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Road closures from ex-cyclone Gita
20 February 2018
Last updated - 5:00pm 22 Feb Please continue to take care on all roads as debris may be left behind. All roads that were closed due to the ex-cyclone have now been reopened
Engineer Paula Wright brings world of experience to NPDC
15 February 2018
NPDC engineer Paula Wright’s last two jobs had 76 degrees of separation. Mrs Wright joined NPDC last year after working across the world – including the frozen wastes of Canada (-33 degrees Celsius) to the scorching deserts of Australia (+43C). Originally from Opunake, she’s now bringing her wealth of experience to her role at NPDC as the manager for infrastructure projects like the Waitara stormwater. “In the Northwest Territories where I was working on a water treatment plant upgrade, we were in minus-33 degree Celsius temperatures,” says Mrs Wright. “When I wanted to go for a run, I would have to run up and down the airstrip, as the locals had warned me about the wolves in the bush if I ran out of town!” The temperature gauge shot the other way when Mrs Wright started her previous job in Western Australia on multi-million-dollar upgrades to wastewater treatment plants. However she still had to watch out for the local wildlife. “Commissioning on site, we had a lot of little small covered pits for underground valves. We would constantly would find baby brown snakes in them. These are one of the top 10 most venomous snakes in Australia!” Mrs Wright has also worked in Malaysia but her and husband Jonathan, from Perth, decided to come back to New Zealand to be closer to Paula’s family. “We are really loving the lifestyle here, being able to get home so quickly, going for lunch time runs in the park, surfing, hiking, mountain biking, kite surfing, and everything is so close and easy to do. Plus the commute is five minutes as opposed to 40 to 90 minutes.” Mrs Wright also finds it easier to get around in Taranaki. “Transporting one of the modular Water Treatment Plants to site in Canada required transporting it on ice roads (over a frozen lake). We had to make sure the water treatment plant was ready on time as there was only a short window when the ice is thick enough to drive over. “I also saw bison and lynx while driving to a site – it’s a bit tamer here where I’ve been working on the otters’ enclosure at NPDC’s Brooklands Zoo! “The budgets here in New Plymouth District are smaller but the project requirements are the same as in northern Canada or the Australian desert: getting a good result for the community with close attention to budgets, keeping people safe and caring for the environment,” she says. “We were delighted that someone with Paula’s experience of working across the world joined us to bring her expertise to NPDC so we continue to deliver the best services for our community,” says NPDC External Relations Manager Jacqueline Baker.
Mistreated Leo finds a happy ending thanks to NPDC
09 February 2018
Little Leo was in a pitiful state when he was dumped at NPDC’s dog pound. The maltese/jack russell cross had been horribly mistreated, his fur was completely matted and he was covered in fleas. It took two animal control officers to remove him from the holding pen because the abuse he had suffered had made him so aggressive. His condition was one of the worst officers had ever seen but his story has a happy ending thanks to one NPDC staff member who fostered him and then became his owner. “The first time I saw him, I couldn’t even touch him because he was so angry,” says Melinda Christensen, whose work as an administrator involves the dog pound. “So I sat outside his cage talking to him for an hour. He was grumbling and shaking.” Staff at the Rifle Range Road facility, who look after about 600 dogs each year, had asked Ms Christensen to be a foster carer for Leo because he could not be rehomed in the state he was in. “I went again and sat next to him in the cage. He came over and nudged my hand and then was happy to let me stroke him. It was quite a breakthrough.” The SPCA said they would have prosecuted if they had been able to track down Leo’s previous owners. Ms Christensen’s partner was initially reluctant to take in Leo as they already have two other small dogs, Winnie and Millie. “He said no at first but now Leo has become his dog!” The foster care eventually changed to permanent ownership and the transformation in Leo in the year since he was abandoned at the pound has been amazing. “He is still scared of grooming because of what his owners did to him but in every other respect he is awesome. He loves people, his home, our other two dogs and my partner.” NPDC External Relations Manager Jacqueline Baker says animal control officers have a difficult job, especially when dealing with animals which have been mistreated. “They do a great job not just in dealing with problem cases but also finding new homes for animals,” Ms Baker says. “Fortunately there are a lot of other success stories like Leo’s thanks to the public taking on animals they’ve seen on the pound’s Facebook page.” • Members of the public looking to adopt a dog should check out the pound’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/NP-Pound-334371706921639/) or contact NPDC on 06 759 6060. Dog pound fast facts • During 2017, 630 dogs were impounded. • Other impounded animals have included pigs, sheep, goats, horses, hens, cattle and even a cat (which was collected by the SPCA much to the relief of the cat). • The new section built in 2011 provided an extra 40 pens to the existing 25. • Because of the increased capacity dogs not claimed by their owners have a higher chance of being rehomed. Before that happens dogs have to be assessed to determine their suitability to be rehomed. • A lot of time and effort is put into the dogs. Their pens are cleaned daily and the dogs are moved into exercise pens. At times for could be as many as 30 dogs in the pound so the feeding and cleaning takes time. • If there are other animals at the pen like horses and cattle then they need to be checked daily and feed supplements like hay if required. Goats are tethered so need to be moved to fresh grass daily.
