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News Events and Exhibitions People Lifestyle Local Poster showing someone's hand holding a Polaroid photo showing a boy at Puke Ariki museum. Text says tell us your favourite museum memory Share your Puke Ariki memories 03 July 2019 Do you remember your first visit to Puke Ariki? What's your favourite all time exhibition? Do you have photos from the Taranaki Museum? We would love to hear from you! On 28 August 1919 the Taranaki Museum opened its doors for the very first time, and now a century later Puke Ariki will be marking this milestone during the last week of August in all sorts of exciting ways (details coming very soon!) and we want YOU to be part of it! Our community is an integral part of the Museum’s history and success and we would love to hear your fondest memories from any time in the past century - so send us your stories, old photographs or videos. We’d like to hear from anyone who has a connection, whether from going to Puke Ariki as a child, delving into their collections as a researcher or just because you’re a long-time fan with a favourite memory to share. Puke Ariki are collecting your Museum Memories throughout July and their favourites will be included in a digital display as part of the August celebrations at Puke Ariki.
News Our Work Kristian Davies with Truxor Pukekura Park work to create inner city haven for wildlife 28 June 2019 Desilting NPDC’s Pukekura Park lakes will be the first step in creating a rare inner city haven for some of our native wildlife. Often called the jewel in New Plymouth’s crown, the park is also home for kākahi (freshwater mussels) and banded kokopu. But silt has been building up in the park’s waterways in recent years, and contractors will start trial work to clear them next month. The trial, phase 1 of a multi-million-dollar project, will use a one-person Truxor amphibious dredge. Made in Sweden, the Truxor runs on rubber caterpillar tracks to avoid damaging the paths and it can carry a range of tools for removing silt and debris. The Truxor has already been used successfully on projects for Auckland Council and in other parts of the country. “NPDC’s Pukekura Park is a Garden of National Significance and holds the Green Flag of a world-class park. It’s the green heart of New Plymouth – we have to keep it pumping so locals and visitors continue to enjoy it,” said NPDC Infrastructure Manager David Langford. “It’s also a rare urban habitat for some of our native species and we need to give them an environment where they can flourish,” said Mr Langford.  “The last attempt to desilt the lakes hit technical problems, and we don’t want to repeat the mistakes of the past which is why we’re doing extensive trials. It’s a major project and we want to ensure ratepayers’ money is being spent wisely so these trials will tell us if it works as a large scale project.” As well as the plant-life on the banks, the lakes are also home to eels (tuna), kōura (crayfish) and other water life. Desilting the lakes would also make a better home for native birds such as the kawau paka (little shag), which can be seen in the trees on the banks, and pūtangitangi (paradise shelduck), an unusual duck because the female has a pure white head making it more eye-catching than the male. If the trial is successful, visitors should see clearer water and fewer weeds in the lakes, and it should put an end to the distinctive smell that can come with low water levels. The trial will take place in the Main Lake and the tributary waterway in the Truby King Dell which runs between Brooklands Road and Vogeltown Park. “We’re asking our community to bear with us as NPDC carries out this essential work to care for our environment and maintain one of our district’s star attractions,” said Mr Langford. It’s been more than 20 years since the lakes were last fully desilted, and this is a multi-million project which will be done in phases.  How the desilting trial will work: The Truxor uses a range of tools for collecting and chopping up silt and debris from the lake floor. This is sucked up through a hose and pumped to a Geotube bag, which looks like a large tube. The Geotube keeps in the silt and allows the water to drain back into the lakes. When the water has drained, the Geotube with its sludge is trucked away to be disposed of in an environmentally-friendly way.
News Huatoki Plaza, New Plymouth Huatoki Plaza to go green in CBD revamp 21 June 2019 NPDC is to give the Huatoki Plaza a green makeover in the first step towards creating a sustainable and more welcoming CBD. The move follows the two successful mayoral 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. Out will go much of the concrete on the top level of the plaza and the tarmac in James Lane. In will come lawn and native plants such as nikau to soften the concrete edges and help filter the breeze through the plaza. Other changes include: New seats with USB charging ports. New lighting in the plaza and James Lane. A pathway connecting Devon and Ariki streets. Removing the big yellow roof that currently forms a wind tunnel through the plaza. NPDC intends to reuse it at The Junction, the community’s Zero Waste centre that is being developed on Colson Road. NPDC is also working with the owners of buildings next to James Lane about opening into the laneway and creating more vibrancy. “Imagine coming to meet friends for lunch or sit and have a coffee in a green space bang in the middle of town. Our community has told us they want a CBD that welcomes families and puts pedestrians first, a place people want to visit and hang out,” said NPDC Regulatory Solutions Manager Katrina Brunton. “The CBD is the business centre of our district as well as the cultural and social hub. We all have a stake in success. NPDC is listening to our community and we’ll be working together for its sustainable future.” Participants in the two CBD forums highlighted themes to improve city centre, including: More green spaces, such as “pocket parks”. A greater focus on pedestrians with more paths to get round the CBD. 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 in the CBD.
