News and Notices

News Local Sorcha Wolnik Irish expat expert ranks STV voting Number 1 13 September 2019 As the race for New Plymouth’s Mayor, Councillors and Community Board members heats up, an Irish expat says voters will find Single Transferrable Vote, or STV, as easy to use as 1, 2, 3. Ireland has used the STV voting system in general elections since 1922 and Sorcha Kearney Wolnik, a midwife who moved to New Plymouth in 2013 with her partner and their three children, says it’s regarded by everyone as normal and much fairer than the old ‘first past the post’ system. Voter turnout in local body elections is dropping around New Zealand and the New Plymouth District currently sits at about 47%. Elected members – Mayor, Councillors and Community Board Members - make big decisions that touch our everyday lives and NPDC manages assets of about $3.3 billion and has an annual operating budget of about $155 million. NPDC will use the STV for the first time this year but voters should be familiar with the system as it has been used in District Health Board (DHB) elections for years. Essentially voters rank their candidates and use numbers instead of ticks to cast their votes. Number 1 goes to the favourite candidate and so on. Voters can rank as few or as many candidates as they wish. The new process aims to get a fairer mix of Elected Members around the NPDC governance table and Sorcha hailed STV for empowering voters. “I’ve voted in several general elections back in Ireland and I can wholeheartedly recommend STV,” says Sorcha.  “It is definitely a more inclusive system.” Sorcha, who recently co-founded Girls’ Minds Matter, a community-based initiative promoting mental wellbeing for young women and teens, says she remembers going to the polling station as a young girl with her mum and dad so understanding STV started with watching them numbering the candidates in the polling booth.  “When we think of elections, it’s always about who’s getting your number one and who else will get your votes. It allows for a great discussion without feeling like you have to pick one candidate out of everyone.” How to vote – Single Transferable Vote (STV) Many people will have used it before and the DHB has been using it for years. You use numbers to rank, rather than ticks, to cast your vote. You rank your favourite candidates in preferred order, eg 1, 2, 3. Number one is your first choice and so on. You can rank as many or as few candidates as you like. If you want to know more go to newplymouthnz.com/STV. Key election dates: 20-26 September Voting documents arrive via post. 20 September Postal voting opens or you can drop your vote into a Ballot Box at one of NPDC’s facilities: Civic Centre Liardet Street, the Bell Block, Inglewood and Waitara Library and Service Centres, Puke Ariki (Library and Museum), Ōākura Library, Mobile Library, Todd Energy Aquatic Centre, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, TSB Showplace, TSB Stadium. October 2 Recommended last day to post votes. Or drop your voting papers into any NPDC facility (see above). October 5 National Vote Day. Drop your vote at one of the following locations between 9am-3pm: Civic Centre, Liardet Street (drive-thru), the Bell Block, Inglewood and Waitara Library and Service Centres, Puke Ariki (Library and Museum), Todd Energy Aquatic Centre, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, TSB Showplace, New World Merrilands, Countdown Spotswood, Pak n’ Save, 4 Squares in Urenui, Okato and Ōākura, Bell Block Warehouse, Huatoki Plaza. October 6 - 11 Last chance to drop your vote into one of NPDC’s facilities. Noon, 11 October Ballot Boxes close at Puke Ariki (Museum and Library), Ōākura Library, Mobile Library, Todd Energy Aquatic Centre, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, TSB Showplace, TSB Stadium. Noon, 11 October –  Noon 12 October Last chance to vote. NPDC Civic Centre, Liardet Street, and the Bell Block, Inglewood and Waitara Library and Service Centres, taking final votes.  Noon, 13 October Preliminary results announced.
News he animal fat blockage at the Ngamotu Pump Station Pump station blockage cleared 06 September 2019 Updated 4pm People in Moturoa, Blagdon and Spotswood can now flush their toilets and put water down their drains again. NPDC has been working to clear a sewer pipe blockage since Thursday night, when about 60 tonnes of animal fat was discharged into the sewerage network near Ngamotu Pump Station in Western New Plymouth. The main blockage has now been cleared and NPDC is thanking those in the affected area for their patience. Clean-up work will continue over the weekend, while parts of Ngamotu Beach will remain cordoned off after sewage and fat was discharged onto the beach following the blockage. Specialised trucks are removing it, but people are advised to keep off the beach, out of the water and not to eat kaimoana. The Taranaki District Health Board says the incident is a ‘low public health risk’. We apologise for the inconvenience this has caused and a full investigation will be held.Image shows the animal fat blockage at the Ngāmotu Pump Station. Updated 12pm Discharges from the sewage system have been contained as NPDC works to fix a sewer pipe blocked by fat in Moturoa. The sewer pipe near the Ngamotu Pump Station became blocked overnight by about 60 tonnes of what appears to be animal fat. NPDC thanks people in the Moturoa, Blagdon and Spotswood areas for their efforts to stop flushing their toilets and reduce water going down the drains, while we work to resolve this issue as soon as possible. NPDC asks residents in the affected areas to continue limiting how much water goes down the drain as this will help us to remove the blockage. We’re unsure at this stage how long this will take. NPDC has put warning signs up at Ngamotu Beach and will continue to patrol the area. The Taranaki District Health Board says the incident is a ‘low public health risk’. NPDC apologises for this inconvenience and a full investigation will be held. 9am statement: What’s believed to be some type of animal fat has blocked a sewerage pipe at Ngamotu Pump Station in Western New Plymouth last night. A mixture of fat and sewage has been discharged onto the beach. Specialised trucks are removing the material from the cordoned off site and NPDC is notifying iwi/hapu. Residents in Moturoa and nearby areas are being asked to not flush their toilets while the blockage is being cleared. NPDC apologises for this inconvenience and a full investigation will be held. The Taranaki Regional Council and Taranaki District Health Board have been notified.
