News and Notices

Kereru flying again thanks to care from NPDC's zoo staff 23 March 2018 Kereru have taken a hammering this summer but staff at NPDC’s Brooklands Zoo have been pulling out all the stops to get injured and orphaned birds back in the air. The zoo has accepted six kereru (native pigeons) into its care since December. The injured birds are housed out of the public eye before they are released back into the wild. NPDC External Relations Manager Jacqueline Baker says Brooklands Zoo staff have to deal with birds that are completely wild and often stressed when they arrive. “Some of these animals are protected species and our keepers have been specially trained in how to care for them. They have created a calm environment to help them recover,” Ms Baker says.  Brooklands Zoo has a Department of Conservation (DOC) permit to assist with rehabilitating injured or orphaned native birds, such as kereru, tui and morepork, as well as protected reptiles. Kereru are large and relatively heavy birds and are prone to injury. We can all take simple measures to help protect kereru, says Ms Baker. These include not speeding on the roads, keeping dogs under control in the bush, putting stickers on large windows, and avoiding planting trees, such as puriri which attract kereru, right next to large viewing windows. “Most people think of them as quite common birds, and although they are not rare, they only have one chick a year and it takes 10 weeks to leave the nest, during which time it is very vulnerable to predators,” says Ms Baker. Brooklands Zoo opened in 1965 and about 113,000 people visit every year. NPDC owned and operated, the family-focused zoo is home to a wide variety of species, including farmyard animals, reptiles and amphibians, and exotic mammals and birds. High five for Pukekura Park with Green Flag honour 16 March 2018 The Green Flag will be flying over New Plymouth’s Pukekura Park for a fifth year this year. The jewel in the crown of New Plymouth District Council parks was one of 18 across the country to make the grade for the international award in 2018. The Green Flag is the international mark of a quality park or green space. “This is a tribute to the hard work and dedication of our Parks staff and reflects the pride they take in their work,” says NPDC Chief Operating Officer Kelvin Wright. “It also shows how lucky we are that New Plymouth’s founders had the foresight to create such a fantastic and lasting asset back in 1876. We aim to keep it in good shape for future generations to enjoy.” The park includes the TSB Bowl of Brooklands and the popular Brooklands Zoo, and is host to high-profile events such as this weekend’s WOMAD and the annual TSB Festival of Lights, as well as concerts by international stars. Experts assess a park for a Green Flag award using eight criteria, including horticultural standards, cleanliness, sustainability, community involvement and providing a warm welcome.  The Green Flag Award scheme, piloted in New Zealand by the New Zealand Recreation Association, was launched in the United Kingdom in 1996 and flags fly over 1,700 sites across the UK, Republic of Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, Finland and the United Arab Emirates, as well as Australia and New Zealand.  “We know the significant contribution that public parks make to healthy lifestyles. If we want liveable cities and thriving communities, then we need to invest in these public spaces and ensure that everyone, no matter where they live, has access to quality parks and green spaces that are fit for purpose,” says Karl Nesbitt, Parks and Open Spaces Programme Manager at the New Zealand Recreation Association. “When you visit a park and see the Green Flag flying, you know you are in one of the very best green spaces.” NPDC Parks: Fast facts • NPDC manages 1500 hectares of parks. • The parks department employs 74 staff members. • Pukekura Park won the vote to take out the “Mayfair” or top spot on the NZ version of Monopoly. • Each year the park stages the TSB Festival of Lights which is attended by 125,000 over the summer months. • Park staff use remote-controlled, hi-tech mowers for tricky areas.  • Currently parks have 49 playgrounds.  • There are seven skate parks. • Parks staff mow 700 acres every 18 days. • There are 67 sports fields including two first-class venues. Help raise cash for Taranaki Retreat at WOMAD pop-up festival says NPDC 13 March 2018 NPDC is bringing together WOMAD NZ organiser TAFT, First Gas, More FM, Energy City Hyundai and Police to raise vital cash for the Taranaki Retreat. New Plymouth District Mayor Neil Holdom and councillors will add the sounds of sizzling sausages to the cool tunes from WOMAD artists at a free pop-up festival tomorrow at the Puke Ariki Landing. Four barbecues run by NPDC, Energy City Hyundai, More FM and the Police will feed music lovers and money raised from the sizzle will go to the Taranaki Retreat.  “All those involved were delighted to help out,” says Mr Holdom. “We wanted to do our bit to raise cash for a social worker at the Taranaki Retreat and raise awareness of the fantastic job they are doing.  “A huge thank you to TAFT, councillors and community board members and all those who wanted to make this happen. This fundraising event fits so well with the spirit of WOMAD and the idea of the city centre being a cultural and community hub where our people come together. “Let’s get out there, enjoy some music and food and show our support for the Taranaki Retreat.” The WOMAD pop-up festival will feature artists Nano Stern, Spooky Men’s Chorale and The Curious Game as well as Zumba dancing and was organised by NPDC’s See it in the City and WOMAD NZ. The event runs from 11am to 1.30pm with sausages ready about 11.30am. First Gas has agreed to sponsor $1,000 to cover the costs of sausages and bread.  Taranaki Retreat co-ordinator Jamie Allen says they were thrilled with the support for the community facility from NPDC, TAFT, the Police and local businesses.  “This awesome event expresses how committed our community is to making a difference where it is most needed,” says Mr Allen. “We’re looking forward to sharing in the cooking and spreading the word.” To find out how to donate to the Retreat, which provides a sanctuary for families dealing with tragedy and difficult times, head to taranakiretreat.org.nz/donation. New Plymouth is host city for WOMAD, which runs from Friday to Sunday, and this is the 14th year the iconic festival has been held in Brooklands Park. NPDC's Puke Ariki explores life before the dinosaurs 09 March 2018 Life-sized and animated models of pre-historic Permian monsters form the centrepiece attraction of the latest exhibition to hit NPDC’s Puke Ariki. Visitors to the Permian Monsters: Life Before the Dinosaurs exhibition will have the opportunity to roam around, and interact with, the creatures from the days before dinosaurs ruled the Earth. The Permian era featured some weird and wonderful creatures who are brought back to life by animatronics in the exhibition, being hosted in the Temporary Exhibitions Gallery. The Permian era is famous for a mass extinction event 252 million years ago when climate change caused by huge volcanic eruptions wiped out more than 90 per cent of life on our planet. “Permian Monsters is perfect for all the family to enjoy,” says Puke Ariki Manager Kelvin Day. Visitors will see five life-size animatronics and one life-sized model of the creatures which dominated land and sea from 298 to 252 million years ago and also get to explore and identify fossils in interactive ‘dig pits’. There is also a Permian soundscape when the animatronics are activated by people walking past them. The Permian period was dominated by synapsids (thought to be ancestors of mammals) and sauropsids (ancestors of dinosaurs and birds) and the ‘great dying’ killed about 95 per cent of marine animals, 70 per cent of land animals and virtually all trees. “It’s a fascinating period which sometimes gets overlooked because of the dinosaur era but is well worth finding more about,” says Mr Day. Permian Monsters: Life Before the Dinosaurs runs from 10 March to 9 September. The exhibition is toured by Gondwana Studios. Permian fast facts: The Permian era was from 298 to 252 million years ago. It started with an ice age and finished with a massive extinction event, believed to have been caused by volcanic activity causing climate change. All the continents came together during this time to form the mega-continent Pangaea. Some 95 per cent of marine life was wiped out at the end of the period including trilobites which had been around for 270 million years. Permian Monsters is curated by Gondwana Studios which has taken the exhibition to two other museums in New Zealand. 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 on 15 June 2003. More than 800,000 people visited Puke Ariki in the 2016/17 year, 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. Trial launched to improve safety of primary school students 06 March 2018 Nine New Plymouth District schools have started using cones to promote safe driving at school drop-off and pick-up times under a new trial joint scheme with NPDC’s Let’s Go. The trial uses traffic safety cones to keep cars away from no-stopping areas at entrances, crossing facilities, accessways and intersections to boost kids’ safety around vehicles. Waitara East School has just begun the trial and Principal Perrie Topia says he is already receiving positive comments about it. “The cones have heightened awareness that there’s a pedestrian crossing coming up by making it more visual,” he says. “Prior to this, some people were stopping on yellow lines to drop off or pick up their children. But with the cones there the area has opened up and everyone is safer.” NPDC spokesperson Jacqueline Baker says the goal is to improve students’ safety at the busiest times of the school day: morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up. “We ask all drivers to stop legally around schools, for everyone’s safety,” she says. “It’s better to park further away and walk in than to stop your car on broken yellow lines.” The nine schools taking part are Vogeltown School, New Plymouth Girls’ High School, West End School, Welbourn School, Waitara East School, Fitzroy School, Puketapu School, Inglewood Primary School and Central School. NPDC boosts road safety outside busy school 04 March 2018 NPDC is boosting road safety for kids, cyclists and drivers outside Highlands Intermediate School. Work has started on revamping a busy stretch of road on Coronation Avenue near the school after NPDC’s Let’s Go team worked with the school, locals and the NZTA on how to improve safety. The seven-week project will provide more room for cyclists, cut traffic confusion around the pedestrian crossing and make the section from Tarahua Road to the State Highway 3 intersection safer. “We’ve spent months talking with schools, residents and the community at large and are grateful for their advice and input,” says NPDC spokesperson Jacqueline Baker. “These improvements will enhance the area for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. Please take care while the work is being carried out” says Ms Baker. The changes include: Moving the pedestrian crossing further away from the Evelyn Place intersection. Creating more spaces for bus parking. Creating inset parking bays. Widening the cycle lanes. Creating a 2.4m-wide shared pathway from the SH3 intersection to the main gates of Highlands Intermediate School – similar to the shared pathway along Coronation Avenue from New Plymouth Boys’ High School. Roads factfile: The NPDC has 1,277km of roads which it maintains. Annually NPDC spends around $1.8m on maintaining the structure of our road pavements. This includes pothole repairs as well as a lot of other types of repairs. In 2017 NPDC did 279 traffic counts with 362,156 vehicles driving over the tubes, and there were more than 500 million vehicle kilometres travelled on our roads. We maintain 347 bridges across the network of which 185 are single lane. Breakdown of roads maintained: Urban: Sealed = 325km (Sealed) Rural: Sealed = 956km, (Sealed = 787km; Unselaed = 169km) Special Purpose Road (Egmont Rd up to North Egmont = 6.8km) Pipe fixed but boil and conserve water 24 February 2018 Quick facts Please keep up to date with water information for your property by viewing our emergency water map: View the Emergency Water Map All properties in New Plymouth, Bell Block, Waitara, Tikorangi, Lepperton, Onaero and Urenui are on a boil water notice. All tap water must be boiled for one minute before drinking. Please use your emergency water supplies first. Information on personal hygiene and food safety is available from the Taranaki District Health Board here: Protecting your health in an emergency Latest update 6pm update, 24th February Our Fix It crews have been working hard on the streets and we’re more than ¾ of the way through stand piping* about 100 fire hydrants. Waitara, Lepperton, Highlands Park and Bell Block now have water in taps. This includes some big commercial users. We’re half way through Glen Avon and we’ve started in Urenui, the last location (including Tikorangi and Onaero). Its critical everyone continues to boil water. Once we have the 100 fire hydrants completed, we’ll then move into the water quality phase where we make sure it is safe to drink while working with health officials. While we’re rebooting our water system we have crews on the ground monitoring flows and please let us know on 06 759 6060 or our Facebook page, if you see anything unusual. We are making solid progress but there is still a lot of work to do, following the New Plymouth water pipe being damaged during ex Cyclone Gita on Tuesday night. Its likely to take about a week before we can lift the boil water notice. * Stand piping involves manually removing the lid of fire hydrants, and installing a vertical pipe (stand pipe) which allows air and water to escape the system as it is gradually refilled. We need to