Local updates

Latest update below. Click here for previous updates.


Update 7: COVID-19 information for the Tararua District

Wednesdy, 13 May 2020:

At Alert Level 2, council service arrangements are as follows:

Alcohol, Food and Health Licensing

Normal services will resume, however Officers may continue to work remotely.

Alcohol Licensing

Our Alcohol Licensing Officer is available to answer any queries you may have about your alcohol licence or managers certificate. Phone the Council number or email alcohol.licensing@tararuadc.govt.nz.

Food & Health Licensing

Our Environmental Health Officer is available to answer any queries you may have about your alcohol licence or managers certificate. Phone the Council number or email health@tararuadc.govt.nz.


Public spaces

Campgrounds

Campgrounds remain open, except for Pahiatua Campground. 

Cemeteries

Cemetery maintenance resumed during Alert Level 3 and will continue during Alert Level 2. 

Cemeteries will be open to funerals and tangi only of up to 50 people if they can operate safely, this includes:

  • Physical distancing and other infection controls (facemasks, gloves)
  • Recording attendees to ensure contact tracing can be conducted if necessary
  • No participants will be allowed who have COVID-19 symptoms or who need to be in isolation/quarantine for any reason 

Parks, Playgrounds and Reserves 

Reserves are open to the public, physical distancing rules apply.

  • Public parks and playgrounds are open to the public, physical distancing rules apply.
  • Public toilets
  • Toilets at public parks are open to the public.

Animal Services

The following services resumed during Alert Level 3 and will continue during Alert Level 2. Safety controls for these services will remain in place.

  • Site inspections for animal control complaints
  • Return of impounded dogs / stock

Building, Consents and LIM’s

Building 

Site inspections for resource consents and building consents will resume, with measures in place to protect staff and customers.

Consents

Consents are still being processed but may experience delays.

LIM’s

LIM requests are still being processed but may experience delays.

 

Community Libraries and the Woodville i-SITE

Community Libraries will require desk screens to ensure the safety of staff and customers. Council is awaiting the installation of these and once in place, we will be able to reopen our doors. It is anticipated that we will be able to reopen next week, we will release a confirmed date as soon as it is available to us. 

When the doors open, Libraries will be open Monday to Friday, during normal operating hours with the exception that they will close 15 minutes earlier than normal. 

In Woodville, the Tararua i-SITE Visitor Information Centre will reopen on Monday 18 May. We will release information on the services available as soon as possible. 

We will keep monitoring and reviewing the steps we have in place. As a result, some things may change. We will endeavour to give you as much notice as we can if there are changes. 

For information on library services and requirements of entry under Alert Level 2, visit their website: http://tararua.kotui.org.nz


Council Service Centres and Customer Services

The Customer Service telephone remains open, 24 hours on 06 374 4080 or 06 376 0110. People can also email Council on info@tararuadc.govt.nz or complete a request via the website at www.tararuadc.govt.nz/report-it

Council Service Centres will require desk screens to ensure the safety of staff and customers. Council is awaiting the installation of these and once in place, we will be able to reopen our doors. It is anticipated that we will be able to reopen next week, we will release a confirmed date as soon as it is available to us.  

Social distancing rules will still apply during Alert Level 2 at all council facilities – including transfer stations and libraries.


Road and Bridge Maintenance

We have continued to operate priority road and bridge maintenance throughout the Alert Levels and will continue to do so at Alert Level 2. 


 

Solid Waste Services – i.e. Rubbish and Recycling

Normal services will resume from Monday 18 May. Social distancing rules will still apply during Alert Level 2 at all sites including the transfer stations.

 

Recycling

During Alert Levels 3 and 4, any recycling collected was being directed to landfill. Under Alert Level 2, normal recycling services will resume, beginning Monday 18 May. Recycling will no longer be directed to landfill.

On Saturday 16 May, the recycling bins at the Dannevirke Transfer Stations recycling centre will return and will be available for public use. 

Smart Environmental will be opening their Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) sites from Monday 18 May to start processing all of the collected recycling from the Tararua District.