News Our Work Leopard tortoises at Brooklands Zoo Wai Warrior message brings tasty reward for leopard tortoises 14 June 2019 They might be slow but two new leopard tortoises at NPDC’s Brooklands Zoo have been quick off the mark to take up the Wai Warrior message. Kids will help newcomers Kobe and Kamba to settle in with some tasty treats thanks to a new rainwater tank installed next to their habitat. “We’re encouraging children to use it to water the plants that the tortoises will eat, so they’ll be actively involved in the care of our new animals,” says NPDC Infrastructure Manager David Langford. The rainwater will also be used for cleaning paths and the tortoises’ new home. “It’s a chance for visitors to think about how they might store and use rainwater around their own homes. We can all make small changes in our water use that can add up to a big saving,” says Mr Langford. “We’re really happy that we can combine a fun new animal habitat with smart and easy water-saving tips.” Brooklands Zoo has been exploring ways to reduce its water use. Initiatives including the recently upgraded otter enclosure water recycling system could save as much as 90% of the water used by the zoo. Leopard tortoises fast facts The leopard tortoises were born in Auckland Zoo but have come to Brooklands Zoo from Ti Point Reptile Park in Auckland. Kobe (Swahili for ‘tortoise’) and Kamba (‘tortoise shell’) are currently 30cm long and weigh 3kg-5kg. They’re expected to grow up to 2ft/32kg, and can live for up to 100 years. Brooklands Zoo fast facts Brooklands Zoo opened in 1965. Zoo is open seven days a week and is visited by more than 110,000 people each year. It’s home to a diverse range of species from farm animals to meerkats. As well as the leopard tortoises, another recent addition was a scheltopusik, or European legless lizard.
News Waitara Board announced for multi-million dollar investment in Waitara 14 June 2019 Six representatives have been chosen for a Board to oversee the new Waitara Perpetual Community Fund, created as part of the Waitara Lands Act, which came into force in March. The Act allows leaseholders to buy their leased land on 770 Waitara properties valued at about $90 million and there have been approximately 300 expressions of interest in freeholding. The proceeds from the land sales will be divided into three funds for the benefit of the town: The Waitara Perpetual Community Fund to support community projects. A ring-fenced Hapū Land Fund. Te Kōwhatu Tū Moana* (TKTM) will decide how this fund will be distributed. A fund to support Waitara River and environment projects managed by Taranaki Regional Council and iwi and hapū with interests in the river. The Board members of the Waitara Perpetual Community Fund are: Pat Bodger (TKTM) Donna Eriwata (TKTM) Mawhaturia White (TKTM) Graham Armstrong (NPDC) Pauline Lockett (NPDC) Darrel Nicholas (NPDC). NPDC and TKTM each selected three board members and an alternate. The positions were advertised and potential Board members interviewed. “We’ve been able to form a highly competent Board with a wide range of skills and a passion for the Waitara Community prepared to lay the foundations for the next chapter in the town’s history. It’s an exciting time as after 30 years of mahi and negotiations on the Waitara Lands Act, it is finally beginning to come alive. It’s a great example of NPDC and iwi/hapū working together for the benefit of Waitara,” said New Plymouth District Mayor Neil Holdom. “Te Kōwhatu Tū Moana is pleased with the quality of the inaugural Board and congratulate all members. We look forward to the Board working through its establishment phase and determining those matters of importance to support the Waitara community,” said TKTM chair Jamie Tuuta. For more information on the Waitara Lands Act visit: www.newplymouthnz.com *Te Kōwhatu Tū Moana is the trust Board that represents Manukorihi and Otaraua hapū.