do this slowly so we can control the pressure, venting the air from the pipes as water rushes in. People will see water coming out of the pipe and this is an important safety measure; confirming the pipes are full of water and we are controlling the pressure. Each stand piping takes several hours. Situation to date, Residents All properties in New Plymouth, Bell Block, Waitara, Tikorangi, Lepperton, Onaero and Urenui are on a boil water notice. Only use tap water (including filtered water) for drinking after boiling it for one minute, and for flushing the toilet. Please use your emergency water supplies first. If you are not sure what the water situation is for your property, please check the Water Supply Map: http://www.newplymouthnz.com/Residents/Your-Property/Water/Emergency-Water-Map Information on personal hygiene and food safety is available from the Taranaki District Health Board here: http://tdhb.org.nz/news/documents/2018-02-21.shtml Note: you can shower safely as long as you avoid your face, but young children should be sponge-bathed instead. You may want to use bottled or boiled water if you have recent surgical wounds or a chronic illness. However, we instruct all residents in the boil-water notice area to cut back on their water use and use tap water only for drinking (after boiling it for one minute) and flushing the toilet. There is a total ban on using water for gardens or outside washing. Situation to date, Businesses and Schools We’re asking you to boil and save water. It is up to businesses and schools to decide if they should shut, however, all water must be boiled first before being consumed. Schools should talk to the Ministry of Education. Hairdressers in the amber and red areas of the interactive Water Supply Map on newplymouthnz.com may not operate, for their customers’ safety, as we cannot guarantee a continued water supply at this time. All big water users have been asked to stop using water. If you are not sure what the water situation is for your property, please check the Water Supply Map: http://www.newplymouthnz.com/Residents/Your-Property/Water/Emergency-Water-Map Situation to date, Safe drinking water Water from the tankers that have been provided in critical areas does not need to be boiled. The tankers are operating from 6am to 9pm at the following sites: Hickford Park Car Park (end of Smeaton Road), Bell Block. Bell Block Court, Bell Block (outside The Warehouse). Outside Waitara Memorial Hall, Memorial Place, Waitara. Clifton Park car park, opposite Waitara High School, Princess Street, Waitara. Outside Tennis/Bowling Club, Manutahi Road, Lepperton. Rimu Street Industrial Park, Rimu Street, Merrilands, New Plymouth. Outside Mangorei School, Mangorei Road, New Plymouth. 31 Onaero Beach Road. Urenui Corner Whakapaki Street & Ngakoti Streets opposite the primary school. Please take your own containers for filling. Previous updates Updated 10:00am, Saturday 24 February Fix-It squads have been working hard and water is back in taps in Waitara, Highlands Park and Lepperton. But it’s critical residents continue to boil and save water. Hundreds of volunteers have been on these streets, from dawn to dusk, stand piping* as we look to slowly refill pipes while controlling the pressure. Fix-It squads are now on the ground in Bell Block. Residents in these areas are being asked to turn on their outside tap first, as water is returned to homes. If the water is murky please keep the tap running for ten minutes until it becomes clear. If it does not become clear after ten minutes, please turn the tap off and try again in half an hour. We are making solid progress towards restoring water but there is still a lot of work to do, following the New Plymouth water pipe being damaged during ex Cyclone Gita on Tuesday night. Once water is restored there will be several days of flushing the pipes clean, so we can make the water safe to drink again. It will take about a week until we are in a position to lift the boil water notice. * Stand piping involves manually removing the lid of fire hydrants, and installing a vertical pipe (stand pipe) which allows air and water to escape the system as it is gradually refilled. We need to do this slowly so we can control the pressure, venting the air from the pipes as water rushes in. People will see water coming out of the pipe and this is an important safety measure; confirming the pipes are full of water and we are controlling the pressure. Each stand piping takes several hours. Updated 5pm, Friday 23 February 2018. Hundreds of volunteers have sprung into action following the New Plymouth water pipe being damaged during ex-Cyclone Gita on Tuesday night. We are making solid progress towards restoring water but there is still a lot of work to do. Please continue to save and boil water. Water is now running through the pipeline and we are filling our reservoirs. We’ve got Fix-It squads in Waitara and are making good progress on stand piping* the 30 fire hydrants there. We’ve just mobilised 25 fresh volunteers who will be in Highlands Park tonight bringing water pressure back to the system in a controlled fashion. Once Waitara and Highlands Park are completed, we’ll move onto other parts of the District. Our teams are working on up to 30 stand pipes at any one time. Each takes several hours. There are still more than 70 hydrants to be stand piped over the rest of the District. Once water is restored there will be several days of flushing the pipes clean, so we can make the water safe to drink again. It will take about a week until we are in a position to lift the boil water notice. We’d like to thank everyone for their patience and our countless volunteers for all their hard work. * Stand piping involves manually removing the lid of fire hydrants and installing a vertical pipe (standpipe) which allows air and water to escape the system as it is gradually refilled. We need to do this slowly so we can control the pressure, venting the air from the pipes as water rushes in. People will see water coming out of the pipe and this is an important safety measure; confirming the pipes are full of water and we are controlling the pressure. The pipe has been fixed. Updated 1.30pm, Friday 23 February 2018. We fixed the pipe last night that was damaged during ex-Cyclone Gita. Water is running through it and we are filling reservoirs. While we are completing this filling process, please continue to save and boil water as this will support the refilling process. We are manually removing the lids of fire hydrants, installing a vertical pipe (standpipe) which will allow air and water to escape the system as it is gradually refilled. We need to do this slowly so we can control the pressure, venting the air from the pipes as water rushes in. People will see water coming out of the pipe and this is an important safety measure; confirming the pipes are full of water and we are controlling the pressure. There will be several days of flushing the pipes clean, so we can make the water safe to drink again. In