News and Notices

News Our Work Oakura Ōākura water works in the pipeline  02 October 2019 Ōākura is the latest town set to benefit from NPDC’s $44m investment in water resilience. For the next few months, the $2 million investment at the top of Wairau Road will see another bore drilled down to the town’s underground water supply, followed by an upgrade to the treatment process at the Ōākura Water Treatment Plant. NPDC Infrastructure Manager David Langford said the two projects are part of the extra $44 million being invested to make the district’s water network more resilient.  “It’s exciting to see NPDC’s investments making a tangible difference to our communities. What we’re doing will help us keep the taps flowing in Ōākura for years to come, as well as ensuring our drinking water is always safe to drink,” Mr Langford said. As a result of water contamination in Havelock North in 2016, new Drinking Water Standards are on the horizon that will help prevent a similar incident occurring in New Zealand. The upgrade of Ōākura’s treatment plant to meet these new standards will see the installation of cartridge filters and UV disinfection.  “We already use chlorine and lime to treat Ōākura’s water but with the new cartridge filters and UV disinfection, the town will have the same treatment system as Okato does for their river-sourced supply,” says Mr Langford.  Once the new bore is up and running, NPDC will decommission one of the two existing bores as it is no longer operational.  NPDC is also investing about $4.5m to improve Inglewood’s water pipes network, with work on this project having started last year. What does a bore do? A bore is a hole that is drilled down through soil and rock to an underground water source (aquifer). A pump is placed down the bore to draw the water up to the treatment plant.
News Waitara NPDC fixes leak in Waitara 01 October 2019 Water has been restored to about 12 homes and businesses in Waitara after NPDC fixed a drinking water pipe leak. The water has been turned back on in Queen Street and NPDC apologises for the inconvenience to residents and businesses.
Have Your Say News Local Someone putting a block of chocolate in a ballot box Now that we've got your attention... forget chocolate and vote 30 September 2019 Here’s an interesting little story to consider. When we posted a chocolate bar giveaway on our NPDC Facebook page last week, the result was fairly impressive. Within three days the post had 550 comments. That’s online marketing code for “people seem to care about this”. Just four days earlier, the controversial “Give a 💩, Vote Today” dropped on the same Facebook page. To date, despite being about the most controversial marketing campaign NPDC has ever run, it has attracted just 180 comments - expressing a range of sentiment, of course. Now, this is by no means a conclusive scientific analysis, and we do understand free chocolate is a pretty big lure, but as a quick snapshot the picture is clear, and it begs the question: Wouldn’t it be nice if people cared as much about democracy, voting and their local government bodies as they did about a free bar of chocolate? It’s sad that doesn’t seem to be the case, and also speaks volumes to the challenges faced when trying to attract people to vote. People should care. NPDC is a $3.3 billion business, with 17 different business units. The scale of its operations is probably matched in the Taranaki region only by the District Health Board, Fonterra and the oil and gas industry. From the minute someone wakes up in the morning and makes a coffee, takes a shower, and drives to work, they’re using NPDC services. When they’re putting out the rubbish, or washing the dishes at night, they’re using NPDC services. When they’re out doing the fun stuff like going to a park, or a beach, getting a book from the library, watching their kids’ sport, catching a show, or heading to the pools, chances are high they’re enjoying NPDC-funded facilities and services. Our operations cost about $155 million to run each year. That’s a lot of money, so what’s not to care about? While we were saddened, we weren’t particularly surprised that a free chocolate bar attracted more attention than an election voting campaign – even a controversial one – after all we already know only 47% of people bothered to cast a vote in 2016. Less than half! How appalling! Local government is relevant. Everyone cares about something, and it’s almost certain that if that something they care about is located in or happens inside the New Plymouth District boundaries, that NPDC has an impact on it in some way. Is it clean water, or community sport hubs, or airport terminals, or free entry at art galleries, or the state of our central city, or rural roads, or rubbish collection, or affordable rates? It doesn’t really matter what issue someone cares about, what does matter is that the only way to have a meaningful say on it is by casting their vote. Our “Give a 💩, Vote Today” campaign was provocative and designed to turn people’s heads. But what we really want people to do, now that we have their attention, is to think about what it is they care about, and cast their vote accordingly. To help them with this, we ran a few other less risque chapters in our election campaign that may have missed people’s attention – they certainly attracted minimal comment. To attract a wide range of diverse candidates, so people would be more likely to have voting options that appeal to them, we encouraged prospective candidates to “Make A Stand”. To help people know more about the different candidates and where their values might align, we ran a series of “Know Your Candidate” ads, pointing people towards an online candidates directory, with a short bio, contact details, and links to online resources. You can find the candidate directory here. And to make sure people understand our new voting system, Single Transferable Vote or STV, we have tried to make sure they understand it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3. There’s more info about how to vote using STV for anyone still not sure about it. Ultimately though, the onus is on the voter. As the old saying goes, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. We urge people to care. We urge people to vote. To prove to us and to themselves that the chance of a free chocolate bar holds less sway than how an average NPDC rates bill of about $2300 per year is put to use. You have until noon on October 12. Give a 💩, Vote Today.
