News and Notices

News Our Work People Jenny Steer and Joy Gyde Two NPDC teams with one goal: No.1 customer service 19 December 2019 For NPDC’s Jenny Steer and Joy Gyde, the 230,000 customers their teams help each year always come first. The front counter and Contact Centre teams deal with more than 4,400 calls, emails and face-to-face enquiries every week, that’s 880 every day and an average of about 110 requests to NPDC every hour! The requests can be about any part of the council, from reporting a pothole or a requesting a LIM to what’s on at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery or renewing a Puke Ariki library book, so they need an encyclopaedic knowledge of all things NPDC. “If they have a question or something they need to sort out, we’re here to help,” says Jenny. “We get about 42,000 people coming in to see us at the Civic Centre each year and they are all at the forefront of our minds.” Jenny recently celebrated 10 years at NPDC in a number of roles but says her position as the Customer Support Coordinator is perfect as it gives her the chance to work with people. “I’ve always loved people and working with people. From a young age I was working in our family businesses behind the counter before and after school and I’ve always enjoyed meeting people. It was actually my husband, who is a building inspector, who was forever trying to encourage me to join and I’m glad he did as it’s a fantastic place to work.” On a typical day at the Civic Centre, more than 160 customers come in to see Jenny and the team and many of them are regulars. “They know us by our first name and we’ve built a great rapport with them. While there are more ways to contact NPDC like going online, they’ll always be the need for that personal touch. It’s very rewarding as well to get the praise from satisfied customers.” Customer service is also the top of the list for the Contact Centre team, says Coordinator Joy Gyde. Her team deals with about 13,200 calls every month to 06-759 6060 - that’s about 650 calls every day from Monday to Friday - and 2,200 emails to enquiries@npdc.govt.nz. “We pride ourselves on the service we give to our customers via both phone and email. We act as the first point of contact for all of NPDC’s facilities, so it’s really important that we deal with those enquiries in a positive and efficient way,” says Joy, who has been at NPDC for 20 years.  Joy says she has seen big changes in technology and processes but the one constant is the outstanding team she has worked alongside who are dedicated to providing the best outcomes possible for our community. “I’m really proud of the Contact Centre Team, it can be a really challenging role and they are often required to adapt quickly to unfolding events but they never hesitate. They will do whatever is necessary to ensure we are quickly getting help where it is needed for our residents.” While the two teams complement each other, they often deal with different issues. The Contact Centre has recently dealt with a high volume of calls from customers about the new landfill and food scraps bin service while the front counter team has been handing out free bin latches.  “Both teams do a fantastic job, and helps us to help our residents,” says NPDC Chief Operating Officer Kelvin Wright. “That they are able to resolve nine out of 10 enquiries is down to their fantastic knowledge and brilliant people skills.”
News Our Work Climate change The big calls: What your elected members decided 17 December 2019 Climate change: ‘Yes’ to urgency, ‘No’ to emergency NPDC Elected Members have voted to recognise that climate change requires an urgent response, but did not opt to declare a climate emergency. At their full council meeting on Tuesday, 17 December, they also voted to deliver an advanced option Climate Action Framework. A request for an amendment to declare a climate change emergency was not supported. The advanced Climate Action Framework means extra investment of an estimated $250,000-$350,000 a year to put NPDC’s framework at the forefront of local government in New Zealand. Freedom camping restrictions approved A request to ban freedom camping at Oakura’s Corbett Park and Tongaporutu and restrict Battiscombe Terrace in Waitara to just existing non-self-contained spaces until 30 April 2020 has been approved. The move came after concerns were raised by the Kaitake, Waitara and Clifton Community Boards about excessive numbers of both self-contained and non-self-contained freedom campers at these locations. Temporary signs will be put up at the three locations with amendments to the Freedom Camping Bylaw to be considered after the summer.  $1.6m surplus goes to economy, climate A $1.6million rates surplus will be put towards climate change action and economic development, elected members have voted. A total $1.263m is being put into a reserve to support ongoing economic development over the next three years, while the remaining $350,000 will be put towards climate change adaptation.  Check out the full debate and agenda reports here.
