News and Notices

News People Chris Connelly at Pukekura Park with one of the 6 Green Flags that was awarded to the park during his term as curator Curator Chris says caring for Pukekura Park has been a privilege 20 January 2019 The job of keeping the international Green Flag flying over NPDC’s world-class Pukekura Park is changing hands. Curator Chris Connolly is retiring this month and passing the banner to newly-returned Kiwi expat Kristian Davies. Mr Connolly says he’s had a “fantastic” 12 years at the helm of the jewel in New Plymouth’s crown. “Managing NPDC’s Pukekura Park has been an absolute privilege. New Plymouth’s founders had great foresight to create such a fantastic and lasting asset back in 1876. It’s nationally significant,” says Mr Connolly. Among his achievements, he has built on Pukekura’s reputation by helping to establish WOMAD as an annual fixture at Brooklands Park and supporting the development and success of the TSB Festival of Lights. For the last six years, Pukekura Park has earned a Green Flag, the international award for the world’s best parks and green spaces. The keen surfer now plans to spend more time with his family, including two young grandchildren, and at some of his favourite breaks, such as Waiwhakaiho, the Kumara Patch, Back Beach and Graveyards. “NPDC would like to thank Chris for his hard work and the great job he has done looking after and improving Pukekura Park,” says NPDC Chief Operating Officer Kelvin Wright. “We wish him all the best in the future and a happy retirement.” Mr Davies, 42, takes over the reins after spending 15 years in London, where he ran his own landscaping business. He was keen to get back to a lifestyle that embraced his love of surfing, fishing and hiking – and New Plymouth ticked all the boxes. He previously worked at the Auckland regional botanic gardens, where he developed an expertise in camellias, magnolias and Asiatic plants. “I love the history of Pukekura Park. It has a great team it’s a fantastic conservation asset and seed bank. I’ll be looking to carry on the vision and keep the Green Flag flying,” said Mr Davies. Chris Connolly fast facts Born in Christchurch in 1953. Family: Married, three sons, two grandchildren. Education: trained first as a teacher before travelling and working overseas and studying horticultural science at Lincoln University. Work history: teacher in Auckland, horticulture worker in Canterbury, Parks worker at Gore Borough Council, Parks supervisor at Manukau City Council, Parkscape Services Manager at NPDC, Curator at Pukekura Park. Developments at Pukekura Park under his management include: New main playground plus shade sails Queen Elizabeth II Fountain upgrade New lookout platform over the Main Lake Pest management programme resulting in more native birds Upgrade of the Fernery and Display Houses.
Lifestyle News Our Work Events and Exhibitions zero waste station at A Summers Day concert at the TSB Bowl of Brooklands NPDC and volunteer power keep concert waste out of landfill 17 January 2019 An army of Zero Waste warriors and a great response from concert-goers helped NPDC keep 95% of waste out of landfill after Friday’s TSB Bowl of Brooklands concert. A crowd of 8,500 saw Toto, Jefferson Starship and Dragon rock the Bowl for the A Summer’s Day Live gig. As part of the Toitopu Toiora Taranaki Green Initiative, new recycling and waste stations were rolled out across the Bowl and volunteers were on hand to help concert-goers go green. Just six wheelie bins of rubbish had to go to landfill with the rest of the 35 cubic metres of waste either recycled or composted. “To keep 95% of waste out of the landfill is an amazing result,” says NPDC Chief Operating Officer Kelvin Wright. “We’d like to thank the army of volunteers who did an awesome job on the night and the next day. It’s this kind of can-do attitude which will help our journey to Zero Waste 2040.” Volunteers included members of Taranaki Conservationists and Pare Kore who worked late into Friday night and the next morning to pick up any waste concert-goers left behind. As well as the new recycling and waste stations, it’s estimated that up to 5,500 single-use cups were kept out of landfill by the use of NZ-made Globelets. Food vendors also switched to compostable materials. The Toitopu Toiora Taranaki Green Initiative will feature at other Bowl concerts such as The Hollies on 1 March and Angus and Julia Stone on 31 March and will soon be available for hire at other community events. If you want to volunteer at future events, email us at npeventvenues@npdc.govt.nz.
