Greater Wellington Regional Council

Community Organisation

Greater Wellington Regional Council
Shed 39
2 Fryatt Quay
Pipitea
Wellington
55 days ago

Remetaling at East Harbour Regional Park

Community Engagement Advisor from Greater Wellington Regional Council

We’re re-metaling some of our tracks in the East Harbour Regional Park this week. The trails will be closed while we bring in gravel by helicopter.

This work will ensure that we protect the tracks and surrounding environment. And so you can continue to safely enjoy our parks, without getting … View more
We’re re-metaling some of our tracks in the East Harbour Regional Park this week. The trails will be closed while we bring in gravel by helicopter.

This work will ensure that we protect the tracks and surrounding environment. And so you can continue to safely enjoy our parks, without getting muddy feet!

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73 days ago

Our response to COVID-19

Community Engagement Advisor from Greater Wellington Regional Council

Talofa lava

It’s Samoa Language Week, a chance for us to celebrate the rich culture, identity and language of our Samoan community. This year’s theme is ‘Tapena sou ōso mo lau malaga', which in English means ‘Prepare yourself a gift for your travels’, urging us to prepare for the … View more
Talofa lava

It’s Samoa Language Week, a chance for us to celebrate the rich culture, identity and language of our Samoan community. This year’s theme is ‘Tapena sou ōso mo lau malaga', which in English means ‘Prepare yourself a gift for your travels’, urging us to prepare for the road ahead.
I can’t think of a more fitting theme for our region at this time. Our diversity is a strength that will continue to guide us in our path to post-COVID recovery.

GW’s role in parks and environmental management is returning to pre-COVID capacity, with a few changes to keep our people and community safe.

One council function that continues to look quite different is public transport. This week, we released two videos describing how to travel safely on public transport and Metlink school buses. I encourage you to watch them, and share them with your own networks. If we all stick to the guidelines, we can keep Wellington moving smoothly and safely.

Manuia le vaiaso (have a good week) and kia kaha

Daran Ponter

Chair, Greater Wellington Regional Council

Travel on public transport and Metlink school buses under Alert Level 2

If you’ve been keeping an eye our Metlink Facebook page, you might have seen two new videos launched this week outlining how to keep safe on public transport and Metlink school services.

All Metlink passengers

If you’re using the bus, train or ferry during COVID-19 Alert Level 2, this video tells you what you need to know.

Please remember:

• Follow the physical distancing guidelines
• Enter buses through the front door
• Tag on and tag off with Snapper as normal
• If you can avoid traveling at peak times due to reduced capacity
• Keep a record of your travel at Alert Level 2
• Wash your hands before and after
• Don’t travel if you feel sick

Parents, caregivers and students

Now that we’ve moved to Alert Level 2, schools have reopened and Metlink’s School Bus Service is resuming. Things aren’t quite back to normal though, so if you or your child travel on a Metlink school bus, this video outlines what’s different.

Here’s a recap of what parents, caregivers and students should know:

• Children can sit next to each other as normal but standing isn’t permitted
• Because of this capacity will be reduced, so prepare a Plan B in case the bus is already full
• Make sure the students understand hygiene and physical distancing requirements to keep everyone safe
• Let them know they need to keep their distance from the driver
• There’s hand santiser to use on the buses
• Schools are prepared, too:

o Schools will have a register of students on each bus to help with contact tracing if it’s needed
o Schools understand physical distancing and hygiene requirements and can assist

You’ll find more information on the Metlink website or you can call 0800 801 700.

Thank you for being kind, considerate, and understanding as we work within the guidelines set out to keep everyone safe.

More details to come on Jumbotron at Wellington Railway Station

Keen commuters passing through the Wellington Railway Station may have noticed a new jumbotron (giant LED screen) in the centre of the station.

Currently, this screen is showing COVID-19 messaging, but look out for more info from us next week, when we officially launch the jumbotron along with a range of audio and visual improvements around the station which will better inform passengers about their journeys and safety.

Restrictions on park gatherings amended in-line with new guidelines

Last week, we announced that regional parks are reopening most of their amenities, including toilets, BBQs and camping facilities, with appropriate cleaning and physical distancing measures in place.

There are also no longer restrictions on recreational activities such as camping, motorised recreation, hunting, or horse riding.

As of Friday 29 May, gatherings within our parks can be expanded beyond 10 people. This is in-line with new Level 2 guidelines announced by the central government on Monday.



Please continue to keep Alert Level 2 principles in mind though:

• Everyone needs to be able to maintain a safe distance from people outside of their group - please be considerate and keep your gatherings to a sensible size, so there’s room for everyone
• You still need to keep a record of where you’ve been, and with whom, for contract tracing purposes
• Wash or sanitise your hands before and after touching gates, locks and other high-touch surfaces
• Stay home if you’re unwell

Our volunteer groups are also back in action this week! Thanks to our Park Rangers for helping transition these essential groups back into the parks.

Park Ranger offices are still officially closed, but if you see a Ranger or volunteer around, keep your conversations short and at a 2-metre distance. Remember that you can call 0800 496 734 for any park related inquiries.