Local News Regal Peacock. Photo credit: Destination NSW. NPDC's TSB Festival of Lights sets record for new displays 11 December 2019 More than 50 live acts, 24 Summer Scene kids’ events, 14 new light features, eight activities for Summer Seniors, four bands for the Powerco Lights Up the Night New Year’s Eve celebration and one Woofstock party for pooches – this season’s TSB Festival of Lights is a record breaker! Located in the world-class Pukekura Park, the lights come on every night from 8.30pm to 11pm, rain or shine, from Saturday, 14 December. The last night of the NPDC-run festival coincides with Kiwi legends Six60’s sold-out show at the TSB Bowl of Brooklands on 1 February. An estimated 125,000 will attend with thousands coming from outside of the New Plymouth District just to visit the festival. It brings an estimated $5 million in value to the economy each season. “There are 14 new light features – a new record for the festival – and visitors will be dazzled, delighted and entertained,” says NDPC Recreation and Culture Manager Teresa Turner. “We’re also thrilled to be bringing five displays to our festival this year which have been showcased at the international light show, Vivid Sydney. “The NPDC team has done an absolutely fabulous job in bringing new and highly original displays to our stunning Pukekura Park. There’s also something for everyone to enjoy with Summer Scene for kids, Summer Seniors and the return of the New Year’s Eve celebration while Woofstock will be great fun for dog owners.” As well as 14 new light features, there is something for everyone over the 50 days and nights of the festival with Summer Scene for youngsters, Summer Seniors, Woofstock, Light Bites, entertainment from local, Kiwi and international acts and the Powerco Lights Up the Night New Year’s Eve event. Photo credit: Destination NSW.
News Our Work Pukekura Park kids PIF powers over the $300 million mark 09 December 2019 New Plymouth District ratepayers will have 300 million reasons to have a happy holiday season this year, thanks to NPDC’s investment fund which helps offset rates. The Perpetual Investment Fund (PIF) topped $300 million for the first time since the Global Financial Crisis of 2007-8, hitting a total of about $304.5 million in December, up from $299.95 million the month before.  NPDC created the Perpetual Investment Fund (PIF) and TIML (Taranaki Investment Management Limited) in 2004 with the $259.4 million proceeds from the sale of its shareholding in Powerco. “This financial year alone the PIF will inject almost $9 million into NPDC’s budget to help keep rates affordable as we Build New Zealand’s Lifestyle Capital,” says New Plymouth District Mayor Neil Holdom. “The PIF underpins our strong financial performance and has been safeguarded by a release payment policy ensuring the benefits of this community asset are spread across both current and future generations of New Plymouth District residents,” he says. International ratings agency Standard and Poor’s in September confirmed NPDC’s rating of AA/A-1+, the highest possible rating for local government in New Zealand, saying the level was enhanced by the PIF. NPDC manages assets worth $3.3 billion, runs 17 different operational units and has an annual budget of about $155 million. PIF fast facts The PIF has paid NPDC a total of $212.8 million since 2004, including $8.6 million in the last financial year. This financial year, the PIF will pay NPDC $8.8 million. NPDC created the Perpetual Investment Fund (PIF) and TIML (Taranaki Investment Management Limited) in 2004 with the $259.4 million proceeds from the sale of its shareholding in Powerco. TIML was a Council-Controlled Organisation. This became the New Plymouth PIF Guardians Limited (NPG) and remains a 100% CCO. In 2017, the management of the PIF was outsourced to Mercer.
Lifestyle Our Work People News Kimberley Hope standing infront of a Christmas Tree holding a food scraps bin Top Tips For a Zero Waste Holiday This Summer 06 December 2019 Summer is here and it’s time to relax, get out the jandals, get your tickets to Ben Harper at the Bowl and sort out the pressies for Christmas. My job is to help NPDC and our District’s journey to Zero Waste 2040, and this is the perfect time for some great Zero Waste summer tips to help you go green over the holiday. Yule help our environment There’s one way to cut down what we throw away: don’t buy it in the first place! Going Zero Waste is all about the three Rs: reducing, reusing and recycling. Reducing can be as simple as taking some time to think if you need to buy it. If it’s a must-have for Christmas, think about good quality, reusable and recyclable materials, and how you can reduce packaging. My top tip is to carefully remove wrapping paper and then use it again for birthdays and next Christmas. Avoid metallic wrapping paper, which isn’t recyclable. You could even wrap presents in material with a ribbon – it’s old-school but cool, and great for our environment. The right recycling stuff As Kermit the Frog once said, it’s not easy being green. Even with the best intentions, it’s hard not to have a pile of wrapping paper and opened boxes on Christmas morning. Recycling is a key part of our journey to Zero Waste and you can help with that by checking the right stuff is going into the yellow-topped recycling bin. If the wrong stuff goes in, it can’t be recycled and goes to the landfill. My tip is to use the NPDC Recycling and Rubbish app. Download it