Council services following lockdown

27 March 2020

Customer Services & LGOIMAs

Friday 27 March 2020

Customer services

Our building may be closed but our Customer Services are still working hard. Staff are available by sending an email to or phoning 03 756 9010 or 0800 474 834.

Unfortunately, postal services will not be delivering non-essential mail. So if something went into the mail before the close down it may not be received. Please contact us if you have any concerns.

Local Government and Official Information

The Governance team is set up remotely and continuing to process Local Government and Official Information Act requests. The team aim to complete all requests as normal within the 20 day timeframe but there may be some delays during this period.

Library’s e-services are go!

Friday 27 March 2020

The library is closed until further notice.

All e-services are available and can be accessed on the library’s website.

Library staff are available to assist on 03 755 6208 or email

Finance, up and running

Friday 27 March 2020

It is business as usual for the Finance team and all of our staff are working remotely as councils still have to meet their financial obligations during this time.

Invoices are only being processed electronically as staff work remotely. Please send the invoice to with the purchase number on the invoice. If your invoice does not have a purchase order it cannot be processed.

Making payments

Making payments to Council can be done online with a credit card using payment services on the Council website. The following payments can be made:

  • Animals (dog registration)
  • Building Consents
  • Certificates
  • Invoices
  • LIM Requests
  • Rates
  • Resource consents
  • Water charges

Once the payment type is selected an example and where to find the required reference to fill out the web form is shown. See the video below.

Alternatively, you can make a payment from your online banking directly to our bank account:

Westland District Council, 03 0850 0110046 000

Please use the same required reference as for a credit card payment.

How to make a payment on our website

Finance, up and running

Essential Services

Friday 27 March

Essential Council services such as water, waste water, roads, cemeteries, public toilets and waste management continue to operate safely and effectively during the current lockdown period.

Council contractors have all implemented safe working practices to reduce the risk to staff required for essential works to continue. Contingency plans are in place and we have an adequate additional supply of chemicals in stock to safely operate all water treatment plant facilities.

Kerb side rubbish collections continue on the normal schedule. Most transfer stations are operating as usual, however Hokitika is only open on weekdays.

Services at responsible camping sites are not being provided and the rubbish bins and toilets are being removed.

Cemeteries are operational, but mass gatherings, including funerals cannot go ahead, see the Covid-19 website for further details.

Please remember to only flush the three P’s!

There has been a significant increase in usage of wet wipes during the current Covid-19 situation. These should not be flushed down the toilet. Wet wipes cause unnecessary damage to the pipes and require work to unblock the pipes.

Photo by Curology on Unsplash

Essential Services

Building Control Services

Friday 27 March 2020

Good news!

Our team is currently set up and working from home.  This means that some services can still be undertaken and completed.  While the council office remains closed and no onsite inspections can be undertaken, the following services are still able to be provided for building consents:

  • General phone questions and queries,
  • Replying to emails
  • Reviewing and accepting incoming documents for consents
  • Importing, vetting and processing of consents
  • Remote/photo inspections for Owner/builders working on their own properties – you will be able to book and have certain inspections undertaken remotely.  You will need to ring to discuss these.

Please contact us by email or phone 03 756 9010 or 0800 474 834 if you have any questions or queries.

Message from MBIE

The Building Assurance Team from Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment have provided the following information:

Information about essential business for the building and construction sector is now available on the website.


Building Control Services

Planning Department Services

Friday 27 March 2020


At this time the team is unable to accept new LIMs for processing as we are unable to access paper based files.

Resource Consent applications and processing

The team intend to continue processing Resource Consents and we are still accepting applications. If a consent application results in the need for a site visit the process will be put on hold until we are able to conduct a site visit.

Compliance matters

If you have previously been contacted regarding compliance issues, or if you would like to report a compliance issue, staff can still undertake a level of desktop compliance. Site investigations will have to wait until the isolation period is lifted, however we can still issue abatement notices and would treat any obvious actions to ignore the Westland District Plan provisions or Resource Management Act during this time very seriously.

Planning Department Services

Compliance services

Friday 27 March 2020

Freedom Camping

Council’s Responsible Camping areas have been closed to all non-self- contained vehicles and campers. No services, such as waste collection, will be provided until further notice.

Campers should attend at a commercial campground in the alternative where they can be better accommodated and keep up to date with communications and announcements.

