News and Notices

Have Your Say News Walkway image Help NPDC design the Coastal Walkway extension to Waitara 04 March 2019 Did you know that walkways in Chicago, Stockholm and London now use technology to harness energy from footsteps and generate power? Our Coastal Walkway is epic, and subject to a business case and the NZTA, NPDC plans to begin making it even better. We’re looking at extending it from Bell Block to Waitara and we want to know what we should include along the way. NPDC North Ward councillor Colin Johnston says there are a number of things that could be included. “NPDC has set aside about $4 million for the project and we’re talking about including things like artworks, viewing platforms, exercise equipment or selfie-stands,” says Cr Johnston. “We’ve also been looking at what innovations are being used at other world-leading walkways. Some are making use of technology that generates power from people’s footsteps and using it to operate things like lights. Our walkway is considered world-class and we want to keep it that way. If other cities can use bold innovations then we can look at them too.” NPDC wants to hear what other ideas are out there. Let’s Kōrero is your chance to feed us ideas about some big projects on our books, that we’re working on as part of our latest Annual Plan, which includes an operating budget of approximately $150 million. You could win an iPad, by filling out our quick two minute survey between 4 March and 2 April. Click here to take the survey. View competition terms and conditions here.
Have Your Say Proposed District Plan 2019 Call for feedback District Plan Review 04 March 2019 We’ll be asking you to have your say on NPDC’s Proposed District Plan in mid-2019. The Proposed Plan will determine what can be built and where, and help manage parts of the natural environment. We have almost finished working through the huge amount of feedback we received on the Draft District Plan (October 2016) and Draft Digital District Plan (February 2018). We’ll keep meeting with interested groups as we finalise our approach and fine tune the provisions in the plan. Before we notify the Proposed District Plan we must ask for your feedback on the documents we intend to incorporate in the Plan by reference. These documents provide technical standards or recommended practices that help with implementing the Proposed District Plan provisions, but they’re often too large to be included in the plan text. We want to know what you think about the documents that we intend to incorporate by reference. Of particular note is the Draft Code of Practice for Land Development and Subdivision Infrastructure Standard (NSZ 4404: 2010 with local amendments). The Code outlines clear standards of infrastructure design and construction that are applied through the Proposed District Plan. It has recently been changed.  You can see a full list of the key documents and download the submission form on the Proposed District Plan Page.  Let us know what you think by getting your feedback to us by 5pm on 4 April 2019.
News People Student interns Raul Johnson and Cameron Johnson The almighty Johnsons help NPDC boost ecosystems and biodiversity 01 March 2019 Cameron and Raul Johnson share the same surname and a passion for restoring biodiversity across the New Plymouth District and Aotearoa. The student interns have been working with NPDC since mid-December and have spent the summer studying flora and fauna in the district’s parks, reserves and along the Waiwhakaiho River valley. The duo’s research can now be used by NPDC to create a planting programme along the river with the aim of bringing back native species like whio (blue ducks) and gold-striped geckos and to boost native trees and plants in urban areas.  Raul, who has just completed a degree in Zoology at Otago University, says he has enjoyed his time in New Plymouth so much that he has decided to stay and is now looking for an ecology or conservation job. His project involved surveying urban New Plymouth for remnant bush and identify planting sites for native flora. “I had been to New Plymouth a couple of times before but exploring all the parks, walkways and reserves has helped me see what a great place it is,” says Raul. “I’m hoping this project will help NPDC to improve flora and fauna around the urban area which we’re gradually losing. A restoration strategy will make this native vegetation sustainable for generations to come.” The New Plymouth urban area has 8.9% of native bush, making it the most bio-diverse city in New Zealand (the average is just 2%). To stop species declining, 10% of vegetation needs to be native and Raul’s study has identified locations to hit that target. NPDC is now keen to work with the community and work the project into its planting programme.  Cameron, who is in his final year of his Ecology and Biodiversity degree at Victoria University, had never been to New Plymouth before his internship but now knows the Waiwhakaiho very well after 10 weeks of trekking the valley from the river mouth to Egmont National Park. “It’s been challenging. It’s a long river to trek each day and it’s been pretty hot as well,” says Cameron. “But it’s also been a hugely rewarding experience and these projects are what I want do in my life.  “It’s been fantastic working with the NPDC team and I hope this project will help make a difference and can be used to create an ecological corridor to bring back native fish, reptiles and birds to the Waiwhakaiho valley.” NPDC worked with Waikato University to bring the pair to the district for the summer and the internships were funded by scholarships from the George Mason Charitable Trust. “These projects have very much been a win-win,” says NPDC Group Manager Strategy Liam Hodgetts. “We now have two pieces of vital research which will help us improve biodiversity and urban ecosystems while Cameron and Raul have invaluable experience of using their studies in the real world.” Professor Bruce Clarkson, Deputy Vice Chancellor Research at Waikato University, said they were hoping to offer more student scholarships next year. “We are pleased to be collaborating with NPDC and Wild For Taranaki on understanding how to better manage New Plymouth’s indigenous nature. Funding support from the George Mason Trust made it possible for us to offer the summer student scholarships.” The pair are just two of the many student interns who come to work with NPDC each summer to get valuable on-the-job experience. NPDC employed about 10 other interns who worked with a variety of teams including Parks, Transportation, Property and Planning and the TSB Festival of Lights. What is an ecological corridor? This is a thin stretch of uninterrupted native bush. Native animals use it to migrate to Egmont National Park. Increased native vegetation is good for the river as well; it filters out nutrients from farm run-off, improving water quality. It provides a habitat for native fauna like whio (blue ducks) and gold striped geckos. An ideal ecological corridor runs for at least 50 metres on either side of the river. New Plymouth’s urban ecosystems: By the numbers 10% of vegetation needs to be native to stop species decline New Plymouth currently has 8.9% of native/remnant plants, the most for any NZ city Most NZ cities have an average of just 2% of native bush 35.4ha of urban land in New Plymouth needs native plants to hit the 10% figure Weed control, indigenous planting and maintenance will help the district hit 10%
Our Work Local Devon Street Americarna NPDC fund brings big gigs/events/sport games to our region 22 February 2019 Have you been enjoying the rumble of V8 engines as Americarna rolls through Taranaki this week?  Are you looking forward to WOMAD next month at Brooklands Park or the ITU Triathlon World Cup? Did you know that events like these and many others are brought to town thanks to an NPDC fund specifically designed to bring high quality entertainment to our District?  NPDC’s Major Events Fund has been running since 2005 and is designed to attract events to our region that appeal to a range of audiences, bring economic and social benefits to the district, and position Taranaki as a desirable place to live and visit. About $750,000 has been allocated to the Fund in the current financial year. Over the last 14 years, it’s helped fund events such as major acts at the TSB Bowl of Brooklands, All Blacks test matches, music and dance festival WOMAD and many more.  This year it’s already brought the first-ever National Basketball League (NBL) game to the TSB Stadium, where the SKYCITY Breakers beat the Cairns Taipans in front of a sell-out crowd. “The calibre of events that take place with support from NPDC’s Major Events Fund and thanks to our corporate partners, is contributing to Building a Lifestyle Capital,” says Mayor Neil Holdom. “By hosting world-class concerts, international sporting matches and dynamic arts festivals – to name a few – we draw our community together, stimulate the local economy and make them proud to call Taranaki home. It also brings in visitors who support our economy by staying the weekend, eating out, shopping, and visiting our other tourist attractions which often convinces them to come back here for good. It’s a win-win,” he says. WOMAD is on 15 to 17 March at TSB Bowl of Brooklands, the ITU Triathlon World Cup and National Schools Triathlon begins on 31 March and later this year are Taranaki Arts Festival Trust’s Winter Fest and Spiegeltent Festival.  Keep your calendar handy and an eye on Hello NP on Facebook, as events are always cropping up which means more fun for the Taranaki community.
News Image of a fire in a brazier Fire restrictions 18 February 2019 We’re all feeling the heat this summer, including the land. You now need a permit to light a fire outdoors so you keep yourself and others safe. Fire and Emergency New Zealand has put the restriction over the whole of New Plymouth District from 18 February. This means it’s illegal to light a fire outdoors – or let someone else light a fire on your land – without a Fire and Emergency permit. This restriction lasts until further notice from Fire and Emergency New Zealand. You can get more details at
News Kune kune pigs Rifle Range Road pound February 2019 Piggy pals at NPDC's Pound 15 February 2019 Two new arrivals are hogging all the attention at the NPDC Pound. The pair of young kune kune were found trotting along Heta Road about three weeks ago. The adorable duo are both female and are thought to be about four or five months old. “They’re cute as, but they’re growing fast and we’d really like to find their owner,” says NPDC External Relations Manager Jacqueline Baker. “So if you know where they belong, call us on 06-759 6060.” There’s never a boring moment with the pair, who are both used to human contact. They’ve been given the run of the Pound’s new “Pig Palace”, complete with their own muddy puddle. If they’re not claimed, the pigs will be put up for adoption. “They’re definitely pets, so we’d be looking for a vegetarian and/or pet-loving home for them.”  The NPDC Pound is also home to two goats – a white female that has been found a home and a small black billy – as well as some great dogs at the moment too. So if you’re looking for your next best friend, get in touch by calling 06-759 6060 or through the NPDC website NPDC’s Animal Council Officers impound about 600 dogs each year which are held at the Rifle Range Road pound before being returned to their owner or sometimes a new owner.