NPDC gets people moving and grooving this summer
09 February 2018
NPDC’s See it in the City has a new and free event to get people moving and grooving in the central city called Shape & Sounds. “It’s been a fantastic summer so far with thousands of people enjoying our free six-week TSB Festival of Lights and Shape & Sounds will keep the summer vibe going. See it in the City is all about creating a thriving central business district through events and connecting with retailers, to support the local economy,” says NPDC External Relations Manager Jacqueline Baker. Shape & Sounds is running for the next two Saturdays and there will be free yoga as well as live music. From 11am-1pm on Saturday, 10 February there’s free outdoor yoga sessions with The Wellness Project NZ and Sanctuary Hill – Yoga & Retreats at Puke Ariki Landing. On the same day, songstress Tess Goodwin and the unique electronic/hip hop compositions of Yoko-Zuna will keep the entertainment going from 5.30pm-8pm at The Mayfair on Devon Street West. The following Saturday (17 February), there’s another free yoga session from The Wellness Project NZ and Dubarray – prana session. From 5.30pm-8pm New Plymouth’s Stephanie Piquette will take to the stage followed by the uplifting, soulful and euphoric sound of Dubarray. These are both at Puke Ariki Landing. Other See it in the City events have included the taste of NZ Tattoo & Art Festival, a market day and this week’s Waitangi Day celebrations. Upcoming city centre events include the Americarnival on 24 February, the Velo Deus 20 old-fashioned bike race on 2 March and the Escapefest street skate competition on 10 March. More information about events can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/seeitinthecity/
Boom times for Waitara house prices and construction
02 February 2018
Waitara is on a roll with house sales and construction booming; with no sign of slowing. “The value of construction consented has more than quadrupled over the last financial year, with a total exceeding $20 million when only about $5 million was expected, based on the trend from 2013 to 2016,” says NPDC Chief Operating Officer Kelvin Wright. The work includes 82 new homes over the last two years, many of them in new developments on the eastern side of the river, near the new Clifton Park sports hub. House prices in Waitara are rising faster than many other places in the district. The median house value was up 7 per cent in the year to December to $281,100, according to Quotable Value. Median house values across the district were up 6 per cent, with rises of 4 per cent in New Plymouth city and 5 per cent in Bell Block. Another potential draw could be the proposed extension of the Coastal Walkway from Bell Block, creating a walk and cycleway between Waitara and downtown New Plymouth, if it goes ahead. “More people are recognising that Waitara is a great place to live and raise a family and it’s still very affordable. That’s helping to drive construction, grow businesses and create jobs in the town,” says Mr Wright. “The boom in Waitara also reflects the housing growth across New Plymouth District. The government has classified the district as a high growth area and our Draft District Plan includes zoning more residential land in Waitara, and residents are encouraged to have their say from 5 February to 16 March.”
