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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Events and Exhibitions
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.
Paywave in, paper receipts out in NPDC car parking upgrade
02 November 2018
‘Tap and go’ parking has arrived in New Plymouth, with most NPDC car parking machines in the central business district now accepting Paywave. It’s the first phase in an upgrade that will also see the end to printed receipts as part of NPDC’s journey toward Zero Waste 2040. Before Christmas, NPDC will phase out printed receipts and give the option of an e-receipt instead. “It’s about using technology to cut down our waste and make it easier and faster to park in the CBD,” says NPDC Customer and Regulatory Solutions Manager Katrina Brunton. “We brought in the PayMyPark app nearly three years ago to make parking quick and easy, and now we’ve added Paywave as an option at the machines. “NPDC is focused on supporting a thriving central city, and making it simple to park and pay is a key part of keeping our CBD accessible.” In addition, users can now top up their parking from more machines. Top up your $1 an hour parking from any other $1 an hour machine, and your $2 an hour parking from any other $2 an hour machine. Top-up parking is also available on the PayMyPark app. Due to more popular payment options being available, the text-to-park function is being shut down. To receive an electronic receipt users have 3 ways to do this: 1. Via the Pay my Park app available on the Apple and Android app stores 2. Input your email address at the parking meter when paying 3. Scan a QR code provided at the parking meter
NPDC retains high financial rating following independent assessment
01 November 2018
Standard & Poor’s has reconfirmed NPDC’s AA/A-1+ credit rating. It says NPDC’s robust financial management, excellent liquidity and high level of budgetary flexibility support this rating. In the last financial year the council returned a $320,000 general rates operating surplus. “I’m very pleased the international and independent rating agency Standard & Poor’s has reconfirmed NPDC’s AA/A-1+ credit rating. NPDC manages assets worth $2.6 billion and its annual operating budget for the last financial year was $141 million, so this rating represents a big tick against robust financial management. It’s the highest possible rating a local government body can get in New Zealand, “ says NPDC Chief Financial Officer, Alan Bird. After public consultation, NPDC is investing approximately $44 million over the next decade to improve water resilience and a further $21 million towards Zero Waste 2040. NPDC manages the District’s water, more than 1,270 kilometres of roads, 1,600 hectares of parks and open spaces, 1,730 properties, Brooklands Zoo, Puke Ariki, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, TSB Showplace and TSB Stadium, and TSB Festival of Lights.
Hapū to consider updated NPDC Waitara Lands Bill
01 November 2018
Otaraua and Manukorihi hapū are considering the details of the updated NPDC Waitara Lands Bill which enables leaseholders to purchase freehold their leased properties. There are 770 Waitara properties valued at approximately $90 million. If the Bill goes ahead, it could unlock that money for the benefit of the Waitara community. The Bill was presented to hapū at Owae Marae in Waitara two years ago. Since then and after hundreds of hours of talks, this updated Bill is very different to the first version as it contains funds for the restoration of the Waitara River and a Hapū Land Fund to enable the hapū to acquire more land at Waitara. If the hapū endorse the Bill, it will proceed to an NPDC Council meeting and then to Cabinet, followed by a final reading in Parliament. NPDC acknowledges the land was confiscated before it was transferred to NPDC’s predecessor, the Waitara Borough Council, in 1941. Mayor Neil Holdom says the Bill is not perfect but is the best way forward. “We recognise the pain and hurt of the hapū at not having the land back. I was at Owae Marae for the Select Committee hearings and heard the heartache and sadness. But as the Council is bound by its financial obligations to all of its 80,000 residents, it meant that we couldn’t just give the land back, however unfair that seems. After the Treaty settlement process we had to find a new way to work through this problem and it’s this Bill. We are grateful that it has given us an opportunity to build relationships with members of the hapū. The hapū leaders have worked tirelessly over the last two years to get the best they could for their members. To that end we have created a fund to enable the hapū to purchase, manage or develop land at Waitara. “After almost 30 years of talks, this Bill is not perfect but it presents a real opportunity for the hapū to create a strong foundation for the future. If it doesn’t proceed, it’ll be a lost opportunity for this generation to resolve this historic and complex matter for the benefit of Waitara. The Bill also creates certainty for leaseholders, who retain their perpetual rights to occupy under the conditions they signed up to when they purchased their leases. Leaseholders also have the right to purchase freehold title at market value. NPDC acknowledges the criticism from leaseholders that market value has risen significantly since the issue was first raised many years ago. However, like the situation for the hapū where they cannot get the confiscated land back, the Bill reflects the reality that NPDC has an obligation to all 80,000 people in the district and cannot legally sell publicly owned land below market value, no matter what the history.” The Waitara River would benefit significantly from the Bill with the creation of a fund to improve the health of the catchment, Mr Holdom said. “The people of Taranaki and New Zealand have expressed a strong desire to improve water quality in our rivers and streams. The focus on improving water quality in the Waitara River is something our children and grandchildren will one day thank us for. By working together with iwi, hapū, the Taranaki Regional Council, our farmers and the wider community we are excited about what could be achieved in improving the river.” Fast Facts 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 part of Ranfurly Park and the Waitara Golf Course.