News Our Work Salevi Tiatia and Ben Ingram: Sort Ya Kit Out Time for community to get disaster ready, says NPDC 25 September 2019 NPDC’s emergency experts have a simple message for people who aren’t prepared for a disaster: “Sort Ya Kit Out!” A recent survey showed just 35% of people in the region feel they are prepared for an emergency, while just 30% have a getaway kit containing the essentials required to survive for up to three days.  NPDC Civil Defence Lead Ben Ingram says that’s a scary thought, and something he and his team is wanting to change.  “The main aim of asking people to Sort Ya Kit Out is to not only help our community understand how important it is to be prepared, but also encourage people to get started on their survival kits and outline the key items they could start collecting in order to get themselves and their families disaster ready.” NPDC has teamed up with New Zealand artist Andrew J Steel to design a limited edition reusable shopping bag, which people can pick up for free at New World supermarkets in Waitara, Inglewood and central New Plymouth, next week.  When people collect their bag, of which there are just 1000, they can also register to win one of 25 family survival kits worth $150, or one of two survival kits valued at $500 each. The idea behind the bag is to encourage people to start filling it with key items that might be useful in an emergency. Mr Ingram says getting a survival kit sorted is one of those things people think about doing and know is important, but often don’t get around to. “A lot of people put it on the back-burner because it’s so easy to think we’re safe and nothing is going to happen. The harsh reality is, an unexpected event could be just around the corner. “Even if you start collecting one item in your weekly grocery shop, you can build up a reasonable survival kit over a couple of months. Having any form of kit is better than having no kit.” For more details head to People can pick up their limited edition shopping bag from the following locations; New Plymouth New World (Wed 2 Oct, from 8.30am), Waitara New World (Thur 3 Oct, from 9am), Inglewood New World (Fri 4 Oct, from 9am). Available until stocks last!  Key survival items (if you think wise to include) Torch  Batteries Cash Fuel in your tank Water A variety of tinned food Matches First aid kit Survival blanket Copies of important documents  Toilet paper Toiletries Warm clothing Shelter/tarpaulin Small radio
News New bin family Just days to go before new kerbside collection starts 23 September 2019 Get your food scraps ready – the new kerbside bin collection service starts this Monday! This week is the last time that the NPDC red plastic bags will be picked up at the kerbside. From Monday 30 September, it’s all about the landfill bins, food scraps bins, recycling bins and blue glass crates. The collection day for your property remains the same. To find out which bins to put out each week, check the calendar that was delivered with your new bins.  In addition, we’ll update the Rubbish Day Search webpage and the NPDC Recycling and Rubbish App this Friday afternoon (27 September). The app has an option for sending you an alert each week about which bins to put out. The new collection service is part of $20 million NPDC is investing over a decade to achieve Zero Waste 2040. In addition, we’ll be cutting down CO2 emissions by using six new EnviroWaste electric trucks – the largest municipal electric truck fleet for waste and food scraps collection in Australasia. The food scraps bin will help us redirect food waste from the landfill, and instead turn it into useful compost. Currently, food waste makes up 40% of rubbish bags’ volume. Households should keep using their red plastic bags until this Friday. After that, please take leftover unused bags to the Civic Centre in New Plymouth or your local library for reuse by community groups or recycling.  What goes into each bin? Food scraps bin Vegetable scraps, including peelings, stalks and skins. Fruit scraps, including peelings, cores, stalks and skins. Meat leftovers. Bread. Pasta and rice. Dairy products. Meat bones and scraps, including fat trimmings. Fish scraps and bones, and shellfish shells. Egg and egg shells. Coffee grounds, tea leaves and tea bags. Indoor cut flowers. Newspaper wrapping. Kitchen paper towels. Recycling bin Paper and cardboard. Plastics with a number 1-7 in a triangle. Tin cans. Glass crate Glass bottles. Glass jars. Landfill bin Non-recyclable materials. Non-compostable green waste (pest plants, flax).
