Council services and facilities


New Zealand's Alert Levels are changing. As at Sunday 28 February, Waitaki is at Alert Level 2​.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

The Waihemo Service Centre in Palmerston and Council Offices in Ōamaru are open to the public under Alert Level 2. All protocols for hygiene and safety will be in place. We suggest people use alternate methods to make payments or access services if they can, to avoid any queues or waiting. Please phone and book an appointment if you need to meet with one of our staff and do not visit any Council facility if you are unwell.​

Do it online or by phone

A key part of avoiding any interruptions to our services is ensuring our staff stay healthy and able to work. If you can avoid coming in to Council offices please do. If you are unwell,​ stay home. Some of our staff are ​working remotely and Customer Service staff are still available​ by phone on 03 433 0300 and email and will be able to help you with your enquiries.

  • Many day-to-day queries can be handled over the phone or via email.
  • Rates payments can be done through your bank account, via direct debit or by card via our website ​
  • Requests for service, animal control requests, noise complaints 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​.​

Regulatory - Building, Planning and Environment

Site Inspections will continue to operate in accordance with the Construction industry protocols under Alert Level 2. 

We ask our Builders, Contractors, Home and Business owners who are involved in building work to prepare their own management plans for site safety under COVID-19. ​

Our other Regulatory services are operating as near normal as possible. If you need to speak to a member of the Regulatory Team please call Council to make an appointment in advance.

A risk based approach with respect to physical site visits will be applied and any steps needed to manage health and safety taken.

Water supply, wastewater and stormwater

The Water Team will continue concentrating on safely operating and maintaining our water supply and wastewater facilities and networks under Alert Level 2.​

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any water supply issues or spot any water leaks when you’re out for a walk.

Rubbish and Recycling

Most rubbish and recycling services will be up and running. please be patient with staff, and follow any signage or instructions at these sites. 

The Waitaki Resource Recovery Park (including the Get Sorted shop) will be open. Due to recycling market challenges, paper can’t be accepted at this time - but cardboard and all other recyclables are good to go. Please visit the Waitaki Resource Recovery Trust website for protocols and conditions of using this service under Alert Levels.​ Keep an eye on their Facebook page for updates.

Waste Management’s Ōamaru transfer station will continue to operate, with measures in place to meet Alert Level 2 guidelines. They’ll confirm the details through their website and other channels.

Council’s rural recovery parks (transfer stations) and Palmerston Landfill will operate at normal hours at Alert Level 2.

Payment at these sites will be by Eftpos only (no cash) and contactless payment is preferred. The rural recovery parks will also accept recyclables (except paper - cardboard is fine).


Public toilets

Public toilets will be open under Alert Level 2. 

Waitaki Lakes Camping Grounds

For updates visit the Waitaki Lakes Camping Facebook page. ​

Parks and reserves, playgrounds, skateparks and drinking fountains

Facilities are open under Alert Level 2.

When out and about:

  • Wash hands frequently. Try to avoid touching high contact areas such as handrails. 
  • Maintain a register of places you visit and people you come in contact with.
  • If unwell, stay home.​

Alps 2 Ocean and walking tracks

Trails and tracks are open. Keep a contact register with you and be aware of common touch points like gate and rails. 

Public tennis courts

Contact tracing and sanitization must be undertaken by users if using our public courts. Avoid sharing of equipment, clean and sanitize surfaces, equipment and hands before and after use.​

Boat ramps and jetties​

Boat ramps and jetties will all be open under Alert Level 2.

Waitaki Aquatic Centre

Under Alert Level 2 at the Aquatic Centre:

  • We will go back to following the Ministry of Health and Recreation Aotearoa guidelines for Aquatic and Public facilities, and restrict how we operate.
  • These restrictions include the use of shared equipment, having everyone sign in and out (or use the COVID19 tracer app), and limiting our numbers on site to 100 people at any one time.
  • During the afternoon we will be restricting public swimming under Level 2 between 3.00pm and 5.00pm. There will be no lane swimming or recreational swimming during this time. This also applies to parents and siblings of swimmers too. We ask again that children should not swim before or after their lessons either. 
  • With these restrictions, we would like to remind everyone that at times we will still be going close to or just on 100 people in the facility at one time. This means that there is a possibility that we may have to turn some people away that are either casual swimming or spectating. We know this is disappointing and appreciate everyone’s patience when we have had to do this, but we also do not want to have people be late to their paid lessons.
  • We want to make this fair for all families – so we would like to ask everyone that under Level 2 from 3.30pm – 5.00pm, please have only 1 carer/parent per family attend with children in swimming lessons.
  • When your lesson finishes, please take your children out of the pool straight after the lesson and get them changed and out to help ensure people waiting to get to lessons aren’t impacted by casual swimming keeping overall facility numbers high.
  • Where possible please restrict time in changing rooms by having children already changed when arriving, and leaving as quickly as possible.
  • Also if it is possible – if your children are 8yrs and above and you are able to drop your children in and pick up after their lesson/squad session – that would be greatly appreciated.
  • Whilst we are operating under these restricted numbers, please do not be offended if staff ask people if they mind waiting outside until the lessons is over

The government is encouraging us all to:

  • Keep using the NZ COVID Tracer app everywhere
  • Keep practising good hygiene
  • Do not bring your children to lessons if they are not well
  • If you have cold or flu-like symptoms get tested
  • Physical distancing is no longer mandatory

Face coverings are not mandatory in Waitaki but you should consider them if you cannot maintain a safe distance from people you do not know and feel uncomfortable.

Once again we would like to thank you for your patience and understanding during Level 2 and look forward to welcoming you back to the pool.

Check the Waitaki Aquatic Centre Facebook page for updates.​

Waitaki District Libraries

Under Alert Level 2 please practice good hand hygiene, and use the QR code or sign in for personal tracking. Opening hours will remain the same.​

We are contactable via phone (03) 433-0850, email: There may be some delay in getting back to you but will respond as soon as we can.

Please be kind and patient with staff.

Waitaki Museum & Archive Te Whare Taoka ō Waitaki

Please check the Waitaki Museum and Archive Facebook page​ for any updates. Social distancing, hand hygiene and sign-in measures are in place. 

Visit our Blogs page for updates on our projects and new stories and collections content from our Curators at​.​

Explore the collections online:

Forrester Gallery

The Forrester Gallery is open during Alert Level 2 with hand hygiene and sign-in measures in place.​​

Check our online content at Forrester Gallery Facebook page and Instagram​ and at​

​Oamaru Opera House​

The Oamaru Opera House remains open for café services, meetings and events.  The venue can hold meetings and events allowing for physical distancing of 2 metres for up to 100 attendees.  

Contact tracing documentation is in place, in addition to the Government COVID19 QR code being present throughout the building.

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

Waitaki District Health Services​

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

For information from Waitaki District Health Services and Oamaru Hospital, visit the Waitaki Health website.​​​​​​.

If you need non-urgent medical care - phone your GP. If you don’t have a GP there is a duty doctor on each day, phone 03 434 9444, follow the instructions to speak with the doctor on call.

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

While we are working to ensure that we keep things going, you can also play your part in helping prevent the spread of COVID-19 throughout the community by following the Ministry of Health Guidelines which has all the latest information about symptoms and prevention.​

Page reviewed: 28 Feb 2021 12:34pm