Council services and facilities


Waitaki is at ORANGE in the COVID-19 Protection Framework

The COVID-19 Protection framework (traffic lights) is aimed at keeping us all as safe as possible whilst being able to get on with our lives. Council's approach has therefore been to try and keep as many of our services open and accessible as possible whilst protecting our residents and our staff.

Most Council Services and Facilities can be accessed with safety protocols in place - mask wearing, scanning/signing in and social distancing of 1 metre will apply. Some facilities will require Vaccine Passes to access but most won't, depending on which traffic light we're in. 

The following pages provide information on Waitaki District Council operated services and facilities and how they are affected by the current COVID-19 Protection Framework protocols and staff availability. Service levels are subject to change and updates will be posted here.

The information on this page was last updated 19 April 2022. What's new? Changes to some facilities under orange.

Council Offices and Service Centre

The Waihemo Service Centre in Palmerston and Council Offices in Oamaru are open to the public. Vaccine Passes are not required. Protocols for hygiene and safety will be in place including limiting admittance to the building. For health and safety,  we ask visitors to our buildings over 12 years old to wear masks.

Do not visit our offices and facilities if you are feeling unwell. Call us instead on 03 433 0300 and we can help you.

Please be patient with staff and expect some delays. We suggest you use alternate methods to make payments or access services if you can, to avoid any queues or waiting.

Do it online or by phone

Many day-to-day queries can be handled over the phone, via email or on this website.

Customer Service staff are available by phone on 03 433 0300 and email and will be able to help you with your enquiries. If you need to chat with a member of the Building, Planning or Regulatory Teams, please phone us first so an appointment can be made or your issue can be discussed over the phone.

  • Rates payments can be done through your bank account or via direct debit.
  • Requests for service, animal control requests, noise complaints etc. can be done on the phone, via our website or using the Snap, Send, Solve app.
  • You can pay your parking tickets and re-register your dog online.
  • All our building forms are available to download and print on the website.
  • Updates are available via Facebook and this page.


Rubbish and Recycling 

Rural Transfer Stations, Landfills and the Waitaki Resource Recovery Park are open with capacity limits based on 1m social distance. Under Red, mask wearing is no longer compulsory but encouraged when visiting our transfer stations.

At the Waitaki Resource Recovery Park there will be a limit of 50 on-site at any one time, and while we don’t anticipate that this will cause any disruptions to customers we do ask that people have patience in the unlikely event of any delays.

All commercial kerbside collections are operating as normal. 

Parks, Campgrounds and Sports Fields

Parks and Campgrounds are open with social distancing and masks in communal/ high use areas encouraged.


Council has extended time-limited free parking in the Oamaru CBD to encourage local shopping. 

The two-hour limit will be enforced, so people are asked to be considerate of others and let everyone enjoy shopping local. Parking is free after 5.30pm and on Sundays.

Usual restrictions apply to all limited time parks, disability parks, loading zones etc. 

Planning, Building  and Regulatory

Walk in appointments are not available at the moment. Please email your enquiry to or call 03 433 0300 to book an appointment or chat over the phone.

We're suspending urgent LIMS (the 3 day kind) until further notice, due to staff shortages caused. Normal 10 day LIMS are not affected. Any questions give us a call. 


Waitaki Aquatic Centre

Vaccine Passes are not required to access the Aquatic Centre. Operations return to normal except for:

  • masks are to be worn when walking about/not in the pool
  • Check the pool's Facebook page for regular updates on public access and lane availability, or view our timetable.


Waitaki District Libraries 

Under Orange, the Library is running all regular programmed activities. 

  • Sick? Stay home. Seek advice from Healthline or your GP
  • Masks must be worn by the public aged 12 and over and Library staff.
  • Please sanitise on the way in and out.
  • Keep 1 metre apart from staff and other visitors.
  • Be kind and patient with staff.  

Check-out your books using your mobile! 

Waitaki District Libraries now has a self-issue app for your phone: search for Waitaki District Libraries on your phone’s app store (Google Play or Apple’s App store) download and install it, then come into one of our three libraries that have this setup: Oamaru Public Library, Palmerston Public Library or Omarama Community Library. All you need to do is scan the barcode on your library item and the app will ensure the alarm on the security gate is deactivated. 


Waitaki Museum & Archive/ Te Whare Taoka ō Waitaki and Forrester Gallery


We ask that visitors aged 12 and up:

  • Wear a face mask
  • observe social distancing guidelines

Please check the Waitaki Museum and Archive Facebook  and Forrester Gallery Facebook page for any updates on events and exhibitions or the Culture Waitaki website

Explore the collections online:


Oamaru Opera House

Masks to be worn when not seated. 

Check the Oamaru Opera House website or facebook page for updates.


Oamaru Hospital and Waitaki District Health Services 

Oamaru Hospital is now operating at a higher level of alertness internally, to better keep our community and staff safe. This means:

  • Everyone entering the hospital is screened on arrival
  • Those entering the Hospital will be required to wear surgical masks
  • Those with mask exemptions (excluding patients) are not permitted to enter the Hospital
  • All inpatients are restricted to two nominated visitors for the duration of their stay however only one visitor per day (exemptions on compassionate grounds will be considered)
  • Meals on Wheels will move to contactless deliveries

This is a precautionary measure to keep our vulnerable patients and staff safe on recommendation from the Southern DHB.

These arrangements will be in place until further notice.  Updates will be provided on the Waitaki District Health Services website:

For the latest updates on COVID-19 cases visit The Ministry of Health current cases page. The Southern District Health Board and Canterbury District Health Board websites also have local information on this.  

Call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 if you're worried about your health, you have any symptoms or have been in contact with someone with COVID-19.