Facelift for famous Taranaki photo spot
29 May 2018
The deck on the Main Lake in NPDC’s Pukekura Park will be extended to enhance the awesome views towards Mount Taranaki.
The work is part of a NPDC project to upgrade the landscaping between the Tea House On The Lake and the lake and will include a gazebo for shaded seating, new planters, the levelling of the tiled area and footpaths that are safer and easier to use.
“This facelift will mean an even better experience for the 470,000 people who flock to NPDC’s free Pukekura Park each year, including the 130,000 who come for the annual TSB Festival of Lights. New Plymouth’s founders had the foresight to create such a fantastic project in 1876 and a great recreational hub for locals and visitors alike,” says Jacqueline Baker, NPDC External Relations Manager.
The public may notice work in the area and NPDC thanks visitors in advance for their patience. The work programme is expected to be finished by the spring.
Pukekura Park has flown the Green Flag, the international mark of a quality park, for five years running.
Experts assess a park for a Green Flag award using eight criteria, including horticultural standards, cleanliness, sustainability, community involvement and providing a warm welcome.
The Tea House On The Lake, which opened in 1931, will remain unchanged.
Your district needs you - Join the NPDC emergency response team
21 May 2018
If you can keep your head in an emergency, NPDC wants you to join its response team.
Volunteers are being sought to be part of NPDC’s emergency operations centre (EOC) which responds to emergencies like cyclones and floods and coordinates recovery programmes.
“We saw after ex-Cyclone Gita just how well our community works together during a crisis, and we expect a lot of people will put their hand up to be involved in the new EOC,” says NPDC Chief Operating Officer Kelvin Wright.
“We’d like to hear from anyone who’s keen to help out during an emergency. You don’t need emergency experience to volunteer – we’ll train you.
“We know that an emergency can happen at any time so let’s get ready for the next one.”
From 1 July, the emergency response in Taranaki will be managed by the relevant local council. The Taranaki Emergency Management Office (TEMO) will have a region-wide coordinating role, if required.
To volunteer, fill in the form on the Civil Defence page at newplymouthnz.com or contact NPDC on 06-759 6060 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Getting ahead of water woes in the District
01 May 2018
In the wake of ex-cyclone Gita and as part of the draft 10-Year Plan, NPDC has come up with five options for residents to consider to beef up the District’s water networks.
These range from the cheapest – doing nothing – to the most expensive – spending more than $140 million over the next decade.
“We think it’s important to invest in water resilience now and make sure our water system is less vulnerable to damage from storms. No one wants to turn on a tap and have no water come out, as happened for some people after ex-cyclone Gita came through in February. Our preferred option is somewhere in the middle and we believe it strikes the right balance between risk, cost and affordability as we continue to Build a Lifestyle Capital,” says Mayor Neil Holdom.
Improving resilience means upgrading our critical pipe bridges, our 30 wastewater pump stations, designing back-up options for parts of our network that have only one pipe, having more back-up spare parts for critical equipment, and ensuring better planning and mitigation for weather events.
NPDC is expecting the district’s population to grow to 92,400 in the next 10 years. Along with the effects of climate change, an ageing pipe network and a likely increase in drinking water standards, the district faces future supply challenges that NPDC is working on solving now.
For more information on the draft 10-Year Plan visit: newplymouthnz.com/10Year or visit one of our public Roadshows. Fill in the three minute survey and go into the draw for NPDC to pay your rates for a year, up to the value of $3k. (Terms and conditions apply).
Water facts The New Plymouth Water Treatment Plant provides water for 26,000 homes and business from Urenui to Omata – that’s about 90 per cent of the water for the whole district. There are 155km of trunk pipes, 650km of distribution and rider mains (service mains) and six pump stations in the district. The district’s main water storage – Lake Mangamahoe – holds about 10 days’ worth of water. On average we use 337 litres per person every day – that’s the same as five bath tubs full of water!
Mayor calls for levy on inward flights to NZ to pay for Freedom Camping facilities
20 April 2018
The busy season for freedom camping is ending as autumn settles in but work on how New Plymouth District welcomes freedom campers continues.
Mayor Neil Holdom attended a Local Government New Zealand symposium on freedom camping this week. He says it was clear from the symposium that there is no silver bullet for solving issues around freedom camping.
“However, NPDC knows that non-self-contained vehicles are going to come so we have to manage the effects in ways that are specific to the issues in each district,” says the Mayor.
“I like the idea of a levy on inward flights to New Zealand to ensure visitors help fund the infrastructure they use. We also need clarification around what self-containment means because putting a bucket in the boot and a sticker on the back window doesn’t cut it.”
Meanwhile, data has been collected on how many freedom campers have been using 13 popular NPDC coastal sites during summer, which is now being analysed alongside other information.
