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
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.
• 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...
Labour is planning to build regional state service hubs in areas like Lower Hutt and Kāpiti .
State Services Minister Chris Hipkins says hubs outside main centres such as Wellington and Auckland cities would take pressure off existing offices.
Wellington’s public sector employs about 27,000, while there are about 37,000 in the private sector. A Cabinet paper tabled last year revealed the State Services Commission wanted to “reduce the footprint” of government workers in the Wellington and Auckland regions, and move agencies elsewhere when possible.
What do you think of moving state servants out of Wellington City?
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Today is the International Day of Older Persons! It's an important day for everyone to recognize and say thank you to older people for their amazing contributions to the world, from mentoring and volunteering, to sharing experience, being in paid work and much more.
To acknowledge the occasion, we have just released our October SuperSeniors Newsletter, you can read it here: bit.ly...
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