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Update on Central Hawke’s Bay District Council’s response to COVID-19

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This afternoon we heard a major announcement from the Prime Minister in relation to COVID-19, and the steps she’s taking to eliminate the spread across New Zealand.         

We’re continuing to follow the guidance of the Ministry of Health and that means effective from 5.00pm Monday 23 March 2020, our non-essential facilities will be closed. This includes, but is not limited to, libraries, swimming pools, playgrounds, the Central Hawke’s Bay Museum and Central Hawke’s Bay Municipal Theatre. To see the full list of facility closures here: https://www.chbdc.govt.nz/our-council/covid-19/

What this means is that anyone outside of essential services must stay home and stop all interactions with others outside of those in your households. We know this is a big ask. However eradicating the disease is vital to protect people’s health and ensure our health system can cope and look after New Zealanders who become sick.

Our office will be closed, however you can still call us on 06 857 8060 24 hours, or email us on customerservice@chbdc.govt.nz. Our staff will advise what services are available to you. Please be assured that you will still have access to water, and your kerbside refuse and recycling collection will continue. Transfer Stations and Recycling Drop Off centres will be closed from tomorrow.

WHAT WE KNOW:

  • The government has put a four-level COVID-19 alert system in place, specifying public health and social measures to be taken against the virus.
  • Effective immediately, we are at level three (restrict) which means alternative ways of working are encouraged and non-essential businesses should close. By 11.59pm Wednesday 24 March, we will be at stage four (eliminate). This means people are instructed to stay at home, and all educational facilities and businesses will closed except for essential services and lifeline utilities.
  • Any New Zealanders outside of those in essential services must stay home and stop all interactions with those outside of your households. This is vital to protect people’s health.
  • You may go for a walk or exercise and enjoy nature, but keep a 2 metre distance from people at all times. You can take your children outside, however playgrounds are closed.
    • Food will always be available – production will continue, distribution will continue, supermarkets will continue. You will always have access to food.
    • Healthcare for those who need it will be available and medicines will be available too.
    • The Government has announced a COVID-19 recovery package to support New Zealand business, boost incomes, and support households. For more information about financial support go to workandincome.govt.nz or phone 0800 559 009.
    • Council are working in partnership with Te Taiwhenua o Tamatea.
      • The following Council facilities and services will be closed or suspended. This includes:
        • Waipawa Council office
        • Waipawa District Library
        • Waipukurau District Library
        • Waipawa Centennial Memorial Swimming Pool         
        • A W Parsons Heated Pool Complex website
        • Civic Theatre             
        • Central Hawke's Bay Municipal Theatre         
        • Central Hawke's Bay Museum           
        • All Community Halls               
        • Face to Face Building Consent and Resource Consent inspections (however processing of building and resource consents continues and we are awaiting guidance from MBIE on virtual inspections.)            
        • All Transfer Stations and Recycling Drop-off Centres 

WHAT WE DON’T KNOW:

  • We know that COVID-19 is going to dramatically impact our day-to-day lives for some time – but what we don’t know is just how long this impact will continue, or what exactly the impact will be.
  • The government has indicated that we are likely to be at stage four for at least four weeks, but this may change.
  • We don’t have certainty of what the future will bring, so we need to come together now to manage the spread of COVID-19, ensure the security of our infrastructure, and protect the most vulnerable members of our community.

WHAT WE NEED YOU TO KNOW:

  • We’re closely following the guidance of the New Zealand Government Ministry of Health, Hawke's Bay District Health Board and Hawke’s Bay Emergency Management Group have built a local plan in support of the national and regional response.
  • Our emergency response team has been activated, and this group is now wholly focused on actioning this plan.
  • We’re taking steps to protect our staff and your services. The government has instructed people to stay at home and this means our office staff are home too. Until we are advised otherwise, you won’t be able to visit our office in person, however you can phone us on 06 857 8060 to speak to our customer service team who will advise you on what facilities are available to you over the course of the shut-down.
  • Please remain calm, and be kind to your neighbours – together we can get through this!

We’ll keep coming back to you with regular local updates. Keep your eye on our central webpage - https://www.chbdc.govt.nz/our-council/covid-19/ for information directly communicated by Central Hawke’s Bay District Council. Remember though – the best website to bookmark for information relating to COVID-19 is www.covid19.govt.nz.

Please be assured that our business continuity plan is robust, agile, and committed to ensuring your access to essential services.

Together we thrive. E ora ngātahi ana.

 

 

 

23 March 2020

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