News Our Work Civic Centre roof Major Civic Centre roof repair work finished by end of year 05 September 2019 The final part of NPDC’s project to repair the Civic Centre’s roof in central New Plymouth is on schedule to be completed by the end of the year. Work started on the South Wing towards the end of 2018 and was expanded into a second project to include the rest of the roof when it was found that was in urgent need of a fix as well. It’s the first major roofing project on the Liardet Street building since it was completed in the early 1990s and much of the investment will be offset by the $500,000 NPDC gets in commercial rents each year. Chief Financial Officer Joy Buckingham says the work is part of $5.6 million allocated to renewing the Civic Centre which was approved in the 2018-2028 10-Year Plan. “We’d like to thank the public for their patience while we carried out these repairs on these two major projects which are funded from existing budgets,” says Ms Buckingham. “As is standard with any project for a 30 year old building, the scope was uncertain and once we started work on the South Wing, we were able to investigate other parts including the Atrium roof and the Chamber roof. All these areas needed work so it made sense to get on with the necessary maintenance projects while the scaffolding was on site. "To further maximise use of the scaffolding, we also decided to give the building its first ever repaint. The roof repairs will cost $2.6 million while the paint job (including its share of the scaffolding) is costing $500,000. All of this funding comes from existing budgets."
News Our Work TSB Bowl of Brooklands NPDC's strong financial performance gets another big tick from Standard and Poor's 05 September 2019 Independent global rating agency Standard and Poor’s has again reconfirmed NPDC’s AA/A-1+ credit rating, highlighting its strong financial management. The rating is the highest possible rating a local government body can get in New Zealand. “NPDC manages assets worth $3.3 billion, runs 17 businesses and has an annual operating budget of about $155 million so it’s very pleasing to see our robust financial management get the seal of approval from independent global credit assessor, Standard and Poor’s,” says Chief Financial Officer Joy Buckingham. “The strong credit rating is underpinned by the $296 million Perpetual Investment Fund, which makes an annual release that offsets rates.” NPDC is investing $44 million over the next decade to improve water resilience, while the $21 million investment in Zero Waste 2040 is already having an impact with new bins rolling out and work starting soon on The Junction reuse and recycle centre. The positive outlook for NPDC comes ahead of the upcoming elections where residents will vote for a Mayor, Councillors and Community Board Members who make strategic decisions about our priorities and their financial impacts. To read the full Standard and Poor’s report click: here.
