News and Notices

News Our Work Local Sanders Park mowing Grass is greener in lockdown Level 2 thanks to NPDC 04 June 2020 NPDC staff haven’t been letting the grass grow under their feet since getting back on the fields after the Covid-19 lockdown. With winter sports looming fast and people heading out to enjoy the last of the golden autumn weather, the team has gone that extra mile to get our parks and reserves - some of which went up to 8 weeks without a good mow during the unprecedented state of national emergency - back into top nick. The district has about 283 hectares of grass along our 82km of walkways and 1,600 hectares of parks and reserves. “It’s a huge area to mow, but we’ve been pulling out all the stops and taken on extra contractors that’s helped us to catch up with the backlog in some areas, while working under safe Alert Level 2 working rules. Employing the additional contractors is also a boost for local workers as we all work to get us Back On Our Feet,” said NPDC Infrastructure Manager David Langford. “We’re lucky to have so many awesome green spaces, which are a big feature of our Lifestyle Capital, especially as we gear up for the winter sports season.” The grass area includes 24 sports fields and some of the turf, like Yarrow Stadium, the Pukekura Park cricket ground and Puke Ariki Landing, requires special care. NPDC has 12 full-time equivalent staff on lawnmowing operations, and contractors help year round on areas such as steep banks and outside the main urban areas. The team has also finished upgrading our sports fields and fully renewed the Pukekura Park outfield and cricket wickets.
News Our Work Local People Oxfam Trailwalker Oxfam Trailwalker charity fundraiser heading to Taranaki 01 June 2020 New Plymouth District walkers looking to keep their lockdown exercise and goal-setting going as the alert levels ease can take part in a major charity fundraiser coming to Taranaki in 2021. Oxfam Trailwalker is heading to the region next March after NPDC in partnership with Venture Taranaki won the right to host the event and be the destination partner for the next three years. Mayor Neil Holdom says securing the Oxfam Trailwalker event was another feather in the cap for the New Plymouth District and would be a major boost to the region as it recovers from the economic downturn caused by the Covid-19 crisis. “We’re absolutely thrilled to host the Oxfam Trailwalker challenge for the next three years,” says Mayor Holdom. “It’s another major event in our beautiful region as we continue to Build a Lifestyle Capital and it will be a superb showcase for our wonderful corner of Aotearoa. It’s perfect timing too as it will bring hundreds of much-needed visitors to our region as we all work to get Get Back On Our Feet as the economic shock of Covid 19 bites.” VT Chief Executive Justine Gilliland welcomed the addition of another premium event to Taranaki as the region turns its focus onto economic recovery. “From Mounga to moana, Taranaki has so much to offer. On the back of COVID19, the announcement of Taranaki as 2021 Oxfam Trailwalker hosts provides an exciting glimpse into our economic recovery and the possibilities and opportunities that lay ahead.” Those looking to get a head start in training for the 50km or 100km treks for teams of four people can join Oxfam’s #whyIwalk campaign, which encourages people to exercise and sign up for the 2021 Trailwalker event. Oxfam New Zealand’s Executive Director Rachael Le Mesurier says: “Oxfam Trailwalker is a truly inspiring experience and one we hope the Taranaki community will enjoy being part of as much as we and our walkers do. We are delighted with the support of our Taranaki hosts, as the spirit of local hospitality and encouragement will make all the difference as hundreds of walkers set out to challenge poverty over 50 or 100 kilometres. “Participants in Oxfam Trailwalker 2021 will enjoy Taranaki's wonderful scenery and the region's other special attractions. We also look forward to seeing many Taranaki locals stepping out on the start line or supporting in some other way, as we make history with the first Oxfam Trailwalker in the region.” About 1,000 walkers take part in the event, helped by 1,500 friends, family and support crew, and the event was previously held in Whakatane and Taupō. For more information and to find out how you can get involved in the next event, head to https://www.oxfamtrailwalker.org.nz/
Our Work Local News Dragon's teeth NPDC enlists dragons for student safety 29 May 2020 Here be dragons – but just their teeth! ‘Dragon’s teeth’ road markings are appearing on the New Plymouth District’s roads as part of a national road safety trial aimed at cutting drivers’ speeds outside schools. NPDC is one of just five New Zealand local authorities taking part in the trial of the distinctive markings which are already a familiar sight outside schools in the UK and parts of Australia. “We’re exploring innovative road treatments to see how they might improve road users’ safety,” says NPDC Let’s Go Team Lead Kym Smith. “All five councils will collect data until the end of the year then evaluate how effective the road markings are in changing driver behaviour.” Trial sites are also in Auckland, Hamilton, Christchurch and Dunedin. The dragon’s teeth will feature first outside Spotswood School, and then Moturoa, after Let’s Go finishes upgrading the streetscape outside Moturoa School as part of a programme of safety improvements. “Getting the physical road environment right in high-risk areas, such as school pick-up and drop-off areas, can lead to greater safety for some of our most vulnerable citizens, like schoolchildren,” says Ms Smith.