News Lifestyle People Our Work Two lighting installations at the TSB Festival of Lights in 2019. Called Seed and Nebula Now. Magic of NPDC's TSB Festival of Lights inspires artists 17 January 2019 Arielle Walker and Jasmine Grace have vivid memories of visiting NPDC’s TSB Festival of Lights as kids and being captivated by the magic of the lights. Now they say they have come ‘full circle’ with a return to the Pukekura Park event as the artists and designers of two light installations at this season’s festival.  Arielle, co-designer and co-creator of Nebula Now, grew up in Auckland but would take a trip to the “magical” festival each year while visiting her dad’s hometown and staying with her grandparents for the summer. “The glow stones specifically stuck as an image in my head,” Arielle says. “I remember taking them home and couldn’t understand why they wouldn’t work anymore. It made the park seem like such a magical place and it was very cool as a kid to have that experience.” Arielle created Nebula Now with partner Liam Mullins and it features above the glow stones which are back at the Festival this season. “When we created Nebula Now all I could think of was this magical experience as a kid and wanting to recreate that feeling in an installation,” Arielle says. The installation is a chandelier created from repurposed, recycled Perspex materials and keychains and is illuminated by a UV black light which gives it a surreal, glowing appearance. “I remember saying to Liam if I could have this showing at Taranaki it would be the most incredible feeling. When I saw the open call go out I was so excited, because the Festival was exactly what the work was made for in my head. It felt like the perfect full circle,” she says. Jasmine, co-designer and co-creator of light installation Seed, grew up in New Plymouth in a family of artists. Her recollections of the Festival are associated with a family ritual of visiting the homes strung with Christmas lights, before going to the Festival “as a finale”. Seed was designed and created by Jasmine, Rachel Neser and Molly Brankin during their studies at Massey University, and the concept of the piece is inspired by nature’s stages of bloom and decay. The artwork is made up of a fine chicken wire that becomes invisible in darkness. It is then lit by a projection of digitally-edited video footage of flowers blooming. It was Jasmine’s tutor Antony Nevin who encouraged the artists to submit their artwork to the Festival. Jasmine travelled back to New Plymouth from Wellington to help with the installation of Seed last month. “I’m really glad I got to go along and install it. It felt like so much more of a success, and standing there thinking ‘I remember this place as a little girl’ was a cool feeling,” says Jasmine. NPDC Recreation and Culture Manager Teresa Turner said it was fantastic that the TSB Festival of Lights was now inspiring a new generation of artists and designers. “We’ve had 10 new installations this season including these great designs by Arielle and Jasmine,” she says. “We’re delighted to see home-grown talent coming through with original ideas that keep the Festival fresh for the 125,000 who visit Pukekura Park each season.” Seed and Nebula Now are on display in Pukekura Park until Sunday 3 February. Festival facts The TSB Festival of Lights runs for seven weeks each summer and is seen by 125,000 visitors. The lighting route is 3.5 kilometres of walkways through Pukekura Park. The lights are on for 49 nights. More than 22 staff and volunteers work behind the scenes each night at the festival. It takes five weeks to install route lighting, speciality light installations and cabling through the park for the festival. Last season’s festival added nearly $5 million in value to the Taranaki economy and brought in 9,600 visitors to New Plymouth. More than 55 members of the community have volunteered their time to help festival visitors find their way around the event.
News Our Work Lifestyle Woman and children walking in Egmont National Park Take the bus up the mountain thanks to NPDC and DOC 15 January 2019 Update 1 March The shuttle bus is running again this weekend. The free service will run from a new location on Egmont Road from tomorrow (Saturday) - just look for the car park signs. The first bus leaves the car park at 7.30am and the last bus leaves the North Egmont Visitors Centre about 4.30pm. Update 5 February Due to high demand we are increasing the service. The shuttle will increase it's hours of service to run from 5am to 4:30pm and it will run approximately every half hour. The shuttle will also be available on both Waitangi Day (6 February) and Taranaki Anniversary Day (11 March). Everyone is encouraged to use this service to take a little stress out of your day, and particularly if you are doing a summit hike or a multi-day hike we recommend you park at the Volcano View Cafe to make use of the free shuttle and help ease congestion at the North Egmont Visitors Centre carpark. Original article A new shuttle bus service is set to ease parking congestion at the North Egmont Visitors Centre, thanks to a collaboration between NPDC, the Department of Conservation (DOC) and the Volcano View Café. The trial service is set to take travellers from the café to the Visitors Centre from Saturday (19 January) through to early April. NPDC Infrastructure Manager David Langford says more and more visitors are coming to the region and the shuttle bus will help them enjoy walks and climbs on Mt Taranaki and the national park.  “A trip to Egmont National Park and our beautiful Mounga is one thing visitors like to tick off on their list of the many great things to do in Taranaki,” he says. “We’re seeing a big rise in visitors coming to see our beautiful part of the world and this new service is about improving access for everyone. We’d like to thank the owners of the Volcano View Café who have been so helpful and positive about this idea.” DOC Operations Manager Gareth Hopkins says: “The North Egmont Visitors Centre received approximately 10,000 visitors over the busy Christmas and New Year period. We want all visitors to the Mounga to enjoy their experience here, starting from a less congested car park and safer roads meaning a better experience for visitors to the area.” Visitors using the free bus, which is a joint initiative by NPDC and DOC, will be able to leave their vehicle at a car park near the Volcano View Café and the service runs on the hour from 9am to 5pm. The café will be open for travellers to enjoy some refreshments while they wait. This is the first ever shuttle bus to North Egmont and if the trial is successful it could be used each summer to cut the number of cars heading up Egmont Road to the mountain. NPDC has also improved access to the world-class Pouakai Crossing trek recently with a new car park and toilet block at the end of Mangorei Road which opened to visitors on Christmas Eve.