Mayor welcomes freedom camping discussions from Government
02 February 2018
New Plymouth District (NPD) Mayor Neil Holdom has welcomed Government moves to find a solution to the nationwide freedom camping problems. Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis has invited 22 Mayors from across New Zealand to meet him early next month to discuss this matter following a big rise in freedom campers and the negative impact this was having on some communities. NPD Councillors voted at an extraordinary council meeting on Tuesday to temporarily ban freedom campers at the Waiwhakaiho river mouth and restrict numbers at the East End Beach, Wind Wand and Kawaroa car parks. The Freedom Camping Bylaw will be reviewed at the end of April. “NPDC will be actively involved in these discussions to find a way to welcome freedom campers while ensuring they are not putting too much pressure on facilities in our most beautiful places. We’re looking forward to talking it over with the Minister and other Mayors,” says Mr Holdom. “We’ve already taken steps this week to protect local access and the environment in New Plymouth. We need a workable and long-term solution,” says Mr Holdom. The discussions are due to take place at the beginning of March.
NPDC Draft Digital Plan goes digital
01 February 2018
From this Monday (5 FEBRUARY), the public will have a chance to explore the proposals in New Plymouth District Council’s Draft District Plan – and it’s fully digital and easy to use. NPDC is leading e-planning in New Zealand and has drafted its new District Plan directly into an e-plan. Focusing on the user, any person will be able to use the online interactive tool. In a few clicks they can find information on their property anytime, anywhere – rather than looking through documents for the information they need – making the plan more accessible. District Plans guide how NPDC manages a variety of activities in our community. Before the formal consultation process for NPDC’s new draft plan begins in June, the public is being asked to test how it’s being made available. “We also want to test the content of the draft plan with the public,” says NPDC Group Manager Strategy Liam Hodgetts. “This is your opportunity to start to know your zone, know where we are growing, know where to do business and to get to know our coastal story.” The draft plan focuses on four key areas of change: • Keeping our central city and local business centres thriving. • Providing enough housing for about 1,000 more people per year. The housing will be of various types for different needs as our community ages. • Providing enough land in the right locations for industry. • Managing our coastline activities so that natural values aren’t affected and risks (such as from storm surges) are minimised. “It’s about planning for the future,” says Mr Hodgetts. “We want to know what people think of these proposals, but we also want feedback on how people think the e-plan works.” The Digital District Plan will be online at newplymouthnz.com/DraftDistrictPlan. Landowners will be well-informed of any major changes in zoning that relate to their property and will have an opportunity to tell us what they think before the formal consultation process begins in June. None of the rules or zonings in the draft plan apply at this stage as NPDC is still at the early stage of the process but NPDC wants your feedback on the proposals. The Digital District Plan is part of NPDC’s commitment to becoming a digital council, making it easier for the public to do business with us.
Mayor Calls for Stronger Freedom Camping Rules to Protect Access of Locals
29 January 2018
After listening to public feedback, including 42 complaints since 1 December, New Plymouth District Mayor Neil Holdom is calling for tighter controls around freedom camping and a special Mayoral report will be debated at an extraordinary council meeting tomorrow (30 January). The report (click here to read) recommends the temporary closure of the Waiwhakaiho River Mouth area to freedom camping, and the temporary restriction of freedom camping at East End Beach car park (six spaces only), the Wind Wand car park (two spaces only) and Kawaroa car park (15 spaces only) until 30 April 2018. At the end of April, the full Freedom Camping Bylaw will be reviewed. “At the heart of this issue is making sure locals can still use these popular and pristine areas that make us a Lifestyle Capital. In the last month, more than 700 freedom campers have enjoyed some of our best spots and while we always welcome visitors, these unprecedented numbers are putting pressure on our facilities resulting in overcrowding, littering, wasting water and the visual pollution that comes with having a large number of vehicles in our most beautiful places,” says Mr Holdom. “We welcome visitors to Taranaki but at Waiwhakaiho we have been overrun, our own people have been excluded from their favourite spots and we cannot wait until the end of summer to deal with the issue. “I am recommending to my fellow councillors we take some immediate steps to reduce the concentration of campers at Waiwhakaiho, protect our environment and ensure ongoing local access to our favourite coastal spots within the urban area of New Plymouth.” NPDC has installed extra portable toilets, rubbish collection and security to help alleviate the impact. It is also working with a popular freedom camping app to provide alternative sites. If the Mayoral recommendation is endorsed, these temporary restrictions will begin on Saturday (3 February 2018).
