News and Notices

News 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).
News 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.
News 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/.
News 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
News 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.
News Earlier Start Date for Extending Urenui Sea Wall 08 August 2016
News 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.
News 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.
News 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.
News 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.
News 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.
News 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.
News 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.
News 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.
News Three New Meerkats for Brooklands Zoo 08 July 2016 Three new meerkats are making themselves at home in Brooklands Zoo. The three females come from Wellington Zoo and have been held in quarantine for a month before moving into their public enclosure today (Friday). Brooklands Zoo Coordinator Eve Cozzi says meerkats have been extremely popular with visitors since the species first arrived at the zoo in 2010. “The most common reaction is surprise at how small they are – people have a different impression about their size from seeing them on TV and they ask if our animals are baby ones, but no, they’re adults,” says Ms Cozzi. The three females have replaced the zoo’s last two males, who have been euthanised due to age-related illnesses. The new meerkats are named Nala (‘beloved or successful’), Lindiwe (‘watchful or guard’) and Zola (‘to love or tranquil’). As they are young – around three years old – Ms Cozzi expects them to be very active in their enclosure. The zoo plans to acquire more female meerkats as they become available with the aim of increasing the group to eight. In the wild, meerkat mobs can be anywhere between three and 50 individuals. A new den has been built next to the enclosure to free up space for the meerkats. The den will be kept warm with a heat pump – a more efficient system than the heat lamps that were used previously
News Len Lye Centre a Finalist for International Architecture Award 07 July 2016 New Plymouth’s Len Lye Centre is a finalist in the prestigious World Architecture Festival Awards. The awards celebrate global architectural excellence and are judged by international panels of architects and critics who are experts in their fields. The Len Lye Centre, designed by Patterson Associates, is a finalist in WAF’s Culture category. All category winners will compete for the title of World Building of the Year. “This festival is the big league of international architecture and it’s fantastic that the Len Lye Centre has been recognised as being right up there with the best,” says the Centre’s director Simon Rees. “We know that the building wows visitors, and now it gets the chance to wow world-leading architects and critics.” The Len Lye Centre is among nine buildings and one landscape in New Zealand to be named as category finalists. In the Culture Category, the centre is up against 17 other buildings in Singapore, Australia, Japan, Poland, China, Spain, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, USA and Italy. “The competition is very strong but just being a finalist will give the Len Lye Centre enormous publicity internationally,” says Mr Rees. Category winners will be announced at the festival in Berlin, Germany on 16 and 17 November, with the World Building of the Year winner announced on 18 November. More information is at worldarchitecturefestival.com. •In June, Local Government New Zealand named the Len Lye Centre as a finalist in the Creative New Zealand Excellence Awards for Best Creative Place. The centre opened to the public on 25 July last year.
News Staged Water Shut-Downs for Mains Replacement 05 July 2016 A water main at the intersection of Mangorei Road and Northgate in New Plymouth is about to be replaced, requiring a number of staged water shut-downs on streets around lower Mangorei Road. The shut-downs will start on Monday next week (11 July) and are expected to be complete by the 22 July, weather permitting. “We’ve talked directly with key affected businesses and New Plymouth Girls’ High School about the coming shut-downs and letters will be sent to all the residential properties that will be affected at least 24 hours in advance of the shutdown,” says Infrastructure Manager David Langford. To minimise the effect on businesses and residents, most of the shutdowns will occur at night – starting at 10pm and finishing by 6am. The shut-downs might result in dirty water at the affected properties, and residents in these areas are advised to let the water settle before using it. “Dirty water might also be seen beyond the lower Mangorei Road area in the unlikely event we experience problems with any of the water main valves or the shut-down process,” says Mr Langford. “However, we’ve conducted tests leading up to this project to reduce the likelihood of that happening.” Any dirty-looking water will not be a health risk, but would taste unpleasant to drink and could stain laundry.
