News and Notices

News Our Work Home Energy Scheme EECA Stay warm and dry this winter thanks to NPDC 12 April 2019 Winter is just around the corner and our Maunga is already getting its blanket on.  NPDC can help ratepayers to heat or insulate their homes to keep the cold weather at bay thanks to the Home Energy Scheme.  Ratepayers may be eligible to apply for up to $5,000 for clean heat products (such as a heat pump) or $2,600 for installing insulation, paying this back through their rates.  “Paying for expensive items like a heat pump or installing insulation can be difficult so NPDC tries to make it easier for residents with the Home Energy Scheme,” says NDPC Chief Financial Officer Joy Buckingham. “Many homes aren’t warm enough or have poor insulation so give us a call and we’ll see if the scheme can work for you to get your house warm and dry this winter.” To qualify, residents need to be ratepayers, be up to date with rates and pay by direct debit. For help with insulation, your home has to have been built before 2000 and your home must be insulated properly to qualify for assistance to pay for water heating and clean heat products. To find out if you qualify for the scheme, call us on 06 759 6060 or go to NPDC works with the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) to bring the scheme to ratepayers. EECA can also fund heating and insulation through grants for those with a Community Services Card or SuperGold card.  The Government has allocated $142 million over four years for insulation and heating grants. To find out if you are eligible free phone 0800 749 782 to talk to EECA Energywise or use the eligibility tool on their website Home Energy Scheme fast facts The scheme is used by ratepayers to pay for insulation, water heating and clean heat products. Money is paid back through rates via a Voluntary Targeted Rate, over 9 years. Ratepayers should get in touch with an NPDC-approved installer for a free assessment of their homes. For solar water heating or a wood fire, residents need to apply for a building consent.
News Our Work Rat skin cape (1930-40). Collection of Puke Ariki (A83.576). The weird and wonderful world of Whare Kahurangi 05 April 2019 What does a dog-skin cloak, a meteorite, a missing face towel possibly belonging to King Edward VII, the oldest picture of New Plymouth and a Transformer all have in common?  They are just some of the many weird and wonderful objects that are part of a major new exhibition at NPDC’s Puke Ariki looking back on a century of collections and collecting. Opening on 6 April in the Temporary Exhibitions Gallery, Whare Kahurangi: 100 Years of Collecting not only features objects from the Museum’s storerooms but also from private collectors from around Taranaki.  Puke Ariki Acting Director Colleen Mullin says the exhibition has been a century in the making. “NPDC’s Puke Ariki is continuing what the Taranaki Museum started when it opened in 1919 – we’re combining the historical with the high-tech, the entertaining with the educational, and we look to forever preserve the stories of the past and present for the visitors of the future.” Whare Kahurangi means house of treasured possessions and Curator Chanelle Carrick says the exhibition celebrates everyone who has contributed to the museum over the past century, from hundreds of generous donors to visitors who come from all over the world. “The exhibition explores the diverse history of our region and we hope that it will inspire people to keep recording and sharing their stories for future generations,” says Chanelle. “Puke Ariki is such a unique place and we hope this exhibition will instil a sense of pride in what our museum and libraries are today.” The exhibition includes interactive experiences from putting yourself in the shoes of a curator and coming up with a fake news story, placing your own treasured possession into the Cabinet of Curiosities, to voting on an ethical dilemma - should the museum open the sealed pages of a letter book dated 1841? Puke Ariki issued a call last year for people to come forward with objects for Whare Kahurangi and the response was fantastic with a number of items on-loan for the exhibition.  Whare Kahurangi fast facts: The exhibition runs in the Temporary Exhibitions Gallery until 6 October. The Taranaki Museum first opened its doors on 28 August 1919 with the foundation gift of Māori taonga by William Henry Skinner. Whare Kahurangi features a number of items from the Skinner Collection. The oldest food item is a jar of preserved plums from 1900. As well as the dog-skin cloak, there’s a rat-skin cape made by possum trapper Mike Murphy in the 1930s. Vintage computers give visitors the chance to programme a ZX Spectrum from the 1980s. The exhibition includes oral histories, music clips and interviews. Whare Kahurangi was curated in-house and many of Puke Ariki’s staff have contributed to the exhibition. Puke Ariki fast facts: Puke Ariki is owned and managed by NPDC. It is the world’s first purpose-built, fully integrated museum, library and visitor information centre. It opened 15 June 2003. The total number of visitors to Puke Ariki and district libraries in the 2017/18 year was 801,703. In that same period, Puke Ariki and community libraries issued 779,908 items. 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.