News Mangatete Stream Okato Outdoor water ban for Ōkato 11 February 2019 A ban on outdoor water use begins in Ōkato tomorrow (Wednesday) as the Mangatete Stream’s flows continue to lower. Gardens may not be watered and cars and house windows may not be washed while the outdoor ban is in place. “We need substantial rain over a decent period before the Mangatete’s flows will increase again. The long-range forecast has nothing more than a few showers coming our way so it’s important that Ōkato residents stop all outdoor water use for water conservation,” says NPDC Chief Operating Officer Kelvin Wright. Meanwhile, continued high water use in Ōākura is putting pressure on the town’s storage reservoir and firefighting reserve, and if the demand continues it could trigger an outdoor water ban there as well. Mr Wright has urged Ōākura residents to cut back on how much water they use and keep to the odds and evens system for hand-held hoses. “That’s especially important on public holidays and weekends, when people tend to water their gardens and do other outdoor jobs,” he says. Last Sunday (10 February), residents in Ōākura again used 33% more water than the town’s average daily demand whereas residents on the New Plymouth supply used just 6% more than its daily average. You can be a Wai Warrior by reducing how much water is used around the home. Pick up some great tips at Over the next decade, NPDC is investing an extra $44 million to upgrade its water network.
News Our Work People Aussie triathletes 2019 NPDC facilities help triathletes go for Tokyo gold 08 February 2019 Some of the world’s best young athletes are gearing up for Olympic gold in NPDC’s parks, pools and roads. Triathlon Australia’s International Performance Centre has brought eight budding sport stars to New Plymouth as part of their build-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The squad has five Australian triathletes and one each from New Zealand, Switzerland and Canada, here for two months of intensive training. They’ve been swimming at NPDC’s Todd Energy Aquatic Centre and the Waitara pool and running through Pukekura Park and other NPDC parks as well as the Huatoki and Te Henui walkways. Coach Jamie Turner, who grew up in Waitara, says the district ticks all the triathlon training boxes. “It’s great swimming here in New Plymouth at the NPDC pools and also in the open water. There are great rural roads, awesome for cycling, here in Taranaki, and great running here in New Plymouth with the trail network and the parks,” says Mr Turner. Hosting the squad is a great reminder of how our district’s progressing in building a lifestyle capital with a great mix of facilities, says NPDC Chief Operating Officer Kelvin Wright. “NPDC looks after 1,600 hectares of parks and 1,200 kilometres of roads that take in some of the greatest scenery in the country. With that and our beaches and pools, who wouldn’t choose to come here?” says Mr Wright. New Plymouth wished the young athletes well and would be watching the medal podiums in Tokyo, he said.
News Mangatete Stream Okato NPDC urges residents in Ōākura and Ōkato to save water as reservoirs drop low 08 February 2019 As the summer heat begins to bite, NPDC is urging residents to save water to avoid outdoor water bans. In Ōākura, high water use is draining the town’s storage reservoir and its level dropped to 65% on Sunday (3 February) when it is normally about 80% full. Ōākura’s second water bore isn’t available due to what is possibly Kaikoura earthquake damage, with a technical solution of possibly drilling a new bore some time away. Meanwhile, low flows in Ōkato’s Mangatete Stream are nearly at the point where a ban on all outdoor water use will be introduced. Recent rainfall has not been enough to ease the situation and residents are encouraged to conserve water. “If residents in Ōākura really cut back on how much water they use, we might be able to delay having to ban all outdoor water use while we cross our fingers for heavy rain. For example, residents in Ōākura used 33% more water than the town’s average daily demand on Sunday (3 February) whereas residents on the New Plymouth water supply, used just 6% more than its daily average,” says NPDC Chief Operating Officer Kelvin Wright. Reservoirs must hold 50% of their water in reserve for firefighting purposes and high demand makes this difficult to achieve. Tips on how to save water and become a Wai Warrior include: Don’t use sprinklers Don’t leave hoses/irrigation units unattended Please keep to the odds and evens letterbox/date system for using hand-held hoses. For more tips visit: Over the next decade, NPDC is investing an extra $44 million to upgrade its water network.