News New Plymouth NPDC's proposed District Plan released today 23 September 2019 The New Plymouth District is changing and NPDC is preparing for the future with its Proposed District Plan, released for public submissions today. The Proposed District Plan will guide the next decade of growth and development in the district. The public can view the plan and have their say on it from 23 September to 22 November. “The plan encourages a more compact and walkable city, more diversity in our housing and highlights the likely impacts of climate change on our coast and district. It takes a focused approach to our natural and built heritage with a particular emphasis on acknowledging the special role of Māori,” says NPDC Group Manager Strategy Liam Hodgetts. “NPDC is the first council in New Zealand to notify a digital plan that uses interactive online maps that help you navigate property by property. We have been able to produce a smart plan that makes it easier than ever for people to see and explore how the city and our district will be planned in the future. All you have to do is go to NPDC website, search by a property address have a browse and if you wish you can make a submission online. “It’s a big deal when the community gets the opportunity to shape a plan that influences so much of their daily lives and the environment that surrounds them,” says Mr Hodgetts. People can also check out the Proposed District Plan at the Civic Centre and the Customer Support staff at the Civic Centre or the Call Centre will direct their enquiry to a planner as appropriate. NPDC is also holding ‘Ask a Planner’ days at the Learning and Service Hubs during October, where the community can book a time slot to speak to a planner.  NPDC began the District Plan review in May 2014 and received more than 350 detailed comments after releasing the Draft Digital District Plan in February 2018. This is the first digital plan of its kind in the country and won four awards, including the New Zealand Planning Institute’s 2018 Supreme Practice Award for showing NPDC’s commitment to becoming a “future-focused Digital Council”.  Read the Proposed District Plan here:
Have Your Say News Proposed District Plan Proposed District Plan open for submissions 22 September 2019 New Plymouth District is changing and NPDC is preparing for that change with our Proposed District Plan. Built on your feedback on our Draft District Plan, the Proposed District Plan is the basis of our new District Plan, which will set out for the next decade what can be built and where and will help manage parts of the environment. It aims to give certainty to property owners, business and industry while protecting the things our community values. We’re now calling for formal feedback. You can have your say on the Proposed District Plan from 23 September to 22 November.  We’ve made it easier than ever to see the proposed NPDC plan online here and make a submission. You can also check it out at the Civic Centre or speak to a planner at a local library near you on these dates: (see graphic below) Inglewood Library: 9am-3pm, 14 October. Bell Block Library: 9am-3pm, 15 October. Puke Ariki: 11am-5pm, 16 October. Urenui Library: noon-4pm, 18 October. Ōākura Library: noon-6pm, 23 October. Puke Ariki: 9am-3.30pm, 24 October. Waitara Library: 9am-3pm, 25 October. The top four issues of the Proposed District Plan are a vibrant central city, planning for growth, managing industry, and caring for our ever-changing coastline.  NPDC is on track to be the first council in New Zealand to publish a Digital District Plan, so you can easily find out what you can on your property.
News Our Work People Events and Exhibitions Megan Wells and Vivienne Brown All Blacks jersey May 2019 All Blacks jerseys on display at Puke Ariki 20 September 2019 NPDC’s Puke Ariki has brought nearly 100 years of All Blacks history together as the Rugby World Cup kicks off in Japan this weekend. All Blacks jerseys belonging to father and son Handley and Ross Brown and current star Beauden Barrett are on display in the Museum’s foyer as the All Blacks prepare to defend the Webb Ellis Cup. The Museum was gifted an All Blacks jersey belonging to legend Handley Brown earlier this year from his famous ‘Invincibles’ tour of 1924-25 and will display this alongside a jersey from Ross from 1956 and a 2018 jersey from local legend Barrett. The display will also feature a clip from the All Blacks’ ‘Invincibles’ tour of the UK, Ireland, France and Canada when the team won all of their 32 games. Museum Manager Colleen Mullen says Puke Ariki was proud to be able to display the jerseys from three generations of Taranaki-born rugby legends. “We’re expecting this to be a big hit with All Blacks fans during the World Cup,” she says. “The donation was perfect timing with the tournament in Japan this year. It’s also great timing as we celebrate 100 years of museums in Taranaki.” Handley’s jersey was donated by Ross Brown’s widow, Vivienne Brown, in April after she talked with the Te Pua Wānanga O Taranaki/Taranaki Research Centre about preserving it for future generations. “My family and I wanted the jersey to remain here in Taranaki. Handley was born here and it is only right that his jersey from the tour remains in the place he called home,” says Mrs Brown. Handley Brown Handley Brown wore the All Blacks rugby Jersey worn during the 1924 – 25 tour of the UK, Ireland, France and Canada. They won all of their 32 games earning their nickname “The Invincibles”. Handley Brown was one of the youngest players on the tour at aged 19. Handley Brown played 20 times for the All Blacks between 1924 and 1926. He also played 49 times for Taranaki between 1923 and 1930. Ross Brown Ross is the son of Handley Brown. Nicknamed Pascoe, he played his first All Blacks test match in 1955, aged 20. He continued being a regular choice for the All Blacks into the 1960s, playing 25 matches in total. He played all four All Blacks test matches in their historic 1956 series win over the Springboks Pascoe helped Taranaki win and defend the Ranfurly Shield from 1957-59 and then captained the team to again defend the Shield from 1963-65. Beauden Barrett Beauden made his first All Blacks cap in 2012. He is already one of the All Blacks top points scorers and won World Rugby Player of the Year in both 2016 and 2017. He was part of the All Blacks team that won the Rugby World Cup in 2015. Beauden first made the Taranaki team in 2010, aged 19, and signed with the Hurricanes in 2011 He helped Taranaki win the Ranfurly Shield in 2011, and the Hurricanes win their first Super Rugby title in 2016. Puke Ariki fact file 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 (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.