News Have Your Say two women walking on teh coastal walkway with the port and Sugar Loaf Islands in the background Last Chance to Kōrero 28 March 2019 This is your last chance to help shape the future of the District by taking part in our Let’s Kōrero public conversation. For the past three weeks people have been feeding in ideas for some big projects on our books as part of the next Annual Plan. Almost 1,400 people have so far completed the short survey which closes on April 2. “It’s been awesome to see people getting involved and chatting with us about everything from what features a Coastal Walkway extension to Waitara could include, to what we do with the Colson Rd dump site when we close it this year, and whether we invest more in the War on Pests as we strive for a Predator Free Taranaki. It takes a lot of hard work and good ideas to Build a Lifestyle Capital, so it’s been great to see so many people stepping forward with suggestions,” says New Plymouth District Mayor Neil Holdom. Some of the most popular ideas so far have included turning the Colson Road landfill site in to a wildlife corridor or dog park while an all-weather piano and access for horses, have been suggestions around extending the coastal walkway from Bell Block to Waitara. You could win an iPad (Terms and Conditions apply) by filling out the quick two-minute survey at between 4 March and 2 April.
News Our Work Alastair Ross laoding in movie reel Five film classics to enjoy this winter 28 March 2019 Winter is almost upon us. The nights are getting darker, earlier and temperatures are dropping. .It’s a great time to batten down the hatches and fire up a good movie. So it’s the perfect time to catch up with Alastair Ross (our Len Lye Centre Cinema movie expert) for some recommendations. We asked him to share his all-time top five movie choices.  Alastair says: “It is quite difficult to reduce it down to five. In the same way I find it hard to say which bands I like the best, every so often I will proclaim to my wife, oh this new album by (insert band) is the best thing I have ever heard and she will look at me and say, hello what? That’s what you say about everything. So what do I know really, I am easily excited about films and music. Here is my shot at five of my favourite movies”.  Jaws (1975) I saw this movie at the local State movie theatre when I was about six, I don’t actually recall what my feelings were about the film at the time, but when I have watched it and re-watched it, I know for a fact it coloured my fear of the ocean and I remember as a small boy trying to leap from the doorway of my bedroom to my bed as I was convinced there was a shark waiting to get me. It is just a fascinating film, with a wonderful script by Carl Gottleib who was rewriting the script on set in a house at Martha’s Vineyard while they were filming. The cast is brilliant and regardless of what you think about the effects now, the closing scenes with Quint sliding down the boat and those lifeless black eyes and the yawning abyss of the shark’s mouth remains indelibly imprinted in my brain as one of the most horrific sequences in film. Halloween (1978) One of the truly great horror films of the ‘70s, a masterpiece of surefooted tension and atmosphere, I was thrilled to play this in the Len Lye Cinema and especially delighted when parts of the audience came dressed-up for the occasion. John Carpenter’s score for the film is the glue that holds it all together. Completely self-composed it adds layers of tension that become almost unbearable towards the finale. Bravura performances from Donald Pleasance and Jamie Lee Curtis are just the icing on the pumpkin pie.  Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992) I loved the TV show and didn’t quite expect the tone of this film when I first saw it, which is not to say I didn’t like it. While there was an inherent sweetness in the TV series and a lightness of touch, this was jettisoned for the prequel film, which shows the last seven days of Laura Palmer before her untimely death. The actress Sheryl Lee is a total revelation in the film displaying a tremendous commitment to playing a truly damaged character - so much of the film is traumatic and upsetting and it has a hard heart that isn’t touched by the closing sequence. Again, musically the soundtrack is incredible and I recall walking out of the cinema in a dreamlike state just like I used to feel each time the show finished on TV.  Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986) I could probably have chosen any of the John Hughes’ films as a title that is instantly nostalgic and great, but Ferris is the overall winner. I was so inspired as a teenager by this film and decorated my bedroom to look like his. I loved the music and the ridiculous over-the-top spirit of the ultimate bunk from school. Matthew Broderick was perfect in this role, in fact the whole cast is, the quintessential teen movie. Heathers (1988) Heathers is such a great counterpart to Ferris Bueller, such a dark take on teenage warfare in high-school. I adored Winona Ryder and Christian Bale in this film, they are the Bonnie and Clyde of the ‘80s, and there are so many memorable lines and twisted delights throughout. I was so excited when we played this last Valentine’s Day in the Cinema and have to say enjoyed the gasps of horror and delight from the audience. I recommend you catch this film when you can. Alastair has just released the Len Lye Centre Cinema’s April cinema guide. You can check it out here or keep an eye on Hello NP as all upcoming movies are posted here.
