News and Notices

News Voting Papers Coming to Letterboxes from Tomorrow 15 September 2016 Keep an eye on your letterboxes: voting papers will be sent to everyone on the electoral roll between tomorrow (Friday) and Wednesday next week. Group Manager Strategy Liam Hodgetts says people have until midday on Saturday 8 October to get their votes to the Electoral Officer. “Don’t miss this opportunity to get involved in the local democratic process – local government plays an important role in our communities and elections give individuals the opportunity to help shape the place they live,” he says. “Anyone who is posting their voting papers back should get them in the mail by Tuesday 4 October to make sure they reach the Electoral Officer in Auckland on time. “Voting papers can also be hand-delivered to the Civic Centre on Liardet Street or a library and service centre in Waitara, Bell Block and Inglewood up to the midday deadline on 8 October.” Voting for New Plymouth District Mayor, Councillors of New Plymouth district and Taranaki regional councils and members of the Inglewood and Waitara community boards is by first-past-the-post (with preferred candidates being ticked). Voting for Taranaki District Health Board members is by single transferable vote (with candidates ranked in preference). Special votes are also available for people who: Are eligible to vote but their name does not appear on the electoral roll. Have their name on the unpublished roll. Did not receive their voting papers in the post. To arrange a special vote, please phone 0800 922 822. Note: there is no election for Kaitake Community Board as the number of candidates equalled the number of available seats. The two candidates for Clifton Community Board are automatically elected, and a by-election will be held to fill the two remaining seats.
News Strong Financial Result for NPDC 13 September 2016 The Council has posted an end of financial year surplus of $18.3m, three times higher than budgeted. The two main drivers of this positive result are the strong performance of the Perpetual Investment Fund and higher operational revenue. Mayor Andrew Judd says the results cap off a great year for the organisation and a successful three years for the Council. “The organisation continues to perform efficiently with most customer satisfaction levels well above the national average,” he says. “The success of the sale of Tasman Farms has certainly helped our financial position, while our revenue from the regulatory services and our recycling centre is encouraging and above forecasts.” The surplus includes a general rates cash surplus of $2m dollars. The Council will consider how this will be used, with a recommendation to reduce borrowing by $1.8m and apply $200k towards Taranaki’s new economic development strategy. “It’s an impressive result and we’ve done it while being focused on the future and the assets that make us stand out,” says the Mayor. “Beginning work on the District Blueprint through the Shaping our City Action Plan, the opening the Len Lye Centre and accommodating Jet Star at New Plymouth Airport have all contributed to some strong growth in our tourism sector."
News Waitara Lands Bill Soon in Parliament's Hands 12 September 2016 The New Plymouth District Council (Waitara Lands) Bill 2016 is likely to be introduced to Parliament this week. The Council has received confirmation from the Clerk of the House of Representatives that the way is clear for the next step to be taken. “We have completed the required notification under Parliament’s Standing Orders and now Jonathan Young, Member of Parliament for New Plymouth, can introduce the Waitara Lands Bill to Parliament,” says Chief Executive Barbara McKerrow. “Mr Young will have some processes to undertake, but we’re hopeful he can introduce the Waitara Lands Bill this week. “After the years of reports, public submissions and hearings that the Council has done, the process is now out of our hands. It’s up to Parliament now.” Says Mr Young: “The Waitara Lands Bill seeks to find a way forward for what has been one of the most vexatious issues in New Zealand’s history. It is very pleasing to see communities come together to progress this and I have confidence we will see strong support across Parliament for the Bill.” The first reading of the Bill is expected to occur shortly after the Bill is introduced, after which it will be referred to a select committee for public submissions. Select committees generally have six months to consider Bills. Following the select committee are three more Parliamentary stages: the Bill’s second reading, the Committee of the Whole House, and the third reading of the Bill. These stages could take about two months. 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.