University of Auckland’s COVID-19 stress and health study

The University of Auckland’s Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences is conducting a nation-wide COVID-19 Stress and Health study to explore how the pandemic is affecting the physical and mental wellbeing of New Zealanders. The study has been approved by the AHREC (ethics committee).

Professors Elizabeth Broadbent and Norina Gasteiger are recruiting participants over the age of 18 and living in NZ.

If you’d like to participate in the study, or find out more, visit: www.covidstressstudy.com...

104 days ago

Our response to COVID-19 - Transition to alert level 3

Community Engagement Advisor from Greater Wellington Regional Council

Kia ora

Many of you will have heard the Prime Minister’s announcement that New Zealand will move to alert level 3 at 11:59 pm Monday 27 April. Like others around the region, Greater Wellington has been busy preparing for a smooth transition to this new alert level.

This is an overview of how … View more
Kia ora

Many of you will have heard the Prime Minister’s announcement that New Zealand will move to alert level 3 at 11:59 pm Monday 27 April. Like others around the region, Greater Wellington has been busy preparing for a smooth transition to this new alert level.

This is an overview of how council will operate under alert level 3. There are a few significant changes, including a return to regular timetables on buses and trains and opening most of our parks to vehicles. And while council function is affected by the pandemic, I’ll continue to bring you weekly updates on how we’re responding through this newsletter.

I want to thank you again for your ongoing dedication to stopping the spread of COVID-19. We should feel proud of our effort so far, and heartened to stay the course by remaining at home under alert level 3.

Kia kaha till we meet again…and stay in your bubbles!

Daran Ponter
Greater Wellington Regional Council Chair

Public transport

Metlink will return to full regular timetables on buses starting on Sunday 26 April and trains on Monday 4 May. Fares will continue to be free under alert level 3 for essential travel such as going to supermarkets, veterinarians, pharmacies and other health facilities. Those over 70 should continue to stay home, but may use public transport to visit a doctor or pharmacy. Total Mobility customers will continue to be able to access subsidised fares of up to $80 per trip at this alert level.

We’re asking passengers to please start using their Snapper cards to tag on and off. This will help us gain valuable insight into how the network is preforming now, and when it returns to full service under level 3. If you do not have a Snapper card, you can order one free by calling 0800 555 345.

We’re also requesting that passengers abide by the physical distancing measures in place, even if that means missing out on their first choice train or bus as demands start to pick back up. Metlink’s real time information will be up and running as soon as we enter alert level 3 to help people plan journeys, and we’ll continue to update passengers with any developments on the Metlink website and app.

Ferry services will not return at alert level 3. Metlink is working with the ferry operator for a return at alert level 2.

Environmental management

The shift to level 3 means that our field and operational staff are able to resume more environmental management operations. Our harbour communication station is still working to ensure safe and efficient maritime management for commercial users of our region’s waters. Our Flood Protection staff have been responding to the various flood events across the region and we’ve also had teams out applying nitrogen-free fertiliser to the grazed areas at Battle Hill Farm Forest Park and the western side of Belmont Regional Park. As an environmental protection agency it is important to keep delivering these essential services to the region.

Water

As under level 4, Wellington Water Ltd continues to operate as an essential service to provide clean drinking water and safe wastewater treatment to our communities. Some staff members have been redeployed to bolster the frontline numbers for additional resilience and they are securing supply chains for all critical equipment, chemicals and other materials that keep water services running.

Regional parks

We know exercise and recreation is important, and our parks are available for safe and local access for you and your bubble. At alert level 3, we continue to limit exposure of COVID-19 to our staff and visitors. We are opening most of our park gates to vehicles, and most toilets. Park ranger offices remain closed and there is no camping, no motorised recreation, no hunting or gatherings allowed.

Our park ranger team and contractors will be back working in the parks. We ask that visitors please avoid our worksites, which will be clearly marked.

As well, volunteer activities will not be permitted in our parks under alert level 3. While we value the work of our volunteers immensely, we value their health and safety even more.

Predator free

Under alert level 3, our professional pest animal trappers will be able to resume some their predator control operations. Likewise, our allies at Predator Free Wellington will ramp up work next week, and have already been out this week attending to some essential work as a result of storm damage.

We know our volunteers are eager to get back to it, but under this alert level we are limiting pest control operations to staff only. We ask that our volunteers please continue to follow the government’s advice to stay home as much as possible. If you’d like to help us keep the heat on rats, stoats and other predators, please consider installing a trap in your backyard.

We’ll continue to offer support to conduct small operations that are deemed a matter of health and safety. These include responding to residents’ concerns about triggered traps in Wellington City, and wasp nest removal. To protect the health, safety and wellbeing of our staff and the community, a small team who are operating independently has been approved to respond.

WREMO

The Wellington Regional Emergency Management Office (WREMO) is a key part of Greater Wellington’s COVID-19 response, and is staffed and operated by council officers.

Under alert level 3, WREMO continues to operate seven days a week in order to combat the effects of COVID-19 and share information with the public on how to stay safe, ways communities can look after each other and how to get help for those who need it.

The WREMO helpline is also operating daily from 7am to 7pm and people can reach out for help by calling 0800-141-967.

