Week one, done

Source: Auckland Council

As we approach the end of the first week under the government’s COVID-19 alert system, we’ve done a round-up of the things we’re being asked about most. 

Visit the covid19.govt.nz website for the most up to date information and plenty of useful guidance. 

Stay safe Tāmaki Makaurau, stay home.

Playgrounds

  • We have 885 playgrounds across the Auckland region
  • In line with the Government’s advice regarding Alert Level 4, all playgrounds are closed to the public as the risk of community transmission of COVID-19 is too high to keep them open.
  • Signs are being installed – this will take our scaled-back teams a few days to complete
  • Because all playgrounds are closed, the cleaning of them isn’t considered a critical maintenance service under our list of essential services that will continue during the lockdown. Therefore, they won’t be cleaned.

Toilets

  • We have closed most of our public toilets during the lockdown period
  • Currently 32 toilets remain open – these will be cleaned regularly for those who need to use them. We are continuing to monitor demands of public toilets and may open more as long as they have the right hand washing provisions in place
  • The rough sleeper community and essential workers rely on public toilets and it’s important we keep some open to support their needs.
  • For a full list of open toilets, see this OurAuckland story.

Mowing

  • We are continuing to do a minimal amount of mowing to manage fire risk, and maintain essential vehicle accessways and paths that people can continue to use for physical activity
  • It’s important that people can maintain their physical and mental health during the lockdown period, so a minimal amount of maintenance is required so people can still walk and cycle in our parks (all while observing safe physical distancing)
  • If the grassed areas aren’t maintained, many of these activities would become challenging and people could be forced to only use paved areas, making distancing more difficult
  • Not mowing parks also leads to the potential for hidden hazards, vermin and illegal dumping to occur.

Tree maintenance

  • Some continued tree maintenance is also required where the work is deemed essential. This includes the clearing of vegetation from powerlines, roadways, street trees, walkways and critical requests for service.

Parks

  • Our parks are open for people to enjoy for their physical and mental wellbeing. Two metre distances should be observed at all times.
  • Above all, you must stay local
  • Where you live near a park, you can walk, run or cycle through your local park but must not play on playgrounds or use exercise equipment
  • Regional park vehicle access gates are all closed and on-site facilities (like toilets and playgrounds) are closed. BBQs and drinking fountains have been turned off.
  • For some people who live next to a regional park, this may be their local exercise area
  • Walk-in access to regional parks for locals arriving on foot is allowed
  • At regional parks, follow all normal dog access rules, noting that dogs are prohibited at some or required to be on-leash.

Waste services

  • Kerbside rubbish, recycling and food scraps collection services are currently continuing as usual. Collections should be placed kerbside by 7am on your normal day.
  • If you’re on new property without a bin you can request one online or by calling 09 301 0101. No bin removals, exchanges or repairs will be done at this time.
  • Food scraps users should avoid placing tissues in their food scraps bin. Tissues and other hygiene products should be bagged and then placed in rubbish bins.
  • Rubbish bags and pay as you throw bin tags are still available from most supermarkets for areas that have this service. If you don’t have access to a tag, phone us on 09 301 0101.
  • Pay as you throw tags will be left on the bin and not taken off by the collector. People will need to remove this themselves when they put on a fresh tag on for the next collection. This is to minimise the contact our collectors have with your bins each day.
  • People should wipe down bin handles and wash their hands after they’ve touched their bin.
  • The Waitākere Transfer Station, Aotea/Great Barrier Claris Landfill and Waiheke Island Transfer Station are closed to the general public and open only for licensed waste collectors providing essential services.
  • Community recycling centres also remain closed during this time.
  • Read more here.

Libraries

  • All libraries and mobile services are closed
  • Customers can access electronic books and magazines – visit Auckland Council Libraries for further information.
  • If you have any library items, hold onto them and don’t return them to the library until we re-open. All book return slots will be closed.
  • You will not accrue any late fines on library items that you are holding or requests not picked up. This will be backdated to 16 March. Any notices you receive regarding overdue books or fines should be disregarded.
  • Any library items requests will be held and will be available for you to pick up when we re-open.
  • Wi-fi has been switched off at all Auckland Council Libraries. This means it is not available outside our already-closed buildings. This is in keeping with Alert Level 4 and the fact that people must stay at home and not congregate in public spaces. Our wi-fi services will return when the all-clear is given.