Alert Level 2 Information

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Alert Level 2 - Key information 

  • Council's Customer Centre is open to the public with the majority of staff working from home. We would like to encourage everyone to continue to use online or phone services for your business with Council. You can reach Council on 07 348 4199 or email info@rotorualc.nz. 
  • If you want to visit Council offices,including Rotorua Library and Rotorua Aquatic Centre, use the Government's COVID-19 tracer app​ to make contact tracing a faster process. 
  • All Council staff that are able to will work from home. 
  • Public facilities will be open to the public following Government regulations for physical distancing and hygiene. This includes Rotorua Library, Rotorua International Stadium, Rotorua Aquatic Centre, Rotorua iSite and Rotorua Nursery. 
  • All playgrounds and sports facilities are open to the public. 
  • Rotorua Landfill is open.
  • Recycling will continue as per normal. Yellow bins will continue to be emptied at the kerbside. 
  • Building and other site inspections will continue with safe operating measures in place. Please note staff will ask you COVID-19 questions when making a booking and prior to their site visit. 
  • Parks and reserves carparks are open to the public. 
  • Inner city parking services continue. 
It is important to note that Rotorua Lakes Council is following Government recommendations in regards to hygiene practices and physical distancing measures. 

Read the FAQs below for m​ore information about Council services during Alert Level 2

​Council Response

What is Council doi​ng in response to COVID-19?

During Alert Levels Council has continued to provide essential services, such as drinking water, wastewater, rubbish collection, animal control, essential roading and safety repairs. During Alert Level 2 public spaces are open, including Council's Customer Centre however, the majority of Council staff will continue to work from home. Council is working to deliver Rotorua's Build Back Better economic recovery plan as well as stand up services and capital expenditure projects.

In previous alert levels, Council's Civil Defence Emergency Management team has supported local, regional and national Civil Defence efforts with its operations focussing on recovery and welfare functions. Civil Defence has not been activated during the current Alert Level 2 but is monitoring the situation. ​​ 

What is Council doing to help Rotorua recover from COVID-19?

Council has agreed to align Rotorua Lakes Council's COVID-19 response to the Government's strategy to "stamp it out, cushion the impact and position for recovery". The framework for Rotorua's Build Back Better economic recovery plan was approved by Council on Friday 3 April. Read more about that decision HERE​​

​During 2020, Council agreed to target its response packages to those in most immediate need. Council’s commitment was to cushion the economic impacts for those most directly financially impacted by the pandemic, using a rates deferral scheme to lessen the burden on businesses in the tourism, retail and hospitality sectors, and individuals who have been made redundant or had their hours reduced.

Where can I find information about COVID-19?

The Ministry of Health is the agency leading the national response to COVID-19.

You can find information about COVID-19 and how to keep yourself and others safe at the Ministry of Health's dedicated website to COVID-19

If you would like to speak to someone on the phone about COVID-19 health advice and information, contact the Ministry of Health's Healthline team (free) on 0800 358 5453 or +64 9 358 5453 for international numbers.​

***For information that is relevant to the Bay of Plenty and Lakes District Health Board areas, visit the BOP Health COVID-19 Response website. ​

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Council services

Can I come into the Council offices?

Yes. Council's Customer Centre is open to the public however we encourage people to continue to use online and phone services as much as possible.

To ensure the safety of the community and our staff, physical distancing, contact tracing and increased cleaning measures will be in place. Please be aware that this may add extra time to your visit. We appreciate your patience and kindness at this time. 

To help your visit go smoothly we also ask that you:

  • Use the Government's COVID-19 Tracer app on your smart device to make contract tracing quicker. 
  • Come prepared – make sure you have any documentation ready before you come in
  • Go cashless – if you need to make a payment use EFTPOS/Credit/Debit cards where possible

If you need to contact Council please call us on 07 348 4199 or email info@rotorualc.nz and a Customer Advisor will be able to help you.

Will there be contact tracing in place? 

