Whanganui District Council COVID-19 Update #4

Published on March 30, 2020

COVID-19 news placeholder

Whanganui District Council’s emergency management welfare team has established a call centre to co-ordinate local requests for assistance during the current lockdown.  

Safer Whanganui Manager, Lauren Tamehana, who is leading the Council’s welfare response, says people needing help can call the Council on 349 0001.

“Our call centre will be open from Monday, 30 March to help people in urgent need. We will have people specifically on the phone from 8.00am until 5.00pm and after that all calls will go through to an afterhours number.”

She says, “People may want to know how they can support others, or they may need food or other supplies delivered. This is a difficult time and we know some extra assistance will be needed in our Whanganui community.

“Fortunately we have already seen an amazing effort by agencies, businesses and individuals to coordinate and support relief.”

Lauren Tamehana advises, “Please check in with your neighbours, while always maintaining social distancing – you might be able to phone, message online, or just call out over the fence.”

She says, if you need support:

  • Ask whānau or friends whether they can help, but remember, if they’re not in your bubble, they must maintain social distancing.  
  • If you’re already linked with a social agency, try calling them, as most are still operating remotely.  
  • Call 349 0001 to talk to the Council’s welfare team.

“We’ll have members of our team on the phones who will ask you a few questions to understand your needs. If we can’t help you immediately, we’ll get back to you.”

Whanganui District Council Chief Executive, Kym Fell, says his team is putting in significant hours and co-ordinating with others behind the scenes to support the Whanganui community.

Mr Fell says, “Our early preparation has meant that all essential services are now operating according to plan. We have many staff working remotely to ensure essential services such as wastewater and potable water remain constant and compliant

“We are also working closely with the Police to ensure the central business district remains secure and that people are complying with the lockdown conditions and, in addition to managing the welfare function under the current emergency, we have been able to offer logistics, planning and communications support to the Whanganui District Health Board’s Incident Controller.

“I’m incredibly proud of the way my staff have stepped up during such unprecedented circumstances,” he says.

Information on Council closures and services during the current lockdown is available on the Whanganui District Council website https://www.whanganui.govt.nz/covid-19

For information on the national response to COVID-19, please visit the New Zealand Government site:  https://covid19.govt.nz/

For information on the local response to managing COVID-19, please visit the Whanganui District Health Board website https://www.wdhb.org.nz/