News Our Work Lifestyle Local Belt Road Nadine Rogers New Plymouth named as a Motorhome-Friendly Town 26 May 2020 As domestic travel in New Zealand gets a boost with the easing of Covid-19 restrictions, NPDC is gearing up to make New Plymouth a destination city for Kiwi motorhomers. New Plymouth has now received the official seal of approval from the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association (NZMCA) which has accepted it into the Motorhome Friendly Town scheme. New Plymouth District Mayor Neil Holdom says its great news. “We’re looking forward to warmly welcoming motorhome users – potentially a multi-million-dollar market - to our wonderful corner of Aotearoa. This year we’ve seen a record 150,000 visitors enjoying the TSB Festival of Lights and there’s a huge amount for visitors to do from exploring our Mounga to visits to Pukekura Park and our iconic Coastal Walkway. This accreditation from the NZMCA recognises the work we do with our council-controlled organisation Venture Taranaki to make our region a must-visit destination for Kiwis and is another example of how we’re Building a Lifestyle Capital.” Destinations have to meet certain criteria to be accredited as Motorhome Friendly, such as having a compliant Freedom Camping Bylaw and providing access to rubbish/recycling and drinking water facilities. The final development New Plymouth needed was a motorhome dump station on public land which is opening soon on Rifle Range Road in Waiwhakaiho, thanks to the support of the local community in that area. NZMCA CEO Bruce Lochore says the Association was pleased to welcome New Plymouth to the Motorhome Friendly scheme which comes as it looks to play a key role in helping kick-start the country’s economy. “We have committed to a multi-pronged, national promotional campaign that’s designed to revitalise responsible motorhome tourism in our 56 Motorhome Friendly towns this spring and summer,” says Mr Lochore. “As an organisation, the NZMCA is ideally placed to lead such an initiative; because while much of the tourism industry is going to be playing catch-up with domestic tourism, it’s our area of expertise. When all the focus was on international tourists in the big-name destinations, we’ve led the charge to ensure that rural and provincial New Zealand got its fair share of tourist dollars. “Naturally, we have appreciated the Motorhome Friendly towns’ support in the past so, come spring, we’re ‘going hard’ to once again bring responsible Motorhome Tourists in Certified Self-Contained vehicles to destinations like New Plymouth.” Belt Road Seaside Holiday Park owner Peter Crawford says: “We commend NPDC for taking steps to again highlight New Plymouth as a friendly place to visit. We hope ‘motorhomers’ attracted support local tourism, retail and hospitality businesses as we move toward tourism that really benefits the host communities.” More motorhomes, caravans and campers have been coming to Taranaki as the region enjoyed a surge in tourism after being named among the top two regions in the world to visit by Lonely Planet in 2016. This is expected to rise again as Kiwis venture out closer to home with foreign travel grounded during the Covid-19 pandemic. NPDC has six campground and holiday parks across the District from Urenui to Ōākura. Who are the NZMCA? The NZMCA represents more than 95,000 private motorhome and caravan owners, who collectively are a multi-million dollar market. NZMCA promotes responsible motorhome and caravan use and requires all members vehicles to be fully certified self-contained. NZMCA provides free marketing and tourist information for the district to its members through its website www.mhftowns.com, the Motor Caravanner magazine and the NZMCA Travel Directory.
