Wild weather warning – should NPDC be saving for a very rainy day?

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When Cyclone Gabrielle hammered the east coast in February, the country pulled together to help. It wasn't too long ago we were dealing with our own clean up when Cyclone Gita hit in 2018 with some residents having no water for several days.

This is the first chapter in a six-week public conversation seeking feedback on five big issues that are important to our district as we work on our draft 10-year Plan. 


These are:

  • Wild Weather
  • Should we play a bigger role in housing?
  • Keeping Taranaki’s economy pumping
  • Keeping rates real
  • What’s the gameplan for the sport and wellbeing hub (Tūparikino Active Community Hub).


The science shows that we’re looking at more wild weather from drought to extreme rainfall  (Taranaki Regional Council/NIWA) and as part of our draft 10-year work programme, we want public feedback on if we’re investing enough for wild weather.

“Severe weather is becoming more frequent and more aggressive in our rapidly changing climate and NPDC is often the first port of call when disaster takes out our roads, water supply and hits our residents,” said NPDC Councillor Anneka Carlson.

Currently NPDC injects $300,000 to manage emergency responses, such as plans for flood protection and business continuity to keep our core services ticking over in a crisis. It also invests about $1.3 million in the regional emergency management pot run by the Taranaki Emergency Management Office. This helps us to plan for and manage emergency responses and to educate our residents on how to prepare for and recover from natural disasters, as well as training volunteers for emergency work and maintaining a network of emergency welfare centres.

“Dealing with extreme weather is a mix of ambulance at the bottom of the cliff and railings at the top and we need to manage both to be well prepared. We are asking residents as part of our draft 10-year work programme, have we got the funding mix about right or do we need to invest more in this area?” says NPDC Councillor Gordon Brown.

NPDC Proposed District Plan strengthens our management of natural hazards like flooding and coastal erosion, and we are working on a Catchment Management Plan to explore how we can help areas with a history of flooding.  Resilience is being built into our infrastructure such as water and roads to withstand what nature throws at us. 

Our Emissions Reduction Plan lays out how NPDC is lowering its own emissions while developing infrastructure, such as Zero Waste facilities, walkways, and cycle paths for our residents. 

We’re committed to investing $1m to electrify our fleet and $2m on Planting our Place as well as more greener facilities like a new natural gas and green hydrogen-powered thermal dryer at our New Plymouth Wastewater Treatment Plant.

“Should we invest more now to future-proof our home against a rapidly changing climate, such as generators at key marae and town hubs that would shelter people in extreme weather,” says NPDC Councillor Te Waka McLeod.

So far, Taranaki has dodged a bullet, but a “she’ll be right” approach could be a gamble. Are we on the right track with our emergency readiness and should we invest more to prepare better?

Every three years, residents help us build our draft 10-year work programme to manage $4 billion worth of assets and $3 billion budget.

Give us a hand by completing this short survey. Everyone who completes it goes into the draw to win one of five $300 shopping vouchers.

Feedback closes 5pm, Wednesday 12 July.


Caption: Huatoki Plaza during recent heavy rain.