News Lifestyle Our Work Boy mid air on a skateboard in a skate bowl Opening day celebrations at Inglewood's Jubilee Park! 26 March 2019 The sound of grinding skateboards and children playing reached a peak in the weekend with the official opening of Jubilee Park's playground and skatepark. About 200 people turned up on Saturday to celebrate the upgrade that has reshaped the Inglewood reserve into a destination park for locals and visitors alike. Inglewood’s super-smooth skatepark has a streetscape design so that riders can practise their kickflips and ollies. Right next to it is a playground with a design based on input from the community about what they wanted to see.  “The upgrade has definitely been a whole-community project. It’s fantastic to see the result with skaters and scooter-riders giving the skatepark a good go, and kids trying out the all the cool things in the playground,” says NPDC External Relations Manager Jacqueline Baker The open day featured a skate jam as well as a BBQ manned by the Inglewood Community Board, an MC and a free swim at the pool. With support from NZ Community Trust, we have invested almost $500,000 in the new playground and skatepark that includes specialty and inclusive play equipment.
News Green team: NPDC Manager Resource Recovery Kimberley Hope and Mel Hunt with the new Green is the New Black cups. Coffee beans add zing to Zero Waste journey 22 March 2019 Green is the new black, especially if it’s black coffee! In an effort to reduce waste from single-use coffee cups, three coffee shops have signed up for a trial of the Taranaki Cup Library: Elixr, Emmalou and Café Green Door. And it’s easy to take part in this Zero Waste initiative. Just grab a New Zealand-made reusable cup for $2 with your next coffee, then swap it for a clean one when you return for another drink. If you forget your cup, just get a new one for $2 and bring both back next time for a refund.  The Taranaki Cup Library is the brainchild of local Mel Hunt, with support from NPDC. “The goal is to reduce the amount of waste we generate just from takeaway coffee cups,” says Mel. “Many takeaway cups are compostable, not recyclable, but they still end up in recycling bins. We all know it’s time to start changing our daily habits that create unnecessary waste. Coffee is just one small step in a larger evolution of waste minimisation, and small changes like this one can make a difference as we work as a community toward becoming a Zero Waste region.” Kiwis throw out about 800,000 paper coffee cups every day, and NPDC Manager Resource Recovery Kimberley Hope says initiatives like the Taranaki Cup Library could put a big dent in that number. “It’s fantastic to see a local resident taking on the Zero Waste challenge by starting up a programme like this. We’re really happy to support her and the cafes that take part,” says Ms Hope. The Taranaki Cup Library is starting with three cafes to identify any challenges and help fine-tune how it operates. If the trial goes well, Mel will look to bring more coffee shops on board. Be sure to check out Taranaki Cup Library on Facebook and Instagram.
