News and Notices

Local News Inglewood intersection Inglewood Community Board by-election results revealed 19 February 2020 The results are in for the Inglewood Community Board by-election with Phill Hird and Jono Burrows elected to the board. They join Mel Cook and Graeme Sykes, who were elected unopposed in October last year, as the four members on the board. The Electoral Office said 29.18% of Inglewood voters took part in the election. The unsuccessful candidates were Mary Amor-Barnard, Robert Brown, Nathan Ferry and Sonja Barrett. Read here for the Full Results.
News Lifestyle Close up of some black, blue, white and green patterned fabric painted with glitter Local artist Reuben creates colossal cake for gallery birthday bash 14 February 2020 Celebrated local artist Reuben Paterson’s piece - a colossal, glittery cake – is set to take centre stage for the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery’s 50th street party. Reuben, best known for his giant tree The Golden Bearing which has previously been a huge hit at the gallery and the TSB Festival of Lights, has worked on the cake for two months. The two-metre tall behemoth uses 5kg of glitter and will be the centrepiece of the party on Saturday 29 February marking 50 years since the NPDC-owned and operated gallery first opened its doors. “I don’t want to spoil the surprise but all I can say is once the cake is activated people will be blown away,” says Reuben. “Fifty years is a significant milestone for a gallery, and to help celebrate this you have to have a monstrous two-metre tall cake covered in glitter! “It is of course the second glittering centre piece after the perfection of our sparkling gallery as we acknowledge the history of Monica Brewster's legacy and the journeys the gallery has taken us all on, in its golden 50th jubilee year.” The two-metre tall by 1.8-metre wide cake includes a number of tiers and includes fabrics and dresses dating from the 1970s to the present day in honour of the 50-year celebrations and of Monica Brewster . “We have all been on a beautiful journey with the Govett Brewster Art Gallery so the fabric patterns and floral designs, which are all painted in glitter, share their own genealogy of swirling curls that come to represent these journeys.” While Reuben’s artwork is not edible, there will be cupcakes to mark the anniversary and a brew created by New Plymouth firm Shining Peak, Mrs Brewster NZ Pale Ale, will also be served to party-goers. Co-directors Aileen Burns and Johan Lundh said: “It’s been anything but a piece of cake for local artist Reuben Paterson as there’s been a lot of hard work in creating this piece of art. Together the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery and Reuben are celebrating an important milestone as we mark 50 years.” The party: All you need to know The party runs from 3pm to 9pm on Queen Street on 29 Feb. There’s live music from Dictaphone Blues, Hans Pucket, Serious Happiness, O Juliet & Charlotte Johansen. There’ll be food trucks as well as a bar. Party-goers can participate in an interactive art work The Cell by Brook Andrew and take part in workshops. The party will see the world premiere for Len Lye’s Sky Snakes kinetic sculpture. Photo credit: Pip Guthrie
Public Notice Clifton Community Board By-Election 11 February 2020 As a result of the recent bereavement of a community board member, an extraordinary vacancy has occurred in the Clifton Community Board of New Plymouth District Council. Under section 120 of the Local Electoral Act 2001, notice is given that on Wednesday 6 May 2020, a by-election will be held under the single transferable voting electoral system by postal vote for one member of the Clifton Community Board. Nominations Candidates must be nominated on an appropriate nomination paper obtainable during normal business hours from Tuesday 11 February 2020 from: Civic Centre, 84 Liardet Street, New Plymouth Waitara library and service centre, 17 Queen Street, Waitara by phoning 0800 922 822 Clifton Community Board By-Election Nomination Form 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, Tuesday 10 March 2020. 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 roll to be used for this by-election closes on Tuesday 10 March 2020 and can be inspected during normal business hours from Tuesday 11 February 2020 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. Dated at New Plymouth 11 February 2020 Dale Ofsoske, Electoral Officer Independent Election Services Ltd for New Plymouth District Council
News Our Work Mangatete Stream Okato Tighter water restrictions for Okato and Inglewood 10 February 2020 High water use, low river flows and continuing dry conditions have led to a ban on using water outdoors in both Inglewood and Okato from today, while the rest of the District is asked to remain Wai Warriors to help save water. The ban means residents can’t use water in their gardens or for cleaning windows or cars and comes as the towns’ waters sources, the Mangatete and Ngatoro streams, continue to run very low. NPDC data for the week ending 2 February reveal Okato residents used one million litres more than for the same period in 2019, up from two to three million litres, and while Inglewood’s use is the same as last year, figures show the town had just 50mm of rainfall in January, that’s 37% of the average monthly rainfall for the township. “We need substantial rain over a decent period before the streams’ flows will rise again. With the long-range forecast predicting just a few showers coming our way it’s vital that Okato and Inglewood residents stop using water outdoors so we can conserve water,” says NPDC Infrastructure Manager David Langford. “The very low levels in the Ngatoro stream are leading to a rise in algae in the stream which affects the taste of water in Inglewood. It’s another key reason why residents should be Wai Warriors and cut down their water use. “For everyone else in the district, water restrictions mean using only hand-held hoses on the odds and evens system – no sprinklers, irrigation systems or unattended hoses are allowed. Even so, we encourage all of NPDC’s water customers to reduce their water consumption as summer continues.” Tips for using ‘grey’ water in the garden Okato and Inglewood residents can still use grey water from washing machines, baths or showers in the garden. Just be careful what detergents you use in your washing machine – read the back of the packet as it usually says if the product is greywater-safe. Putting a bucket in the shower when you use it can also capture water that would otherwise go down the drain. Read more water saving tips, or check out water saving advice from our Three Waters Education Officer Denise Rowland.