News Lifestyle woman walking on teh footpath with a reusable bag Less plastic, more fantastic 12 June 2019 Another big step towards Zero Waste is on its way. There are new nation-wide rules around single-use bags coming our way. From 1 July all thin single-use plastic bags with handles will be banned. Supermarkets have already made big changes, but this will affect all businesses, from takeaway stores and corner store retailers to farmers markets. Most shoppers have already got a selection of reusable bags so they should be ready to go when the changes kick in. Just remember to take them with you to any kind of shop, whether you’re picking up takeaways or stocking up on socks! Not all plastic bags are covered by this new rule, for example heavy-duty plastic bags and bags without handles (like those you put your fruit in). So this is a good chance to look at other ways to cut down on single-use plastic that may be available. You can: Take a mesh bag to the supermarket to pop your fruit in. Wash and reuse zip-lock bags for nuts and snacks rather than getting a new one each time. Say no to heavy-duty plastic bags from retailers and use one of your reusable ones instead. Choose brands that use paper or recyclable packaging over those packaged in non-recyclable soft plastics. Take your own clean container to your supermarket deli or take away shop, then wash and reuse. If you’re a business owner you can find more information on the changes here, or give us a call on 06-759 6060.
News Our Work Liardet Street Plas Mix road trial Zero Waste hits the road as NPDC trials plastic roading system 07 June 2019 It may look like an ordinary stretch of inner-city road, but below the surface, New Plymouth’s Liardet Street contains an innovation that could lead the next recycling revolution. World-leading technology is being used to take waste plastic from NPDC’s kerbside recycling collection in New Plymouth and mixing it into asphalt to make a new type of road resurfacing. NPDC, EnviroNZ, Road Science and Downer have partnered to test the new material, Plas Mix, on a section of Liardet Street leading up to Pukekura Park.  The project, a New Zealand-first, has been driven by New Plymouth District’s vision of Zero Waste, says NPDC Infrastructure Manager David Langford. “It looks just like an ordinary road surface, but there’s actually the equivalent of more than 83,300 yogurt pots inside,” Mr Langford says. “After China stopped accepting the world’s recycling we found it increasingly difficult to sell our 3-7 plastics. Instead of stockpiling or landfilling these plastics, we took this as an opportunity to innovate and come up with a better solution, which is where the idea to put it into asphalt came from. “Road Science laboratory testing has shown the new material is stronger and should perform better than standard asphalt while also being cost effective, but the proof is in a real-world trial on our roads. So we’ll be monitoring closely how it performs over the next several months.” Murray Robertson from Road Science says: “The creation of Plas Mix is a collaboration between two commercial companies actively working together to solve significant local and global waste minimisation issues. The team are tasked with developing a meaningful outcome that can successfully repurpose waste plastic while not compromising the integrity of the pavement solutions.”  Mr Langford says finding a local solution for 3-7 plastics is an opportunity to take ownership of the end use of a difficult waste rather than exporting it for someone else to manage. “Previously we’ve had to pay to export these plastics more than 10,000km to be recycled overseas. For this trial, the plastic has only travelled about 10 to 15km from where it was picked up at the kerbside to finishing its journey on Liardet Street, which is much more sustainable for our environment. “If this proves successful, there’s the potential to reuse a big portion of our region’s residential waste plastics locally here in Taranaki. That will be much more sustainable in the long-run, saving our ratepayers money and cutting our carbon footprint as well as taking a huge step towards us becoming a Zero Waste district.” This is the first time in New Zealand that residential plastics have been incorporated into road resealing, with 500kg of residential plastics being used in this trial.  Both asphalt and plastics are made from crude oil.