News Local New Plymouth District Mayor Neil Holdom, Migrant Connections Chair Lane Mephan, Migrant Connections coordinator Gheeta Kutty and Muslim Association of Taranaki secretary Omar Siddiqui will be lighting a candle in solidarity for Christchurch on Friday night. Candlelight vigil for Christchurch victims 21 March 2019 The Taranaki community is invited to come together this Friday (22 March) with Migrant Connections Taranaki, the Muslim Association of Taranaki, local iwi and hapū and New Plymouth District Council to honour the Muslim community and the people of Christchurch at a candlelight vigil.  The event represents a coming together of the entire community, encompassing Māori karakia (prayer and welcome), Muslim prayer, speeches from representatives of all organisations involved, and the singing of songs in Arabic, English and Māori. “New Zealand is a place of inclusiveness, aroha, tolerance and kindness, and the horrific events in Christchurch are not who we are. Let’s send a strong message of love to Christchurch from Taranaki this Friday, by coming together and reaffirming that we are united, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with our Muslim brothers and sisters,” says Neil Holdom, Mayor of the New Plymouth District. “We are deeply saddened by the heart-breaking tragedy that happened in Christchurch. Our love, thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the victims, Muslim community and all the people of Christchurch during this difficult time. New Zealand is a peace-loving country and strongly goes up against terrorism. There is no place for hatred in our hearts and we will stand united as one,” says Geetha Kutty, coordinator of Migrant Connections Taranaki. “The Taranaki family vigil is not just a show of support and strength, it is an exhibit of respect for ‘life’ and impediment for extremism. It is a time to accumulate our empathy to send a visible, clear message for all intolerable extremist, violent and enticing philosophies. The ‘good’ of human race cannot be overshadowed by any toxic being. Kia kaha New Zealand,” says Omar Siddiqui, secretary of the Muslim Association of Taranaki. “The candlelight vigil provides an opportunity for our community to come together and stand in solidarity with the rest of Aotearoa in showing our support for the whānau affected by this tragedy. Having commemorated the firing of the first shots in the Taranaki Land Wars at Te Kohia Pā in Waitara just two days after the event in Christchurch, this is a poignant time and defining moment for us all. E tangi ana te ngakau,” says Liana Poutu, chair of Te Kotahitanga o Te Ātiawa. The vigil will begin at 7pm and those attending are being asked to bring a candle to light in remembrance of those killed at the Deans Avenue and Linwood mosques on 15 March.  Event details Access to the venue will not open until 5pm. Due to the nature of the event, there is to be no food or alcohol brought in to the TSB Bowl of Brooklands. Disabled car parking will be available. As the event is not taking place in a mosque, there are no cultural dress requirements.  How you can help The Muslim Association of Taranaki is centralising fund raising into their humanitarian aid account, to transfer to Christchurch as “One Big Taranaki Whānau”. All funds will be sent directly to organisations working on the ground to assist in the relief efforts for the Muslim Community in Christchurch. TSB Bank: 15-3953-0357272-03 Reference: Christchurch
News Stout predictor Credit: David Hallett The War on Pests: Is NPDC doing enough? 20 March 2019 It’s commonly known that possums, rats and stoats are invading and killing our native wildlife and plants.  But did you know that 80% of New Zealand’s 168 native bird species are classed as being ‘in trouble’ or worse?*  NPDC councillor Roy Weaver says he knows the community treasures its walkways, bush and native wildlife.  “There’s a number of great projects already underway for areas of Taranaki to become predator free,” says Cr Weaver. “NPDC already invests about $130,000 each year on trapping and pest control in our parks and walkways. “Now we want to know: are we doing enough to protect our patch? Should NPDC encourage and assist more urban trapping or we could look at other ways to protect our natural biodiversity.”  Let’s Kōrero is your chance to feed us ideas about some big projects on our books, that we’re working on as part of our latest Annual Plan which includes an operating budget of approximately $150 million. You could win an iPad, by filling out our quick two-minute survey at between 4 March and 2 April. (* Source: Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s report Taonga of an island nation: Saving New Zealand’s birds) Photo: David Hallett
News Local People Events and Exhibitions two people holding hands infront of Mt Taranaki. Image includes logos for the Muslim Association of taranaki, Taranaki Connections and NPDC Candlelight Vigil for Christchurch 18 March 2019 You are invited to come together this Friday with Migrant Connections Taranaki, the Muslim Association of Taranaki and NPDC to honour the Muslim community and people of Christchurch at a Candlelight Vigil held at the TSB Bowl of Brooklands. This event will bring us together to show Taranaki’s support to Christchurch and that we stand with them and share their grief. Let us show that the people of Taranaki will not stand for any acts of violence and terrorism in our country. Please bring a candle to light in remembrance of those who lost their lives. There will be speeches, a prayer, and an opportunity to light your own candles to honour those killed in the mosque attack in Christchurch last week More details on what will take place during the event will be shared soon. You can donate directly to the Muslim Association of Taranaki - Humanitarian Appeal Fund which they have set up to assist in the relief efforts for the Muslim Community in Christchurch. TSB Bank: 15-3953-0357272-03 Reference: Christchurch All donations are greatly appreciated. You can find more about this event on Facebook. Official proceedings begin at 7.00pm.
