Covid-19 Local Government Response Unit Update – Monday 8 November 2021

Local Government Response Unit main page

National State of Play

The Prime Minister announced today that:

  • Auckland will move to Step 2 of Alert Level 3 at 11.59pm on Tuesday 9 November 2021.
  • Upper Northland will move to Alert Level 2 at 11.59pm on Thursday 11 November 2021.
  • Parts of the Waikato remains at Step 2 of Alert Level 3.

Under Step 2, Alert Level 3 restrictions continue to apply except that:

  • retail can open, with customers keeping 2 metres apart, and staff and customers required to wear face coverings. 
  • public facilities like libraries, museums and zoos can reopen, with face coverings required and people keeping 2 metres apart
  • outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people can go ahead, with the removal of the 2-household restriction. Physical distancing is strongly encouraged to help prevent the virus spreading between households.
  • funerals, tangihanga, weddings and civil union ceremonies can have up to 25 people attending, as well as up to 5 staff.
  • outdoor organised exercise classes can expand to 25 people, including instructors. Physical distancing of 2 metres is strongly encouraged.

Cabinet will review alert level settings for Auckland and parts of the Waikato on Monday 15 November 2021.

The Alert Level boundary between Auckland and the Waikato remains in place.

The rest of New Zealand remains at Alert Level 2 with current restrictions in place.

On Friday 22 October, the Prime Minister announced plans to transition to the new COVID-19 Protection Framework with three levels: Green, Orange and Red. New Zealand will move to the new system when DHBs reach the double vaccination target of 90%. Auckland will move to the Red level as soon as all three of the Auckland DHBs hit the 90% double vaccination target.

On 29 November, Cabinet will review the vaccination progress to see if anything needs to change.

Guidance on mandatory vaccinations for education

On Monday 25 October, the COVID-19 Public Health Response Order for Mandatory Vaccinations for Education came into effect. The Health Response Order can be viewed here: COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Order 2021 (LI 2021/94) (as at 25 October 2021) Contents – New Zealand Legislation

On 3 November 2021, the Ministry of Education released new guidance on the application of its education vaccination mandate.  This is available on the Ministry of Education’s website: Guidance for the COVID-19 Required Vaccinations Order

The new guidance takes a narrower interpretation of what it means to “carry out work … for” an affected education service.

Under this new guidance, employees or volunteers for providers of EOTC, LEOTC services or excursions which are offsite (for example, library, school camp, museum staff) are not required to be vaccinated as they are not working “at” an education service or the staff are not directly employed or engaged by the education service.

The Response Unit has some concerns with the narrowness of this interpretation and know that many councils do as well, and have legal advice to support a wider interpretation. We have communicated this to the Ministry of Education and we are waiting on clarification.

If you have commenced consultation with your staff on the application of the vaccine mandate, we recommend that you continue with this, especially as it is quite possible that following a risk assessment process undertaken as a PCBU, councils may determine a wider range of roles need to be undertaken by vaccinated staff due to the risk of transmission of Covid-19, considering that those aged under 12 are not able to be vaccinated yet. 

We will update you once we have further information from the Ministry of Education.

Covid-19 Vaccination in the workplace and next steps Webinar

Earlier today Taituarā held a webinar on the vaccination mandate and related issues as well as the steps the response unit is taking to review the guidance as policy decisions are made.

The webinar was recorded and will be made available to all who registered. If you’ve not registered, you can still register for free and receive the recording by emailing

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

Today there are 190 new cases in the community, 182 cases in Auckland, seven in Waikato and one in Northland.

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 new Business Boost package announced Friday.

Development of guidance for the new COVID-19 Protection Framework

The Response Unit is working on shaping up guidance for the new COVID-19 Protection Framework. The detail needed will emerge over the next 4–5 weeks with the final details not likely to be confirmed until after the 29 November Cabinet meeting. 

We expect to issue a new set of Guidance for council services the week of 29 November.

We are conscious that this is a long time away for Councils. Organised by Taituarā, we met with a small sub-group of Councils to help frame up the new guidance and review the early iterations. This sub-group will meet again next week.

Both vaccination certificates and mandatory vaccinations will be a key part of the guidance. The 5:15 sent on Wednesday 27 October 2021 included information available at that time.

All current details on the COVID-19 Protection Framework is available on the COVID-19 website: The COVID-19 Protection Framework | Unite against COVID-19 (, and the Response Unit provided an overview of the Framework in the update for Friday 22 October.

Epidemic notice remains in force

The Epidemic notice was renewed on 8 September 2021 and will remain in place for three months. More information of the provisions in the notice are outlined in previous Response Unit updates, which can be viewed on the Local Government Response Unit webpage