News Our Work General and recycling waste bins at Puekura Park NPDC's Bowl going greener for summer shows 10 January 2019 It’s not gonna take a lot for Toto fans to recycle and reuse thanks to a raft of new initiatives to keep NPDC’s TSB Bowl of Brooklands clean and green during concerts and festivals. Thousands will be heading to the Bowl tomorrow (11 January) to catch Toto, Californian rockers Jefferson Starship and Kiwi legends Dragon for the inaugural Summer’s Day Live concert series.  NPDC has joined together with Stratford and South Taranaki district councils, along with WOMAD organiser TAFT, to make it easier for concert-goers to go green with new rubbish and recycling stations. “The Bowl, a summer’s evening and great bands is a fantastic combination and it’s going to be another great season with The Hollies, WOMAD and Angus and Julia Stone still to come,” says NPDC Chief Operating Officer Kelvin Wright. “These new recycling and waste stations are a great idea and we’re delighted to be working with TAFT and South Taranaki and Stratford district councils. They’ll be used at events throughout Taranaki and will help us cut waste and for everyone to go greener as we work towards Zero Waste 2040.” The five waste stations are part of the Toitopu Toiora Taranaki Green Initiative which is a region-wide push to improve recycling at community events. Volunteers at the Toto event will help concert-goers to put their rubbish in the right bins. There will also be environmentally-friendly options for those enjoying a tipple and fine food to the sounds of Africa, Rosanna and Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now. In a bid to cut the use of single-use disposable plastic cups, bars will be serving concert-goers NZ-made Globelets for a small deposit, which can be reused and recycled. Food vendors will also be using compostable packaging. The waste stations can be used at all events across the region, from small community events to large concerts and are currently being used by visitors to NPDC’s TSB Festival of Lights which runs until 3 February in Pukekura Park. The introduction of the new waste stations follows WOMAD’s successful long-standing Zero Waste programme. They will also be used at The Hollies on 1 March and folk-indie sensations Angus and Julia Stone concert on 31 March.  Bowl fast facts The TSB Bowl of Brooklands is a unique permanent outdoor sound stage with a large grass amphitheatre set in Pukekura Park. The capacity is 15,000. Christmas at the Bowl has been staged there every year since 1999. Many major artists have performed at the Bowl, from Dame Kiri te Kanawa to Sir Elton John and R.E.M and Fleetwood Mac. The Bowl was built in 1957, and the first ever event there was The Festival of the Pines in  1958. It’s the venue for WOMAD each March.
Our Work News Lake Rotomanu Lake Rotomanu levels lower 09 January 2019 Lake Rotomanu’s outlet has sprung a leak and the water level is slightly lower than usual. We’re working to fix the problem, but it might take a while for the water to rise again. Please take extra care if you’re in or on the lake and remember to check the map of the lake at the boat ramp so you’re aware of possible risks from rocks.
Road Closure News Egmont Road closed for road markings 08 January 2019 There will be some road marking work on Egmont Road this Thursday (10 January) so the road will closed from about 3pm from the first set of gates at the start of Egmont National Park. The work will be happening at the North Egmont Visitor Centre car park, the Waiwhakaiho car park and Kaiauai Rock car park. If the work is delayed by the weather, the road marking will take place on 11 January. We’ll also be putting up a notice about the work at the Kaimiro Hall. The road is expected to be back to normal on Friday. Thanks for your patience while we complete this work.
News Johan Lundh and Aileen Burns Dynamic international duo to lead Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre 20 December 2018 NPDC has appointed Aileen Burns and Johan Lundh as co-directors of the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre. The announcement follows a six-month global search. Burns and Lundh are currently executive directors of the Institute of Modern Art (IMA) in Brisbane, Australia and formerly co-directors of the Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA) in Londonderry/Derry, Northern Ireland. They will start in the role in March. NPDC Chief Operating Officer Kelvin Wright said: “We’re delighted to appoint this dynamic duo with proven international experience to work with our local community on the gallery’s next chapter. It’s an important part of our economy contributing about $7 million each year and I know Monica Brewster, the courageous founder who took a punt to fund a contemporary art gallery in New Plymouth in the 1970s, would be proud of this equally innovative and bold leadership approach,” says Wright. Taranaki Iwi CEO, and interview panellist, Wharehoka Wano, said: “Aileen and Johan bring with them experiences from their previous roles in Londonderry/Derry, Northern Ireland and Brisbane, Queensland, including working closely with aboriginal communities to add the indigenous voice and stories from those communities to the contemporary gallery setting. Between them they add a high level creative and technical skill set that is required in this new role and an energy which is well suited to the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery and Len Lye Centre.” Burns and Lundh are excited about the role. “We are honoured to take up the Directorship of the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre. We have followed its programme for many years and been impressed with this ambitious organisation. We share a passion for the artist-centred spirit of the Govett-Brewster and look forward to furthering its development, achievements and reputation,” the co-directors said. “It will be a great pleasure to lead it to its 50th year in 2020 as we celebrate its past and plan for its bold future. We look forward to working closely with the staff and city team, foundations, partners and stakeholders to keep art at the centre of civic life for the local community and visitors.” Aileen Burns holds an MA in Modern Art from Columbia University, New York, and a BA with Honours in Art History and Cinema from the University of Toronto, Canada. Johan Lundh holds an MA and BA from Konstfack University, Stockholm, Sweden. They have written extensively, curated and produced exhibitions, artist projects and programmes globally. The Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre is owned and operated by the New Plymouth District Council, which governs the museum under the terms of the founding Monica Brewster Trust Deed, in association with the Len Lye Foundation.
