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COVID-19: information

Under Alert Level 2, many Council facilities and services will resume at a reduced capacity. 

To find out what's happening with our services, facilities, parks and venues: www.tauranga.govt.nz/covid19  |  For information on COVID-19: covid19.govt.nz  |  Stay safe and be kind to one another - kia kaha Tauranga.

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COVID-19

Tauranga City Council's response to COVID-19

At Alert Level 2, Tauranga City Council will resume operations and services at a reduced capacity.

While some facilities will remain closed, others will have measures in place to protect our community and staff. This includes physical distancing, contact tracing, and limits on visitor numbers. 

We're also working on a response plan to assist Tauranga's recovery post-COVID. Our plan has three key elements: assist our businesses and communities, adapt our services, and stimulate our city's recovery. 

Find out more about our recovery plan

For information on COVID-19 visit the Ministry of Health and Covid19.govt.nz

To report an alert level 2 breach to Police, use the online form on the Police website

Update on essential services, facilities and venues

The Customer Service Centre will be open from Thursday, 14 May. There will be a limit on the number of people allowed in the centre at any one time. Physical distancing and contact tracing measures will also be in place.

Opening hours are:
Mon, Tue, Thur and Fri: 8.30am to 5pm
Wed: 9am to 5pm
Weekends: closed

They will also be closed daily from 12noon to 12.15pm to steralise the Customer Service Centre.

To avoid unnecessary contact, people can also pay their rates, invoices, dog registrations, building consent fees or fines online.

The call centre is also available 24/7 and the phone number is +64 7 577 7000.

There will be no disruption to city water supplies or waste water services. We will continue to respond to maintenance requests. However, we will need to reduce our response to non-essential service requests. You can help by only reporting issues that need an urgent response, such as water outages, pipe breaks or major leaks, sewer breaks or blockages and overflows. Should you use wet wipes to clean, please bin them not flush them.

Maintenance activities will also be increasing, to keep you and our teams safe we ask you to maintain a safe physical distance of 2 metres.

Going back to work? Make sure you check your water.

The following actions are recommended to be undertaken prior to returning to normal activities/services:

  • sufficiently flush all your taps/faucets so that the water is clear or appears normal
    • please note flushing may take longer if you have a large premise
  • if water remains cloudy or smelly, run the outdoor tap for a further 10 minutes and if the problem persists, please call us on +64 7 577 7000.

For more information read the below advisory from the Ministry of Health.

Ministry of Health COVID-19 drinking-water advice (187kb pdf)

Transfer stations/recycling centres

Transfer stations are now open to the public and able to accept all general rubbish, green waste and recycling again.

Opening hours are as normal:
Mon - Fri: 7.30am to 5pm
Sat and Sun: 9am to 5pm

When visiting, expect some delays and take direction from staff managing traffic. Also, at all times, maintain a 2 metre distance from others - members of the public as well as all staff. Should queues get too long, people may be asked to return another day.

To minimise the potential of delays to city-wide waste collections, commercial operators will have priority access. At Te Maunga transfer station, access for the general public will be via Truman Road, commercial traffic will come via Tip Lane. 

Good to know:

  • You will need to pre-sort all waste e.g. tin, glass, paper, plastics, rubbish and garden waste prior to your visit - or risk being turned back. 
  • Contact tracing will be in place, you’ll be asked to supply your name, phone number and vehicle registration via an online form. If you have no mobile internet access, staff can help.
  • Payment can be made by PayWave or card only - no cash will be accepted. 

Kerbside collections

All kerbside rubbish and recycling collection services, whether they are undertaken by us or private waste service providers, will continue as normal, unless otherwise stated.

If you have any questions around your service, or need to report any missed collections, please contact your private waste service provider directly. If your enquiry relates to the council rubbish bag service or the glass collection service, please call us on +64 7 577 7000.

We will be regularly reviewing what level of service is necessary to serve our community, as well as ensuring we are keeping workers safe. We'll communicate any changes via our website and social media channels.

Kerbside rubbish collection

Official council rubbish bags can be purchased from the supermarket as normal. Place bags on the kerbside by 7.30am on your normal collection day.

Please note that council rubbish bags will temporarily be plain black and not have the usual printed white writing. You can still recognise official council bags by the pink sticker, so that's what to look for when shopping. However, there may be a combination of both printed and non-printed bags at some supermarkets.

If you have any questions about council's kerbside rubbish bag service, please call us on +64 7 577 7000

Frequently asked questions on waste services at alert level 3 (143kb pdf)

Save on waste - tips for spending less time at the supermarket this lockdown (83kb pdf)

Kerbside recycling with private contractors

If you have a kerbside recycling wheelie bin with a private waste company, you can continue to put it out for collection as normal during the lockdown. Please note that your recycling will be sent to landfill rather than being recycled during this period, due to the hand sorting required.