Contact tracing is mandatory in Alert Level 2,​ so if you are visiting council buildings please expect to be asked to use digital contact tracing or alternatively to supply your contact details. QR codes are also on display for customers using the NZ COVID Tracer app. If you don’t have a smartphone, or do not wish to use the app, you will be asked to provide your details manually. Social distancing is also required.

What about appointments with duty officers?

The Government directive for staff is to continue working from home where possible. During Alert Level 2 duty officers for planning and building will be rescheduling face to face appointments at the Council building. Licensing will continue to conduct face to face appointments where necessary. If you need to conduct business with a Council officer please contact our Customer Centre on 07 348 4199 to see if your needs can be met over the phone or online. 

Buildling, planning and regulatory site inspections will continue. Staff will be asking COVID-19 questions prior to bookings and visits and will have appropirate PPE. Social distancing is also required.

What Council buildings/venues will be open?

Council buildings and venues are open in Alert Level 2. All locations will be following Level 2 safety guidelines including physical distancing, increased cleaning and contact tracing.

  • Rotorua International Stadium – open 
  • Rotorua Library – open 
  • Rotorua Aquatic Centre – open
  • Rotorua Energy Events Centre - open
  • Rotorua iSites – open 
  • Rotorua Nursery – open 
  • Rotorua Markets – Rotorua Night Market scheduled for Thursday 17 February has been cancelled. Market dates beyond that date are to be confirmed. 

What is happening with inner city security?

Inner city security contiues in Level 2 as normal. 

Council staff are also visiting businesses to ensure QR codes are up and visible for customers to use. Information about the app is available here. Information about QR codes is available here.​ 

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Rubbish and Recycling

Is there any change to wheelie bin collection?

No, please continue to put your wheelie bins out at the kerbside (by 7.30am) on your regular collection day. Assisted collection will also continue. 

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I live in an area that doesn't use wheelie bins. What do I do with my rubbish? 

Please contact Rotorua Lakes Council's Customer Centre on 07 348 4199 between 8am and 5pm. A Customer Advisor will provide you with rubbish disposal instructions. ​​

​How can I help the kerbside collection run smoothly for my household and the contractor?

  • Ensure your bin lids are closed for collection and that your glass recycling crate or wheelie bins are not overfull. Overfull bins will not be collected. 
  • Where possible, park your car in the driveway or clear of the path of the rubbish collection truck. 
  • Please do not approach the collection truck operators during collection. 
  • Put only recycling in your yellow lid recycling bin,

This will reduce the amount of times that the kerbside collection contractor needs to exit the collection truck.

If you have any questions about the kerbside collection, call 07 3484 199 to speak to one of Councils friendly operators.

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Will the contents of my recycling bin be recycled under Alert Level 2?

Yes, kerbside recycling will continue.

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Why should I continue to only put recyclables in my recycling bin?

Putting rubbish in your recycling bin can contaminate an entire truckload of recycling. Contaminated items can't be recycled, meaning it could all end up going to landfill.

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I have a sticker on my recycling bin. What does it mean?

Any bins that are too full or contain materials that are not accepted (i.e. general rubbish in the recyling bin) will receive a sticker that notifies the resident that their bin was not emptied for that reason. Overfilled bins will be stickered as bin lids must be completely closed to prevent littering or items spilling out during collection. If you are unsure why your bin was not emptied please phone our Customer Centre on 07 348 4199. 

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Where can I find information about what can and can't go into my recycling and rubbish wheelie bins?

You can find information about how to use the kerbside wheelie bin service here.

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Will the Rotorua Recycling Centre be open during Alert Level 2?

Yes, the Rotorua Recycling Centre (24 Te Ngae Road) is open to the public Monday - Saturday: 7.30am to 4.30pm, and Sunday: 9:30am - 4:30pm​. Please follow all Level 2 safety precautions in place. 

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Is the Rotorua landfill open to the public?

Yes. Both businesses and the public can access the landfill under Alert Level 2. The appropriate precautions will be in place to ensure the landfill can operate safely for staff and customers. 