News Megan Wells with Vivienne Brown and the All Blacks jersey 'Invincibles' All Blacks jersey donated to NPDC's Puke Ariki 31 May 2019 All Blacks legend Handley Brown’s jersey from the 1924/5 ‘Invincibles’ tour has been gifted to NPDC’s Puke Ariki.  Brown’s daughter-in-law Vivienne Brown, the widow of All Blacks great Ross Brown, and four generations of the famous Taranaki family presented the jersey to the museum in April after talking to Te Pua Wānanga O Taranaki/Taranaki Research Centre about preserving it for future generations. After spending the last 90 or so years in first a tin and then a box with tissue paper, the jersey is now in the Puke Ariki collection and will go on display during the Rugby World Cup. “My family and I wanted the jersey to remain here in Taranaki. Handley was born here and it is only right that his jersey from the tour remains in the place he called home,” says Mrs Brown. “We know the staff at Puke Ariki will look after it and preserve it properly.” Handley Brown played 20 times for the All Blacks between 1924 and 1926 and was part of the team who became known as The Invincibles after a dominating tour of the UK, France, Ireland and Canada, winning all 32 games. Brown also played 49 times for Taranaki between 1923 and 1930. Mrs Brown says the jersey is in great condition for its age and has been only occasionally brought out of its box as she has kept it away from her many grand and great-grandchildren’s fingers! She is also keen to donate other All Blacks and Taranaki rugby memorabilia from Ross Brown’s distinguished playing career.  “This is a fantastic addition to the Puke Ariki collection and we are honoured that the Brown family has entrusted the care of the jersey to us,” says Puke Ariki Social History Curator, Megan Wells. “This is an item of national significance and is sure to appeal to all visitors but especially All Blacks and rugby fans. “It’s a special year for Puke Ariki as we celebrate 100 years of museums in Taranaki and we are looking forward to displaying the All Blacks jersey to complement the Whare Kahurangi exhibition.” About the donation process Are you interested in donating family or community heritage items to Puke Ariki to help us preserve, document and tell the stories of the Taranaki region and its people? The first step is to contact one of Puke Ariki’s curators to discuss your options. You can call in to the Taranaki Research Centre or contact us via the website https://pukeariki.com/research-and-heritage/donating-to-the-collection/ Puke Ariki and libraries fact file It first opened on 15 June 2003. The total number of visitors to Puke Ariki and district libraries in the 2016/17 year was 809,036. In that same period, Puke Ariki and community libraries issued 792,563 items. It is the world’s first purpose-built, fully integrated museum, library and visitor information centre. Puke Ariki has three long-term galleries (Takapou Whāriki, Taranaki Naturally and the Gallery of Taranaki Life) and components of these get changed out regular
News Our Work Lifestyle Capuchin at Brooklands Zoo Brooklands Zoo maintains world-class standard in animal care 27 May 2019 The capuchins are happy and the birds are chirpy at NPDC’s Brooklands Zoo – and that’s because they’re getting world-class care. The Australasia-wide Zoo and Aquarium Association (ZAA) has renewed Brooklands Zoo’s accreditation, which shows it’s meeting the highest standards of animal welfare for a zoo. The ZAA assesses zoos every three years on to see they’re properly caring for each animal’s nutrition, health, behaviour and environment and ensuring the animals are mentally healthy and happy. Brooklands Zoo was first accredited in 2016 and the renewal shows its standards remain high. “NPDC’s professional keepers are committed to providing great care and also run a constant enrichment programme for each species to keep them mentally active and engaged in their habitats,” said NPDC Brooklands Zoo Coordinator Eve Cozzi. “Brooklands Zoo is also active in conservation and contributes to the world’s largest wildlife database that is helping to protect species and biodiversity.” Brooklands Zoo keepers have added information to the Zoological Information Management System (ZIMS), run by international conservation group Species360, on 570 birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals of 93 species since 2004. The contribution has helped fill an information gap with critical data on fertility and survival rates, diet, physical health and behaviour and other aspects of animals’ lives.
News Our Work Mangapouri Cemetery 2019 Our new district cemetery opens 24 May 2019 NPDC’s newest cemetery will open on Monday (27 May) – and it will maintain the park-like character of the district’s older burial grounds. Tree-planting and lawns on the first stage of the Mangapouri Cemetery have been completed and burial and ashes areas have been laid out. “Mangapouri has an awesome view of our maunga on a fine day. NPDC Parks staff have done a great job on the grounds and this setting will get even more beautiful as the trees and plants mature,” said NPDC Infrastructure Manager David Langford. “We’ve made sure there’s room to grow because we expect Mangapouri will serve the entire district for the next 50 years going on current burial and cremation rates.” The cemetery will be developed in four stages over more than 20 hectares by Lake Mangamahoe Forest and alongside State Highway 3. Work began on the site in 2012 with the removal of 11 hectares of pine trees and the first stage has been completed on time and on budget. NPDC administers 17 cemeteries and 15 of them are operational, and NPDC’s Parks staff care for the grounds and gardens.  A team of dedicated volunteers also helps care for Te Henui Cemetery, New Plymouth’s, first public cemetery, which has a five-star rating with TripAdvisor and is listed as an attraction in the annual Taranaki Garden Festival. Mangapouri sits alongside State Highway 3 and the main entrance is on Plantation Road, near the Taranaki Crematorium. Cemeteries and crematorium fact file There are about 400 ash and casket burial services each year. 15 of the total 17 cemeteries are operational. There are 360 cremations annually. Te Henui opened in 1861 and is the original New Plymouth public cemetery. Mangapouri Cemetery will serve as the district cemetery for the next 50 years.
