Tararua District Council has provided an update on the availability of services and facilities as Covid-19 alert level 4 kicks in.

The council has activated its Emergency Operations Centre in Dannevirke in response to this event and continues to follow guidance from Central Government while collaborating with regional partners to coordinate a local/regional response as required.

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.

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· All libraries are closed. Those with library items are asked to hold on to them until libraries re-open as return slots are closed.

· The Woodville i-Site is closed. However, 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.

The 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 email the council at info@tararuadc.govt.nz or complete a request via the website www.tararuadc.govt.nz/home/report-it

· Drinking water and wastewater services

· Solid waste services

· Cemeteries

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· Response to stormwater events

· Public toilet maintenance. The council is closing some public toilets but will have signs up directing people to the nearest toilet.

· Essential or emergency maintenance of roads and bridges.

· Animal services: These include caring for impounded dogs, investigating dog attacks and seizures for Police and 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.

The removal of solid waste is considered an essential service. However, some changes to normal operations have been implemented.

Where possible people are encouraged to clean and store their recycling. Other waste should continue to be disposed of 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.

To keep its staff and families safe, the council has a large number of staff 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.

Some council-contracted businesses are also required to work during this Level 4 lockdown, for example, contractors working on the Pahiatua Water Treatment plant.

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

The council is both making and receiving payments as usual wherever possible. Anyone having difficulty in making payments to the council for any reason can phone to discuss available options.

Who to contact and where to get information

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 available from 8am–1am, seven days a week.

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

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