Jump on a Bike for the Aotearoa Bike Challenge
25 January 2018
Are you and your organisation ready to take on the Aotearoa Bike Challenge? Registrations are open now for businesses throughout the region to see who can rack up the most kilometres cycled during February. “The challenges are by category depending on how many staff an organisation has, so it’s a fair competition,” says NPDC Let’s Go’s Liz Beck. “It’s a fun way to get people onto their bikes for leisure or commuting with the support of colleagues, and see how easy it is to travel by bike. “They only need to ride for 10 minutes or more to participate – just enough time to bring a smile to their face!” Last year more than 700 people from 46 organisations took part in Taranaki, and about 215 of the participants hadn’t been on a bike for at least a year. NPDC hopes to get 1,000 people to join in this year while the NZ Transport Agency is aiming for 10,000 participants nationally. NPDC has registered an elected members’ team with Mayor Neil Holdom and Councillor Richard Handley joining in. “This is a great chance to show the rest of the country that New Plymouth District is a place great to ride,” says Ms Beck. Everyone who takes part will have the chance to win prices, including a trip to Italy or San Francisco. Register now at www.aotearoa.bike.
Applying for a LIM just got easier
23 January 2018
The process for buying or developing a property is now a whole lot easier thanks to a New Plymouth District Council initiative to put its services online. Prospective property owners can now order and pay for land information memoranda (LIMs) online at any time around the clock. The move is the start of NPDC’s Digital Council initiative to allow ratepayers and residents to access and pay for a wide range of services and review all their NPDC transactions from their computer, smart phone or tablet in future. Anyone wanting a LIM can now go to a new secure section of the NPDC website, where they can set up a personal dashboard and complete the whole transaction online within minutes. To go straight to the page click here. The move will complement NPDC’s existing online, phone and front-of-house services, says NPDC Customer and Regulatory Solutions Manager Katrina Brunton. “This will give people the added convenience of being able to complete a paperless transaction in their own time and at their convenience, from home or work or just out and about,” says Mrs Brunton. “We’re starting the Digital Council programme with LIMs because they are one of our most commonly used services. Eventually we plan to roll it out to include dog registrations, building and resource consents, alcohol licences and a range of other services.” The system has undergone comprehensive security testing, she says. The move caters for an increasingly connected community and a demand for greater convenience, but it will not replace the traditional contact points for customers. A LIM is a legally-binding document that states everything a council knows about the history of a property and issues that might affect it. NPDC processes about 700 LIM applications each year. Anyone previously wanting a LIM could access the application form online, order an email version and pay for it with online banking. However, a paper copy of the completed form had to be delivered to the NPDC, or faxed or emailed with payment. The new system allows customers to submit their application online and use other online payment methods including credit cards.
Big jump in tourists caps NPDC's 2017 success stories
12 January 2018
A big boost in tourism to the region, a near sell-out crowd for Yusuf/Cat Stevens concert, creating a community space in Marfell Park and having a budget surplus were just some of the many success stories for New Plymouth District Council (NPDC) last year. The Lonely Planet had named Taranaki as one of the top two regions in the world to visit in 2017 and this helped to bring thousands of extra international travellers to the province. Figures from Stats NZ for the year ending October 2017 show a massive 25.3 per cent rise in international guest nights in Taranaki. Overall guest nights in the region were up 4.5 per cent as well. Lonely Planet had highlighted the NPDC-run Len Lye Centre, Puke Ariki and the TSB Festival of Lights as key attractions worth seeing as well as the Pouakai Crossing and Surf Highway 45. “It’s fantastic to see so many international and national visitors discovering what we all know so well – that our region is very special,” said NPDC Chief Operating Officer Kelvin Wright. NPDC’s Venture Taranaki is building on the momentum created by Lonely Planet with its My Local Secret campaign to bring in more international and Kiwi visitors. Notable success stories for the District also included the near sell-out of the TSB Bowl of Brooklands by Yusuf/Cat Stevens in December. About 16,000 packed out the venue for an unforgettable summer’s night. Other NPDC highlights from last year included: • Marfell Park’s regeneration started with an open space featuring play equipment, a half sized basketball court and a flying fox. • A budget surplus of $13.6 million for the 2016/17 financial year. • NPDC’s drive towards Zero Waste 2050 came top in its Top 10 Focus Areas consultation. • NPDC’s See it in the City team helping to keep New Plymouth’s CBD thriving with events such as the taste of the NZ Tattoo & Art Festival on Devon Street East. • The new QuickCheck system was installed in libraries to make borrowing books and other items even easier.