from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store today - it’s got a quick and easy to use recycling guide. Or check out the recycling guide on our website. Food for thought Our new food scraps bins are proving to be a fantastic way to divert waste from going to landfill. We’re shifting 60% of our kerbside waste away from the landfill and into the recycling stream – up 40% from before the new collection service started at the end of September. Going hand in hand with Christmas is enjoying fine food with family and friends, and many of us fill our fridges for the festive feasts. We think everyone can still eat well but perhaps don’t go overboard when stocking up for Christmas and New Year. While we are able to compost all food waste, it’s even better to use all our food and not have to throw anything away. Try some great leftover recipes from Love Food Hate Waste. Keep our place perfect Our corner of Aotearoa is pretty special and we all want it to stay that way. Keep an eye out for the colourful bins we’ve installed at many of our favourite summer hangout spots like Brooklands Zoo, the Aquatic Centre and Ngamotu and Oakura beaches, which have compostable, recycling and landfill bins. We get around 125,000 visitors to our stunning Pukekura Park each summer for the TSB Festival of Lights and we’ll have ‘Zero Waste Stations’ again to help keep our park waste-free. The bins will also be at the TSB Bowl of Brooklands for Kiwi legends Six60 on 1 February and Ben Harper on 21 February. Only leave your footprints Our region’s beaches are packed each summer as locals and an increasing number of visitors enjoy the surf and chillax on our black sand beaches. Have a great time but leave only footprints! My tip is to bring a reusable container or reusable bag with you to put all your rubbish in. If you’re bringing a picnic, opt for reusable items and separate your waste into food scraps, recycling or landfill so you can easily dispose of it when you get home. If you want to do more, carry out a mini beach clean-up with your own bag – our oceans will thank you for it! Don’t forget to take care if you head into the sea and stay sunsmart by wearing a hat and slapping on sun lotion. A green future We know the people of our District strongly support our Zero Waste 2040 vision but it’s going to take a lot of hard work on top of the $21.2m we’re investing over the next 10 years to get there. As part of our journey in the year gone, we’ve rolled out a new kerbside food scraps collection service which has so far helped keep about 60% of household rubbish out of the landfill, and trialled a unique roading system which makes asphalt out of hard to recycle plastic containers. In the year ahead we’re looking forward to opening our new reuse and recycling centre, The Junction. It will be developed in stages to become a place for all things Zero Waste, where people can drop-off items for reuse and upcycling, and there will be education programmes and workshops to help us all learn more about how to go Zero Waste. Have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone. Let’s talk more next year. Kimberley Hope NPDC Manager Resource Recovery
News Our Work Shining Peak's Jesse and GBAG's Aileen Burns Cheers to 50 years of the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery 04 December 2019 Govett-Brewster Art Gallery is celebrating its golden anniversary and the woman who made it all possible with an especially brewed drop of amber nectar.  Art lovers will be able to raise a glass with a new brew created by Shining Peak Brewing, called Mrs Brewster NZ Pale Ale, to 50 years since the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery opened its doors. The ale is named in honour of the Gallery’s founding donor and visionary Monica Brewster (née Govett), whose bequests to the New Plymouth District Council established the Gallery and its permanent collection of artworks focused on Aotearoa and the Pacific.  Co-Directors Aileen Burns and Johan Lundh: “This beer has developed out of one of our cherished local partnerships. Together Shining Peak and the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery are celebrating a unique and powerful Taranaki story as we celebrate 50 years.”  Visitors can have their first taste of Mrs Brewster NZ Pale Ale at the public opening of the exhibition The scene in which I find myself / Or, where does my body belong on 7 December at 6pm. The show is led by Taranaki-born artist Ruth Buchanan (Te Atiawa, Taranaki, Pākehā) and features nearly 300 artworks by 190 artists, collected in the last 50 years. It is the Gallery’s largest ever Collection exhibition.  NPDC Recreation and Culture Manager Teresa Turner says it’s important to celebrate 50 years of the Gallery that has energised the region’s vibrant art scene and put New Plymouth on the map. “I think Monica would be extremely proud of what the gallery has achieved since 1970. NPDC is delighted to celebrate the gallery’s importance to our district.” There will be a number of events throughout 2020, including a Leap Year party on Queen Street, Sat 29 February, where Mrs Brewster Pale Ale will be on tap again.  50 years: by the numbers Monica Brewster donated $50,000 in 1962 for a Gallery – that’s about $2 million in today’s money The Govett-Brewster Art Gallery opened in February 1970 The Gallery has held more than 800 exhibitions The Gallery has hosted close to 200 Monica Brewster Evenings The Gallery has collected nearly 1,000 artworks for the Govett-Brewster Collection.
