23 Mar 2020

Mayor Lianne Dalziel and Christchurch City Council Chief Executive Dawn Baxendale are assuring residents that essential services will continue to be provided across Christchurch and Banks Peninsula throughout lock-down period.

“The organisation has had an incident management team planning for this eventuality since the end of January so we are prepared,’’ the Mayor says.

“This city knows how to deal with adversity and we will come through this. I encourage you all to be kind to each other and to look out for one another.  Be very aware that some people take advantage of moments of vulnerability. Sadly there can be misinformation. For official information you can trust go to covid19.govt.nz.

“Christchurch City Council will keep the Newsline website and its social media channels updated with key information you need to know.

“I also endorse the comments made by the Prime Minster about the need to remain healthy and look after your own wellbeing. If you are going outside in the period of lock-down make sure you’re on your own with the people you are self-isolating with. ‘’

Mrs Baxendale says the Council will continue to provide essential services such as water, wastewater, traffic control and kerbside rubbish collection throughout the lock-down period.

“Many of our other services will continue to be provided by staff working from home. We will keep the city functioning while doing all that we can to support the nationwide effort to fight COVID-19,’’ Mrs Baxendale says.

“We have already closed our community facilities, including our libraries, service centres, pools, recreation centres, and visitor centres.

“In line with the Government’s directive, we are now asking people to stay away from all our playgrounds. These playgrounds cannot be physically fenced off. We are relying on residents to follow the advice from health officials and stay away from them.’’

From tomorrow at 5pm the Botanic Gardens will be closed. The visitors’ centre is already closed. All Council-owned sports facilities such as clubrooms are closed.

“Our parks will remain open but people using them will need to strictly adhere to the Government’s guidance that they should stay apart from anyone who they are not in self-isolation with.

“We will be closing public toilets from 5pm Wednesday.

“The Civic Offices will close from 5pm tonight but our Contact Centre will remain open 24/7.’’

Mrs Baxendale says the Council, as one of the biggest employers in the city, is committed to supporting its staff throughout the lock-down period.

“The welfare of our staff is utmost in our minds. For the past few weeks we have been working on setting staff up so they can work from home. We are aware that some staff will not be able to work from home at this stage. We will be working with those staff members on other deployment options,’’ Mrs Baxendale says.