Council services and facilities


Waitaki is at ORANGE in the COVID-19 Protection Framework

The new 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.

Under Orange, accessing most Council Services and Facilities will be similar to COVID Alert Level 2 in that 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. Service levels are subject to change and updates will be posted here.

The information on this page was last updated 3 December 2021.

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. Visitors to the building over 12 years old are required to wear masks and record their visit with the NZ Covid Tracer app or manual sign in. Please be patient with staff and expect some delays as we maintain social distancing requirements. 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.

  • 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 

Vaccine Passes are not currently required. Rural Transfer Stations, Landfills and the Waitaki Resource Recovery Park are open with capacity limits based on 1m social distance. Please scan/sign in. Masks are encouraged.

All commercial kerbside collections are operating as normal. 

Parks, Campgrounds and Sports Fields

Parks and Campgrounds are open with 1m social distancing and masks in communal/ high use areas encouraged.

Sports Fields are open but team sport organisers and participants must comply with guidance from Sport NZ or their national body for competitive sports. Social sports must comply with restrictions for gatherings – no limits if vaccine passes are used, if vaccine passes are not used, limited to 50 people based on 1m social distancing.


Under Orange, 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. 

Waitaki Aquatic Centre

Vaccine Passes are not currently required to access the Aquatic Centre. Operations return to normal except for imposing a capacity limit (125 customers max) and masks to worn inside when walking about. Swim lane booking and pod swimming no longer applies.

Please check our  Facebook page  for regular updates and lane availability.


Waitaki District Libraries

Vaccine Passes are not currently required to access our libraries. We will make some decisions about events and activities that we run in our buildings soon. 

  • Sick? Stay home. Seek advice from Healthline or your GP
  • It is mandatory for those aged 12 and over to scan the Covid Tracer app QR code or manually sign-in. There will be paper slips and a ballot box. These slips will be kept securely & kept for 60 days as required before being destroyed.
  • 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

As a public facility, you will not require a My Vaccine Pass for entry to the Waitaki Museum & Archive/Forrester Gallery.

Visitors aged 12 and up will still need to:

  • Wear a face mask
  • Scan in using the COVID tracer app (or use the manual recording system)
  • Follow physical distancing guidelines of 1 metre

We will make some decisions about events and activities that we run in our buildings soon. 

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

Explore the collections online:


Oamaru Opera House

At Oamaru Opera House, a Vaccine Pass is required for entry and masks masks to be worn when not seated.

The Opera House Team look forward to seeing you and we appreciate your patience and understanding during these times. 

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


Oamaru Hospital and Waitaki District Health Services 

  • Visiting hours will be 2pm – 7pm and visitors restricted to 2 per patient.
  • Maternity - No children to accompany their parents for antenatal visits however children will be permitted for inpatient visits.
  • ALL visitors to the hospital will be screened before entry, must scan in using the QR code or enter their details in the handwritten register, and required to wear a mask at all times.  Please be kind to our staff through the screening process.

Further 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.