Kerbside recycling collection will operate on normal collection days. 

All council's recycling centres are open during normal hours of operation and are accepting recycling.

Rubbish

For kerbside rubbish collection, please contact you supplier for information and instructions.

All Council’s transfer stations are open during normal hours of operation. 

If you would usually dispose of your rubbish at the Transfer Station and are unable to right now because you are considered "at risk" regarding COVID-19, there is help available. Please call the welfare helpline on Freephone 0800 725 678 to discuss your situation.  

 

3-waters – i.e. Drinking-water, Stormwater and Wastewater

We have continued to operate all water services as normal throughout the Alert Levels and will continue to do so at Alert Level 2. 

 

 

 

 


Previous updates

Friday, 24 April:

As many are already aware, on Tuesday next week, New Zealand will transition to Alert Level 3. This week in Council, we have been focused on preparing for the transition and reviewing what our service arrangements will be. 

During this time, we have continued to coordinate the local response from our Emergency Operations Centre and we are receiving support from agencies and organisations from the district and wider region. 

We have also been planning for the recovery of our district – socially and economically – and there is more information about this below, as well as details around what council services will be available in Alert Level 3.

 

Council service arrangements

Council continues to operate essential services in line with Central Government guidelines. At Alert Level 3, council service arrangements are as follows:

  • Keeping the Customer Service telephone open, 24 hours on 06 374 4080 or 06 376 0110.  People can also email Council on info@tararuadc.govt.nzor complete a request via the website at www.tararuadc.govt.nz/report-it
  • Delivering drinking water and wastewater services 
  • Responding to stormwater events
  • Full maintenance of roads and bridges 
  • Site inspections for resource consents and building consents will resume under COVID-19 risk management. 
  • LIM requests are still being processed but may experience delays.
  • Campgrounds remain open, except for Pahiatua Campground. Freedom campers can now move ONE WAY to re-isolate at home. 
  • Animal services – see more detail below:
  • Caring for impounded dogs
  • Investigating dog attacks and seizures for Police
  • Welfare of animals recovering from injury
  • Site inspections can resume
  • Public spaces – see below
  • Solid waste services – see below
  • Cemeteries – see below
  • Libraries – see below
  • Animal Services
    • Site inspections for animal control complaints resume under COVID19 risk management
    • Animal shelters closed to public 
    • Restart registration processes where these can be undertaken in a contactless way
    • Return of impounded dogs / stock resume under COVID19 risk management.

Public Spaces

Public open spaces (e.g. parks) may be used, but people need to maintain physical distancing outside their bubbles. Playgrounds and exercise equipment will remain closed. 

Solid Waste Services

Solid waste services will remain the same as Alert Level 4, that is: 

All Council’s recycling centres are open during normal hours of operation. However, we are requesting that people clean and store recycling until normal services resume where possible.  

For the safety of staff and public some operational changes have been made:

  • Excluding glass, all recycling (paper, cardboard, cans and plastics) will be directed to landfill.
  • Glass recycling will continue as normal

Cemeteries

Cemetery maintenance will re-commence. Cemeteries will be open to funerals and tangi only up to 50 people if they can operate safely, and: 

  • Physical distancing and infection prevention and control requirements must be met 
  • Must record attendees to ensure contact tracing can be conducted if necessary 
  • No participants allowed who have COVID-19 symptoms or who need to be in isolation/quarantine for any reason

Further central government guidelines are being developed.

Libraries

Library will not be operating in Alert Level 3 but will be preparing to operate in Alert Level 2. At level 2 we anticipate that only lending facilities will be open – i.e. no programmes, no access to computers or Wi-Fi. 

Recovery Plan

When a major event occurs, councils and other agencies must create what is known as a Recovery Plan – how we transition from “response” to the new “business as usual”. 

On Thursday next week, we will be releasing an overview of some of the actions within our current Recovery Plan. We appreciate your patience in the meantime.

Business support questionnaire

Part of the Recovery Plan is identifying where help is needed and where it is possible to reduce the economic impact. This starts with our local businesses. 