Our Work Mangatete Stream Okato The future of Okato's water supply 19 December 2018 Opinion piece - from our Infrastructure Manager David Langford The future of Okato’s water supply – it’s in your hands For anyone who lives in Taranaki, the maunga is a source of identity and a beacon for the place we love and call home. Just like many other families, whenever I’ve been away from Taranaki with my family and we are making the journey back, my two young boys are always on the look out to see who can spot Mt Taranaki first. As well as a sense of home and identity, our maunga gifts us with life sustaining water. Many of the rivers and streams in our district flow from the maunga and, as they cross the ring plain, they help create the natural environment that makes Taranaki one of the best places in the world to live. Simply put: water is at the heart of our lifestyle here in Taranaki. Our rivers and streams are not only places of beauty and enjoyment, they’re also critical lifelines supporting the wildlife and natural environment. They also play a vital part supplying our community with water so that our community can stay healthy by having clean water to drink, wash with and flush the toilet. Finally, water is essential to many of the businesses in the District. Without water most businesses couldn’t operate, support employment and keep our local economy thriving. As the water flows from our maunga to sustain the people of Taranaki, we must not take this gift for granted and remember we also have a responsibility to sustain the water. In the last year, residents across our district used an average of 309 litres of water per person per day. This is a slight reduction from 337 litres the year before which is great progress, but it’s still more than double most other countries – in fact we use about the same amount of water per person as the USA and they don’t exactly share our clean, green reputation! This year we also got a reminder just how important our water is when Taranaki was hit by Cyclone Gita – a tropical storm that caused significant damage to one of the city’s main pipe networks. This resulted in a three-day water outage for the district’s northern residents that closed local schools, disrupted businesses and saw emergency water tankers deployed to the streets. At New Plymouth District Council (NPDC) we have a team of people who are committed to ensuring our community has a supply of safe drinking water. They’re also committed to doing our bit to keeping our streams and rivers healthy and swimmable, and a great home for everything that lives within them.  New Plymouth District has four water networks: Okato, sourced from the Mangatete Stream; Oakura, with its underground water source; Inglewood, sourced from the Ngatoro Stream; and New Plymouth, which supplies people from Omata all the way north to Urenui, and is sourced from the Waiwhakaiho River via Lake Mangamahoe.  With an overall network comprising more than 830km of pipes and 17 reservoirs, providing water to more than 63,000 residents and 3,000 commercial and industrial properties, it’s fair to say that managing the district’s water supply is no small task. Think about it – the last time you turned on the tap did it cross your mind that the water might not come out? Or that it might not be safe to drink? Probably not, because most of us expect it to just happen. Yes, our water falls from the sky, and people often ask me why they have to pay New Plymouth District Council rates for something that’s free? My answer is simple: over the decades, the council has built water infrastructure worth more than $285 million so that we can take raw water, filter and treat it so that it is safe to drink, remove some of the smells, improve how it tastes and then deliver it on demand into your home. Our team does all this for about $0.0018 per litre of water – compare that to the cost of a bottled water next time you are in the local dairy. Given just how important water is to us all, NPDC is committed to ensuring we actively engage with our community when it comes to planning for our future water needs – and that’s why we’re currently inviting you to have your say.  Between now and June 2021, NPDC’s resource consents for all four water networks – issued by Taranaki Regional Council – will come to an end, with Okato being the first to end in June 2019. We’ve started the process of applying for a new resource consent – a process that gives us a great opportunity to talk directly to you about our water future and to make sure you have the opportunity to give us your thoughts on the water supply network’s future and the Mangatete Stream’s environment.  At the moment, we’re planning to apply for a consent that will enable us to take the same volume of water from the stream. In the short term this will allow us to continue to meet the town’s water needs. Beyond that, however, as the town’s population grows we also have some options to consider for Okato’s long-term future. For example, we could invest in projects that help reduce our impact on the Mangatete Stream – particularly during the dry summer months or projects that will reduce the frequency of outdoor water bans. Before we make any decisions, we want to know what your priorities are so that any developments match the aspirations that our community has for their town and the surrounding environment. Consultation is already open and will be closing just after New Year, on 6 January. We welcome any and all feedback and encourage you to not miss this opportunity to share your views on newplymouthnz.com/HaveYourSay.  Remember, the future of Okato’s water supply really is in your hands.  David Langford NPDC Infrastructure Manager
News Our Work Ex-cyclone Gita water warriors 50-page ex-Cyclone Gita report publicly released 18 December 2018 An NPDC review into the response to February’s water outage following ex-Cyclone Gita has made six major recommendations for improvement and 22 minor recommendations. The review, which was peer-reviewed by Wellington Water, has found NPDC’s response was rapid, effective and no notable failures were found. NPDC Chief Executive Craig Stevenson said ex-Cyclone Gita was one of the most powerful storms on record to hit Taranaki. “The winds during the February cyclone reached 104km/h, the third highest in Taranaki since records began in 1972. I want to again apologise to everyone for the inconvenience the disruption to our water supply caused. We’re releasing our 50-page incident report publicly which includes some useful findings that we’re taking on board about our complex water network that features more than 800 kilometres of pipes ranging in age from near new, to more than 100 years old,” says Mr Stevenson. Mayor of New Plymouth District Neil Holdom says he’d like to acknowledge the community spirit during the event. “Our ‘can-do-attitude’, community spirit and ability to help each other during the water outage in February, is one of the many reasons why I love this place. As a result of our experience dealing with ex-Cyclone Gita, we asked the public during our 10-Year Plan consultation if we should invest more in our water infrastructure. The answer was a resounding yes, so we’ve listened and are investing an extra $44 million in water network resilience over the next decade,” says Mayor Holdom. The report’s six major recommendations are: an adjustment of future operations and maintenance budgets a study of appropriate infrastructure resiliency levels a study into raw water sources for contingency use risk assessment of water connections and installation of backflow protection devices at key connections a review of all asset management data an update of NPDC’s emergency plans. The pipe bridge that was hit by the tree during the cyclone has been permanently repaired. NPDC has inspected more than 10,000 trees across the district since February and less than 0.1% - or just five trees - have been scheduled for removal. Fast facts Around 10,000 homes were without water for approximately three days and some 26,000 properties were issued a boil water notice for a further seven days. There were no instances of water-related sickness during this period. Once water supply was restored, during the three days of testing the number of water quality samples taken represented an approximate 400% increase on the routine sampling taken during normal operations. The economic impact on the community has been estimated at $4.5million. A copy of the incident report can be found on our reports web page.