News People Have Your Say Local First-time voter Jezza Vivian Time for an election 'youthquake', says first-time voter Jezza 19 September 2019 Voting papers are about to arrive in mailboxes, and one New Plymouth teen is mad keen to show she cares about the District’s future and cast her vote. New Plymouth Girls’ High School student Jezza Vivian says it’s crucial young people turn out and vote in the 2019 local body elections and has already picked out her favourite candidates. She told NPDC she’ll be encouraging her friends to vote as ‘not voting is the one way to guarantee your voice will not be heard’. We caught up with this empowered teen to find out more about why she’s such an enthusiastic young voter. Why are you voting in the NPDC elections? I am voting as I want a say in electing who I believe represents my values. It’s up to me to choose who I think is most appropriate to express my voice on our local council. This is your first time as a voter, what does that mean to you? It means a lot. As a first-time voter, I am so excited to have my votes and opinions finally count! Voter turnout in the New Plymouth District is sitting at about 47%. How do we get more young people to take part? I believe the key to encouraging youth to vote is educating them on why their vote matters and exposing them to the candidates in a way in which they relate to — maybe holding enrolment workshops at high schools? Why should young people vote? Voting is a way youth can have their say. We are the ones growing up in today’s society, and we’ve had no say for 18 years. Now is finally our chance to try and change the things we don’t agree with. We cannot let this opportunity pass. What are the key issues facing our district? The biggest issue facing our district is the issue that faces our planet: the climate crisis. The Mayor and councillors make big decisions about our future which touch our everyday lives. How do you think NPDC can get young people more involved with that decision-making process? I think a brilliant way to get youth more involved is to have a youth council and have a representative of the youth council actively involved in decision-making processes within the NPDC. We’re using STV for the first time, have you picked your candidates yet? I have a pretty good idea of who I’m going to be putting on my STV voting paper however I am still unsure on the order. What’s your message to the new elected members? Stick to your values. People have voted for you based on these, so be their voice and represent them. You’re in your final year at school, what’s next for you? As I am currently in my final year of high school, next year I am hoping to expand on Voices of the Future. Voices of the Future is a platform that aims to provide rangatahi with opportunities to have their voices heard as well as to educate and facilitate intergenerational discussion. VotF was co-founded by myself and fellow year 13 student Nikita Taiapa. Key election dates: 20-26 September Voting documents arrive via post. 20 September Postal voting opens or you can drop your vote into a Ballot Box at one of NPDC’s facilities: Civic Centre Liardet Street, the Bell Block, Inglewood and Waitara Library and Service Centres, Puke Ariki (Library and Museum), Ōākura Library, Mobile Library, Todd Energy Aquatic Centre, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, TSB Showplace, TSB Stadium. October 2 Recommended last day to post votes. Or drop your voting papers into any NPDC facility (see above). October 5 National Vote Day. Drop your vote at one of the following locations between 9am-3pm: Civic Centre, Liardet Street (drive-thru), the Bell Block, Inglewood and Waitara Library and Service Centres, Puke Ariki (Library and Museum), Todd Energy Aquatic Centre, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, TSB Showplace, New World Merrilands, Countdown Spotswood, Pak n’ Save, 4 Squares in Urenui, Okato and Ōākura, Bell Block Warehouse, Huatoki Plaza. October 6 - 11 Last chance to drop your vote into one of NPDC’s facilities. Noon, 11 October Ballot Boxes close at Puke Ariki (Museum and Library), Ōākura Library, Mobile Library, Todd Energy Aquatic Centre, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, TSB Showplace, TSB Stadium. Noon, 11 October – Noon 12 October Last chance to vote. NPDC Civic Centre, Liardet Street, and the Bell Block, Inglewood and Waitara Library and Service Centres, taking final votes. Noon, 13 October Preliminary results announced.
News Lifestyle TSB Stadium Sky Sport Breakers Sky Sport Breakers return to TSB Stadium in January 16 September 2019 The Sky Sport Breakers will be looking for another slam-dunk performance at NPDC’s TSB Stadium when they take on the Sydney Kings in January next year. After last year’s sell-out, the team heads back to New Plymouth on Friday, 17 January, for what promises to be a great family night out. Tickets are set to go on sale early next month for the NBL game, which is coming to the region, supported by NPDC’s Major Events Fund, Venture Taranaki and the TSB Community Trust. NPDC Chief Executive Craig Stevenson says the atmosphere was electric at January’s clash when the Breakers beat the Cairns Taipans and he hailed the hard work of the NPDC team for bringing another high quality sports event to the district. “Bringing top sports games to our region is part of our blueprint for Building a Lifestyle Capital and I’m delighted that the Breakers are heading back to the TSB Stadium,” says Mr Stevenson. “We’re hoping for another sell-out in January and I can’t wait to cheer them on. Coming hot on the heels of the announcement that Ben Harper will play the TSB Bowl of Brooklands and some sneak peeks of the amazing features at this year’s TSB Festival of Lights, it’s going to be another awesome summer in our district.” Sky Sport Breakers CEO Matt Walsh said it was a great experience coming to Taranaki earlier this year and they were delighted to be returning. “The support we got from Taranaki basketball fans in January was awesome. It’s going to be another big night on 17 January and we’re looking forward to bringing NBL back to the TSB Stadium.” Tickets are expected to go on sale in October, and options are expected to include courtside, premier and standard tickets as well as corporate packages.  The Sky Sport Breakers will be involved with some community events where fans will get the chance to meet the team and shoot a few hoops. Details will be revealed closer to the game.