News Adoption of Bill a Significant Milestone 05 July 2016 Parliament’s first reading of the New Plymouth District Council (Waitara Lands) Bill 2016 is likely to take place in spring, following adoption of the proposed legislation at today’s Council meeting. “Our adoption of the Bill marks a significant milestone in addressing an issue that has caused distress in Waitara for many, many years,” says Mayor Andrew Judd. “There are further steps before the Bill becomes law but I’m hopeful we are on the right track to securing a compromise between competing interests in this land.” Key parts of the Bill include: Leaseholders will receive a right to purchase the freehold title to their property, for the unimproved land value and administrative costs, with no time limit imposed. The freeholding right will continue even if the lease is sold. Leaseholders who do not exercise this right will be able to continue to rent their land. The funds from the leasehold land – both rents and proceeds from sales – will be put back into the Waitara community. The money will be divided between New Plymouth District Council and Taranaki Regional Council, and both councils have committed to investing the money back into the Waitara community. Some land in Waitara will be transferred to Te Kotahitanga o Te Atiawa Trust, and the trust will have the right of first refusal on other blocks of Waitara land. The adopted Bill includes amendments made following public consultation and hearings held in June. The amendments include a one-year transition period during which the price to freehold will be fixed to the unimproved land values from the day the legislation comes into force and the Council will met the administrative costs of freeholding. This will be supported by an administrative package to support leaseholders in the freeholding process, to ensure vulnerable leaseholders are not exploited. Currently NPDC is largely restricted, through the Waitara Harbour Act 1940, to using rental income from the Waitara endowment lands for the prevention of erosion at the Waitara River and maintaining the Waitara River bridge. This Bill would remove those statutory restrictions and enable rental and sales proceeds to be used for the wider benefit of the Waitara community
News Gas Management System for Colson Road Landfill 05 July 2016 A new system will be installed at the Colson Road Landfill to counter an ongoing odour problem. Since 2014 there have been 18 odour complaints about the landfill, often on cold mornings. At tonight’s (Tuesday) Council meeting, New Plymouth District Council approved the development of a gas management system that will flare off the odours and methane, with the costs being met by the Solid Waste Development Fund. “We believe the problem is caused by having a landfill near the end of its life,” says Manager Water and Wastes Mark Hall. “The landfill is in a gully and for years the waste had been below the level of the surrounding land, trapping the odour in place, but now the waste has mounded up to be level with the surrounding land and the heavy air in the colder weather travels down the valley.” The Council has approved a three-stage gas management construction project, with the success of odour mitigation being evaluated after each stage. If an early stage successfully solves the issue, the following stage will not be built. “It’s likely that we’ll need both stages one and two built, but we won’t know if stage three is needed until we monitor the effectiveness of the first two stages,” says Mr Hall. All three stages are estimated to cost $1.22 million dollars: $665,000 for stage one, $285,000 for stage two and $270,000 for stage three. The final cost will be known after the detailed design is completed. In recent years NPDC has received two abatement notices and a fine from Taranaki Regional Council due to odour and associated site management issues, and there is a risk of prosecution if NDPC does not manage the odour appropriately. The Colson Road Landfill is due to close in June 2019, however the landfill will continue to produce gas for up to 30 years. The gas management system will provide effective treatment for more than 10 years, after which time it is expected that landfill gas generation will have reduced significantly and will no longer require treatment. Construction of stage one is expected to begin before the end of the year. The Solid Waste Development Fund is money generated from the landfill’s operation.
News Animal Welfare Accreditation for Brooklands Zoo 29 June 2016 Brooklands Zoo’s high standard of care for its animals has been confirmed with a new accreditation. The zoo is one of a handful in the country to complete the Zoo and Aquarium Association’s (ZAA) Animal Welfare Accreditation Programme, which takes a new approach to the health and welfare of captive animals. Says Brooklands Zoo Coordinator Eve Cozzi: “We still work on the broad principles of good welfare, such as making sure the animals can choose their food, move around and express their natural behaviours. “But this new accreditation builds on those principles by delivering positive welfare outcomes based on five welfare domains: nutrition, environment, health, behaviour and mental affective state. “The accreditation is quite detailed and I’m proud that Brooklands Zoo has been confirmed as meeting that high standard of care.” Among the accreditation notes were particular praise for the variety of environments provided to the animals and how they have choice over microclimates (e.g. sun or shade, being at height or on the ground) and their diet. ZAA New Zealand Representative and Immediate Past-President Karen Fifield says with a focus on delivering positive animal welfare rather than just eliminating negative factors, the new accreditation programme is a world first for the zoo industry. “The wider community can be certain that ZAA member institutions provide the best level of care for their animals, not just a minimum standard,” she says. Brooklands Zoo’s accreditation lasts for three years. ZAA represents the zoo and aquarium community throughout Australasia. The association has 91 member organisations, 86 of which are zoos, aquariums and museums, with the remainder comprising universities, TAFEs (technical and further education institutions) and government departments.