the meantime, we ask everyone to continue to save and boil water until further notice. It will take about a week until we are in a position to lift the boil water notice. Situation to date, Residents All properties in New Plymouth, Bell Block, Waitara, Tikorangi, Lepperton, Onaero and Urenui are on a boil water notice. Only use tap water (including filtered water) for drinking after boiling it for one minute, and for flushing the toilet. Please use your emergency water supplies first. If you are not sure what the water situation is for your property, please check the Water Supply Map: http://www.newplymouthnz.com/Residents/Your-Property/Water/Emergency-Water-Map Information on personal hygiene and food safety is available from the Taranaki District Health Board here: http://tdhb.org.nz/news/documents/2018-02-21.shtml Note: you can shower safely as long as you avoid your face, but young children should be sponge-bathed instead. You may want to use bottled or boiled water if you have recent surgical wounds or a chronic illness. However, we instruct all residents in the boil-water notice area to cut back on their water use and use tap water only for drinking (after boiling it for one minute) and flushing the toilet. There is a total ban on using water for gardens or outside washing. Situation to date, Businesses and Schools We’re asking you to boil and save water. It is up to businesses and schools to decide if they should shut, however, all water must be boiled first before being consumed. Schools should talk to the Ministry of Education. Hairdressers in the amber and red areas of the interactive Water Supply Map on newplymouthnz.com may not operate, for their customers’ safety, as we cannot guarantee a continued water supply at this time. All big water users have been asked to stop using water. If you are not sure what the water situation is for your property, please check the Water Supply Map: http://www.newplymouthnz.com/Residents/Your-Property/Water/Emergency-Water-Map Situation to date, Safe drinking water Water from the tankers that have been provided in critical areas does not need to be boiled. The tankers are operating from 6am to 9pm at the following sites: Hickford Park Car Park (end of Smeaton Road), Bell Block. Bell Block Court, Bell Block (outside The Warehouse). Outside Waitara Memorial Hall, Memorial Place, Waitara. Clifton Park car park, opposite Waitara High School, Princess Street, Waitara. Outside Tennis/Bowling Club, Manutahi Road, Lepperton. Rimu Street Industrial Park, Rimu Street, Merrilands, New Plymouth. Outside Mangorei School, Mangorei Road, New Plymouth. 31 Onaero Beach Road. Urenui Corner Whakapaki Street & Ngakoti Streets opposite the primary school. Please take your own containers for filling. The pipe has been fixed. Update 6,45am, Friday 23 February We’ve fixed the pipe damaged during ex-Cyclone Gita and water is running through it. We have continued to work 24/7 at our treatment plant to produce water, gradually refilling our pipes and reservoirs. We need to do this slowly so we can control the pressure, venting the air from the pipes as water rushes in. We expect refilling the pipes and reservoirs will take at least a day. After that, there will be several days of flushing the pipes clean, so we can make the water safe to drink again. In the meantime, we ask everyone to continue to boil water until further notice. Our thanks to all our volunteers, contractors and staff. While the refill is occurring some areas will still have disruptions to the water supply. Urenui and Onareo may be without water. Water tankers have been put in place at 31 Onaero Beach Road and corner Whakapaki Street & Ngakoti Streets opposite the primary school Situation to date, Residents All properties in New Plymouth, Bell Block, Waitara, Tikorangi, Lepperton, Onaero and Urenui are on a boil water notice. Only use tap water (including filtered water) for drinking after boiling it for one minute, and for flushing the toilet. Please use your emergency water supplies first. If you are not sure what the water situation is for your property, please check the Water Supply Map: http://www.newplymouthnz.com/Residents/Your-Property/Water/Emergency-Water-Map Information on personal hygiene and food safety is available from the Taranaki District Health Board here: http://tdhb.org.nz/news/documents/2018-02-21.shtml Note: you can shower safely as long as you avoid your face, but young children should be sponge-bathed instead. You may want to use bottled or boiled water if you have recent surgical wounds or a chronic illness. However, we instruct all residents in the boil-water notice area to cut back on their water use and use tap water only for drinking (after boiling it for one minute) and flushing the toilet. There is a total ban on using water for gardens or outside washing. Situation to date, Businesses and Schools We’re asking you to boil and save water. It is up to businesses and schools to decide if they should shut, however, all water must be boiled first before being consumed. Schools should talk to the Ministry of Education. Hairdressers in the amber and red areas of the interactive Water Supply Map on newplymouthnz.com may not operate, for their customers’ safety, as we cannot guarantee a continued water supply at this time. All big water users have been asked to stop using water. If you are not sure what the water situation is for your property, please check the Water Supply Map: http://www.newplymouthnz.com/Residents/Your-Property/Water/Emergency-Water-Map Situation to date, Safe drinking water Water from the tankers that have been provided in critical areas does not need to be boiled. The tankers are operating from 6am to 9pm at the following sites: Hickford Park Car Park (end of Smeaton Road), Bell Block. Bell Block Court, Bell Block (outside The Warehouse). Outside Waitara Memorial Hall, Memorial Place, Waitara. Clifton Park car park, opposite Waitara High School, Princess Street, Waitara. Outside Tennis/Bowling Club, Manutahi Road, Lepperton. Rimu Street Industrial Park, Rimu Street, Merrilands, New Plymouth. Outside Mangorei School, Mangorei Road, New Plymouth. Please take your own containers for filling. Good progress on reconnecting water supply. Update 4.15pm, Thursday 22 February Our team is making good progress on repairing the main water supply pipe that was broken on Tuesday by high winds from ex-Cyclone Gita. The welding of the pipe sections is almost finished; we expect the pipe to be moved into position this evening and we’ll be working through the night for as long as it takes to get the job done. We’re also investigating the feasibility of connecting alternative water supplies, as a back-up to the main repair. We will have the pipe reconnected as soon as possible. Once the pipe is fixed it will then take about 24 hours to refill our water catchment. The boil water notice will remain in place for at least a week after the supply is reconnected while our water is returned to the national drinking water standard. Our