CBD Forum Live From 630pm
30 October 2018
Today CBD champions will meet to discuss the future of our central business district. The forum will be streamed live from 6:30pm. Watch the full discussion here.
NPDC to kick off multimillion dollar water project in Inglewood
25 October 2018
NPDC is spending more than $44 million over the next 10 years to improve the district’s water networks and Inglewood is the first cab off the rank. A project is due to start in Inglewood, where a quarter of the town’s pipes will be replaced over the next three years. “NPDC will be investing about $2.5 million in Inglewood’s water over the coming three years and replacing about seven kilometres of pipes. We look after more than 800 kilometres of water pipes throughout the district and they range in age from new to more than 110 years old, so it’s great this important piece of work is under way,” says Mayor Neil Holdom. “Improving the quality and performance of our community infrastructure is a major focus for this Council. We have an obligation to provide a consistently high standard of services to our people and we are investing significantly to ensure our water networks meet the needs of current and future generations.” The first phase of the work is to replace the old pipes in the Inglewood urban area which will be followed by replacing the main pipes that connect the town to the reservoir. The project is expected to alleviate occasional issues with discoloured water. The pipes will be made from PVC, a durable pipe that is common throughout New Zealand and is suitable for Inglewood’s ground conditions. NPDC will be on the streets of Inglewood talking to locals about the details and we thank them in advance for their support. More information is on the Inglewood Water Improvements webpage.
Visit Our Gardens During the Garden Festival
24 October 2018
We are very proud to take part in the PowerCo Taranaki Garden Festival. The festival takes place from 26 October to 4 November. You can visit our beautiful spaces year round, but spring is a particularly great time to visit our participating gardens: Pukekura Park, Te Henui Cemetery and the Fernery and Display Houses. During the festival we also host guided tours of all three gardens, all tours are free and no booking is required. Pukekura Park Wednesday 31 October 9am Friday 2 November 9am Meet outside The Bellringer Pavilion, via Fillis St entrance, Pukekura Park, New Plymouth Fernery and Display Houses Tuesday 30 October 11am Thursday 1 November 11am Meet at the Fernery and Display House entrance, Pukekura Park, Fillis St, New Plymouth Te Henui Cemetery Monday 29 October 2pm Wednesday 31 October 2pm Friday 2 November 2pm 173 Lemon St, Strandon, New Plymouth. Meet by the main sign by the first roundabout inside the cemetery
Hi-tech hub ready to handle an emergency
19 October 2018
NPDC’s state-of-the-art Emergency Operations Centre is up and running and ready to help keep our community safe during an emergency. Based at the TSB Stadium, NPDC has invested $500,000 to create the hi-tech Civil Defence hub which includes GIS map facilities, a back-up power supply, secure communication connections and even its own 30,000L water tank. “We know that an emergency can happen at any time so we’re absolutely delighted to have this new centre which will help us meet the challenges our district may face,” says NPDC Chief Operating Officer Kelvin Wright. “Our community responded brilliantly to ex-Cyclone Gita earlier this year. The Emergency Operations Centre will enable us to respond even more effectively to localised problems.” Director of Civil Defence New Zealand, Sarah Stuart-Black, praised the new centre and NPDC’s commitment to managing the district through any future event. “The opening of this centre strengthens NPDC’s ability to manage local emergencies effectively.” The official opening, held this week, marks a new chapter for the district’s Civil Defence Emergency Management team with two NPDC staff members running emergency management for our district. There was a fantastic response to our call for volunteers – we had more than 170 people put their hands up to work at the centre during a crisis. Mr Wright thanked NPDC’s key community stakeholders including the New Zealand Police, Fire and Emergency, St John, New Zealand Lifelines Council, TEMO, Civil Defence NZ and the other Taranaki councils for their support. If you want to volunteer at the centre, call us on 06-759 6060 or you can register via our online form.