Information from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

Self-contained vehicles can be used as accommodation by persons that are self-isolating during COVID-19 Alert Level 4.  Self-contained vehicles have a toilet, water and waste facilities and will display a sticker confirming they meet the Self-Containment Standard NZS 5465:2001.   Persons using self-contained vehicles to self-isolate should however be aware of other risks they may face like access to water and disposal of waste and practise heightened cleaning and hand washing protocols and social distancing at all times.

Those using self-contained vehicles to self-isolate are strongly encouraged to stay at commercial campgrounds, which are essential services and permitted to stay open.  People in self-contained vehicles must also stay at the same site for the entire duration of Alert Level 4 (unless they are covered by the extension for domestic travel that runs until 11.59pm on 27 March).

Vehicles that are not self-contained must not be used for self-isolation.   Any persons still in vehicles that are not self-contained must move into alternative accommodation immediately.    People seeking assistance with finding alternative accommodation can call the Temporary Accommodation Service on 0508 754 163.

The New Zealand Police are responsible for enforcing the self-isolation requirements.   They are assigning significant resources to identifying any persons that are not following these requirements and to ensuring that such persons do comply.

Dog Control

Dog control services will be limited during the time of national isolation. Staff are still available over the phone but callout services will be managed on a case-by-case basis.

All other administrative matters will be deferred until further notice.


Compliance services

Covid-19 – Information for Businesses

Friday 27 March 2020

Detailed information for businesses, employers and sole traders is available here.

Economic response package and eligibility

Government support for businesses affected by COVID-19 currently includes:

  • wage subsidy scheme
  • leave and self-isolation support
  • business cash flow and tax measures
  • business finance support loan and mortgage holidays
  • wider $12.1 billion package.

Wage subsidies will be available for businesses significantly impacted by COVID-19 including:

  • employers that are struggling to retain employees
  • sole traders
  • self-employed
  • existing businesses
  • registered charities
  • non-government organisations
  • incorporated societies
  • post settlement governance entities
  • new businesses less than a year old.

The subsidy is for 12 weeks. It is:

  • $585.80 per week for a full-time employee (20 hrs or more)
  • $350.00 per week for a part-time employee (less than 20 hrs).

More information on who qualifies for the wage subsidy, definitions for wage subsidy qualifications, and how to apply, can be found from Work and Income. You may also need a New Zealand Business Number (NZBN) to apply.

COVID-19 business support  — Work and Income

NZBN  – New Zealand Business Number

Leave and self-isolation support

Workers and businesses have responsibilities to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The purpose of the COVID-19 leave and self-isolation scheme is to support workers financially to self-isolate, or while ill with COVID-19.

From 17 March 2020, the COVID-19 leave payment will be available to support people financially if they cannot work from home and:

  • need to self-isolate
  • can’t work because they are sick with COVID-19
  • can’t work because they are caring for dependents who are required to self-isolate or who are sick with COVID-19.

This is subject to change as we move to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 and we expect further announcements this week. More information on who qualifies for the leave payment, and how to apply, can be found from Work and Income. You may also need a New Zealand Business Number (NZBN) to apply.

Mortgage holiday and business finance schemes

The specific details of this initiative are being finalised and agreed urgently and banks will make these public in the coming days.

  • a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been affected by the economic disruption from COVID-19.
  • The Government and the banks will implement a $6.25 billion Business Finance Guarantee Scheme for small and medium-sized businesses, to protect jobs and support the economy.

 Essential businesses

Find information about essential businesses.

Essential businesses include supermarkets, dairies, healthcare and pharmacies, vets, and utility suppliers. Businesses that supply the construction industry are open for trade customers only.

Government Helpline

This website is the fastest way to find help and advice about the COVID-19 situation in New Zealand. If you are unable to find what you need, and are not sure who to contact for help, call the free government helpline on:

0800 779 997 (8am–1am, 7 days a week) or on 0800 22 66 57 (9am-5pm, Monday-Friday).

Covid-19 – Information for Businesses

Message from Fire & Emergency NZ

Friday 27 March 2020

Fire and Emergency is well-prepared and ready to respond to emergencies as usual during the nationwide self- isolation period. We will continue to respond to emergencies.

But we’d like people to help by being vigilant and by checking their homes are fire safe.

Fire and Emergency suggests using this time to check your workspace set up to ensure plugs aren’t overloaded. Make sure your heating source is at least a metre away from everything – including other people, laundry and furniture. Keep your cooking surfaces free from grease and never, ever leave pans unattended on the stove top. For more information see this media release.


Message from Fire & Emergency NZ