News Our Work Local Jetcharm barber for Boof Last chance for public feedback on Covid-19 relief package 25 May 2020 The New Plymouth District Council (NPDC) is urging residents and businesses to have their say on its revised yearly budget which helps cushion some of the economic blow of Covid 19. The public are urged to complete a 5 minute survey on the proposed annual plan and go in the draw to win a $500 SOS voucher to support local firms. Mayor Neil Holdom says the draft yearly budget isn’t set in stone and public feedback is critical to decision making. “Council is playing its part to support our community and work alongside Government to minimise the impacts for those suffering from Covid 19 economic hardship and we want to know has NPDC got the balance about right between slashing fees for business, toping up our community grant schemes for grassroots groups, having a preference for Taranaki contractors when bidding for our jobs and a subsidised warmer and greener home insulation scheme. It’s our job to support struggling businesses and residents while keeping rates affordable, offering great services and juggling competing priorities.” NPDC says all ideas are welcome but the five parts of the proposed yearly budget it is keen for specific feedback on includes: Keeping tradies in work making residents’ homes warmer and greener via our expanded Home Insulation scheme, $7.5 million. Slashing fees for local businesses including restaurants, hairdressers, cafes and builders, $1.3 million. Giving faster access to boosted community funding for grassroots groups, $450,000. Topping up property owners to help enhance main street buildings, $50,000. Continuing to ‘Buy local’ and giving Taranaki contractors and suppliers an advantage when bidding for NPDC jobs. Over the next year NPDC is facing a $5.4 million dollar drop in revenue and is looking for ways to cut costs. Proposed rates increases have been halved to about 2.5% for the average home and the operating budget is approximately $175 million. NPDC has already provided the following Covid 19 relief initiatives: $8 million rates relief package $165,000 of funding to Venture Taranaki to support small-medium businesses $1.9 million loan to the airport to cover its costs until the end of July $90,000 for commercial and community rent relief. Head to newplymouthnz.com/backonourfeet to fill in the five minute survey or call our Feedback Hotline, 06 759 6060 8am-5pm, Monday to Friday and we’ll help you fill in the survey, over the phone with one of our team. Once you’ve completed the survey, you’ll go in the draw to win SOS vouchers to help local businesses, with a main prize of $500. Feedback closes 5pm on Tuesday 26 May 2020.
News Our Work Local Puke Ariki reopen Daisy and Teddy Walmsley Queues as Puke Ariki and community libraries reopen 21 May 2020 While readers have feasted on eBooks and eAudiobooks during Alert Levels 3 and 4, bookworms itching to get their hands on the real thing queued outside NPDC’s Puke Ariki as it opened its doors for the first time since the lockdown. Puke Ariki Library and Bell Block, Waitara, Inglewood, Oakura and Urenui libraries have all reopened under Covid-19 Level 2 with measures in place to keep people safe as they browse for books. NPDC Spokesperson Jacqueline Baker says Puke Ariki has done an amazing job virtually as people stayed in their bubbles and the reopening meant there was now another option for those craving a good read. “Our library team has gone above and beyond during the lockdown, lending out record numbers of eBooks and eAudiobooks – some 12,600 in April - with Puke Ariki open virtually 24/7 for our residents,” says Ms Baker. “We’re now safely open for business for those wanting to get their hands on everything from magazines, newspapers to romance novels to children’s and young adult books.” Level 2 measures at the libraries include contact tracing registers for all those who enter, hand sanitiser at numerous locations including the entrance, multiple cleans each day and restrictions on how many people can go in at any one time. “Our libraries are incredibly popular with about 850,000 visits each year so if people could limit their time to around half-an-hour that would be great as it would mean more people get to visit them. We thank everyone for their patience and kindness as we all adapt to our new Covid-19 reality.” Residents wanting to give feedback on NPDC’s Back On Our Feet measures to help residents and local businesses hit by the Covid-19 economic storm will be able to fill out a hard copy survey at Puke Ariki and the Bell Block, Inglewood and Waitara service centres. Those who take part go in the draw to win up to $500 in SOS Business vouchers to support local businesses. Puke Ariki Museum and the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery will reopen on 25 May, also with the appropriate Level 2 safety measures for visitors. Public programmes remain on hold at the venues but will continue online at pukeariki.com and govettbrewster.com.
News Our Work Kym Smith Keep active through the alert levels 13 May 2020 Walking and cycling became the highlight of the day for many people during lockdown and NPDC wants everyone to keep enjoying being active as we head towards lower Covid-19 alert levels. NPDC’s Let’s Go’s Kym Smith says it was fantastic to see so many people using active travel on the district’s footpaths and walkways and urged workers and children to keep it up as they eventually head back to the office and schools. “Everyone has been doing a superb job in uniting against Covid-19, staying in their bubbles and keeping apart when exercising. Our walkways have never been as busy and everyone has been so friendly as well while out for their daily stroll or cycle,” she says. “It would be great for people to keep this up once the lockdown eases. Don’t put your running or walking shoes away or store your bike in the shed for the winter, keep them out and keep enjoying the outdoors as you head to work or school or for fun in the weekends. "Stay active and keep exploring our walkways and shared pathways – it’s good for you and our environment. Just remember that more cars are returning to our roads so be alert when out and about.” If your child hasn’t walked or cycled to school before, or you’d like to give them a refresher about the safest route to take, now is a good time to travel the route with them and highlight any trouble spots they might have to manage, such as crossing roads. Cities across New Zealand have recorded less air pollution and more birdlife in urban areas due to the greatly reduced volume of vehicles on the road. “We can keep contributing to that by leaving our cars at home when we travel – we can help keep our air fresher and cleaner for everyone,” says Kym.