News Lifestyle Our Work NPDC TSB Festival of Lights The big switch-on: TSB Festival of Lights going global on 14 December 30 August 2019 NPDC’s award-winning TSB Festival of Lights is getting an international makeover with 13 new light features promising the biggest and best edition of the iconic extravaganza yet. Pukekura Park will light up from 14 December until 1 February 2020, including work from artists as far flung as Russia, Chile, and Canada, and Poet’s Bridge is also undergoing a revamp with a new light installation by the original creators of the TSB Tunnel of Light. NPDC has revealed the dates for the Festival early this year, to help locals and visitors to the region to plan their summer holidays and get the most out of the free community event. Among the 13 new light features is Trumpet Flowers. Hot on the heels of its success at Australian light festival Vivid, Trumpet Flowers continues the festival’s push to have more interactive displays. Visitors are able to light up flowers and play sounds by pressing a button, allowing audiences to create a technicolour soundtrack. NPDC’s Recreation and Culture Manager Teresa Turner says every year the team tries to top the previous season’s event and always succeeds.  “I think we’ll continue that in 2019-2020 thanks to a record number of new light features which will delight and entertain all festival goers,” Ms Turner says.  “We’re Building a Lifestyle Capital and the TSB Festival of Lights plays a huge part in making our district the place to be each summer. We’re looking forward to seeing thousands of visitors come to Pukekura Park to enjoy another fantastic season.” Last summer the festival attracted more than 125,000 visitors, and New Plymouth residents made the most of the lights and 82 free events with 80% attending the festival more than once. Survey results also showed around 50,000 visitors came from outside of the region to enjoy the lights, with over half of those visitors paying for their accommodation during the trip.  There was also a 50% rise in volunteers stepping up to lend a hand which Ms Turner says is a key part of the festival’s continued success.  Support from key partners is also vital, and Ms Turner thanked TSB for signing on as the event’s sponsor for another three years. “The long-term partnership we have with the TSB is a fantastic fit with our vision to provide free and engaging events for our community. Without this long-term commitment from TSB, we wouldn’t have the freedom to try new things and continue to grow.” TSB CEO Donna Cooper says the TSB Festival of Lights has numerous positive impacts for our region. “It’s a world class event which brings people together from all over the country and really does have something for everyone. My family found it so captivating last year that we went along twice! “We’re proud to partner with a Festival which mirrors what TSB is all about – putting people first, celebrating community and giving back to Taranaki and New Zealand,” she says. TSB Festival of Lights fast facts: The lighting route is 3.5 kilometres of walkways through Pukekura Park. About 125,000 people enjoy the seven-week festival each summer. The lights are on for about 50 nights. More than 20 staff and volunteers work behind the scenes each night at the festival. We have about 55 volunteers from the community who help out at the festival each season. It takes about six weeks to install all the lights and cabling through the park for the festival. The 2018/19 season saw the introduction of food trucks (Light Bites evenings) and a family-friendly New Year’s Eve event.
News Local Have Your Say Notice of day of election 29 August 2019
News Our Work Metro Plaza on Devon Street West. Metro Plaza purchased by NPDC 26 August 2019 Plans to open up one of the last covered stretches of the Huatoki Stream are now a step closer after the purchase of the Metro Plaza building in the city centre by NPDC. The building on Devon Street West sits across the road from the Huatoki Plaza, which is set for a green facelift early next year, and will be part of NPDC’s strategy to continue building a sustainable and thriving city centre. The move follows the two successful forums, the CBD 2050 Forum in October last year and the CBD 2050 Summit in May, when stakeholders met to discuss the city centre’s future. New Plymouth Mayor Neil Holdom says a key theme from the forums was a desire to see the city centre revamped through more spaces and places for people to enjoy.  “We’ve listened and now we’re seeing action to create a greener and more inviting central city. This project, and the plans to give the Huatoki Plaza a green makeover, are the first steps towards realising our long-term and transformational vision for our city centre,” says Mayor Holdom. Proposals for the site will be prepared for inclusion in the draft 10-year plan for public feedback. NPDC staff will be working with tenants, including a Subway sandwich outlet at the entrance, and leases will continue until plans for the site are finalised or other lease arrangements are negotiated. It is also talking with Te Atiawa iwi and Ngāti Te Whiti hapū, who have a long history with the Huatoki Stream.  The Metro Plaza was built at 33 Devon Street West in 1936 to house McGruer’s Drapery store but has been significantly altered over the years. Participants in the two forums highlighted themes to improve the city centre, including: More green spaces, such as “pocket parks”. A greater focus on pedestrians with more paths to get around. Family-friendly spaces, such as safe areas where kids can play. More public and shared transport options, like e-scooters. More consistent opening hours among retailers. More homes. “This is a fantastic opportunity to begin planning for a new riverside green space that will help draw people into town,” says NPDC Customer and Regulatory Solutions Manager Katrina Brunton. “Our community have told us they want a city centre that welcomes families and puts pedestrians first, a place people want to visit and hang out.”
News Waitara new home owner New Zealand history in the making: first freehold land purchased under historic Waitara Lands Act 23 August 2019 Waitara retiree Heather Tett made history on Wednesday (21 August) without even stepping out her door. After waiting more than 50 years, Mrs Tett was the first Waitara leaseholder to sign a sale and purchase agreement to buy her property off NPDC under the Waitara Lands Act and on Wednesday she took possession. Mrs Tett has lived in the home for 36 years and has been a Waitara leaseholder since 1966. “We’ve been waiting a very long time for this,” said Mrs Tett. “Being able to buy our land will be really good for Waitara. Hopefully more people will get on the property ladder and buy their land too.” New Plymouth District Mayor Neil Holdom says it’s an exciting time for Waitara. “NPDC congratulates Mrs Tett and we wish her many happy years in her freehold home. After 30 years of working towards a solution to a highly complicated situation, the historic Waitara Lands Act is now making a difference. We look forward to continuing working with leasees, hapū and the wider community to make sure the Act delivers positive change for the town, the river catchment and the people of Waitara,” says Mayor Holdom. The Act took effect in March, paving the way for leaseholders to buy their land on about 770 Waitara properties and unlocking up to $90 million to be invested back into the town. The proceeds from the land sales are being divided into three funds for the benefit of Waitara: A ring-fenced Hapū Land Fund to help the Manukorihi and Otaraua hapū buy land. The Waitara Perpetual Community Fund to help support community projects in Waitara. A fund to support the Waitara River and other environmental projects. As of Wednesday, NPDC had received applications to freehold on almost 400 properties. Five of these had been sold and about 70 others had either accepted the purchase price or had signed sale and purchase agreements, involving properties worth almost $8.4 million in total.
