Day 1 lockdown - What our new normal looks like 26 March 2020 We are now in a state of national emergency with New Zealand's COVID-19 Alert Level 4 active and likely to be in place for a number of weeks. You must stay home, except if you’re providing essential services. Find out more about what Alert Level 4 looks like here. “Day one of lockdown as we settle into a new normal, it’s good to think about putting in some routines to help get through,” says our Mayor Sandra Goudie. “Look at your isolation bubble and what you are able to do. There are some great tips on the covid19.govt.nz website about what you can do over this lockdown period, such as exercising and accessing your essentials like food and medicine but please remember to stay local and keep two-meters from others.” We’re supporting this with our local version of the stay home, save lives campaign. Check into our Facebook page for a daily video of inspiration from people in our communities. Central government advice about getting outdoors can be viewed here. "These are extraordinary times,” says our Mayor Sandra Goudie. “Please be kind and patient while we try to keep our communities clean and while keeping everyone safe.” Our new circumstances mean changes to our council services including our kerbside collections starting next week. Kerbside and Refuse Transfer Stations Our Kerbside collections and Refuse Transfer Stations will proceed as normal this week. Starting next week, (Monday 30 March) Kerbside collections will be every other week on your normal fortnightly recycling day. Please put your blue Council rubbish bag in your wheelie bin. Also put in the bin any recycling – glass, paper, tins, plastic – in bags. It doesn’t have to be a blue Council bag. Rubbish takes priority over recycling if space in the wheelie bin is limited. Next week is Week 2 in the fortnightly recycling schedule so if there is a 2 next to your collection day, you’re in a Week 2 zone. Don’t leave blue bags or glass in crates on the kerbside, it won’t be collected. Check your recycling schedule at tcdc.govt.nz/kerbside. Refuse Transfer Stations (RTS) Our seven RTS remain in operation for their usual operating hours but there are changes in how they operate due to the COVID-19 Alert Level 4. RTSs will not accept any green waste, scrap metal or other waste that does not fit into an official blue Council rubbish bag. Drop off points will be provided at all RTSs for people to drop off household refuse in blue Council bags, cardboard, plastic, cans and glass during opening hours only. RTSs will be staffed, with strict controls around contact and disposal to keep our communities, staff and contractors safe. Please be kind and treat the workers with respect. Locations and opening hours can be found on the website tcdc.govt.nz/rts. What does a state of national emergency look like for the Thames-Coromandel District? Our Thames-Valley Emergency Operating Area team (Our Council, Hauraki District Council, and Matamata-Piako District Council) has been revived to share resources, especially welfare. An Emergency Operating Centre (EOC) is set up at our Thames Council office today, working with the main EOC in Hamilton and Waikato Civil Defence Emergency Management Group. On the first day of a state of emergency across New Zealand, the focus of Waikato Civil Defence and Emergency Management Group is “people, people, people”. “We have to trust New Zealanders to understand the role we each have in preventing the spread of the virus. As a region I expect we will do our part, by following the rules, to protect our families and whanau and those of our neighbours," says Civil Defence Group Controller Julian Snowball. “However, if we receive information that people are flouting the rules then I will not hesitate to use the powers necessary to protect our communities.” Council meetings and governance Central government passed the COVID-19 (Urgent Management Measures Bill) last night. The bill can be found here. The Bill allows members to join by audio or audio visual link and be counted to the meeting quorum. Even if this is precluded by Standing Orders. The Bill also requires if reasonably practical to have meetings broadcast live, audio or video. And for Council to do at least one of the following after the meeting: Make the recording to be available on our Website; and or Make a written summary of the meeting available. Our Council also have created a COVID-19 Response Committee, with a quorum of two members in an effort to enable effective decision making during this period of extreme change. Council services and other activities Water Restrictions: We still have water restrictions in place; however to assist with the COVID-19 response, these have been reduced and will be reassessed regularly. See tcdc.govt.nz/water for updates. Public toilets: At this stage all toilets that are normally open, are open. Over the coming weeks, we may need to close some of our public toilets to enable a higher level of servicing. Toilets that are closed will have closed signs on them and we will list them on our website here. Libraries: Our District Library members can also access over 18,000 e-books and e-audiobooks, which can be borrowed online 24/7 - tcdc.govt.nz/libraries. Consents: Building and resource consents are still being processed and we’re still working to meet our statutory deadlines. Track applications online here. Playgrounds, parks and reserves: Our Council playgrounds are closed and we’ve also closed off our drinking fountains to minimise the chance for contamination and spread of any germs. Some areas of our parks and reserves may need to be restricted, or serviced at a lower frequency, to enable our contractors to focus on public toilets. We are maintaining areas of our parks and reserves, including, some mowing, however it is likely this will decrease over time. Similarly, airfield mowing is still being undertaken to maintain the runway surfaces, but the airfields are not intended for recreational use. Boat Ramps: The Government’s clear intention at this stage is that fishing and hunting are prohibited during the Alert Level 4 lockdown period. Fish & Game New Zealand is urging all anglers and hunters to do the right thing and stay at home during this period. Click here to read more. Coastguard New Zealand is also asking people not to go out on the water during the lockdown period to avoid putting themselves or Coastguard volunteers in harm’s way. Our boat ramps are still open as commercial fisherman still need access, however they are not intended for recreational use at this time. See more from Coastguard here. Contact us: 07 868 0200 firstname.lastname@example.org tcdc.govt.nz Facebook page Email newsletters Online payments Business support Covid-19 has changed the picture for our economy completely and the restrictions are having a significant impact on our local business community. Unemployment is expected to rise sharply in our district, and many businesses in the tourism, accommodation and hospitality sector will take a long-time to recover. On the positive side however, we do know of some tourism operators who are planning to use this period to work on maintenance and longer-term projects We are here to help businesses who need direction, support and connections to help navigate this period of uncertainty. Visit tcdc.govt.nz/supportlocal for guidance on where to find financial support, and for information on community initiatives to support local businesses, where possible, over the next few weeks and as restrictions are eased. You can also call our customer services line on 07 868 0200 and be put through to our economic development team. Thames-Coromandel COVID-19 updates Check our website COVID-19 page for information on non-Council activities, services and events that we know have been cancelled, such as the Whitianga Ferry, which stops operations effective 7:30pm Wednesday, and the Thames Connector which is still operating with restrictions and changes in place.