News Our Work Local NPDC Back on our Feet graphic Give your relief package feedback via Zoominars and hotline 12 May 2020 Public ‘Zoominars’ with Councillors will provide a modern forum for NPDC to gather feedback on its proposed multi-million-dollar plans to help residents and businesses hit by the Covid-19 economic storm as part of its revised yearly budget. And for those not online, they can talk to a person via our dedicated phone ‘Feedback Hotline’ to share their views. New Plymouth District Mayor Neil Holdom says: “Our revised yearly budget includes a range of proposed Back on Our Feet initiatives from slashing fees for restaurants, hairdressers, cafes and builders to giving Taranaki suppliers an advantage when bidding for NPDC jobs, as together we weather the Covid-19 economic storm. “We’re keen to hear what you think and are looking forward to new ideas and feedback,” says Mayor Holdom. NPDC’s annual plan for the year ahead has been revised because of the Covid economic shock, including a $5.4 million drop in income. Proposed rate increases have been halved to about 2.5% for the average home and the operating budget is approximately $175 million. The proposed package of projects to help the District get Back On Our Feet are worth about $20 million. Already in place are an $8 million rates relief package and $165,000 in funding to Venture Taranaki to support small to medium businesses. NPDC is asking for feedback on: Continuing to ‘Buy local’ and giving Taranaki contractors and suppliers an advantage when bidding for NPDC jobs. Keeping tradies in work making residents’ homes warmer and greener via our expanded Home Insulation scheme, $7.5 million. Slashing fees for local businesses including restaurants, hairdressers, cafes and builders, $1.3 million. Giving faster access to boosted community funding for grassroots groups, $450,000. Topping up property owners to help enhance main street buildings, $50,000. Public feedback runs from the 12 to 26 of May 2020. The Details Fill in our 5 minute survey here newplymouthnz.com/BackOnOurFeet and go in the draw to win a voucher to support local businesses Get Back on their Feet. There are six SOS vouchers up for grabs, including a main prize of $500. Head to newplymouthnz.com/zoominars to see details about the times and topics of the three public ‘Zoominars’. All welcome. Call 06 759 6060 from 8am to 5pm on weekdays and ask for the ‘Feedback hotline’ and our team is available to talk, take your feedback and fill in the survey over the phone.
News Our Work Local Daisy and Teddy Walmsley online Crackerjacks Puke Ariki borrowing soars and NPDC open for business virtually 08 May 2020 Our buildings have been closed during the lockdown but NPDC services have never been busier and have been open 24/7, making sure we stay connected without bursting any bubbles. Puke Ariki has had book lovers covered, lending out more than 12,600 eBooks and eAudiobooks in April, up from 8,800 in March and about 7,000 in February. If you’re worried about your kids’ screen time, then the library’s BorrowBox service might be to blame – it saw 3,400 eBooks downloaded in the first week of April, more than triple the number for the whole of March – or the online Crackerjacks Storytime, which also kept them entertained. Meanwhile, the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery has been inspiring youngsters to get creative with streamed Family Art sessions and projects to bring art to the people. The gallery is also currently asking budding movie-makers to share their short films on a day in their lockdown through Once in a Lifetime – The Bubble Project. All these community films will be shown on the Govett-Brewster YouTube channel. Public Council meetings have continued via Zoom with the full meetings published online at newplymouthnz.com the most recently being the deliberations around our yearly budget and we’ll be zooming to the people for feedback on our Back On Our Feet plan and buying local. NPDC spokesperson Jacqueline Baker says we’ve been in uncharted waters during the lockdown but NPDC set a course to keep people informed and entertained. “Puke Ariki and our Gallery have been doing an amazing job virtually with borrowing soaring as we stick to our Covid-19 bubbles while we continue to work hard delivering water, safe roads, rubbish collections while managing hundreds of customer calls and emails each day,” says Ms Baker. Puke Ariki’s digital library has been open with thousands of eBooks, eAudiobooks, movies and newspapers available for everyone in Taranaki and Ancestry.com free during the lockdown. The Govett-Brewster Art Gallery has also brought art to the people through an online collaboration with Taranaki poets for The Art of Poetry project and has launched Window Gallery – Bringing Art Home, working with the Taranaki Arts Trail for artists and designers to turn their own windows into galleries. NPDC is made up of 16 ‘business units’ including Puke Ariki and our community libraries, a zoo, concert venues and we take care of 1,600 hectares of parks and open spaces. For more details, head to newsplymouthnz.com, govettbrewster.com and pukeariki.com or call 06-759 6060.