Long Weekend Stay-cation
17 October 2018
Why a stay-cation should be on the cards this Labour Weekend The National Park… obviously The long weekend is the perfect time of year to get back in to nature. Our national park has a huge range of walks to suit whatever kind of adventure you’re after. Plan a trip to the Dawson Falls Visitors Centre, you can take a short, easy walk to Wilkies Pools for a refreshing first swim of the season. Another low effort, maximum impact walk is to the falls themselves, it’s a steep climb in and out, but it’s a quick one. If you want to push yourself further you can do the Waingongoro Hut track, including a walk across the 24m high swing bridge! Check out the DOC website for more information. Get in to the CBD and play tourist for the day. The outdoor pool at the Todd Energy Aquatic Centre will be opening for the first splash of summer, pack your togs and show your kids how it’s done on the diving board. If you’d rather stay dry you can get along to see National Geographic’s 50 Greatest Photographs at Puke Ariki, it’s been a hit with young and old and is only on for one more week. Then pop up the road to the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery where there are six kinetic Len Lye sculptures on display currently (don’t forget the obligatory selfie out the front). If that’s not enough, grab your coffee and head to Pukekura Park to see all the spring explosions of colour, make sure your walk takes you through the Fernery and Display Houses to see the world-class collection of orchids. Beaches!! If you’re not diving in to the Todd Energy Aquatic Centre or Wilkies Pools then your Labour Weekend swim will have to be at a beach. Luckily you have heaps to choose from. So take the opportunity to steer away from your usuals. Pop out to Ōākura, it’s usually a little quieter than Fitzroy but is a great spot for swimming or surfing. Include a walk up to Goat Rock followed by an ice cream to really make a day of it. Or if you can spend a little longer in the car head out to Tongaporutu. Check the tides before you go down to the beach, and explore the amazing piece of coastline that has changed so much in recent years (with Elephant Rock's trunk disappearing). Bring a picnic to eat at the domain while you look towards the postcard perfect baches along the river.
Taranaki Aims to Become a Renewable Energy Hub
12 October 2018
We are playing a pivotal role in a team that has met world-leading renewable energy experts and discussed how our region can become a leading centre for hydrogen energy, an industry that is already worth billions around the globe. H2 Taranaki is a working group set up to encourage the growth and uptake of hydrogen projects in the region. Our Councillor Stacey Hitchcock and one of our Senior Infrastructure Planner have gone to Europe with the team to glean the latest global thinking and examine how Taranaki can become the energy hub of the Southern Hemisphere. “Taranaki is the perfect region to not only embrace the ‘Just Transition’ to a lower carbon future but to lead it from the front,” says Cr Hitchcock. “Thanks to our history with the energy industry, we’re a region with extensive knowledge, skills and an expert workforce. Together with our natural resources, established infrastructure and international port, we’re perfectly set up to embrace a number of more sustainable energy alternatives. “This project is just one of many strategic opportunities identified in our Tapuae Roa Action plan launched earlier this year and will help us develop a hydrogen roadmap specifically for the Taranaki region.” The team are attending several major energy conferences and discussions in Aberdeen, the Orkney Islands, England and the Netherlands. The research investigation has also included exploring a MOU with Aberdeen, a key energy centre in the Northern Hemisphere, examining opportunities to become a World Cities Energy partner and a chance to connect with other governments around the world who are transitioning to a lower carbon future.
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Last updated: 28 January 2019