Covid-19 Local Government Response Unit Update – Wednesday 8 December 2021

 Local Government Response Unit main page

Traffic lights and Vaccine Passes – follow-up webinar

Today, Wednesday 8 December, Taituarā hosted a webinar for Chief Executives and HR managers to discuss the key points around the traffic light system and the vaccine pass.

It was an opportunity to ask any further questions and to share different experiences of implementing the new changes.

The Webinar was recorded and will be made available by Taituarā shortly.

Below are some of the key questions that were asked during the Q and A, and we are working on updating our FAQs which will be distributed in an update next week.

Questions and answers from today’s webinar

Are elected members required to wear masks while speaking during council meetings?

At Red and Orange, council meetings operate with capacity limits based on 1m distancing. A risk-assessment should be completed to determine whether vaccination is required for staff (excluding elected members), and this risk assessment can also inform whether it may be appropriate to allow elected members to remove their masks while speaking. Factors such as ability to distance, whether there is a vaccine mandate in place and ventilation can help inform this assessment.

If a business or service is going to switch between vaccine requirements, is there guidance available for performing deep cleaning and other safety measures?

Provided that sequential cohorts are managed so that no intermingling of groups occurs, and rooms are ventilated and high-touch surfaces cleaned between cohorts, your business or service may switch between vaccinated and unvaccinated settings. You should have clear processes to manage this. What settings you are operating under must be made clear to all involved (staff and attendees). The Ministry of Health provides guidance for the cleaning and disinfection of premises:

If we have chosen to require My Vaccination Passes at our business or service, what is the timeframe for the enforcement of staff vaccine mandates?

For workers in a businesses and services covered by the worker vaccine mandate (food and drink services, close-proximity businesses and gyms), they need to have their first dose by 3 December and be fully vaccinated by 17 January 2022. This applies whether or not the local authority chooses to make vaccine passes a requirement. For other facilities that are not covered by the mandate (e.g. libraries and pools) if the local authority opts to require staff to be vaccinated, it will need to consider what is a reasonable to allow the worker to complete this (bearing in mind the stand down time between first and second dose).

COVID-19 Protection Framework guidance for local government

We have updated our Guidance on implementing the COVID-19 Protection Framework for local government (PDF, 439KB)

These updates include:

  • information and clarification around the use of Rapid Antigen Tests;
  • requirements to check and verify vaccine passes;
  • guidance for multi-use facilities; and
  • vaccine mandate exceptions for businesses operating as a takeaway outlet only.

This guidance is attached, and will also be available at on the Local Government COVID-19 Response Unit webpage:

This guidance has been created in collaboration with a group of chief executives on creating guidance for the implementation of the COVID-19 Protection Framework.

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

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

There are 90 new community cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand today. This includes three cases in Northland, 71 in Auckland, nine in Waikato, five Bay of Plenty, one in Rotorua and one in the Nelson-Tasman region.

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