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Council Seeking Solution to Pornographic Website Association
25 August 2016
New Plymouth District Council has become aware of a website with a similar URL address to the Council’s official website, but which is redirecting to pornographic content. “It’s easy to confuse that URL with our official one of newplymouthnz.com so we’re trying to get ownership of it and get that redirection removed,” says Customer and Regulatory Solutions Manager Katrina Brunton. “We’re concerned that people will come across this site by accident, particularly young people, and we feel obliged to warn the public about it.” The Council has laid a complaint with the Domain Names Commission regarding the URL and also with the Department of Internal Affairs regarding the content of the website. The owner of the website declined the Council’s request to remove the redirection to a porn site and has until 8 September to respond to the Domain Names Commission. Currently the Council owns many variations of ‘New Plymouth’ URLs. “The number of possible variations is huge and we can’t afford to own them all, so we selected the most obvious alternatives but promote only newplymouthnz.com,” says Ms Brunton. “If you type in newplymouthnz.com you’ll go straight to the official Council website.”
Community-Driven Waste Minimisation Project Planned
24 August 2016
Community groups are asked to be involved in the next waste minimisation project in New Plymouth. The next stage of development at the Resource Recovery Facility on Colson Road, where all the residential recyclables are sorted, will be a public good area that focuses on reuse, recycling and education. Services such as a repair workshop and retail outlets could be included. “There are some wonderful examples around the country of community-driven public good areas around recycling and reuse and we’d like to deliver something similar here,” says Infrastructure Manager David Langford. “They can play a significant role in educating and inspiring people around reducing waste, reusing materials and recycling. “We’d like to bring in community organisations to run this area in partnership with the Council and EnviroWaste, so we’re inviting groups to register their interest in being involved.” Registrations of interest open today (Wednesday) and close on 29 September. More information is available on newplymouthnz.com and on Tenderlink’s website. “We’ll be holding an information briefing at 4.30pm on 31 August at the facility on Colson Road, and anyone who would like to find out more is welcome to attend,” says Mr Langford.
Wayfinding Signs Project Almost Finished
24 August 2016
The installation of five wayfinding signs in central New Plymouth is almost finished. Four of the signs have been installed and one is to be erected. The signs are part of the Council’s Shaping Our City action plan. “The signs have an important role in showcasing our city to visitors – and also reminding locals just how easy and quick it is to walk from the CBD to many of our popular places,” says Group Manager Strategy Liam Hodgetts. The $85,000 project has 51 per cent funding from the NZ Transport Agency. The wayfinding signs are designed to be difficult for vandals to destroy or deface and can be reskinned with new maps at any time, and include electrical ducting for any future upgrades. “We’re particularly pleased that the tender was won by three local firms: BBGB, Livingstone Building and SAM Design,” says Mr Hodgetts. Other initiatives in the Shaping Our City action plan that have finished or are nearing completion are: Pruning of the alder trees on Devon Street. Replacing the public seats (39 out of the 47 seats have been replaced so far). Identifying four sites for feature seating at key pedestrian points, for installation later this year.
No Election for Kaitake Community Board
18 August 2016
Kaitake Community Board’s members have been confirmed after one candidate’s nomination was declined by the Electoral Officer. That leaves just four candidates for the four seats on the board, meaning no election will be required. Chief Executive Barbara McKerrow says the Electoral Officer declined the candidacy of Keith Plummer after an anomaly appeared regarding his citizenship. “The Department of Internal Affairs hasn’t yet confirmed his citizenship as Keith arrived in New Zealand as a child with his parents in 1969, and DIA’s records may not all be digitised that far back,” says Mrs McKerrow. “Keith’s working on sorting that out but the rules state that a person must be confirmed as a New Zealand citizen by the time nominations close, so he’s run out of time to stand in this election.” Mr Plummer has been a Kaitake Community Board member for the last five terms.
