As Aotearoa New Zealand settles into phase three of the Covid Omicron response plan, the team at Stratford District Council has settled into a new way of working.
Stratford District Council CEO Sven Hanne says a focus on business continuity means many staff are now working from a remote location on some days each week.
"All staff members who work from the main Miranda St building are now in one of two teams, working remotely some days and from their office on others. The two teams don't cross over, minimising the risk of entire departments being hit with the virus at the same time."
Every staff member working from the main building, as well as the mayor and elected officials, have been put into one of the two teams, he says.
"The intent is that we can continue to supply the essential services such as water, wastewater, stormwater, roading, building and resource consents and so on, without any interruption from the virus."
The library and swimming pool teams are working through their own systems to also minimise risk, he says.
From a customer point of view, access to council services generally hasn't changed, he says.
"You can still pick up the phone and speak to whoever you need, or visit our service desk and access any information you need."
Vaccine passes are not required to visit the service desk or the library, he says.
"While we have introduced a vaccine pass system for some sessions at the swimming pool, this has been done in a way to maximise potential use of the pool, while still ensuring everyone is able to use it at some point in the week."
Vaccine mandates have not been introduced for all council staff either, he says.
"We went through a process with staff of assessing the risk each individual role came with. This was fairer for all, and enabled us to identify roles that required vaccination versus ones that didn't."
• Disclaimer: Editor Ilona Hanne is married to the CEO of Stratford District Council