Waitaki Pandemic Response


​​​​A new webpage has been set up with Information on Waitaki District Council operated services, plus links to important information.

While the Ministry of Health and NZ government remain the best sources of information during the COVID-19 outbreak, Waitaki District Council has established a Pandemic Response webpage to be used as a hub for information on Council services. 


Questions and Answers around Coronavirus (COVID-19) from Mayor Gary Kircher

1. Where does Council fit into the management of this pandemic?

  • The Ministry of Health is the LEAD in managing this.
  • Council has developed its own Pandemic Action Plan for council operations, which triggers appropriate responses to the Ministry’s Code Alert Levels.
  • In terms of the community, we will support whatever the Ministry advises.
  • If there is a Civil Defence Emergency Management activation of the Emergency Operations Centre then Council will resource it appropriately, as it does for all crisis management situations.

2. What communication can the community expect from Council during the pandemic?

  • The Ministry of Health as the LEAD is the single source of truth, so I encourage everyone to look on the Ministry’s website regularly and if you can, listen to the Director-General of Health’s daily update.
  • Our Comms team will only be passing on relevant information from the Ministry’s website so that there is one consistent message to the public.

3. What can the public do to protect themselves from this virus?

Following basic hygiene steps is the most effective way to keep safe, by stopping the spread of infections through -

  • Regularly washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with warm water and soap, and dry thoroughly (before eating or handling food, after using the toilet, after coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose or wiping children’s noses, touching public surfaces).
  • Covering your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough, or into your elbow
  • Staying at home if you are sick, to keep it away from your work colleagues and to build up your immune system again.
  • Avoiding close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.
  • If you do feel unwell you should stay home and avoid public gatherings and events.

On current advice, hand and cough hygiene are more effective than masks for reducing the spread of novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

4. Just how serious is this pandemic?

  • The World Health Organisation has declared it a global pandemic.  It has reached our shores in NZ, so we all need to be diligent.
  • The Director-General of Health is showing the country the extreme vigilance and quick actions being taken to contain this threat.
  • New Zealand is preparing well, acting cautiously and strengthening its preparedness.
  • We at Council are monitoring the developing situation closely. 

I encourage everyone that this is the time when cool heads and rational responses are required.

Page reviewed: 31 Mar 2020 12:40pm