Active Travel Challenge Set for September
18 August 2016
Leave your car keys at home this September for the Great Fresh Air Workplace Challenge! Businesses, schools and individuals can win spot prizes for logging their active-travel distances during September at letsgo.org.nz, and there are also category titles up for grabs. Let’s Go Integrated Transport Coordinator Liz Beck says the challenge is about New Plymouth District residents embracing the great outdoors with the arrival of Spring and becoming more active in their travel. “If you’re in New Plymouth you can use our fabulous shared pathways, street-to-street access ways, green cycle lanes and regular crossing points; and if you’re outside New Plymouth you can explore what our region as on offer,” she says. “All you need to do is register on the Let’s Go website before 1 September then log all of your active travel, whether it’s commuting to work or school or for leisure activities. “We’ll have spot prizes during the month and at the end we’ll award the Car-Free and Loving It Cup in five categories.” The categories are: Primary/intermediate school (won by West End School in 2015). High school (won by New Plymouth Boys’ High School in 2015). Businesses with more than 100 staff (won by WITT in 2015). Businesses with fewer than 100 staff (won by Sport Taranaki in 2015). Businesses with fewer than 10 staff (won by TGM Creative in 2015). Active travel includes walking, running, bussing, cycling, scootering, skateboarding and carpooling. Even the hours of meetings done by video conferencing during September can be logged as part of the competition. “Cars are a very important part of our lives, but do we need them as much as we think we do?” says Ms Beck. “The Great Fresh Air Workplace Challenge is a good way to try doing without a car as often and have fun at the same time.” Tips: 1. Set yourself a goal, start a good habit. 2. Plan ahead: consider who has the kids? When are you doing the grocery shop, could you schedule your gym sessions around your active travel goals? 3. Plan your route: are you a fan of the direct on road route or do you enjoy the gentle pace of our shared pathways? Phone, email or Facebook Let’s Go or visit our website if you would like some tips. 4. If you’re heading out on your bike and it’s been in the shed a little longer that you want to admit, give it a quick once-over. If you’d like more help with this, drop it into one of our fabulous local bike shops. 5. Find yourself a travel mate; Let’s Go is happy to help make the connections if we can! 6. Tell us how you’re getting on, inspire others!
NPDC Appoints New Board Members to Venture Taranaki
17 August 2016
New Plymouth District Council has approved the appointment of three new members to the Board of Directors of Venture Taranaki Trust. The appointees are Steve Maharey, Hinerangi Raumati-Tu’ua and David Downs. Venture Taranaki, a Council-controlled organisation of NPDC, is charged with delivering the district’s economic development and tourism portfolios as well as managing the district’s Major Events Fund. “The attraction of candidates of this calibre for the Venture Taranaki board demonstrates the national interest in supporting the Council’s vision and District Blueprint to strengthen our economy, attract talent and become a world-class destination,” says Mayor Andrew Judd. “Their appointment bolsters the experience and expertise at Venture Taranaki’s board table to help us realise our vision and draw the region closer together economically.” Steve and Hinerangi will join the board at the trust’s annual general meeting on 4 October, while David will join at a later date. Brief biographies follow: David Downs has run the corporate services for New Zealand Trade & Enterprise since 2012 after more than two decades in the ICT sector, most recently with Microsoft. David is a published author on New Zealand innovation and an award-winning radio and TV presenter. Massey University Vice-Chancellor and former Member of Parliament and Government Minister Steve Maharey brings extensive experiences across the tertiary education, research and employment fields. Steve is currently Chair of the Committee for University Academic Programmes, a Deputy Chair of Asia New Zealand, Deputy Chair of Universities NZ, and is a member of numerous boards. Steve was awarded a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) in 2008. Hinerangi Raumati-Tu’ua (Ngāti Mutunga, Waikato) is a chartered accountant with significant governance experience. Hinerangi is currently Chair of Parininihi ki Waitotara Inc, PkW Farms Ltd, and Ngā Miro Trust, and a director of Aotearoa Fisheries, Auckland Council Investments Limited, and Te Ohu Kai Moana. Hinerangi has also held senior management positions at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, Tainui Group Holdings, the Investment Committee of Trust Waikato and a board membership of the Public Trust.