NPDC's big summer of school holiday fun
05 January 2018
There’s only about three weeks until kids head back to school but New Plymouth District Council (NPDC) has loads on to keep them smiling over the summer. Mums, dads and caregivers looking for something for their young ones to enjoy can head to Puke Ariki, NPDC’s 1500 hectares of parks, five pools, the Govett-Brewster cultural hub, Summer Scene at TSB Festival of Lights, skate parks, the Coastal Walkway and Brooklands Zoo! “We do much more than just look after your roads, waste and water, we also provide a huge amount of fun entertainment, relatively cheaply, for our youngsters. There’s no need to leave Taranaki, it’s right here on our doorstep with stimulating attractions such as Puke Ariki and Brooklands Zoo, 82 kilometres of walkways and 50 playgrounds,” says NPDC External Relations Manager Jacqueline Baker. Govett-Brewster has a packed programme this month with everything from shadow puppets under The Golden Bearing tree created by local artist Reuben Paterson, to dreaming up wearable flouro sculptures for kids to wear on the 24 January Light Parade in Pukekura Park. See govettbrewster.com/whats-on for more details. Head to pukeariki.com/Whats-On to check out all the events at NPDC’s libraries across the district. Zappo the Magician will keep kids under 12 entertained at Puke Ariki as well as Bell Block, Oakura, Inglewood and Waitara libraries on 17 and 18 January and there are activities and games in the Museum and library with thousands of books in the dedicated children’s floor. See pukeariki.com/Libraries/Children-and-Young-People for more. Kids won’t believe what mums and dads used to wear as togs when they go to At The Beach: 100 Years of Summer Fashion in New Zealand. Located downstairs in Puke Ariki, the exhibition has everything from woollen bathers to skimpy bikinis. The hot, dry summer is expected to continue so kids can head to the Todd Energy Aquatic Centre for fun time from 10.30am each weekday. The outdoor area has a pool, diving area and paddling area for toddlers while inside there are slides, a rope swing and a wave machine. NPDC also runs pools in Waitara, Inglewood and Okato as well as the paddling pool for younger kids in Fitzroy. For active kids, the Coastal Walkway is perfect for walking or cycling and NPDC has seven skate parks. NPDC has some beautiful parks for families to enjoy a summer stroll and for younger ones there are nearly 50 playgrounds across the district. There’s also a packed programme at this season’s TSB Festival of Lights with Summer Scene offering daytime activities for kids and their families. There’s a huge mixture of events including a scavenger hunt on 10 January, circus antics on 12 January, a dance workshop on 15 January and the Zoo Day Out at Brooklands Zoo on 18 January. See festivaloflights.nz/events for more details. Finally Brooklands Park will become Jurassic Park again this weekend for Dinofest. There will be three hour-long sessions on 6 and 7 January starting at 10:30am, 1pm and 3pm. Head to facebook.com/dinofestival to find out more.
95-year-old volunteer a shining light at TSB Festival of Lights
29 December 2017
Dorothy Anderson retired 34 years ago. But the 95-year-old former New Plymouth teacher loves giving something back to her community, so helps out each summer with the New Plymouth District Council (NPDC)-run TSB Festival of Lights which attracts about 125,000 people over the holiday season. She’s now the longest-serving volunteer at the Pukekura Park festival which is 50 nights of free, live music, family fun and spectacular lights, contributing about $4.7 million to the Taranaki economy (source Venture Taranaki). “It’s lovely to see the kids’ faces light up and it’s so much fun for families. It’s a great chance to meet people from around the world. I believe as people get older it’s important to reach out with voluntary work to keep people interested in their community,” say Dorothy. When volunteering at the Festival, she works at the desk near the Fountain Lake and always finds it interesting to chat with locals and those from further afield. “I’ve just spoken to a French couple who are in New Zealand for a year,” she says. Getting to know people from across the world has been one of her passions all her life. She’s been a volunteer with Friendship Force which has enabled her to visit more than 26 countries – including Mongolia and many parts of South America. “In addition to our NPDC staff who work on the TSB Festival of Lights, we have some 50 volunteers helping out whose passion, like Dorothy’s, is the lifeblood of our community and is priceless. We thank them for working tirelessly and giving their time freely,” says NPDC External Relations Manager Jacqueline Baker. Volunteers don’t need any experience but a friendly attitude is important. NPDC has enough volunteers for this season’s festival but phone 06-759 6060 or go to festivaloflights.nz/contact/ to find out more about helping at next season’s festival. Festival fast facts: • Last season’s festival added nearly $4.7 million in value to the Taranaki economy and brought in 8,000 visitors to New Plymouth. • The lighting route is 3.5 kilometres of walkways through Pukekura Park. • The TSB tunnel of Light on Poet’s bridge includes 1000 LED light points and more than 150 hours of design and development time. • The lights are on for about 50 nights. • It takes about six weeks to install all the lights and cabling through the park for the festival.
