Update - Wednesday 21 October 2020

COVID-19 Local Government Response Unit main page

Frequency of Response Unit updates

The Response Unit will continue to provide you with one-off bulletins on an as-needed basis for urgent or breaking news.

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

The Response Unit’s governance team continues to meet regularly

The Response Unit’s governance team meets regularly and remains on hand to support the local government sector on an as needed basis.

As the Christmas period approaches, we are aware that resourcing considerations will be front of mind for councils. We are currently considering resourcing arrangements for the Response Unit over this time and will update you on this in due course.

Today’s update

Recent COVID-19 cases in Christchurch and New Plymouth are a timely reminder that Level 1 does not mean ‘level zero’. We need to continue to remain vigilant and promote good hygiene and contact tracing practices within our communities.

As leaders in our communities, your actions matter. There remains a core role to continue to promote best practice in communities to help prevent future lockdowns.

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

If you have cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms, self-isolate immediately. Stay home and call Healthline, your GP or nurse practitioner who can advise whether you should get tested. If you’re advised to get a test, please do so; do not wait until you are home to get tested.

Continue to sign into places using the NZ COVID-19 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, including washing and drying your hands, or use hand sanitiser if you are unable to wash your hands.

Please consider wearing a mask or other face-covering on public transport. Use hand sanitiser regularly, especially when entering and exiting public transport.

Social media assets

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 are 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.

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 detail 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 15 Dashboard based on data up to midnight Wednesday 7 October 2020, and the week 16 Dashboard based on data up to midnight Wednesday 14 October 2020. These dashboards are 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 the Health Promotion Agency's website.

Back to top