Taking Care Over the Holidays

Published: 20-Dec-2019

A message from our Mayor Dan Gordon and a few tips about keeping safe and well over the festive period.

“Merry Christmas, Meri Kirihimete! This is my first Christmas message to you as Mayor of Waimakariri.  We have already enjoyed a number of fantastic summer events marking the festive season.

“It is a truly magical time of year as our community is alive with twinkling lights and decorations, Santa Parades, carol singing and the spreading of goodwill.”

“When you are looking to cross some items off your Christmas Shopping list, I hope that you will support local businesses and services. Please keep an eye out for people on their own this Christmas and holiday period. This is a time for kindness and sharing.”

“Thank you to our emergency services, medical teams and all other staff working and keeping us safe over this holiday period.”

“I hope that you find time to be with those you hold dearest during the holiday season and to enjoy all our community has to offer”

“On behalf of the Waimakariri District Council I wish you all a very safe and happy Christmas and a prosperous 2020.”

Water tips

Hopefully summer will be back with us soon enough. We’re lucky to have heaps of great swimming options across the District. However before you make a splash, you need to check that it’s safe to swim.

While there are many great beaches in Waimakariri, please stick to those monitored by Surf Life Saving and swim between the flags. Waikuku Beach will be patrolled every day of the week between 10am and 6pm until 2 February. Woodend and Pegasus Beaches will also be patrolled between 10am and 6pm, seven days a week from 21 December through to 12 January 2020.  For other beach activities, make sure you check out our beaches page.

Waimakariri Aquatic Facilities are open every day over the holiday period apart from Christmas Day. There are indoor pools in Kaiapoi and Rangiora, and an outdoor pool in Oxford.  Over summer, the very popular Waikuku paddling pool is also open. Check out the Aquatic Facilities page for more information and full holiday hours.

Another popular option for swimming is in one of our many rivers, however it’s worth checking on water quality before heading out. In hot and dry weather, some rivers can be susceptible to elevated E. coli levels or the presence of toxic algae. This can present a health risk especially for small children and animals.

Environment Canterbury are responsible for testing river water quality.  They conduct weekly testing of the most popular swimming spots over summer and you can view the results and find out if it’s safe to swim here

Wherever you choose to swim, please make sure you are aware of the dangers and look out for yourself and others. Pay close attention to children and obey all safety signs and warning flags.

Road safety

The holidays are a time to catch up with family or go to your favourite spot around the country to rest and relax. This means heaps of people will be driving on our roads. Please take extra care, drive to the conditions, don’t drink and drive and take plenty of breaks on long journeys.

Here are some more safety tips. You can find out more about planning your journey and avoiding delays here

Safety around food

Coming into summer months, temperatures are rising and we’re ready to get the BBQs out.  To ensure we don’t cause food related illnesses, it is important we all understand food safety, so we can all enjoy a good feed.  The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has put together a great guide to help everyone understand how to safely prepare and cook food here.

Community wellbeing

Christmas can be a stressful time so please prioritise your own and others’ wellbeing.

“Positive wellbeing is the greatest gift we can give ourselves and each other over Christmas. If you, or someone you know and care about is in strife this holiday, and dealing with confronting issues at home, please don’t suffer in silence,” Council’s Community Team Manager Tessa Sturley says.

“Safety and a strong sense of security are a right not privileges. In an emergency, dial 111 and ask for the police. If you need support, talk to someone you trust – it’s ok to ask for help.”

Or if you need to talk to someone else:

Free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor.


0800 543 354 or (09) 522 2999
Free text 4357 (HELP)


0800 376 633


0800 726 666