News Our Work Have Your Say graphic showing the key points in the get us back on our feet plan as described in the webpage text By the numbers: Top takeaways from extraordinary meeting 06 May 2020 At the Extraordinary meeting last night, proposed average residential rates increases were halved to about 2.5% for the average home, with a total rates rise of 3.95%. Before Covid-19, the yearly budget was forecasting an average residential rates rise of 4.75% and a total rise of 6.47%. $300,000 for a feasibility study into expanding the wastewater network to include Urenui, Onaero, Lepperton, Egmont Village and Okato. $100,000 to fast track stormwater improvements to the Waitara township. Reduce operational funding for the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery by $400,000. Management were asked to find operational savings to help reduce debt. The following Get Us Back on Our Feet initiatives were approved: Warmer and greener homes via our expanded Home Insulation Loan scheme, $7.5 million Slashing fees for local businesses including restaurants, hairdressers, cafes and builders, $1.3 million Help for grassroots groups by giving faster access to boosted community funding, $450k Top up to help property owners to enhance main street buildings, $50k “Buy local” plan to give Taranaki contractors a helping hand by ensuring they get preference when tendering for NPDC work. Airport: $1.9 million loan until the end of June when a full options paper will be discussed. Commercial and community rent relief, $90k. The plan will be finalised by the Mayor and Councillors at the end of June.
News Our Work black and white photo showing two hands holding each other Multi-million dollar revenue drop and rates rises slashed in proposed yearly budget 01 May 2020 Cutting proposed rates increases by almost half while managing a projected $5.4 million drop in income are the next steps in NPDC’s Get Us Back on Our Feet plan to help households and businesses hit by the Covid-19 economic storm. Five rates options for a revamped yearly budget will be considered at an Extraordinary Council meeting on 5 May and average residential rates are forecast to go up by just 2.54%, with a total rates rise of 3.95%, if the recommended option is approved. Before the state of emergency, the Annual Plan was forecasting an average residential rates rise of 4.75% and a 6.47% increase in total. At the meeting, the Mayor and councillors will consider a range of other initiatives to include in the proposed Get Us Back on Our Feet package, worth about $20 million. The council has already approved an $8 million rates relief package and worked with the Council Controlled Organisation Venture Taranaki to provide financial support to small and medium businesses via the Professional Services Grant for Small-Medium Enterprises programme. Further initiatives being looked at in the Get Us Back on Our Feet package include: A plan to “Buy local” by choosing local contractors for council jobs. Ramping up and expanding the home insulation loan scheme, providing much-needed work for tradies to make residents’ houses warmer and greener, worth an estimated $7.5m. Slashing and dropping a range of fees for businesses. For hairdressers, cafes, restaurants, and property developers at an estimated cost of $1.3m. Making an extra $450k available to grassroots groups faster. This will allow them to keep supporting our most vulnerable during an unprecedented health and economic shock. A $50k package helping shop building owners improve their buildings around the District. A short-term $2.6 million loan to the New Plymouth airport company Papa Rererangi i Puketapu Ltd. A reduction in commercial and community rents of around $90,000. Mayor Neil Holdom says: “In six short weeks the world has changed and we know many of our residents and businesses are hurting because of the massive economic downturn,” he says. “We’re proposing to reduce rates rises for the average residential ratepayer to 2.5%, after working hard to revise our yearly budget, while also managing a forecasted $5.4m drop in revenue from closed facilities like pools, Puke Ariki, TSB Showplace, TSB Bowl of Brooklands, TSB Stadium and the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery.” “We think this draft budget strikes a fair balance between helping our people, boosting the local economy while ensuring we continue to deliver critical services. We’re looking to largely debt fund this Get Us Back on our Feet plan because if it was rates funded, it would result in an almost 12% rates rise,” says Mayor Holdom. NPDC has also submitted nearly half a billion dollars’ worth of shovel ready projects for the Government to consider as part of its spending on big-ticket projects to kick-start the New Zealand economy. This includes $321m to upgrade the District’s Three Waters network, $108m on improving roads and bridges, $37m on an eco-friendly hydrogen-powered thermal dryer at the wastewater treatment plant and $13.6m to continue work on the Taranaki Traverse walk. The total proposed operating budget for the next year is about $175 million, spread across 16 different business units that make up NPDC. Next steps Mayor and Councillors will discuss the revised yearly budget at an Extraordinary Council meeting on 5 May. Public feedback from May 12 to May 26. Final budget for 1 July 2020 - 30 June 2021 will be approved by the end of June.