News Lifestyle Our Work woman walking on teh footpath with a reusable bag 6 Tips for a Sustainable Christmas 17 December 2018 Don’t bring all your food out at once. It can look impressive, but leaving food out of the fridge for more than two hours puts people at risk of food poisoning. It’s also just not as appetising and often lots goes to waste. Bring your nibbles and salads out in batches, and only bring out more once the first serving is done. It’ll keep your food safe, cool and might make you more aware of how much you are eating. Make the most of having leftovers, yum, yum. If you’ve kept everything cool, then Boxing Day will be a breeze. Some easy ideas to use up leftovers are a festive pasta salad, giving meats and leftover veges a quick chargrill on the BBQ and popping them in a burger or getting out some tortillas so people can build their own wraps and burritos. Reusable bags aren’t just for the supermarket. We’re getting pretty good at bringing our reusable bags to the supermarket, but you can take them everywhere. If you’re hitting the Boxing Day sales, bring your own bag to pop your bargains in. They are also a great stocking stuffer or alternative to gift wrap! Think about what you buy. Recycling is great, but it’s only one step towards zero waste. Reducing and reusing are just as important. You can reduce your waste by considering how important wrapping paper is, buying a little less food than you usually would (we all know we over-cater at Christmas) and forgoing straws. Separate things out. We can’t recycle materials that have been stacked and squashed inside each other. So please keep all your recyclable items loose to make sure that they can be recycled properly. And if you run out of room in your recycling bin, check out our final tip! Take a (free) trip to your local transfer station. While you will need to pay to dispose of waste, it’s always free to bring recycling to our transfer stations. So if you have been hosting a lot of people and you run out of space in your blue bottle bin or recycling bin, don’t resort to putting them in your red bag when you can get them recycled for free. You can find their locations here.
Our Work News FOL News Release Image New lights and rock in the New Year with TSB Festival of Lights 14 December 2018 NPDC’s TSB Festival of Lights will shine even brighter this season with 10 brand new light installations and family fun and live music till midnight on New Year’s Eve. Another first for the free summer festival in New Plymouth’s iconic Pukekura Park is great news for foodies, with local food trucks in a new festival hub on ‘Light Bites’ evenings. The summer of festival fun starts on 16 December when the lights are turned on during the popular Christmas at the Bowl. The lights will be shining every night including Christmas Day until February 3. This season’s packed programme includes more than 50 performances including international, national and local performers, daytime activities for kids and families with the Summer Scene team and the return of Summer Seniors featuring a range of events for older folk. NPDC Recreation and Culture Manager Teresa Turner said this season’s festival promises to be one of the best yet with something for all residents and visitors to the district. “Our Events team listened to feedback from recent festivals and have pulled out all the stops to put on more lights and entertainment and the Light Bites evenings will help pull in even more visitors,” she said. “NPDC has had requests for something on New Year’s Eve so we’ve put together a fantastic night with events for kids and adults and a chance to see in the New Year in style in our wonderful Pukekura Park. This festival is a key part of how we are Building a Lifestyle Capital.” The Lights All Night New Year’s Eve event will see the lights kept on until midnight, a storybook character evening for kids with a 9pm countdown, glow lawn bowls and a silent disco for adults and music from Dtomp, Ed Pool and The Slacks. There are 17 light installations spread across the park including 10 new light features. These include interactive displays such as Light Bells where festival-goers pull ropes to move lights to the sound of church bells and Fountain of Colour, a kiosk where visitors control a light show on Fountain Lake. The new festival hub will be the venue for Light Bites as well as the information point for festival-goers. Also new in 2018/19 is Tiny Town, a 10-foot shipping container which has been converted into a small theatre. NPDC’s Parks team has also given Pukekura Park a spruce-up with a revamped and extended area outside the Tea House, new shade sails over the main playground to keep kids sun-safe and new pipes and lights to rejuvenate the QEII fountain. Last season the TSB Festival of Lights brought in more than 125,000 visitors over seven weeks and saw a 20% rise in visitors from outside the region. Figures from Venture Taranaki revealed the value added to the Taranaki economy from the festival was nearly $5million in 2017/18. For more information, head to festivaloflights.nz 10 new light installations Seed, co-designed by New Plymouth’s Jasmine Grace and fellow Massey University students Rachel Neser and Molly Brankin. This design has featured at LUX Light Festival Wellington and was