Update 2 – Covid-19 Response

24 March 2020

Covid-19 Stay calm, stay safe

Tuesday 24 March 2020

Message from Westland Mayor, Bruce Smith

We are in interesting times and the safety and security of our residents is paramount to our thinking.

From Tuesday 24 March, Council offices, the Library, i-SITE, swimming pool, museum, and the district’s playgrounds have been closed until further notice. All staff who can work remotely have been set up to do so.

I think continually about how I can ensure that I don’t infect a member of the public and that helps me to focus on the basics: avoid close contact, wash your hands thoroughly and work or stay at home.

New Zealand is of today on Alert Level 3, increasing to 4 in the coming days and this will impact on how our business operates. All of the essential services will still operate. We will still be able to get our groceries and medications.

My message to you is that this is a serious situation, stay calm and safe.

Covid-19 Stay calm, stay safe

Covid-19 Council Offices and Services

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday 23 March Council offices closed from 4.30pm.

Council appointed an Emergency Committee at an Emergency Council meeting at 3.00pm on Tuesday 24 March. This Committee is set up in response to the Covid-19 closures and will meet to determine matters within the authority of Council where the urgency of those matters precludes a full meeting of Council, or emergency legislation is enacted. Council cannot guarantee that a full quorum of five members will be able to attend a face-to-face meeting, as required by legislation and standing orders, during this time.

As much as possible all staff are working remotely keeping our services running.

  • Waste and recycling collections will continue as normal.
  • Kumara and South Westland Transfer stations operate as normal.
  • Franz Josef Transfer Station will be open: Fridays 2.30 – 4.30pm and Sundays 1 .00 – 4.30pm
  • Customers can still make service requests and make payments online and these will be dealt with as promptly as possible.

The following services are closed indefinitely:

  • Westland District Library
  • Playgrounds
  • Swimming pool
  • I-SITE
  • Museum
  • Hokitika Transfer Station

How to submit a service request

Covid-19 Council  Offices and Services

Covid-19 Official Government messages

Tuesday 24 March 2020

Council continues to encourage residents with concerns or questions to follow the Covid-19 official information, or for businesses.

Key messages to Tuesday 24 March are:

  • There is a four stage alert system. New Zealand is on Level 3 and will rise to level 4 by Thursday 26 March 2020. Restrictions will be in place for at least four weeks.
  • Staying home is essential for all New Zealanders.
  • Practice good hand washing hygiene, sneeze or cough into your elbow and if possible carry hand sanitizer and tissues.
  • If you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 in the first instance.
  • Pharmacies and medical clinics will remain open. Where possible consultations will be over the phone and your clinic can advise on ordering repeat regular medication.
  • If you need to leave your home for essential supplies, personal walks and active travel, practice physical distancing of two metres at all times.
  • Public transport and domestic air travel will only be available for essential workers and transport of essential goods.
  • Schools are closed except to the children of essential workers such as medical service staff and police.
  • All non-essential businesses must close within 48 hours, including bars, restaurants, cinemas and playgrounds. Essential services, such as supermarkets, pharmacies, emergency services, veterinary services and medical services will remain open.
  • Please support at risk people, those over 70 and with certain medical conditions, as they should stay home as much as possible.
  • Limit all non-essential domestic travel.
  • In response to COVID-19 the Government is acting to support the economy. The $12.1 billion package includes:
    • a wage subsidy scheme
    • leave and self-isolation support
    • business cash flow and tax measures.
    • If you’re not sure what assistance may be available, don’t know who to contact for help or if would just like more information, call the free government helpline on 0800 779 997 (8am–1am, 7 days a week).
  • New Zealand’s borders were closed to almost all international visitors as of 23:59 on Thursday 19 March 2020. Anyone entering New Zealand has been asked to self-isolate themselves for 14 days from arrival.

Covid-19 Official Government messages

Covid-19 Library Closure

Tuesday 24 March

Information about the library closure

From Tuesday 24 March the Library will be closed for the purposes of borrowing and using computing services.

The library will not be accepting returns while we are closed. Be assured loans have been automatically extended and there will be no fines issued for any item that is not returned during the library’s closure.

Library staff can be contacted over the phone 03 755 6208 and email library@westlib.co.nz to help you to access digital services.

Not already a library member? Sign up here for immediate access to digital services.

Covid-19 Library Closure

Covid-19 – Westland Medical Centre

Tuesday 24 March 2020

Information from the Westland Medical Centre

Westland Medical Centre have been advised to reduce in person consultations to protect our patients and staff.

We are now operating at Level 3 & 4 of the alert levels.

We are in the fortunate position to have two buildings available in order to set up separate consulting areas.

  • For people that we cannot assist over the phone and are not showing symptoms of infection, they will still be seen in the medical centre for ESSENTIAL routine care.
  • For unwell people (colds and flu) (not Covid-19 related) an appointment must be made. They will be seen AT 54 Sewell Street, the house next door to the medical centre, in a separate consulting area – this is an emergency centre and is wheel chair accessible.
  • For flu vaccines, please wait in your car on Railway Terrace. You will be called into our conference room to be kept separated.
  • For Covid 19 we have a separate area completely

We’re working, we’re seeing people that need to be seen, but are limiting staff and patient exposure.

Please contact the medical centre on 03-755 8180 to speak make appointments or speak to a staff member.

Covid-19 – Westland Medical Centre

Covid-19 Business support

Tuesday 24 March 2020

Business support available from Development West Coast

Development West Coast are assisting West Coast businesses to access the government’s business support package during the Covid-19 shutdown. Assistance is available over the phone or through video-conferencing. Contact Development West Coast on Ph: 0800 768 0140
Email: info@dwc.org.nz or see their website.

A short survey is also being undertaken to ensure that Development West Coast is well informed of the impact to local businesses and provide evidence-based information to advocate to central government on behalf of businesses.

The survey is available here.

Covid-19 Business support