Mayoral update for April 16

16 April 2020

Kia ora Wellington. More hints from Government today about what Level 3 might look like, and when that might happen. We will see what comes out of Cabinet on Monday.

It’s great that we’re starting to have these discussions - but we need to make sure that, when we are allowed to, we transition correctly and safely.  We do not want to waste the sacrifices of the last three weeks.

Getting it wrong could mean re-raising the Alert Level again – that would be disastrous from a health perspective, and for our economy.

Under Alert Level 3 more people will be able to return to their normal work place. However, if you can work from home, you must continue to do so. Strict health and distancing protocols will remain.

This will apply to Council staff as well.

READ MORE:
Mayoral update for 15 April
Mayoral update for 14 April
Mayoral update for 11 April
Playlist of mayoral videos

It’s fantastic that some cafes and restaurants may be able to start doing food deliveries; and that more retailers may be able to start ‘click and collect’ shopping. As always, I encourage everyone to buy local and to support Wellington businesses.

Under Alert Level 3 some children will be able to return to school. But for all those who are able, distance learning is still being recommended.

For the Council, Alert Level 3 – when that comes – will look a lot like Level 4. Our focus is, and will be, on the safety of our staff, customers and community - as well as doing what we can to cushion the economic impact as Wellington reopens for business.

At Alert Level 3, most of our services must remain closed. This includes libraries, pools, recreation centres, community centres, and playgrounds.

Our customer service centre will remain physically closed, but with most staff continuing to work from home. We will continue to provide service and support to customers over the phone, on social media, or via email.

Our landfill will remain closed to the public when we transition to Alert Level 3.

Our recycling collection services will not re-start under Level 3. I know this will disappoint many of you, but as I’ve said previously, processing recycling requires a lot of hand sorting. We simply cannot allow that due to the risk of infection for staff.

At Level 3 we will be able to start engaging again with some of our external partners - and contractors - to restart work on key construction, transport and infrastructure projects. That will inject more money into our local economy. Hopefully we will get support soon to crack on with some of our exciting ‘shovel-ready’ infrastructure projects submitted to the Government earlier this week.

Again, I want to emphasise that the decision around if – and when – we move to Alert Level 3 has not been made. When it happens, everyone will still be urged to stay home as much as possible, stay safe, and stay strong in our fight against Covid-19.

It is a fight we have to win and win completely.

Council voted unanimously this afternoon to approve funding for repairs to the sewer pipes that run under Mt Albert, and to cover the sludge trucking costs. The up to $16 million cost will be debt-funded over 10 years. We noted that the discharge of treated sewage into Cook Strait is opposed by mana whenua.

Finally, a couple of events to look forward to this weekend. Some of our wonderful arts and cultural events are going online, and we’re all invited to join in.

The NZSO are performing Pokarekare Ana at 3pm on Saturday. You can get onto the NZSO Facebook feed from 2.45pm and everyone is invited to join in at 3pm.

Then from 5pm right through till 9.45pm there’s an awesome lineup of Cuba Dupa performers, this time on the Cuba Dupa Facebook feed. We’ve missed out two years in a row on Cuba Dupa so this is a chance to enjoy some awesome performers.

Thanks for watching. Keep up the great work, stay safe, stay separate, stay local, and let’s beat this virus. I’ll be back tomorrow with another update.

Kia kaha Wellington.