Public Notice News A group of people, including someone with a service dog and somebody in a wheelchair taking part in sense art where an educator is discussing art work at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery Community Representatives For The Accessibility and Age Working Party 03 December 2019 Do you have a passion for making our district’s council assets accessible for people of all ages and abilities? Do you have experience or knowledge that would enable you to advocate on these matters? Would you be available and proactive to assist with the review and monitoring of the Council Accessibility Strategy? We are seeking expressions of interest for community membership for the Accessibility & Age Working Party. The purpose of this working party is to monitor council plans and activities relating to accessibility and age friendly matters, and to advocate to the Council on these issues. Four members are sought for this working party as following: Two community representatives to advocate for the disability sector One community representative to advocate for aged people One community representative to advocate for the child and youth sector It is expected that the working party will meet at least quarterly, or more often if required. Your application should provide relevant experience and outline why you would like to be considered. A tangata whenua representative has been appointed to the working party. How to Apply Please email your CV outlining the information requested to enquiries@npdc.govt.nz or post to the NPDC, Private Bag 2025, Liardet Street, New Plymouth. Applications close Sunday 8 December 2019. Applications will be shortlisted and Applicants advised of interview date and time by 11 December.
News Mayor Neil Holdom in front of a water reservoir NPDC’s two new reservoirs to give a 36,000 bathtub boost 28 November 2019 The building of two new reservoirs will provide a major boost to the District’s water supply, as work to strengthen drinking water resilience continues, says the New Plymouth District Council (NPDC). Building work on the reservoirs north of New Plymouth kicks off this week and will add 9,000m3 of water storage to the district’s supply from 2022 – that’s about 36,000 full bathtubs. New Plymouth District Mayor Holdom says a recent Berl report showed NPDC’s infrastructure spending was a key economic driver for the district, but more investment in core infrastructure was needed. “We know our people are right behind our work to get our core infrastructure up to scratch, but there’s still a way to go,” says Mayor Holdom. “These two new reservoirs will make a real difference to our drinking water supplies.” It’s estimated the two reservoirs will cost approximately $16-18 million, subject to earthwork and weather variables. They are being built on sites off Henwood and Mountain roads next to existing reservoirs and they will take about two years to complete. Drivers are being asked to cut their speed on sections of Henwood and Manutahi roads due to site traffic. In 2018, NPDC committed an additional $44 million investment in water resilience over the next decade following ex-Cyclone Gita. Part of this money will be used in the new reservoirs projects. Other water resilience projects include $2 million for another water bore and treatment plant upgrades in Ōākura and a $7 million (approximately) project over several years, to improve Inglewood’s drinking water. Drinking water: fast facts Each year we treat about eight million cubic metres of wastewater at the New Plymouth Water Treatment Plant. The plant provides water for 26,000 homes and business from Urenui to Ōmata – that’s about 90 per cent of the water for the whole district. There are 800km of pipes in the New Plymouth District. The district’s main water storage – Lake Māngamāhoe – holds about 10 days’ worth of water. On average we use 292 litres per person every day.
News Events and Exhibitions Christmas Parade 2019 Ride the festive spirit to Christmas Parade party 28 November 2019 Santa’s come early this year and given everyone a free bus ride to the annual Christmas Parade Party as NPDC again makes the city centre car-free. NPDC and the city centre are serving up the festive spirit on Saturday 30 November and Taranaki Regional Council is providing free buses to and from the central city all day, with the New Plymouth Central Lions putting on the main feature, the annual Christmas Parade, from 1pm.  “Last year’s car-free Christmas parade day was a big success enjoyed by thousands in the central city and builds on our vision to create a more sustainable district. It’s pedestrians only again this year and our See It In The City team has organised a great programme of events; from Let’s Go Bike Bling to Youth Entertainment with our partner Zeal. So leave the car at home, grab a coffee, something to eat and get some festive shopping done while supporting local retailers,” says NPDC External Relations Manager Jacqueline Baker. “It’s a great opportunity to have a fun day without parking and traffic hassles,” says TRC Transport Services Manager Chris Clarke. “If you’ve never used the buses before, why not give it a go?” He also says extra Saturday Christmas shopper services will again be scheduled in December, with details of routes, timetables and fares on www.trc.govt.nz/saturday-services-december-2019.  NPDC’s See It In The City team is organising the fun from 11am until the parade starts at 1pm. The entertainment will include performances on the Zeal stage, a Let’s Go Bling Your Bike station, the More FM Santa Sprint, three-on-three basketball, e-bike and e-scooter demos, street picnics and markets, and more. Santa’s cavalcade will take a circuit route again this year, starting at the Clock Tower and moving east along Devon Street, turning left down Liardet Street and heading back down Gill Street/Ariki Street back to the start. Free buses will be running all day. So plan your trip, and don’t miss out on a super event in our car free central city.