Regular operating hours are 7.30am – 4.30pm Monday to Saturday,
9.30am – 4.30pm Sunday and Public Holidays.
Note: Vehicles are not permitted to go into the landfill from 4:25pm.

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​How will the landfill kiosk operate safely?

Apart from accepting cashless payment, kiosks will have Perspex screens in the windows The EFTPOS machine will be cleaned before and after every payment using antibacterial spray or wipes. Upon entry there is a sign-in register or QR code available for contact tracing. A camera has also been installed at the kiosk to record the registration number of the vehicles for contact tracing, if needed.

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Can I pay in cash at the landfill kiosk?

​No, cash payment will not be accepted. Only payWave/EFTPOS and Account transactions will be accepted.

How will landfill staff operate around customers safely?

Operational staff will practice two metre social distancing at all times. Both the green waste drop-off area and refuse transfer shed will have defined separated zones for commercial operators and for the general public. These areas will be spaced apart to ensure customers have a minimum of two metre distance between each other during unloading.

Will staff be able to help me unload my rubbish at the landfill? 

No. To ensure the landfill is operating safely under Alert Level 2 guidelines staff will be practicing physical distancing. If you need help to unload your rubbish it would be best to take someone along with you. ​

Will it take longer to get into the landfill?

Due to contact tracing and physical distancing measures, as well as added measures to ensure the safety of customers and staff, there may be extra wait times for customers at the landfill. We thank you for your patience and kindess at this time. 

The Te Ngae Waste Management Transfer station at 6 Hamiora Place (corner of Te Ngae Road and Hamiora Place) is open to the public at Alert Level 2. 

Will I be able to dispose of my green waste at the Rotorua Landfill?

Yes. Green waste disposal will be open. The Waste Management transfer station on Te Ngae Road is also accepting green waste.​

Parking services

Will there be changes to parking services?

Council's parking services will continue throughout Alert Level 2 with i-Park instructed to continue as normal to help ensure adequate availability of parking spaces for users. Please remember to pay for your parking to avoid being ticketed.  Free P60 parks remain down most of Tutanekai Street and on the outskirts of the CBD. This information will be updated in response to any further potential change in alert levels.

The PrestoPark app provides an additional and contactless way to pay for parking in Rotorua’s inner city. The app is available for Apple users here and for Android users here. Or you can search for it in your app store by its name, PrestoPark.​

The Pukuatua Street Parking Building is also begin operating with its upgraded technology and layout. To find out about the building's new parking options visit http://www.i-park.co.nz/rotorua.html.

Continue to pay for parking infringements as normal. You can check the status of your infringement on the i-park portal HERE. If your ticket is still payable, please pay with urgency to avoid it escalating. If it is not payable, please contact Council to discuss making it available to pay if possible​.

​To pay or dispute an infringement visit http://www.i-park.co.nz/rotorua.html.

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Animal Control

Will Animal Control services be available?

Full Animal Control services will continue. We encourage dog owners to make use of the online dog registration services to minimise the number of people coming into Council buildings. To register your dog online go to www.rotorualakescouncil.nz/dogsonline .

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Will the pound be open to the public? 

The Rotorua Pound is operating with normal hours - Monday to Friday, 2pm - 4:30pm.​
Physical distancing and contact tracing measures will be in place on-site.

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​​​Parks and Recreation

​Key recreation information: 

  • Public toilets are open during Alert Level 2
  • All playgrounds and sports facilities are open
  • Carparks are open
  • Get national information about recreation during Alert Level 2 HERE
Please ensure that you follow follow good hygiene practices and physical distancing measures​ such as washing hands, social distancing and staying home if you feel sick. 

Will carparks be open?

Yes carparks are open during Alert Level 2.  

​Will recreation areas be open?

Yes. In accordance with Alert Level 2 guidelines, all Council public spaces and recreation areas will be open. We encourage users to follow good hygiene practices and physical distancing measures while they are out and about.