Lifestyle News Events and Exhibitions images in new plymouth taken in 1939 and 1999 taken by Bob Murray Step back in time with Puke Ariki's new exhibition 14 March 2019 Twenty years ago, when Bob Murray discovered his grandad’s photographs of New Plymouth streets taken in the 1930s, he decided to recreate them and see how the Taranaki city had changed. Bob, who came across the old photos in a basement workshop, didn’t know why Tony Thorne had taken more than 80 street views but was delighted to find a ‘snapshot’ of the city from 1939. Bob’s photos from 1999 offer a counterpoint to his grandad’s work and now, NPDC’s Puke Ariki gives visitors the chance to see the many changes in its new exhibition at the Lane Gallery, Point of View: Collecting Continued. Updated images taken by Bob this year will be added to the exhibition, which runs from 15 March to 1 September. “Everyone I have talked to about the project has expressed a genuine interest in them and the story behind how I found them and recovered them, then went back to all the same 63 positions where my grandfather took those photos,” explained Bob. “It means a lot to me to have my grandfather Tony's extraordinary set of photographs of New Plymouth, as well as the photos I have taken, exhibited at the Puke Ariki Museum. I'm really excited that even more people can enjoy them.” The 1939 photos were taken on a glass plate camera (which was antiquated even in the late 30s) while Bob, a keen photographer, used a 35mm camera to recreate the images in 1999. His photos from this year will be taken on a digital camera and added to the exhibition in July. “This fascinating exhibition gives people the chance to step back in time and see how our city has changed,” says Puke Ariki Acting Director Colleen Mullins. “Running alongside Whare Kahurangi: 100 Years of Collecting, it’s pleasing to see our shared history brought to life at NPDC’s Puke Ariki with these two exhibitions.” Points of View: Collecting Continued is on show between 15 March to 1 September at the Lane Gallery, Level 2, Puke Ariki Library Whare Kahurangi: 100 Years of Collecting will open on 6 April and runs until 6 October at Puke Ariki’s Temporary Exhibitions Gallery. Puke Ariki Fast Facts: Puke Ariki is owned and managed by NPDC. It is the world’s first purpose-built, fully integrated museum, library and visitor information centre. It opened 15 June 2003. The total number of visitors to Puke Ariki and district libraries in the 2017/18 year was 801,703. In that same period, Puke Ariki and community libraries issued 779,908 items. 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.
Have Your Say Truck dumping rubbish at the Colson Road Landfill Help us take Colson Road from Trash to Flash 12 March 2019 After being used for more than 40 years as the region’s rubbish dump, NPDC’s Colson Rd Landfill site is closing this year. It’s another step in our Zero Waste 2040 journey and we want people to help us make the most of a unique opportunity to decide on the future of the site. NPDC has set aside about $1.5 million to turn Colson Rd into some kind of public space in the next five years. People’s ideas will help NPDC plan the future development of the space and will also help when we begin to make decisions about what kind of “capping” work will be done later this year. NPDC Councillor Richard Handley says the closure presents a unique opportunity to decide how we leave the space for our grandchildren, as we aspire to Zero Waste 2040. “There’s more to this place than just an old dump site,” says Cr Handley. “There’s a large forest area and we already have some ideas about what we could do, such as turning it into a park or bike trail or skating rink. We’ve got an open mind and want to hear your ideas.” Let’s Kōrero is your chance to feed us ideas about some big projects on our books, that we’re working on as part of our latest Annual Plan, which includes an operating budget of approximately $150 million. You could win an iPad, by filling out our quick two-minute survey at between 4 March and 2 April. Terms and conditions apply.
News Our Work NPDC’s Ben Ingram helping out during the recent emergency response in the Nelson-Tasman region NPDC team answers call to help during Nelson-Tasman fires emergency 05 March 2019 It starts with a phone call. You pack a small bag, say goodbye to your children and your partner and head off into the heart of a major emergency. NPDC Civil Defence Lead Ben Ingram had been celebrating a friend’s wedding the day before he was called to help in the emergency response to the Nelson-Tasman fires – but he’d kept a wary eye on the news. “You know from experience that you might get called up to help,” said Mr Ingram, who also took part in the response to the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake and the 2017 Edgecumbe floods. His wife and two young sons also knew the drill. “They know it’s part of my job, and they’re very supportive, but it’s still tough having to take off like that.” In Nelson, he worked up to 12-hour days for seven straight days on the welfare desk and assessing which community might be told to evacuate their homes next. Mr Ingram was part of a team of four from NPDC who helped out during the emergency. “It was pretty full on, working with people you don’t know, in an area you’re not familiar with. I only took the bare essentials with me and I slept at a local motel at the end of each shift,” said Mr Ingram. “The good thing is that so many affected people were prepared and ready to go. We also had the benefit of standard national training, which meant the CDEM staff all worked to the same system.” He said the NPDC team – including Planning Adviser Jo Ritchie, CDEM Resilience Adviser Salevi Tiatia and Senior GIS Analyst Jake Hechter – could be proud of the contribution. “It’s a fast-paced, often uncomfortable environment where you feel you don’t know enough, but you have to make big decisions. We’ve done a pretty good job in helping our neighbours and we learned a lot too.”
