6 Sep 2021

Christchurch and most of the rest of New Zealand will be in Alert Level 3 from 11.59pm Tuesday, 31 August. Check here to find out what that means for our services and facilities.

Bring a librarian into your lounge

Christchurch City Libraries has restarted its Librarian In Your Lounge service.

Email the library and you’ll be phoned back at a time of your choice. A librarian will give you support you need  - whether it’s book tips, helpful technology support, information on family and local history, or advice on Māori resources. Chinese-speaking services are also available.

Book a librarian for a free 30-minute session - visit the Book a Librarian page on the Libraries’ website.

Some advice from Canterbury Police

Canterbury Police are reminding the community to keep an eye out for courier deliveries to ensure their goods don’t go missing.

Last year when we were in Alert Level 4 and 3, Police noticed an increase in thefts from letter boxes and front doors. 

This is a busy time for postal deliveries and Police want to remind everyone to do what they can to stop parcel theft.

Their advice is:

  • Get packages delivered to a place where someone will be home to receive them, or to a work address if you are an essential worker.
  • If you do have deliveries made to your home, make sure you're going to be home to sign for them, or have a secure location where they can be left.
  • Make sure your delivery instructions are clear, and ask for packages not to be placed at your front door, or on top of an apartment building post box.
  • If you're not going to be home when the parcel is delivered, arrange to collect your parcel from the depot, or have the parcel redirected to the address of someone you trust.
  • Be smart when disposing of packaging, so passers-by can’t see if you've been buying expensive items.
  • Report any suspicious behaviour to Police, for example, if you see a car following a courier van, or an unexpected visitor knocks on your door asking for someone you don't know.

Parks maintenance resumes

 With Christchurch moving to Alert Level 3 today, you might see Council maintenance staff and contractors out in the parks and regeneration areas again.

They’ll be mowing grass, removing rubbish and undertaking important maintenance activities to make sure our parks are safe while they’re heavily used during these lockdown periods.

Remember to maintain a minimum two-metre distance – and ideally more if possible – from these essential workers so they can complete their work safely, and please continue to take your rubbish and dog poo home with you.

All parks maintenance work is being done according to government guidelines and requirements around the current alert level.

State highway works resume

State highway works are resuming in the South Island.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency paused all non-essential maintenance and project work with the move to Alert Level 4 at midnight on Tuesday, 17 August.

Regional Manager Maintenance and Operations Peter Brown says the safety of workers and road users remains the top priority for Waka Kotahi and Alert Level 3 is not a return to normal.

“The transition back to on-site work will be different for every project, and the timing will depend on the nature and complexity of work sites. Some on-site activity will be able to resume straight away, but it will take time for some sites and projects to be fully operational,” says Mr Brown.

“Infrastructure plays a critical role in the economic recovery of New Zealand so it’s important this work continues, but we will not compromise on the safety of road workers or road users.”

Maintenance work will also resume across the South Island.

“Restarting critical maintenance work as we head into summer ensures we are in a position to provide a safe, efficient and accessible state highway network over the next 12 months,” says Mr Brown.

“Maintenance operations will use similar plans to ensure the safety of our people and the communities we work in. When driving through worksites, please be patient and respectful and look out for road workers who are doing this vital work to keep us all safe, and ensure freight and essential journeys are not delayed,” he says.

Free movies, TV and docos for Library members

Struggling to find something decent to watch during lockdown? You can use your Christchurch City Libraries membership to access thousands of the world’s best films and documentaries online through the Digital Library.

Library members are able to use on-demand streaming services Beamafilm, Access Video, Kanopy and Kanopy Kids to easily access more than 20,000 titles, including some of NZ’s most high-rating movies.

You only need your library card number and pin, along with a password, to set up an account and start watching!

Not a library member? No problem - you can still sign up online for free.

Cash now accepted on buses

Environment Canterbury has announced that at Alert Level 3 bus passengers can pay fares and top-up Metrocards using cash.

Special Waimakariri bus service

A special Waimakariri service will be running during Alert Level 3 for those who need to get from Rangiora or Kaiapoi to the city. This special service has been introduced by Environment Canterbury as the 91/92 services don’t have a Sunday timetable and there has been significant demand from essential workers. 

The service will start on Wednesday 1 September and will operate a morning and afternoon trip Monday – Friday during Alert Level 3. 

