport Agency.
“We’ll continue to work with the NZ Transport Agency, the Primary School and the community board about other options for crossing Miro Street; such as kerb extensions, a mid-road safe spot for pedestrians and the best location for a new crossing,” says Mr Wright.
In the meantime, there will be a sign at Miro Street reminding pedestrians to give way to vehicles.
“Emma’s death is a tragedy and we extend our deepest sympathies to her family, friends and others in the community who have been affected,” Mr Wright says.
As we head into the busy summer holiday season, NPDC is urging all road users to slow down and take care.
Stay safe this summer says NPDC
01 December 2017
Summer is officially here and New Plymouth District Council is this season spotlighting beach safety and changing styles.
A new partnership with Surf Life Saving New Zealand (SLSNZ) will fund weekday lifeguards to help boost summer safety in the district.
And NPDC’s Puke Ariki is now showing a new exhibition – At The Beach: 100 Years of Summer Fashion in New Zealand. Running until 18 February, the costumes go from woollen bathers to skimpy bikinis and it explores Kiwis’ love of hitting the beach.
The $75,000 annual funding to SLSNZ over the next five years will help fund weekday patrols on three of the district’s beaches over the school holidays.
It will also enable SLSNZ to recruit lifeguards in Taranaki and help teach the public about water safety and being sun smart.
SLSNZ’s key message to beach-goers is to swim within the flags, always keep an eye on children, don’t swim alone and to watch out for rocks and rips.
Kelvin Wright, NPDC’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “We’ve funded SLSNZ before but we now have a five-year partnership which will provide vital cash for one of our community partners.
“We’re delighted to support SLSNZ and its work in keeping people safe this summer.”
Antony North, chairman of East End Surf Life Saving Club, says: “The funding is a massive boost to help not only SLSNZ and the clubs, but also ensures that the public can have confidence in swimming at our beaches over the summer months, knowing that they are in safe hands of the regional guards.”
Meanwhile At The Beach is now on at Puke Ariki and playfully explores Kiwis’ beach fashion culture.
From heavy woollen bathers of the Edwardian era to the skimpy bikinis of the 1970s, the exhibition reveals how society’s attitudes to modesty have changed over time.
The exhibition has been curated by the New Zealand Fashion Museum and features more than 100 garments.
It also includes a history of East End Surf Life Saving Club featuring film footage and photographs from the club’s bygone days.
SLSNZ fast facts:
• There are 1,200 rescues nationally each year
• There are 74 clubs in New Zealand
• 80 beaches will be patrolled over the summer months
• The youngest member is 14 – and the oldest is 89!
What to do if you’re caught in a rip:
• Stay calm and put your hand up and wave it side to side. Even on unpatrolled coastline, this will attract attention, alerting the emergency services.
• Try to fight the urge to swim against the current; this will use up energy that you need to stay afloat while the emergency services arrive. Most people can float for a lot longer than they can swim!
• Lie on your back and let the rip sweep you along until the current weakens.
• When the current has subsided, swim parallel to the shore for 30-40 metres before returning to shore, swimming slowly.
Be a Wai Warrior and reduce water use says NPDC
29 November 2017
As temperatures rise so has our use of water and New Plymouth District residents are being urged to become Wai Warriors this summer. Wai means water and Warrior is a person who takes on a good fight, in this case, saving water.
Every day we use 336 litres of water each, 30 per cent more than the national average. Our main water storage facility holds about 10 days worth of water. Water usage in November was up about 30 per cent on the previous month and many of our waterways are starting to drop with Okato’s Mangatete Stream getting very low.
NPDC Infrastructure Manager David Langford says the district-wide summer water restrictions will be introduced on Monday 4 December until 31 March.
“We’re urging all residents to do their bit to save water around the home: take short showers, don’t wash down paths and driveways, and use a bucket and sponge rather than a hose to clean your car.”
The water restrictions are on the odds and evens system: hand-held hoses can be used at odd-numbered houses on on odd-numbered days and at even-numbered houses on even-numbered days. Sprinklers and irrigation systems are banned until 31 March.
For tips saving water, please click here.
Wai Warrior Tips
• A typical dishwasher uses 125 litres of water per load, so cram as much in as you can.