This afternoon, our teams will begin calling businesses throughout the district with a brief questionnaire to gain a better understanding of how COVID-19 has affected them. 

The responses from these calls will allow us to tailor our Recovery Plan to support our businesses as we transition through alert levels and beyond. This also involves ensuring our businesses are aware of support available to them.

Advice for food businesses planning to re-open

As we move to Alert Level 3, many businesses will be able to get back to making and selling food. The Alert Level 3 rules mean that businesses that want to start operating will only be able to offer takeaway, contactless pick-up and delivery options.

Please make sure that your business is allowed to operate, https://covid19.govt.nz/alert-system/alert-level-3/

Ensure you have an adequate COVID-19 safety plan: https://worksafe.govt.nz/managing-health-and-safety/novel-coronavirus-covid-19/your-covid-19-safety-plan/

Keep up-to-date on the Ministry of Primary Industries advice: https://www.mpi.govt.nz/protection-and-response/coronavirus/coronavirus-and-food-safety/covid-19-and-food-safety-in-alert-level-3/re-opening-or-making-changes-to-a-food-business-in-alert-level-3/

  

Update 5: Thursday, 23 April

Tararua District Council’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) continues to operate. The EOC is focused on maintaining essential services and coordinating community welfare needs, as well as planning for social and economic recovery.
Over the course of the Alert Level 4 (AL4) lockdown, we have observed some incredible efforts from the community to support each other:

  • Woodville Lions and Eketahuna Health Centre contacted over 70’s in their area to check in with their health and welfare needs.
  • Our local iwi, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Tāmaki nui-a-Rua and Rangitāne o Tamaki nui a Rua Incorporated are actively supporting family and whanau to stay safely in their homes through delivery of food packages, welfare checks and facilitating access to health services.
  • Foodbanks are continuing to do deliveries to those in need and ensuring safety of volunteers and recipients.
  • Metalform is creating more than 7,000 plastic protective face shields a day. These are being sent to food processors, pharmacies and district health boards.

We also want to thank each and every one of you for your commitment to the lockdown. To all those who have volunteered, called vulnerable community members, worked from home and stayed home.

We ask that everyone maintains this level of responsibility and continues to support each other by staying home and maintaining their bubble.
 
Things to consider as we prepare to transition to AL3

Flush your water systems

Water left sitting in pipes could have changed in quality for restaurants, gyms, schools and other buildings that have been unoccupied during the AL4 lockdown.

It is important to ensure the safety of your buildings water systems before they are reoccupied by flushing water through all points of use within buildings.

Follow the guidelines for preparing to return to work

Businesses have been given permission to start preparing for limited opening next week. For those who will be able to operate under AL3, this is a time for you to prepare your place of work. This is a time to clean, stock shelves and set up for the transition, it is not an invitation to begin business as usual and it is important to follow the Central Government guidelines for business preparations.

 

Update 4: Friday, 11 April

Yesterday, Central Government announced what the different Alert Levels mean and what this will likely look like for businesses and communities across the country going forward.

On Monday, we will hear again from Central Government with the decision on whether or not the country will transition to Alert Level 3, and we will provide a local update as soon as possible following this. 

Meanwhile, we wanted to share some information today about the local response and some of the activities that are either in progress or completed. 

Tararua District Council Emergency Operations Centre (EOC)

The Tararua District Council EOC was activated on 25 March 2020. The focus for the local response has been maintaining essential services and coordinating community welfare needs, as well as planning for social and economic recovery.

Maintaining essential services

It is crucial that we play our role in maintaining essential services – both within Council and across the various sectors of our community. 

Some of the key activities include (but are not limited to):

  • Maintaining Council services e.g. delivering water, wastewater and stormwater services, maintaining roads and bridges, essential animal control services, solid waste services (rubbish and recycling)
  • Operating the Council customer service line - providing support and advice with COVID-19 related issues and answering general council enquiries
  • Maintaining the Council website and Facebook with localised information
  • Supporting essential service providers and essential businesses – such as supermarkets, pharmacies and social agencies – through providing advice, supplying PPE and linking to volunteers/volunteer networks

Coordinating community welfare needs

Our Welfare Team have been humbled by the positive response and willingness to help from agencies across the district. We’d like to acknowledge the support of everyone we are working with to coordinate the local response. 