News Our Work Construction generic photo NPDC helps businesses get back to business 28 April 2020 NPDC’s big-ticket building projects are getting underway while our building and resource consents teams are working at 100% capacity to help tradies and construction crews get back on the job. While most workers are still working from home under level 3, businesses which can operate safely are restarting, including the building and construction sector, plumbers, electricians and tradespeople. NPDC spokesperson Jacqueline Baker says: “The move to level 3 means we can restart our major work programmes again, supporting home-grown jobs and local businesses. “Our building team is back at full strength to sign-off new builds and renovations and our resource consent team is fully operational to support the District’s construction and development sectors. “We’re also putting together our Get Us Back on Our Feet Plan which will see us working with Government and business to kick-start our economy as we work through our different alert levels.” Our building team helps keep our economy humming by swiftly dealing with about 1,600 applications each year. This includes everything from millions of dollars’ worth of new home consents to helping people applying for a wood burner or registering a swimming pool. Construction projects which are back up and running includes building two new reservoirs on the outskirts of New Plymouth and our parks team are back in the field, keeping our walkways and 1,600 hectares of reserves and parks in tip-top shape. Our major contractor Downer is also back on the road again carrying out maintenance work on the District’s 1,300km road network. Level 3 – what else you need to know: The majority of NPDC staff continue to work remotely or at critical sites that provide essential services. Our recycling and rubbish collection has restarted. Our facilities remain closed but some are open virtually for contactless business such as Puke Ariki and the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery. Playgrounds remain closed. Carparks that were shut under level 4 remain shut, along with boat ramps.
News Our Work Teenage boy putting out a foodscraps bin for collection at the kerbside with two landfill bins in the background NPDC to restart kerbside recycling and rubbish collection 24 April 2020 NPDC’s bubble of bins is ready to get back to work when its full rubbish and recycling collection restarts on Tuesday 28 April. As the country moves into Alert Level 3, weekly red bin-only pick-ups will finish and normal collection can resume, NPDC Manager Resource Recovery Kimberley Hope says. To see which bins you should put out, just check the handy calendar we delivered with your new bins last September, the NPDC Recycling and Rubbish app or visit the bin collection schedule webpage. “Thank you to everyone who has stockpiled their recyclables during the lockdown. It’s been an unprecedented time and it’s been wonderful to see the community still keeping to their Zero Waste habits where they can,” says NPDC Manager Resource Recovery Kimberley Hope. “If you have more recyclables than will fit into your bins, please hold onto them for your next collection date or until travel restrictions ease under Alert Level 2 and you can then take them to the transfer stations for free. And please note that The Junction will remain closed for now.” When using your kerbside bins, please don’t overfill them. For the safety of our collectors and to ensure the glass crate is emptied, the glass should be no higher than the top of the crate. No extra boxes or bags will be collected from the kerbside – only council bins. Safety requirements around COVID-19 means the mixed recycling in the yellow-top bin will have to go to landfill until we reach Alert Level 2. "We know this isn’t ideal but these are unprecedented times and sorting recycling is a high-touch job with thousands of tonnes of household recycling to wade through. If you want to, you can keep storing them until they can be recycled at Alert Level 2 but we understand if you don’t have the space," says Ms Hope. She says it has been great to see people developing their Zero Waste skills during the lockdown, including building their own compost bin or worm farm. “We really encourage people to keep using them. It all helps to reduce the amount of waste we produce as we work toward becoming Zero Waste district!” 