Public Notice Notice of By-Elections 22 November 2019 As a result of insufficient candidates at the 2019 triennial elections, extraordinary vacancies have occurred in the Clifton Community Board and the Inglewood Community Board. Under section 120 of the Local Electoral Act 2001, notice is given that on Tuesday 18 February 2020, by-elections will be held under the single transferable voting electoral system by postal vote for: two members of the Clifton Community Board; and two members of the Inglewood Community Board. Nominations Candidates must be nominated on an appropriate nomination paper obtainable during normal business hours from Monday 25 November 2019 from: - Civic Centre, 84 Liardet Street,New Plymouth - Inglewood library and service centre, 46 Rata Street, Inglewood - Waitara library and service centre, 17 Queen Street, Waitara - by phoning 0800 922 822 - at www.newplymouthnz.com Nominations of candidates must be in the hands of the electoral officer or an electoral official at the Civic Centre, 84 Liardet Street, New Plymouth no later than 12 noon, Monday 23 December 2019. Each nomination must be accompanied by: a deposit of $200 GST inclusive (payable by cash, cheque or bank transfer). A candidate may submit a photo and a candidate profile statement with their nomination paper for inclusion with the voting document being sent to electors. An attachment to the nomination paper outlines rules and procedures governing candidate profile statements and photos. Electoral Roll The electoral rolls to be used for these by-elections close on Monday 23 December 2019 and can be inspected during normal business hours from Monday 25 November 2019 at the locations above. Enrolment for inclusion on the Residential Electoral Roll is conducted through the Electoral Commission. Applications for enrolment should be made through your local postal agency. Enrolment for inclusion on the Ratepayer Electoral Roll is conducted through the electoral office of New Plymouth District Council. Applications for enrolment can be made on the prescribed form available from the above sources. Following closure of the roll, the electoral officer may, on application of any person who is or claims to be entitled to be enrolled or any other person or otherwise, make any necessary corrections to the names, addresses, abbreviations, or marks appearing in the electoral roll. Download full notice
News Our Work Kristian Davies Seventh heaven for Pukekura Park with another Green Flag award 21 November 2019 It’s Kristian Davies’ first year on the job as NPDC’s Pukekura Park curator and he’s already keeping up a world-class tradition.  Mr Davies has led his team to a Green Flag award for the seventh year running. The Green Flag is an international mark of the world’s best parks. “This is a tribute to the hard work of NPDC Parks staff in all weathers and seasons and reflects the dedication that goes into the ongoing development of the park,” said Mr Davies. “Pukekura Park has been the green heart of New Plymouth since 1876 and it’s also a Garden of National Significance and a major draw for visitors and locals alike. The team is keeping it in good shape for future generations.” Pukekura Park is unique in offering a diverse range of landscapes, from remnant native bush, to vast lawn areas and garden displays, and has a world-renowned sports arena. It also includes the TSB Bowl of Brooklands, the Fernery and Display Houses and the popular Brooklands Zoo. The park is set to host the TSB Festival of Lights from 14 December which this year includes 14 new light features. Next year, the Bowl will host A Summer’s Day Disco on 11 January, a sold-out show from Kiwi band Six60 on 1 February, Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals on 21 February and WOMAD on 13-15 March. This year, the park underwent a successful trial to desilt its lakes and waterways, using an amphibious dredging vessel imported from Sweden and plans are being drawn up to complete the project over the next two years. Experts assess a park for a Green Flag Award on 27 criteria, including horticultural standards, cleanliness, sustainability, community involvement and providing a warm welcome.  Pukekura Park fast facts Pukekura Park covers 52 hectares. It was established in 1876 when lawyer Robert Hughes persuaded Taranaki Provincial Government to buy 12 hectares of wasteland as a recreational reserve. It became known as Pukekura Park (‘red hill’ park) in 1907. Pukekura Park occupies the ‘Mayfair’ or top position in the New Zealand version of Monopoly.