​What people need to know if they want to use public spaces:

  • Maintain a 2 metre distance from people you don't know
  • Wash your hands before and after, or use hand sanitiser
  • Keep to small groups 
  • Contact trace where possible – keep note of who you see
  • Sanitise shared equipment

Will playgrounds be open?

Yes, playgrounds are open during Alert Level 2. Wash hands or use sanitiser before and after using play equipment. If playgrounds are crowded, move to another area. 

There are no central Government requirements available for playground cleaning. However, we will follow Local Government New Zealand recommendations as they are shared with us. Signage will be installed to encourage personal hygiene and physical distancing practices.

Will public toilets be open?

Yes, public toilets are open during Alert Level 2. Either soap or sanitiser has been installed in all public toilets and cleaning frequencies will be adjusted accordingly.

We encourage users to follow good hygiene practices and physical distancing measures while they are using these public spaces. 

If toilets need cleaning, or hand washing products need to be replenished, please contact Council on  07 348 4199. 

Information for businesses

Businesses can stay open to the public if following public health guidance including physical distancing and record keeping. Alternative ways of working are encouraged where possible.​ If you want to know more about how to operate a business safely under Alert Level 2 click HERE​

​It is mandatory (in Alert Levels 2 & 3) for all businesse​​​s and services to display a QR code for the NZ COVID Tracer app prominently at every entry point of their premises to allow everyone to sign in via the tracing app. This will support efficient contact tracing if required. 

Information about how to get a QR code for your business is available on the Ministry of Health website HERE​ 

Rotorua Lakes Council staff will be working to support business operators as they open. If you have questions or concerns about your responsibility as a business owner contact Council on 07 348 4199. 

Noise Control 

Who can I call about noise control issues?

Noise control services continue as normal. If you need to report a noise control issue please phone 07 348 4199 at the time that it is happening.    

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​Public Transport

​Are the buses still running?

Full bus services will continue as normal. If you need to use public transport follow the tips below:

  • Try to take public transport at off-peak times.
  • Masks or face coverings are required on buses for anyone aged 12 years or older.​
  • Avoid sitting or standing next to someone you don’t know. 
  • Follow the physical distancing instructions from your transport operators.
  • Maintain good hygiene – wash your hands often, sneeze or cough into your elbow.
  • Keep track of your journey, including where and when you boarded and where you're sitting. 
  • You must not travel if you are displaying symptoms of COVID-19, awaiting a test, or if you need to self-isolate.​

Any changes to services or restrictions will be shared on the Bay Bus website or on the Bay of Plenty Regional Council Facebook page​.

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Help and assistance

Who do I call if I have a request for assistance?

If you are in need of advice or support please use the following services:

If you are an existing Work and Income New Zealand client or a New Zealand resident needing financial support, please call Work and Income on 0800 559 009.

If you can no longer live at your home due to COVID-19 and need support to find short term temporary accommodation, please call the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment 's Temporary Accommodation Service on 0508 754 163.

If you are a foreign national in need of support and have been unable to access help from your embassy please contact Red Cross New Zealand

If you're not sure what help is available or don't know who to contact for help, call the free government helpline on 0800 779 999.​

If you have concerns about Council services phone 07 348 4199 or email
 info@rotorualc.nz  and a friendly Customer Advisor will be able to help you. 

​Visiting Rotorua 

Can I travel to Rotorua or another region?

Please note Auckland region is currently in Alert Level 3 - this means if you do not normally reside in Auckland you cannot travel there from outside the region. 

For other regions, under Alert Level 2 you can travel for recreation and tourism. Travel safe and track your journey. According to COVID-19.govt.nz people travelling should follow these tips:

  • Stay 2 metres away from people you don't know
  • Don't travel if you're unwell
  • Keep a record of where you go

For more information about travelling during Alert Level 2 is available HERE 

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Is freedom camping still permitted in the district?

In Alert Level 2 Freedom Campers and people traveling within New Zealand are permitted to travel inter-regionally. Council-owned campgrounds and overnight parking areas are open at this stage and will be reviewed in response to changing alert levels. Signage will be available so people can use their contact tracing app to register their visit. People travelling in self-contained and non-self-contained vehicles should seek alternative accommodation.