It's Christmas but NPDC staff are keeping the district ticking
22 December 2017
It’s the most wonderful time of the year for most of us, but for some New Plymouth District Council staff, Christmas Day means continuing to work for our community. Around 10 staff will be doing the hard yards: • Parks staff will be working at the Pukekura Park Fernery and Display Houses. • Two keepers will be making sure the animals at Brooklands Zoo get their Christmas dinner like everyone else. • The fine turf team will be moving covers and rolling the Pukekura Park cricket pitch to prepare for the 20/20 match between the Central Districts Stags and the Northern Districts Knights on 30 December. • An animal control officer will be working and an onsite manager from the Events team will work in the evening. • There will be staff on at our water plant and our waste water treatment facility. • On call with be a building maintenance officer and a roading team member. “We provide around-the-clock care for our district that doesn’t stop on Christmas Day. Our staff pride themselves on great service whatever time of the year and we also thank others who are working at this special time,” says NPDC Chief Operating Officer Kelvin Wright. NPDC manages assets worth $2.5 billion, has an operating budget of $130 million. It reliably provides all the core services you’d expect – roads, water and waste – as well as dynamic Parks, Libraries, an art gallery, commercial forestry, a Zoo, Venues such as Yarrow Stadium/TSB Showplace and events such as the iconic TSB Festival of Lights at Pukekura Park. NPDC’s enquiry line (06-759 6060) and email (email@example.com) will be staffed 24/7 as usual over the festive season.
Total hose ban begins in Okato
21 December 2017
A total hose ban is now in place in Okato and New Plymouth District residents are being urged to conserve water. NPDC says level two restrictions have been introduced in Okato and residents can only use water for essential services and not for things like watering their gardens until further notice. The township’s water source, the Mangatete Stream, has dropped below the levels set in NPDC’s resource consent to take water. Other public water supplies around the region are also being affected by the early and dry start to summer but for now, using hand-held hoses on the odds and evens system will continue elsewhere in the district. NPDC Infrastructure Manager David Langford says NPDC is leading by example and being a Wai Warrior by cutting back on its own water use as much as possible. “We’ve already turned off our sprinklers in the central city and we’re switching to hand-watering at the Fernery and Display Houses as much as possible. We have also been hand-watering bedding plants only once a week. “We’re also investigating using an old industrial reservoir that is full of untreated raw water for watering our bedding plants and Central Business plant boxes. The water is safe to use for these purposes but hasn’t been treated to a drinking water standard,” he says. NPDC is asking everyone to become a Wai Warrior and save water around their homes. Small changes to daily water habits can save a lot of water. There are water-saving tips on the Water Usage and Saving Water webpage at newplymouthnz.com. In short: • Okato – essential water use only. Ban on hoses, sprinklers and irrigation systems. • Rest of New Plymouth District – hand-held hoses and normal commercial use of water only. Ban on sprinklers, irrigation systems and unattended hoses. Wai Warrior water-saving tips: • The odds and evens system is now in place for everywhere in the District except Okato. If you live at an even-numbered house on the street you can use your hand held-hose on even days and odd-numbered houses on odd days. • Sprinklers, irrigation systems and unattended hoses are banned. • Hosing the garden? Water the roots not the leaves, soak instead of spraying and do this early in the morning or later in the evening. • Use a bucket and sponge when you clean your car instead of a hose. • Turn the tap off when brushing your teeth, shaving, washing vegetables or doing the dishes by hand. • Use full loads in your dishwasher and washing machine whenever possible, or use the half-load switch. • More Wai Warrior tips are at newplymouthnz.com.
