Our buildings have been closed during the lockdown but NPDC services have never been busier and have been open 24/7, making sure we stay connected without bursting any bubbles.

Puke Ariki has had book lovers covered, lending out more than 12,600 eBooks and eAudiobooks in April, up from 8,800 in March and about 7,000 in February. If you’re worried about your kids’ screen time, then the library’s BorrowBox service might be to blame – it saw 3,400 eBooks downloaded in the first week of April, more than triple the number for the whole of March – or the online Crackerjacks Storytime, which also kept them entertained.

Meanwhile, the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery has been inspiring youngsters to get creative with streamed Family Art sessions and projects to bring art to the people. The gallery is also currently asking budding movie-makers to share their short films on a day in their lockdown through Once in a Lifetime – The Bubble Project. All these community films will be shown on the Govett-Brewster YouTube channel.

Public Council meetings have continued via Zoom with the full meetings published online at
newplymouthnz.com the most recently being the deliberations around our yearly budget and we’ll be zooming to the people for feedback on our Back On Our Feet plan and buying local campaign.

NPDC spokesperson Jacqueline Baker says we’ve been in uncharted waters during the lockdown but NPDC set a course to keep people informed and entertained.

“Puke Ariki and our Gallery have been doing an amazing job virtually with borrowing soaring as we stick to our Covid-19 bubbles while we continue to work hard delivering water, safe roads, rubbish collections while managing hundreds of customer calls and emails each day,” says Ms Baker.

Puke Ariki’s digital library has been open with thousands of eBooks, eAudiobooks, movies and newspapers available for everyone in Taranaki and Ancestry.com free during the lockdown.

The Govett-Brewster Art Gallery has also brought art to the people through an online collaboration with Taranaki poets for The Art of Poetry project and has launched Window Gallery – Bringing Art Home, working with the Taranaki Arts Trail for artists and designers to turn their own windows into galleries.

NPDC is made up of 17 ‘business units’ including Puke Ariki and our community libraries, a zoo, concert venues and we take care of 1,600 hectares of parks and open spaces.

For more details, head to
newsplymouthnz.com,
govettbrewster.com and
pukeariki.com or call 06-759 6060.