Standard Zone 2 fares apply, with Metrocard / contactless payment only, as per the Alert Level 3 guidelines.  


To City (91 City direct): 

  • Northern Park and Ride (River Rd) 6.20am
  • Central Park and Ride (White St) 6.25am
  • Southern Park and Ride (South Belt) 6.28am
  • Kaiapoi Central Park and Ride 6.40am
  • Kaiapoi Southern Park and Ride 6.48am
  • Bus Interchange 7.15am
  • Christchurch Hospital 7.20am

To Kaiapoi & Rangiora (91 Rangiora direct): 

  • Christchurch Hospital (outpatients side) 4.15pm
  • Bus Interchange (Platform D) 4.20pm
  • Kaiapoi Southern Park and Ride 4.45pm
  • Kaiapoi Central Park and Ride 4.52pm
  • Southern Park and Ride (South Belt) 5.05pm 
  • Central Park and Ride (White St) 5.08pm
  • Northern Park and Ride (River Rd) 5.15pm

Please note this service will not show at the Bus Interchange or across the network on timetables at bus stops. 

Transfer Stations – drop off facilities

Under Alert Level 3 our EcoDrop transfer stations and recycling centres at Metro Place, Styx Mill and Parkhouse Road will be open to the public via appointment only.

 We’re operating a full service, allowing you to drop-off general rubbish, greenwaste and recyclable materials. You can make a booking on the Ecocentral website www.ecocentral.co.nz. If you don’t have internet access, and can’t get someone else to make a website booking on your behalf, please call us on 03 941 8999 and we can assist you with making a booking.

Our Barry’s Bay Transfer Station will also open under Alert Level 3, operating under restricted access, please follow all directions on arrival. We ask you to please be patient and expect delays.

Masks must be worn if visiting any of the transfer stations and please follow physical distancing rules and directions of staff.

Boat ramps, wharves and jetties

Boat ramps will remain closed under Alert Level 3. Council wharves and jetties – including New Brighton Pier –  will be open for public recreation, such as fishing.  This is consistent with Government advice.

Physical distancing measures must be followed at all times.  

Rubbish and recycling

Under Covid-19 Alert Level 3 there is no change to our kerbside collection service. You should continue to put your bins out as normal and put the right items in the right bin. Please space them 30cm apart to allow our trucks to pick up the bins without the drivers needing to move them.

If parked cars are in the way please place your bin on the road, closest to the kerb. Alternatively, place at the end of your driveway. 

If the situation changes and we need to make any changes we will keep you fully informed. Please note, other kerbside services, such as bin swaps and repairs, may be delayed.

Our inner-city bagged service will operate as normal.

Library facilities

Our libraries, including mobile and outreach services, remain closed at Level 3.

Your issues will be extended, so don't worry about overdues or fines.

Please don't return your books and items to the library. All returns bins are still closed.

The Fingertip Library, our virtual library information service and call centre, is back up and running.

Visit our website for the latest library information.

Online membership is available and you can explore a range of library resources from home.

Free wifi is still available outside libraries (except Tūranga).

Parks and sports fields

Council parks are open but playgrounds, exercise equipment, water fountains, car parks and public toilets remain closed and have been taped off.

The Botanic Gardens will remain closed under Alert Level 3 due to the highly infectious nature of the Delta variant. This will enable skeleton staff crews to maintain key plant collections safely for when we drop to Alert Levels 2 and 1.


Public boat ramps, wharfs and jetties

All these facilities remain closed under Alert Level 3.

Public transport

At Alert Level 3, Greater Christchurch public transport services will be operating under Sunday timetables.

Buses can be boarded from the front. Please tap your Metrocard on your way in, and scan in using the COVID app near your seat. 

Disembark through the rear door unless you need the front door for accessibility reasons, and keep physical distancing at one metre where possible.

At Level 3, Metro school services will not resume. Students requiring public transport should use urban bus routes. You can check timetables for buses online, noting that these routes are operating to Sunday timetables.

Contactless payment

Fares will be required during Alert Level 3, using contactless Metrocard payment only.

Cash will not be accepted for fares or top ups, in order to keep you and our drivers safe.

Metrocards can be ordered online.  Environment Canterbury has waived the $5 fee for Metrocards ordered online under Alert Level 3. Contactless payment may continue to be necessary at Level 2 so if you are going to be using buses for travel it is recommended you order a Metrocard as soon as possible.