10-Year Plan Proposes a Bold Future
18 December 2017
NPDC’s draft 10-year work programme proposes a new way to fund flagship projects and cap annual rates increases by setting up a Land business. This proposal will be debated on Thursday by the Mayor and Councillors at a full council meeting followed by extensive public consultation. “We could recycle a small percentage of public land, such as half of the Fitzroy golf course to generate additional revenue of about $40 million,” says Mayor Neil Holdom. “Half of this money could help pay for flagship projects such as extending the Coastal Walkway to Waitara, big ticket water sustainability work, an aquatic centre redevelopment, a multi sports stadium or other big items which we believe ratepayers will struggle to fund alone. “The other $20 million could be put away to be perpetually reinvested to create a new wealth fund for our grandchildren. “I make no apology for suggesting this bold approach, as I don’t believe our ratepayers can handle a double digit rates hike. We need to strike the balance between rates, revenue, growth, services and the ability of our ratepayers to fund it all. Ensuring that our facilities stay in good condition, our taps continue to run and our services continue at their current level, while committing to a five per cent cap on annual rates increases.” For the average residential ratepayer, the proposed increase in 2018/19 is $1.68 per week (3.9 per cent). The average annual rise over the 10 years of the plan will be approximately 2.9 per cent for the average residential ratepayer, with a cap of five per cent in any one year. For the next 10 years NPDC has a total estimated budget of about $2.09 billion. The day-to-day running of NPDC (operational expenditure) is about $1.6 billion. Investing in existing/new facilities (capital expenditure) is about $491 million. The 10-year plan proposes a work programme over six broad themes: • Lifestyle: $610 million • On the Move: $399 million • Treasure our Water (Wai Warrior): $263 million • Prosperity: $189 million • Zero Waste 2050: $175 million • Flagship projects: $40 million. NPDC is looking forward to public feedback on the draft 10-year plan, including during the formal consultation period in March next year. * Known as the Long Term Plan under local government legislation.
NPDC opening hours and services over the holiday period
17 December 2017
Good news! Normal collection days for rubbish and recycling will continue over the holiday period. For a full breakdown of our opening hours and services over the holidays - Click here. Please note the opening hours for the NPDC Dog Pound: Early Close: 22 December 2-3pm Early Close: 29 December 2-3pm Closed: 25, 26 December and 1, 2 January. Normal operating hours: 27, 28 December (4.30pm-5.30pm) Regular hours resume from 3 January 2018 (4.30-5.30pm).
Government joins NPDC in investing in key tourism development
15 December 2017
The Government has delivered an early Christmas present to the people of Taranaki by confirming it will invest around $700,000 in the iconic Pouakai Crossing one-day walk. NPDC will contribute about $240,000 for the project, which will see an off-road car park with toilet and water facilities built at the top of Mangorei Road where the Mangorei Track – part of the Pouakai Crossing – enters the Pouakai Range. A further $1 million will be spent on road safety developments on Mangorei Road in a 50:50 joint venture between NPDC and the NZ Transport Agency. “Sprucing up these facilities continues to build on and leverage the Top Two in the World accolade that Taranaki received from Lonely Planet. It encourages tourism and contributes to Building a Lifestyle Capital,” says Mayor Neil Holdom. This project is part of the Tapuae Roa: Make Way for Taranaki regional economic strategy and weaves into the National Park plan. In the year to October 2017, Taranaki’s domestic visitor numbers rose 4.5 per cent (compared to a 2.5 per cent rise nationally) from to the previous 12 months, and international visitor numbers rose 23.3 per cent (nationally 5.5 per cent).
