Update - 15 May 2020

Local Government Response Unit main page


Recovery Reference Group

Today the Recovery Reference Group held its second meeting.

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

The next steps are to consider how this can be underpinned by active workstreams with a focus on practical actions and maximising opportunities as we move into a post COVID world.

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

Moving forward, the group will 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.

Other items discussed in today’s meeting are summarised below:

  • The upcoming LTP process: The group discussed the challenges councils will face in setting Long Term Plans in the context of COVID-19. SOLGM will work with the OAG to provide targeted guidance for the LTP process in the context of COVID-19.
  • Tourism challenges and opportunities: MBIE are working across agencies and with the Tourism industry to understand and address short to medium term implications of COVID-19. The reference group will look to invite MBIE to share this work as it progresses, to understand the flow on implications for local government and the opportunity to refocus tourism strategies moving forward.
  • Caring for communities: in the context of the C4C work undertaken by central government (discussed further below), the group discussed the opportunities to capture lessons of good regional collaborative governance and to recalibrate relationships between central and local government.  

NEMA update to Mayors, Chairs, CEs and CDEM controllers

Today the Response Unit and NEMA held the bi-weekly discussion with you and CDEM controllers. For those of you who could not make this call, a brief overview is provided below:

NEMA gave a brief overview of the temporary changes to the CDEM Act and the issuance of a national transition period. In short:The COVID-19 Public Health Response Act 2020 provides a fit-for-purpose legal framework for managing the ongoing response to COVID-19 in a coordinated and orderly way;

The Response Act includes amendments to the CDEM Act, the key changes of which:

  • Provide that if a state of national emergency for COVID-19 is declared, any local state of emergency for other emergencies that are not related to COVID-19 are not affected
  • Require the approval of the Minister of Civil Defence before a state of local emergency may be declared for any other emergency that is not related to COVID-19.

NEMA has prepared the guidance on national transition period and Response Act and are on hand to support you should you feel the need to declare a local state of emergency.

COVID-19 national transition period requirement (PDF, 86KB)

Factsheet changes to the cdem act May 2020 (PDF, 202KB)

Factsheet declaring states of local emergency May 2020 (PDF, 3MB)

Guidance on the use of CDEM act powers during the covid 19 related national transition period (PDF, 462KB)

Notice of transition period factsheet May 2020 (PDF, 400KB)

Quick guide to declaring a state of local emergency May 2020 (PDF, 172KB)

Quick guide to giving notice of local transition period May 2020 (PDF, 146KB)

The Response Unit will continue to work with central government agencies and local government to refine our guidance on council services as we progress through Alert Level 2.

The Response Unit is now transitioning to focus on Recovery, however, we remain agile to be responsive to changes and prepared to scale up support for the sector as required.

There are no further teleconferences of this kind set up, they can be re-established if required.

We would like to acknowledge and thank you all for the leadership you have all shown, and continue to show, in support of CDEM and Health COVID-19 efforts.

Local Government and the COVID-19 Fusion Centre

Previously we have noted that NZ Police, MBIE, Worksafe, Health and MPI have established a COVID-19 compliance model to ensure a common approach to compliance with the COVID-19 Alert Level restrictions.

This compliance model includes a Fusion Centre with agency representatives from across government to coordinate responses to compliance issues at Alert level 2.

Mark Pattemore from Wellington City Council has been working as the local government contact for the compliance work of the Fusion Centre.

Mark, working with SOLGM, has been linked into your senior regulatory managers to ensure a smooth process for raising of compliance issues as they relate to local government.

Mark will also keep linked in to SOLGM and the Response Unit to raise any more systemic issues that arise as Alert Level 2 progresses. 

We would like to thank Mark for the role he plays in providing this important link through to the wider local government sector and the Response Unit.

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 have 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.

COVID-19 posters

COVID-19 business toolkit

Information for responsible campers under Alert Level 2

MBIE have prepared an information pack that provides key messages for responsible campers under Alert Level 2.

This information pack is availble for you to share as you see fit with those people who are considering using freedom camping facilities in your district.

COVID-19 information for responsible campers (WORD, 21KB)

MBIE developed this information in conjunction with DIA and DOC, with further key information provided from relevant tourism sector bodies.

As noted in our guidance for safe council services under Alert Level 2, there are several considerations for councils when choosing to re-open freedom camping sites.

Read more about council services and operations through alert levels 2, 3 and 4 - updated 14 May 2020 (PDF, 2MB)

Useful resources for Alert Level 2

Yesterday we distributed our guidance on council services and operations at Alert Level 2 (PDF, 2MB). 

All of Government Information on life under Alert levels 3, 2 and 1 is now available on COVID-19 GOvernment website.

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

Worksafe have a range of advice and guidance including the necessary health and safety requirements for businesses on the WorkSafe website

Endorsed industry guidance available.

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