News Our Work NPDC rubbish and recycling collection May 2019 Kerbside rubbish collection might extend to more rural areas 23 May 2019 Hundreds of rural residents in New Plymouth District are being asked if they want to receive a kerbside collection service for their rubbish and recycling.  NPDC is looking into increasing the number of households that receive the service. More than 800 properties in developing rural areas around the district have been contacted directly to see if they are interested in having the kerbside collection.  Those areas are Hurford Road in Omata, Inglewood rural, Pukearuhe, households along the trucks’ state highway routes, and areas on Mangorei, Frankley, Carrington and Smart roads in New Plymouth.  “As part of our work to become a Zero Waste district, we’re looking at new and increasingly populated areas where we can provide our kerbside pick-up in an economical way,” says NPDC Manager Resource Recovery Kimberley Hope.  The city and town boundaries have grown since the last time the collection area was extended in the mid-2000s, and some rural areas have become more intensely populated with lifestyle blocks.  “By extending the collection area, we’d be able to better protect the district’s environment from litter and dumping and also make recycling easier for those residents,” says Mrs Hope.  If the collection area is extended, those properties would receive the kerbside service from the end of September. This would coincide with the district’s new kerbside collection system, which will see the existing red rubbish bags replaced with wheelie bins for rubbish plus the introduction of a 23L food-waste bin.  NPDC is also contacting businesses in New Plymouth’s central business district to see if they are interested in receiving NPDC’s rubbish and recycling service.
News Our Work Coastal Walkway 2019 Lower rates for NPDC ratepayers as budget for the next year confirmed 22 May 2019 NPDC’s annual budget for the coming year (1 July – 30 June 2020) has been approved with the focus remaining on improving and future-proofing core infrastructure while delivering value for money for ratepayers. The Council Meeting on 21 May adopted the 2019/20 Annual Plan which includes a reduced rates rise from approximately 5% to 4.6%. For the average residential ratepayer that’s about 3.82%. “We’re pleased that careful financial management means the required rates rise will be lower than we expected in the 10-Year Plan. Our residents want to see us focusing on core infrastructure and we believe we’re doing that with a huge range of investments in our three waters, roads and our journey to Zero Waste 2040. We’re working towards Building a Lifestyle Capital and making a tangible difference to the lives of the people in our district,” says New Plymouth District Mayor Neil Holdom. The lower-than-expected rates rise follows the general rates operating surplus for 2017/18 of $320,000, the Perpetual Investment Fund making a return of $21 million and Standard and Poor’s reconfirmed NPDC’s financial rating as ‘AA/A-1’, the highest a local government body in New Zealand can get.  Key projects for the district include: New reservoirs at Henwood and Mountain roads as part of $8.4m invested in drinking water. $7m on improvements to the New Plymouth Waste Water Treatment Plant and pumping stations. $850,000 for stormwater projects including work in Waitara. $1.6m to start extending the Coastal Walkway to Waitara. $4m on Zero Waste initiatives including kerbside collection improvements and the opening of a new recycling facility on Colson Road – The Junction. As part of the Annual Plan process, NPDC’s Lets Kōrero public conversations listened and received feedback on: the extension of the Coastal Walkway to Waitara, what to do with the Colson Road lanfill when it closes and should NPDC be doing more to stop pests. More than 1,500 written submissions were received and the feedback will help shape NPDC’s ideas and future planning on the three issues.  NPDC manages assets valued at $2.7 billion and has a yearly operating budget of approximately $150 million. It manages an 800 kilometre water network, more than 1,270 kilometres of roads, 1,600 hectares of parks and open spaces, 1,730 properties, Brooklands Zoo, four swimming pools, Puke Ariki, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, TSB Showplace and TSB Stadium, and TSB Festival of Lights
News Scheltopusik Brooklands Zoo May 2019 Legless lizard Marcella joins NPDC's Brooklands Zoo 20 May 2019 Is it a snake? Guess again. The latest species to join NPDC’s Brooklands Zoo is actually a scheltopusik, also known as a European legless lizard. Marcella, a female scheltopusik, has come from Wellington Zoo and will be meeting the public at her habitat next to the barn building this weekend. While she looks like a snake, Marcella has two very tiny stubs of legs at the base of her tail. And unlike a snake, she also has eyelids and earholes. Marcella is the second new species to make a home at Brooklands Zoo this year, after the successful introduction of two red-rumped agouti, large South American rodents, in February. Marcella will join our other animals to teach the kids about the awesome wonders of nature and add to the attraction of NPDC’s Brooklands