If you would like a Metrocard and do not have internet access, please call 03 366 8855.

Capacity restrictions 

Although fewer people should be travelling on public transport, the possibility of capacity constraints mean that you should allow plenty of time to reach your destination.  

Please continue to only use window seats unless sitting beside someone in your bubble. 

If the bus or ferry has reached its allowed capacity, these physical distancing requirements mean it will not be able to pick up additional passengers. We will do our best to limit the impact of this, but we ask that caregivers wait with children at bus stops. 

Public transport facilities  

The Bus Interchange will be open, with two metre physical distancing restrictions in place.

Our Metroinfo counter will not be open. The team are available via phone at 03 366 88 55 between 9am and 7pm each day, or email at Metro@ecan.govt.nz.

The Riccarton Lounge will not be open at Alert Level 3.

Face coverings

For everyone aged 12 and older, face coverings are mandatory on public transport, in taxis and in public spaces. This includes the bus interchange and bus shelters, and total mobility and community vehicle trust services.

Contact tracing

It is now mandatory to record your travel. Please scan the NZ COVID Tracer app using the QR code nearest your seat. If you are unable to scan the QR code, you can call 03 366 8855 to register your travel. 


Car parking buildings remain open for essential services workers. Parking charges will not be enforced in parking buildings and on-street spaces while we’re in Alert Level 3.

Parking enforcement will focus on vehicle access ways and enforcing time limits around key centres such as the hospital.



If you're taking your dog out for a walk under Alert Level 3, please keep them leashed at all times, even in our dog parks.

This is to reduce the contact between dogs and other owners.  Apply the same physical distancing guidelines to your dog as you would to yourself.

Please clean up after your dog and put your dog’s waste in your red bin when you get home.

Our free microchipping service has stopped until further notice.

If you’ve lost your dog, call 941 8999 to speak to the animal control team.

Accessing help

While all our offices and public facilities may be closed, our call centre remains open 24/7.

If you need assistance, you can email us or call us on 941-8999.

If you need help with food and accommodation during the lockdown, in the first instance you should contact:

Other agencies that may help:

Capital works programme resuming

Under Alert Level 3, we will be resuming work on our sites where work was already underway before the Alert Level 4 lockdown.

We are working with our contractors to ensure that strict COVID-19 hygiene measures are in place before work begins again.

Te Nuku Tai o Tapoa-Naval Point is one of the sites where work will resume.

Phase 1 of the Naval Point Development Plan started in June and has been temporarily paused while the country has been in lockdown.

Contractor Fulton Hogan will restart all works onsite in Alert Level 3 and are still on target to complete it by the end of November.

Work currently being undertaken includes completing the storm water drainage works and the installation of curbs/concrete beam followed by pavement works. Some minor landscaping works are also planned.

Governance under Alert Level 3

Under Alert Level 3, there will be different arrangements in place for Council meetings that are not able to be held in person due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Council meetings and committee of the whole meetings will be held on video conference and will be livestreamed, so they can be watched by the public.

Committee and Community board meetings will proceed as scheduled via video conferencing and will be either recorded or minuted and posted to the Council website as appropriate.


During Alert Level 3, gatherings of up to 10 people can continue, but only for:

  • Wedding services
  • funerals and tangihanga

All other events and gatherings are cancelled or postponed until further notice.

Building inspections resume

On site building and subdivision inspections will resume under Alert Level 3, with additional health and safety measures in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Find out more. 

Roading works

We’re resuming construction works across as many of our transport projects as possible. We will continue to update residents and businesses around specific projects as we have more information.

Essential road maintenance and street sweeping will continue to operate as it did in Alert Level 4. Additional maintenance work will be done where contractors are able to work within COVID-19 guidelines. This work will including resealing and preventative maintenance repairs.


Mayor welcomes alert level change

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel is welcoming the news that Christchurch will move down an alert level but says it is important that people remain vigilant and follow the Alert Level 3 rules.

“We are fortunate that we have not had any community cases of the Delta variant in the South Island so far, but this is not the time for us to get complacent,’’ says the Mayor.

“We need to continue to follow the Government advice and stick to the Alert Level 3 rules so that we lessen the risk of the virus taking hold in our communities.''

Read more.