News Art Aileen Burns and Johan Lundh Govett-Brewster Co-directors heading back home to Canada 23 April 2020 Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre co-directors Aileen Burns and Johan Lundh are taking up a new role in Canada. In the midst of the global Covid-19 crisis, the pair are returning to Aileen’s homeland to be closer to family. Their time at the NPDC-owned gallery has been capped by a highly successful 50th anniversary exhibition and the couple, who have a young daughter, are reluctantly leaving after making a big impact since moving to Taranaki in January of 2019. “It’s been an honour and a privilege to have been the co-directors of the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre. The chance to lead the Remai Modern gallery in Saskatoon, Canada, was too good an opportunity to turn down and it will be wonderful to be close to our family, especially during these difficult and unprecedented times,” they say. NPDC’s Recreation and Culture Manager Teresa Turner says the co-directors have left the gallery in excellent shape and have done a great job in helping engage the local community during their tenure. “We were very lucky to get such a dynamic duo at the gallery and while we’re sad to see them leave, they have done a superb job and we wish them the very best for the future,” says Ms Turner. The Covid-19 situation will mean the gallery will look to appoint a new director towards the end of the year. While the gallery, which added $5.6m in GDP to the local economy in 2016 (Source: Berl), remains closed during the national emergency, it is bringing art and other cultural content to audiences online. It has teamed up with Pop-up Poetry Taranaki to launch ‘The Art of Poetry’ - a weekly open call for poems about art on Instagram and the website and is also working with the Taranaki Arts Trail on the ‘Window Gallery’ programme, to bring art to the streets.
News Our Work info graphic outlining key points to the rates relief package. as outlined on the web page Covid-19 rates relief package approved 21 April 2020 Our Elected Members have voted to approve a rates relief package to help soften the financial pain of COVID-19. Many of our hard-pressed households and businesses need some breathing space at this unprecedented time. Top points are: We want you to know that there will be no late penalties until 1 July if you can’t pay your May rates bill now. If it’s likely you’ll still be in difficulty then, you can ask for a rates holiday for six months or for a year, with low-interest repayments. Conditions will apply, including independent verification that your income has fallen due to COVID-19. This package could result in NPDC increasing borrowing by about $8million over the next 12 months which we’ll be carefully monitoring. This is the first step in our Get Us Back on Our Feet Plan which will see us working with the Government and other partners to kickstart our economy when the lockdown lifts. We’ll have more details soon View the Covid-19 Rates Relief Policy (PDF)
Our Work People News Shaun Gouldsbury ACO NPDC heroes - Looking after our furry friends 20 April 2020 Our Brooklands Zoo and animal welfare teams have been hard at work during lockdown looking after our very important furry friends during this period of national emergency. Like other NPDC workers who have been keeping core services running – water, rubbish, roads – the zoo keepers and animal control officers are classed as essential workers. The zoo has brought in split shifts to minimise staff to staff contact while one animal control officer is rostered on each day to care for dogs at the Rifle Range Road dog pound or deal with calls. NPDC Animal Control Coordinator Karl Osten says his team has been looking after 27 dogs at the pound including a new mum with her seven-week-old puppies and they also impounded a wandering sheep last week. “Our focus is looking after the dogs at the pound but we are here to help as well if the police, for example, needed assistance,” says Karl. “We’re still trying to reunite dogs with their owners and we’ll respond to any dog attack issues.” He has also offered advice to dog owners during the lockdown. “Dogs are getting a lot of walks which is great but we’d strongly urge everyone to keep dogs on a leash or under command which helps with physical distancing and keeps them in your bubble. Also try to keep to your normal walking routine that your dog is familiar with.” NPDC Zoo head keeper Louise Mckenna says the only difference is they are not holding any keeper talks and while the animals’ behaviour hasn’t changed, the animals have noticed how quiet it is without the 113,000 visitors who enjoy the free zoo each year. “Their behaviour hasn’t changed but they’ve probably noticed how quiet it’s been for the last few weeks. The keepers’ routines have changed a little with no visitors around - we’ve been doing things in a different order most days - and the animals have enjoyed that change to the daily routine as much as we have while receiving the same high level of care,” says Louise. A special thanks to the vet team, fresh food suppliers, waste removal contractors and cleaners for their support during the lockdown. NPDC’s Brooklands Zoo is home to about 80 animals and has been operating since 1965. Our animal welfare team manages 3,500 cases a year including reuniting owners with their lost dogs and dealing with wandering stock.