Zoo as a great day out for all the family, said NPDC External Relations Manager Jacqueline Baker. “As well as keeping Marcella properly fed and housed, NPDC zookeepers do an amazing job of enriching the lives of all our animals through activities and changes to their habitats. This keeps them mentally and physically healthy,” says Ms Baker. “Scheltopusik usually eat insects, but the keepers have discovered Marcella likes her vegies, especially mashed up fresh peas.” Marcella’s parents came from Amsterdam to Wellington Zoo, where she was found as an egg in November 2017. She hatched on 22 January last year. Scheltopusik factfile: Scheltopusik (Pseudopus apodus) are native from mainland Europe through to Central Asia and their name comes from the Russian for “yellow belly”. They are solitary and live in scrubby vegetation, rocky outcrops and sparse woodland. They like a dry climate but will come after the rain to hunt for snails and slugs. Their main diet is insects but they also eat eggs, very small mammals and birds. They can grow from about 15cm long when they hatch up to 1.35 metres in length as adults. Females lay eggs and when they hatch after around 50 days. Scheltopusik have a unique lateral groove that runs down each side of its body. Like other lizards it has the ability to shed its tail if under threat, but it prefers to twist, hiss and bite to defend itself. Brooklands Zoo factfile: Brooklands Zoo opened in 1965. The zoo is open seven days a week and is visited by about 113,000 people each year. It’s home to a diverse range of species from farm animals, reptiles and amphibians to meerkats, Bolivian squirrel monkeys, cotton-top tamarins and capuchins. The zoo has a walk-through aviary. It takes part in managed animal breeding programmes for many of the species at the zoo including the cotton-top tamarins and capuchin monkeys. It has a Wildlife Act Authority permit from DOC to help with rehabilitating injured wild birds.
News Our Work Virtual Reality at Puke Ariki for Techweek 2019: theBlu NPDC's hi-tech Puke Ariki gets its own VR room 17 May 2019 NPDC’s Puke Ariki has become the first library in New Zealand to have a dedicated Virtual Reality room for use by schools, disability and community groups.  The hi-tech VR facility has been set up for Techweek 2019 where visitors will get the chance to walk through a surrealist Salvador Dali painting, explore the ocean or paint the world with particles from the big bang. The VR room is already a hit with all 112 experiences for Techweek now booked out but the resource will be in place permanently with plans to use it with content created for future exhibitions and also as an educational tool for school groups and community organisations.  The new installation confirms Puke Ariki’s position as a world-leader in library technology, Acting Puke Ariki Manager Colleen Mullin says. “From the QuickCheck system which makes taking out books so easy to free wifi and computers for library users, Puke Ariki uses technology to make the library experience even better. Libraries have always played an instrumental role in bringing new technology to communities - from bound pages and VHS tapes, to MP3s and eBooks streaming directly from the cloud,” she says.  She says Puke Ariki is excited to be one of Techweek New Zealand’s highlight events and to be able to bring Virtual Reality experiences to the New Plymouth District. “The VR technology is a fantastic community resource and we are looking forward to using it with content created just for exhibitions and further experiences offered in the libraries.” For those wanting to learn more about VR and its future uses, Puke Ariki will be hosting a Tech Talk on 22 May at 5.30pm. There will be a speaker from engineering consultants WSP Opus who will explain how they are using VR in the business world.  VR will also be coming to NPDC’s community libraries with Oculus Go stand-alone sets offering visitors the chance to explore new worlds from the comfort of their local library.  Other hi-tech features at NPDC’s libraries include the Robots Roadshow which is a favourite with children during school holidays. Puke Ariki’s digital library continues to expand with more than 38,000 eBooks and eAudiobooks now in circulation. Library cardholders also have access to Press Reader with thousands of publications from across the world and also Kanopy and Beamafilm, both of which have hundreds of films and documentaries available for library users to view. The library’s research centre is continuing to digitise its extensive heritage collections so archives will also be available at the touch of a button.  Techweek fast facts Techweek runs from 20 to 26 May. This is the second year Puke Ariki has been involved. Techweek provides a platform to showcase and encourage people to get involved with New Zealand’s technology and innovation sectors. It started in 2012 and has been a national event for the last three years. Puke Ariki’s Virtual Reality experience is one of the 2019 national highlight events. For more details head to techweek.co.nz
