18 August 2021

COUNCILS QUICK TO RESPOND TO LEVEL 4 LOCKDOWN

Wairarapa’s three district councils moved quickly to reactivate a coordinated response to the Covid-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown that came into effect at 11.59pm on Tuesday.

Masterton Mayor Lyn Patterson said while the lockdown came with little warning, councils were prepared.

“I know this lockdown will have come as a shock to many in our community but we have been here before and as councils we have strong regional plans in place to ensure we continue to provide essential services at Level 4,” she said.

Water and wastewater treatment will continue, as will urban kerbside collection of rubbish and recycling, essential roading maintenance and repair, and stormwater management to prevent flooding.

A rates instalment is due on Friday, 20 August, but as Council offices will not be open for in-person payments, all three Councils have grace periods in place before late payment penalties apply. Check each council’s website for details. Online payments and direct debits will continue to be processed.

“A full list of available council services under Level 4 has been uploaded on our websites. We’ll continue to keep our essential services running so that our communities can concentrate on keeping themselves and their families safe,” Mayor Patterson said.

“We are all familiar with the Government’s messages – stay home, stay safe, be kind. Our community has done a great job at fighting Covid-19 in the past and I know we will get through this lockdown in good shape. Don’t go out unless you have to and use the Covid-19 tracer app – and remember that supermarkets will remain open so there is no need to panic buy.”

From 11.59pm tonight, masks will be mandatory for everyone over 12 years old in all public places where businesses are offering services at Level 4. From supermarkets to service stations, pharmacies and doctors’ offices, please mask-up when heading out.

Carterton Mayor Greg Lang shared Mayor Patterson’s view and urged people to look out for each other.

“It’s really important we stay calm and stick to the guidelines. We have done this before, and we can do it again. Our councils were prepared for this eventuality and we are here to support our communities and local businesses however we can.
“Staying connected while being physically isolated is something we know our communities do well, so please remember to call your older family members and neighbours to check on them, especially those who you know may not be connected online.
“Looking after each other also means buying only what you need and leaving essential items available at the supermarket for others who may need them.

“It’s really important you still seek medical help where you need it as healthcare services are still available – you will just need to call ahead first.”

South Wairarapa Mayor Alex Beijen added the risk should not be underestimated.

“Covid-19 Delta variant infection in the community is serious. Knowing what we know about how quickly the Delta variant spreads and how much worse its symptoms are, we must follow the Government’s call and hunker down,” he said.

“We need to look after our families and, as this lockdown may continue beyond this week, keep an eye out for neighbours and friends as well, especially those who need support. This needs to be managed carefully, observing social distancing, using a mask in public places, scanning the Covid-19 app wherever you go, and maintaining our family ‘bubbles’. Also, check the council’s website for the latest update on our services.

“We constantly advocate what is best for our region. We hope Wairarapa will be safe and it will be business as usual soon. If not, then we know we have been there before and have fared better than other regions. We will hope for the best. Stay safe New Zealand – we’ve got this,” Mayor Beijen said.

Mayor Patterson said Wairarapa appeared to be responding well to Level 4 requirements.

“I would like to thank the community for doing what’s right and sticking to the rules,” she said. “It’s awesome to see our region responding proactively and quickly, with little panic and no fuss.

“Lockdowns are not easy, but with our community working together to protect themselves and each other by sticking to Government guidance, we will get through this.”

Information on council services under Alert Level Four are available on the individual council websites.

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