Covid-19

Last updated 31March 2020 at 4:15 pm
The Waikato District Council Emergency Management Centre (EOC) is now activated, after a nationwide state of national emergency was declared at 12.21pm on Wednesday 25 March due to COVID-19.

This pandemic requires a significant and coordinated response by and across central and local government. Our role is to respond to the non-health consequences of COVID-19, across the Waikato district. We are also supporting Hamilton City Council and the District Health Boards.

 

For the most up-to-date information about the New Zealand COVID-19 situation visit www.COVID-19.govt.nz

Call the free government helpline on 0800 779 997 (8 am–1 am, 7 days a week) if you’re not sure what help may be available, or don’t know who to contact for help.

Freephone 0800 800 405 which is for anyone in our district struggling to get food, groceries, medication or other household goods and services, particularly those facing hardship, the disabled, at risk groups, and people without access to their own transport.

 

Service changes

Council will continue to provide essential services to its communities. There will still be safe drinking water, rubbish will continue to be collected and residents can continue to flush toilets.

All Council offices, sites and community facilities, including community halls, pools, playgrounds and libraries are closed. Huntly and Raglan campgrounds are also closed. 

There are now FREE Community Based Assessment Centres (CBACs) in Ngaruawahia and Huntly.

Community Based Assessment Centres

There are now FREE Community Based Assessment Centres (CBACs) in Ngaruawahia and Huntly.

Ngaruawahia Panthers Rugby League Club
Opened Thursday 26 March - 9am to 3pm
Whatawhata Road Ngaruawahia 
  • Drive-Thru
Huntly War Memorial Hall
Opened Friday 27 March - 10.30am to 3pm 
Wight St Street, Huntly 
  • Drive-Thru

For full details, including when you should or shouldn’t go to the centre please visit the Waikato District Health Board's website.

You can also phone Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for guidance on whether assessment and testing is needed. If you cannot get through to Healthline you can also phone your general practice/doctor for advice.

Consents

The Consents Team will have reduced capability and some resources over the next four weeks.

 We will primarily be focussing on applications that we are currently processing. These include resource consents (land use and subdivision), pre-applications, duty planner enquiries, LIMs, property information requests and s223/s224 applications.

We are still able to process new LIMs and Property Enquiries except where we cannot access physical records – so we will talk to those customers if they are affected. We can continue to receive Duty Planner enquiries but it will take us longer to get a response to customers.

We can continue to receive and will start processing resource consents but only if lodged electronically to applications@waidc.govt.nz. We can continue to receive and will start processing 223 and 224 applications but only if lodged electronically to subdivisions@waidc.govt.nz

 We will be working in a remote way from our homes, so things are likely to take a little longer. Please note that there are some activities staff will not be able to do – site visits, inspections, face-to-face meetings, notifications and hearings.

We will talk to customers when their applications are affected by these limitations.  We will be doing our best and taking work as far as we can but we cannot promise that all applications or enquiries with us will be issued or resolved over the lockdown period. 

Building services

There will no building inspections for the next four weeks. Our duty inspectors will not be available for face-to-face meetings but they are available by email or phone, however things may take a little longer than usual.

Get in touch with us:

Rubbish and recycling

Rubbish and recycling collection services are running as normal in some areas. 

For our Tuakau community, please ensure your wheelie bin lid is closed with the yellow tag on handle so our contractors can collect safely and without damaging bins.

For our bag service, it is as normal with blue sticker for collection.

As the Covid-19 situation progresses, please be patient and understanding should any changes occur - these will be communicated to you. 

To ensure the health and safety of our staff and our contractors, we are asking people to be more vigilant when it comes to putting out their waste and recycling.

Recycling 

This is a reminder that your crates are for glass bottles and jars, plastics with recycling symbols 1, 2 and 5, tins and cans only. 

Please put:

  • Glass in one crate 
  • Tins, cans and plastics (labelled 1, 2 and 5)in the other. 
  • Secured and flattened cardboard/paper should go between or under a crate or in a cardboard box not in the crate.

If you only have one crate, please rotate your recycling. Glass one week and plastic, tins and cans the next week. 

All items are to be washed clean (wash it like you would your dishes).

We have noticed that some recycling crates are being contaminated with other waste like dirty clothes, nappies, wipes, tissues, and food cartons. This is very concerning when considering the potential effects of the COVID-19 virus.