Temporary Closure of Paritutu Rock Path
16 August 2016
The removal of unsafe rocks along the path up Paritutu Rock will require both the staircase and cable-climb sections to be temporarily closed for about a week. Starting on Monday next week (22 August), the work will remove rocks that, while not in immediate danger of falling, could fall in the future. “We’d rather remove them now and take away the danger than wait,” says Manager Parks and Open Spaces Stuart Robertson. “We inspected the entire area alongside the track after a member of the public alerted us to one rock that might cause a problem. We’ve also identified a few other rocks that need to be removed due to wear and tear, and some due to a fire back in February.” Most of the rocks to be removed are in the area above the staircase. Weather permitting, the track will be closed until Sunday 28 August (unless completed earlier).
Mayor Challenges Taranaki to Make New Zealander of the Year a Local
12 August 2016
Taranaki residents are being challenged to nominate a local to be the 2017 New Zealander of the Year. Mayor Andrew Judd has laid down the challenge, saying that he meets people every day who are doing remarkable things in the community. “These are everyday people whose selflessness and acts of kindness make Taranaki and indeed New Zealand great places to live,” says the Mayor. “While they’d be the first to say they’re not special, we know otherwise. “It’s time we showed New Zealand just how proud we are of these kind and inspirational people by nominating them for New Zealander of the Year.” The annual New Zealander of the Year Awards are now in their eighth year. The awards recognise a diverse range of Kiwis from all fields of endeavour including science, business, the arts, cultural or community involvement, sport, education and health. They are open to New Zealanders of all ages whose impact has inspired the communities they serve and the country as a whole. Nominations for the prestigious award, and supporting categories, opened last month and close on 30 September. Any member of the public can nominate an individual or community organisation in the awards programme. In addition to the Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year, awards will also be presented to New Zealanders who have performed with distinction in five additional award categories. University of Auckland Young New Zealander of the Year. Metlifecare Senior New Zealander of the Year. Mitre 10 New Zealand Community of the Year. Sanitarium New Zealand Innovator of the Year. Kiwibank New Zealand Local Hero of the Year. The 2017 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year will be announced at the New Zealander of the Year Awards Gala in Auckland in February next year. Previous winners of the New Zealander of the Year Award are: Richie McCaw (2016), Sir Stephen Tindall (2015), Dr Lance O’Sullivan (2014), Dame Anne Salmond (2013), Sir Richard Taylor (2012), Sir Paul Callaghan (2011) and Sir Ray Avery (2010). More information on the 2017 New Zealander of the Year Awards can be found at www.nzawards.org.nzhttp://www.nzawards.org.nz/.
Mayor Challenges Taranaki to Make New Zealander of the Year a Local
12 August 2016
Taranaki residents are being challenged to nominate a local to be the 2017 New Zealander of the Year. Mayor Andrew Judd has laid down the challenge, saying that he meets people every day who are doing remarkable things in the community. “These are everyday people whose selflessness and acts of kindness make Taranaki and indeed New Zealand great places to live,” says the Mayor. “While they’d be the first to say they’re not special, we know otherwise. “It’s time we showed New Zealand just how proud we are of these kind and inspirational people by nominating them for New Zealander of the Year.” The annual New Zealander of the Year Awards are now in their eighth year. The awards recognise a diverse range of Kiwis from all fields of endeavour including science, business, the arts, cultural or community involvement, sport, education and health. They are open to New Zealanders of all ages whose impact has inspired the communities they serve and the country as a whole. Nominations for the prestigious award, and supporting categories, opened last month and close on 30 September. Any member of the public can nominate an individual or community organisation in the awards programme. In addition to the Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year, awards will also be presented to New Zealanders who have performed with distinction in five additional award categories. University of Auckland Young New Zealander of the Year. Metlifecare Senior New Zealander of the Year. Mitre 10 New Zealand Community of the Year. Sanitarium New Zealand Innovator of the Year. Kiwibank New Zealand Local Hero of the Year. The 2017 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year will be announced at the New Zealander of the Year Awards Gala in Auckland in February next year. Previous winners of the New Zealander of the Year Award are: Richie McCaw (2016), Sir Stephen Tindall (2015), Dr Lance O’Sullivan (2014), Dame Anne Salmond (2013), Sir Richard Taylor (2012), Sir Paul Callaghan (2011) and Sir Ray Avery (2010). More information on the 2017 New Zealander of the Year Awards can be found at www.nzawards.org.nz.