inspired by a Kendrick Lamar lyric. Alpha Beta Gamma, by Wellington artist Trish Campbell features giant colourful totem poles which light up the Main Lake island. Strung Out, designed by Carmen Rogers, reimagined by Che Rogers. This is the first time this has been installed above ground. Nebula Now, designed and created by Arielle Walker and Liam Mullins. Nebula Now was inspired by Arielle’s childhood memories of walking through the festival and looking up at the beautiful lights. It is made of Perspex and has more than 100 keychain links. Seasons, designed and created by Toulouse Group and MJF Lighting with a composition by Jeremy Cullen. This installation combines music and light to give audiences an experience of the four seasons. Iro, designed and created by Toulouse Group. Glowing balls of light enhance the Japanese Hillside. Eelectric, designed and created by Adam Walker from Toulouse Group. This design features LED eels swimming through the Main Lake. Wisteria, designed and created by Shannon Novak. Shannon’s design transforms the Tea House on the Lake into a giant lantern. Fountain of Colour, designed and created by Toulouse Group. This interactive installation with a kiosk allows festival-goers to control the light show on Fountain Lake. Light Bells, created by Thomas Press and brought to life by Toulouse Group. Another interactive installation, festival-goers get to pull suspended ropes to create different church bell sounds with lights moving up and down. Festival facts The lighting route is 3.5 kilometres of walkways through Pukekura Park. The lights are on for 49 nights. More than 22 staff and volunteers work behind the scenes each night at the festival. It takes five weeks to install route lighting, speciality light installations and cabling through the park for the festival. Last season’s festival added nearly $5 million in value to the Taranaki economy and brought in 9,600 visitors to New Plymouth. More than 55 members of the community have volunteered their time to help festival visitors find their way around the event.
News Our Work WLB leaders Taranaki township moves forward after historic Waitara Lands Bill passed 13 December 2018 The NPDC Waitara Lands Bill has been passed by Parliament, bringing a fresh start to the town after three decades of negotiations over its leasehold land. The Bill will unlock $90 million from the sale of 770 leasehold properties. New Plymouth District Mayor Neil Holdom, who attended the reading of the Bill in parliament yesterday evening, welcomed the move. “At this historic time, it’s important to acknowledge the pain and hurt caused by the confiscation of land from Te Atiawa and its hapū in the 1860s. Thank you to hapū leaders who have worked tirelessly for their people over many years. This Bill isn’t perfect but it’s the best solution while ensuring we meet our financial obligations to all of our 80,000 residents and balance competing priorities. This co-governance model between NPDC, hapū, Iwi and the TRC, will mean there is investment in community projects and the Waitara River, to benefit the whole community.” Fast facts Property The Bill enables leaseholders to purchase freehold their leased properties at market value. There are 770 Waitara properties valued at $90 million. From the sale of these properties over the next 20 years, it is expected about $28 million over the same period will assist the two hapū to purchase, manage or develop land in Waitara. Approximately $28 million will go to Waitara projects, co-governed by the hapū and NPDC, also over a 20-year period. Approximately $34 million will be allocated to Waitara River and environment projects. This will be co-governed by the hapū and iwi with interests in the river and the Taranaki Regional Council. Parks and Reserves About 120 hectares of land is available to hapū in various ways, mostly as reserves. The Bill gifts 44 hectares of land to the hapū: 13 hectares of developed residential land and 31 hectares of reserve land. The hapū will gain titles to parks and reserves totalling 13 hectares if they wish to take them. The hapū also have the option to purchase five Crown Reserves totalling 26 hectares (Pukekohe Park, parts of Ranfurly Park, James Nuku Reserve, Te Puna Park and Joll St Reserve). These will be co-governed with NPDC and have Reserve status, allowing for continued public access. They include West Quay, Kincade Park, Victoria Park, Tangaroa Reserve, Barclay Park, Pennington Park, East Quay, Memorial Park, Manukorihi Local Purpose Reserve, parts of Ranfurly Park, and Manukorihi Park. The Bill allows the hapū an option to purchase another 35 hectares of land in Waitara such as the Waitara Golf Course.
News Water tanker in Inglewood Inglewood Water 12 December 2018 NPDC is arranging to have a water tanker at the Inglewood railway yard this evening for anyone in the town who needs fresh water. A water pipe was drilled through by a contractor, and some parts of the town may experience discoloured drinking water.  The pipe will be fixed and we apologise for any inconvenience in the meantime. The break is not related to NPDC’s project to replace several water pipes in the town.  Any Inglewood residents who require clean water can take their containers to the railway yard this evening for filling from 6pm.