latest information will be on newplymouthnz.com and our Facebook page. Working on multiple fronts, Update 9am, Thursday 22 February Please keep up to date with water information for your property by viewing our emergency water map View the Emergency Water Map All equipment for the pipe repair has arrived on site and our team is hard at work trying to fix the main water supply pipe near Hydro road, north of New Plymouth. The repair crew will be working 24/7 until the pipe is fixed, after which we’ll flush the pipes of sediment and refill the water system. We’re also investigating the feasibility of connecting to two alternative water supplies, as a back-up to the main repair. In the meantime, please boil and save water. If you have lost water, please turn off your immersion heaters and hot water tanks so that they don’t burn out. Situation to date We instruct people in New Plymouth, Bell Block, Waitara, Tikorangi, Lepperton, Onaero and Urenui to continue to save water as much as possible. Only use water for drinking (after boiling it for one minute) and flushing the toilet. Please use your emergency water supplies first. All big water users have been asked to stop using water. It is up to businesses and schools to decide if they should shut, however, all water must be boiled first before being consumed. There is a total ban on using water for gardens or outside washing. All properties from New Plymouth to Urenui are on a boil water notice. The notice will remain in place for at least a week after the supply is reconnected while the supply is returned to the national drinking water standard. All water for consumption, including filtered water, should be boiled for one minute. Water from the tankers that have been provided in critical areas does not need to be boiled. The tankers are operating from 6am to 9pm at the following sites: Hickford Park Car Park (end of Smeaton Road), Bell Block. Bell Block Court, Bell Block (outside The Warehouse). Outside Waitara Memorial Hall, Memorial Place, Waitara. Clifton Park car park, opposite Waitara High School, Princess Street, Waitara. Outside Tennis/Bowling Club, Manutahi Road, Lepperton. Rimu Street Industrial Park, Rimu Street, Merrilands, New Plymouth. Outside Mangorei School, Mangorei Road, New Plymouth. Please take your own containers for filling. Information on personal hygiene and food safety is available from the Taranaki District Health Board here: http://tdhb.org.nz/news/documents/2018-02-21.shtml. Flyers with the latest information were distributed to more than 26,000 properties yesterday. Our latest information will be on newplymouthnz.com and our Facebook page. View the Emergency Water Map. 6pm update: The replacement pipe has arrived on-site from Auckland. The repair crew is doing as much as they can while the light lasts this evening and will be back on-site at first light tomorrow morning. We are aiming to have the pipe repaired as soon as possible. NPDC staff and volunteers are on the streets from New Plymouth to Urenui distributing letters to around 26,000 properties. The tankers are operating from 6am and 9pm at the following sites: Hickford Park Car Park (end of Smeaton Road), Bell Block. Bell Block Court, Bell Block (Outside The Warehouse). Outside Waitara Memorial Hall, Memorial Place, Waitara. Clifton Park car park, opposite Waitara High School, Princess Street, Waitara. Outside Tennis/Bowling Club, Manutahi Road, Lepperton. Rimu Street Industrial Park, Rimu Street, Merrilands, New Plymouth. Outside Mangorei School, Mangorei Road, New Plymouth. Please take your own containers for filling. 5PM update: NPDC staff and volunteers from the Taranaki Emergency Management Office have hit the streets to provide information letters to more than 26,000 properties from New Plymouth to Urenui during the current water supply disruption. Tankers are up and running at Bell Block (two sites), Waitara (two sites) and Lepperton. The tankers at Mangorei Road and Rimu Street in New Plymouth will be operational shortly. The tankers will run until 9pm and will be available again from 6am tomorrow. 3PM update: NPDC is working hard to fix the water pipe issue and we’re aiming to fix it as soon as possible. In the meantime we instruct residents in New Plymouth, Bell Block, Waitara, Tikorangi, Lepperton, Onearo and Urenui to boil water for one minute before being used for drinking. This includes filtered water. View the Emergency Water Map. Please use your emergency water supplies first. All big water users have been asked to stop using water. It is up to businesses and schools to decide if they should shut, however, all water must be boiled first before being consumed. We’re working on getting a raw water supply to schools for flushing toilets, and for boiling for consumption, however, the decision on whether to reopen remains with each school. Once the pipe has been repaired, the boil water notice will remain in place for at least a week while we work on decontaminating the system and refilling our water storage. There is a total ban on using water for gardens or outside washing. Ex-Cyclone Gita has caused a large tree to fall and destroyed a pipe bridge that carries one of our biggest water pipes near the New Plymouth Water treatment plant yesterday afternoon. This has cut off the water supply to the eastern part of the New Plymouth District and will result in outages this afternoon. NPDC has sourced a pipe to use in the repair. For more information check out NPDC’s Facebook page, website or call us on 06 759 6060. Boil water notice issued by NPDC 21 February 2018 NPDC is working hard to fix the water pipe issue and we’re aiming to fix it as soon as possible. In the meantime we instruct residents in New Plymouth, Bell Block, Waitara, Tikorangi, Lepperton, Onearo and Urenui to boil water for one minute before being used for drinking. This includes filtered water. View the Emergency Water Map. Please use your emergency water supplies first. Water tankers are on their way to the following locations: Hickford Park Car Park (end of Smeaton Road), Bell Block Bell Block Court, Bell Block (Outside The Warehouse) Outside Waitara Memorial Hall, Memorial Place, Waitara Clifton Park car park, opposite Waitara High School, Princess Street, Waitara Outside Tennis/Bowling Club, Manutahi Road, Lepperton Rimu Street Industrial Park, Rimu Street, Merrilands, New Plymouth Outside Mangorei School, Mangorei Road, New Plymouth All big water users have been asked to stop using water. It is up to businesses and schools to decide if they should shut, however all water must be boiled first before being consumed. We’re working on getting a raw water supply to schools for flushing toilets, and for boiling for consumption, however the decision on whether to reopen remains with each school. Once the pipe has been repaired, the boil water notice will remain in place for at least a week while we work on decontaminating the system and refilling our water storage. There is a total ban on using water for gardens or outside washing. Ex-Cyclone Gita has caused a large tree to fall and destroyed a pipe bridge that carries one of our biggest water pipes near the New Plymouth Water treatment plant yesterday afternoon. This has cut off water supply to the eastern part of the New Plymouth District and will result in outages this afternoon. NPDC has sourced a pipe to use in the repair. For more information check out NPDC’s Facebook page, website or call us on 06 759 6060. Save water after storm damages pipe bridge says NPDC 21 February 2018 Save water.  