News Lifestyle Boy biking to school with his father and young brother Safety first on our roads as school year starts 09 February 2020 Fresh-faced students are on our roads this week as school gates open for the year. And there are heaps of them: up to 70 per cent of students who attend schools that are part of NPDC’s Let’s Go programme are active travellers – walking, cycling or scootering to class. “That’s a reverse of what we used to see before Let’s Go started, when most kids were arriving at school by car,” says NPDC Manager Transportation Rui Leitao. “Kids heading off to school for the first week will be excited and possibly distracted, so we ask all road users to help them get to and from school safely by watching out for them and giving them plenty of room on the road.” Drivers should also slow down to 20km/h around school buses that’s picking up or dropping off students, and park well away from school gates when dropping off or picking up their children. Whanau can help by discussing with their children the best routes from home to school, especially safe places to cross the road. Doing a ‘practice run’ with your children will help increase their confidence. Safety tips for whanau to share with children Discuss together the best route to school. Cross at crossing points or at the mid-block of the street. Be courteous by keeping left on paths. Ride slowly on shared paths and make room for people walking. Agree on a meeting point away from the school gates if you are collecting by car. Most of all, get some fresh air and enjoy the journey to school! Safety tips for people driving Remember school zones will be busy with children 7am to 9am and 2.30pm to 5pm. Avoid driving through them if you can. Slow down near schools. It’s about driving to the conditions, not the posted speed. Slow down to 20km/h when passing a stopped school bus dropping off or picking up students. Park well away from the school gates. You’ll avoid parking problems and congestion, and then can enjoy a short walk in to school with your child. Do not stop in bus parks or on cycle lanes, even with the engine running. Avoid distractions while driving and look twice. Children can be unpredictable!
News Our Work Denise Rowland NPDC pro tips: How to keep water use to 83 litres a day 07 February 2020 We all love those long, hot summers. It’s time for the beach and cricket and jandals and ice cream. It’s also time to think about how we use our water. This is the time of year when we use the most water but it’s also when the streams and rivers that supply us are running at their lowest. To keep our streams and rivers at a healthy level for fish and other animals and plants and to ensure we have enough fresh clean drinking water for our growing population, NPDC wants each of us to be a Wai Warrior.We have water restrictions in place from 1 January to 31 March every year. (You can find out more about them here.) Did you know that on average each person in our district still uses 292 litres of water every day? In my household we’ve managed to get our daily use down to 83L per person, so I’m sharing some easy tips that everyone can apply at home. Those drips add up! Sneaky leaks seem small but you could be losing more water than you realise. The double-flush on our toilet cistern was broken and water was running down the back, and the hot-water cylinder was also leaking (which also wasted money on heating excess water). Fixing them both means we aren’t wasting a precious resource. Underground leaks are harder to spot, so look for these signs outside your house: An unusual wet patch in the garden that that doesn’t dry up when it stops raining. An area that’s mouldy, soft, green or mossy that’s surrounded by dryer soil. Paved areas (such as driveways) cracking, rising up or slumping. Potholes or sink-holes appearing. A noticeable drop in the flow of water out of your taps. An ongoing sound of water going through a pipe even when no taps are running. A plumber will be able to identify the leak and get it fixed. However if a leak is on a road or footpath, please report it to NPDC. Make the water work A good place to start saving water is in the home. We only use the washing machine and dishwater when we have full loads, and we don’t let the tap run while brushing our teeth – it gets turned off until it’s needed. A running tap can waste a lot of water, especially if everyone in the household does it morning and night while teeth-cleaning. We also reuse water from the kitchen to water plants. No easy escape Gardens use up a lot of water – not just because of thirsty plants, but also because we lose a lot to evaporation (up to 70 per cent!). The key is to trap water in the garden, and the best way to do that is to mulch. There are heaps of different mulch you can use: wood chips or shredded leaves, grass clippings, compost, and straw or hay all return nutrients to the garden while reducing evaporation; black plastic sheets will keep the soil warm (great for crops like strawberries and melons but not so much for shrubs); and landscape fabrics are also useful. Short showers Did you know that showers can use between six and 20L of water per minute, depending on the shower-head? We get plenty clean with short showers, and we run shallow baths for our two-year-old. Keeping track We volunteered to have a water meter so we keep track of how effective our water habits are. Also, if the meter starts reporting a higher use we’ll know it’s likely there’s a leak somewhere – and the earlier we track it down and fix it, the less that gets wasted (and possibly the less damage that’s done to our property). Finally, I have a Wai Warrior tip for you: if you don’t have a half-flush button on your toilet cistern, try the milk-bottle trick! Fill an empty 1L milk bottle with dirt or sand, screw the lid on tight, open your toilet cistern and flush it. As the water drains out, pop your milk bottle in there (avoiding the flushing mechanism). Now every time the toilet is flushed, you save 1L of water. Our rivers and our fish life would approve! Denise Rowland NPDC Three Waters Education Officer
News water tanker in Inglewood located at the railway yards opposite New World Inglewood Water 05 February 2020 Update: 12pm, 5 Feb The water pipe has been fixed. Residents should notice their water begin to clear up. In the meantime the tanker remains in place at the Inglewood Railway Yards. Inglewood’s water is treated before it leaves the plant. But as a precaution we suggest you don't drink discoloured water until it is clear. We apologise for any inconvenience this is causing people, after contractors working on the town’s $7 million pipe upgrade project accidentally broke a pipe, stirring up sediment. Update: 9am, 5 Feb Work to repair a broken water pipe in Inglewood, which is causing some residents in the town to experience discoloured water, is progressing well. Teams in the field are finalising repairs as they recommission the pipe and carrying out final tests before giving the all clear. Once the fix is complete, residents should notice their water begin to clear up. In the meantime, a tanker is on site at the railway yards for residents to use – please bring your own container for filling. Inglewood’s water is treated before it leaves the plant. But as a precaution we suggest you don’t drink discoloured water until it is clear. 4pm, 4 Feb We are sending a water tanker to Inglewood with some residents in the town expected to experience discoloured drinking water. We apologise for any inconvenience this is causing people, after contractors working on the town’s $7 million pipe upgrade project accidentally broke a pipe, stirring up sediment. The tanker will be located at the railway yards from about 5pm – people are asked to bring their own containers for filling. We’re working hard to get this issue resolved as soon as possible. Inglewood’s water is treated before it leaves the plant. But as a precaution we suggest you don't drink discoloured water until it is clear.
News Our Work Lifestyle TSB Festival of Lights 2020 TSB Festival of Lights smashes visitor record 04 February 2020 This season’s TSB Festival of Lights has smashed the record for visitor numbers with more than 150,000 attending the NPDC-run event.  The seven-week spectacular in our Green Flag-award winning Pukekura Park finished on Saturday 1 February with about 9,000 people enjoying the lights as the TSB Bowl of Brooklands hosted the sold-out Six60 concert. NPDC Recreation and Culture Manager Teresa Turner says the record-breaking season, 20,000 more visitors than the previous record of 130,000 in 2015/16, was a fantastic achievement. “We always try to make each season bigger and better and we well and truly delivered this year,” says Ms Turner. “To get more than 150,000 visitors is absolutely fabulous and down to the hard work of our staff as well the fantastic support from our volunteers and sponsors. “Those visitors are great for our economy as well. They keep the tills ringing right across the District and hotels and motels full over the summer.  “We’ve now got our work cut out for us to make 2020/21 even better! But we’re not resting on our laurels and the team is already looking ahead to next season.” The Powerco Lights Up The Night New Year’s Eve celebration proved a major drawcard with 9,000 visitors seeing in 2020 in the park. This season’s Festival included 14 new light features and crowds packed out the Hatchery and Fred Park lawns to see some great local, Kiwi and international artists. There was also great attendance at Summer Scene Kids and Summer Seniors events and the first Woofstock for dogs was a major hit. The post-event analysis will look into how many of the 150,000 visitors were from outside of the region and also look into the economic benefits. Previous studies from Venture Taranaki found the Festival boosted the economy by about $5 million when there were 125,000 visitors in 2017/18.