115 days ago

Our response to COVID-19.

Community Engagement Advisor from Greater Wellington Regional Council

Kia ora
,

At the Greater Wellington Regional Council, we have been working to ensure we support our communities throughout the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 Lockdown.

This is an update to let you know what we have been doing during Level 4, including keeping public transport going, securing water … View more
Kia ora
,

At the Greater Wellington Regional Council, we have been working to ensure we support our communities throughout the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 Lockdown.

This is an update to let you know what we have been doing during Level 4, including keeping public transport going, securing water supplies, closing our parks to vehicles and campers, supplying information through the Wellington Regional Emergency Management Office and looking to the future.

Fogging of buses and trains

Public transport

Our trains and buses have changed to weekend timetables with additional services and travel fares remaining free until the end of June to ensure all essential workers can get where they need, and to enable members of the public under 70 to access essential services such as supermarkets, veterinarians, pharmacies and other health facilities. Those over 70 are requested to stay home but may use public transport to visit a doctor or pharmacy. We’ve also implemented free Total Mobility journeys for customers, up to $80 per trip.

To make public transport even safer, we introduced a raft of additional cleaning measures across the network including germ shield fogging on all Metlink trains and buses, and at stations. This antibacterial spray coating is effective in destroying germs that come into contact with surfaces and has been used for MRSA, Norovirus and H1N1 type viruses.

For the extra protection of our drivers and passengers we introduced back door boarding on our buses to limit the interaction between people. To help passengers keep a two metre distance on our trains, we put markers on floors and seats, as well as stickers on the back of seats and on windows to show where passengers should sit.

Environmental management

Though many of our environmental management operations have reduced during Alert Level 4, we still have essential services operating. Our harbour communication station is still working to ensure safe and efficient maritime management for commercial users of our region’s waters. Our Flood Protection staff have been responding to the various flood events across the region and we’ve also had teams out applying fertiliser to the grazed areas at Battle Hill Farm Forest Park and the western side of Belmont Regional Park. As an environmental protection agency it is important to us that these essential tasks continue.

Water

Wellington Water Ltd is operating as an essential service during the Lockdown and is continuing to provide clean drinking water and safe wastewater treatment to our communities. Some staff members have been redeployed to bolster the frontline numbers for additional resilience and they are securing supply chains for all critical equipment, chemicals and other materials that keep water services running.

Regional parks

We know it is important for people to get out and exercise once a day, while staying local, so our regional parks are still open to walkers and cyclists who live nearby. However, we have closed our gates to vehicles and all park facilities such as toilets have been locked. We encourage people to get out for some fresh air and exercise while keeping a 2 metre distance between themselves and others, and continuing to adhere to Ministry of Health guidelines.

Predator free

As trapping is not an essential service, our professional predator hunters are also locked down, so we’ve been urging backyard trappers to use this time to keep the heat on rats, stoats and other predators. Although a few of our allies in the battle against pests, such as Predator Free Wellington and Wellington City Council, have put pest control operations on hold as well, good work is still underway – and we have been calling on residents to take up the challenge to do their part in their backyards.

Greater Wellington staff can offer support in some circumstances to conduct small operations that are deemed a matter of health and safety. These include responding to residents’ concerns about triggered traps in Wellington City, and wasp nest removal. To protect the health, safety and wellbeing of our staff and the community, a small team who are operating independently has been approved to respond.

WREMO

You might not know this but the Wellington Regional Emergency Management Office (WREMO) comes under the umbrella of the regional council, and many of our people are trained up and willingly working seven days a week to assist the emergency effort during this pandemic.

WREMO continues to operate seven days a week in order to combat the effects of COVID-19 and share information with the public on how to stay safe, ways communities can look after each other and how to get help for those who need it.

The WREMO helpline is also operating daily from 7am to 7pm and people can reach out for help by calling 0800-141-967.

Moving forward

As a regional council we want to contribute to a smooth transition from Level 4 to Level 3 – whatever that may look like. This means cleaning measures and free fares on public transport will remain in place until the end of June no matter what.

We have a COVID-19 response team in place that meets regularly to ensure we are up to date with the latest information and will be able to move to the next level as seamlessly as possible for our staff and for our communities.

I want to congratulate and thank all those living in the Wellington region for their diligence over the last couple of weeks and for continuing to stay home in order to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Daran Ponter, Greater Wellington Regional Council Chair

139 days ago

Hutt River vehicle access

Community Engagement Advisor from Greater Wellington Regional Council

Greater Wellington Regional Council has closed vehicular access next to the Te Awa Kairangi/Hutt River at Harcourt Werry Drive and the access on the stopbank near High Street in the south.

The restriction is aimed at discouraging camping and congregation in the light of the raised COVID-19 alert … View more
Greater Wellington Regional Council has closed vehicular access next to the Te Awa Kairangi/Hutt River at Harcourt Werry Drive and the access on the stopbank near High Street in the south.

The restriction is aimed at discouraging camping and congregation in the light of the raised COVID-19 alert levels and directives from the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Health. While the restriction will be in place until further notice, cyclists and pedestrians will continue to have access to pathways by the river.

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