COVID-19

COVID-19 page image

Whanganui District Council has responded to the Government’s announcement to move to Alert Level Four at midnight on Wednesday, 25 March 2020, by making changes to its levels of service.

These are intended to minimise contact during the current COVID-19 situation in line with the Government’s requirements while ensuring the provision of essential services:

  • drinking and waste water
  • solid waste
  • essential roading services
  • crematorium and cemetery services

Key contacts and sources of information

Facility closures

Service / Facility Status
Libraries All libraries are closed to the public from Monday, 23 March, 2020 until further notice and cannot accept returns. Just hold on to any borrowed items – there will be no overdue charges of any kind. Whanganui District Library cannot answer phones or respond to phone messages but you can get in touch by emailing: info@whanganuilibrary.com
Sarjeant Gallery te Whare o Rehua Closed to the public from Monday, 23 March, 2020 until further notice.
Whanganui War Memorial Centre Closed to the public from Monday, 23 March, 2020 until further notice.
Royal Wanganui Opera House Closed to the public from Monday, 23 March, 2020 until further notice.
Cooks Gardens Closed to the public from Monday, 23 March, 2020 until further notice.
Whanganui i-SITE Visitor Information Centre Closed to the public from Monday, 23 March, 2020 until further notice.
Innovation Quarter Closed to the public from Monday, 23 March, 2020 until further notice.
Infrastructure building Closed to the public from 12 noon, Monday, 23 March, 2020 until further notice.
Whanganui Regional Museum Closed. Some Museum services will soon be available on-line. Please go to https://www.wrm.org.nz/ for information.
Whanganui Airport Closed to the public, except for passengers, from Monday, 23 March, 2020. The café will also be closed.
Splash Centre Closed to the public from Friday, 20 March, 2020 until further notice.
Parks and Playgrounds All Council parks and playgrounds are closed.

Council and committee meetings

All Council, committee, other meetings will be postponed until further notice.

Customer Services

The Council call centre is open with essential queries such as drinking and waste water, solid waste, essential roading services, and animal management having priority. If you need to contact the Council, please call 06 349 0001.

Regulatory Services

Essential regulatory services at Whanganui District Council are continuing under the current COVID-19 lockdown. 

Compliance services

Council compliance services operating during the lockdown:

  • Sampling of Whanganui’s drinking water supply continues as normal.
  • Council Environmental Health staff remain available to attend nuisance complaints where there is an immediate risk to public safety.
  • Armourguard continues to respond to noise complaints on a 24-hour/seven-days-a-week basis in conjunction with Whanganui Police.
  • Compliance Officers continue to monitor illegal rubbish dumping complaints and respond to incidents on a case-by-case basis.
  • Compliance Officers will respond to any incidents of non-compliance that are required in the interests of public safety  

Council compliance services SUSPENDED until further notice:

  • The processing of applications under the Health Act, Food Act, and Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act. (Please note that while the public are able to submit applications online or in hard copy form, they WILL NOT be processed during the lockdown period.)
  • Monitoring of licensed premises and responding to complaints against licensed premises. 
  • All parking services.

Planning services

The Planning team is still able to receive and register resource consent applications that are lodged online. (Please note that applications submitted in hard copy form or emailed to the Planning team WILL NOT be processed during the lockdown period.)

Planning services available during the lockdown:

Please direct planning enforcement enquiries only to Council Customer Services at 06 349 0001.

Building Control services

The Council’s Building Control services continue to respond on a limited basis to reports of faults, damage or other issues relating to Council-maintained services or facilities. Other key information:

  • Vetting and processing of resource consents will continue on a limited shared-connection basis.
  • The public can still apply for Land Information Memorandum (LIM) reports at: www.whanganui.govt.nz/lims
    (Please note that LIM applications WILL NOT be processed during the lockdown period.)
  • Onsite building inspections by Building Control Officers are suspended until further notice.

Dogs

Dog Pound

The Whanganui District Council dog pound is currently closed to the public.

Please be assured, our staff are still attending to the dogs in the pound as per normal. We have prepared for this situation and have ample food, cleaning supplies and basic health supplies.

Animal management officers are available for priority incidents where there is immediate threat to any person or property, such as a dog attack or stock wandering on a public highway.

Safe dog-walking during shutdown

Whanganui District Council’s Animal Management team is asking dog owners to keep themselves and their dogs safe during the COVID-19 shutdown.

Please follow these rules:

  • Your dog MUST be on a lead AT ALL times and kept AT LEAST 2 metres apart from other dogs.
  • Maintain your physical distance – 2 metres – from other dog-walkers and dogs.
  • Stay local – DO NOT drive to another location (including designated off-leash areas) to walk your dog.
  • Pick up your dog’s stools.
  • Find other ways to enjoy your dog at home, such as playing games and extra training.