News Our Work Laura George On predator patrol with NPDC 30 January 2020 Laura George is calling for people power to help NPDC eliminate predators and bring native birdsong back to the streets of New Plymouth. Our new Parks Volunteer Officer manages a network of about 1,300 traps in public parks and reserves from Bell Block to Paritutu with a growing team of volunteer helpers. She wants more people in the district to help protect native plants and animals by removing rats, possums and stoats, as part of the Towards Predator-Free Taranaki programme. Laura and her volunteers check and reset traps regularly, catching 319 rats and 105 mice and four stoats from October to December. “It’s great to be working with the community, caring for our environment. People are very keen to help protect our native plants and wildlife, especially areas near their own homes,” says Laura. “NPDC manages about 1,600 hectares of parks and reserves, so our volunteers are a massive help in setting and clearing our traps. The more volunteers we have, the faster we’ll see more native wildlife and healthier plants as we work Towards a Predator-Free Taranaki.” Laura, 24, studied art history and education at Victoria University and has wanted to work with kids – something her new job allows. “We’re getting a lot of interest from schools and scout and guide groups, as well as individuals – it’s a great way for all ages to give back to the community,” said Laura. If you’re interested in becoming a trapping volunteer, you can contact Laura on laura.george@npdc.govt.nz or phone 06-759 6060. Fast Facts: Towards Predator-Free Taranaki was launched in May 2018 with the aim of making Taranaki the first predator-free region in New Zealand. Removing rats is the focus in urban New Plymouth District, but possums, stoats and hedgehogs have also been caught by some trappers. The region-wide project is currently focused on New Plymouth district, but will soon expand to other North Taranaki urban and rural areas before heading south. Ōākura, Merrilands and Westown are New Plymouth’s top trapping communities, with the most predator catches recorded, in backyards. NPDC has 1,319 traps in public parks and reserves, with almost 1,700 rat catches recorded by the end of December.
News Our Work Lifestyle Charlie the cockatoo on a branch at Brooklands Zoo Charlie Cockatoo, born circa 1980, died January 2020 29 January 2020 It’s a tribute to Charlie that almost everyone remembered his name – despite the fact that he didn’t always start to chatter as he was expected to. From his perch in a corner of Brooklands Zoo, he would often look quizzically at visitors and silently decline offers of crackers. But he still projected personality. A major feature of a zoo cockatoo’s daily routine is the endless cajoling to just say a few words. Charlie’s response was usually a resolute gaze or a cock of the head. He was sometimes seen to give a squawk when a particularly persistent visitor had finally given up and turned their back. Charlie’s keepers knew his moods clearly, with cuddles when he was happy and chasing staff boots on an off day. Although ill health had forced him to retire away from public view in recent weeks, Charlie was one of the zoo’s most popular characters over almost two decades. Charlie was the grand old gentleman of the zoo. His exact age was unknown, but it was estimated at 38 to 40 years. Little is known of his early life. It is thought he was born a pet sometime around 1980 to 1983. He came into the public eye in 1983, when he took up residence as a pet at the Pukekura Park Tea House. He remained there by the main lake until he moved to Brooklands Zoo in April 2002. He was about 20 at the time. While it is well-known that cockatoos in captivity can live beyond 70, in the wild their lifespan ranges from 20 to 40 years. By that standard, he was middle-aged at the time. Charlie enjoyed his habitat, perching on his tree in the open. He had never learned to fly and his flight muscles had never developed to enable him to. He never gave the impression he was confined by that and he remained curious and hospitable to his many fans till the end.