News Local Urenui mudflats Warning over E.coli in Urenui Estuary 19 November 2019 Privately owned septic tanks are believed to be behind elevated levels of E.coli bacteria found in the Urenui estuary. Signs have been put up to warn people against taking shellfish from the area and to avoid the mud flats. Swimming in the river and sea, where the bacteria is diluted, is considered safe unless there has been heavy rain in the previous three days. Heavy rain can flush contaminants from urban and rural land into waterways. “Early indications show that privately owned septic tanks are the most likely cause of the issue,” NPDC Infrastructure Manager David Langford said. “We’ll be working with the public to get it sorted as a priority. Our team will inspect all septic tanks in the area and work with property owners to ensure compliance.” NPDC will also be working with Taranaki Regional Council and the Taranaki District Health Board to monitor the situation, including doing further testing to confirm the source of the bacteria. Dos and Don’ts: Don’t: Gather shellfish in the area. Go on the mudflats. Go near pipes in the area. Do: Wash your hands if you’ve been near the mudflats. Enjoy swimming in the river and sea.
News Our Work Events and Exhibitions Home Work at Puke Ariki Calling local artists: Puke Ariki needs you! 14 November 2019 Taranaki’s local artists will take centre stage in a major exhibition spotlighting the region’s vibrant arts scene and artists at NPDC’s Puke Ariki next year. A call has gone out for entries, for Home Work: Taranaki 2020, where budding and established artists get to showcase one artwork in the exhibition which runs from May until August. The theme for the exhibition, which last ran in 2017, will be Tuku Iho, raising awareness of traditions that are handed down through generations. Artworks can be in any media and renowned artists Ngāhina Hohaia and Reuben Paterson, alongside Puke Ariki’s Laura Campbell, form the selection panel to decide which pieces will form the show. Puke Ariki Museum Manager Colleen Mullin says the quality of the artwork submitted for Home Work is always outstanding and varied. “This is the third time we’ve staged Home Work and each time we’ve been hugely impressed by the sheer quality of work from artists around the Mounga,” says Ms Mullin. “We’re excited to see what entries we receive this time around. The creativity in Taranaki is as strong as ever and NPDC’s Puke Ariki remains committed to supporting local artists. “Our Temporary Exhibition Gallery, which is currently showing the very popular The Mechanical Circus, gets about 9,000 visitors every month so Home Work is a fantastic opportunity for all local artists, regardless of experience, to have their work on display.” Ms Mullin says the theme of Tuku Iho was looking to the region’s shared history and also how this era of artists will influence future generations.  Artworks must have been produced within the last 18 months and shouldn’t have been previously displayed in Taranaki. Submissions are to be made online by 3 February. For full details head to www.pukeariki.com or email homework@pukeariki.com
News Our Work New Plymouth Wastewater Treatment Plant Infrastructure investment a major contribution to Taranaki's economy, says Berl 12 November 2019 Infrastructure investment has been identified as a key economic driver in the region, with $1.65 spent in the Taranaki economy for every $1 invested by NPDC, a new report from Berl says. The independent analysis agency has looked at the economic value of NPDC’s infrastructure assets including its water service and recycling collection accommodating some 28,500 homes and the district’s 1,300 kilometres of roads.  It invests more than $76 million every year on infrastructure including $40.5m on the drinking, waste and storm water networks (called the Three Waters network), $25.7m on roads and $10.4m on rubbish and recycling. New Plymouth District Mayor Neil Holdom says NPDC was already spending an additional $44m over the next decade on the Three Waters network but the Berl analysis highlighted the need for continued investment in core infrastructure. “Berl’s report shows that we are on the right track putting the focus on improving our core infrastructure, investing in our roads, water, wastewater and stormwater networks to provide a strong platform for economic activity in the district. This is very much a long-term issue and we will continue to look at how we can continue to invest more while ensuring value for money for ratepayers. Each year NPDC invests about $390 for every property in the district on Three Waters network but it’s down compared to other similar sized councils around New Zealand who invest about $660.” The report also highlighted NPDC’s focus on going Zero Waste with efforts to cut down what is thrown away and boost recycling and reusing with the opening of The Junction facility and plans to help businesses with a new commercial waste facility. The Berl report by the numbers Berl found there was $126m spent in the region’s economy as a result of the NPDC investment each year. Berl estimated that NPDC’s investment on infrastructure directly employed 326 fulltime equivalent workers (FTEs) while the additional spending related to that investment led to 619 FTEs. It would cost an estimated $925m to replace the district’s Three Waters infrastructure and $470m to replace the roads. There are 1,600 kilometres of pipes and their average age is 38 years. This is six years older than the average for other councils. Berl said the primary sector, road freight and logistics and construction and engineering all relied on the district’s road network. These three sectors generate $2.6 billion a year in GDP - about 68% of the district’s total - and employ more than half of the district’s workers. Read the full Berl report
News Our Work man in hi-vis clothing working in a trench Inglewood water project update 07 November 2019 As part of our $2.5m project to improve Inglewood’s water, there will be a water shutdown on Matai Street, between Rata and Brookes streets overnight tonight (around midnight) until approximately 5am tomorrow (8 November). We apologise for any inconvenience and our contractor taking steps to reduce the chance of discoloured water as a result of this work. However, if you do find discoloured water coming out of your taps on Friday morning, please contact NPDC (24 hours) on 06-759 6060.