• Summer gardens can drink 1,000L of water per hour.
• Washing your car with a running hose can use up to 400L.
• A deep bath can use more than 200L of water but a three-minute shower uses only 80L.
Yarrow Stadium open for business as earthquake strengthening work needed on East Stand
28 November 2017
An independent engineering company which looks after Yarrow Stadium says earthquake strengthening work is needed on the East Stand.
New Plymouth District Council (NPDC) Chief Operating Officer Kelvin Wright says it’s early days and NPDC as operator of the venue is waiting for a specialised geotechnical report to confirm this is the case.
“As a precautionary measure and as a responsible operator, we are working with tenants (Taranaki Rugby Football Union, KDJ catering) on alternative arrangements. Let’s be clear, Yarrow Stadium is open for business with a venue capacity of 18,000 and it’s just the East Stand that requires strengthening work,” says Wright.
In the wake of the Christchurch earthquakes, new seismic rules were introduced and many council operated buildings around New Zealand have been impacted.
TSB Festival of Lights brings in tourists, boosts economy
24 November 2017
A survey on the New Plymouth District Council-run TSB Festival of Lights has highlighted the significant contribution the summer spectacular is making to the region’s economy.
For the first time in the festival’s history, an economic impact survey was carried out and revealed total spend added a value of more than $4.6 million to Taranaki.
Conducted by Venture Taranaki, the survey over the 2016/17 season also shows close to 8,000 visitors made a trip to New Plymouth just to see the festival, stayed an average of three nights and spent about $257 per day on accommodation, food and drink and shopping.
NPDC Chief Operating Officer Kelvin Wright says while the Pukekura Park festival is focused on providing a fantastic event for the Taranaki community, it is pleasing to see so many people from outside the region travelling here for New Zealand’s leading light festival.
“We all know how lucky we are to have the TSB Festival of Lights on our doorstep, so it’s no surprise that word is spreading and people from outside Taranaki are coming to see what it’s all about,” said Mr Wright.
“We have so many fantastic things happening in our region, and with such a great summer calendar coming together for this season, we hope to see this visitor figure continue to grow as the festival continues.”
Venture Taranaki Chief Executive Stuart Trundle says the economic analysis reveals the TSB Festival of Lights to be a significant contributor to the events landscape, with many visitors travelling to New Plymouth to enjoy the lights and entertainment over the summer months.
“The spend resulting from this visitation flows into many sectors of the community including restaurants and cafes, transport, retail and accommodation.
“Over and above these quantifiable outcomes is the contribution the TSB Festival of Lights makes to the vibrancy of the district. It helps to put New Plymouth on the map, makes coming to the district a memorable experience, especially for families, and adds to the desirability of the district as a place to live and visit.”
The seven-week festival attracted more than 125,000 people across the 2016/17 season, with 68 per cent of visitors attending more than twice. The total spend by those visitors added a value of $4,686,417 to the region.
With the festival fast approaching, planning is well underway for another jam-packed season of entertaining performances, activities and events for the whole family.
This year, in addition to the Summer Scene and On-Stage calendars, a Summer Seniors programme has also been introduced to cater for older folk in Taranaki. Events catering for those over 60 include Pilates, Zumba, marimba and ukulele lessons and music from the Devon Hotel Brass Band.
This season’s TSB Festival of Lights runs from 16 December 2017 until 5 February 2018 and more information is available at festivaloflights.nz.
Kids give Puke Ariki top marks for Home Work art
20 November 2017
Puki Ariki has finished its Home Work – and kids have given it an A-plus for art.
More than 27,000 people attended the display of vibrant, contemporary art in the New Plymouth District Council-run library, museum and information centre’s temporary exhibition space which showcased the talents of 65 Taranaki artists.
The event was about getting New Plymouth District people involved in our thriving art scene and more than 1,100 people attended 13 events including workshops, demonstrations and talks to learn about everything from murals to life drawing to on-the-spot sketching.
And Home Work: Taranaki Art 2017 proved to be a massive hit with kids. Children went along to workshops and took part in Puke Ariki’s Learning Outside the Classroom Education Programme to find out how they can create their own works of art. They showed their appreciation for the artists by writing postcards explaining why they loved it.