Have Your Say News rooster's head Roosters out, good night's sleep in - NPDC bylaw proposal 28 January 2020 Roosters in urban areas of the New Plymouth District may have crowed their last crow. A proposed change to the NPDC bylaw on animals will mean the end of fowl play by raucous roosters, if adopted. The proposed new rules are going out for public feedback after being approved by the Strategy and Operations Committee today and could mean there will no longer be any honks or screams from belligerent birds with urban residents no longer allowed to keep ganders or peacocks. “Most councils in NZ have banned roosters from urban areas and we’ve had feedback from our residents that they don’t want roosters in urban areas,” says NPDC External Relations Manager Jacqueline Baker. “We’ve listened to this and proposed some changes to the bylaw. There’s a lot of stress linked to a loud, early-morning crow and we think this change will help many people to get a good night’s sleep.” The previous bylaw allowed roosters to be kept unless an animal control officer declared it a nuisance. Other proposed updates in the bylaw include a limit of three cats and kittens per household, down from five in the previous bylaw, and a change to the rules around keeping beehives, so that the number allowed on a property is proportionate to the property size. The bylaw will be available to read, and feedback on from 1 Feb. You will find it on our Have Your Say page.
Alcohol New World Inglewood Renewal Off Licence Application 26 January 2020 J ELMS (2018) LIMITED of 50 Matai Street INGLEWOOD, has made an application to the New Plymouth District Licensing Committee for the grant of a Renewal Off Licence for the premises situated at 50 Matai Street INGLEWOOD 4330 known as NEW WORLD INGLEWOOD. The general nature of the business conducted (or to be conducted) under the licence is a Supermarket - Off Licence. Days and Hours: Monday to Sunday 7am to 9.30pm You may also inspect the application at the New Plymouth District Council, Liardet Street, New Plymouth. If you would like to object to the application, in accordance with the Act, please write to us within 15 working days of this notice District Licensing Committee at Private Bag 2025, New Plymouth 4342. This publication was made on 27 January 2020
Public Notice Proposed Parking Revisions 13 January 2020 New Plymouth District Council proposes to make the following changes at an upcoming meeting. If you would like to provide feedback please do so by 3 February 2020. New Plymouth 1. Create a section of no-stopping on Brougham Street adjacent to No.89 Brougham Street, to allow for safer access to nearby properties. 2. Create a section of no-stopping on De Havilland Drive adjacent to No 9 De Havilland Drive, to allow for safer access to nearby properties. 3. Create a section of no-stopping on Devon Street East adjacent to No.374 Devon Street East, to allow for safer access to nearby properties. 4. Create two time restricted carparks (P15) on Fillis Street adjacent to No.38 Fillis Street, to allow for higher turnover parking.  5. Change the restriction of a bus stop on Govett Avenue adjacent to No. 72 Govett Avenue, to allow for private vehicles to park on weekdays and for it to remain a bus stop on Saturday only.  6. Create two sections of no-stopping on Hobson Street adjacent to No.50 Hobson Street and No.135 Lemon Street, to provide safer access for road users. 7. Create a section of no-stopping on Hori Street adjacent to No. 5 Hori Street to allow for safer access to a nearby property. 8. Remove two time restricted (P10) car parking spaces adjacent to the Bus Depot, to allow for the installation of a bike rack. 9. Create a section of no-stopping on Manadon Street adjacent to No. 21 Manadon Street, to allow for safer access to nearby properties. 10. Extend a section of no stopping on Record Street adjacent to No. 51, to provide safer access for road users. 11. Create a section of no-stopping on Ridge Lane adjacent to No.5 Ridge Lane to allow for safer access to a nearby property. 12. Relocate a time restricted (P120) parking space on Sackville Street adjacent to No.51 Sackville Street to allow for the construction of a new vehicle crossing. 13. Create a section of no-stopping and relocate the Bus Stop on St Aubyn Street, adjacent to the Southern Cross Hospital to allow for better access to the site and the Bus Stop. 14. Create a section of no-stopping on Smith Road adjacent to No.5 Smith Road to allow for safer access to a nearby property. Waitara 15. Create a section of no stopping on Stafford Street adjacent to ANZCO Foods Ltd to provide safer access for road users.
Road Closure Cook Street road closure 12 January 2020 Cook Street will be closed to traffic between Seaview Road and Adventure Street for about another week as we carry out stormwater works. The road is open to residents only. Thanks for bearing with us. Update 13 February 2020 Cook St will be closed to traffic between Grenville St and Adventure St for another few weeks as we complete the new stormwater and pavement works for the new link road. The road is open to residents only. Thanks for bearing with us.