News Local Sorcha Wolnik Irish expat expert ranks STV voting Number 1 13 September 2019 As the race for New Plymouth’s Mayor, Councillors and Community Board members heats up, an Irish expat says voters will find Single Transferrable Vote, or STV, as easy to use as 1, 2, 3. Ireland has used the STV voting system in general elections since 1922 and Sorcha Kearney Wolnik, a midwife who moved to New Plymouth in 2013 with her partner and their three children, says it’s regarded by everyone as normal and much fairer than the old ‘first past the post’ system. Voter turnout in local body elections is dropping around New Zealand and the New Plymouth District currently sits at about 47%. Elected members – Mayor, Councillors and Community Board Members - make big decisions that touch our everyday lives and NPDC manages assets of about $3.3 billion and has an annual operating budget of about $155 million. NPDC will use the STV for the first time this year but voters should be familiar with the system as it has been used in District Health Board (DHB) elections for years. Essentially voters rank their candidates and use numbers instead of ticks to cast their votes. Number 1 goes to the favourite candidate and so on. Voters can rank as few or as many candidates as they wish. The new process aims to get a fairer mix of Elected Members around the NPDC governance table and Sorcha hailed STV for empowering voters. “I’ve voted in several general elections back in Ireland and I can wholeheartedly recommend STV,” says Sorcha.  “It is definitely a more inclusive system.” Sorcha, who recently co-founded Girls’ Minds Matter, a community-based initiative promoting mental wellbeing for young women and teens, says she remembers going to the polling station as a young girl with her mum and dad so understanding STV started with watching them numbering the candidates in the polling booth.  “When we think of elections, it’s always about who’s getting your number one and who else will get your votes. It allows for a great discussion without feeling like you have to pick one candidate out of everyone.” How to vote – Single Transferable Vote (STV) Many people will have used it before and the DHB has been using it for years. You use numbers to rank, rather than ticks, to cast your vote. You rank your favourite candidates in preferred order, eg 1, 2, 3. Number one is your first choice and so on. You can rank as many or as few candidates as you like. If you want to know more go to Key election dates: 20-26 September Voting documents arrive via post. 20 September Postal voting opens or you can drop your vote into a Ballot Box at one of NPDC’s facilities: Civic Centre Liardet Street, the Bell Block, Inglewood and Waitara Library and Service Centres, Puke Ariki (Library and Museum), Ōākura Library, Mobile Library, Todd Energy Aquatic Centre, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, TSB Showplace, TSB Stadium. October 2 Recommended last day to post votes. Or drop your voting papers into any NPDC facility (see above). October 5 National Vote Day. Drop your vote at one of the following locations between 9am-3pm: Civic Centre, Liardet Street (drive-thru), the Bell Block, Inglewood and Waitara Library and Service Centres, Puke Ariki (Library and Museum), Todd Energy Aquatic Centre, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, TSB Showplace, New World Merrilands, Countdown Spotswood, Pak n’ Save, 4 Squares in Urenui, Okato and Ōākura, Bell Block Warehouse, Huatoki Plaza. October 6 - 11 Last chance to drop your vote into one of NPDC’s facilities. Noon, 11 October Ballot Boxes close at Puke Ariki (Museum and Library), Ōākura Library, Mobile Library, Todd Energy Aquatic Centre, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, TSB Showplace, TSB Stadium. Noon, 11 October –  Noon 12 October Last chance to vote. NPDC Civic Centre, Liardet Street, and the Bell Block, Inglewood and Waitara Library and Service Centres, taking final votes.  Noon, 13 October Preliminary results announced.
News he animal fat blockage at the Ngamotu Pump Station Pump station blockage cleared 06 September 2019 Updated 4pm People in Moturoa, Blagdon and Spotswood can now flush their toilets and put water down their drains again. NPDC has been working to clear a sewer pipe blockage since Thursday night, when about 60 tonnes of animal fat was discharged into the sewerage network near Ngamotu Pump Station in Western New Plymouth. The main blockage has now been cleared and NPDC is thanking those in the affected area for their patience. Clean-up work will continue over the weekend, while parts of Ngamotu Beach will remain cordoned off after sewage and fat was discharged onto the beach following the blockage. Specialised trucks are removing it, but people are advised to keep off the beach, out of the water and not to eat kaimoana. The Taranaki District Health Board says the incident is a ‘low public health risk’. We apologise for the inconvenience this has caused and a full investigation will be held.Image shows the animal fat blockage at the Ngāmotu Pump Station. Updated 12pm Discharges from the sewage system have been contained as NPDC works to fix a sewer pipe blocked by fat in Moturoa. The sewer pipe near the Ngamotu Pump Station became blocked overnight by about 60 tonnes of what appears to be animal fat. NPDC thanks people in the Moturoa, Blagdon and Spotswood areas for their efforts to stop flushing their toilets and reduce water going down the drains, while we work to resolve this issue as soon as possible. NPDC asks residents in the affected areas to continue limiting how much water goes down the drain as this will help us to remove the blockage. We’re unsure at this stage how long this will take. NPDC has put warning signs up at Ngamotu Beach and will continue to patrol the area. The Taranaki District Health Board says the incident is a ‘low public health risk’. NPDC apologises for this inconvenience and a full investigation will be held. 9am statement: What’s believed to be some type of animal fat has blocked a sewerage pipe at Ngamotu Pump Station in Western New Plymouth last night. A mixture of fat and sewage has been discharged onto the beach. Specialised trucks are removing the material from the cordoned off site and NPDC is notifying iwi/hapu. Residents in Moturoa and nearby areas are being asked to not flush their toilets while the blockage is being cleared. NPDC apologises for this inconvenience and a full investigation will be held. The Taranaki Regional Council and Taranaki District Health Board have been notified.