New Model Proposed for Perpetual Investment Fund
11 August 2016
The Council’s Perpetual Investment Fund (PIF) could move to a new management model from March next year. Following an independent review, Council officers are recommending a full outsourced model for managing the PIF, overseen by a guardian entity. The review, conducted by investment bankers Cameron Partners, followed the successful sale of Tasman Farms. Both the Council and current PIF managers Taranaki Investment Management Limited (TIML) agreed that that the sale represented an appropriate time to review the future management of the PIF. Chief Financial Officer Alan Bird says: “The recommended change is not about fund performance, as the performance of TIML has been above industry benchmarks, with the PIF earning an average after-tax return of 7.0 per cent p.a. and returning close to $190 million in release payments to the Council since inception. “The recommended change reflects the maturing of the funds management market, new governance models and utilising options that were not available when the PIF was established.” Under the proposed model, to be considered at the Council meeting of Tuesday 16 August, the residual shell of TIML would become the fund’s guardian entity and be renamed as New Plymouth PIF Guardians Limited. Mr Bird adds: “The Cameron Partners report recommended a full outsourced model, following testing of the market to assess the availability of services and costs. A request for information was issued last month and this has confirmed the services available and that full outsourcing is likely to be cost neutral.” The TIML board has also provided a number of recommendations to the Council for a change to the PIF management model, including seeking: Establishment of a guardian entity (like NZ Super). Separation of fund management from the guardian governance role. Clear delegations being defined for the fund managers. Separation of duties and clear communication channels. Managing and restricting political and organisational interactions (proximity). The full outsourced model was recommended by Cameron Partners as the best way to: Achieve segregation of key functions. Remove the ‘proximity risk’ by limiting political and organisational interactions. Ensure the most simple and transparent PIF management model. The PIF – a brief history of high performance New Plymouth District Council created the PIF and TIML in 2004 with the $259.4 million proceeds from the sale of its shareholding in Powerco. The PIF has been in place for almost 12 years, the last eight years managed under an independent model. It has paid close to $190m in release payments since inception and the fund balance at 30 June 2016 was $268 million. The investment outcomes achieved by TIML have outperformed fund manager benchmarks, with after-tax returns of 9.5 per cent p.a. (benchmark -0.5 per cent p.a.) for the past year, 12.5 per cent p.a. (benchmark 6.5 per cent) over the last three years, and 7.0 per cent p.a. (benchmark 6.4 per cent) since inception. The purchase of Tasman Farms was made in 2008. Due to its size, the acquisition, expansion and sale of this asset were all approved by the Council. While the acquisition used much of the fund’s spare liquidity, and the increase in farm valuations significantly increased the proportion of ‘alternative assets’ beyond the agreed asset allocation, TIML successfully exited in 2016 at an 11.3 per cent rate of return p.a. after tax, following eight years of ownership. The investment was ultimately successful and outperformed benchmarks by more than 6.0 per cent p.a. In 2013 the TIML Board set a future limit whereby no more than 10.0 per cent of the fund would be invested in a single asset, to prevent a similar future concentration risk and to support diversification. The Global Financial Crisis (GFC) and its aftermath have impacted investment funds, pension returns and interest rates globally. This includes the PIF. Ongoing councils have grappled with this and while in retrospect the release rule (which limits the size of annual release payments from the PIF to the Council) could have been reduced more quickly after the GFC, actual release rules were adjusted, over time, as follows: In the financial years (FY) from 2004 to 2008 the Council received a fixed sum release averaging $21.5m per year. In FY2009 a release rule was adopted, initially set at a base of 5.6 per cent, pre the GFC. Release payments averaged $21.3 m for the next four years. From FY2012 the Council reduced release payments and the release percentage to 4.0 per cent. Release payments averaged $7m in the following three years. From FY2016 the Council lowered the release payment further to 3.3 per cent, and the smoothing mechanism (a formula for ensuring greater consistency of release payments year on year) was reset. Mr Bird says: “Realistically we should only plan to expect returns averaging around 7.0 per cent p.a. in the current environment. “This is still above the Council’s cost of servicing debt and therefore adds value to us, as well as keeping our debt and investment management functions separate.” PIF Performance 2015/16 year Last three years Last 10 years Since inception PIF actual performance 9.48% 12.55% 5.37% 7.05% PIF benchmarks -0.46% 6.48% 5.33% 6.43% PIF outperformance 9.94% 6.07% 0.04% 0.62% Growth KiwiSaver comparison 2015/16 year Last three years Last 10 years Since inception PIF outperformance 5.98% 2.65% $m 2015/16 year $m last three years $m last 10 years $m since inception Investment income 24.0 80.0 153.7 212.4 Release payments made 7.3 19.3 157.8 188.4 Related links Taranaki Investment Management Ltd