That’s the message from NPDC as ex-Cyclone Gita has caused a large tree to fall and destroy a pipe bridge that carries one of our biggest water pipes near the New Plymouth Water Treatment Plant yesterday afternoon. This has cut off water supply to the eastern part of the New Plymouth District and may result in outages this afternoon. View the Emergency Water Map. Only use water for drinking and cooking. All big water users have been asked to stop using water. There is a total ban on using water for gardens or outside washing, level 4 water restrictions apply. Our team is on the ground fixing it and we have sourced a new water pipe. For more information check out NPDC’s Facebook page, website or call us on 06-759 6060. Water supply interruption from ex-cyclone Gita 20 February 2018 8pm Tuesday 20 February: Ex-Cyclone Gita has arrived in Taranaki and strong winds have pushed a tree onto a water supply pipe just north of the New Plymouth Water treatment plant this afternoon. It’s affected three water reservoirs which supply properties in New Plymouth, Bell Block, Waitara, Tikorangi, Onaero and Urenui. Our repairs have been postponed overnight due to stormy conditions and our team will be back on scene at first light tomorrow. In the meantime, we are urging everyone, both residents and high water-use customers, to reduce their water consumption. Only use what you have to. For more information check out NPDC’s Facebook page or call us on 06-759 6060. *************** 6pm Tuesday 20 February: Ex-cyclone Gita has arrived in Taranaki and strong winds has pushed a tree onto a water supply pipe just north of the New Plymouth Water treatment plant this afternoon. It’s affected three water reservoirs which supply properties in New Plymouth, Bell Block, Waitara, Tikorangi, Onaero and Urenui. A repair crew is at the site, looking to fix the problem as a priority. In the meantime, residents are urged to conserve water until further notice. For more information check out NPDC’s Facebook page or call us on 06-759 6060. Road closures from ex-cyclone Gita 20 February 2018 Last updated - 5:00pm 22 Feb Please continue to take care on all roads as debris may be left behind. All roads that were closed due to the ex-cyclone have now been reopened Engineer Paula Wright brings world of experience to NPDC 15 February 2018 NPDC engineer Paula Wright’s last two jobs had 76 degrees of separation. Mrs Wright joined NPDC last year after working across the world – including the frozen wastes of Canada (-33 degrees Celsius) to the scorching deserts of Australia (+43C).  Originally from Opunake, she’s now bringing her wealth of experience to her role at NPDC as the manager for infrastructure projects like the Waitara stormwater. “In the Northwest Territories where I was working on a water treatment plant upgrade, we were in minus-33 degree Celsius temperatures,” says Mrs Wright. “When I wanted to go for a run, I would have to run up and down the airstrip, as the locals had warned me about the wolves in the bush if I ran out of town!” The temperature gauge shot the other way when Mrs Wright started her previous job in Western Australia on multi-million-dollar upgrades to wastewater treatment plants. However she still had to watch out for the local wildlife. “Commissioning on site, we had a lot of little small covered pits for underground valves. We would constantly would find baby brown snakes in them. These are one of the top 10 most venomous snakes in Australia!” Mrs Wright has also worked in Malaysia but her and husband Jonathan, from Perth, decided to come back to New Zealand to be closer to Paula’s family. “We are really loving the lifestyle here, being able to get home so quickly, going for lunch time runs in the park, surfing, hiking, mountain biking, kite surfing, and everything is so close and easy to do. Plus the commute is five minutes as opposed to 40 to 90 minutes.” Mrs Wright also finds it easier to get around in Taranaki. “Transporting one of the modular Water Treatment Plants to site in Canada required transporting it on ice roads (over a frozen lake). We had to make sure the water treatment plant was ready on time as there was only a short window when the ice is thick enough to drive over. “I also saw bison and lynx while driving to a site – it’s a bit tamer here where I’ve been working on the otters’ enclosure at NPDC’s Brooklands Zoo!  “The budgets here in New Plymouth District are smaller but the project requirements are the same as in northern Canada or the Australian desert: getting a good result for the community with close attention to budgets, keeping people safe and caring for the environment,” she says. “We were delighted that someone with Paula’s experience of working across the world joined us to bring her expertise to NPDC so we continue to deliver the best services for our community,” says NPDC External Relations Manager Jacqueline Baker. Mistreated Leo finds a happy ending thanks to NPDC 09 February 2018 Little Leo was in a pitiful state when he was dumped at NPDC’s dog pound. The maltese/jack russell cross had been horribly mistreated, his fur was completely matted and he was covered in fleas. It took two animal control officers to remove him from the holding pen because the abuse he had suffered had made him so aggressive. His condition was one of the worst officers had ever seen but his story has a happy ending thanks to one NPDC staff member who fostered him and then became his owner. “The first time I saw him, I couldn’t even touch him because he was so angry,” says Melinda Christensen, whose work as an administrator involves the dog pound. “So I sat outside his cage talking to him for an hour. He was grumbling and shaking.” Staff at the Rifle Range Road facility, who look after about 600 dogs each year, had asked Ms Christensen to be a foster carer for Leo because he could not be rehomed in the state he was in. “I went again and sat next to him in the cage. He came over and nudged my hand and then was happy to let me stroke him. It was quite a breakthrough.” The SPCA said they would have prosecuted if they had been able to track down Leo’s previous owners. Ms Christensen’s partner was initially reluctant to take in Leo as they already have two other small dogs, Winnie and Millie. “He said no at first but now Leo has become his dog!” The foster care eventually changed to permanent ownership and the transformation in Leo in the year since he was abandoned at the pound has been amazing. “He is still scared of grooming because of what his owners did to him but in every other respect he is awesome. He loves people, his home, our other two dogs and my partner.” NPDC External Relations Manager Jacqueline Baker says animal control officers have a difficult job, especially when dealing with animals which have been mistreated. “They do a great job not just in dealing with problem cases but also finding new homes for animals,” Ms Baker says. “Fortunately there are a lot of other success stories like Leo’s thanks to the public taking on animals they’ve seen on the pound’s Facebook page.”  • Members of the public looking to adopt a dog should check out the pound’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/NP-Pound-334371706921639/) or contact NPDC on 06 759 6060.  Dog pound fast facts • During 2017, 630 dogs were impounded. • Other impounded animals have included pigs, sheep, goats, horses, hens, cattle and even a cat (which was collected by the SPCA much to the relief of the cat). • The new section built in 2011 provided an extra 40 pens to the existing 25. • Because of the increased capacity dogs not claimed by their owners have a higher chance of being rehomed. Before that happens dogs have to be assessed to determine their suitability to be rehomed. • A lot of time and effort is put into the dogs. Their pens are cleaned daily and the dogs are moved into exercise pens. At times for could be as many as 30 dogs in the pound so the feeding and cleaning takes time. • If there are other animals at the pen like horses and cattle then they need to be checked daily and feed supplements like hay if required. Goats are tethered so need to be moved to fresh grass daily. NPDC gets people moving and grooving this summer 09 February 2018 NPDC’s See it in the City has a new and free event to get people moving and grooving in the central city called Shape & Sounds.  “It’s been a fantastic summer so far with thousands of people enjoying our free six-week TSB Festival of Lights and Shape & Sounds will keep the summer vibe going. See it in the City is all about creating a thriving central business district through events and connecting with retailers, to support the local economy,” says NPDC External Relations Manager Jacqueline Baker.  Shape & Sounds is running for the next two Saturdays and there will be free yoga as well as live music. From 11am-1pm on Saturday, 10 February there’s free outdoor yoga sessions with The Wellness Project NZ and Sanctuary Hill – Yoga & Retreats at Puke Ariki Landing. On the same day, songstress Tess Goodwin and the unique electronic/hip hop compositions of Yoko-Zuna will keep the entertainment going from 5.30pm-8pm at The Mayfair on Devon Street West.  The following Saturday (17 February), there’s another free yoga session from The Wellness Project NZ and Dubarray – prana session. From 5.30pm-8pm New Plymouth’s Stephanie Piquette will take to the stage followed by the uplifting, soulful and euphoric sound of Dubarray. These are both at Puke Ariki Landing.  Other See it in the City events have included the taste of NZ Tattoo & Art Festival, a market day and this week’s Waitangi Day celebrations. Upcoming city centre events include the Americarnival on 24 February, the Velo Deus 20 old-fashioned bike race on 2 March and the Escapefest street skate competition on 10 March. More information about events can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/seeitinthecity/ Boom times for Waitara house prices and construction 02 February 2018 Waitara is on a roll with house sales and construction booming; with no sign of slowing.  “The value of construction consented has more than quadrupled over the last financial year, with a total exceeding $20 million when only about $5 million was expected, based on the trend from 2013 to 2016,” says NPDC Chief Operating Officer Kelvin Wright. The work includes 82 new homes over the last two years, many of them in new developments on the eastern side of the river, near the new Clifton Park sports hub. House prices in Waitara are rising faster than many other places in the district. The median house value was up 7 per cent in the year to December to $281,100, according to Quotable Value. Median house values across the district were up 6 per cent, with rises of 4 per cent in New Plymouth city and 5 per cent in Bell Block. Another potential draw could be the proposed extension of the Coastal Walkway from Bell Block, creating a walk and cycleway between Waitara and downtown New Plymouth, if it goes ahead. “More people are recognising that Waitara is a great place to live and raise a family and it’s still very affordable. That’s helping to drive construction, grow businesses and create jobs in the town,” says Mr Wright. “The boom in Waitara also reflects the housing growth across New Plymouth District. The government has classified the district as a high growth area and our Draft District Plan includes zoning more residential land in Waitara, and residents are encouraged to have their say from 5 February to 16 March.” Mayor welcomes freedom camping discussions from Government 02 February 2018 New Plymouth District (NPD) Mayor Neil Holdom has welcomed Government moves to find a solution to the nationwide freedom camping problems. Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis has invited 22 Mayors from across New Zealand to meet him early next month to discuss this matter following a big rise in freedom campers and the negative impact this was having on some communities. NPD Councillors voted at an extraordinary council meeting on Tuesday to temporarily ban freedom campers at the Waiwhakaiho river mouth and restrict numbers at the East End Beach, Wind Wand and Kawaroa car parks. The Freedom Camping Bylaw will be reviewed at the end of April. “NPDC will be actively involved in these discussions to find a way to welcome freedom campers while ensuring they are not putting too much pressure on facilities in our most beautiful places. We’re looking forward to talking it over with the Minister and other Mayors,” says Mr Holdom. “We’ve already taken steps this week to protect local access and the environment in New Plymouth. We need a workable and long-term solution,” says Mr Holdom. The discussions are due to take place at the beginning of March. NPDC Draft Digital Plan goes digital 01 February 2018 From this Monday (5 FEBRUARY), the public will have a chance to explore the proposals in New Plymouth District Council’s Draft District Plan – and it’s fully digital and easy to use. NPDC is leading e-planning in New Zealand and has drafted its new District Plan directly into an e-plan.  Focusing on the user, any person will be able to use the online interactive tool. In a few clicks they can find information on their property anytime, anywhere – rather than looking through documents for the information they need – making the plan more accessible. District Plans guide how NPDC manages a variety of activities in our community.  