Puke Ariki Manager Kelvin Day said he was delighted with the reaction from kids and pleased to see so many people supporting local artists.
“Children who attended Home Work have written about being inspired by what they’ve seen – that’s exactly the reaction we’d hope for and shows how important art is in motivating kids to be creative,” Mr Day says.
“Home Work has yet again been a fantastic showcase and revealed just some of the diverse creative practice happening throughout Taranaki.”
The 65 artworks were selected by Puke Ariki curators Chanelle Carrick and Aimee Burbery and leading contemporary Māori artist Darcy Nicholas. The exhibition also saw the launch of a published version of the hand-printed book by Michaela Stoneman called The Menagerie that was part of the exhibition.
Budding artists who missed out this time can create something special for the next Home Work which is pencilled in for around mid-2020.
'Sharrows' point to safer roundabout cycling
16 November 2017
A new type of road marking designed to improve the safety of cyclists is coming to a New Plymouth roundabout.
Sharrows, or ‘share arrows’, will be painted next week at the recently-upgraded roundabout at the Mill/Frankley/Standish/Dawson/Downe intersection. The on-road markings have been used internationally since 1993 to indicate the likely presence of cyclists and motorists in the same lane.
“They’ve also been used in Wellington and Auckland for the last three years and they’re useful when there isn’t enough space on the road to build dedicated cycle lanes,” says NPDC Infrastructure Manager David Langford.
“The markings will encourage cyclists to merge with other traffic in the centre of the lane when approaching and going around the roundabout, and they’ll alert motorists that cyclists will be travelling with them in that space.
“Cyclists already have to use the road lane when going around a roundabout and these sharrows will encourage road users to be more considerate of each other.”
Those riders not comfortable merging with traffic can use the footpath to walk around the roundabout.
Australian research shows that sharrow markings increase distances between cyclists and drivers and also increase cyclists’ safety.
NPDC will monitor the effectiveness of the sharrows before considering their use at other sites.
NPDC manages assets worth $2.5 billion, has an operating budget of $130 million and employs 506 full time staff. We reliably provide all the core services you’d expect – roads, water and waste – as well as dynamic Parks, Libraries, an art gallery, commercial forestry, a Zoo, Venues such as Yarrow Stadium/TSB Showplace and events such as the iconic Festival of Lights at Pukekura Park.
NPDC changes gambling policy in a bid to help cut social harm
15 November 2017
New Plymouth District Council has made changes to its Class 4 Gambling Venues Policy to reduce the potential of gambling harm.
NPDC will introduce a sinking lid policy for gaming machines in Waitara and a cap of 320 for the rest of the district (excluding Waitara).
As a result, if venues in Waitara surrender their gaming machine licences the number of machines permitted within the Waitara area will be reduced. While there is no obligation for venues to surrender machines, the sinking lid sets a potential future reduction in the number of gaming machines in the town from 49 to 25.
Currently, the national density of operating machines is 32.7 gaming machines per 10,000 people. Waitara’s density is 70.7 and in the rest of New Plymouth District it is 39.7; if the target of 25 gaming machines in Waitara is eventually reached, the density would be a 36.1 in Waitara.
Group Manager Strategy Liam Hodgetts says to help NPDC prepare its draft policies for gambling and TAB venues, a report was prepared on the social impact of gaming machines in Taranaki.
“That report showed that Waitara is a high risk community for problem gambling, in part due to the high number of gaming machines in the community,” says Mr Hodgetts.
“By reducing the number of machines, as gaming machine licences are surrendered through the sinking lid policy, we help reduce the risk for Waitara residents.”
As part of the policy, the rules around inactive (or sleeping) machines (when a venue has fewer machines operating than it is licensed for) has been clarified.
Also, changes to both the gambling venues and TAB venues policies ensure that the locational areas of these outlets match those of alcohol venues, so that these venues will not be located near sensitive sites such as schools and churches.