“We’ll be discussing all of this at a workshop at the end of May, as well as reviewing how the Freedom Camping Bylaw operated during its first summer and any fine-tuning that might be required,” says the Mayor.
“If we do amend the bylaw, we’ll go out for public consultation on the changes. Any amended bylaw would be adopted around October this year before the next busy camping season begins.”
Under the Government’s Freedom Camping Act 2011, councils may not prohibit freedom camping in their districts but may have a bylaw that manages it.
As well as Mayor Holdom attending the LGNZ symposium, Deputy Mayor Richard Jordan has attended a national freedom camping forum which discussed how New Zealand can better manage freedom camping.
Government block offer announcement a major concern for Taranaki economy
12 April 2018
New Plymouth Mayor Neil Holdom said news the Government had halted offshore block offers was a kick in the guts for the long term future of the Taranaki economy and urgent work was needed on a plan to maintain Taranaki’s position as the provincial powerhouse of New Zealand’s economy.
“Thousands of households in Taranaki depend on the oil and gas industry and while we all want to see a more sustainable future for New Zealand we had expected to be having a comprehensive conversation about a planned and staged transition to a low carbon economy over the next 20 to 30 years with central government, local government, Iwi, the industry and other stakeholders actively contributing.”
“Taranaki’s councils, its people and its businesses have been setting national benchmarks for environmental initiatives, innovations and performance for years because we have the people, the expertise and the culture to do amazing things so now it’s time for us to sit down with Government, for them to draw us a picture of how they will support the people of Taranaki as we transition to a low carbon economy and we expect there will need to be significant investments from Government in energy innovation, in education, reskilling of our people and in economic development.”
“This announcement sends a message to some of Taranaki’s major investors and employers that they do not have a long term future in New Zealand, despite the fact the Crown pockets more than $300 million a year from Taranaki oil and gas royalties and our national electricity infrastructure and economy continues to rely on natural gas to keep the lights on across the nation. These are businesses that serve our community well, demonstrate leadership in environmental stewardship, community investment, safety and operational excellence.”
“I have spoken to the Minister of Energy Megan Woods and ensured she is clear that we want to know what the plan is to support our people, what the plan is to power our economy, what the plan is to support our businesses, what is the plan to support our communities through this period of transition.
“Having generated billions in GDP and crown mineral royalties for NZ Inc over the years, our people will want to know what investments this Government will be making to mitigate the expected impacts on our household incomes and employment in what has been and continues to be the provincial rock star economy.”
“I have spoken to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and expressed disappointment that the announcement was made prior to a combined plan being developed to move the Taranaki Region through this transition but also committed to working constructively with Government to develop a plan for our people, for our future employment and for a more sustainable economy while making it clear we expect to see a significant chunk of the $300 million plus of crown mineral royalties the government pockets from Taranaki each year reinvested in our economy over coming years to smooth the very real impacts of this major change in Government policy.”
Tapuae Roa Make Way for Taranaki Action Plan launch
06 April 2018
The Taranaki region is taking charge of its future with the launch of the Tapuae Roa Action Plan today.
Today, Minister Shane Jones announced Central Government funding of:
• $13.34 million for the Taranaki Crossing Experience.
• $5m for the Taranaki Cathedral restoration and upgrades.
• $100,000 towards a business case for a New Energy Development Centre in Taranaki.
• $100,000 to undertake a stock-take of Māori enterprise and education in Taranaki, with a focus on STEAMID (the broad areas of science, technology, engineering, arts/design, mathematics, innovation, and digital).
• $100,000 towards an initial feasibility study to establish innovation precincts across Taranaki.
• $50,000 towards the establishment of ‘H2 Taranaki’.
• $50,000 towards a business case for developing a Taranaki Future Foods Accelerator.
• $250,000 for the development of a business guide to tree planting on Taranaki hill country farms.
• $400,000 for a SH43 business case.
• $175,000 towards future food – major regional food opportunities.
Speaking on behalf of the Taranaki Mayoral Forum, New Plymouth District Mayor Neil Holdom says the Action Plan is a bold, ambitious roadmap for building economic strength in Taranaki.
“These announcements are just the first steps towards projects that are game-changers for Taranaki and New Zealand,” says Mayor Holdom.
“We live in a fast-changing world and with the projects identified in Make Way for Taranaki, we’ll take charge of our future rather than react to changes as they happen,” he says.
“Taranaki’s future will be cleaner and greener as we invest in promoting the high-quality foods our farming sector produces, invest in tree planting in our back country, work to nurture the Māori economy which will play a pivotal part in the future of our region, invest in emerging clean energy technologies and invest in facilities to attract high-value tourists to Mt Taranaki.”