News Our Work Civic Centre roof Major Civic Centre roof repair work finished by end of year 05 September 2019 The final part of NPDC’s project to repair the Civic Centre’s roof in central New Plymouth is on schedule to be completed by the end of the year. Work started on the South Wing towards the end of 2018 and was expanded into a second project to include the rest of the roof when it was found that was in urgent need of a fix as well. It’s the first major roofing project on the Liardet Street building since it was completed in the early 1990s and much of the investment will be offset by the $500,000 NPDC gets in commercial rents each year. Chief Financial Officer Joy Buckingham says the work is part of $5.6 million allocated to renewing the Civic Centre which was approved in the 2018-2028 10-Year Plan. “We’d like to thank the public for their patience while we carried out these repairs on these two major projects which are funded from existing budgets,” says Ms Buckingham. “As is standard with any project for a 30 year old building, the scope was uncertain and once we started work on the South Wing, we were able to investigate other parts including the Atrium roof and the Chamber roof. All these areas needed work so it made sense to get on with the necessary maintenance projects while the scaffolding was on site. "To further maximise use of the scaffolding, we also decided to give the building its first ever repaint. The roof repairs will cost $2.6 million while the paint job (including its share of the scaffolding) is costing $500,000. All of this funding comes from existing budgets."
News Our Work TSB Bowl of Brooklands NPDC's strong financial performance gets another big tick from Standard and Poor's 05 September 2019 Independent global rating agency Standard and Poor’s has again reconfirmed NPDC’s AA/A-1+ credit rating, highlighting its strong financial management. The rating is the highest possible rating a local government body can get in New Zealand. “NPDC manages assets worth $3.3 billion, runs 17 businesses and has an annual operating budget of about $155 million so it’s very pleasing to see our robust financial management get the seal of approval from independent global credit assessor, Standard and Poor’s,” says Chief Financial Officer Joy Buckingham. “The strong credit rating is underpinned by the $296 million Perpetual Investment Fund, which makes an annual release that offsets rates.” NPDC is investing $44 million over the next decade to improve water resilience, while the $21 million investment in Zero Waste 2040 is already having an impact with new bins rolling out and work starting soon on The Junction reuse and recycle centre. The positive outlook for NPDC comes ahead of the upcoming elections where residents will vote for a Mayor, Councillors and Community Board Members who make strategic decisions about our priorities and their financial impacts. To read the full Standard and Poor’s report click: here.
News Lifestyle Our Work NPDC TSB Festival of Lights The big switch-on: TSB Festival of Lights going global on 14 December 30 August 2019 NPDC’s award-winning TSB Festival of Lights is getting an international makeover with 13 new light features promising the biggest and best edition of the iconic extravaganza yet. Pukekura Park will light up from 14 December until 1 February 2020, including work from artists as far flung as Russia, Chile, and Canada, and Poet’s Bridge is also undergoing a revamp with a new light installation by the original creators of the TSB Tunnel of Light. NPDC has revealed the dates for the Festival early this year, to help locals and visitors to the region to plan their summer holidays and get the most out of the free community event. Among the 13 new light features is Trumpet Flowers. Hot on the heels of its success at Australian light festival Vivid, Trumpet Flowers continues the festival’s push to have more interactive displays. Visitors are able to light up flowers and play sounds by pressing a button, allowing audiences to create a technicolour soundtrack. NPDC’s Recreation and Culture Manager Teresa Turner says every year the team tries to top the previous season’s event and always succeeds.  “I think we’ll continue that in 2019-2020 thanks to a record number of new light features which will delight and entertain all festival goers,” Ms Turner says.  “We’re Building a Lifestyle Capital and the TSB Festival of Lights plays a huge part in making our district the place to be each summer. We’re looking forward to seeing thousands of visitors come to Pukekura Park to enjoy another fantastic season.” Last summer the festival attracted more than 125,000 visitors, and New Plymouth residents made the most of the lights and 82 free events with 80% attending the festival more than once. Survey results also showed around 50,000 visitors came from outside of the region to enjoy the lights, with over half of those visitors paying for their accommodation during the trip.  There was also a 50% rise in volunteers stepping up to lend a hand which Ms Turner says is a key part of the festival’s continued success.  Support from key partners is also vital, and Ms Turner thanked TSB for signing on as the event’s sponsor for another three years. “The long-term partnership we have with the TSB is a fantastic fit with our vision to provide free and engaging events for our community. Without this long-term commitment from TSB, we wouldn’t have the freedom to try new things and continue to grow.” TSB CEO Donna Cooper says the TSB Festival of Lights has numerous positive impacts for our region. “It’s a world class event which brings people together from all over the country and really does have something for everyone. My family found it so captivating last year that we went along twice! “We’re proud to partner with a Festival which mirrors what TSB is all about – putting people first, celebrating community and giving back to Taranaki and New Zealand,” she says. TSB Festival of Lights fast facts: The lighting route is 3.5 kilometres of walkways through Pukekura Park. About 125,000 people enjoy the seven-week festival each summer. The lights are on for about 50 nights. More than 20 staff and volunteers work behind the scenes each night at the festival. We have about 55 volunteers from the community who help out at the festival each season. It takes about six weeks to install all the lights and cabling through the park for the festival. The 2018/19 season saw the introduction of food trucks (Light Bites evenings) and a family-friendly New Year’s Eve event.