News Local New Plymouth and Mount Taranaki drone shot Six candidates vying to be New Plymouth District Mayor 21 August 2019 The contest to be the next Mayor of the New Plymouth District will be a six-horse race. Incumbent Neil Holdom will face Max Brough, Irene Godkin, Joanne Kuvarji, Greg MacKay and Bill Simpson, the biggest field to challenge for the top NPDC governance job since eight candidates ran for the mayoralty in 2010. NPDC’s appeal for residents to Take A Stand for their community helped to inspire 30 candidates to throw their hat in the ring for the 10 spots in the New Plymouth City Ward. There are four candidates in each of the North and South-West wards, vying for the two seats in each ward. The Mayor and Councillors are involved in all the big decisions about the future of our district, what the priorities are and how we pay for them. Think drinking water, parks, the coastal walkway, safer roads, a vibrant central city, libraries, an art gallery, a museum, theatre, major events and pools. The Council manages assets worth $3.3 billion and has an annual operating budget of about $155 million. NPDC Chief Executive Craig Stevenson welcomed the response to Take a Stand for the district and urged voters to Get to Know the NPDC candidates running to be an elected member. “A sign of a healthy democracy is people being prepared to stand up and be counted. I’m delighted to see so many candidates take on this challenge. Now it’s time for voters to get to know who they are and what they stand for so they can make an informed choice come election time. “Our next challenge, is to get as many people as possible to vote. Turnout has been falling for many elections and slipped below 50% in 2016 so we want as many people as possible to take part. We’re using STV this year so voting is as simple as 1, 2, 3 or ranking your preferred candidates.” Voters can see the full list of candidates with contact details for the election hopefuls on the NPDC Know Your Candidate page: https://www.newplymouthnz.com/en/Council/About-the-Council/Elections/2019-Election/Know-Your-Candidate There will be an election for the Waitara Community Board with six candidates running for four seats while four candidates have been elected unopposed for the Kaitake Community Board. Elections will not be held for Inglewood and Clifton Community Board members because there were not enough candidates so a by-election will be required. The by-election must be held within 3 months following election day. Key election dates: 20-25 September: Voting documents arrive via post 20 September: Postal voting opens October 6: Recommended last day to send in postal votes. You can still drop your voting papers in to NPDC. Noon, 12 October: Voting closes Noon, 13 October: Preliminary results announced Candidates for Mayor:  Max Brough Irene Godkin Neil Holdom Joanne Kuvarji Greg MacKay Bill Simpson New Plymouth City Ward candidates: Colin Bell  Sam Bennett Katherine Blaney Gordon Brown David Bublitz Anneka Carlson Murray Chong Amanda Clinton-Gohdes Mike Crow Harry Duynhoven Barbara Fakavamoeanga Sarah Foy Bruce Gatward-Cook Bev Gibson Irene Godkin Richard Handley Stacey Hitchcock Louise James Joanne Kuvarji Greg MacKay  Chris Manukonga Jonathan Marshall Dinnie Moeahu Rob Needs Jack Newsome Phil Quinney Dwayne Sherwood Howie Tamati Deb Tawa Selwyn Watkins North Ward: Tony Bedford Colin Johnston Bill Simpson John Williams South-West Ward: Chris Hale Peter Henderson Richard Jordan Marie Pearce Waitara Community Board:  Trevor Dodunski Irene Godkin Andrew Larsen Jonathan Marshall Josephine Moore  Joe Rauner Kaitake Community Board (elected):  Graham Chard Paul Coxhead Doug Hislop Paul Veric Clifton Community Board*:  Ken Bedford Warren Petersen Inglewood Community Board*:  Mel Cook Graeme Hamilton Sykes *By-election for two remaining seats
News Our Work street lights and car lights shown on a dark night LED lights shine bright 16 August 2019 Our project to replace old-school streetlights with low-emission LED lights has been hailed as a win, win, win for the district. The major project, which has replaced more than 8,000 streetlights, has finished a year ahead of schedule, the cost for ratepayers is close to $2m under budget, and the lower-power lights will cut thousands of tonnes of CO2 emissions. Infrastructure Manager David Langford says the ‘invest-to-save’ initiative has exceeded expectations and alongside Zero Waste 2040 initiatives will make a tangible difference to cutting greenhouse gas emissions in the district for decades to come. “We’re absolutely thrilled with the results of this project. It’s fantastic value for money for our ratepayers and it’s done and dusted a year ahead of schedule,” says Mr Langford. “We take the threat of climate change seriously and this is a real-world solution to cutting emissions. Over the next 20 years, these LED lights will cut close to 6,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions. This is just one of many projects from NPDC as we ramp up our approach to tackling climate change.” Other benefits over the next 20 years include a $6.53 million saving in electricity costs while electricity usage is expected to be reduced by 43.6 million KWh (65%) over the same period. We started the project in 2015 and the original budget