News Parks and Reserves No-Go for Vehicles 06 September 2016 Warmer temperatures and longer daylight hours are encouraging more people into public reserves and walkways – but they are asked to leave behind any vehicles. Complaints have been made to the Council in recent weeks about motorbikes as well as mini bikes and vehicles for children using and damaging walkways, parks, sportsgrounds, reserves and beaches. Manager Parks and Open Spaces Stuart Robertson says there are two big issues: the public safety of walkers and damage to turf and walking tracks. “It’s great that people want to get out and about with the warmer weather but the district’s parks and reserves are off-limits when it comes to vehicles,” he says. “No vehicles are allowed on parks, reserves, sportsgrounds and walkways unless they’ve been authorised by the Council – such as for contractors repairing damage caused by hooning. “As for beaches, vehicles may be on a beach only for launching or bringing in a boat, or if they’re an emergency vehicle. They aren’t a place for motorbikes.” Anyone who sees a vehicle operating illegally in a public space should contact New Plymouth Police and the Council with the vehicle’s description and registration number.
News Community Funding Allocations Announced 02 September 2016 Community groups, buildings and projects throughout New Plymouth District have been allocated funding from NPDC’s Community Funding Investment Subcommittee. Among the groups to receive funding are TAFT for the Taranaki International Arts Festival and Powerco Garden Festival Spectacular, Taranaki Futures for helping people into vocations where there are skill and labour shortages, Volunteering New Plymouth Trust, and Te Upoko o Te Whenua Marae for a major development at the site. Says Mayor Andrew Judd: “As always, there was a greater demand on the fund than we have money available and it’s regrettable that we couldn’t give support to everyone who applied. “Overall, I think the Council has supported some excellent organisations who are doing valuable work in our community. These projects cover a wide variety of interests and also some significant issues in our district, such as employment and heritage conservation.” Among the decisions were $62,779 to protect and maintain 13 rural halls, and $75,000 to go towards earthquake-strengthening and painting New Plymouth’s Hookers Building on the corner of Devon and Egmont streets. Group Manager Strategy Liam Hodgetts says Councillors have asked officers to prepare a report on the effect of the reduced budget for community funding and that it be considered by the Council as part of next year’s Annual Plan preparations. The subcommittee’s allocations are: STRATEGIC COUNCIL COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS (MULTI-YEAR GRANTS) Taranaki Arts Festival Charitable Trust (TAFT): $95,000 per year for four years. Taranaki Young People’s Trust: $10,000 per year for three years. New Plymouth Community Patrol: $10,000 per year for three years. Taranaki Environmental Education Trust: $35,000 per year for three years. North Taranaki Neighbourhood Support: no funding. Sport Taranaki: $25,000 per year for five years. Volunteering New Plymouth Trust: $30,000 per year for five years. Taranaki Gardens Trust: $10,000 per year for two years. Taranaki Gardens Festival Trust (TAFT): $32,000 per year for five years. Life Education Trust: $30,000 per year for three years. SOCIAL ENTERPRISE SCHEMES (MULTI-YEAR GRANTS) Bishops Action Foundation: no funding. Waitara Initiatives Supporting Employment: $35,000 per year for three years. COMMUNITY SERVICES AND PROGRAMMES GRANTS (ANNUAL GRANTS) English Language Partners NZ: $2,000. Conductive Education Taranaki Trust: no funding. Taranaki Safe Families Trust: no funding. New Plymouth City Band: $5,000. Tasman Bowls and Social Club Incorporated: $5,000. Royal New Zealand Coastguard Boating Education Ltd: $3,000. Migrant Connections Taranaki Charitable Trust: $10,000. New Plymouth Indian Community: $2,500. Access Radio Taranaki Trust: no funding. Barnardos New Zealand: no funding. Chamber Music New Zealand: no funding. Blind Foundation: $3,000. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Taranaki: $3,679. Project Litefoot Trust: no funding. Arts Access Aotearoa: no funding. NZ Symphony Orchestra Foundation: no funding. Victim Support: $3,000. Alzheimers Taranaki Inc: no funding. The Parenting Place - Attitude Youth Division: no funding. West Baptist Community Trust: no funding. Taranaki Futures: $45,000.