News Mayor Neil Holdom NPDC forecasts lower than expected rates for next financial year 07 February 2019 Careful financial management has helped NPDC reduce the required rates increase for 2019/20 from approximately 5% to 4.6%, a total of about $350,000 less than forecast in its 10-Year Plan. For the average residential ratepayer the rate rise will be about 3.82%. “We know that every little bit helps for many families who are balancing a budget so it’s fantastic to see that we’ve been able to prudently manage our costs, while continuing to invest in water resilience and Zero Waste 2040,” says Mayor Neil Holdom. The lower-than-expected rates requirement has been revealed in the draft 2019/20 Annual Plan which sets out NPDC’s budget and services for the next year, from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020. Last year NPDC achieved a general rates operating surplus of $320,000, the Perpetual Investment Fund made a return of $21 million and Standard and Poor’s reconfirmed NPDC’s financial rating as ‘AA/A-1’, the highest a local government body in New Zealand can get.  “The 2019/20 Annual Plan is very much a continuation of our back-to-basics focus on the core council infrastructure and responsibilities and people can expect to see more water, wastewater and stormwater pipes going into the ground, more roading investments, more zero waste initiatives.” At an extraordinary meeting on February 12, Elected Members will decide whether to hold a series of informal community conversations to obtain public feedback on the draft Annual Plan, despite there being no significant financial change from what was formally discussed with the community as part of the 10-Year Plan engagement held in 2018. These informal conversations could be held on: The future use of Colson Road landfill once it closes. What should be included in the extension of the Coastal Walkway from Bell Block to Waitara. If NPDC should play a bigger role in Predator-Free Taranaki. Or, Elected Members could opt for formal consultation on a different topic. The final draft Annual Plan will go to a full council meeting on 21 May for adoption. NPDC manages assets valued at $2.7 billion and has a yearly operating budget of approximately $140 million. It manages an 800 kilometre water network, more than 1,270 kilometres of roads, 1,600 hectares of parks and open spaces, 1,730 properties, Brooklands Zoo, four swimming pools, Puke Ariki, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, TSB Showplace and TSB Stadium, and TSB Festival of Lights.
News Lifestyle Boon Aotearoa Bike Challenge NPDC says get fit and healthy in February with the Aotearoa Bike Challenge 05 February 2019 Jump off the commuter treadmill and get on your bike this month and you’ll find you Love to Ride. NPDC’s Let’s Go has teamed up with the NZ Transport Agency and Love to Ride for the third annual Aotearoa Bike Challenge. Just 10 minutes of pedalling each day could power you and your workplace to better health and prizes too. Workplaces can sign up and encourage staff to get fit and free themselves from the hassles of traffic and parking, while doing their part for a better environment. “Our district is the perfect place to learn to love to ride. We have fantastic cycle lanes and off-road routes, including the Coastal Walkway, as well as fantastic scenery, so you can get pumped on the way to work and wind down at the end of the day,” says NPDC Infrastructure Manager David Langford. BOON Team Architects has taken up the challenge with gusto, says BOON Operations Coordinator Erin Wesley. "Through our work and people at BOON Team Architects we aim to create active communities, so it is fantastic that NPDC supports events such as the Aotearoa Bike Challenge," says Ms Wesley. The national prizes this year include a seven-day mountain bike adventure with Haka Tours, while a Meloyelo e-bike is up for grabs in New Plymouth District thanks to NPDC. To register, go to or contact
Have Your Say News Road safety review Road Safety Review 04 February 2019 Please note this survey closed on 29 March 2019. If you want to provide feedback on our roads please send us an email at Have your say on road safety. Last year, 17 people died in crashes on Taranaki roads. You know the roads you use, and NPDC wants you to tell us what the challenges are. Together we can make our roads safer. This could mean straightening bends or putting in barriers, roundabouts, cycle lanes, crossing points, shared zones or reducing speed limits. To report a possible road safety issue, you can call NPDC on 06-759 6060, visit the Civic Centre in Liardet Street or fill in our District-wide Road Safety Review survey (please note this closed on 29 March 2019) You can also come to one of 10 drop-in sessions from 2pm to 6pm around the district: 13 February, NPDC Civic Centre 14 February, Knox Fitzroy Presbyterian Church 20 February, Inglewood Town Hall 21 February, Labour Party Rooms/Barclay Hall, Westown 27 February, St James Presbyterian Church, Moturoa 28 February, Waitara Library 6 March, Urenui Community Centre 7 March, Bell Block Library 13 March, Oakura Library 14 March, Pukekura Scout Den, Kura Street Get involved and help make our roads safer. If you want to tell us about road or footpath repairs, such as a pothole or damaged road surface, please phone 06-759 6060 or email
