Waipā residents under financial strain are being urged to chat to council if they are having difficulty paying for regular council-operated services during the lockdown period.

Water rates are now due for Cambridge residents and will be due for residents in Ōhaupō and Pukerimu at the end of April. Future water rates for all other areas will be put on hold while alert level four is active.

Waipā District Council mayor Jim Mylchreest said residents struggling to make these payments should contact council to discuss payment options.

"We provide a number of services that are essential to keeping you and your family healthy and safe throughout the level four lockdown and beyond. These include supplying safe drinking water, maintaining an operational wastewater system and making essential safety repairs to roads.

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"Your rates and contribution from central government are what pays for these key services to keep running and allow us to continue providing essential lifelines to our communities," said Jim.

"We do encourage you to try your best to make your payments, but do not hesitate to contact us if you are having difficulties and we will work out an option."

Jim said council would be looking at options to help ease financial strain on residents at a council committee meeting next Tuesday, April 7.

"We'll be discussing ways that we can help our communities during this time. It could be by changing our procurement policy to put more priority on buying locally or reducing late payment penalties.

"Before we make any decisions, however, we need to fully assess the effect of this crisis and what options are available."


■Water rates and other council payments can be paid online at www.waipadc.govt.nz/payit, through internet banking, over the phone or through direct debit plans.

■Residents wanting to discuss payment options can email rates@waipadc.govt.nz
More information about rates, including frequently asked questions are available at waipadc.govt.nz/our-services/rates