Waikato District Council community facilities will be open as soon as it is safe for our customers and staff to do so as we move into COVID-19 Alert Level 2.
Waikato District Council Chief Executive Gavin Ion says people in the Waikato district have done a fantastic job during lockdown and because of this hard work, community facilities can now begin to re-open.
But he says Council’s priority is still the health and safety of the community and staff.
“When we do open, we’ll have measures in place to keep everyone safe. Under Alert Level 2 at council facilities, physical distancing will still apply. We ask everyone to keep a 2-metre distance from people you don't know,” he says.
“The same hygiene measures we’ve followed during lockdown should continue to be followed. This includes regularly washing your hands and coughing or sneezing into your elbow. And please don’t visit a council facility if you’re feeling unwell.”
Some community facilities will re-open at a reduced capacity under Alert Level 2, and Government guidance will be followed as required regarding maximum visitor numbers, and contact tracing measures.
Offices in Ngaruawahia and Tuakau will open from Tuesday 19 May. Opening hours will be Monday to Thursday 8am-5pm, Fridays 9am-5pm at Ngaruawahia, with 830.am – 5pm Monday to Friday at Tuakau. There will initially be some limitations to services available at the offices themselves. Operations will be reviewed on a fortnightly basis as we progress through Level 2.
Libraries/ service centres
All our libraries/ service centres except for Meremere Library will re-open from Tuesday 19 May with reduced hours – Monday to Friday 9am-4pm. They will not be open on Saturdays. There will be no programmes or events running that could encourage gatherings. A strict one person at one computer terminal rule will be enforced. But customers will be allowed to browse through books while adhering to physical distancing measures. Meremere Library is closed until further notice due to increased resource requirements at other sites. Operations will be reviewed on a fortnightly basis as we progress through Level 2.
Playgrounds will re-open on Saturday 16 May. This week they are being sanitised and signage is being installed reminding people to keep 2 metres away from people they don’t know. Parents and caregivers will need to make sure children wash their hands before and after using the equipment.
Boat ramps will be open from Saturday 16 May, except for ones on the Waikato River. These will be open once the rahui on the river is lifted.
Woodlands Estate homestead and gardens will be open from Saturday 16 May, following the Government’s Alert Level 2 guidelines on physical distancing, hygiene and contact tracing.
Huntly Aquatic Centre
Details about the opening date of The Huntly Aquatic Centre will be available as soon as possible. But there’ll be a number of restrictions based on Government Alert Level 2 guidance on gatherings hygiene, contact tracing and physical distancing.
Our hall committees are preparing to have our halls open as soon as possible, while ensuring that Government guidance on gatherings, hygiene, physical distancing and contact tracing are followed. To find out when your local hall opens please contact the relevant hall committee. Details are available here.
Transfer stations/resource recovery centre
Huntly Transfer Station will re-open on Thursday 14 May. Te Kauwhata Transfer Station will re-open on Sunday 17 May. Normal operating hours at both sites will resume. Both sites will only be accepting rubbish and greenwaste. At this stage no recycling will be accepted and there will be no onsite sorting from public loads – it’ll all be classed as rubbish. There will also be contactless payment at both sites – no cash.
Details about when Xtreme Zero Waste Resource Recovery Centre will be open to the public will be available as soon as possible.
Rubbish and recycling
Rubbish and recycling collection will continue has it has done through Alert Level 3. Details are available here.
All our walking tracks and walkways are open under Level 2. But the Hakarimata Summit Track in Ngaruawahia, co-managed by DOC and Waikato District Council, remains closed until further notice because of the high number of people who usually use the track leading to difficulties meeting Government guidelines on physical distancing and hygiene.
The Raglan Kopua Holiday Park will re-open on Friday 15 May while the Lake Hakanoa Motor Caravan Park in Huntly will re-open on Monday 25 May.
Council meetings will continue to be held via Zoom for at least the next few weeks. These will be livestreamed on the Council website during this time.
Waikato district Mayor Allan Sanson is pleased to see most of council’s facilities back up and running after weeks of being closed.
“During COVID-19 lockdown our community and our country’s health came first. Our facilities are a very important part of what makes the district such wonderful place to live and I am so happy to see them open again. We do need to be careful though.
“We’ve been given a bit more freedom, but we need to make space, wash our hands and stay away if we’re not feeling well. Together as a community we can continue to keep COVID-19 at bay.”