News Monday Start for Delivery of Rubbish Bags 01 September 2016 Delivery of the next year-lot of rubbish bags to residential properties will begin on Monday (5 September). Manager Water and Wastes Mark Hall says the bag delivery will begin in Urenui and take nearly three weeks to cover all the residential properties in the district that are charged for the kerbside rubbish service. “It will take time to deliver the tens of thousands of bags to each property so please be patient,” he says. “All of the bags will be delivered by 22 September.” Mr Hall says the first few thousand bags will still have the wrong Council phone number on them as these are what remain from last year’s order. “However we’ve triple-checked the printing of the new order of bags and they do have the correct contact number for the Council.” Rubbish bag delivery 2016 All residential properties that are charged for a kerbside rubbish service will receive their bags by Thursday 22 September. There will be 52 bags delivered to each property – one for each week for the 12 months from the start of October. Delivery trucks will follow a route mapped to be the most efficient. On some streets, the truck might deliver to properties on one side but not deliver to the other side until later. If the rubbish bags will not fit into your letterbox and there is no safe place to leave them, a non-delivery card with a unique ID number will be left. Please bring this with you to the Civic Centre, or a library and service centre in Waitara, Inglewood or Bell Block, to receive your rubbish bags. If your neighbours have received their rubbish bags but you have not, please wait until the next day to phone or email the Council – 06-759 6060, enquiries@npdc.govt.nz – as your property’s delivery might be scheduled for later in the day. If you have not received your bags and you are not sure if your neighbours have, please wait until Monday 26 September before contacting the Council as your suburb might not have been delivered to yet. If you do not have a letterbox, please come into the Civic Centre or a library and service centre from Monday 26 September with proof of address to collect your bags. Taking rubbish bags from another person’s letterbox is theft. Please report any incidents to the police. Any stolen bags should also be reported to New Plymouth District Council by the end of November. Up to that date, the Council will replace the bags if you have proof of address.
News Delayed Opening of Paritutu Rock's Track 31 August 2016 The closure of Paritutu Rock's track has been extended three days as the amount of rock that needs to be removed (for safety reasons) is more than anticipated. The new opening date is Tuesday 6 September. We apologise for any inconvenience. Please stay off this track until the barriers and warning signs have been removed.
News Two-Month Amnesty for Late Dog Registrations 26 August 2016 A new push to encourage dog owners to register their pets has been launched by New Plymouth District Council. As part of the effort, the date for penalties for non-payment of the registration fee has been pushed back two months to the start of November. “We are really encouraging dog owners to be responsible about registering their pets, and part of that is a two-month amnesty to give people more time to pay the fee,” says Manager Customer and Regulatory Services Katrina Brunton. Currently there are about 11,580 dogs in the district, with about 9,660 of them registered. Owners are required by the Dog Control Act to register their dogs. The fee helps fund the Council’s animal control service which includes investigation of complaints, patrols of public places, operation of the dog pound and dog-safety education programmes to schools, community groups and service industries. The Council investigates at least 3,000 dog-related complaints each year. The owners of any dogs not registered from 1 November will receive a 50 per cent penalty. Additionally, the Council may charge a fine of $300 per dog and/or impound the dog. “We’d rather it didn’t get that far though, so please pay the fee either online at newplymouthnz.com or at the Civic Centre or one of our library and service centres,” says Ms Brunton.
News Rahui in Place on New Plymouth's Coastline 26 August 2016 Due to the boating accident off Back Beach, a week-long rahui (ban) has been placed on the coastline between the Waiwhakaiho River and Herekawe Stream. The rahui prevents the gathering of kaimoana (shellfish and fish) and also swimming in the area. The restriction will expire on 1 September.
News 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.”
News 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.
News 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.
News 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.
News 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!
News 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.
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.nzhttp://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.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.