was $5.5 million but a bigger subsidy from the New Zealand Transport Agency and lower costs meant the scheme came in at $3.66m. The cost for ratepayers was $619,000 compared with a forecast budget of $2.69m. By the numbers: 8,025 streetlights replaced 5,970 tonne reduction in CO2 over 20 years Five-year project completed a year early Project had 81% subsidy from NZTA Taranaki Electricity Trust contributed $100,000 for lights in Inglewood and Urenui. Our environment action: $21m investment over next decade for journey to Zero Waste 2040. Rubbish trucks for the roll-out of the new landfill and food scraps bins will be electric. Food scraps bin will cut down on food scraps going to landfill. Plastics 3-7 are being trialled in road resurfacing. Upgrades to the wastewater treatment plant have cut natural gas use by nearly 20% Efficiency improvements to wastewater pump stations have reduced electricity consumption by as much as 27% We have signed up to the Global Covenant of Mayors and report annually on our greenhouse gas emissions as part of the Carbon Disclosure Project. Co-hosted the Just Transition Summit in May, looking to a low carbon future. Our Venture Taranaki have created the Taranaki 2050 Roadmap on a low emissions future for our region. New District Plan looks at where we live amid expected rising sea levels.
Lifestyle Local News People Chaddy smiling in his office Master mariner honoured in Citizen's Awards 16 August 2019 David Chadfield – better known as “Happy Chaddy” of Chaddy’s Charters – works and lives by the motto “We’ll do anything to make you smile”. It’s that selfless attitude that has earned him and 10 other leading lights an NPDC Citizens’ Award on Thursday. The recipients were honoured for their outstanding and often unsung contributions in sport, culture, conservation, charity and other fields. New Plymouth District Mayor Neil Holdom says it’s one of the highlights of each year to recognise the local heroes who do so much for the community. “It’s a privilege and an honour to present these awards. These community heroes come from all walks of life but they all share the same things in common, a love of our district and a desire to give back. I’m delighted that our community is able to acknowledge and celebrate them and say a big ‘thank you’ with these awards.” A New Plymouth icon and one of our best-known local personalities, Chaddy has offered his experience to those thinking about a career at sea, mentored young people, helped dyslexic children and young boxers. The master mariner has also championed the native wildlife and the environment of Ngā Motu/Sugar Loaf Islands, and visitors can wander freely in his museum at Breakwater Bay and learn about the little blue penguins through live video links from nests. “What you give, you get back, I think, so I certainly give it my all to make people happy,” says Chaddy. “I’m proud to say I’m a Taranaki person and I’m lucky to do a job that I love in such a fantastic place to live. This award really means something to me.” The full list of the 2019 Citizens’ Award recipients is: Krystyna Beardman Anne Bovett David Chadfield Evan Cottam Craig Dent Barry Hartley Dinnie Moeahu Barbara O’Neill Michael Green Suzanne Smithers Bronnie van Lith.
News Local Pukekura Park hero shot Last chance to Take A Stand for New Plymouth District 13 August 2019 The clock is ticking fast for people wanting to Take A Stand and be at the table for the big calls that shape our daily lives. Nominations for NPDC’s Mayor, Councillor and Community Board representative positions close this Friday, 16 August, at midday.  The Mayor, Councillors and Community Board members make big decisions about the future of our beautiful district, how we pay for it and what the priorities are. Think drinking water, parks, the coastal walkway, safer roads, a vibrant central city, libraries, an art gallery, a museum, theatre, major events and pools. It manages assets worth $3.3 billion and has an annual operating budget of about $155 million. As of Tuesday morning, there have been 29 nominations confirmed for eight different elected roles, including the Mayoralty, and the City, North and South-West Ward Councillor positions. They are: Neil Holdom, Joanne Kuvarji, Greg MacKay and Bill Simpson (Mayor); Colin Bell, Sam Bennett, Katherine Blaney, Anneka Carlson, Murray Chong, Barbara Fakavamoenga, Sarah Foy, Bev Gibson, Richard Handley, Louise James, Greg MacKay, Chris Manukonga, Jack Newsome, Howie Tamati and Deb Tawa (NPDC City Ward); Tony Bedford, Bill Simpson, and John Williams (NPDC North Ward); Chris Hale (NPDC South-West Ward). External Relations Manager Jacqueline Baker says time is now running out for the public to get their nomination forms in by the 16 August deadline. “The current governance team does an amazing job but we’re looking for as many candidates as possible to stand up and be counted so the flavour at the top table reflects the many different faces of our District. More than half of the 83,400 people who live here are women but there are only two female councillors. So if you want to see more diversity and have a say in the big ticket decisions which touch everyday lives, Take A Stand for NPDC now before it’s too late.” Find forms, information and the 2019 Candidate Handbook here.