Our Work News Areta Kune Kune Pig at Brooklands Zoo NPDC's zoo and the power of positive training 16 May 2019 Brooklands Zoo staff are using the power of positive training to cut down on stress and make our furry friends happier.  A good training programme really helps our staff care for the wide variety of animals at the zoo. It can help make stress events such as injections potentially less stressful events and we’ve even been able to turn the events into something the animals look forward to. Our kune kune pigs, Areta and Pig Pig, are learning co-operative care using a target training technique. This is where they touch their nose to a coloured shape on the end of a stick. Routine injections (for worming prevention) can be quite upsetting, especially for our more sensitive souled pig, Areta, so hopefully soon she won't blink an eye when the real deal is due again. Both our girls can now touch their nose to their target sticks to signal they are ready to be touched. When they target the stick, we touch the rump and neck in a way that simulates injections. If they remove their nose from the target stick, we stop touching them. This means the pig essentially has control over what is happening and they learn to trust that we will stop when they stop touching the stick. They are steadily improving. Our piggy pals are also learning the cue ‘open’. This is where they open their mouths on cue to enable us to check their teeth. As you can imagine pigs are prone to teeth issues, so training will help us catch any issues in the early stages. Both pigs now open their mouths and say the pig equivalent of ‘aaagh’ on cue. The next step is building width, so they consistently open their mouths nice and wide. Then it will be: duration – holding their mouths open long enough for us to have a good look. Wish us luck!  Our delightful alpacas Liquorice, Cinnamon and Ricotta are doing amazingly with their halter training. Long gone are the days where zookeepers had to chase them around the paddock to halter them. These days we simply hold their halters out and they walk right into them, such is the power of positive reinforcement training.  Our meerkats, even our more recent arrivals, Aziza and Tamela, are also doing beautifully with their crate training. Lindiwe, one of the older girls, tries to climb in her crate before it's even on the ground! And cotton-top tamarin Inca has come along in leaps and bounds with her training programme. She now enters her crate on cue and sits happily while the door is shut. She gets a juicy locust as a reward. This is a far cry from having to net her as we had to do previously.  This is just a small sample of the neat things we are achieving with our animals - building trust and helping make the lives stress-free as possible for our furry and feathered friends. Written by Brooklands Zookeeper, Kelly Green
News Lifestyle Man standing on beach with sun setting behind him Watch video: Region to get $27m new energy development centre 13 May 2019 Watch this short video that looks at our future as we transition to a zero carbon economy here. Taranaki’s position as ground zero for New Zealand’s move to a low-emissions economy has been cemented by last week’s Just Transition Summit. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern opened the two-day event on 9 May and announced $27 million in funding to build a National New Energy Development Centre in the region as well as $20m for cutting-edge energy research. New Plymouth District Mayor Neil Holdom has welcomed the investment which he says shows the Government is ready to support the community. Other keynote speakers at the TSB Stadium summit included film-maker and environment campaigner James Cameron and his wife Suzy Amis Cameron and musician turned campaigner Peter Garrett while Minister of Finance Grant Robertson, Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods, Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor and Minister for Climate Change James Shaw also attended. Co-hosted by NPDC and MBIE, the Taranaki 2050 Draft Roadmap on how to move to a low-emissions economy was released by Venture Taranaki at the Summit which also featured discussions on hydrogen, agriculture and the changing economics of the 21st century.
News Lifestyle NPDC Open Space Planner Sam Mortensen May 2019 Green-fingered can lend a hand at Mangorei Road planting day 09 May 2019 NPDC is bedding in the latest addition to our lifestyle capital – and you could help by making New Zealand’s next world-class walk a little greener. NPDC and Taranaki Conservationists are teaming up for a planting day this Saturday at the car park at the Mangorei Road gateway to the Pouakai Crossing. Landscaping is still taking place around the car park, which was finished in February, and the native trees, shrubs and ferns have been chosen because they suit the mountain environment. “NPDC is giving about 2,700 plants to the project and it’s a great way for people to do their bit in building a lifestyle capital,” said NPDC Group Manager Strategy Liam Hodgetts. “The car park is a key facility for one of our premier tourist attractions, the Pouakai Crossing, and it’s expected to be well-used by people entering from the Mangorei Track. It’s also part of Tapuae Roa, Taranaki’s economic development strategy.” The whole family is welcome to come along at 9.30am to help out. Sturdy shoes are recommended and be prepared for any sort of weather.