NPDC manages assets worth $2.5 billion, has an operating budget of $130 million and employs 506 full time staff. We reliably provide all the core services you’d expect – water, waste and roads – as well as dynamic Parks, Libraries, an art gallery, commercial forestry, a Zoo, Venues such as Yarrow Stadium/TSB Showplace and events such as the iconic Festival of Lights at Pukekura Park.
LLC pumps $7.4m into district economy and generates 103 jobs, says BERL report
10 November 2017
The Len Lye Centre has been a huge boost for the New Plymouth District economy, a new report says.
The centre brought in more than 17,000 visitors to the area from outside Taranaki just to visit the iconic gallery in 2016 and this boosted GDP and generated jobs, the report from analysis firm BERL reveals.
New Plymouth District Council commissioned the report to look at the economic impact the centre was having on the district. BERL says that 34,400 people made 118,900 visits to the gallery last year.
Visitors to the district spent $7.4 million on accommodation, meals, transport, shopping and entertainment and this helped to generate $5.6m in GDP. BERL says this expenditure was enough to generate 103 full-time equivalent jobs.
New Plymouth District Mayor Neil Holdom says while controversial it was clear the Len Lye Centre was generating positive profile for Taranaki, creating employment and delivering economic benefits.
“It’s positive to note the BERL report’s finding that the LLC is generating $7.4 million in visitor spend with Taranaki businesses, directly and indirectly creating around 100 jobs in New Plymouth in the process,” says Mr Holdom.
“Like it or loathe it, the LLC is a magnificent looking piece of architecture and reflects our vision of Building a Lifestyle Capital. Locally, it’s the cultural hub of our district for all ages, providing education programmes for young and old, a wide range of films as well as being a popular venue for corporate hosting.”
The centre was a hit with Taranaki people with 82 per cent of respondents from New Plymouth rating it as very good or good and 85 per cent of those from outside the district rating the art gallery as very good, the report says. “It is the jewel in the crown of New Plymouth,” said one respondent.
The research found half of the visitors came from Taranaki (45 per cent were New Plymouth locals and 5 per cent from the Taranaki region), 40 per cent were New Zealand visitors to the region and 10 per cent were international travellers.
Some 17,100 visitors travelled to the Taranaki region to see the centre. In comparison, 12,400 visitors came to the province to attend WOMAD 2017 while 4,300 visitors who went to the 2016 Taranaki Garden Festival were from outside the region.
The purpose of BERL’s research was to estimate the economic impact the Len Lye Centre had on the New Plymouth District economy, with an emphasis on the impact of visitors from outside the area. It focused on the 2016 year as this provided a full year of data.
BERL’s key findings were:
• There were 118,900 visits to the Len Lye Centre in 2016.
• These visits were made by 34,400 visitors.
• An estimated 18,900 visitors were from outside of the New Plymouth District.
• There were 3,200 international visitors to the centre.
• $7.4 million of visitor expenditure was introduced into the New Plymouth District.
• An estimated $5.6 million in GDP and 103 FTEs were added to the New Plymouth District economy.
• The average spending by each visitor from outside the district was just over $390.
The Len Lye Centre opened in New Plymouth in July 2015. Situated alongside the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, and designed by New Zealand architect Andrew Patterson, the building is considered a contemporary interpretation of the essence of Lye. In addition, the Len Lye Centre has a number of display galleries, an education centre and a 62-seat cinema. The centre was developed through the long association between the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth District Council and the Len Lye Foundation.
Len Lye Centre: Fast facts:
• ‘Provocateurs since 1970’ when the Govett-Brewster was founded on a visionary and collection policy by Monica Brewster.
• Focus has been on contemporary art and links with Len Lye dating back to the 1970s and display of his kinetic art.
• Len Lye Centre is the only gallery in New Zealand dedicated to one artist.
• It houses the collection and archive of Lye, which he decided to leave to the people of New Zealand before his death in 1980.
• It’s open seven days a week from 10am to 5pm.
Trial of Safety Technology at New Plymouth Railway Pedestrian Crossings
09 November 2017
New safety technology is going to be trialled at three railway pedestrian crossings along the Coastal Walkway.
“The sites will have a mix of audio warnings, LED footpath warnings or both audio and LEDs, and the users will be surveyed for their opinions on the technology’s usefulness,” says NPDC Infrastructure Manager David Langford.