News Our Work Electric rubbish trucks NPDC August 2019 Electric rubbish trucks help NPDC cut district's carbon footprint 09 August 2019 Electric rubbish trucks are the latest weapon in NPDC’s Zero Waste arsenal, and they’ve hit the streets around New Plymouth this week. The six new electric trucks will be used for the new landfill and food scraps bin collection service when New Plymouth moves from bags to bins on 30 September.  Infrastructure Manager David Langford says the revamp of the collection service was the perfect opportunity to look into using electric trucks as NPDC ramps up its efforts to cut emissions. “We take the issue of climate change seriously and we strive to cut NPDC’s carbon footprint wherever possible,” says Mr Langford. “It’s a balancing act between our aspirations to cut emissions while ensuring we invest ratepayers’ money wisely. “We think these trucks tick all the boxes when it comes to a long-term solution to cutting CO2 emissions and we’re considering replacing the current diesel-powered recycling and bottle collection trucks with electric trucks when the contract finishes in 2024.” The new electric trucks are funded through existing budgets and are already on the district’s roads. The distinctive red-liveried trucks have been trialled over the last week ahead of the start of the landfill and food scraps kerbside service at the end of next month. The bins are part of $20 million NPDC is investing over the next decade as part of the journey to Zero Waste 2040. From 30 September, the food scraps bin will be collected weekly and the glass and landfill bin collected one week, recycling the next. Food scraps previously made up 40% of rubbish going to landfill but the new bins will divert this waste which will be used to make useful compost.  Other Zero Waste projects will include the opening of recycling and repurpose facility called The Junction on Colson Road and community conversations about extending the collection service into the CBD. 
Public Notice Road Closure Egmont Road closed 05 August 2019 Egmont Road will be closed at the gatehouse leading up to the mountain for the rest of Monday 5 August due to heavy snow.
Our Work News Local Ruru Native birds return to wild after Brooklands Zoo rehabilitation 31 July 2019 Behind the scenes at NPDC’s Brooklands Zoo, staff take care of injured native birds so that they can be returned to the wild.  “We’ve helped six ruru get back to their forests in the last 12 months, as well as kereru and tui. It’s just fantastic to see injured native birds take flight after their rehabilitation,” says NPDC Manager Parks and Open Spaces Stuart Robertson.  “We care for them behind the scenes at the zoo as they need a quiet environment to help them recover.”  Brooklands Zoo has a Wildlife Act Authority permit from the Department of Conservation to rehabilitate injured native reptiles and birds (except kiwi and whio). Zoo staff have been trained to care for these protected species.  All injured native species are brought to the zoo by DOC or New Plymouth Vet Group – the zoo cannot receive them directly from the public.  “If you come across a native bird or animal that needs care, please contact DOC straight away,” says Mr Robertson.  What you can do to help: Ruru/morepork are prone to injury in urban areas, mostly with concussion from colliding with vehicles or windows. We can all take simple measures to help protect them putting stickers on large windows and driving to the speed limit. Taking part in the work of Towards Predator Free Taranaki 2050 by cutting the number of stoats, possums and rats also helps native birds.  Ruru at Puke Ariki Kids can get a ruru hunt badge by taking part in the Puke Ariki Ruru Scavenger Hunt. Head to the Host Desk in the museum foyer to take part and for more info.