News Our Work Capybara at Brooklands Zoo New exotic species feature at Brooklands Zoo 10 January 2020 Capybaras Luis Suarez and Fernando have travelled down from Auckland Zoo to join Brooklands Zoo’s collection of exotic animals.  Capybaras are regarded as the giants of the rodent world, as they grow up to 130cm long and weigh between 37kg and 67kg when fully grown (the females are usually larger than males).  “They’re a fantastic addition to Brooklands Zoo and they’re sure to be popular among visitors as they are social and can sleep in shallow water,” says NPDC spokesperson Jacqueline Baker. “They love to be in water so they were a perfect fit for where the otters used to be.”  Capybaras are semi-aquatic and can sleep in shallow water as their eyes, ears and nostrils are at the top of their heads.  They have partially webbed toes and are strong swimmers, and are native to Central and South America.  Brooklands Zoo fast facts: About 113,000 people visit Brooklands Zoo each year and it is owned, managed and funded by NPDC. The zoo has been a children’s favourite and a New Plymouth icon since 1965. It features monkeys, birds, reptiles and amphibians, and mammals such as pigs, meerkats and rodents. The site is fully enclosed with a playground under a shade-sail, making it the perfect outdoor activity for families. The zoo is involved with conservation efforts for species such as the cotton-top tamarin, which are critically endangered in the wild. The zoo is a MPI (Ministry of Primary Industries) approved facility.
News Our Work Sealed pump track at Lake Mangamahoe Sealed pump track opens at Lake Mangamahoe 06 January 2020 Mountain bikers at Lake Mangamahoe now have the choice of hitting the trails or taking a spin on a newly sealed pump track thanks to funding from NPDC. The track has been built by New Plymouth Mountain Bikers thanks to financial support from NPDC to the tune of $20,000 from the Agility Fund and the New Zealand Community Trust. Club chairman Hamish Neale says it’s already proving to be a big hit with cyclists of all ages. “The pump track is a great asset for the mountain bike park. Every time I head out to the forest to ride there’s generally always kids and young families riding around it. Thanks to NPDC’s Agility funding support, sealing the pump track will ensure this asset will be around for many years to come.” The club is supported by NPDC with $10,000 a year in funding from the Strategic Partnerships fund while a nominal fee of just $1 is paid to lease land south of Lake Mangamahoe. There are more than 30km of mountain bike tracks at Lake Mangamahoe with new ones set to be made this year as well as plans for a club pavilion on Plantation Road. For more details on the trails, head here.
News Our Work Mt Taranaki Looking after our mountain this summer holiday season 27 December 2019 Our Maunga. Taranaki Maunga. Its presence is felt across the New Plymouth District. It dominates our landscape and is a key part of our identity and what makes our region what it is. Taranaki was once considered off the beaten track by many tourists but that’s all changed in the last decade or so. Thanks to Lonely Planet naming the region in the top two in the world to visit, the word has got out and thousands more travellers are making a beeline for the region. And for many, a must-do is a trip up the mountain to reach the summit or explore Te Papakura o Taranaki national park. NPDC Infrastructure Manager David Langford says he regards protecting the Maunga as something that’s important not just for today but for future generations. Originally from the UK, Mr Langford says the Maunga has come to mean a great deal to him. “Wherever you are in Taranaki, the Maunga is there and it defines our district and the region,” says Mr Langford. “We will always work towards protecting it. “With more and more people coming to our district, this means we have to be proactive and take steps to preserve our special corner of Aotearoa.” To ease congestion during the busy summer season, a new ‘one car out, one car in’ system will be used at the Egmont Road gatehouse from 28 December. Mr Langford says this will relieve pressure on parking at the North Egmont Visitor Centre.  “If people find there’s a wait to access the national park, they could look at one of the other park entrances or explore other walks, such as around Lake Mangamahoe or at Purangi Reserve – the New Plymouth i-SITE at Puke Ariki has lots of recommendations for outdoor activities,” says Mr Langford. Traffic management will run during good weather from 7am until mid-afternoon every day from Saturday 28 December to the middle of January. From then until the end of March, traffic management will on weekends and public holidays only.  Mr Langford recommends that groups hire a commercial shuttle for drop-off and pick-up as these vehicles will have unrestricted access. NPDC is also working on a long-term solution to traffic issues with a public car park on Egmont Road (outside the national park) with facilities for commercial shuttles, with the aim of having this operational next summer.
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.