Master Plan for Water Management Proposed
11 August 2016
A comprehensive plan to keep the water running in New Plymouth District will be considered by the Council at its meeting next week (Tuesday). The Master Water Plan identifies the issues around population growth and current water use in the New Plymouth water supply area, and recommends a series of proposals that range from voluntary residential water meters and community education to a substantial capital works programme. “We’re facing two big challenges: population growth and high water use,” says Infrastructure Manager David Langford. “In the Water Master Plan we propose reducing water consumption in a variety of ways, such as managing water pressure, stepping up our leak detection and repair programme, and initially encouraging the voluntary adoption of water meters. “To address the significant increase in demand from population growth, we propose a series of capital improvements such as building more reservoirs, installing larger pipes, improving the treatment plant’s operation and possibly dredging Lake Mangamahoe to increase its capacity.” The New Plymouth water supply area covers communities from Urenui and Onaero in the east to Omata in the west. Separate supplies feed Inglewood, Oakura and Okato. The population within the New Plymouth water supply area is anticipated to grow by 19 per cent to just under 88,000 people by 2045, based on medium population growth forecast. Meanwhile, the current average residential water consumption within the New Plymouth supply area is 334 litres per person per day (LPPPD), placing New Plymouth in the top-third for water consumption among provincial councils. In comparison, the national average is 275 LPPPD, Australia’s national average is 195 and the Netherlands’ is 119. “By all benchmarks, our consumption is excessive and unsustainable in the long-term,” says Mr Langford. In the report that will be considered by the Council next Tuesday (16 August) are the following recommendations: Introduce pressure reduction measures wherever appropriate across the district’s water supply system. Introduce annual water restrictions for all residential customers between 1 January and 31 March. Have the proposed programme of capital expenditure considered as part of the 2018-2028 LTP. Investigate expanding the leak detection and water main renewals programmes, with any proposed changes included for consideration in the 2017/18 Annual Plan. Instruct staff to report back to the Council on universal water metering before the 2018-2028 Long-Term Plan. Review the water fees and charges in the 2017/18 Annual Plan to ensure fair charging between the targeted rate and water metered customers. Encourage the voluntary adoption of water meters by residential customers. Develop a range of education initiatives to raise the community’s awareness of water consumption rates and water efficiency measures. NPDC’s capital works programme has increased the district’s water storage capacity by about 50 per cent in the last 15 years. Even so, the current capacity is lower than required with the New Plymouth Water Treatment Plant operating at reduced efficiency during summer – the period of highest demand – due to algae growth, and some sections of the pipe network being undersized. In addition, the Government is working on national fresh water reforms that will include a requirement for more efficient use of fresh water. “Our resource consents for water abstraction come up for renewal in 2021 and we don’t know how they might be affected by these reforms – but any steps we can take now to improve efficiency and water use will be useful,” says Mr Langford. The Council meeting will be streamed live via newplymouthnz.com and NPDC’s Facebook page.
Earlier Start Date for Extending Urenui Sea Wall
08 August 2016
Submissions Called for Dog Control Bylaw Amendments
02 August 2016
A proposal to control or ban dogs in two public areas opens for submissions this Saturday (6 August). New Plymouth District Council is considering making the following changes to the Dog Control Bylaw: Banning dogs from the Cycle Park and BMX track in Hickford Park, Bell Block. Including the section of the Coastal Walkway between Ellesmere Avenue and Bell Block Beach to the areas where dogs must be on a leash at all times. Customer and Regulatory Solutions Manager Katrina Brunton says the proposal to keep dogs out of Hickford Park’s Cycle Park and BMX track comes after a request from the Taranaki Velodrome Trust and Taranaki BMX Trust, as a safety measure. “We’re also consulting on extending the dog-leash area on the Coastal Walkway as there’s currently a leash requirement on the section from Ellesmere Avenue to Port Taranaki, but the latest section of the Coastal Walkway hasn’t been added to the bylaw yet,” says Ms Brunton. Submission forms will be available online at newplymouthnz.com and at the Civic Centre in New Plymouth, Puke Ariki and the Bell Block Library and Service Centre. Submissions close on 26 August.