Have Your Say News Walkway image Help NPDC design the Coastal Walkway extension to Waitara 04 March 2019 Did you know that walkways in Chicago, Stockholm and London now use technology to harness energy from footsteps and generate power? Our Coastal Walkway is epic, and subject to a business case and the NZTA, NPDC plans to begin making it even better. We’re looking at extending it from Bell Block to Waitara and we want to know what we should include along the way. NPDC North Ward councillor Colin Johnston says there are a number of things that could be included. “NPDC has set aside about $4 million for the project and we’re talking about including things like artworks, viewing platforms, exercise equipment or selfie-stands,” says Cr Johnston. “We’ve also been looking at what innovations are being used at other world-leading walkways. Some are making use of technology that generates power from people’s footsteps and using it to operate things like lights. Our walkway is considered world-class and we want to keep it that way. If other cities can use bold innovations then we can look at them too.” NPDC wants to hear what other ideas are out there. Let’s Kōrero is your chance to feed us ideas about some big projects on our books, that we’re working on as part of our latest Annual Plan, which includes an operating budget of approximately $150 million. You could win an iPad, by filling out our quick two minute survey between 4 March and 2 April. Click here to take the survey. View competition terms and conditions here.
Have Your Say Proposed District Plan 2019 Call for feedback District Plan Review 04 March 2019 We’ll be asking you to have your say on NPDC’s Proposed District Plan in mid-2019. The Proposed Plan will determine what can be built and where, and help manage parts of the natural environment. We have almost finished working through the huge amount of feedback we received on the Draft District Plan (October 2016) and Draft Digital District Plan (February 2018). We’ll keep meeting with interested groups as we finalise our approach and fine tune the provisions in the plan. Before we notify the Proposed District Plan we must ask for your feedback on the documents we intend to incorporate in the Plan by reference. These documents provide technical standards or recommended practices that help with implementing the Proposed District Plan provisions, but they’re often too large to be included in the plan text. We want to know what you think about the documents that we intend to incorporate by reference. Of particular note is the Draft Code of Practice for Land Development and Subdivision Infrastructure Standard (NSZ 4404: 2010 with local amendments). The Code outlines clear standards of infrastructure design and construction that are applied through the Proposed District Plan. It has recently been changed.  You can see a full list of the key documents and download the submission form on the Proposed District Plan Page.  Let us know what you think by getting your feedback to us by 5pm on 4 April 2019.
