Kāpiti Coast District Mayor K Gurunathan is reassuring the community that essential council services will continue as usual as New Zealand moves into alert level 4 in the Covid-19 response.

"Our essential drinking water supply and waste water services will continue as usual.

"We are well set up to keep these services running while maintaining self-isolation protocols.

"Kerbside waste collectors in Kāpiti have advised that they will continue to collect kerbside rubbish but there will be no separate recycling or green waste collections from today.

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"Please put your recycling in your rubbish wheelie bin, not in your recycling crate or wheelie bin.

"The Ōtaki and Otaihanga Transfer Stations and Waikanae Recycling Centre will close at 5pm today until further notice as will Composting New Zealand's green waste drop-off site at Otaihanga.

"Residents who do not have kerbside rubbish collection are asked to stockpile their rubbish on their own property until the Transfer Stations reopen.

"We all need to act responsibly to keep our essential services running.

"That means doing the right thing by not dumping rubbish in our public spaces.

"We have been given very clear instructions from the Government and we absolutely need everyone to follow the rules and to be prepared to be in self-isolation for at least four weeks from midnight tonight."


Business
The Kāpiti Chamber of Commerce is supporting the Government's level 4 response and is urging the business community to remain connected as the country enters the four-week lockdown.

Kāpiti Chamber of Commerce chairwoman Jacinda Thorn said while the situation will get harder, it will also get better.

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"Our focus is on equipping our members with practical support to help them manage through the next few weeks.

"We are offering a Member to Member support service, where you can either offer or ask for, free advice in areas like strategy and cashflow management.

"We understand many of our businesses will be uncertain about the future — particularly those who will need to close.

"The Government has widened its business support package and I urge all local businesses to access support on offer during the next three months."

Kapiti Chamber of Commerce chairwoman Jacinda Thorn.
Kapiti Chamber of Commerce chairwoman Jacinda Thorn.

According to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) essential businesses able to remain open are those that support people and provide the necessities of life for everyone in New Zealand.

Up to 15 sectors of society have been identified as being essential services including supermarkets, pharmacies and banks.

This means food, medicine, healthcare, energy, fuel, waste-removal, internet and financial support will continue to be available, MBIE said.

Self-service laundry facilities and dairies will also remain open — on a "one in, one out" basis and the 2m distance rule to be adhered to at all times.

Some healthcare professionals are considered essential including vets, as are people who work in public safety and local and national Government.

-Business seeking additional information about the Covid-19 response can access Government updates from www.business.govt.nz
-Applications for subsidies and payments can be made via the Ministry of Social Development, at www.workandincome.govt.nz, with payment targeted within five days of application
-The BusinessNZ Network is supporting businesses and operating a nationwide advice line that is available to all businesses. Call 0800 800 362
-The Wellington Chamber helpline is available to Kāpiti members also, 0800 800 362, use code WGTNNZ.

The list of essential services may evolve over time with the finer details still being worked out. The latest updates can be found here.

Transport

Metlink has announced that alongside continuing to run public transport for essential service workers, and to enable communities to access supermarkets, pharmacies and health facilities, their services will be free until June.

This includes all bus and rail services.

"Greater Wellington continues to work closely with Government, unions and operators to ensure the ongoing health and welfare of public transport staff while providing this important service to essential workers and communities," Metlink general manager Scott Gallacher said.

"We are confident weekend timetables will be adequate for the significantly reduced demand, but we will be closely checking things as we all adjust to the new services."

Kapiti Line to Wellington departing from Waikanae stopping all stations at:
-5am — 7am hourly on the hour
-7am — 8pm half hourly at :00 and :30 past the hour
-8pm — 11pm hourly on the hour

Kapiti Line to Waikanae departing from Wellington stopping all stations at:
-6.14am
-7.14am — 7.14pm half hourly services departing at :14 and :44 past the hour
-7.14pm — 11.14pm hourly services departing at :14 past the hour

Coastguard New Zealand is asking people not to go out on the water during the lockdown period to avoid putting themselves or Coastguard volunteers in harm's way.

"Last year Coastguard volunteers responded to more than 3700 calls for help, proving that regardless of planning and preparation, people can't always rely on their own steam to get home," Coastguard New Zealand chief executive Callum Gillespie said.

"As individuals we need to recognise that our actions can have an effect on others.

"We have had a lot of calls and messages from the public asking if they're able to go out on the water during the lockdown period, the answer is no.

"Should you get into difficulty, you will quickly want help from Coastguard volunteers and staff, requiring them to leave self-isolation and come together to help you."

"Please don't put yourself or others at risk, stay off the water and out of harm's way as we unite against Covid-19."


Mr Gurunathan believes that going hard now is essential to protecting our community.

"Doing the hard yards now to stamp out Covid-19 will help protect our community from the worst of Covid-19," Mr Gurunathan said.

"Failure to stay at home and comply with the rules puts everyone in our community and across New Zealand at risk and will likely mean that we'll be in lock down for longer.

"I know it's hard but we need to stay calm and do what we're told. I encourage everyone to get themselves sorted and to get their neighbour's phone number, set up a community group chat. Your whanau, friends and immediate neighbours will help get you through this."

"Stay connected, be kind to one another and stay home."