Update - 18 May 2020

Local Government Response Unit main page

Guidance for Alert Level 2

We appreciate that as we transition through Alert Level 2, councils will need to take some pragmatic decisions on a case-by-case basis about the services you provide. You are best placed to consider how to apply the central framework,  the Public Health Order and our guidance in the light of your unique communities.

If you have questions we are on hand to support you throughout your COVID-19 response and recovery, please send these into your usual SOLGM, LGNZ, DIA contact or this inbox

We are aware of an important issue for a number of you is the ability to hold public meetings at Alert Level 2.

For Council meetings, councillors and council staff should be considered workers, and appropriate COVID-19 Risk management practices in place, e.g. 1m physical distancing and contact tracing measures. Public attendance at these meetings should be treated with COVID-19 risk management practices of public space, e.g. 2m physical distancing and contact tracing not required.

Council meetings may be held physically if they can operate safely, and the council must:

  • ensure all councillors and council staff stay 1m apart as far as practicable;
  • ensure that all public who enter the building remain 2 metres away from each other (except where they are a group) and from councillors/council staff (to the greatest extent practicable);
  • not permit groups of more than 10 people;
  • keep records to enable contact tracing of all workers (councillors and council staff) who enter the workplace or carry out work for the council: ((a) the person’s full name, (b) their residential address, (c) an effective means of communicating with them, and (d) the date and the times at which, the person arrived and left the premises);
  • ensure that food or drink is not sold or provided for consumption, except in accordance with specific food and drink requirements in the Order.

Arrangements will still be needed for councillors, staff and public to participate remotely.

The council must meet all health, safety, and hygiene requirements.  Play it safe, and continue to do everything you can to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transition.

Recovery Reference Group

The Recovery Reference Group held its second meeting on Friday.

The primary focus of the meeting was on an overarching outline to set out the objectives, principles, and opportunities of the recovery programme.

We will provide the group’s Terms of Reference and this overview to you later this week following some amendments from last week’s discussions.

The group will then look to flesh out active workstreams, share ideas across councils, and invite representatives from key central government agencies and industry groups to attend reference group meetings as appropriate.

Remuneration Authority Legislation passed

The Remuneration Authority (COVID-19 Measures) Amendment Bill has been passed.

Key points of relevance to the local government sector are:

  • This new legislation gives the Remuneration Authority the power to make new temporary determinations on remuneration for local elected members.
  • It does not apply to council chief executives or other senior staff.
  • The Remuneration Authority is an independent body and will make its decision without input from central government agencies or politicians.
  • Any temporary determination must not reduce anyone’s remuneration by more than 20 per cent, nor for longer than six months.
  • Temporary determinations will need to be in place by 30 June 2020 and will expire on 31 January 2021, after which remuneration will return to the ongoing level determined by the Authority.

Communications collateral for Alert Level 2

As we move through Alert Level 2 there will be more people out and about and using council services. As always, communicating best practice with our communities remains key to the COVID-19 response.

The COVID-19 website has a number of posters you may wish to use to promote good physical distancing, hygiene and staying safe under Alert Level 2. These can be found here:

The All of Government communications team has also updated the social media assets for Alert Level 2 and the ‘golden rules for businesses’. 

Please feel free to share these with your communications colleagues.

Useful resources for Alert Level 2

Last week, we distributed our guidance on council services and operations at Alert Level 2.

This can be found on the COVID-19 Local Government Response Unit webpage.

All of Government Information on life under Alert levels 3, 2 and 1 is now

A wide range of new content has been added to the business.govt.nz website regarding workplace restrictions at different alert levels.

Worksafe has a range of advice and guidance including the necessary health and safety requirements for businesses, with endorsed industry guidance available.

The Ministry of Health also has specific infectious disease control advice for workplaces here.