News Our Work Waitara Lands Act Graphic Waitara Lands Bill Moves Forward 07 December 2018 Fast facts following Council meeting 7/12/2018 There are no major changes to the Bill from what was presented to the Council about a month ago. Leaseholders will pay the market value for the land, as determined by an independent valuer. We’re building a support package for leaseholders, including funding of $50,000 for independent financial/budgeting advice. We’re working with banks see whether they can offer any package deals for leaseholders. After almost 30 years of talks, this Bill is not perfect but it presents a real opportunity to unlock 770 Waitara properties valued at approximately $90 million. It’s a co-governance model to benefit the people of Waitara which will mean investment in community projects and enhancing rivers, for everyone to enjoy. We respect Otaraua’s decision to withdraw from the Bill but believe it is the best way forward, balancing a variety of competing interests. Fast Facts, as at 1/11/2018 Apology We acknowledge the land was originally confiscated by the government and in 1941 it was transferred to the former Waitara Borough Council. The land became part of the newly formed New Plymouth District Council during the 1989 reorganisation of local government. Our financial and legal obligations to all of our 80,000 residents mean we cannot simply return the land to the hapū. After almost 30 years of talks, this draft Bill is not perfect but it’s the best way forward. If this draft Bill doesn’t proceed, it will be a lost opportunity for this generation, after decades of on and off negotiations. Property The Bill enables leaseholders to purchase freehold their leased properties at market value. There are 770 Waitara properties valued at $90 million. From the sale of these properties over the next 20 years, it is expected about $28 million over the same period will assist the two hapū to purchase, manage or develop land in Waitara. Approximately $28 million will go to Waitara projects, co-governed by the hapū and NPDC, also over a 20-year period. Approximately $34 million will be allocated to Waitara River and environment projects. This will be co-governed by the hapū and iwi with interests in the river and the Taranaki Regional Council. Parks and Reserves About 120 hectares of land is available to hapū in various ways, mostly as reserves. The Bill gifts 44 hectares of land to the hapū: 13 hectares of developed residential land and 31 hectares of reserve land. The hapū will gain titles to parks and reserves totalling 13 hectares if they wish to take them. The hapū also have the option to purchase five Crown Reserves totalling 26 hectares (Pukekohe Park, parts of Ranfurly Park, James Nuku Reserve, Te Puna Park and Joll St Reserve). These will be co-governed with NPDC and have Reserve status, allowing for continued public access. They include West Quay, Kincade Park, Victoria Park, Tangaroa Reserve, Barclay Park, Pennington Park, East Quay, Memorial Park, Manukorihi Local Purpose Reserve, parts of Ranfurly Park, and Manukorihi Park. The Bill allows the hapū an option to purchase another 35 hectares of land in Waitara such as the Waitara Golf Course.
News Water tanker in Inglewood Inglewood Water Tanker 03 December 2018 NPDC is arranging to have a water tanker at the Inglewood railway yard this evening for anyone in the town who needs fresh water. A water pipe was drilled through this morning by a third party, and some parts of the town are experiencing discoloured drinking water.  The pipe has been fixed and the water is expected to be clear again by the morning once the system has settled. We apologise for any inconvenience in the meantime. The break is not related to NPDC’s project to replace several water pipes in the town.  Any Inglewood residents who require clean water can take their containers to the railway yard this evening for filling from 6pm.
News Our Work Santa in New Plymouth City Centre Christmas comes early to New Plymouth's city centre thanks to NPDC and Lions Club 29 November 2018 New Plymouth’s central business district is hosting a cracker of a Christmas party on Saturday (1 December) and NPDC is providing the festive spirit with a car-free city centre to celebrate. Much of the central business district will be closed to traffic in the morning, so leave the car at home, take a special gold coin bus ride into town and catch the city centre at its swinging best. “We’re going car-free to encourage people to come down and grab a coffee and something to eat and get some Christmas shopping done. We want a thriving central business district with tills ringing while the choir is singing,” says NPDC External Relations Manager Jacqueline Baker. “NPDC has a strong focus on continuing to create a thriving central city. With no parking or traffic hassles, there’s no better way to appreciate everything our central business district has to offer; from watching live entertainment to enjoying gourmet delights from one of our legendary cafes.” NPDC’s See It In The City team is organising the entertainment from 9am until the annual Lions Club Christmas Parade which starts at midday. The entertainment will include live performances by the Taranaki Ukulele Orchestra and the Taranaki Harmony Choir as well as roving performers, talented soloists and a DJ. One of the highlights of this year’s Christmas Parade will be the carbon-neutral ‘arty’ walking float from NPDC’s Govett-Brewster Art Gallery. The entry includes art created by kids and inspired by Len Lye’s work. Taranaki Toy Library will provide some fun for the littlies, while basketball, Zumba, dance, face-painting and a Santa sprint race will be open to the bigger kids. Santa’s cavalcade will take a new circuit route this year, starting at the Clock Tower and moving eastward along Devon Street, turning left down Liardet Street and heading back down Gill Street/Ariki Street to return to the start. The pedestrian zone on Devon Street will run from Liardet Street to Egmont Street from 8am to 11am and from Liardet Street to Dawson Street from 11am to 2pm. Other road closures include Ariki Street and part of Gill Street, Currie Street and parts of Liardet, Egmont, Queen, King and Robe streets. Buses to the central business district will be running all day and will be just a gold coin donation while under-fives will be free.