“To install the technology and enlarge the entry mazes to meet current standards, each crossing will be closed for a fortnight during construction. We apologise for the inconvenience and encourage the public to use the nearest alternative crossing during that time.”
The sites are: Tasman Towers crossing: closed for a fortnight from Monday 13 November (audio warning and footpath decal messages). Wind Wand crossing: from Monday 27 November (audio warning and LED illuminated pathway). Cutfield Road crossing: in mid-January (LED illuminated pathway and footpath decal messages). KiwiRail will use the results of the trial for its planning of safe railway pedestrian crossings throughout New Zealand.
The project is funded jointly by KiwiRail, NZTA and NPDC.
KiwiRail urges crossing users to look in both directions before crossing as trains are fast, can be quiet and can come from either direction and at any time
Yarrow Stadium TSB Showplace Shortlisted For Awards
06 November 2017
Two New Plymouth District Council-run venues – Yarrow Stadium and the TSB Showplace – have been shortlisted for prestigious industry awards.
Yarrow Stadium is a finalist for Ticketmaster Large Venue of the Year (more than 5000 seats) in the EVANZ (Entertainment Venues Association of New Zealand) Awards and is up against Claudelands Hamilton and Eden Park in Auckland.
Yarrow Stadium last year won the title, beating Eden Park and Christchurch’s Hagley Oval, and has since received international recognition after it hosted the All Blacks vs Argentina match in September.
TSB Showplace, also run by NPDC’s New Plymouth Event Venues, is a finalist for Eventfinda Small Venue of the Year (under 1000 seats) competing against Auckland’s Q Theatre and Shed 6 in Wellington.
The region’s main theatre and conference facility, the TSB Showplace has had more than 50,000 visitors over the past 12 months for the New Plymouth Operatic Society’s season, the Taranaki Arts Festival, events, dinners, weddings and conferences.
NPDC Chief Operation Officer Kelvin Wright said: “To have not one but two venues shortlisted for an award is quite an achievement and is something the New Plymouth Event Venues team can be rightly proud of.”
EVANZ is the peak body representing the venue industry in New Zealand with a membership of 120 venues nationally. This includes 58 theatres, 39 event centres, 12 outdoor stadia and 11 convention centres.
Both venues are also in the running for the Ticket Direct Supreme Venue of the Year award, which will be the highest scoring nomination across the three venue awards – large, medium and small – announced on the night.
All winners will be announced at the awards dinner at the St James Theatre in Wellington on Monday 20 November.
NPDC’s Fernery in bloom for anniversary, summer season
02 November 2017
The Pukekura Park Fernery is getting ready for an exceptionally enchanting summer season, including its 90th anniversary.
The New Plymouth District Council-run Fernery will be a big attraction of the TSB Festival of Lights, which runs from 16 December to 5 February.
The Fernery, which normally shuts at 4pm, will reopen at 8pm during the festival and is expected to draw about 1,000 people a night, said NPDC Chief Operating Officer Kelvin Wright.
“The Fernery’s iconic tunnels will come to life at night, and the festival will illuminate aspects of the display houses that aren’t usually noticeable in the daylight,” said Mr Wright.
“The Fernery is arguably one of the most stunning features of its type in New Zealand. We have a collection of more than 50,000 plants there, some of them quite rare, and the displays are constantly changing so there’s always something new to see.”
This summer will also see the Fernery mark the 90th anniversary of its opening on 28 January.
First proposed in 1918 to house a collection of native ferns, construction began in 1928 and it has been added to and upgraded over the years, most recently in 2013, when new staff offices, a potting shed and propagation houses were completed.
It will also feature its traditional Christmas tree this year and staff are preparing a variety of red-flowering and silver plants for a splash of festive colour.
Staff have also been busy keeping the Fernery open an extra hour each day during the Powerco Taranaki Garden Spectacular from 27 October to 5 November.
The TSB Festival of Lights each year attracts more than 100,000 people to Pukekura Park to enjoy New Zealand’s leading light festival, music and family fun.
Work Begins Ahead of New Plymouth Airport Regeneration
02 November 2017
Users of New Plymouth Airport will start seeing changes to the view and baggage claim areas this month as initial preparations start for building the new terminal.