Some of the key activities include (but are not limited to):

  • Responding to requests for support that are received through the regional welfare helpline, Freephone 0800 725 678. Use of the helpline is increasing, with the majority of requests relating to food – e.g. topping up supplies at local Food Banks, assistance with grocery shopping for “at risk” or “vulnerable people, and referrals to agencies to provide food parcels.
  • Calls to people over 70 have been taking place across the district. Please remember to check on your neighbour or any friends who may be isolated or on their own. 
  • Coordinating with community agencies across the district. These agencies are working hard to ensure that people in the Tararua District are staying safe in their home with a network of activities to provide food and essential items during lockdown. 

Planning for social and economic recovery

Recovery planning is well underway and we are currently developing communications to share our approach to recovery and our draft recovery plan with the public. More information to come. 

Some of the key activities include (but are not limited to):

  • Identifying “shovel ready” projects that are focused on providing future job opportunities and submitting these to the Crown Infrastructure Partners (CIP)
  • Identifying immediate opportunities to better understand the economic climate to enable us to develop support measures 

Next update

The next update will be provided as soon as possible following the Central Government’s pending announcement on Monday 20 April. In the meantime, we’ve included below some of the important numbers that you can call for support, advice and information:

  • For all information relating to COVID-19, visit https://covid19.govt.nz or Freephone 0800 779 997 (8am–1am, 7 days a week).
  • For assistance with accessing household goods and services, Freephone 0800 725 678.
  • For assistance with Council services, call 06 374 4080 or 06 376 0110.
  • For any medical concerns, Freephone Healthline 0800 358 5453.
  • For support with grief, anxiety, distress or mental wellbeing, you can call or text 1737 – free, anytime – to talk with a trained counsellor. Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

 

Update 3: Friday, 27 March 2020

Well done Tararua District!  It looks like the vast majority of us are following the Level 4 Alert rules, including maintaining good hygiene practices, social distancing and self-isolating if required.

Level 4 Alert means:

  • People are instructed to stay at home
  • Educational facilities are closed
  • Businesses are closed except for essential services (e.g. supermarkets, pharmacies, clinics) and lifeline utilities
  • Rationing of supplies and requisitioning of facilities
  • Travel severely limited
  • Major reprioritisation of healthcare services

National State of Emergency

With the National State of Emergency having been declared, Council has activated its Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) in Dannevirke.  The EOC is in regular communication with other emergency centres established in the region and nationally where appropriate.

To date the focus of the EOC has been to liaise with the previously established Emergency Welfare Groups and community service organisations across the district.  The primary objective has been to understand what services are being undertaken in our communities and identify any gaps that require attention.  

We anticipate being able to provide the public with a list of available community services early next week via the Council website. 

Tararua District Council Services

Council provided an update on services on Wednesday 25 March.  The details in this update are still current and can be found here

Councils customer service telephone lines remain open 24 hours on 06 374 4080 or 06 376 0110.  People can also email Council on info@tararuadc.govt.nz or complete a request via the website at www.tararuadc.govt.nz/home/report-it

Water Restrictions

* Update available

Rural Water Deliveries

We understand that the current drought is causing significant stress for many in our rural communities.  We’d like to remind rural households low on drinking water they can register their needs on the Council website: www.tararuadc.govt.nz/ruralwater 

Everyone that registers will be contacted by telephone the same or next business day.

Who to contact and where to get information

You can keep up-to-date on the most accurate information on the COVID-19 website: www.covid19.govt.nz

  • If you are showing symptoms, call your GP before you visit or call Healthline on 0800 358 5453.
  • There is a free government helpline for COVID 19 questions on 0800 779 997 that is available from 8am–1am, 7 days a week.
  • If you are needing financial assistance or support for your business or household, contact Work and Income on 0800 559 009.
  • Anyone facing issues with accommodation should contact the Temporary Accommodation Service on 0508 754 163.
  • Anyone experiencing anxiety or other mental health issues as a result of COVIS 19 is encouraged to contact the 1737 (phone or text) helpline number.

