Mayoral update for 28 March

28 March 2020

Good afternoon everyone, I’m Mayor Andy Foster. What a day!

Day three of the lockdown and from what I see and hear we Wellingtonians are doing a great job – following the rules, because we know it matters.

It was an interesting and unforgettable experience going to my local supermarket in Karori this morning.

The queue stretched around not just one corner but several corners, everyone well spaced out.

Our queue took between an hour and a half, and an hour and three quarters, just to get inside, but no complaints despite the wet and cold weather.

We enjoyed talking to each other, at our two-metre-bubble safe distances.

That’s what we do. That’s what we have to do.

As Wellingtonians, we know how to respond in tough times, we’ve done it before, and we’ll do it again now to beat the Covid-19 virus.

As a city we’ve been tested, most recently after the Kaikoura earthquake. We came back stronger.

And I’ll never forget the way we responded to the tragedy of the Christchurch mosque shootings.

We came together to support each other with aroha and respect, at the Kilbirnie Mosque, and at the incredibly moving Basin Reserve vigil.

There are so many things that make Wellington a great place to live.

But that’s the thing I treasure the most - our sense of community, and our deeply caring people.

Today I saw a new movement that I’m getting behind 100%, and I hope you all will too, because it’s about us.

It’s about putting the We in Wellington.

It’s being launched today on the WellingtonNZ and City Council social channels, and it’s a great way to show that Absolutely Positively Wellington spirit that we’ve become famous throughout the country for.

You may have seen it already – it’s starting with an invitation to update your Facebook profile with the We Wellington logo - as a symbol of our collective aroha and our individual commitment to our community.

These next weeks are going to be all about the We – that’s all of us – and let's keep saying so.

We are a diverse community,

We celebrate that diversity with gusto.

We are proud to be part of one of the world’s best cities to live in

We are already a strong community, and we will become even stronger through getting through this great adversity together

We want We Wellington to be something that you can all use to tell your stories.

I want to tell you one story about how we help each other.

The Wellington Night Shelter is usually a very communal set up, and that’s no good when everyone needs to self-isolate.

Yesterday, Jonelle du Pont who works in the Council Community Services team was trying to get fridges so Night Shelter residents could self-isolate in their own rooms.

Within an hour of calling Mitre 10’s support line, Jonelle had a call from Mitre 10’s Wellington Region CEO, Cliff Lockyer, to offer not just 22 bar fridges but also two freezers, which were delivered today.

Fantastic work Jonelle, and fantastic work Cliff and Mitre 10.

Finally, a reminder to everyone to please keep following the official advice around isolation.

Our Government is being really clear about this – stay home and save lives.

Exercise close to home, and only with the people you live with.

Shop only for essential supplies, nominate one person to go, and wash your hands before and after.

That’s exactly the kind of thing that We Wellington can and will celebrate.

Keep up the good work, and kia kaha Wellington.

I look forward to being back tomorrow with another update.