News Lifestyle Our Work Boy biking to school with his father and young brother School bells mark the start of busier streets 03 February 2019 Schools are back from the long summer break and that means kids heading to classrooms and more cars on our roads. Let’s Go wants mums, dads, caregivers, whanau, students and drivers to all take care and make it a safe start to the new school year. The Let’s Go team will be running programmes throughout the year as it aims to help more and more kids to walk, bike, catch the bus or ride a scooter to schools. If caregivers have to take children to school by car, please help keep all students safer by parking well away from the school gates and walking your child the rest of the way. Also, you can lead by example – for instance, by using the correct crossing points when crossing a road. Here are some top tips to boost road safety near schools: Remember there will be many children will be out and about from 7am to 9am and 2.30pm to 5pm. Slow down in school zones. It’s not about the speed limit; it’s about driving to the conditions. Park away from the immediate school zone: you’ll avoid the congestion and parking woes, and enjoy a short walk in to school with your child. Do not stop in bus parks or on cycle lanes – not even ‘just for 30 seconds’. Avoid distractions, especially the use of mobile devices. Double-check before moving through intersections and crossing points. Slow down to 20kmh when passing a stopped school bus dropping off or picking up students. This rule applies regardless what side of the bus is parked on – drivers going in both directions must slow down. For more information, check out the Let's Go Project.
News Taranaki Retreat NPDC funding supports vital work of Taranaki Retreat 01 February 2019 Ongoing support from NPDC is providing vital support for people dealing with tragedy or life challenges, Taranaki Retreat’s Jamie and Suzy Allen say. NPDC invests about $730,000 each year in the community and a recent funding partnership from the Community Investment Fund will give the Retreat Trust $25,000 over the next five years. The money will go to the Retreat’s Support Team and follows $20,000 in NPDC funding in 2017 and $5,000 in 2015. Taranaki Retreat was set up by the Allens in 2015 following the death of their daughter Carrie in 2012. The family stayed in Ronald McDonald house while she battled cancer. That stay inspired the couple to create a space for individuals or families dealing with tragedy and life-challenges. “Many, many people in our community are finding the pace and challenges of modern life are impacting their mental health. It is a hallmark of any region how it offers healing and sanctuary. Taranaki Retreat is unique to our province, and an expression of aroha and compassion of which we should all be proud – the community itself provides this sanctuary, through its generosity and aroha,” says Jamie Allen. “In the Retreat’s first 18 months of operation, more than 2500 requests for support have been received and responded to. Of course, this requires many resources, at every level. NPDC’s community funding support is literally a lifeline, and one that we know reflects the heart of Taranaki. Thank you!” In August the Allens received a NPDC Citizens’ Award recognising the significant contribution they have made to the district. The $25,000 for the Retreat is part of the Community Investment Fund recently announced by NPDC. This also includes funding for the North Taranaki Neighbourhood Support Trust, Taranaki Futures, the New Plymouth Operatic Society and New Plymouth Mountain Bikers. Each year NPDC invests around $730,000 in the New Plymouth District with money going to a diverse range of groups and individuals from helping to train young surf lifesavers clubs to the Taranaki Rescue Helicopter Trust. For more information, head to How you can support the Taranaki Retreat Sign up to help at working bees. Donate your expertise or professional skills to the Taranaki Retreat Trust. Visit for more information and details about how to donate. Where to get help Taranaki Retreat (open 24/7) – 06-215 0993 Lifeline (open 24/7) - 0800 543 354 Depression Helpline (open 24/7) - 0800 111 757 Healthline (open 24/7) - 0800 611 116 Samaritans (open 24/7) - 0800 726 666 Suicide Crisis Helpline (open 24/7) - 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO). This is a service for people who may be thinking about suicide, or those who are concerned about family or friends. Youthline (open 24/7) - 0800 376 633. You can also text 234 for free between 8am and midnight, or email 0800 WHATSUP children's helpline - phone 0800 9428 787 between noon and 11pm on weekdays and from 3pm to 11pm on weekends. Online chat is available from 3pm to 10pm on weekdays and 3pm to 10pm on weekends at Kidsline (open 24/7) - 0800 543 754. This service is for children aged 5 to 18. Those who ring between 4pm and 9pm on weekdays will speak to a Kidsline buddy. These are specially trained teenage telephone counsellors Your local Rural Support Trust - 0800 787 254 (0800 RURAL HELP) Alcohol Drug Helpline (open 24/7) - 0800 787 797. You can also text 8691 for free For further information, contact the Mental Health Foundation's free Resource and Information Service (09 623 4812).