News Our Work Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre Sense Art Tour 2019 Gallery up for two national awards 03 May 2019 Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre is a finalist in two categories in this year’s ServiceIQ NZ Museum Awards.  The NPDC-run gallery and cultural hub has been nominated in the Kia Toi Te Reo Most Innovative Use of Te Reo Māori section for the Kūreitanga II, IV artwork and is in the running for Arts Access Aoteaora Museums Award for the popular Sense Art Tours.  “It’s fantastic to see our Gallery nominated in two categories,” says NPDC Recreation and Culture Manager Teresa Turner. “The Sense Art Tours are a great way of bringing art to those who are visually and hearing impaired and NPDC is pleased to see the hard work of the Gallery’s staff on this innovative programme recognised with this nomination. “We’re delighted to get a nomination for the use of Te Reo Māori as well. The district’s cultural hub strives to be a place for the whole community.” The awards celebrate the work of New Zealand’s museums and art galleries. Riah King-Wall, Strategic Lead: Creative Industries and Arts, Whanganui and Partners, who sat on the judging panel, said: “The outstanding calibre of entrants received across all categories is a hugely positive indication of the strength of our sector.” The winners will be revealed at an awards ceremony at Te Papa, Wellington, on Wednesday 22 May. 
News People Events and Exhibitions Pooches Pool Party 2017 NPDC's pool paw-fect place for a pooch party 03 May 2019 It’s time to raise the woof for New Plymouth’s premier outdoor pool party at NPDC’s Todd Energy Aquatic Centre.  The annual Pooches Pool Party on Saturday 4 May will be the final splash of TEAC’s outdoor season. “We’re squeezing every last drop of fun out of our water as the outdoor pools close for the winter, so get the family down to the pools and be ready to get wet with your pet,” said NPDC’s Recreation and Culture Manager Teresa Turner. “It’s the one day of the year that dogs can go for a dip at TEAC and we’ll have games and competitions, such as dogs in togs, swimming races, long jump and musical chairs, with prizes too.” Entry is by gold coin with all proceeds going to the North Taranaki SPCA. More FM will be there to keep the party rocking along from 1-3pm. More than 400 dogs brought their owners last year, raising about $1,300 for the SPCA. NPDC animal control officers will be on hand, along with other animal groups and experts.  Dog owners are advised to bring their togs and read the conditions of entry before coming. These are: Dogs must be registered, vaccinated and socialised. Owners must clean up after their dogs. Bags are available. Owners must be prepared to assist dogs in the water if required. Please keep your dog on a lead unless in the pool. Note the steps and ramps for the dogs to enter and exit pools.
Our Work News Shuan McGill on Civic Centre roof Second Project on Civic Centre roof underway 02 May 2019 The most important skill in Shaun McGill’s scaffolding job is vision. Roof repairs on the South Wing of the nearly 30 year old Civic Centre building in central New Plymouth, housing commercial tenants and council staff, have now been safely completed. Shaun is the leading hand for New Plymouth firm Chain Scaffolding which has been working on the roof repair project. He has worked as a scaffolder in New Zealand and Australia for 15 years and every job requires him to look ahead at the different challenges of each building. “You really do need vision for this work. Every building is unique. You need to plan how to fit the scaffolding around it so people can move safely and efficiently.” With work on the South Wing roof completed on schedule, NPDC is making the most of the scaffolding team’s vision and equipment. A second project involving repairs on the Civic Centre atrium and the roofs over the Council Chamber and the Chamber foyer is now underway. “If you hire scaffolding to fix the roof of your house, it makes sense to use it for other jobs that need fixing while you have it. It’s good housekeeping to get as much as you can for your buck,” says NPDC Infrastructure Manager David Langford. “Shaun and the team did an excellent job on the South Wing roof work, which included painting, and we still have a window of reasonably decent weather to get this second project done too.” The roof repairs are the first on the building since it was built in the 1990s. Tenants in the building bring in income of close to $500,000 each year and the repair work is expected to last another three decades. $2.1 million has been allocated for this work programme from existing budgets.