Update - Thursday 4 February 2021

COVID-19 Local Government Response Unit main page

Waitangi Day: E te whānau, tautokohia te kaupapa: 

Waitangi Day 2021 presents a unique moment for Aotearoa and our team of five million to commemorate the day while protecting our communities from COVID-19. This weekend, New Zealanders will travel across the country to events and gatherings large and small. Many in the Northland and Auckland regions take advantage of the holiday to travel to see friends and whānau in the north.

The All of Government comms team is keen to use the important local channels that councils provide to help keep communities safe during this time. This email provides key messages and resources (attached) for your use, as local leaders, to support your community’s Waitangi events and gatherings. This includes a toolkit for event organisers with resources and checklists to support events to run safely.

New Zealand remains at Alert Level 1 and there is no evidence of community transmission.  As such, there are no restrictions on events. We can enjoy these safely if we all play our part.  However, some of our communities are more at risk from COVID-19 than others and we all need to work together to ensure our whānau across Aotearoa can mark this time in a way that keeps us all safe from COVID-19.

As we travel across the country to events and gatherings over the holiday, there are some simple actions we can all take to keep our whānau and friends safe from COVID-19: 

  • Be kind while travelling – COVID-19 affects us all differently. Those around you or at your destination may be more at risk.
  • Check in with your hosts before you leave and do your bit to keep all our communities safe.
  • Wash your hands well and often.
  • Think about whether you can limit the number of stops along your journey.
  • Take face coverings with you and wear them whenever you can’t keep your distance from people you don’t know.
  • Keep track of your travel – use the NZ COVID Tracer app with Bluetooth on.
  • If you're sick, stay home and do not travel.
  • If you become unwell while travelling, call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 straightway for advice - do not wait until you get home. 

If you're advised to get a test, do so from wherever you are in the country. Do not wait until you get home to get a test.

Remember testing is free and available every day of the week, even on Waitangi Day.

Wearing face coverings on public transport. Remember there are some places face coverings must be worn:

  • on all public transport to, from and through Auckland — including on long-distance bus and train journeys, as well as Auckland ferries
  • on domestic flights throughout New Zealand
  • by Auckland taxi and ride-share drivers — while it’s not compulsory for passengers to wear them, we strongly encourage you to.

Waitangi Day Messages and Resources can be used in your communities (PDF, 709KB)