Update - Monday 5 October 2020

COVID-19 Local Government Response Unit main page

Frequency of Response Unit updates

Following today’s announcement about Alert Level Settings, the Response Unit will provide you with one-off bulletins on an as-needed basis for urgent or breaking news and is ceasing the weekly bulletin.

The Response Unit’s governance team will continue to meet regularly and remain on hand to support the local government sector on an as needed basis.

Should there be material changes to the Alert Levels, we will review our communication arrangements.

Today’s update

Today the Prime Minister announced that Auckland will join the rest of New Zealand at Alert Level 1 from 11.59 pm on Wednesday 7 October, following Cabinet’s review of Alert Level settings.

As leaders in our communities, your actions matter and have helped to get the community outbreak under control and New Zealand back down to Alert Level 1.

There remains a core role for us to continue to promote best practice to help prevent future lockdowns as discussed further below.

The Response Unit remains on hand to support you. You can send enquiries to your usual SOLGM, LGNZ, DIA contacts or this inbox: LGCGcovid19response@dia.govt.nz

Key messages to continue to promote in our communities

It is important we remember Level 1 does not mean ‘level zero’ and we need to continue to remain vigilant and promote good hygiene and contact tracing practices within our communities.

Please find below some key messages to continue to support our communities. We have also attached some new posters you may wish to use to support these messages.

Key messages

If you are unwell, stay at home, and do not travel. Call Healthline, your GP, or Nurse Practitioner who can advise whether you should be tested. If you are advised to get a test, please do so; do not wait until you get home to get tested.

If you become unwell on holiday, stay put, self-isolate, and call Healthline, your GP, or Nurse Practitioner who can advise whether you should be tested.  If you are advised to get a test, please do so; do not wait until you get home to get tested.

Continue to sign into places using the NZ COVID Tracer app or keep a record of where you've been. This is especially important when on holiday because you may not remember all the locations you have visited.

Maintain good hygiene practices, including washing and drying your hands, or use hand sanitiser if unable to wash your hands.

While in Level 2 it is mandatory to wear a face-covering on public transport in Auckland. You are encouraged to wear one on public transport throughout the rest of New Zealand. Use hand sanitiser regularly, especially when entering and exiting public transport.

While in Level 2, when flying to, through or from Auckland it is mandatory to wear a face covering.  It is encouraged to wear a face-covering when flying on other regional routes. Use hand sanitiser or wash your hands before, during and after the flight.

Social media assets

Attached to this email are social media tiles you can use to encourage testing.

Share some of the following posts from Unite against COVID-19 across your channels:

You may access Unite against COVID-19 social tiles and videos to use on your own channels:

Increasing testing numbers

Central Government is aware that testing numbers are declining, and a key part of our COVID-19 elimination strategy is that testing needs to remain high so that we catch any incidences of potential community transmission.

The All of Government (AoG) communications team are running a campaign across their channels to encourage testing.

The AoG team have also reached out to your communications teams, through SOLGM to provide supporting materials and reinforce messaging as above.  

With that in mind, please share messaging across your channels (both digital and traditional) to encourage anyone with cold and flu symptoms to get tested.

Who is a ‘health official’?

a Medical Officer of Health or their delegate (e.g. a DHB Public Health Unit)

a medical practitioner, for example, a General Practitioner (GP)

a health official through the Ministry of Health’s National Contact Tracing process

their employer (for healthcare, disability or aged-care workers) following best practice guidance from the Ministry of Health.

Elimination strategy and Resurgence planning

The Government remains committed to an elimination strategy for COVID-19 as outlined in the “Stamp it Out” framework. This means a sustained approach of keeping it out, finding it, and stamping it out.

The core of the response will be personal hygiene, staying home when sick, testing, contact tracing, and isolation. You may find posters to support these messages. Where this is insufficient, the Government will seek to control COVID-19 with the least intrusive measures, including tailored local responses.

This potential for future local escalations in Alert Levels means that it is important all parts of New Zealand are well prepared to respond to a resurgence of COVID-19. Planning and preparation will be key to enabling social and economic recovery to continue and adapt during any future resurgence.

You will find details of all the COVID-19 Alert Levels on the COVID-19 website.

Foreign Nationals Support Programme: messages and milestones

The Assistance to Foreign Nationals Impacted by COVID-19 Programme (also called Visitor Care Manaaki Manuhiri by New Zealand Red Cross (NZRC)) formally began on 1 July.

Please find attached the week 14 Dashboard based on data up to midnight Wednesday 30 September 2020. This dashboard is unclassified – please feel free to share with your colleagues.

Other useful Resources

Work and Income’s guidance on the COVID-19 sick leave support scheme

Guidance on council services and operations across the COVID-19 Alert Levels on the COVID-19 Response Unit webpage.

SOLGM has issued a practice note on navigating the post-lockdown LTP which is available on their website: www.solgm.co.nz

Ministry of Transport’s guidance for Transport and Travel by Alert Level

MfE’s guidance for councils operating virtual hearings under the RMA

MfE’s face mask disposal messages

MfE’s Wet wipes messages

Foreign nationals in need of assistance can check their eligibility and apply online

Connected.govt.nz has been launched by MDS to assist workers, employers and job seekers navigate all of the available COVID recovery programmes and assistance. The website is supported by a free phone line, 0800 264 737 and MSD have 35 physical Connected locations around the country.

Translations of information and advice into 24 languages, including te reo Māori and New Zealand Sign Language.

You may sign up to the daily All of Government email newsletter

You may find posters to support key messages

NZ COVID Tracer booklet - hard copy contact tracing booklets for people that cannot, or choose not to, download and use the NZ COVID Tracer App can be ordered from: https://order.hpa.org.nz/collections/covid-19/products/covid-19-booklet