Please be patient and kind when calling through to these numbers, they will likely be experiencing a high volume of calls and it may take you a while to get through.

Together we can slow the spread

Let us unite against COVID-19 as a community and as a country. By following the measures above we can slow the spread of this virus.

   

Update 2: – Wednesday 25 March

As New Zealand prepares for the Level 4 lockdown in response to COVID 19 Council is providing a further update on the availability of services and facilities.

Level 4 Alert means:

  • People are instructed to stay at home
  • Educational facilities are closed
  • Businesses are closed except for essential services (e.g. supermarkets, pharmacies, clinics) and lifeline utilities
  • Rationing of supplies and requisitioning of facilities
  • Travel severely limited
  • Major reprioritisation of healthcare services

Tararua District Council has activated its Emergency Operations Centre in Dannevirke in response to this event.  We also continue to follow guidance from Central Government and are collaborating with regional partners to coordinate a local / regional response as required.

Tararua District Council Closures

  • The following Council facilities and services are either closed or ceased:
  • All Council Service Centres are closed.  Essential Council staff continue to operate from these sites.
  • All libraries are closed. Those with books etc. at present are asked to hold on to them until libraries re-open as return slots are now closed.
  • The Woodville i-SITE is closed.  Note: this facility is being used for other essential services so will have staff on site at times.
  • All community pools, halls, sports facilities and playgrounds are closed.

Tararua District Council Essential Services

  • Council continues to operate essential services in line with Central Government guidelines.  These are:
  • Customer Service telephone lines remain open 24 hours on 06 374 4080 or 06 376 0110.  People can also email Council on info@tararuadc.govt.nz or complete a request via the website at www.tararuadc.govt.nz/home/report-it
  • Drinking water and wastewater services 
  • Solid waste services – see below
  • Cemeteries
  • Response to stormwater events
  • Public toilet maintenance.  
  • Note: Council is closing some public toilets but will ensure signage is in place directing people to the nearest open toilet in each town.
  • Essential or emergency maintenance of roads and bridges.
  • Animal services:
  • Caring for impounded dogs
  • Investigating dog attacks and seizures for Police
  • Welfare of animals recovering
  • Building consents in urgent circumstances where required for essential construction work.
  • LIM requests are still being processed but may experience delays. 
  • Campgrounds remain open, except for Pahiatua Campground. Freedom campers are encouraged to head to a campground for the lockdown period.

Solid Waste Services

The removal of solid waste is considered an essential service. However a number of changes to normal operations have been implemented.  Where possible we encourage people to clean and store their recycling during this difficult time. Other waste should continue to be disposed as usual.  Kerbside recycling will continue to be collected.  All recycling collected during the Level 4 alert will be sent directly to landfill.

Landfill transfer stations will remain open with additional safety measures implemented on site.  Recycling at transfer stations will be limited to glass bottles.  All other recycling will be directed to landfill.  Outlying glass recycling bins will remain in place.

Council Staffing

In order to keep our staff and families safe Council has a large number of staff now working from home.  Staff involved in the Emergency Operations Centre and other essential services will continue to work from dedicated sites not open to the public or in the field as required.  A number of Council contracted businesses are also required to work during this Level 4 lockdown (e.g. contractors working on the Pahiatua Water Treatment plant).

Essential Council staff will be in vehicles marked Tararua District Council or Tararua Alliance or have signage shown in private vehicles and/or have Council identification. 

Payments

Council is both making and receiving payments as usual wherever possible.  If you are awaiting payment from Council and it does not arrive please telephone us.  If you are having difficulty in making payments to Council for any reason please telephone us to discuss options available.

Who to contact and where to get information

You can keep up-to-date on the most accurate information on the COVID-19 website: www.covid19.govt.nz

If you are showing symptoms, call your GP before you visit or call Healthline on 0800 358 5453.

