Covid-19 Local Government Response Unit

The Department of Internal Affairs hosts a COVID-19 Local Government Response Unit. This dedicated working group comprises senior leadership from DIA’s Local Government Branch, from the Taituarā — Local Government Professionals Aotearoa (formerly SOLGM), Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ), and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). 

The Response Unit has been established in recognition of the critical role that local government plays in ensuring the wellbeing and safety of local communities throughout New Zealand. It is providing support to enable councils to continue to function effectively during this crisis. This includes ensuring they can make necessary decisions and meet their legislative and regulatory requirements, and carry out essential services operations, during the COVID-19 response period.

The Response Unit is also providing a vital link through to the All-of-Government  COVID-19 national response effort and a conduit for essential information back out to the local government sector. This includes linking in with other central government agencies that have local government-related responsibilities.

Read the summary of the Unit’s purpose and work (PDF, 208KB).

On this page:

Key workstreams

The Response Unit is working on a number of priority workstreams. These include but are not limited to the following workstreams.

Essential Services

To support local government to continue to provide essential services, as appropriate, through the COVID-19 event. Within this there are five workstreams on the following critical services: drinking and waste water; solid waste; public transport; roading; and crematoriums and cemeteries.  

COVID-19 Protection Framework: Guidance for Local Government:

(Updated 28 June 2022)

Covid-19 Protection Framework: Guidance for Local Government (PDF, 813KB)

In addition to the Local Government Covid Protection Framework guidance, we are also circulating a Frequently Asked Questions document with our email updates. This document is regularly updated. You can find the most up-to-date version of this under the Updates heading below – where we publish our regular email updates.


To ensure local government can continue to make decisions and meet legislative requirements through the COVID-19 response and recovery.

We are also working across agencies to understand the implications of their legislation on local government, including the RMA and consenting issues.

Finance and Recovery

Working across central and local government on the immediate COVID-19 effect on local government financial planning and viability; and working to ensure local government are well placed to support regional and local recovery.

The workstream produced two reports on possible financial Implications of COVID-19 for councils. The first, in mid-April 2020, was an early snapshot assessment to help councils consider COVID-19-related challenges. The second report, released early-May 2020, builds on the information in the first report. It provided more detailed information with reference to three potential COVID-19 Alert Level scenarios, assumptions and further information collected from councils about impacts in the fourth quarter of 2019/20 and rate-setting intentions for 2020/21. The reports were intended to assist with identifying key issues and areas to focus on; and help councils to craft support packages and recovery plans for themselves and their communities.

In August 2020 the workstream published the third and final report in the series. This report examined the decisions councils made in their annual plans for the 2020/21 financial year and compared those annual plans with long-term plan projections. This provided a clearer picture of what the assessed financial impacts on the councils would likely be and how they have responded.

Local Government Sector COVID-19 Financial Implications Report 1 – Initial Analysis (PDF, 1MB)

Local Government Sector COVID-19 Financial Implications Report 2 – Alert Level Scenarios, Assumptions and Updated Analysis (PDF, 953KB)

Local Government Sector COVID-19 Financial Implications Report 3 – Comparison of 2020 annual plan budgets against long-term plans (PDF, 354KB)

Social Wellbeing

To effectively support local authorities as they promote the social wellbeing of their communities, and work with iwi/Māori in this space.


Each day we will be providing Local Government leaders with a 5.15pm update and advice on current and evolving issues. This update will include key messages from the All-of-Government daily updates and the National Crisis Management Centre (NCMC). Daily updates are provided, below. They reflect advice and guidance provided during specific COVID-19 Alert Levels and can be expected to evolve with movement between Alert Levels.

We will also be collating and providing responses to queries directed to the Response Unit as time allows. These will be taken into account in the daily updates and as much as practicable in the guidance and information listed under the different workstreams. They will be posted as they are available on the proviso that we are in the midst of a complex and evolving situation and the content will also be updated to reflect the Covid-19 alert level of response.

For enquiries, please email Local Government COVID-19 Response Communication Group stating the relevant workstream in the subject line.

We will also provide relevant consolidated information such as guidance sheets and links to any pertinent legislative initiatives as well as webpages/websites.

Resources or 0800 779 997 is the All of Government COVID single source of up to date COVID-19 information and should be your first port of call for information.

