Mayoral update for 24 March

24 March 2020

Good afternoon Wellington, I’m Andy Foster, your Mayor.

Since the Government’s decision to move to Covid-19 alert level 3, and to alert level 4 from tomorrow, things have been moving very quickly.

These are unprecedented times, as you will be aware. As such, I want to make sure I’m keeping you up to date with the decisions that the council is making.

Parking – the City Council has turned off its metered parking system in the central city. This means motorists do not have to pay for on-street parking in the immediate future.

There will still be parking enforcement in the city and suburbs. Our focus will be on safe and considerate parking.

The Cable Car has ceased operating until further notice – principally because patronage has dropped dramatically.

E-scooters will be removed from the streets tomorrow as they are seen as a high risk in terms of possible Covid-19 spread due to the number of people who could potentially use them each day.

Dog registration has been put on hold for the immediate future.

For local businesspeople, there’s an online workshop tomorrow at 10am. This workshop is specifically targeted at the retail and hospitality sectors but will be useful also to businesses experiencing a very significant revenue loss. Go to the webpage of WellingtonNZ for further details.

Regarding the Annual Plan and the impact of Covid-19 on Wellingtonians - there’s great pressure on businesses and Wellington ratepayers due to the current situation, so we’re working through some options for rates to ease the burden that people are currently facing.

This includes both the 2020/21 rates and also for the fourth instalment of the 2019/20 year and will be informing the public as soon as we can in order to give people some certainty at this difficult time.

Most of us are already working from home. As of midnight tomorrow, we will be in lockdown. The next four weeks will be very challenging, but together we can make it through this. Please continue to follow the Ministry of Health guidelines to keep yourselves safe. Be safe, be calm, be kind. I will give you another update tomorrow. Kia kaha Wellington.