Whakatāne District Council wants to acknowledge the tremendous effort our communities made throughout Alert Level 4 to help control the spread of COVID-19. Now that we have moved to Alert Level 3, there are several updates to Council services.
All Council facilities and venues remain closed to the public until further notice. This includes customer service centres, museums, swimming pools, public campsites, playgrounds, dog pound and libraries.
Open spaces and parks may be used, but everyone must use the two metre physical distancing rule. Please keep dogs on a lead at all times.
You may see staff resuming some Council activities, including on-site water meter reading, parking enforcement, mowing of reserves, on-site building and food premises inspections.
Inspections and site visits will be arranged with limited interaction with the public, appropriate physical distancing and contact tracing measures in place.
Contacting the Council
Council offices remain closed to the public. Residents are asked to use online services wherever possible.
If you need to contact the Council, you can:
· Call the Customer Services call centre on 07 306 0500
· Email firstname.lastname@example.org or use our online form
· Log a request for service on Council’s website
Community Board and Council meetings have been postponed or altered; information on meetings is posted on the Council website.
Three Waters Services (drinking water, waste water and storm water)
There is no disruption to Whakatāne District water supplies, waste water services and storm water management.
A reminder to not flush wipes of any type – Remember the three Ps – Poo, Pee and (toilet) Paper only should be flushed.
If you are returning to a location where drinking water taps have not been used during lockdown, it’s recommended that you flush your taps from an outdoor tap furthest from the road and any faucets that you drink from. More detailed information is available on the Ministry of Health website.
Most public toilets and all playgrounds are closed until further notice.
Cemetery and crematorium
· The cemetery and crematorium are operational for burials and cremations, which must be arranged through a funeral director.
· Up to ten people can attend a funeral or tangihanga, but strict physical distancing must apply.
· The chapel is closed to the public until further notice.
· Cemetery grounds are open, but again – visitors must maintain strict physical distancing measures.
Rubbish and recycling
Kerbside rubbish and recycling
· Normal kerbside rubbish and greenwaste services will continue
· Yellow-lidded recycling bins can be put out on your normal recycling collection days; however, the contents will be taken to landfill.
· Green glass crates will not be collected. You can put glass in your rubbish bin or yellow-lidded recycling bin and it will be taken to landfill, or take it to the Whakatāne or Murupara refuse station
· You can choose to keep your recycling at home, and deliver it to the refuse transfer station when recycling operations resume
Refuse and Transfer Stations
Both the Whakatāne and Murupara Refuse and Transfer Stations will resume normal hours from Tuesday, 28 April.
Whakatāne opening hours:
Monday – Friday: 8 am – 5 pm
Saturday – Sunday: 9 am – 4 pm
Note – please enter Te Tahi Street via Arawa Rd to avoid congestion on Valley Road/Tāneatua Road.
Murupara opening hours:
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 10 am – 3 pm
Tuesday, Thursday: 2.30 pm – 5 pm
Saturday – Sunday: 9 am – 4 pm
· Only EFTPOS and account holders accepted – NO cash transactions
· Rubbish, greenwaste, concrete, tyres, whiteware and glass accepted
· No recycling, other than glass, will be accepted
· Only visit the transfer station if absolutely necessary – if you can keep your waste longer, please do so. If you do choose to visit, expect queues
· Please follow instructions and signage, and be patient and kind to staff on site
· Physical distancing will be strictly enforced
· All vehicle registration details will be recorded
· Only one person is allowed out of each vehicle
· Do not bring any large items that require more than one person to move – staff on site will not assist
· We can accept glass at the transfer station as it requires no manual handling, unlike at the kerbside
Whakatāne Airport is closed; however, it will remain operational for emergency purposes only.
CAA is issuing approvals for maintenance activities, which includes ‘maintenance flights’. Please contact Whakatāne Airport on 07 308 8397 for further information.
All Bay of Plenty boat ramps are closed to recreational fishers until further notice.
This decision is made to help police enforce non-essential travel, and also to protect the safety of the Coastguard and the community.
Road closure updates
In partnership with Whakatāne District Council, NZ Police and local iwi, several public roads were closed during Level 4.
All roads are now open, but users must maintain physical distancing rules. If these rules are not followed, roads could be closed again during Level 3.
Campgrounds and Freedom Camping sites
Some holiday parks are open to bookings for self-contained units and self-contained vehicles only. There will also be some emergency provision for freedom campers.
Civil Defence functions have been activated and the organisation is supporting the Ministry of Health as the lead agency for the pandemic response. Staff with Civil Defence responsibilities remain on standby to respond to any other emergencies that may occur during this period.
Building inspections have re-commenced under Level 3.
If you would like to book an inspection, call 07 306 0500. Please have the consent number, type of inspection you need, site address, who will be on site and contact details ready.
At this stage your inspection will not be confirmed. You will be contacted by the inspections team to confirm the inspections.
All safety requirements and recommendations identified by the Government under Alert Level 3 must be adhered to on the site for the inspection to take place.
Food premises verifications are postponed until further notice; however, food premises opening during Level 3 will be subject to a verification ‘check’
If you intend to open your food premise in Level 3, visit the MPI website for the requirements. When you have a plan, remember to let the Environmental Health team know via phone 07 306 0500 or email email@example.com .
Animal Control Services
Animal Controls Services will continue to manage the Pound and respond to dangerous and wandering dogs.
Please keep your dog on a lead to avoid potential contact with other people out walking.
Council’s communication and engagement team will still be on hand to keep our communities updated and informed, as well as answer media enquiries. You can keep up-to-date via Council’s website, or on Council’s social media platforms including Facebook and Instagram.
We will keep you up to date with any changes to this information.