23 March 2022

Today the Government made the following announcements about changes to its public health advice and COVID Protection Framework:

Effective from 11.59pm this Friday 25 March
Under the Red traffic light setting, indoor events may host up to 200 people, and no limit on outdoor events
Effective from 11.59pm 4 April
QR code scanning will no longer be mandatory, but businesses and facilities may still choose to use them.
Vaccine Passes will no longer be mandatory, although businesses and facilities may still choose to use them.

What does this mean for council services and facilities?

Between now and when the Government’s changes take effect, there will be no changes to how Council facilities operate, as per the Government’s public health order and COVID protection framework.

Our Carterton Events Centre has been safely providing community events and facilities throughout the Red setting and we are pleased we are now able to safely expand the audience numbers from 100 to 200.

The majority of Council services, facilities, and workplaces have been operating without Vaccine Passes. This  includes the Transfer Station, Cemetery, Operations Depot, Dog Pound, all Parks & Reserves, Haumanu House (including Foodbank and community garden), Recreation Trails, and the main Council office.

Our facilities currently operating with a Vaccine Pass requirement are the Events Centre and library. This was to ensure protection of the high-risk group of residents who use these facilities (ie. older people and unvaccinated children). Without a Vaccine Pass requirement under the Government’s Red setting, the Events Centre would not be able to hold events and would have meant a significant financial and cultural loss for over 95% of the community who hold Passes. Safety of our staff and residents is paramount.

As the Library is located in the Events Centre building, and shares an entrance, communal space and shared toilet facilities, it was included in the Vaccine Pass requirement.  There would be a significant cost to separate the library from the Events Centre.

In lieu of today’s announcement from the Government, we will be taking their public health advice into consideration and reviewing these settings. We will make a decision about Vaccine Passes prior to the change to the Government’s guidelines on 4 April.