News Our Work Lifestyle TSB Festival of Lights New Year celebrations at TSB Festival of Lights set to be bigger and better 07 November 2019 Four top live music acts will accompany a host of other entertainment options, to make NPDC’s Pukekura Park the perfect place to see in the New Year. The TSB Festival of Lights will play host to the Powerco Lights Up The Night event, an even bigger and better celebration than the year before, to mark New Year’s Eve in electrifying fashion. Last year the festival hosted its inaugural New Year’s Eve event after requests from the community for a fun, family-friendly option for celebrating the New Year.  NPDC Recreation and Culture Manager Teresa Turner says last year’s event was an overwhelming success and a great way for the community to see in the New Year and this year’s event promises to be amazing.  “Hundreds came out to last year’s New Year’s Eve event, so the NPDC team has taken on the challenge to up the ante and create an even better celebration this year, featuring national artists, crowd-favourite activities and events for children and adults,” says Ms Turner. “Presenting free events that excite and inspire the whole community is part of our aim to Build a Lifestyle Capital.”  Highlights for this year’s event include major headline act Racing. Formed from The Checks, this Auckland band is a two-time Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards winner for best rock album and are nominated for best rock artist in this year’s awards. They’ve shared the stage with Oasis, REM, The Hives, AC/DC, The Killers and Muse on different tours, and will be rocking in the New Year on the Hatchery Lawn from 10.45pm.  Other live music includes local artist Ny Oh, who played Glastonbury this year; local musicians Tobetones and the Breaks who play ‘70s and ‘80s soul with a live DJ; and Auckland’s Brendon Thomas and the Vibes who play classic rock. The ever-popular silent disco returns to the Fred Parker Lawn, with a timeslot for children at 7pm and for adults from 8.30pm. A kids’ countdown will take place at 8pm, and Light Bites food trucks will be running from 6.30pm ‘til late in the Festival Hub.  This year’s event is being sponsored by Powerco and CEO Nigel Barbour says it is exciting to be part of the event, as well as supporting the festival as a whole. “At Powerco, keeping the lights on and supporting our local communities is what we’re all about. We’re proud to be powering the event which offers Taranaki people and visitors the opportunity to experience electricity in interactive ways,” he says.
News Our Work Driver training scheme NPDC-funded scheme puts teens on the road to success 31 October 2019 More than 50 young people have their learner licence and are on the road to a career thanks to NPDC and Taranaki Futures. NPDC invested $50,000 in the programme which saw students from Inglewood High School, Waitara High School and Spotswood College get help with learning to drive through road code training and lessons from driver mentors.  The project, which is run by Taranaki Futures, aims to open up job opportunities and career paths for the teenagers by removing the barriers some students have to getting their restricted licence. New Plymouth District Mayor Neil Holdom said it was a ‘win-win’ for tradies, small businesses and teenagers looking for their first job. “This has been a project that’s been close to my heart so I’m absolutely thrilled to see 50 teenagers get their restricted driver licence. Not all kids get the help they need to learn to drive so this scheme is great for those who want their restricted driver licence as they leave school and head out into the workforce. I’d like to a say a big ‘thank you’ as well to the 12 mentors who stepped up to help the students,” says Mayor Holdom. Taranaki Futures General Manager Belinda Mooney says: “This programme is all about removing the barriers for students to obtain their restricted driver licence – it is an essential requirement for many employers today. Students have given up their holiday time and added to their study workload to be part of this programme – it is great to see their hard work translating to success.  “Supporting students to success on this programme has also been no small ask of the schools involved. Their dedication to their students is second to none, we are very lucky to have such fantastic school leadership teams in our schools.”  “It’s been a wonderful opportunity for students to participate in something which will gain them independence and help them significantly with their future career,” says Inglewood High School’s Pathways Advisor Diane Foreman. A call for mentors in July saw a great response with 12 volunteers – including a stunt-car driver! – putting their hands up to help the kids. All the students on the course had three AA driving lessons and 16 opted for further practical training with the mentors and a Taranaki Futures car. The pilot programme included a week-long intensive road code training, the learner licence test and learning to drive. Still to come in 2020 is a defensive driving course and then the restricted licence test.  Pictured are Taranaki Futures’ Belinda Mooney with Inglewood and Waitara high schools pupils, from left, Emerald Curtis, Jennifer Jacobsen, Channtae-Lee Lichtwark and Emily O'Carroll.
