Local Government COVID-19 Response Update –  Friday 20 August 2021

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Here’s todays update

The Prime Minister has announced today, Friday 20 August 2021 that New Zealand will remain in Alert Level 4 until at least 11.59pm Tuesday 24 August 2021. This will be reassessed by Cabinet on Monday 23 August 2021.

Expanded list of essential workers eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination

The government has expanded the list of essential workers eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination to include frontline staff who interact with customers and transport and logistic services directly supporting the vaccination programme.

These people will be included in Group 2 in the vaccine prioritisation roll out. The new group includes people who work in:

Supermarkets and dairies

Petrol stations

Licensing trusts


Food banks

Self-service laundries

Hardware and DIY stores

Accommodation services

Passenger services (including public transport services) provided by means of road, rail, air, or sea

 Social and community-based services provided to support persons to maintain critical well-being, or as crisis support for people who are unsafe or homeless.

School hostels

People in these workplaces will be able to receive vaccinations as soon as possible without having to wait until 1 September to book.

DHBs will work directly with employers of these Group 2 workers to organise vaccinations.

Note on guidance sent out yesterday

Please note that the guidance sent out yesterday is the latest version, it was updated yesterday. There was an incorrect date on the first page, it should have been dated 19 August 2021. We apologies for this inconvenience.

Ombudsman’s advisory on LGOIMA during COVID-19

  • The Ombudsman has released an advisory about managing LGOIMA requests during lockdown. There is an emphasis on communicating with the public about any challenges your council may be facing. The advisory can be found here: Ombudsman's statement
  • A COVID-19 FAQS guide can also be found here: Ombudsman's FAQs. This guide answers questions from agencies and requesters about dealing with official information requests during the COVID-19 emergency.

Guidance on reimbursement to local authority and CDEM groups for costs incurred as a result of the lockdown

NEMA has released guidance on the scope of local authorities/CDEM Group welfare costs which are eligible for reimbursement by NEMA as a result of the 17 August 2021 lockdown.

There are changes from the previous lockdown in March 2020, including that the Category 2 costs are no longer available for reimbursement as this funding has been exhausted. However, many of the costs formerly covered by Category 2 are now being met by other agencies. More information can be found in this document: Fact Sheet Covid-19 Reimbursement Guidelines (PDF, 139KB)

New section 70 order has been issued

The order requireshousehold contacts of those who have visited locations of interest at the relevant times to self-isolate.  The previous order only required self-isolation for those who had actually visited those locations.

More information can be found here: Covid-19 Epidemic Notice and Orders - Section 70 

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

There are 11 new COVID-19 cases identified today, taking the total number to 31. Three cases have been identified in Wellington with the rest in Auckland.

If you have cold and flu symptoms, please get tested. Available testing sites can be found here on the Ministry of Health website: Available testing sites, with more being stood up in Auckland.

Locations of interest can be found here on the Ministry of Health website: Locations of Interest, and 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.

Mandatory use of face coverings

A face covering must be worn:

on public transport and at departure points, for example train stations and bus stops

on flights

in taxi or ride-share vehicles — drivers and passengers

when visiting healthcare facilities

inside any Alert Level 4 businesses and services that are open and involve customer contact, including supermarkets, pharmacies and petrol stations. Staff must also wear masks.

What Alert Level 4 means

Stay home and keep to your bubble. Your bubble is your household, and anyone that may be dependent on you.

Only leave home for essential services: visiting the super market, exercise, getting tested, or receiving urgent medical care.

When leaving home for essential exercise, please wear a mask and physically distance from those outside your bubble.

Epidemic notice remains in force

The following provisions will remain in place until the Principal Notice expires or is revoked:

the amendments to enable council meetings via audio or visual link to meet quorum requirements regardless of Council Standing Orders;

the provisions enabling council meetings to be open to the public through online access and to post meeting agendas, reports and minutes on council websites rather than physical locations;

new members of Council can continue to make their statutory declaration (oath of office) via audio or audio-visual link; and

the Order-in-Council mechanism for making further changes to by-election timing and provisions enabling local authority chief executives to delay the commencement of by-election timeframes.

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