News Local Have Your Say Notice of day of election 29 August 2019
News Our Work Metro Plaza on Devon Street West. Metro Plaza purchased by NPDC 26 August 2019 Plans to open up one of the last covered stretches of the Huatoki Stream are now a step closer after the purchase of the Metro Plaza building in the city centre by NPDC. The building on Devon Street West sits across the road from the Huatoki Plaza, which is set for a green facelift early next year, and will be part of NPDC’s strategy to continue building a sustainable and thriving city centre. The move follows the two successful forums, the CBD 2050 Forum in October last year and the CBD 2050 Summit in May, when stakeholders met to discuss the city centre’s future. New Plymouth Mayor Neil Holdom says a key theme from the forums was a desire to see the city centre revamped through more spaces and places for people to enjoy.  “We’ve listened and now we’re seeing action to create a greener and more inviting central city. This project, and the plans to give the Huatoki Plaza a green makeover, are the first steps towards realising our long-term and transformational vision for our city centre,” says Mayor Holdom. Proposals for the site will be prepared for inclusion in the draft 10-year plan for public feedback. NPDC staff will be working with tenants, including a Subway sandwich outlet at the entrance, and leases will continue until plans for the site are finalised or other lease arrangements are negotiated. It is also talking with Te Atiawa iwi and Ngāti Te Whiti hapū, who have a long history with the Huatoki Stream.  The Metro Plaza was built at 33 Devon Street West in 1936 to house McGruer’s Drapery store but has been significantly altered over the years. Participants in the two forums highlighted themes to improve the city centre, including: More green spaces, such as “pocket parks”. A greater focus on pedestrians with more paths to get around. Family-friendly spaces, such as safe areas where kids can play. More public and shared transport options, like e-scooters. More consistent opening hours among retailers. More homes. “This is a fantastic opportunity to begin planning for a new riverside green space that will help draw people into town,” says NPDC Customer and Regulatory Solutions Manager Katrina Brunton. “Our community have told us they want a city centre that welcomes families and puts pedestrians first, a place people want to visit and hang out.”
News Waitara new home owner New Zealand history in the making: first freehold land purchased under historic Waitara Lands Act 23 August 2019 Waitara retiree Heather Tett made history on Wednesday (21 August) without even stepping out her door. After waiting more than 50 years, Mrs Tett was the first Waitara leaseholder to sign a sale and purchase agreement to buy her property off NPDC under the Waitara Lands Act and on Wednesday she took possession. Mrs Tett has lived in the home for 36 years and has been a Waitara leaseholder since 1966. “We’ve been waiting a very long time for this,” said Mrs Tett. “Being able to buy our land will be really good for Waitara. Hopefully more people will get on the property ladder and buy their land too.” New Plymouth District Mayor Neil Holdom says it’s an exciting time for Waitara. “NPDC congratulates Mrs Tett and we wish her many happy years in her freehold home. After 30 years of working towards a solution to a highly complicated situation, the historic Waitara Lands Act is now making a difference. We look forward to continuing working with leasees, hapū and the wider community to make sure the Act delivers positive change for the town, the river catchment and the people of Waitara,” says Mayor Holdom. The Act took effect in March, paving the way for leaseholders to buy their land on about 770 Waitara properties and unlocking up to $90 million to be invested back into the town. The proceeds from the land sales are being divided into three funds for the benefit of Waitara: A ring-fenced Hapū Land Fund to help the Manukorihi and Otaraua hapū buy land. The Waitara Perpetual Community Fund to help support community projects in Waitara. A fund to support the Waitara River and other environmental projects. As of Wednesday, NPDC had received applications to freehold on almost 400 properties. Five of these had been sold and about 70 others had either accepted the purchase price or had signed sale and purchase agreements, involving properties worth almost $8.4 million in total.