News Lifestyle Hot tips for a cool Christmas 22 November 2018 Go to town on your tree. We all know the saying less is more. But when it comes to decorating a Christmas tree our Fernery team go by the maxim “more is more”. The more decorations and sparkly lights covering your tree the better. Place the decorations evenly around your tree, and arrange smaller decorations towards the top and larger ones towards the bottom. Their parting piece of advice (borrowed from Longwood Gardens in the U.S.) “It’s never done until it’s over done” so add that extra string of lights! Give thoughtful gifts. No-one wants to gift something that ends up in the back of someone’s cupboard. You can take the zero waste approach and agree to forgo gifts this year, or give an experience as a gift - like tickets to a show. Tickets also stretch out the gift giving vibes as you’ll get the warm fuzzies when you give the gift and again when they attend the show. Tickets to Toto at the TSB Bowl of Brooklands, or a night out at the TSB Showplace to see Cats are sure to be a hit, and if in doubt you can always get a gift card. Don’t forget about your dog. Looking after your dog year round is obviously important, but they have special needs over the summer. A few quick tips from our Animal Control team can make sure their festive season is just as merry as yours. Keep them hydrated, and make sure they have shade available to them throughout the day. Introduce them to newcomers and visitors, it will make them feel much more relaxed. And take your dog for walks during cooler parts of the day, hot sand and concrete can burn their paws (ouch!!) so stick to the morning or early evening.
News Three councils give green light to Bonny Glen landfill 16 November 2018 A decision to accept a waste disposal offer from Bonny Glen landfill will save Taranaki ratepayers up to $25 million over 35 years. After careful consideration and a detailed feasibility study, the Stratford, South Taranaki and New Plymouth District Councils have agreed to suspend further development of the Central Landfill near Eltham (approximately $7.5 million has been invested to date), bank the facility for future use and accept an offer from Midwest Disposals Ltd which operates Bonny Glen landfill, near Marton. The latest offer was too good to ignore and enables the Councils to focus on becoming a Zero Waste region without raising the residential waste disposal costs, as no minimum tonnage is required and we only pay for what we send. The 35-year agreement saves money, reduces risk, delivers long-term certainty and provides real incentive to minimise waste (in comparison the Central Landfill would need more waste sent to it to keep fixed costs down which is actually a disincentive to focus on reducing waste). The agreement also allows the Councils to exit at any stage if they are unhappy. The three Councils will begin taking the region’s waste to Bonny Glen in the second half of 2019, around the same time as New Plymouth’s Colson Road Landfill is set to close. In the meantime, they urge everyone to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Attribution: South Taranaki District Council Chief Executive Waid Crockett, Stratford District Council Chief Executive Sven Hanne, New Plymouth District Council Chief Executive Craig Stevenson.
News Events and Exhibitions Illusion NPDC's Puke Ariki's new exhibition will trick your senses and blow your mind 08 November 2018 Prepare to question your own eyes, test your senses and have your mind boggled at NPDC’s Puke Ariki’s new exhibition, Illusion: Nothing Is As It Seems. Illusion, which opens in the Temporary Exhibitions Gallery on 10 November, is a perception-shattering insight into the human mind, playfully combining the techniques used by magicians and explored by psychologists. Puke Ariki will be Illusion’s one and only stop in New Zealand. With more than 19 exhibits designed to blow the mind and featuring a host of installations that deceive the eyes of the visitor, Illusion shows that what we perceive is often radically different from the reality of what our eyes observe. “We want to challenge perception, boggle the minds of visitors and inspire some future scientists,” says Puke Ariki Manager, Kelvin Day. “People are fascinated by illusions because they challenge everything we take for granted on a daily basis, they have the power to distort what we see and trick our minds. Prepare to be delighted, bewildered and surprised when you step into the exhibition and experience just how warped our perceptions can be.” Illusion was curated by psychologist, author and magician Richard Wiseman, and was researched by deception artist Paul Gleeson, who is also the world’s youngest professional escapologist.  "Magic is an inspiring force for learning. I have worked with Science Gallery to create an exhibition that will inspire and educate people of any age,” says Mr Wiseman. “Each piece in the show deceives the brain with either an optical, perceptual or audio illusion. Illusions give us a greater appreciation of how we view the world and this exhibition brings us closer to understanding the magic of the mind." Some of the mind-bending illusions at the exhibition include: All the Universe is Full of the Lives of Perfect Creatures features a mirror where visitors get to see their inner animal. Delicate Boundaries creates a space that allows the worlds inside our digital devices to move into the physical realm as bugs crawl off the screen and onto visitors’ bodies. Counter, using a trompe l’oeil art effect, tries to convince visitors that a two dimensional object is actually in three dimensions. The exhibition, which runs until 5 March next year, comes as Puke Ariki celebrates a record-breaking year for exhibitions with Permian Monsters: Life Before the Dinosaurs attracting a new record total of 75,000 visitors. Illusion is created by Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin, part of the Global Science Gallery Network. Puke Ariki 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 regularly. The temporary exhibition space shows touring exhibitions that are either curated in-house or brought in from other museums. Te Pua Wānanga o Taranaki/Taranaki Research Centre is also housed at the site.