 Please don’t be offended if your recycling is not collected - Please sort and clean more diligently next week. 

Raglan

Xtreme Zero Waste is closed until further notice. This means you will need to store your recyclables (glass, plastics, aluminium cans, tin, paper and cardboard) until it can be collected and processed at a later date. 

Raglan kerbside collections for foodwaste and pre-paid bags only are as follows:

  • Existing Tuesday and Wednesday collections will now be Wednesdays
  • Existing Thursday and Friday collections will now be Fridays

Please keep all normally designated food scraps coming in. Ensure no wipes, tissues, fruit stickers, plastics or non-compostables are in your food bin.

Glen Murray

The monthly Glen Murray recycling drop off in April will be postponed until May. We understand this is an inconvenience but it is to ensure that we are keeping you and our contractor safe. There is significant risk that a gathering of people will mean appropriate social distancing cannot be maintained.

You will need store your recyclables for this period and they are ensure washed and clean. 

As it’s an essential service, we want to ensure your recycling can continue to be collected and processed, but we need to make sure our drivers and runners are safe.

Transfer stations

Both Te Kauwhata and Huntly transfer stations are now closed to the public until further notice. This is due to it not being deemed an essential service and appropriate social distancing within the sites is difficult to maintain.

Collection of refuse and recycling from infected household:
If you or your whanau have been diagnosed with COvid19, we are asking you to retain your refuse and recycling for a week. Please ensure all recycling is washed clean. Double bag any waste before it goes to kerb. We are sorry for the inconvenience but we want to ensure the safety of our collection team

Libraries

Our Libraries are currently closed. There will be no overdue charges while the libraries are closed and all due dates have been extended.

If you receive any communication from us about your borrowed items please ignore them at this time.

Please keep yourself safe and hold on to your borrowed items until the libraries re-open.

Don't forget you have access to over 18,000 items with our eBooks via the Wheelers app and a variety of magazines through RB Digital.

Proposed District Plan hearings

The Hearing Panel and staff are currently working through how the Proposed District Plan hearings might be impacted by the move to COVID19 Alert Level 4.

All submitters will be notified and the website updated once a process and its detail is finalised. The Hearing Panel has advised the specific submitters that they anticipate that Hearing 12 Country Living will still go ahead  on 7 April using an internet connection, again, more details on this will follow in the coming days.

Event changes

Waikato District Council will be suspending all approvals for events across the district for at least the next four weeks.

Events due to take place after the four weeks isolation period will be cancelled as per the Governments direction to cancel all mass gatherings. 

We will be unable to continue processing tentative events during this time. 

Council decisions during Covid-19


On Wednesday 24 March Council approved an emergency decision-making processes to ensure that the Council can continue to make decisions throughout the COVID-19 pandemic Level’s 3 and 4.

Council adopted a ‘delegated decision making’ model to ensure that urgent decisions can be made, even if it is impractical for the usual number of Councillors to be physically present at the time of a decision.

The delegation model includes establishing an Emergency Committee comprising six elected members (Mayor Sanson, Deputy Mayor Bech and Councillors Gibb, Sedgewick, Smith and Patterson), with a quorum of just two members.

If it is impractical to convene a meeting of the Emergency Committee (as may be the case under COVID-19 Alert Level 4), the Council approved delegation to any two members of the Emergency Committee the powers, responsibilities and duties of the Council.

If the two delegated members are unable to exercise the delegated powers, the Chief Executive (or the Deputy Chief Executive if the Chief Executive is unavailable), in consultation with the Mayor (or Deputy Mayor if the Mayor is unavailable; or the relevant Committee Chairperson if the Deputy Mayor is unavailable; or the relevant Committee Deputy Chairperson if the Committee Chairperson is unavailable) is delegated the Council’s powers responsibilities and delegations.

Council voted that in event there is a legislative change to enable elected members attending via audio or audio-visual link to be counted as present for the purposes of the quorum, that Council’s standing orders be amended to give that effect.

Council also suspended all other committees and community boards of the Council.

The Chief Executive’s financial delegation was increased to $1.5 million to allow for unanticipated urgent expenditure. The Chief Executive would be required to report back to the Emergency Committee any exercise of this increased financial delegation.

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