Four of the Rotorua Lakes Council elected members are aged over 70 and have got a head start on self-isolating at home. Journalist Kelly Makiha talks to them about how they are coping and intend to keep working in the coming weeks.
When you're long-serving district councillor Trevor Maxwell, staying at home is not something you're used to.
He's often asked to chair this, MC that, perform pōhiri at this and represent the council at that.
But with his appointment diary all but empty, he might even find himself doing something totally out of the ordinary - like watch a movie on Netflix.
Maxwell, 73, is among those aged over 70 who has been self-isolating since the Government's request on Saturday for those over 70 to stay home.
From Wednesday the rest of the country will follow suit as New Zealand will be on lockdown as we move to Alert Level 4 to combat Covid-19.
Maxwell, who is chairman or a member of several other boards, trusts and committees, said he did something today he hadn't done in a long time - he had a sleep in.
He said he was still keeping busy "but busy at home" and working via his iPad and phone had now become normality.
He said the last public outing he had was on Friday night when his family gathered at the Redwoods for fish and chips.
"I think the best thing we can do is stay positive and take time to spend with family. We all lead busy lives and in some ways this is helping me to slow down. I'll keep working as best I can, but at a leisurely pace.
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"By gee it makes you really appreciate what's around you. It helps you stop and smell the roses because your health is so important."
Fellow councillor Reynold Macpherson, who is also 73, said he and his wife, Nicki, had been in self-isolation for a week.
He said technology such as email, messaging and phone calls was keeping him busy.
"Constituents' concerns keep coming in and council officials are quick to respond because life goes on. The council will need to meet online to be safe."
He said self-isolating was the right thing to do.
"The central and local government's responses to the Covid-19 health crisis has been evidence-based and strategically pragmatic, anticipating the coming phases of the pandemic.
"Our poor, mostly Māori, and our elderly are most vulnerable to Covid-19 and to the effects of the economic slowdown. International analysts are no longer talking about a recession but a depression. I implore councillors to hold the coming rates rise to the Consumer Price Index of 1.9 per cent to help our families and businesses survive."
Councillor Merepeka Raukawa-Tait said she was in the age group the Government was concerned about.
"The advice has been to stay home. At this stage I am preparing to do that. I am currently setting up my home office to run more efficiently over the long term. I have Zoom available and audio and conference call facilities."
She said so far all her board meetings were going ahead, but via "virtual attendance".
"I have always believed 70 years is the new 50 years for many people. We are active, healthy, busy with our work and enjoy socialising however for those who do have a compromised immune system they must take extra care over the next few months. Kia kaha whanau ma."
Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick, 71, has already been in self-isolation since March 16, having recently returned from a trip to Australia.