News People Student interns Raul Johnson and Cameron Johnson The almighty Johnsons help NPDC boost ecosystems and biodiversity 01 March 2019 Cameron and Raul Johnson share the same surname and a passion for restoring biodiversity across the New Plymouth District and Aotearoa. The student interns have been working with NPDC since mid-December and have spent the summer studying flora and fauna in the district’s parks, reserves and along the Waiwhakaiho River valley. The duo’s research can now be used by NPDC to create a planting programme along the river with the aim of bringing back native species like whio (blue ducks) and gold-striped geckos and to boost native trees and plants in urban areas.  Raul, who has just completed a degree in Zoology at Otago University, says he has enjoyed his time in New Plymouth so much that he has decided to stay and is now looking for an ecology or conservation job. His project involved surveying urban New Plymouth for remnant bush and identify planting sites for native flora. “I had been to New Plymouth a couple of times before but exploring all the parks, walkways and reserves has helped me see what a great place it is,” says Raul. “I’m hoping this project will help NPDC to improve flora and fauna around the urban area which we’re gradually losing. A restoration strategy will make this native vegetation sustainable for generations to come.” The New Plymouth urban area has 8.9% of native bush, making it the most bio-diverse city in New Zealand (the average is just 2%). To stop species declining, 10% of vegetation needs to be native and Raul’s study has identified locations to hit that target. NPDC is now keen to work with the community and work the project into its planting programme.  Cameron, who is in his final year of his Ecology and Biodiversity degree at Victoria University, had never been to New Plymouth before his internship but now knows the Waiwhakaiho very well after 10 weeks of trekking the valley from the river mouth to Egmont National Park. “It’s been challenging. It’s a long river to trek each day and it’s been pretty hot as well,” says Cameron. “But it’s also been a hugely rewarding experience and these projects are what I want do in my life.  “It’s been fantastic working with the NPDC team and I hope this project will help make a difference and can be used to create an ecological corridor to bring back native fish, reptiles and birds to the Waiwhakaiho valley.” NPDC worked with Waikato University to bring the pair to the district for the summer and the internships were funded by scholarships from the George Mason Charitable Trust. “These projects have very much been a win-win,” says NPDC Group Manager Strategy Liam Hodgetts. “We now have two pieces of vital research which will help us improve biodiversity and urban ecosystems while Cameron and Raul have invaluable experience of using their studies in the real world.” Professor Bruce Clarkson, Deputy Vice Chancellor Research at Waikato University, said they were hoping to offer more student scholarships next year. “We are pleased to be collaborating with NPDC and Wild For Taranaki on understanding how to better manage New Plymouth’s indigenous nature. Funding support from the George Mason Trust made it possible for us to offer the summer student scholarships.” The pair are just two of the many student interns who come to work with NPDC each summer to get valuable on-the-job experience. NPDC employed about 10 other interns who worked with a variety of teams including Parks, Transportation, Property and Planning and the TSB Festival of Lights. What is an ecological corridor? This is a thin stretch of uninterrupted native bush. Native animals use it to migrate to Egmont National Park. Increased native vegetation is good for the river as well; it filters out nutrients from farm run-off, improving water quality. It provides a habitat for native fauna like whio (blue ducks) and gold striped geckos. An ideal ecological corridor runs for at least 50 metres on either side of the river. New Plymouth’s urban ecosystems: By the numbers 10% of vegetation needs to be native to stop species decline New Plymouth currently has 8.9% of native/remnant plants, the most for any NZ city Most NZ cities have an average of just 2% of native bush 35.4ha of urban land in New Plymouth needs native plants to hit the 10% figure Weed control, indigenous planting and maintenance will help the district hit 10%
Our Work Local Devon Street Americarna NPDC fund brings big gigs/events/sport games to our region 22 February 2019 Have you been enjoying the rumble of V8 engines as Americarna rolls through Taranaki this week?  Are you looking forward to WOMAD next month at Brooklands Park or the ITU Triathlon World Cup? Did you know that events like these and many others are brought to town thanks to an NPDC fund specifically designed to bring high quality entertainment to our District?  NPDC’s Major Events Fund has been running since 2005 and is designed to attract events to our region that appeal to a range of audiences, bring economic and social benefits to the district, and position Taranaki as a desirable place to live and visit. About $750,000 has been allocated to the Fund in the current financial year. Over the last 14 years, it’s helped fund events such as major acts at the TSB Bowl of Brooklands, All Blacks test matches, music and dance festival WOMAD and many more.  This year it’s already brought the first-ever National Basketball League (NBL) game to the TSB Stadium, where the SKYCITY Breakers beat the Cairns Taipans in front of a sell-out crowd. “The calibre of events that take place with support from NPDC’s Major Events Fund and thanks to our corporate partners, is contributing to Building a Lifestyle Capital,” says Mayor Neil Holdom. “By hosting world-class concerts, international sporting matches and dynamic arts festivals – to name a few – we draw our community together, stimulate the local economy and make them proud to call Taranaki home. It also brings in visitors who support our economy by staying the weekend, eating out, shopping, and visiting our other tourist attractions which often convinces them to come back here for good. It’s a win-win,” he says. WOMAD is on 15 to 17 March at TSB Bowl of Brooklands, the ITU Triathlon World Cup and National Schools Triathlon begins on 31 March and later this year are Taranaki Arts Festival Trust’s Winter Fest and Spiegeltent Festival.  Keep your calendar handy and an eye on Hello NP on Facebook, as events are always cropping up which means more fun for the Taranaki community.