For everyone’s protection we need to keep families, including their dogs, in a ‘bubble’. Dogs must be kept on leads while out walking to prevent them rushing up to other dogs or humans and possibly reacting aggressively.

Public Toilets

  • Pākaitore / Moutoa Gardens public toilets will remain open 24/7 and will be cleaned twice daily.
  • St Hill Street men's and women's public toilets will be kept open and will be cleaned twice daily

All other public toilets are closed to the public from Monday, 23 March, 2020 until further notice.

Roading

For information changes to national roading services please visit NZTA's COVID-19 information page

Work on the Whanganui District Council roading network will be reduced to essential services only for the immediate four week shutdown as detailed below:

  • Routes that are lifelines are clear
  • Grading to rural unsealed roads to keep them driveable and safe for food production and supply trips, and to ensure drainage to channels is functioning. No metalling will take place.
  • The urban sweeper truck will continue to operate to ensure sumps feeding stormwater infrastructure are kept clear and functioning during the upcoming seasonal leaf fall
  • Further resources will be only on an as-needed emergency basis
  • Callouts to events such as drainage alarm faults, slips or trees down across a road
  • All current roadworks sites including Gloucester Street, Victoria Ave, Glasgow St and Papaiti Road will be backfilled, tidied up and left in safe, trafficable condition by the end of Wednesday, 25 March, 2020.

Restricted access to the Whanganui River Road and Kaiwhaiki Road

  • Access to the Whanganui River Road and Kaiwhaiki Road is currently restricted to residents and essential and emergency services only. Signage will be placed at both ends of the Whanganui River Road and at the entrance to Kaiwhaiki Road. Apart from essential and emergency services, non-residents must not use these roads under any circumstances.
  • Please respect the restrictions and adhere to the government stipulation to cease all non-essential travel. We ask you to stay home - and be safe.

Buses
Horizons Regional Council has advised that Whanganui buses are now operating on a Saturday timetable. No Sunday service will operate and the Whanganui to Palmerston North service is not available until further notice.

Water and wastewater services

Operational maintenance and repair will be kept to essential work only, to ensure a continual supply of water and wastewater services to residences and business premises.

Waste Management

General household rubbish 

Kerbside collection of wheelie bins and stickered rubbish bags from residential addresses is continuing – collection will be on your usual days.  

Remember all rubbish bags placed for collection must have stickers and meet the collection requirements: rubbish bags must not weigh more than 10kg and must be no larger than 60 litres in size. Bags exceeding these limits will not be collected. 

Waste Management’s Midtown Transfer & Recycling Depot, at 14 Liffiton Street, is closed to the public until further notice. Commercial customers deemed essential services will still have access to the depot during the Government’s four-week lockdown period. 

EnviroWaste has closed the Wanganui Transfer Station and Recycling Centre at 27 Gilberd Street.

Rural waste collection services will continue as usual.

Recycling 

The Whanganui Resource Recovery Centre at 81 Maria Place is completely closed until further notice, but there are a few options to help manage your recyclable waste: 

  • Wash recycling well and store it until the recycling centre reopens. Storage will be easier if you flatten plastic bottles and cardboard boxes.
  • Reuse containers and other recyclable materials, making sure you clean and dry them properly first. There are great ideas for reusing recyclables on Sustainable Whanganui’s ReSource A-Z website at www.resourcewhanganui.org.nz
  • If you are unable to store or reuse your recycling, you can dispose of it with your regular general waste collection. 

Wet wipes 

Disposable wet wipes are convenient and popular at the moment, but they can create issues in our wastewater system. They don’t break down the way toilet paper does and they collect grease, rubbish and other objects as they pass through the sewage system, often ending up as a large mass that causes blockages.  

Please put wet wipes, if you use them, in the bin, not the toilet. Even better, keep your use of them to a minimum.

Freedom camping

Freedom camping areas in Whanganui are closed and all freedom campers are requested to stay at registered camp grounds with suitable facilities for self-isolation.

For camp ground enquiries, please call the TOP 10 Holiday Park in Aramoho on (06) 343 8402.

Please note you will need to be fully self-contained during the Government-announced four week self-isolation period.

Dump stations for waste disposal are considered an essential service and will be available for self-contained vehicles.

Whanganui dump stations are located at:

  • Springvale Park, London Street side (at main entrance to complex)
  • 148 Taupō Quay, (self-contained parking opposite)
  • Whanganui East Club, 101 Wakefield Street
  • Kowhai Park, 140a Anzac Parade