Local Government COVID-19 Response Update –  Sunday 22 August 2021

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Here’s today’s update

The Prime Minister announced on 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.

Mandatory record keeping

Today the COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins announced new measures for record keeping, including the use of the COVID-19 tracer app under all alert levels for everyone 12 and older.

This means many public locations will need to ensure that visitors keep a record when they visit. This can be done by scanning QR codes with the COVID-19 Tracer App or making a manual record.

Places where it will be mandatory to ensure records are kept will include many council run places, such as exercise facilities, libraries, local and central government agencies, and social services providers with customer service counters.

This requirement will come into effect seven days after we change alert levels. The seven-day window provides businesses and other locations where record keeping will be required with time to ensure they have record keeping systems and processes in place.

Businesses and locations will be responsible for making sure people record their visit. Some locations may have existing measures in place to record visits such as gyms which have swipe card access and this is adequate to ensure a record is kept.

More information on mandatory record keeping can be found on the Unite Against COVID-19 website: Mandatory recordkeeping for busy places and events .

We will be updating our Alert Level guidance for council operations to reflect these requirements over the next few days.

Public toilet operations under Alert Level 4

Tomorrow morning Taituarā will be distributing a list of all public toilets we believe to be open under Alert Level 4. This is important information for the transport sector, in particular long-haul freight.

We ask that every council please respond to this list, either confirm that it is correct or provide updated information.

Changes to the publishing of locations of interest

The Ministry of Health have made updates to the publishing of on their website: Locations of Interest . The page will now be updated every two hours with any new locations of interest identified, and locations can be searched by address, suburb, city or name of place.

When updating this system this morning, there was a small glitch where locations of interest prior to the 9th of August were briefly published. This has since been corrected.

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.

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.

New section 70 order has been issued

The order requires household 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 21 new cases of COVID-19 in the New Zealand community, this brings the total number of cases in the community outbreak to 72. Of the 21 new cases, 20 are in Auckland and one is in Wellington. This brings Wellington’s number of community cases to six.

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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