New Wayfinding Signs for Central City
29 July 2016
Getting around the central city is about to get easier with the installation of four new wayfinding signs. The signs – two each on Ariki and Devon streets – are part of the overall Shaping Our City project to freshen up New Plymouth’s CBD and develop it as a people-friendly space. “We’ve designed the maps to feature the best routes and walk times to nearby destinations, such as reserves, walkways, and cultural and recreational facilities,” says Infrastructure Manager David Langford. “Including the average walking times will show just how easy and quick it is to walk from the CBD to many of our popular places, such as the Coastal Walkway or even Yarrow Stadium.” The new signs will also help reduce visual clutter in the central city as other wayfinding signs, of variable quality, will be removed. The locations of the four signs are: Ariki/Brougham intersection, outside Puke Ariki Library. Ariki/Egmont intersection, opposite Fredrick’s. Devon Street West/Liardet Street intersection. Devon Street East/Gover Street intersection. So far, one sign has been installed and the remainder will be put up when the weather allows.
Len Lye Centre Wins at Excellence Awards
26 July 2016
Local Government New Zealand has announced New Plymouth District Council as the winner of a local government arts and culture EXCELLENCE Award for its work in establishing the Len Lye Centre. The Council won the Creative New Zealand EXCELLENCE Award for Best Creative Place at the LGNZ EXCELLENCE Awards in Dunedin last night. The awards, now in their third year, recognise and celebrate the outstanding leadership role local government plays within communities. More than 600 delegates from local and central government, and stakeholders, celebrated the outstanding leadership role local government plays within communities. The Best Creative Place award recognises the contribution arts and culture initiatives can make towards creating a more prosperous town, city, district or region. Judges praised the Len Lye Centre – which houses some of the collection and archive of the internationally renowned artist – “as an internationally significant place for the city which recognises one of New Zealand’s preeminent sons.” Judges said the Centre was a wonderful partner for the Puke Ariki Museum, and acknowledged the commitment from the community in raising funds for it. Mayor Andrew Judd says the award recognises the contribution arts and culture initiatives can make towards creating a more prosperous town, city, district or region. “The Len Lye Centre has been praised nationally and internationally and I’m thrilled that Local Government New Zealand has recognised not only the high calibre of the museum, but also its contribution to the wider community,” he says. LGNZ President Lawrence Yule says the award recognises the Council’s execution of a brilliant and much anticipated plan. “The Len Lye Centre is a jewel for New Plymouth and all of New Zealand,” he says. Judges for the awards are former Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast, Chair of EQC Sir Maarten Wevers and The New Zealand Initiative’s Executive Director, Dr Oliver Hartwich.
National Award for Pukekura Park Cricket Pitches
25 July 2016
It’s official: Pukekura Park has the best domestic cricket pitches in the country! The award, from the New Zealand National Turf Conference Awards, acknowledges the high standard of the pitches’ preparation and presentation. Eden Park was named has having the best international cricket pitch. New Zealand Cricket General Manager Grounds and Facilities Ian McKendry congratulated the people behind the awards. “The Eden Park and Pukekura Park turf management teams should be really proud of this achievement,” says Mr McKendry. “As a groundsman, a lot of hard work and long hours go in which not many people see. It’s great that events like the turf conference acknowledge all the effort which is put in.” In the 2015/16 season, Pukekura Park hosted the White Ferns, the Georgie Pie Super Smash and the Ford Trophy finals. Players and officials consistently rated it as one of the best pitches around the country. New Plymouth District Council Manager Parks and Open Spaces Stuart Robertson says receiving the Best Domestic Cricket Pitch Award is particularly pleasing as all of the international grounds were also eligible for it. “We’ve got a small team of highly skilled and dedicated turf people and they work for months on preparing the pitches before each cricket season,” he says. “It’s fantastic for them to get this recognition from their peers – and it’s great for Pukekura Park to get another accolade.” In 2007 British cricketing authority Wisden named Pukekura Park among the best six small cricket grounds in the world.