Contractors will begin work on a temporary building housing the Air New Zealand Regional Lounge and baggage claim area, says airport Chief Executive Wayne Wootton.
The building, next to the departure gate and along the frontage looking out on to the tarmac, is due to be completed in the first few months of next year.
Visitors to the airport will notice changes to the view out to the tarmac and the aircraft stands, says Mr Wootton. All other parts of the terminal will continue to operate as normal.
“This is an exciting time as we transform from a 1960s airport while working closely with Puketapu hapu on the design. Each year around half a million people use the airport which is the gateway to Taranaki,” says Mr Wootton.
The current baggage claim area, to the left of the main terminal entrance going in, will be mostly demolished when the temporary facility is built, as will part of the baggage processing area behind the Air New Zealand check-in. Both these areas overlap with the footprint of the planned new terminal.
Other work around the outside of the new terminal such as changes to the public and rental car parks, are expected to start by the end of this year.
In September, the directors of the airport company, Papa Rererangi i Puketapu, said in a report to the Council that they had agreed the proposed design, including the cultural narrative created in partnership with the Puketapu hapu, is fit for purpose.
Construction of the new terminal is scheduled to start next year and be completed in the later part of 2019.
The airport company is independently run and wholly owned by the NPDC.
NPDC's High Financial Ratings Confirmed says Standard and Poor's
01 November 2017
The strong financial management of New Plymouth District Council (NPDC) has been highlighted by finance credit agency Standard and Poor’s in its latest ratings for the Council. NPDC’s current rating of ‘AA/A-1’ has just been reconfirmed by the agency and it is the highest rating that can be achieved by a local government body in New Zealand.
In its report, the agency says the ratings reflect NPDC’s experienced financial management and high budgetary flexibility, and expects NPDC’s debt burden to remain moderate due to its strong operating position and exceptional liquidity coverage compared with global peers.
“Standard and Poor’s made particular mention of NPDC’s prudent financial management and our focus on financial discipline,” says Chief Financial Officer Alan Bird. “The agency also noted the good management of our council-controlled organisations, such as outsourcing the management of the Perpetual Investment Fund and diversifying the fund itself, and buying the Crown’s share of New Plymouth Airport.”
The ‘AA’ is for long-term foreign currency and local currency, and ‘A-1+’ for short-term issuer credit ratings on NPDC. Standard and Poor’s says the Council’s outlook remains stable.
NPDC manages assets worth $2.5 billion, has an operating budget of $130 million and employs 506 full time staff. We reliably provide all the core services you’d expect – water, waste and roads – as well as dynamic parks, libraries, an art gallery, museum, commercial forestry, a zoo, venues such as Yarrow Stadium and TSB Showplace, and events such as the iconic TSB Festival of Lights at Pukekura Park.
Kids Rise to Sustainable School Travel Challenge
30 October 2017
Kids took a fresh approach to getting to school in September by making 56,680 active or sustainable trips as part of the Fresh Air Schools Challenge run by New Plymouth District Council’s Let’s Go team. Sixteen New Plymouth District schools took part in the challenge, which is in its fourth year.
The schools encouraged children to get out and breathe in the fresh air with the arrival of spring by walking, cycling or using the bus to get to and from school.
As well as benefitting kids’ health and wellbeing, saving money, being good for environmental sustainability and cutting the number of cars on our roads, the challenge sees schools trying to win the coveted Car Free & Loving It Cup.
This year the winner was Frankley School, which logged an average of 29 active and sustainable trips to school per student during the month. Coming in a close second equal were West End School and Manukorihi Intermediate followed in third place by Woodleigh School.
New categories were created this year with the Movers & Shakers award for most improved school going to Manukorihi Intermediate, which also managed to snaffle the Golden Foot award for the school with the highest rate of walking.
The Wicked Wheels award went to Fitzroy School, which had the highest rate of riding, skating and scooting to school, while Highlands Intermediate took out the Clean Air Award for the school with the most bus trips and ridesharing with friends.
The Let’s Go team congratulates all participating schools, and looks forward to setting new goals in 2018.