News and Notices

News Be Safe Be Seen 04 May 2016 With winter nearing, road users are urged to take steps to be seen easily. Be Safe, Be Seen is a region-wide campaign promoting the use of lights and hi-visibility clothing during the autumn and winter months. Manager Transportation Carl Whittleston says staff from New Plymouth District Council, Shell Todd Oil Service and the police will be on the streets in New Plymouth, Opunake, Hawera and Eltham with a chocolate treat for those walkers, runners and cyclists who use lights or are wearing high-viz gear. “For those who don’t, we’ll give them a bright backpack cover, a reflective armband or front and rear bike lights so they can be more easily seen on our roads and footpaths,” he says. “We’ll also have hi-viz backpack covers available for free from the Civic Centre in New Plymouth during May.” Mr Whittleston says people should never assume they have been seen by other road users. “It’s for our own safety that we make it easy for others to spot us in low-light conditions or when a low sun is in drivers’ eyes, and that drivers check twice to make sure the road ahead of them is clear,” he says. The campaign is supported by Shell Todd Oil Services, New Plymouth Police, New Plymouth injurySafe and Roadsafe Taranaki. Safety tips for road users Drivers: think twice and look ahead when driving into sunstrike or sections of heavy shading on the road. Look twice to make sure there isn’t a child waiting at a pedestrian crossing or a cyclist ahead of you in the light. Cyclists: when cycling at night or when visibility is poor, bicycles must have the following: One or more steady or flashing rear-facing red lights that can be seen at night from 100m away. One or two white or yellow headlights that can be seen at night from 100m away. Only one of these headlights may flash. Pedal retro-reflectors on the forward and rearward facing surfaces of each pedal. If the cycle does not have these, the cyclist must be wearing reflective material. There are $55 fines for bikes with no lights, no tail lights or no red reflectors or tapes.
News Water Restrictions for Okato 03 May 2016 Very low flows in the Mangatete Stream have prompted the reintroduction of water restrictions in Okato. The use of sprinklers, irrigation systems and unattended hoses is banned, while hand-held hoses can be used at even-number houses on even-numbered days and at odd-numbered houses on odd-numbered days. Manager Water and Wastes Mark Hall says the ongoing dry spell has taken its toll on the Mangatete Stream, from which Okato’s water is sourced. “We see rainfall being forecast for Taranaki but it either doesn’t last long or it’s much lighter than predicted – the Mangatete just hasn’t been getting the rainfall it needs to keep its water flow at a good level,” says Mr Hall. “Showers are forecast for the end of the week and we hope that’ll be enough to at least reduce demand for watering gardens, even if it’s not enough to lift the restrictions.” The Council asks Okato residents to keep water use at a minimum. Tips on how to conserve water are on the Council’s website at newplymouthnz.com.
News More Improvements to New Plymouth Wastewater Treatment Plant 02 May 2016 The next stage of significant upgrades to the New Plymouth Wastewater Treatment Plant begins this week. Phase two of Wai Taatari (‘filtered water’) will result in lower costs for drying the plant’s excess sludge into the fertiliser Bioboost, and also provide the Council with more options for disposing of sludge if the thermal drying facility (TDF) is ever offline. “It’s about making the plant more efficient and cheaper to run, and building more redundancy into our disposal options,” says Manager Infrastructure David Langford. “When phase two has been fully commissioned by the middle of next year we’ll have cut the TDF’s gas use by between 30 and 45 per cent – which will also reduce the plant’s greenhouse gas emissions – and we’ll be saving between $110,000 and $170,000 per year.” The first phase two project, which starts this week, is to upgrade the plant’s thickening system. This will result in better quality sludge that will require less energy to dry in the TDF. The remaining projects of phase two are the replacement of the dewatering system and an upgrade of the plant’s inlets, which will take place in 2016/17. The $11.5 million phase one of Wai Taatari was officially completed in March 2014 and resulted in the plant’s two aeration basins being upgraded into bioreactors, making them more efficient in treating the district’s wastewater. Phase two will cost $12m. The sludge that is dried in the TDF is surplus micro-organisms that are used in the bioreactors to eat the waste in the wastewater. These micro-organisms are separated in the clarifiers from the water effluent, concentrated in the thickeners, have excess water squeezed out of them in the belt presses, and then are dried, sterilised and palletised in the TDF to make Bioboost.