News Our Work Pukekura Park Curator Kristian Davies NPDC rolls out scooters to boost access to iconic Pukekura Park 31 January 2019 If you’re not up to a stroll, you can now go for a roll through the world-class scenery at NPDC’s Pukekura Park. Four new mobility scooters will be available for free from Friday (1 February) for visitors who can’t walk through the park, which won the prestigious international Green Flag award (the international mark of a quality park or green space) for the sixth year running last year. “Pukekura Park is the jewel in the crown of the New Plymouth District and is perfect for a leisurely spin, opening it up to even more people,” said NPDC External Relations Manager Jacqueline Baker. While NPDC owns the electric scooters, the Taranaki Disabilities Information Centre Trust (TDICT) will run the service. Anyone wanting to book a scooter in advance can do so by contacting NPDC by phone (06-759 6060) or email ( Users will need to provide personal ID to hire a scooter and sign a declaration that they’re competent to drive on them. The service will be reviewed after three months. Pukekura Park, created in 1876, includes the TSB Bowl of Brooklands and the popular Brooklands Zoo, and is host to high-profile events such as WOMAD and the annual TSB Festival of Lights, as well as concerts by international stars. In the last year, the park has seen the development of the area outside the Tea House and the lookout over the Main Lake, as well as new shade sails in the playground and renovation of the fountain in the Fountain Lake. NPDC manages some 1,600 hectares of parks and open spaces and looks after 82km of walkways including the Coastal Walkway.
Public Notice Road Closure Clearway 30 - 31 January 29 January 2019 A heavy load will be transported from Port Taranaki to Vickers Road on the above dates. A clearway is required from 10pm on Wednesday 30 January to 4am on Thursday 31 January along the following roads: Breakwater Road. St Aubyn Street. Molesworth Street. Hobson Street from Molesworth Street to Northgate. Northgate via Paynters Avenue on/off ramp. SH3/Devon Road. Vickers Road to Fitzroy Engineering. Please ensure that the roadway outside all properties is kept clear on both sides of the above streets. Any vehicles left on the roadway will be towed at the owner’s expense. All enquiries shall be directed to Dave Brown of Multi Trans Heavy Haul Limited on 027 273 3680.
