Half way there – Covid 19 update

9 April 2020

Service update: District Assets

9 April 2020


Council is currently carrying out only minimal and essential roading activities. This means that certain things such as debris removal and drainage activities are a lower priority and may take longer than usual. Council still encourages the public to make service requests, but there may be a delay in taking action unless they are causing a hazard.

Westroads contractors are carrying out regular checks of the roading network and carrying out work that is considered high priority. This includes slip clearing and response and recovery in the event of weather-related road disruption on roads that provide access routes for residents and businesses, and road safety to ensure the safe passage of freight and travellers.

Other services

3 waters services

An essential service, 3 waters is regularly monitored for public health purposes and contractors are responding to issues as necessary.

Waste & recycling management

This continues as an essential service. There are no changes to this service.

Transfer stations

Easter closures:

Hokitika and Franz Josef – closed Friday 10 April, reopening Tuesday 14 April

Haast Landfill and Whataroa Transfer Station – closed Sunday 12 April

All other transfer stations operating as normal.

Parks, cemeteries and public toilet facilities

These services remain open.

Play grounds & equipment / skate parks

These services remain closed.

Service update: District Assets

Caring for your health

9 April 2020

Flu vaccinations

The government has extended the time period for priority groups to get influenza vaccines free of charge, before they are made available to the general public, until 27 April.

This includes over-65 year olds, pregnant people, those with particular chronic conditions, young children with respiratory illnesses, and frontline health workers.

Getting a flu vaccination will help to reduce the burden on hospitals during the Covid-19 pandemic.

If you are eligible for a free vaccine, contact your medical centre to make an appointment.

Mental Health and Family Violence services

If you are struggling with your mental health, or you or a family member are at risk of family violence there are a number of helplines available to you:

  • Women’s Refuge: 0800 REFUGE or 0800 733 843
  • Hey Bro, helping men resist family violence: 800 HEY BRO or 0800 439 276
  • Need to talk service 1737 : Free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor.
  • Lifeline : 0800 543 354 or free text 4357 (HELP)
  • Youthline : 0800 376 633 or free text 234
  • Samaritans : 0800 726 666

Photo by Jamie Albright on Unsplash

Caring for your health

A new audiobook resource

9 April 2020

Ulverscroft, the one of the world’s leading publisher’s of unabridged audiobooks has given library users free access to their uLIBRARY audiobooks until 31 July 2020. There are hundreds of great audiobooks available to listen to. Visit their registration page and complete the form to get an access code and password. Then download the uLIBRARY app to your smartphone or tablet, or open in your internet browser and you’re ready to go. See How it Works for help using the system.

Side image – Photo by ERIC ZHU on Unsplash

Good Neighbour Awards

9 April 2020

Neighbourhood Support has launched the Good Neighbour Awards to recognise everyday Kiwis who are lending a hand, going above and beyond, and making communities safer, more resilient or connected during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Nominations are open to all residents of New Zealand who currently reside in the country during lockdown. If you make the winning nomination, both nominator and nominee receive a $50 Prezzy Card. Nominations will be running every week until lockdown ends. Make your nomination here: https://www.neighbourhoodsupport.co.nz/good-neighbour-awards

Submit your nomination by 7pm on Sunday to be considered for that week’s award otherwise your nomination will be considered for the following week. Winners will be announced on the Neighbourhood Support website, FacebookTwitter, and Instagram on Tuesdays starting on 14 April.

Side image  photo by Alex Jackman on Unsplash

Support for Farmers

9 April 2020

To support farmers, the Ministry for Primary Industries together with Beef + Lamb New Zealand, DairyNZ, AgFirst and Federated Farmers is providing remote feed planning support to farmers including a feed budgeting service and professional farm systems advice.

In the first instance, farmers will get a free assessment of their feed planning needs by their relevant industry or levy organisation, from there they can have access to an advisor who can discuss management options and avenues for practical support.