If you have any questions around your private waste company's service, please contact your service provider directly.

Council kerbside glass collection

We will continue to provide the fortnightly kerbside glass recycling collection, but we will not be hand sorting the glass bottles and jars at the kerbside. Crates containing items other than glass bottles and jars will not be collected. The glass will get recycled as mixed colour glass, rather than being separated into different colours during the lockdown period. Please continue to follow the collection guidelines: 

  • only place your crate out for collection if it is more than half full
  • do not over fill your crates
  • no medicine/vaping bottles or ceramics
  • non-official crates will not be collected due to health and safety reasons
  • place your crate on the kerbside at 7.30am on your normal collection day.

If you have any questions about council's glass recycling collection service, please call us on +64 7 577 7000

Public bins

Public bins will be monitored and emptied as normal.

Commercial waste collections

Private waste service providers will provide collections to commercial businesses that meet the criteria of operating at level 3, provided they are able to provide a safe work environment for their employees.

If you have any questions around commercial services, please contact the waste service providers directly. Council does not provide waste collection services to commercial businesses.

Waste education

Resource Wise programmes cannot operate as normal at level 3 and level 4. This include classroom education, waste auditing in schools and businesses, and community workshops. These programmes will commence at either level 1 or level 2, to be determined on a case by case basis.

We are also looking at moving some of our lessons and resources to an online format.

Our Resource Wise team is still available to answer any questions you have have. Please email sustainability.waste@tauranga.govt.nz

Frequently asked questions on waste services at alert level 3 (143kb pdf)

Parks and reserves will be open, including Oropi Mountain Bike Park and McLaren Falls Park. The McLaren Falls Campground is still closed at Alert Level 2.

People are asked to keep their distance from others (ideally 2 metres) and give way on narrow footpaths, walkways and bridges.

As maintenance activities will be increasing, to keep you and our teams safe we ask you to keep your distance. Where necessary, we will put signs up to let you know we are at work in the reserve. A wave or a thumbs up is appreciated, but with questions or to report any issues, please call us on +64 7 577 7000

Playgrounds

Staff will be giving all 107 playgrounds a deep clean prior to them being open to the public on Thursday, 14 May.

To protect your family and others:

  • stay home if you’re sick
  • keep your distance from others (ideally 2 metres)
  • wash your hands before and after using the playground.

Picnic tables and public BBQs

People should still avoid using picnic tables. Public BBQs and drinking fountains will remain turned off.

McLaren Falls Park

McLaren Falls Park is open, however the campground is still closed.

Mauao

Mauao is open, however it is a COVID-19 high risk area due to the number of visitors, the inability for them to maintain safe physical distancing, and an inability to contact trace all users.

To protect yourself and others:

  • keep away from others (ideally 2 metres)
  • give way on narrow sections
  • avoid passing others 
  • do not stop midtrack to talk to others
  • consider exercising elsewhere.

Moturiki Island

Moturiki/Leisure Island is also open.

TECT All-Terrain Park

TECT All-Terrain Park is partially open between 8am and 5.30pm.

You can use tracks for:

  • mountain biking
  • horse riding
  • walking.

Please follow the strict one-way policy on all trails, as directed by signage.

Motorcycle tracks and the Adrenalin Forest will remain closed due to higher risk of injury.

Toilet facilities will also be closed and parking will be limited to ensure social distancing.

Oropi Mountain Bike Park

Oropi Mountain Bike Park is open.

Papamoa Hills Regional Park

Papamoa Hills is managed by Bay of Plenty Regional Council – please check their website for the most up to date information.

All Tauranga City Libraries will be reopening on Wednesday, 20 May at a reduced capacity.

Items can now be returned. There will be no overdue fees and we have extended the due date to 30 June, 2020.  

Managing your account online

You can manage your library account online by logging in with the barcode number on your library card and your PIN/password. You can then browse the digital library to check out our eCollections and online resources.

For more information, visit our library website.

Bay Venues' will be reopening facilities in stages so that they can closely monitor the new procedures that have been put in place to keep our staff and the community safe.

Under Alert Level 2, public venues and programmes can reopen with strict health and safety practices in place, including contact tracing to record who is coming into our venues and when.

More information available on the Bay Venues website

If you're finding it hard to get the essentials for your home, or you know of someone else in this position - please call 0800 884 222 (7am to 7pm, 7 days a week).

There are also a number of community and social services who are supporting those in need during the lockdown. If you need help, there are services that are available to support you.

Tauranga community and social services available during the lockdown (269kb pdf)

Central Government's welfare factsheet (249kb pdf)

Western Bay of Plenty migrant information and support during the lockdown (180kb pdf)

The government still advises people to keep away from others, ideally 2 metres when outdoors. This includes when you are walking, running or cycling. 

