Mayoral Update on Covid-19 Response - 25 March

25 March 2020

Kia ora koutou.  Warm greetings to everyone in our community.

In this first of my regular updates on the Covid-19 response, I want to acknowledge that for many of you it’s been a difficult week. I know there’s a high level of uncertainty and things are changing almost on a daily basis.

I need to reassure you that the Council is working extremely hard to support our community and ensure all our essential services - water, roading, recycling and rubbish – will continue to operate smoothly through this difficult time.

We have followed Ministry of Health guidelines and shut all Council building and facilities in order protect our residents. We are closely following the situation, and as soon as it’s safe to reopen facilities, we will do so.

In the meantime we’re adapting and finding ways for people to access council services remotely. Staff from departments such as the aquatic facilities, are being redeployed to assist our community in other areas when it’s safe to do so. Our libraries already offer a great range of digital services you can access from home.

You can contact our Customer Services by email, phone 0800 965 468, message us on Facebook or use the Snap, Send Solve mobile app (available free on Google Play or Apple Store).

As much as possible, we will still be carrying out our normal activities, such as dog registrations, LIMS and animal management. We do ask for your patience, as we finish updating these processes to accommodate the situation.

We have streamlined our decision-making and have formed a Covid 19 Response Committee made up of Councillors, so our Council can adapt quickly to any challenges that may arise. Our Councillors are at this moment taking another look through our budgets and at the projects we had planned for the coming year. It’s important that our infrastructure is maintained, that we support our local contractors and we keep planning for our future growth. However there may be spending that can be deferred until this situation is behind us.

I encourage you to listen and follow the advice from the Government. Remain calm, look after one another and when the restrictions ease – support our local businesses as much as you can.

Our community is strong and resilient. Our pandemic plans are up to date and Civil Defence are ready to activate if needed. We have been through hard times before, and together, united, we will beat this virus.

Ngā mihi nui,

Dan Gordon