For farmers who require more in-depth support, they will be referred to a farm systems consultant, but there will be cost to this service.

To access this service there are three toll-free numbers:

  • Dry stock sector Beef + Lamb New Zealand: 0800BEEFLAMB (0800 233 352).
  • Dairy sector DairyNZ:  0800 4 DairyNZ (0800 4 3247969).
  • AgFirst:  0508 AGFIRST (0508 243 477).

This service will be available until 30 June 2020 at which time farmer need will be revised.

There are a number of farmer-specific tools and resources on the B+LNZ website about COVID-19 and feed and stock management.

Photo Whataroa A&P Show 2020 © Emma Rae

Support for Farmers

Further support for Businesses

9 April 2020

NZTA Fuel Excise Refunds

In some cases, NZTA can offer businesses refunds of fuel excise duty that is imposed by the government on fuel, except diesel. If your vehicle is used for the following purpose you may be entitled to a refund of excise duty (including the ACC levy) and GST:

  • as fuel in an exempted vehicle
  • as fuel in a road user charges-licensed vehicle
  • as fuel in a commercial vessel
  • for search and rescue purposes in a dedicated rescue vessel
  • for commercial purposes other than as fuel in any motor vehicle, vessel, or aircraft.

An application can be made each quarter. Find out more and register.

You will need to contact NZTA online as their telephone contact centre is currently closed.

Insolvency relief

The Government will be introducing legislation making changes to the Companies Act to help businesses facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable, with the aim of keeping New Zealanders in jobs.

The temporary changes include:

  • giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency duties under the Companies Act
  • enabling businesses affected by COVID-19 to place existing debts into hibernation until they are able to start trading normally again
  • allowing the use of electronic signatures where necessary due to COVID-19 restrictions
  • giving the Registrar of Companies the power to temporarily extend deadlines imposed on companies, incorporated societies, charitable trusts and other entities under legislation
  • giving temporary relief for entities that are unable to comply with requirements in their constitutions or rules because of COVID-19.

Find out more on the Companies Office website and speak to your accountant.

Photo by Casey Thiebeau on Unsplash

Further support for Businesses

Free business marketing webinars

9 April 2020

Two free webinars from Westland Technology, Innovation & Enterprise Hub

With the current restrictions on businesses and community groups, the WTIE Hub is offering two webinars, free to local business and community members at the end of April, to help organisations begin planning their recovery.

These sessions were originally planned for March at the tech Hub, before the lockdown announcement, which necessitated a change in delivery.

The sessions run by technology presenter David Kinane, will look at online tools available to help connect with audiences and boost social media engagement.

Each webinar starts at 5.30 and will run for 40 minutes.

Thursday 23 April, 5.30pm: 5 Digital Marketing (free or fremium) tools for your business.

David  will take a minute look at 5 easy to use tools that when linked together will provide a solid platform to engage with chosen online audiences and boost engagement.

Thursday 30 April, 5.30pm: Engage or Disengage: Playing the Social Media engagement game.

Attendees will look at what it now takes to get noticed by the algorithms of platforms such as Instagram.  Engagement is a two way street on social media, it’s a set of constantly shifting and opaque rules that businesses need to be aware of to ensure your product is always high on the recommended list.

Registrations are being taken on line at the Westland Technology Education Trust’s website: Link to Registration for webinars.

David Kinane is currently delivering Ministry of Education professional learning with local schools and the WTIE Hub wants to share his expertise to a greater audience. David has presented e-Learning workshops and theory at conferences all over New Zealand and has also presented on e-Learning pedagogy and integration at conferences in Hong Kong, Australia and the Czech Republic. His clients also include commercial technology companies who supply and support New Zealand schools with their technology requirements.

The WTIE Hub is also canvassing the community and businesses for ideas of how the Hub can help. If you have ideas for community education, business development webinars (or events post lockdown) please contact

Yvonne Simpson, Co-ordinator, at: yvonnesimpson.techspace@gmail.com

Free business marketing webinars