News Our Work Food scraps From two bins to four: NPDC's Zero Waste bin deliveries starting soon 29 July 2019 A step-change is coming to the way New Plymouth District residents’ rubbish is collected as NPDC ramps up its journey towards Zero Waste 2040. The family of kerbside bins is growing, and from mid-August NPDC will start delivering landfill and food scraps bins to all properties in the collection area, replacing the red rubbish bags.  The new four-bin service begins on the week starting 30 September. “We’ll be going suburb by suburb with the bin deliveries so don’t worry if you haven’t got your bins in the first few weeks – they’ll be coming,” says NPDC Manager Resource Recovery Kimberley Hope. “The deliveries will be between mid-August and mid-September so please wait until Wednesday 18 September to contact us at NPDC if you don’t have your new bins.” About $21 million was set aside for the Zero Waste 2040 journey, including the kerbside collection changes, by councillors in 2018 after the idea proved popular with the public in the Long-Term Plan process and attracted more than 3,000 supporting submissions. The landfill and food scraps bins will help our community work towards Zero Waste by cutting down the amount of waste that goes to the landfill. Currently, about 40 per cent of residential rubbish bags is food waste, but the food scraps collection will enable that waste to be turned into useful compost. When the new collection starts on 30 September, the food scraps bin will be collected weekly. The landfill, recycling and glass bins will be collected every fortnight: glass and landfill bins one week, recycling the next. Households should keep using their red bags until Friday 27 September. After that, any leftover bags can be taken to the Civic Centre in New Plymouth or your local library for reuse by community groups or recycling.  “We don’t want piles of excess plastic bags going into the landfill bin. You could either use them one by one as a bin liner, or get them back to us so we can make sure they have a useful second life,” says Ms Hope. The red plastic bags won’t be picked up at the kerbside after 27 September. More information about bin delivery dates and how to use the new collection system is online at newplymouthnz.com/NewBins. Also, a collection calendar and information booklet will be delivered with the bins.
News Have Your Say a crowd gathered at Puke Ariki landing sitting on the grass in small groups Take a stand for a diverse NPDC in 2019 26 July 2019 If you think some of NPDC’s publically elected members have been a bit pale, male and stale, it’s time to take a stand and throw your hat in the ring. Nominations to stand for NPDC’s Mayor, Councillor and Community Board representative positions are open and you’ve got until midday 16 August to enter the election race. The Mayor, Councillors and Community Board members make big decisions about the future of our beautiful district, how we pay for it and what the priorities are. Think drinking water, parks, the coastal walkway, safer roads, a vibrant central city, libraries, an art gallery, a museum, theatre, major events and pools. It manages assets worth $3.3 billion and has an annual operating budget of about $155 million. The current governance team features two female Councillors out of 15 positions compared to 2018 Statistics New Zealand data which shows of our 83,400 people living here, 49% are male and 51% are female. NPDC Chief Executive Craig Stevenson said it’s 2019 and it’s time for the public to stand up and make their vote count. “The current NPDC governance team do an amazing job but I’m sure we’d all agree it would be great to see a truly representative mix around the table. If you would like to see greater diversity among our elected members, now’s your chance take the plunge and do something about it by Taking A Stand and becoming a candidate,” he said. Find out more about standing for election.
News Local Lifestyle People young couple holding a puppy and smiling on the coastal walkway NPDC welcomes newcomers to our diverse District 25 July 2019 New Plymouth District’s legendary lifestyle is proving a drawcard for many and NPDC loves to make newcomers feel at home. Our place has got good career opportunities, a great outdoor lifestyle, and a vibrant city life that still retains the charm of a small town – not to mention a hospitable attitude to our new neighbours. A Welcome to the District event is being held on Tuesday August 6, at the NPDC Civic Centre to help new arrivals settle into the district. If you are new, please come along and say hello. Aucklanders Scott Johnson and Aleshia Bowman are among those who recently made the move to the district. The couple are in their 20s and were drawn to the district by the affordable lifestyle it offered them. “About six years ago Scott and I came to New Plymouth for a long weekend getaway. We climbed Paritutu, surfed, biked at Mangamahoe and ate some great food. On the way back home Scott said this is where he wanted to live, this is the lifestyle he wanted for us and so after a few years of travelling the world we have finally made the move down here,” Aleshia says. Scott says the big drawcard for him was the district’s fantastic lifestyle. “Last Friday I finished at 4pm and was in the water surfing by 4.20pm with the mountain out as a backdrop. That’s opposed to sitting on the motorway, crawling in traffic trying to get across the bridge. New Plymouth’s Fridays are better Fridays than I am used to,” Scott says. And Scott says another bonus is they can both have great careers in the thriving district. Aleshia is a pharmacist and Scott has recently started a building apprenticeship. “Here I get to start a new career, one I am really passionate about,” adds Scott. “In Auckland I would have had to choose between saving for and servicing a mortgage or pursuing the career I wanted. Because the cost of living is lower here, it’s given me an opportunity to try something new, pursue my dream.” NPDC’s Welcome to the District event is a great opportunity to meet new people who have recently made the move to New Plymouth. You will learn a little more about local life with talks from Venture Taranaki and local community groups. All are welcome. Event details: When: Tuesday 6 August  Time: 5.15pm Where: Council Chambers, NPDC Civic Centre Cost: Free RSVP: civicfunctions@npdc.govt.nz before 1 August.  Nibbles and drinks provided