News Image of a fire in a brazier Fire restrictions 18 February 2019 We’re all feeling the heat this summer, including the land. You now need a permit to light a fire outdoors so you keep yourself and others safe. Fire and Emergency New Zealand has put the restriction over the whole of New Plymouth District from 18 February. This means it’s illegal to light a fire outdoors – or let someone else light a fire on your land – without a Fire and Emergency permit. This restriction lasts until further notice from Fire and Emergency New Zealand. You can get more details at
News Kune kune pigs Rifle Range Road pound February 2019 Piggy pals at NPDC's Pound 15 February 2019 Two new arrivals are hogging all the attention at the NPDC Pound. The pair of young kune kune were found trotting along Heta Road about three weeks ago. The adorable duo are both female and are thought to be about four or five months old. “They’re cute as, but they’re growing fast and we’d really like to find their owner,” says NPDC External Relations Manager Jacqueline Baker. “So if you know where they belong, call us on 06-759 6060.” There’s never a boring moment with the pair, who are both used to human contact. They’ve been given the run of the Pound’s new “Pig Palace”, complete with their own muddy puddle. If they’re not claimed, the pigs will be put up for adoption. “They’re definitely pets, so we’d be looking for a vegetarian and/or pet-loving home for them.”  The NPDC Pound is also home to two goats – a white female that has been found a home and a small black billy – as well as some great dogs at the moment too. So if you’re looking for your next best friend, get in touch by calling 06-759 6060 or through the NPDC website NPDC’s Animal Council Officers impound about 600 dogs each year which are held at the Rifle Range Road pound before being returned to their owner or sometimes a new owner.
News Mangatete Stream Okato Outdoor water ban for Ōkato 11 February 2019 A ban on outdoor water use begins in Ōkato tomorrow (Wednesday) as the Mangatete Stream’s flows continue to lower. Gardens may not be watered and cars and house windows may not be washed while the outdoor ban is in place. “We need substantial rain over a decent period before the Mangatete’s flows will increase again. The long-range forecast has nothing more than a few showers coming our way so it’s important that Ōkato residents stop all outdoor water use for water conservation,” says NPDC Chief Operating Officer Kelvin Wright. Meanwhile, continued high water use in Ōākura is putting pressure on the town’s storage reservoir and firefighting reserve, and if the demand continues it could trigger an outdoor water ban there as well. Mr Wright has urged Ōākura residents to cut back on how much water they use and keep to the odds and evens system for hand-held hoses. “That’s especially important on public holidays and weekends, when people tend to water their gardens and do other outdoor jobs,” he says. Last Sunday (10 February), residents in Ōākura again used 33% more water than the town’s average daily demand whereas residents on the New Plymouth supply used just 6% more than its daily average. You can be a Wai Warrior by reducing how much water is used around the home. Pick up some great tips at Over the next decade, NPDC is investing an extra $44 million to upgrade its water network.
News Our Work People Aussie triathletes 2019 NPDC facilities help triathletes go for Tokyo gold 08 February 2019 Some of the world’s best young athletes are gearing up for Olympic gold in NPDC’s parks, pools and roads. Triathlon Australia’s International Performance Centre has brought eight budding sport stars to New Plymouth as part of their build-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The squad has five Australian triathletes and one each from New Zealand, Switzerland and Canada, here for two months of intensive training. They’ve been swimming at NPDC’s Todd Energy Aquatic Centre and the Waitara pool and running through Pukekura Park and other NPDC parks as well as the Huatoki and Te Henui walkways. Coach Jamie Turner, who grew up in Waitara, says the district ticks all the triathlon training boxes. “It’s great swimming here in New Plymouth at the NPDC pools and also in the open water. There are great rural roads, awesome for cycling, here in Taranaki, and great running here in New Plymouth with the trail network and the parks,” says Mr Turner. Hosting the squad is a great reminder of how our district’s progressing in building a lifestyle capital with a great mix of facilities, says NPDC Chief Operating Officer Kelvin Wright. “NPDC looks after 1,600 hectares of parks and 1,200 kilometres of roads that take in some of the greatest scenery in the country. With that and our beaches and pools, who wouldn’t choose to come here?” says Mr Wright. New Plymouth wished the young athletes well and would be watching the medal podiums in Tokyo, he said.