A key success of the Tapuae Roa action plan is that it has been a group effort – developed in partnership between the region’s four councils, nga iwi o Taranaki, business leaders, Venture Taranaki and central government. “That across-the-board partnership gives Tapuae Roa real strength and resilience,” says Mayor Holdom.
Tapuae Roa: Make Way for Taranaki is a Taranaki-wide strategy with the goal of making the region successful. The project takes a whole-of-region approach and focuses on unlocking the best opportunities for regional economic growth.
Besides providing a new direction for economic development, Tapuae Roa will feed into the long-term-plans of all the councils in the region, influence private sector investment decision-making and contribute to the future activities and investment decisions of the iwi of Taranaki.
Tapuae Roa was launched in August 2017 and the Action Plan was launched today.
Tapuae Roa has two parts: the Four Futures and the Four Foundations.
• Energy Futures: energy options designed for the emerging low-carbon future, building on the knowledge and expertise of the existing energy industry. This has the potential to be the basis of a strong economic future to the region, similar to the role energy has played in the past.
• Food Futures: food products and processes that build on the existing strength of the primary and processing industries that are already a large part of the regional economy. As with Energy Futures, this project seeks to future-proof a key regional industry.
• Māori Economy Futures: ensuring a new generation of Māori leadership have the required technical and technological skills to participate in the modern economy.
• Visitor Sector Futures: extending an already significant labour-intensive industry which has the potential to grow in the region.
These are fundamental enablers that make the economy move more effectively:
• Talent, enterprise and innovation: the most important and ambitious of the Four Foundations with a focus on training for a modern economy to grow innovation capability. The required skills are identified by STEAMID (science, technology, engineering, arts/design, mathematics, innovation and digital).
• Accessibility and connectivity: enhancing the port, roads, rail, the airport and digital connectivity to overcome the region’s geographical isolation.
• Vibrancy and liveability: these are key attractors for both bringing people into the region and retaining skilled residents.
• Investment: arguably the single greatest enabler, to regional development. Funding options in this strategy include regional royalties, angel investment, a Taranaki Growth Fund, iwi investment, foreign direct investment and philanthropic contributions.
Record month for New Plymouth Airport
05 April 2018
A record number of passengers went through New Plymouth Airport in March, highlighting the growing attraction of Taranaki as a destination and the region’s thriving economy.
March is normally the airport’s busiest month and passenger numbers had been expected to break the 40,000 mark for the first month ever, says Chief Executive Wayne Wootton.
“When the numbers were in, not only did we break the barrier, but we went through the 41,000 mark with a total of 41,051 passengers through the airport during March,” says Mr Wootton.
“This is amazing considering that the current terminal was originally designed for 50,000 passengers a year.”
The March numbers were up 3.8 per cent from March last year and bring the 12-month figure since April last year to a new high of 434,000 passengers.
“WOMAD has a big influence on the March figures and this year we also had the ITU Triathlon in New Plymouth, which helped too,” says Mr Wootton.
With other users, such as friends and family, the total number of people at the airport in March was estimated at 56,000.
Work is underway on a new terminal to replace the current building, which was built in the 1960s.
The new terminal, with a budget between $22 million and $29 million, is expected to be operating in late 2019.
NPDC's digital draft district plan recognized with top award
26 March 2018
New Plymouth District Council’s trail-blazing work to create digital draft district plan has been recognized with a major award from New Zealand’s top planning body.
The New Zealand Planning Institute (NZPI) on Friday announced NPDC has won the 2018 Supreme Practice Award for its commitment to becoming “a future-focused ‘Digital Council.”
NPDC was the first council in New Zealand to draft a new district plan written directly into a property-based driven e-plan, said the NZPI.
“This council’s experience will help achieve the delivery of more robust and consistent district plans,” said the citation for the award, also known as the Nancy Northcroft Planning Practice Award.
NPDC’s digital draft district plan went live on 5 February and is available to anyone online.
With a few clicks, they can find information on their property anytime, anywhere – rather than looking through paper documents for the information they need. “We have had interest in this work from across the country and Australia. It is much-deserved recognition of the work staff have put in to enable better customer experiences and a more engaged community,” says NPDC Group Manager Strategy Liam Hodgetts.
“The digital draft plan helps give us a better understanding of what people think of the proposals and on how they think the e-plan works too.” E-planning is now a statutory requirement for all councils to move towards and the NPDC’s e-plan created significant opportunities for other councils to benefit and leverage from, said the NZPI citation.
“We look forward to continuing to work with other councils, central government and our technology provider, Isovist, to develop and refine the e-plan tool,” says Mr Hodgetts.
District plans guide how NPDC manages a variety of activities in our community. The Digital Council project includes plans to enable the public to conduct more of their transactions with NPDC, such as buying LIM reports, online.
The Digital District Plan is online at newplymouthnz.com/DraftDistrictPlan.