You can also subscribe to the All of Government daily COVID-19 email updates or you can find the Government WhatsApp channel.

Other useful sources of information

Updated Guidance to Local Government sector on the education vaccination mandate (PDF, 198KB)

Infectious disease control advice for workplaces on the Ministry of Health website

WorkSafe guidance about safe working during this pandemic

Information regarding workplace restrictions at different Alert levels on the business.govt website

Information on local civil defence groups on the Civil Defence website


COVID-19 Local Government Response Update is published here:

June 2022

Wednesday, 1 June 2022

Wednesday, 8 June 2022 

Wednesday, 15 June 2022

May 2022

Wednesday, 4 May 2022

Wednesday, 11 May 2022

Wednesday, 18 May 2022

Wednesday, 25 May 2022

April 2022

Wednesday, 27 April 2022

Wednesday, 20 April 2022

Wednesday, 13 April 2022

Wednesday, 6 April 2022

Monday, 4 April 2022

March 2022

Wednesday, 30 March 2022

Friday, 25 March 2022

Wednesday 23 March 2022

Wednesday, 14 March 2022

Friday, 11 March 2022

Wednesday, 9 March 2022

Wednesday, 2 March 2022

February 2022

Thursday, 24 February 2022

Wednesday, 23 February 2022

Friday, 18 February 2022

Wednesday, 16 February 2022

Monday, 14 February 2022

Thursday, 10 February 2022

Wednesday, 9 February 2022

Friday, 4 February 2022

Thursday, 3 February 2022

Wednesday, 2 February 2022

January 2022

Friday, 28 January 2022

Wednesday, 26 January 2022

Sunday, 23 January 2022

Monday, 17 January 2022

Friday, 14 January 2022

December 2021

Thursday, 30 December 2021

Tuesday, 21 December 2021

Wednesday, 15 December 2021

Monday 13 December 2021

Wednesday, 8 December 2021

Monday, 6 December 2021

Friday, 3 December 2021

Thursday, 2 December 2021

Wednesday, 1 December 2021

November 2021

Monday, 29 November 2021

Friday, 26 November 2021

Wednesday, 24 November 2021

Monday, 22 November 2021

Friday, 19 November 2021

Wednesday, 17 November 2021

Monday 15 November 2021

Wednesday 10 November 2021

Monday, 8 November 2021

Wednesday, 3 November 2021

Monday, 1 November 2021

October 2021

Friday, 29 October 2021

Wednesday, 27 October 2021

Friday, 22 October 2021

Wednesday, 20 October 2021

Monday, 18 October 2021 

Wednesday, 13 October 2021

Thursday, 7 October 2021

Wednesday, 6 October 2021

Tuesday, 5 October 2021

Monday, 4 October 2021

Sunday 3 October 2021

September 2021

Wednesday 22 September 2021

Tuesday 21 September 2021

Monday 20 September 2021

Sunday, 19 September 2021

Saturday, 18 September 2021

Friday, 17 September 2021

Thursday 16 September 2021

Wednesday 15 September 2021

Tuesday 14 September 2021

Monday 13 September 2021

Sunday 12 September 2021

Saturday 11 September 2021

Friday 10 September 2021

Thursday 9 September 2021

Wednesday 8 September 2021

Tuesday 7 September 2021

Monday 6 September 2021

Sunday 5 September 2021 

Saturday 4 September 2021

Friday 3 September 2021

Thursday 2 September 2021

Wednesday 1 September 2021

August 2021

Tuesday 31 August 2021

Monday 30 August 2021

Sunday 29 August 2021

Saturday 28 August 2021

Friday 27 August 2021

Thursday 26 August 2021

Wednesday 25 August 2021

Tuesday 24 August 2021

Monday 23 August 2021

Sunday 22 August 2021

Saturday 21 August 2021

Friday 20 August 2021

Thursday 19 August 2021

Wednesday 18 August 2021

Tuesday 17 August 2021

June 2021

Saturday 26 June 2021 

Sunday 27 June 2021

Tuesday 29 June 2021

Friday 25 June 2021

Thursday 24 June 2021

Wednesday 23 June 2021

Thursday 17 June 2021

View previous updates

Contact us

Email us at Local Government COVID-19 Response Communication Group

COVID-19 Local Government Response Unit

45 Pipitea Street

PO Box 805

Wellington 6140

New Zealand.

Back to top