News People Chris Connelly at Pukekura Park with one of the 6 Green Flags that was awarded to the park during his term as curator Curator Chris says caring for Pukekura Park has been a privilege 20 January 2019 The job of keeping the international Green Flag flying over NPDC’s world-class Pukekura Park is changing hands. Curator Chris Connolly is retiring this month and passing the banner to newly-returned Kiwi expat Kristian Davies. Mr Connolly says he’s had a “fantastic” 12 years at the helm of the jewel in New Plymouth’s crown. “Managing NPDC’s Pukekura Park has been an absolute privilege. New Plymouth’s founders had great foresight to create such a fantastic and lasting asset back in 1876. It’s nationally significant,” says Mr Connolly. Among his achievements, he has built on Pukekura’s reputation by helping to establish WOMAD as an annual fixture at Brooklands Park and supporting the development and success of the TSB Festival of Lights. For the last six years, Pukekura Park has earned a Green Flag, the international award for the world’s best parks and green spaces. The keen surfer now plans to spend more time with his family, including two young grandchildren, and at some of his favourite breaks, such as Waiwhakaiho, the Kumara Patch, Back Beach and Graveyards. “NPDC would like to thank Chris for his hard work and the great job he has done looking after and improving Pukekura Park,” says NPDC Chief Operating Officer Kelvin Wright. “We wish him all the best in the future and a happy retirement.” Mr Davies, 42, takes over the reins after spending 15 years in London, where he ran his own landscaping business. He was keen to get back to a lifestyle that embraced his love of surfing, fishing and hiking – and New Plymouth ticked all the boxes. He previously worked at the Auckland regional botanic gardens, where he developed an expertise in camellias, magnolias and Asiatic plants. “I love the history of Pukekura Park. It has a great team it’s a fantastic conservation asset and seed bank. I’ll be looking to carry on the vision and keep the Green Flag flying,” said Mr Davies. Chris Connolly fast facts Born in Christchurch in 1953. Family: Married, three sons, two grandchildren. Education: trained first as a teacher before travelling and working overseas and studying horticultural science at Lincoln University. Work history: teacher in Auckland, horticulture worker in Canterbury, Parks worker at Gore Borough Council, Parks supervisor at Manukau City Council, Parkscape Services Manager at NPDC, Curator at Pukekura Park. Developments at Pukekura Park under his management include: New main playground plus shade sails Queen Elizabeth II Fountain upgrade New lookout platform over the Main Lake Pest management programme resulting in more native birds Upgrade of the Fernery and Display Houses.
News Lifestyle People Our Work Two lighting installations at the TSB Festival of Lights in 2019. Called Seed and Nebula Now. Magic of NPDC's TSB Festival of Lights inspires artists 17 January 2019 Arielle Walker and Jasmine Grace have vivid memories of visiting NPDC’s TSB Festival of Lights as kids and being captivated by the magic of the lights. Now they say they have come ‘full circle’ with a return to the Pukekura Park event as the artists and designers of two light installations at this season’s festival.  Arielle, co-designer and co-creator of Nebula Now, grew up in Auckland but would take a trip to the “magical” festival each year while visiting her dad’s hometown and staying with her grandparents for the summer. “The glow stones specifically stuck as an image in my head,” Arielle says. “I remember taking them home and couldn’t understand why they wouldn’t work anymore. It made the park seem like such a magical place and it was very cool as a kid to have that experience.” Arielle created Nebula Now with partner Liam Mullins and it features above the glow stones which are back at the Festival this season. “When we created Nebula Now all I could think of was this magical experience as a kid and wanting to recreate that feeling in an installation,” Arielle says. The installation is a chandelier created from repurposed, recycled Perspex materials and keychains and is illuminated by a UV black light which gives it a surreal, glowing appearance. “I remember saying to Liam if I could have this showing at Taranaki it would be the most incredible feeling. When I saw the open call go out I was so excited, because the Festival was exactly what the work was made for in my head. It felt like the perfect full circle,” she says. Jasmine, co-designer and co-creator of light installation Seed, grew up in New Plymouth in a family of artists. Her recollections of the Festival are associated with a family ritual of visiting the homes strung with Christmas lights, before going to the Festival “as a finale”. Seed was designed and created by Jasmine, Rachel Neser and Molly Brankin during their studies at Massey University, and the concept of the piece is inspired by nature’s stages of bloom and decay. The artwork is made up of a fine chicken wire that becomes invisible in darkness. It is then lit by a projection of digitally-edited video footage of flowers blooming. It was Jasmine’s tutor Antony Nevin who encouraged the artists to submit their artwork to the Festival. Jasmine travelled back to New Plymouth from Wellington to help with the installation of Seed last month. “I’m really glad I got to go along and install it. It felt like so much more of a success, and standing there thinking ‘I remember this place as a little girl’ was a cool feeling,” says Jasmine. NPDC Recreation and Culture Manager Teresa Turner said it was fantastic that the TSB Festival of Lights was now inspiring a new generation of artists and designers. “We’ve had 10 new installations this season including these great designs by Arielle and Jasmine,” she says. “We’re delighted to see home-grown talent coming through with original ideas that keep the Festival fresh for the 125,000 who visit Pukekura Park each season.” Seed and Nebula Now are on display in Pukekura Park until Sunday 3 February. Festival facts The TSB Festival of Lights runs for seven weeks each summer and is seen by 125,000 visitors. The lighting route is 3.5 kilometres of walkways through Pukekura Park. The lights are on for 49 nights. More than 22 staff and volunteers work behind the scenes each night at the festival. It takes five weeks to install route lighting, speciality light installations and cabling through the park for the festival. Last season’s festival added nearly $5 million in value to the Taranaki economy and brought in 9,600 visitors to New Plymouth. More than 55 members of the community have volunteered their time to help festival visitors find their way around the event.