News Civic Centre Civic Centre work update 31 October 2019 The work on the Civic Centre will be completed in the next few months.  The project has included replacing the South Wing roof and the Atrium and Chamber roofs have been upgraded, in addition to a freshly painted building. The project initially covered repairs to the South Wing of the Civic Centre and was finished on schedule, in five months. As is common in the building industry, once the 25-year-old roof was inspected it was found to be in a poor state, there was a change of scope and the second project commenced taking advantage of scaffolding that was already installed, to offset costs. This work programme has been funded within the Civic Centre budget of $5.6 million in our 10-Year Plan and once work is completed, final project figures will be released. “We’d like to thank our staff, our tenants and the public, for their patience. The project scope changed, into a double project which has thrown up some challenges but we’re constantly looking at how we can do things better,” says NPDC Chief Financial Officer Joy Buckingham. 
News Our Work Lifestyle The Mechanical Circus Carnival time at Puke Ariki with The Mechanical Circus 30 October 2019 Roll up, roll up! The Mechanical Circus is coming to NPDC’s Puke Ariki, and you have to see it to believe it! The carnival hits town on Saturday 2 November when the Temporary Exhibition Gallery is transformed into a circus complete with circus tents, tests of strength, automated and moving mechanisms and other tricks to bamboozle the mind. For ages five to 95 and everyone in between, Mechanical Circus features 20 interactive exhibits that put a modern twist on the golden days of fairgrounds and travelling circuses. Museum Manager Colleen Mullin said The Mechanical Circus was a wonderful mix of science and technology and will be one of the most hands-on exhibitions ever to be held at Puke Ariki. “Museums often have signs asking visitors not to touch the exhibitions but it’s the complete opposite with The Mechanical Circus,” says Ms Mullin. “We are actively encouraging people to get hands on, press the buttons and explore the weird optical illusions. “We’re looking forward to The Mechanical Circus bringing the carnival atmosphere of scientific wonder and amazement to NPDC’s Puke Ariki.” There will be a number of education programmes and events for the public to complement the exhibition which runs until 26 April 2020. Ms Mullin says they are expecting many repeat visits as people try to work out how the mechanical tricks work. The exhibition is a collaboration between Holland’s Museum Boerhaave and the Cabaret Mechanical Theatre and has toured Europe before coming to New Zealand. Puke Ariki Fast Facts: Puke Ariki first opened on 15 June 2003. The total number of visitors to Puke Ariki and district libraries in the 2017/18 year was 801,703. In that same period, Puke Ariki and community libraries issued 779,908 items. It is the world’s first purpose-built, fully integrated museum, library and visitor information centre. Puke Ariki has three long-term galleries (Te 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.
Lifestyle News Our Work Vivo the squirrel monkey in the trees at Brooklands Zoo Monkey Business 29 October 2019 Two of Brooklands Zoo's Bolivian squirrel monkeys are off to do their bit for their species! Brooklands Zoo is part of an international breeding programme for Bolivian squirrel monkeys. We hold a bachelor group and make them available for breeding as required – and now, buddies Vampir and Vivo are heading to Wellington Zoo for quarantine before travelling to their new home in Sydney’s Taronga Zoo. Dante, Grover, Inti and Luz will remain at Brooklands Zoo. “It’s wonderful for Brooklands Zoo to have a role in keeping a species healthy by making sure there’s diverse genetics available for future breeding,” says Brooklands Zoo Lead Eve Cozzi. “The breeding programmes are run by the Zoo and Aquarium Association, and species coordinators keep close track of what animals are available in various countries. We have a close relationship with zoos throughout New Zealand and Australia, which ultimately is a huge benefit for the animals we take care of and for our visitors too.” Brooklands Zoo also breeds cotton-top tamarins and capuchin monkeys on-site, occasionally exchanging animals with other zoos. (The zoo is working on acquiring a breeding male cotton-top tamarin to join female Inca and her dad Lorenzo.) Bolivian squirrel monkeys are widespread in South America and listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as ‘least concern’, although their population is decreasing in the wild. Cotton-top tamarins are critically endangered in the wild, while the status of various types of capuchins ranges from least concern to critically endangered. Head keeper Louise seeing off Vivo and Vampir.