There is a free government helpline on 0800 779 997 that is available from 8am–1am, 7 days a week.

If you are needing financial assistance or support for your business or household, contact Work and Income on 0800 559 009.

Please be patient and kind when calling through to these numbers, they will likely be experiencing a high volume of calls and it may take you a while to get through.

Together we can slow the spread

Let us unite against COVID-19 as a community and as a country. By following the measures above we can slow the spread of this virus.

 


Update 1: Monday, 23 March 2020

This update will give an overview of the current status in New Zealand, the current status in the Tararua District and what the new alert levels mean for our communities.

Current status in New Zealand

As many will already be aware, there was a Government announcement today about the alert level for New Zealand in relation to COVID-19.

New Zealand is now at alert Level 3 and will be transitioning to Level 4 over the next 48 hours.  Level 4 measures will be in place for the next 4 weeks, at which stage the Government will reassess the situation.

For New Zealand, a Level 4 alert means:

  • People instructed to stay at home 
  • Educational facilities will close as of Tuesday 24 March 
  • Businesses will close as of Tuesday 24 March except for essential services (e.g. supermarkets, pharmacies, clinics) and lifeline utilities 
  • Rationing of supplies and requisitioning of facilities 
  • Travel severely limited 
  • Major reprioritisation of healthcare services

Current status in the Tararua District

There are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Tararua District at this time.

Tararua District Council is following guidance from Central Government and collaborating with regional partners to coordinate a local/regional response as required.

All Tararua District Council service centres, libraries and the Woodville i-SITE remain closed, with the exception of Dannevirke Service Centre which will close on Wednesday 25 March at 1pm, in the meantime access is restricted to one person at a time.

For Tararua District Council services, a Level 4 alert means:

Council services that will close/be unavailable:

  • All council service centres and libraries are closed 
  • Woodville i-SITE is closed 
  • Community pools, halls and sports venues are closed

Essential Council services that will continue to operate include:

  • Customer service line will remain open on 06 374 4080 or 06 376 0110 (24hrs)
  • Water, stormwater, wastewater services will continue 
  • Roading services will continue on an emergency works basis 
  • Public restrooms remain open until further notice 
  • Campgrounds remain open (as they provide shelter), except for Pahiatua Campground
  • Recycling services (kerbside collection) will continue 
  • Animal control will continue for public safety cases only 
  • Building, Planning and LIMS services are available by email and telephone, but services are likely to experience delays 
  • Processing of payments, including rates, will continue

An update on recycling services and transfer stations will be provided tomorrow (Tuesday 24 March).

Who to contact and where to get information

You can keep up-to-date on the most accurate information on the COVID-19 website: www.covid19.govt.nz

  • If you are showing symptoms, call your GP before you visit or call Healthline on 0800 358 5453.
  • There is a free government helpline on 0800 779 997 that is available from 8am–1am, 7 days a week.
  • If you are needing financial assistance or support for your business or household, contact Work and Income on 0800 559 009.

Please be patient and kind when calling through to these numbers, they will likely be experiencing a high volume of calls and it may take you a while to get through.

Together we can slow the spread

Let us unite against COVID-19 as a community and as a country. By following the measures above we can slow the spread of this virus.



Update 0

Sunday, 22 March 2020

Following the Government COVID-19 update on Saturday, Tararua District Council will be reassessing it’s availability of staff resourcing on Monday.

As a result, all Council libraries, the Woodville i-SITE and service centres across the district, except Dannevirke, will be closed until further notice.

The Dannevirke Service Centre will remain open during normal business hours at this time with appropriate social distancing and safety precautions in place. The public are encouraged to utilise online services where available or contact us on 06 374 4080 or 06 376 0110 for assistance.

At this stage other Council activities such as landfill transfer stations and campgrounds remain open as normal.

Council will continue to review services in response to updates from Central Government.

We encourage everyone of keep up to date with COVID-19 messages via the Governments website: www.covid19.govt.nz   

Council will provide a further update on office closures at 4:00pm Monday 23 March via its website and Facebook pages.