Check for others before using narrow walkways, tracks or bridges and give way when possible. More info can be found on the covid-19 website.

Matapihi Bridge rail bridge

The rail bridge is open, however it is a COVID-19 high risk area due to the narrowness of the bridge, and user’s inability maintain safe physical distancing when someone is coming the other way. 

To protect yourself and others, we recommend using an alternative route.

Animal services will continue to manage the pound and respond to dangerous and wandering dogs.

During the lockdown, please keep your dog on a leash at all times while walking it - even in areas that are usually off-leash. Not everyone appreciates being approached by dogs, especially when we're all trying to maintain a safe distance from each other.

Baycourt Community & Arts Centre will remain closed until further notice.

Scheduled events at Baycourt from now up until Thursday, 23 April (subject to change) are now cancelled or postponed.

All ticketing enquiries, refunds and exchanges will be handled by Ticketek.  Please contact Ticketek directly by phoning 0800 842 538 or email online@ticketek.co.nz  Please be patient as the Ticketek team is currently processing a large number of refunds, so response times may be longer than usual.

Building inspections 

We resumed building inspections from Tuesday 28 April, when the country moved to COVID-19 Alert Level 3. Inspections will take place in the same order that they were booked. If you no longer require an inspection, please let us know.

For the safety or our staff and those on site, our inspectors will follow all individual construction site health and safety policies and procedures, as well as Council’s own guidelines. These include strict standards around hygiene, physical distancing, use of electronic plans loaded onto their own devices, and the use of appropriate PPE (personal protection equipment).

We ask that all Residential Postline & Preplaster inspections be done by self-certified by a Licenced Building Practitioner (LBP), the form can be found on our website.

Council alert level 3 protocols require a new set of stamped approved plans to be onsite for residential builds marked ‘Council only’.

When possible, we will be reviewing approved residential plans on our devices, but please keep a paper copy on site due to possible connectivity/software issues.

For staff and public safety, we will not be undertaking any inspections for internal alterations as this requires staff entering people’s bubbles.

An inspector will be in contact with site contacts to cancel these bookings. This will also apply for any final inspections if the building is occupied.

We will now be texting site contacts to let them know what day their inspection will be, and only drainage, wastepipes and final inspections have locked times.

If you require more information around safe Health and Safety protocols, CHASNZ, Master Builders, New Zealand Certified Builders and other industry stakeholders have developed a COVID-19 Health and Safety Protocols for NZ Residential Construction document. You can read that document here

Resource consents and planning

We are likely to experience challenges providing regular services and meeting statutory time frames as our staff will be working remotely. 

It may be appropriate to apply to extend resource consent processing timeframes, this however will only occur where all reasonable efforts have been made to meet normal timeframes.  

Please advise us whether there are any critical timing issues related to your application, or whether an application is non urgent (given current circumstances) and you agree to the proactive measure of a timeframe extension.  If the latter is agreeable, we suggest an initial two-week extension.

Any person who wishes to make an application during the next four weeks is required to do so via our online lodgement system.

Building consent applications and processing

Please continue to submit all building consent applications through AlphaOne.

We will continue to process building consent applications during the lockdown, aiming at achieving the 20-business day timeframe. However due to the current circumstances your application may be further delayed. MBIE has provided direction on this, allowing flexibility and they will continue to monitor the situation.

If you have already submitted an application and are now unsure if you want to continue, you have two options:

  • put it on hold - you can do this for up to 110 days
  • withdraw your application.

Both options must be done via your agent. Please be aware that if you choose to withdraw your application, you will need to pay the charges on any processing work completed up until the date of the withdrawal.

Applications requiring section 72, section 75 or encumbrance notices 

We can process section 72 and section 75 certificates, as they can be electronically signed by a delegated staff member.

We cannot process encumbrance notices as they need to be manually signed. All encumbrance notices will go on hold until we are out of lockdown and issuing dates will therefore be delayed.

Our communications team will be on hand to keep our communities updated and informed, as well as answer any media enquiries. We will continue to post updates on and respond to customers’ requests on our social media channels (Facebook, Neighbourly, Twitter and LinkedIn), but ask that you contact us via phone on +64 7 577 7000 instead with any urgent or service-related requests.

All face-to-face engagement is now on hold and we are reviewing our projects which require consultation over this period. We will be looking to establish more online opportunities for you to share your feedback, and will have more information on this available soon.

Annual Plan 2020/21

Consultation will occur in April, with exact dates to be finalised soon. Information will be made available on the draft Annual Plan 2020-21 page

The mayor and councillors will still need to make decisions over this period. An emergency committee has been set up. It will have three members: the mayor, the deputy mayor and a councillor. The councillor involved will depend on the nature of the topic being considered.