News Local New Plymouth and Mount Taranaki drone shot Six candidates vying to be New Plymouth District Mayor 21 August 2019 The contest to be the next Mayor of the New Plymouth District will be a six-horse race. Incumbent Neil Holdom will face Max Brough, Irene Godkin, Joanne Kuvarji, Greg MacKay and Bill Simpson, the biggest field to challenge for the top NPDC governance job since eight candidates ran for the mayoralty in 2010. NPDC’s appeal for residents to Take A Stand for their community helped to inspire 30 candidates to throw their hat in the ring for the 10 spots in the New Plymouth City Ward. There are four candidates in each of the North and South-West wards, vying for the two seats in each ward. The Mayor and Councillors are involved in all the big decisions about the future of our district, what the priorities are and how we pay for them. Think drinking water, parks, the coastal walkway, safer roads, a vibrant central city, libraries, an art gallery, a museum, theatre, major events and pools. The Council manages assets worth $3.3 billion and has an annual operating budget of about $155 million. NPDC Chief Executive Craig Stevenson welcomed the response to Take a Stand for the district and urged voters to Get to Know the NPDC candidates running to be an elected member. “A sign of a healthy democracy is people being prepared to stand up and be counted. I’m delighted to see so many candidates take on this challenge. Now it’s time for voters to get to know who they are and what they stand for so they can make an informed choice come election time. “Our next challenge, is to get as many people as possible to vote. Turnout has been falling for many elections and slipped below 50% in 2016 so we want as many people as possible to take part. We’re using STV this year so voting is as simple as 1, 2, 3 or ranking your preferred candidates.” Voters can see the full list of candidates with contact details for the election hopefuls on the NPDC Know Your Candidate page: There will be an election for the Waitara Community Board with six candidates running for four seats while four candidates have been elected unopposed for the Kaitake Community Board. Elections will not be held for Inglewood and Clifton Community Board members because there were not enough candidates so a by-election will be required. The by-election must be held within 3 months following election day. Key election dates: 20-25 September: Voting documents arrive via post 20 September: Postal voting opens October 6: Recommended last day to send in postal votes. You can still drop your voting papers in to NPDC. Noon, 12 October: Voting closes Noon, 13 October: Preliminary results announced Candidates for Mayor:  Max Brough Irene Godkin Neil Holdom Joanne Kuvarji Greg MacKay Bill Simpson New Plymouth City Ward candidates: Colin Bell  Sam Bennett Katherine Blaney Gordon Brown David Bublitz Anneka Carlson Murray Chong Amanda Clinton-Gohdes Mike Crow Harry Duynhoven Barbara Fakavamoeanga Sarah Foy Bruce Gatward-Cook Bev Gibson Irene Godkin Richard Handley Stacey Hitchcock Louise James Joanne Kuvarji Greg MacKay  Chris Manukonga Jonathan Marshall Dinnie Moeahu Rob Needs Jack Newsome Phil Quinney Dwayne Sherwood Howie Tamati Deb Tawa Selwyn Watkins North Ward: Tony Bedford Colin Johnston Bill Simpson John Williams South-West Ward: Chris Hale Peter Henderson Richard Jordan Marie Pearce Waitara Community Board:  Trevor Dodunski Irene Godkin Andrew Larsen Jonathan Marshall Josephine Moore  Joe Rauner Kaitake Community Board (elected):  Graham Chard Paul Coxhead Doug Hislop Paul Veric Clifton Community Board*:  Ken Bedford Warren Petersen Inglewood Community Board*:  Mel Cook Graeme Hamilton Sykes *By-election for two remaining seats
Lifestyle Local News People Chaddy smiling in his office Master mariner honoured in Citizen's Awards 16 August 2019 David Chadfield – better known as “Happy Chaddy” of Chaddy’s Charters – works and lives by the motto “We’ll do anything to make you smile”. It’s that selfless attitude that has earned him and 10 other leading lights an NPDC Citizens’ Award on Thursday. The recipients were honoured for their outstanding and often unsung contributions in sport, culture, conservation, charity and other fields. New Plymouth District Mayor Neil Holdom says it’s one of the highlights of each year to recognise the local heroes who do so much for the community. “It’s a privilege and an honour to present these awards. These community heroes come from all walks of life but they all share the same things in common, a love of our district and a desire to give back. I’m delighted that our community is able to acknowledge and celebrate them and say a big ‘thank you’ with these awards.” A New Plymouth icon and one of our best-known local personalities, Chaddy has offered his experience to those thinking about a career at sea, mentored young people, helped dyslexic children and young boxers. The master mariner has also championed the native wildlife and the environment of Ngā Motu/Sugar Loaf Islands, and visitors can wander freely in his museum at Breakwater Bay and learn about the little blue penguins through live video links from nests. “What you give, you get back, I think, so I certainly give it my all to make people happy,” says Chaddy. “I’m proud to say I’m a Taranaki person and I’m lucky to do a job that I love in such a fantastic place to live. This award really means something to me.” The full list of the 2019 Citizens’ Award recipients is: Krystyna Beardman Anne Bovett David Chadfield Evan Cottam Craig Dent Barry Hartley Dinnie Moeahu Barbara O’Neill Michael Green Suzanne Smithers Bronnie van Lith.