Lifestyle News Our Work Events and Exhibitions zero waste station at A Summers Day concert at the TSB Bowl of Brooklands NPDC and volunteer power keep concert waste out of landfill 17 January 2019 An army of Zero Waste warriors and a great response from concert-goers helped NPDC keep 95% of waste out of landfill after Friday’s TSB Bowl of Brooklands concert. A crowd of 8,500 saw Toto, Jefferson Starship and Dragon rock the Bowl for the A Summer’s Day Live gig. As part of the Toitopu Toiora Taranaki Green Initiative, new recycling and waste stations were rolled out across the Bowl and volunteers were on hand to help concert-goers go green. Just six wheelie bins of rubbish had to go to landfill with the rest of the 35 cubic metres of waste either recycled or composted. “To keep 95% of waste out of the landfill is an amazing result,” says NPDC Chief Operating Officer Kelvin Wright. “We’d like to thank the army of volunteers who did an awesome job on the night and the next day. It’s this kind of can-do attitude which will help our journey to Zero Waste 2040.” Volunteers included members of Taranaki Conservationists and Pare Kore who worked late into Friday night and the next morning to pick up any waste concert-goers left behind. As well as the new recycling and waste stations, it’s estimated that up to 5,500 single-use cups were kept out of landfill by the use of NZ-made Globelets. Food vendors also switched to compostable materials. The Toitopu Toiora Taranaki Green Initiative will feature at other Bowl concerts such as The Hollies on 1 March and Angus and Julia Stone on 31 March and will soon be available for hire at other community events. If you want to volunteer at future events, email us at
News Our Work Lifestyle Woman and children walking in Egmont National Park Take the bus up the mountain thanks to NPDC and DOC 15 January 2019 Update 1 March The shuttle bus is running again this weekend. The free service will run from a new location on Egmont Road from tomorrow (Saturday) - just look for the car park signs. The first bus leaves the car park at 7.30am and the last bus leaves the North Egmont Visitors Centre about 4.30pm. Update 5 February Due to high demand we are increasing the service. The shuttle will increase it's hours of service to run from 5am to 4:30pm and it will run approximately every half hour. The shuttle will also be available on both Waitangi Day (6 February) and Taranaki Anniversary Day (11 March). Everyone is encouraged to use this service to take a little stress out of your day, and particularly if you are doing a summit hike or a multi-day hike we recommend you park at the Volcano View Cafe to make use of the free shuttle and help ease congestion at the North Egmont Visitors Centre carpark. Original article A new shuttle bus service is set to ease parking congestion at the North Egmont Visitors Centre, thanks to a collaboration between NPDC, the Department of Conservation (DOC) and the Volcano View Café. The trial service is set to take travellers from the café to the Visitors Centre from Saturday (19 January) through to early April. NPDC Infrastructure Manager David Langford says more and more visitors are coming to the region and the shuttle bus will help them enjoy walks and climbs on Mt Taranaki and the national park.  “A trip to Egmont National Park and our beautiful Mounga is one thing visitors like to tick off on their list of the many great things to do in Taranaki,” he says. “We’re seeing a big rise in visitors coming to see our beautiful part of the world and this new service is about improving access for everyone. We’d like to thank the owners of the Volcano View Café who have been so helpful and positive about this idea.” DOC Operations Manager Gareth Hopkins says: “The North Egmont Visitors Centre received approximately 10,000 visitors over the busy Christmas and New Year period. We want all visitors to the Mounga to enjoy their experience here, starting from a less congested car park and safer roads meaning a better experience for visitors to the area.” Visitors using the free bus, which is a joint initiative by NPDC and DOC, will be able to leave their vehicle at a car park near the Volcano View Café and the service runs on the hour from 9am to 5pm. The café will be open for travellers to enjoy some refreshments while they wait. This is the first ever shuttle bus to North Egmont and if the trial is successful it could be used each summer to cut the number of cars heading up Egmont Road to the mountain. NPDC has also improved access to the world-class Pouakai Crossing trek recently with a new car park and toilet block at the end of Mangorei Road which opened to visitors on Christmas Eve.