The public will not be able to attend any Council meetings. However, they will be live streamed which you can view on our website.
Council meetings live stream

Please refer to the COVID-19 website for the most up-to-date government guidelines on events and gatherings able to take place under the current alert level. If you would like to discuss your event/gathering further and whether it is able to proceed, please email eventbookings@tauranga.govt.nz

More information on events and gatherings:

Check the My Tauranga website or specific event organisers' websites/Facebook pages for further information.

Freedom camping is allowed under Alert Level 2. For more information on freedom campaign rules and locations, visit our freedom camping page

Community Development Match Fund

Our medium funding round will not be going ahead in May. The money set aside has instead been put towards the rapid response fund (see below).

You can still continue to apply for small grants at any time

Rapid Response Fund

TECT, Bay Trust, Acorn Foundation and Tauranga City Council have come together to establish a new fund to support community groups who are experiencing increased demand and/or funding shortfall as a result of COVID-19. Find out more about the new fund.

Social sector funding support available during COVID-19 (185kb pdf)

We’ll continue to process requests for LIM reports and property files, with a few changes:

  • the urgent residential LIM service is no longer available; the standard 10-day service applies to all new orders
  • we will only be able to deliver LIM reports and property files via email (through FTP) – hard copy LIM reports and property files on USB will not be available until further notice

If you wish to cancel a LIM or property file order, call us on +64 7 577 7000

Our customer service centre is now open. We cannot process cheques sent to us via post, due to the manual handling required, however you can pay online

Go to 'Do it online' at the top of our website to find out more about other ways to pay - or give us a call on +64 7 577 7000 with any questions.

Contractors have safety protocols for working under Level 2 conditions.

Parking is mostly free for the first two weeks of Alert Level 2. The free offer differs slightly for on-street and off-street car parks.

  • On-street parking is free. Time restrictions apply and will be enforced.
  • Parking buildings are free for the first two hours and then charged at the usual rates.
  • P180 off-street car parks are free. Time restrictions apply.
  • All-day off-street car parks are free if you are parked for less than two hours.

If you work in town, please support local businesses by parking in the off-street car parks so that the street parks are available for shoppers. Please pay as normal. Standard daily rates apply.

We will decide whether to change or extend the free parking offer after two weeks of Alert Level 2.

The cemetery is now open to vehicles and pedestrians.

Funeral services can now be held on the grounds with up to 50 people in attendance. This has to be approved by the Ministry of Health - your funeral director will look after the process for you. Physical distancing and contact tracing measures will be in place.

If you're having trouble paying your rates during the COVID-19 lockdown, our staff may be able to help. Please phone +64 7 577 7000 or email arrangements@tauranga.govt.nz and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.

More information about rates and rates rebates

We are continuing to deal with immediate safety issues like dangerous potholes and debris on the road. Work on construction projects, resealing, kerb repairs and footpath upgrades will resume. Contractors have their own safety protocols for working under alert level 2 conditions.

The Tauranga Transport Operations Centre (TTOC) continues to operate, monitoring traffic and CCTV cameras. 

Contractors are on call to respond to issues that present an immediate risk to human safety. Street light faults should be reported to the council as usual.

The Historic Village venues, retailers and services are now closed to the public. However, the village grounds remain open.

The grounds provide a walkway through to Kopurererua Valley. As per the Government’s instructions, people can still go for a walk outdoors, providing you keep your distance from others. That means two-metres away at all times.


Last Reviewed: 20/05/2020

Recycling back to normal at Alert Level 2

Posted: 13 May 2020

Tauranga’s recycling sorting facility will be open at Alert Level 2.

Council services and facilities at Alert Level 2

Posted: 13 May 2020

As the nation moves to Alert Level 2, Tauranga City Council is preparing to resume operations at a reduced capacity from this Thursday (14 May).

Tauranga’s Transfer Stations to re-open Wednesday 6 May 2020

Posted: 05 May 2020

With agreement between council and the site operator on the ways to provide a safe environment reached, Tauranga’s transfer stations will be able to open from tomorrow, Wednesday 6 May.

Calling for new waste minimisation projects

Posted: 04 May 2020

If you you’ve been pondering about a new idea or project that could help reduce the amount of waste that is sent to landfill, now is the time to act.

Parks and reserves update at Alert Level 3

Posted: 01 May 2020

Following the nation being moved to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, Tauranga City Council is working to restore the city’s parks and reserves.

Transfer stations and recycling in level 3

Posted: 30 April 2020

Just as many of us are thrilled to get our first takeaway in five weeks, some people are just as excited to visit the transfer station with their rubbish, recyclables and garden waste, after a great lockdown clean up.

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