News Pool Party for Taranaki Pooches 28 April 2016 For the very first time, the Todd Energy Aquatic Centre will be opening its gates to dogs and their owners for a Pooches Pool Party. The pool party marks the end of the outdoor pools’ swim season and will be a fundraiser for the SPCA. “These parties are really popular at other public pools around the country so we thought we’d give Taranaki dogs the chance to enjoy a splash-around too,” says Manager Venues and Events Ron Murray. “The public swimming season will be finished by then so we’ll invite dogs and their owners in before the outdoor pools are drained for winter. “The swimming is primarily for the dogs – we don’t see owners getting in the pools unless their pets need a hand.” Aquatic centre staff will lower the pools’ chlorine levels for the comfort of the dogs. The event is from 1pm to 3pm on Saturday 7 May and will include dog demonstrations, spot prizes and competitions. All dogs must be NPDC registered, vaccinated and socialised, and on a lead unless swimming. Owners must have control of their dog at all times and be prepared to assist in the water if required. Entry is $2 per dog via the back gate to the outdoor area.
News Share the Magic With TSB Bank Festival of Lights 09 December 2014 Pukekura Park’s iconic summer festival wants you to ‘Share the Magic’! The TSB Bank Festival of Lights opens this Sunday (14 December) with a new programme of feature light installations, evening entertainment and daytime activities for children and families. “Every day is different during the festival so people can return throughout summer and have a new experience that’s memorable and fun,” says Manager Events Melissa Devine-Collins. “The festival’s theme is ‘Share the Magic’, which originates from the feeling of magic when you enter the festival for the first time and share the experience with friends and family. “We’re also running a Share the Magic competition with a $2,000 Air New Zealand travel voucher as the prize – just look for the oversized photo frame by the row boats to take part.” Poet’s Bridge is the site of the lighting installation Cloud 9, which encompasses giant bird nests, large water droplets and the rich colours of a sunset reflecting on stylised cloud formations. Tripping the Light uses glowing spheres across Fountain Lake to create waves of colourful patterns, and Flock of Birds brings a new dimension to the black-light area. The evening On Stage entertainment starts on Boxing Day and the programme includes a free concert in the TSB Bowl of Brooklands that features New Zealand X-Factor favourites Moorhouse, a Rod Stewart tribute performance by Rud Stewart, New Plymouth singer/songwriters and Wellington nine-piece Balkan Gypsy brass band Niko Ne Zna. On Stage is supported by TSB Community Trust and will have performances on the Taranaki Daily News Stage at the Hatchery Lawn six days a week (excluding Mondays), and on the ITL Engineering Stage at the Boat Shed Lawn on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The daytime Summer Scene programme is sponsored by Tag Oil and Horizon Energy Services and includes a fun scavenger hunt, the hugely popular big beach dig, craft-making, dance workshops and magician shows. More... “The Twilight Movies in the Park programme is always really popular and we have The Golden Bearing sculpture back as well as the TSB Bank bubble kiosk and the illuminated row boats on the Main Lake,” says Mrs Devine-Collins. The TSB Bank Festival of Lights runs until 24 January. Festival programmes are being delivered to Taranaki households this week as inserts in the North Taranaki Midweek and the South Taranaki Star, and are also available at New Plymouth District Council’s Civic Centre, TSB Bank branches, Taranaki i-SITES and Taranaki libraries. This year the TSB Bank Festival of Lights was named New Zealand’s Most Outstanding Event by the New Zealand Recreation Association (NZRA), and the Best Established Community Event by the New Zealand Association of Event Professionals. More information about the festival, its programme of events and the Share the Magic competition is online at festivaloflights.nz.