Before the formal consultation process for NPDC’s new draft plan begins in June, the public is being asked to test how it’s being made available. “We also want to test the content of the draft plan with the public,” says NPDC Group Manager Strategy Liam Hodgetts. “This is your opportunity to start to know your zone, know where we are growing, know where to do business and to get to know our coastal story.” The draft plan focuses on four key areas of change: • Keeping our central city and local business centres thriving. • Providing enough housing for about 1,000 more people per year. The housing will be of various types for different needs as our community ages. • Providing enough land in the right locations for industry. • Managing our coastline activities so that natural values aren’t affected and risks (such as from storm surges) are minimised. “It’s about planning for the future,” says Mr Hodgetts. “We want to know what people think of these proposals, but we also want feedback on how people think the e-plan works.” The Digital District Plan will be online at newplymouthnz.com/DraftDistrictPlan. Landowners will be well-informed of any major changes in zoning that relate to their property and will have an opportunity to tell us what they think before the formal consultation process begins in June. None of the rules or zonings in the draft plan apply at this stage as NPDC is still at the early stage of the process but NPDC wants your feedback on the proposals. The Digital District Plan is part of NPDC’s commitment to becoming a digital council, making it easier for the public to do business with us. Mayor Calls for Stronger Freedom Camping Rules to Protect Access of Locals 29 January 2018 After listening to public feedback, including 42 complaints since 1 December, New Plymouth District Mayor Neil Holdom is calling for tighter controls around freedom camping and a special Mayoral report will be debated at an extraordinary council meeting tomorrow (30 January). The report (click here to read) recommends the temporary closure of the Waiwhakaiho River Mouth area to freedom camping, and the temporary restriction of freedom camping at East End Beach car park (six spaces only), the Wind Wand car park (two spaces only) and Kawaroa car park (15 spaces only) until 30 April 2018. At the end of April, the full Freedom Camping Bylaw will be reviewed. “At the heart of this issue is making sure locals can still use these popular and pristine areas that make us a Lifestyle Capital. In the last month, more than 700 freedom campers have enjoyed some of our best spots and while we always welcome visitors, these unprecedented numbers are putting pressure on our facilities resulting in overcrowding, littering, wasting water and the visual pollution that comes with having a large number of vehicles in our most beautiful places,” says Mr Holdom. “We welcome visitors to Taranaki but at Waiwhakaiho we have been overrun, our own people have been excluded from their favourite spots and we cannot wait until the end of summer to deal with the issue.  “I am recommending to my fellow councillors we take some immediate steps to reduce the concentration of campers at Waiwhakaiho, protect our environment and ensure ongoing local access to our favourite coastal spots within the urban area of New Plymouth.” NPDC has installed extra portable toilets, rubbish collection and security to help alleviate the impact. It is also working with a popular freedom camping app to provide alternative sites. If the Mayoral recommendation is endorsed, these temporary restrictions will begin on Saturday (3 February 2018). Jump on a Bike for the Aotearoa Bike Challenge 25 January 2018 Are you and your organisation ready to take on the Aotearoa Bike Challenge? Registrations are open now for businesses throughout the region to see who can rack up the most kilometres cycled during February.  “The challenges are by category depending on how many staff an organisation has, so it’s a fair competition,” says NPDC Let’s Go’s Liz Beck. “It’s a fun way to get people onto their bikes for leisure or commuting with the support of colleagues, and see how easy it is to travel by bike. “They only need to ride for 10 minutes or more to participate – just enough time to bring a smile to their face!” Last year more than 700 people from 46 organisations took part in Taranaki, and about 215 of the participants hadn’t been on a bike for at least a year. NPDC hopes to get 1,000 people to join in this year while the NZ Transport Agency is aiming for 10,000 participants nationally. NPDC has registered an elected members’ team with Mayor Neil Holdom and Councillor Richard Handley joining in. “This is a great chance to show the rest of the country that New Plymouth District is a place great to ride,” says Ms Beck. Everyone who takes part will have the chance to win prices, including a trip to Italy or San Francisco. Register now at www.aotearoa.bike. Applying for a LIM just got easier 23 January 2018 The process for buying or developing a property is now a whole lot easier thanks to a New Plymouth District Council initiative to put its services online. Prospective property owners can now order and pay for land information memoranda (LIMs) online at any time around the clock. The move is the start of NPDC’s Digital Council initiative to allow ratepayers and residents to access and pay for a wide range of services and review all their NPDC transactions from their computer, smart phone or tablet in future. Anyone wanting a LIM can now go to a new secure section of the NPDC website, where they can set up a personal dashboard and complete the whole transaction online within minutes. To go straight to the page click here. The move will complement NPDC’s existing online, phone and front-of-house services, says NPDC Customer and Regulatory Solutions Manager Katrina Brunton. “This will give people the added convenience of being able to complete a paperless transaction in their own time and at their convenience, from home or work or just out and about,” says Mrs Brunton. “We’re starting the Digital Council programme with LIMs because they are one of our most commonly used services. Eventually we plan to roll it out to include dog registrations, building and resource consents, alcohol licences and a range of other services.” The system has undergone comprehensive security testing, she says. The move caters for an increasingly connected community and a demand for greater convenience, but it will not replace the traditional contact points for customers. A LIM is a legally-binding document that states everything a council knows about the history of a property and issues that might affect it. NPDC processes about 700 LIM applications each year. Anyone previously wanting a LIM could access the application form online, order an email version and pay for it with online banking. However, a paper copy of the completed form had to be delivered to the NPDC, or faxed or emailed with payment. The new system allows customers to submit their application online and use other online payment methods including credit cards.