Covid-19 Local Government Response Unit Update – Friday 26 November 2021

Local Government Response Unit main page

National State of Play

There were further decisions announced today on vaccine mandates, including that NZ police and Defence Force workers will be required to be vaccinated as part of the Covid-19 traffic light system. This will cover sworn members, recruits and authorised officers of the police and all Defence Force staff.

The Government has announced that vaccination will be mandated for workers at businesses that must use the My Vaccine Pass to operate, or to operate with fewer restrictions, at all levels of the COVID Protection Framework.

First doses of the vaccine for these workers are required by 17 January and second doses by 1 March. More information is available at: Vaccines and the workplace » Employment New Zealand.

COVID-19 Protection Framework guidance for local government

The Response Unit has been working with a group of chief executives on creating guidance for the implementation of the COVID-19 Protection Framework. This guidance is available here: Local Government CPF guidance (This version no longer available). This includes a flowchart that walks through the decision-making process on whether to use Vaccine Passes.

We note that this information is accurate to the best of our understanding as at 26 November 2021. There are further Cabinet decisions on Monday and the Order to give effect to the new Framework has yet to be finalised. We expect weekly updates to the Guidance as things change and issues are discovered.

Thank you for your ongoing patience and support through this fast moving and challenging legislative environment.

If you have feedback on the guidance, please sent it through the inbox.

New testing and contact tracing strategy

With more New Zealanders gaining protection through vaccinations, we can now introduce a wider range of routine testing options that provide other benefits such as accessibility, convenience and speed.

From 1 December 2021, councils will be able to directly source (from authorised suppliers) approved rapid antigen tests for use within their workforce. These tests will be more widely used across our health system, including aged residential care.

New Zealand will focus surveillance testing and contact tracing where it’s most needed, to find and minimise COVID-19.

This new testing and tracing strategy will provide more ways to test people with faster results, providing greater certainty and reassurance — and less disruption to our everyday lives. 

Nasopharyngeal PCR tests will continue to be used as the primary diagnostic test, but this will be supplemented by saliva-based PCR testing, rapid antigen testing and rapid PCR tests.

More information is available in yesterday’s press release COVID-19 Protection Framework supported by new testing and contact tracing strategy |

Ministry of Social Development’s COVID-19 Welfare Response

Under the COVID-19 Protection Framework, people with COVID-19 will self-isolate in the community, with support where appropriate.

Although many people will be able to manage their situation themselves, some people will require a variety of supports to meet their individual or whanau needs.

The Ministry of Social Development is working locally to plan and coordinate the welfare system response for people who are self-isolating within their region. This includes leading the coordination of the welfare approach, working closely with key agencies across the health, housing, education, economic and other sectors, and with iwi/Māori. 

More information can be found in the “MSD COVID-19 Welfare Response” document: MSD Covid-19 Welfare Response (PDF, 93KB). You can also find more information on the following webpage: Supporting people with COVID-19 isolating at home - Ministry of Social Development (

The COVID-19 Care in the Community model

The COVID-19 Care in the Community model provides the framework for how the end-to-end community support will be provided as cases increase throughout the country. It also sets out the expectations of health and welfare providers.

For someone with COVID-19 who can isolate at home, Care in the Community will include the following:

  • an initial contact from a healthcare provider within 24 hours of a positive result notification, to discuss any health, accommodation and wellbeing requirements;
  • a designated point of contact, who will be responsible for looking out for the person’s health and wellbeing needs;
  • ongoing clinical monitoring; and
  • a health assessment at Day 10 to determine whether the person can safely end time in isolation.

More information can be found on the following webpage: Supporting New Zealanders to recover from COVID-19 in the community | Unite against COVID-19 (

Rising questions from unvaccinated ratepayers about having their rates costs decreased

We are aware that councils are receiving requests from unvaccinated ratepayers about having their rates decreased because of reduced access to council services.

You may like to highlight two factors when responding to these queries:

  • rates are set to have these facilities available for use, and it is ratepayers’ personal choice to use council services, just as it is their choice to be unvaccinated; and
  • many services will be translated into a safe contact-less service. As such, there will not be a loss in all services available to unvaccinated ratepayers.

Information on current cases, COVID-19 test sites and economic support

There are 173 new community cases of Covid-19 today. Of today's cases, 154 are in Auckland, 15 in Waikato, one in Northland, two in bay of Plenty and one in Lakes DHB, the Ministry of Health said in a statement.

There were 18,092 first and second vaccine doses administered in the country yesterday - 6319 first doses and 11,773 second doses. To date, 92 percent of eligible people in New Zealand have had their first dose and 85 percent are fully vaccinated.

Available testing sites can be found on the Ministry of Health website: Available testing sites.

Locations of interest can be found at Locations of Interest. This is being updated as soon as information is available.

Economic assistance is available for those impacted by the lockdown, more information available on the COVID-19 website , including details of the Business Boost package.

Please share with us your approaches towards the COVID-19 Protection Framework

We would like to know how councils are implementing the COVID-19 Protection Framework in their organisations and communities. This will help us to collate information, and build a resource that will assist consistency of application across the sector (shared approach) and inform our ongoing guidance development.

If you would like to share your council’s thinking and application of the new protection framework, please email them to us at