Candidate Information Meeting this Saturday
21 July 2016
Election candidates are invited to an information meeting this Saturday 23 July where senior managers from New Plymouth District Council, Taranaki District Health Board and Taranaki Regional Council plus Electoral Officer Dale Ofsoske will present information about how to stand for election, life as an elected member and answer any questions candidates may have. The free event on Saturday, which runs from 3pm to 5pm at the Civic Centre on Liardet St, New Plymouth, will cover a range of information about being an elected representative including time commitments, salaries and useful skills. Prospective candidates for NPDC, TDHB and TRC will also have the opportunity to ask questions.
Get Ready for Keep New Zealand Beautiful Week
12 July 2016
Registrations have opened for this year’s Keep New Zealand Beautiful Week! Schools, families, businesses, community groups and individuals are welcome to adopt a public space to pick clean of litter during KNZB week, from 12 to 18 September. Manager Parks and Open Spaces Stuart Robertson says KNZB is always popular with locals. “People have their favourite local areas, like their nearby park or beach, and they enjoy the chance to make a positive difference by helping to beautify them,” he says. “You could even choose to clean up a stretch of roadside, a section of public walkway or a playground. “All that you have to do is pick a public space and register online before 7 September.” All volunteers will receive gloves and rubbish and recyclables bags, and the collected litter will be disposed of for free. Register online at knzb.org.nz. “People are welcome to ring us first to check whether their site has already been registered with another group, so that there aren’t any overlaps,” says Mr Robertson.
New Boardwalk for Waitara Marine Park
11 July 2016
The Waitara Marine Park is in for a spruce up with a new more accessible boardwalk, native plants and information signs. The 220m of timber boardwalk will be replaced with Enduroplank, a sustainable recycled plastic product. It will be barrier-free pathway to enable access by wheelchairs, mobility scooters and baby buggies, and information signs about the site will be installed. In addition, 200 native plants will be planted by Shell New Zealand staff to prevent coastal erosion. Work kicked off this morning (Monday) and a small gathering was held to mark the occasion. “The boardwalk is popular with the Waitara and the broader Taranaki community but it’s showing its age,” says Manager Parks and Open Spaces Stuart Robertson. “The new pathway will be long-lasting and the Enduroplank material is used in a many beach locations around the world.” The project is supported by Shell New Zealand. Chairman Rob Jager says the Pohokura field has been safely operating and producing 40 per cent of New Zealand’s natural gas for 10 years, and the company is pleased to be providing benefits to the local community. “When Pohokura first started operating in 2006, as a thank you to the community we supported the creation of the Waitara Marine Park boardwalk area. “Ten years later, after safely completing a major offshore refurbishment, we are very pleased to be able to help enhance this area for locals to enjoy for many years to come,” says Mr Jager. The project will take about three weeks to finish.
Review of PIF Service Delivery Structure Under Way
11 July 2016
Following the successful sale of Tasman Farms, the Council and Taranaki Investment Management Limited (TIML) agreed it was an appropriate time to review the model for managing the Perpetual Investment Fund (PIF) as TIML commences the process of “resetting” and rebalancing the PIF portfolio. TIML, a Council-controlled organisation, has been responsible for management of the PIF since the fund’s inception in 2004. During this time, which included the impact of the GFC, the PIF has earned an average after tax, and all costs, return of 6.83 per cent p.a. and returned $187 million to the Council. For the last three years TIML has earned on average an after tax return of 13.1 per cent. The fund balance at 31 March 2016 was $274.5 million. Completing a review is consistent with the Council’s practice of regularly reviewing the delivery of its facilities and services, including those of Council-controlled organisations. The review does not seek to amend the founding principles or the policy and objectives of the PIF, but rather will focus on the service delivery structure of the PIF. To inform this review a request for information (RFI) will be issued to test the market for potential outsourced options and the associated costs. The Council will wait for the outcome of this RFI process before making a final decision on the service delivery structure of the PIF.
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