Let's strive for a Zero Waste Christmas says NPDC
15 December 2017
New Plymouth District Council (NPDC) is urging residents to get recycling right this Christmas so we can all give future generations the gift of going zero waste by 2050. From wrapping paper, to empty bottles, to cans, to cardboard from packaging - it can get confusing where it should all go. About 40 per cent of what we throw away in a landfill could have been recycled or composted. NPDC Chief Operating Officer Kelvin Wright said every little bit helps and it costs about $10 million a year to run all of our rubbish services including our landfill and kerbside collection. “We want all our residents to have a fantastic Christmas this year and it would be great if we also think about how much we’re throwing away. Let’s try to change our behaviour to reduce, reuse and recycle. Our Zero Waste 2050 goal is ambitious but we know it’s important for future generations to act now.” It’s important to make sure the right rubbish is going in the right bins otherwise it makes the job of sorting out the recycling much harder. Christmas wrapping paper is fine for the yellow bin but foil should go in red bags. Cardboard and numbered plastics should also go in yellow bins but plastic bags can’t be recycled. And if residents have had a very merry Christmas and have too many bottles for their blue bins, these can be recycled for free. Head to newplymouthnz.com to get info on what to recycle and find out how they can help the push towards zero waste. • NPDC has an app to help you get recycling right as well. Head to the app store on your smartphone and you’ll find it by searching for NPDC Rubbish & Recycling. Fast facts: • It costs us about $10 million a year to run all of our rubbish services including our landfill and kerbside collection. This is paid for by rates and user fees. • About 60 per cent of our kerbside rubbish is food waste that could be composted. • Each year Taranaki throws out (into the landfill) an entire rugby field worth of rubbish. • That’s about 54,801 tonnes. Or about half a tonne per person. • Being a Zero Waste Hero is easy, using the 3 Rs: – Reduce the waste you create – Reuse what you consume – Recycle the rest. Christmas rubbish fast facts and tips: • There is 10 per cent extra mixed recycling and 20 per cent extra glass at Christmas. • The Colson Rd recycling facility handles 450 tonnes of recycling and 300 tonnes of glass per month. • Old toys and clothes can’t be recycled – but can be given to the op shop if they are in good condition. • Weird items included for recycling include an imitation Christmas tree, Christmas lights and ham on the bone.
The Cat and the Canadian - Summer at the Bowl
08 December 2017
Red Roses with no leaves and Kinder Surprise chocolate eggs are just a few of the unusual requests from artists who play at the TSB Bowl of Brooklands. But these are small details in the years of planning that goes into bringing names like Elton John, Dire Straits, Paul Simon, Sting, R.E.M. and Fleetwood Mac to the Bowl. And this summer the Bowl will be alive with two international acts within weeks of each other, starting next Saturday night with Yusuf/Cat Stevens and, Canadian rocker Bryan Adams on 4 January with support from Dave Dobbyn and the Jordan Luck Band. Bringing major concerts to the Bowl can be a long undertaking, sometimes taking years but it’s worth the effort, New Plymouth District Council’s Manager Venues and Events, Ron Murray says. “It’s a very complicated process. We have to fit in with the international touring schedule and it can be tricky,” Mr Murray says. “We started looking at bringing Cat Stevens here about three years ago but it will be fantastic to have such an iconic star at our Bowl next Saturday.” The work the NPDC Venues team does involves liaising with Australian promoters usually about 18 months before the concerts. There’s a huge amount of work behind the scenes as they negotiate with promoters to find which artist would be the ‘best fit’ for the Bowl. It’s also a massive job to convert the public park into a world-class concert venue. At least 100 crew work on setting up seats, installing the stage and sound system and bringing in catering, toilets and other infrastructure to make the venue work. “We have a number of first class venues in New Plymouth and we do very well in attracting top acts. There’s an expectation that we’ll get huge acts coming each year and that doesn’t always happen. “But one thing that does happen is bands love playing the Bowl and the audiences are fantastic. I remember when Sting said ‘Whose back garden is this?’ and the audience all shouted back ‘Ours’. “A beautiful summer’s evening, with a top act and a wonderful audience, is what the Bowl is all about,” adds Mr Murray. Summer at the Bowl kicks off this Sunday with Christmas at the Bowl. • There are tickets still available for Yusuf/Cat Stevens and Bryan Adams. However NPDC is warning people not to buy from Viagogo as the ticket may have been sold more than once and they will not gain entry to the event. Yusuf/Cat Stevens concert advice: • No bags larger than A4 (21cm x 29cm) can be brought into the venue. • All bags will be checked and as part of international security standards we will be operating hand-held metal detectors at points of entry. • No glass, BYO alcohol or commercial food (takeaways). • Sealed water bottles are allowed. • Full Conditions of Entry can be found on npeventvenues.nz
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Last updated: 28 January 2019