News Our Work Botanical Records Officer Ian Hutchinson Behind the Green Flag: Exploring the history of Pukekura Park 12 July 2019 Did you know a record 12,000 people turned out to the Pukekura sports ground on 16 July 1921 to watch the Springboks draw 0-0 with Taranaki’s own rugby 1st XV? The Hawera and Normanby Star reported “the largest crowd that ever mustered in the park” was three deep on the famous terraces. It’s just one of the Pukekura Park highlights recorded by NPDC Botanical Records Officer Ian Hutchinson. Ian started his career as an 18-year-old horticulture apprentice with the then New Plymouth City Council in 1979. For the last seven years, he’s been digging through the history of NPDC’s Pukekura Park to find out about early plantings and to prepare for the park’s guided walks. “Pukekura Park has a Green Flag awarded to world-class parks and it’s a Garden of National Significance. We need to keep records of the older plant specimens in the park and in amongst that is an enormous amount of New Plymouth and Taranaki social history,” says Ian. “Because the park dates back to 1876, a lot of the research throws up fascinating information that still helps us manage the park today and tells us more about one of our historic landmarks and the community around it.” Ian, who grew up in New Plymouth, has worked on various projects around the district including the plantings when Puke Ariki Landing was first developed in the 1980s. He’s also a regular with the New Plymouth Operatic Society and familiar in local arts circles. Did you know? Pukekura was a shooting range before the park was created in 1878. The local militia used to practice rifle shooting across the valley at targets on the hillside east of where the main lake is now. A winery was once planned in Pukekura. From 1875 to 1881, German father and son Heinrich and Johann Briedecker had a vineyard in Stainton Dell. The business was abandoned, but plants grown from cuttings from the vineyard today grow near The Gables. A swimming club was formed at the newly created main lake in 1879, and a bathing shed was constructed where the Tea House now stands. Cannon Hill was once known as Flagstaff Hill because a flag pole once stood on top of the hill and a flag was raised to warn the gentlemen away when ladies were bathing in the Main Lake. The sports ground was originally a swamp, which was filled in 1881 using soil from the cutting through to Liardet Street and from the creation of the southern terraces. The level of the ground was raised with more soil from the creation the other seating terraces. A boxthorn hedge maze was planted in what is now Rhododendron Dell in 1892. The maze was abandoned in the late 1890s as the Recreation Grounds Board could not afford its upkeep. Kiwi were successfully bred in an aviary near the Fountain Lake in the early 1900s. Next time you’re taking in a band or Carols by Candlelight on the Hatchery Lawn, try to imagine that it was a lily pond until 1954. It is named for a trout hatchery there from 1909 until about 1928. The pond was filled in with soil from an island that was dug up to build the fountain in the Fountain Lake in 1954. Now it draws some of the biggest music acts from around the world, but the Bowl of Brooklands was a paddock where Newton King grazed stock and racehorses until his death in 1927. Slit trenches were dug alongside the main pathways in case of air raids during World War II. In 2003 filming of parts of The Last Samurai took place on the sports ground and the first WOMAD festival was held at Brooklands Park.
News Our Work Have Your Say Lifestyle Two women walking on the coastal walkway Parks and walkways big contributors to high quality of life in New Plymouth District 04 July 2019 The majority of New Plymouth District residents are happy with NPDC’s parks, green spaces and the Coastal Walkway, according to a new independent survey by the National Research Bureau (NRB). The phone survey of more than 400 residents found 94% were very or fairly satisfied with the quality of our parks and reserves including the world-class Pukekura Park while 94% were also happy with how easy it is to access the district’s natural environment. That satisfaction with parks and green spaces contributed to some 76% of residents saying the quality of life in the district was very good, well above the national average of 40%. The District also scored well on financial management, with 84% of respondents either fairly satisfied or very satisfied with how rates were being invested. “Our vision is to Build a Lifestyle Capital and this independent data shows we are on the right track to achieving that. Investment in our parks and great community facilities like the Coastal Walkway has been money invested wisely as they are a big part of so many people’s daily lives. It’s also satisfying to see support for how rates are being used as we manage assets worth $2.6 billion and a $155 million annual operating budget,” says New Plymouth District Mayor Neil Holdom. Other key findings of the Communitrak survey by NRB include: 89% of residents were satisfied with the district’s urban landscapes and streets 88% of people who contacted NPDC in the last year were satisfied the help they received 90% were very or fairly satisfied with Puke Ariki’s Museum 78% were happy with the quality of the district’s roads 84% were happy with the Todd Energy Aquatic Centre and the community pools. Meanwhile, Stats NZ’s Wellbeing Statistics for 2018 show Taranaki had the highest mean overall rating for life satisfaction compared to other regions. The data also revealed the province had the highest rating for people feeling safe in their neighbourhood and the highest percent rating for residents having enough money to meet everyday needs. View the full survey here. Please note this will download as a PDF.