South Waikato District Council service levels...
South Waikato District Council has reviewed the Government guidelines for its services and operations at Alert Level 2 (starting earliest Thursday 14 May). This media statement captures all changes and the health and safety requirements that will be in place at many of our public facilities. Council will provide this information in bite-size pieces for separate web pages and social media posts.
“Our primary focus is to protect our workforce, our contractors and members of our community to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said Ben Smit, Council’s Chief Executive. “We are required to work under a number of regulations during these unusual times. We look forward to the community’s support on these measures when you visit our facilities.”
“Council would like to thank our community for their patience, understanding and kindness during the past six weeks,” continued Mr Smit. “It has certainly been an unusual time. We are very much looking forward to seeing you back at our facilities.”
Council service Alert Level 2 hygiene operations include:
- Physical distancing in public areas, including line marking and limits to number of people in facilities/meeting rooms/areas.
- Contact tracing which is a national requirement by Government and the DHB and includes our community providing Council officials with full name, phone number, email address, date and time of visit.
- Contactless payments preferred, over cash. If cash handling, appropriate PPE will be worn.
- Hygiene standards include hand sanitisation, sneeze shields, regular cleaning of high contact areas, restrictions of use of meeting rooms, increased cleaning regimes (eg, two hourly for public toilets) and other Level 2 requirements.
Some Council staff will resume working from the office from Thursday 14 May in a staggered process to avoid everyone starting at once. There will be regular cleaning of high contact areas, hand sanitisation stations, limit of staff numbers in any one space and restrictions on sharing office equipment.
The Council offices and libraries are opening, on staggered first days and for non-standard times:
- The Tokoroa Council office will be open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm STARTING FROM Thursday 14 May.
- The Putāruru office (for Council services only) will be open Monday to Friday from 8am to 3.30pm STARTING FROM Thursday 14 May.
- The Putāruru library service will be open Monday to Friday from 8am to 3.30pm and on Saturdays from 9.30am to 12.30pm STARTING FROM Monday 18 May.
- The Tokoroa library will be open from Monday to Friday from 9.30am to 3.30pm and on Saturdays from 9.30am to 12.30pm STARTING FROM Monday 18 May.
- The Tīrau i-SITE will be open from Tuesday to Saturday from 9.30am to 3.30pm STARTING FROM Thursday 21 May.
The Tokoroa Library is limited to a maximum capacity of 30 people, the Putāruru library/office 20 people, 80 people in the South Waikato Indoor Pools; and a maximum of 10 people per group in each of the three spaces at the South Waikato Sport and Events Centre.
Returned library items will be cleaned appropriately before being put back on shelves, drinking water fountains are not in service, high contact areas will be cleaned regularly and physical distancing markings are in place.
Free internet sessions will be limited to 30 minutes per person, per day using Chromebooks that are easier to sanitise between users. Stand-alone computer terminals are not in use for hygiene reasons. A weekly Books 2 U contactless delivery service will be available for library members, prioritised for borrowers aged 65+ and families with known health concerns. Books and other items can be ordered via the online catalogue or phoning the libraries, and will be delivered to homes across the district.
Magazines, newspapers and other browsing items that we cannot sanitise will not be available under Level 2. The toy collection at the Tokoroa Library remains suspended until further notice. Library programmes, events, classes and regular meet-ups, including Toddler Tales, Library Lovers’ and Progress to Health sessions continue to be on hold.
The South Waikato Indoor Pool facility will not be open from Thursday 18 May, not COVID-19 related. Unfortunately a significant water leak has developed that needs repairing prior to opening. An opening date will be notified as soon as possible.
The Events Centre is open from Thursday 14 May. Bookings welcome. Permitted numbers of no more than 10 per group under Alert Level 2 will be strictly adhered to.
The public will see no real change to roadwork activity from Level 3 to Level 2. Please maintain appropriate physical distancing with our crews on the ground.
Three waters management – wastewater, water supply and stormwater, continues as normal with limited person-to-person contact and use of appropriate PPE.
The Tokoroa landfill is already open to the public with various requirements in place including physical distancing, contact tracing, contactless payments, limited numbers on site and traffic management (until deemed unnecessary). Opening times are Tuesday to Sunday from 9am to 4pm, until further notice.
The Putāruru Transfer Station has the necessary operational requirements in place to open, however Council is waiting on traffic management plan approval because this facility opens directly on to the State Highway. At the time of writing we don’t have an opening date, but anticipate it will be next week.
Croad Place will be open under Level 2, but not from the outset; a date will be advised when finalised. Once Croad Place opens, recycling material from households and drop-off zones will be processed as normal.
Household urban collections continue. As mentioned once Croad Place opens, recycling will be processed as normal. Householders will again see multiple trucks operating. Please recycle responsibly – rinse containers, flatten cardboard, glass only in the green crates, tins and plastics in the maroon and paper stacked and bundled to the side of the crates.
Recycling drop-off zones will continue to operate with material going to Croad Place for normal processing once that facility opens.
Rural reserves are all open to the public with toilets, showers and bbqs available for use.
Te Waihou Walkway and Waikato River Trails are open under Level 2 because physical distancing of one metre can be maintained.
Playground equipment, skateparks, skatebowls, basketball hoops, fitness equipment and BBQ facilities can be used from Thursday 14 May. Our contractor is giving all equipment a waterblast and disinfection. This work will be done across the district over the coming weeks.
Sportsgrounds will be open, but organised sports are expected to take some time to prepare to resume. It is important that sports codes and clubs do not rush into starting activities again. It is essential to get all the protocols regarding contact tracing, cleaning and hygiene, gatherings and physical distancing in place before activity resumes again, and ensure that everyone in all clubs or organisations are on the same page. Please work closely with your regional and/or national organisation to get advice on how to make your activity safe. Council will need evidence that all protocols are in place before sporting matches can begin.
All urban toilets will be open and cleaned every two hours during work hours. This includes all of the toilets in The Dog in Tīrau and the Tokoroa CBD toilets.
Community halls will be open. Booking numbers must be consistent with Level 2 requirements of no more than 10 per group, with contact tracing and appropriate cleaning regimes in place.
The airfield is open with appropriate signage requesting people to do their own contact tracing. Database information for planes landing will be used for contact tracing too. Level 2 requirements on event numbers of no more than 10 per group will be adhered to.
From Monday 18 May, the Urban Connector service will include the Tokoroa town circuit, the Mangakino to Tokoroa run and the District Circuit between Tokoroa, Putāruru and Tīrau. Physical distancing required, the bus is cleaned regularly and remains free under Level 2.
Civil Defence responsibilities
Some Council staff continue to work either full time or part time in a Civil Defence role. The joint South Waikato and Taupo Emergency Operating Centre is combining with Waipa, Otorohanga and Waitomo into a Southern EOC.
No substantive change to noise control, animal control and compliance.
Processing and certification of building consents will continue remotely and onsite, inspections will continue with a minimum of 24 hours notice required.
Food Act general health inspections and complaint investigations will occur either remotely or on site as necessary. Complaints responded to remotely or via site investigation.
Administration and reporting for the Control and Supply of Alcohol will continue remotely. When and if a premises is trading and is due for an inspection, then an onsite inspection will take place.