News Front entrance of NPDC's Civic Centre Mayor and Chief Executive of NPDC to take pay cuts 16 April 2020 The Mayor and Chief Executive of the New Plymouth District Council are set to take voluntary pay cuts in the wake of the unprecedented Covid-19 emergency. The Mayor and other Councillors’ pay is set by the Independent Remuneration Authority and the rules do not allow for salary reductions. Accordingly Mayor Neil Holdom will donate 10% of his salary for the next six months to a range of Taranaki charities. “I know our business community and households are struggling in these unprecedented times,” says Mayor Holdom. “My decision to take a pay cut has been made with my wife Melissa and is totally voluntary. As the leader of our District, it’s the right decision for me to make as we tackle the biggest financial crisis of my generation. “I note that there is some pressure from a small but vocal group in our community looking for Councillors to also take pay cuts and would remind Taranaki people that we have aimed to encourage a younger more diverse range of people into Council. We now have a younger more diverse group with mortgages and young families earning around $50,000 a year doing fantastic work in our community and often quietly supporting many charity and volunteer organisations. I do not believe it is appropriate that the media or members of the public look to pressure our Councillors on this matter.” Chief Executive Craig Stevenson has decided to reduce his pay by a further 10% over the next six months having previously turned down a 2.9% pay increase offered by the Council. This money will be allocated to NPDC’s operational budget. “This is a personal decision I have made and is my way of showing empathy and support to those who are affected by the current crisis. The entire team at NPDC are working incredibly hard to support our District as we look to recover from the pandemic”. NPDC’s Get Us Back on Our Feet plan will help address locally the economic pain of Covid-19 over the next year. It includes a range of measures to kick-start the District’s economy to support the Government’s stimulus package while working with businesses, Iwi and other partners.
News Mt Taranaki in the background with an aerial view over New Plymouth in the foreground Proposed rates holiday will help New Plymouth District residents as Covid-19 bites 16 April 2020 NPDC is proposing to change its rates rules to help hard-hit residents adapt to the Covid-19 economic pain. The draft package, which offers rates holidays for those in Covid-19 related economic hardship, is the first step in NPDC’s Get Us Back on Our Feet Plan to help the District’s recovery over the next 18 months. If approved by Elected Members at a council meeting on 21 April, it will give hard-pressed businesses and households breathing space while we work with the Government and other partners, to kick-start the local economy after lockdown. The measures include: Removing penalties on late rates payments for the next 12 months, including the next rates invoices due out next month. Offering rates holidays for six months with a very low interest rate on deferred payments. Postponing one year of rates payments for up to three years, with a low interest rate on deferred payments. Conditions apply, including independent verification income has declined due to Covid-19. If implemented the package could result in an increase of NPDC borrowing of approximately $8 million over the next 12 months which will be carefully monitored. “We’re in an unprecedented time and we’re still to learn exactly how hard Covid-19 has hit us but we know the pain is already starting to bite and it could go on for some time,” said Mayor Neil Holdom. “NPDC is a major player in the local economy and our Get Us Back on Our Feet plan will aim to help create jobs and keep businesses turning over. We can’t dodge the pummelling but we can help people roll with the punches and try to soften the fall if they’re knocked down.” NPDC is pivoting its work programme to adapt to the new economic outlook and to mesh with central Government moves to boost recovery. Mayor Holdom said NPDC would also champion the Taranaki region in getting its share of the government’s $20 billion support package and any more to come. View full details of the proposed rates relief package.
Our Work News People Kaye Thorpe NPDC heroes - Housing for the Elderly officer 15 April 2020 Kaye Thorpe is a Housing Officer and her job is to manage NPDC’s 140 Housing for the Elderly units across the district. For her the lockdown has been all about helping the residents if they need shopping picked up, assisting with GP appointments and prescriptions or just a friendly, reassuring phone call to keep them in touch. “Most of the residents are pretty resilient, some having been through tough times already and they’re very resourceful too,” says Kaye. “The majority are coping just fine but for some it’s an anxious time. I went shopping for four tenants last week who either don’t have anyone to help or rely on an elderly neighbour. Some of the residents have children who are over 70 so they’re missing seeing them. One lady even said her cleaning lady isn’t coming at the moment because she’s 73!” Like other NPDC workers who are keeping core services running - water, rubbish and roads - Kaye’s role is classed as an essential worker. The Housing for the Elderly Units are located in New Plymouth, Bell Block, Waitara and Inglewood.
Alcohol New Plymouth Operatic Society Renewal On Licence Application 14 April 2020 NEW PLYMOUTH OPERATIC SOCIETY of 76 King Street NEW PLYMOUTH 4310, has made an application to the New Plymouth District Licensing Committee for the grant of a Renewal On Licence for the premises situated at 76 King Street NEW PLYMOUTH 4310 known as NEW PLYMOUTH OPERATIC SOCIETY. The general nature of the business conducted (or to be conducted) under the licence is a Theatres - On Licence. Days and Hours: Monday to Sunday 10am to 2am the following day. You may also inspect the application at the New Plymouth District Council, Liardet Street, New Plymouth. If you would like to object to the application, in accordance with the Act, please write to us within 15 working days of this notice. District Licensing Committee at Private Bag 2025, New Plymouth 4342. This publication was made on 14 April 2020.