Self-contained vehicles can be used as accommodation when parked in appropriate areas. Self-contained vehicles have a toilet, water and waste facilities. Those using self-contained vehicles to self-isolate are strongly encouraged to stay at commercial camping sites, if available.

People seeking assistance with finding temporary accommodation for self-isolation should call the Temporary Accommodation Service on 0508 754 163.​

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What are the guidelines for accommodation providers?

The Unite Against COVID-19 has provided these guide​​lines for businesses operating at ​​​​​Alert Level 2.

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Governance

Are Council meetings still going ahead?

​Council meetings will continue with their normal schedule following health recommendations and physical distancing.​ Council's meeting calendar will be updated as meeting dates are finalised. You can view the meeting calendar HERE​. ​

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Building consents and inspections

Can I book a building inspection?

Yes you can book a building inspection. ​

Inspections will take slightly longer than usual to ensure that correct sanitation procedures are followed so please be patient and kind.

When booking an inspection you will call the usual number 07 349 5646 and you will be asked a series of questions relating to your health and recent travel. Your contact details will be collected at this time. You will also be asked about your site protocols ie site register and who will be onsite at the time of inspection.

When the inspector arrives the key question will be repeated and for tracing purposes the contact on site and their phone number will be recorded.

The inspector will use appropriate PPE and will require a two metre physical separation, both horizontally and vertically while on site. Plans must still be available on site.

In accordance with MBIE's guidance some levels of self-certification are being explored for low risk projects/inspection types or where​ a contractor has a proven track record. Decisions relating to this authorisation can be made by the Team Leader – Inspection after the inspection has been booked in which case you will be notified.

Information relating to working at the current alert level can be found on the CHASNZ website

What is happening with building consents?

Important note:

During COVID-19 Alert Levels, Rotorua Lakes Council is accepting electronic lodgement of building consents through email. However, email has limitations on file size capped at 200MB and some large applications have needed to be submitted over a series of emails.

If your plans exceed 200MB in size, please email buildingadmin@rotorualc.nz stating your application is oversize. We can then send a link where you can deposit your files directly to make the process a little easier.

Building consents are still being processed. We will be accepting physical applications where permitted by COVID-19 Alert Level guidance. As council does not yet have an online lodgement system, we will be accepting building consent applications through email.

You can email your building consent application to buildingadmin@rotorualc.nz

File requirements:

  • Files must be in PDF or PDF/A format
  • A minimum of 300 DPI
  • In colour where possible
  • Email is limited to 200MB in size so multiple emails may be required for large applications. (Bundle over trusted file transfer may be possible)

Attach separate files for the following:

  • Application Form 2 and vetting checklist (preferred in WORD format, if possible)
  • Form 2A Memorandum from LBP – Certificate of design work
  • Plans (Architectural plans to be separate from others i.e engineers, truss design)
  • Specifications, Product appraisals, Product manuals, Re-site reports
  • PS1, Engineering calculations, Engineered design
  • Geotech Report
  • Onsite Effluent Treatment Design - Schedule 5
  • Fire Report
  • Certificate for public use application
  • Emailed applications will continue to be vetted to ensure adequate information has been provided for assessment.

Despite accepting email applications, we are aware there may be unforeseen challenges with lodgement. COVID-19 has pushed everyone into uncharted territory and continues to create challenges for our teams. Council is unable to guarantee a seamless application process but will do the best with what we have and will make adjustments where required.

We encourage those who are submitting email applications to contact us if you are unsure of the status of your application.

​What is happening with RFI responses?

Our ability to process RFI responses may be limited if there is an escalation in COVID-19 Alert Levels. Hard copy consents awaiting responses to RFIs may be inaccessible by staff if this is the case. 

​Resource consents 

Can I still lodge resource consent applications?

Yes the Planning Consents Team are continuing to process existing applications and accepting new consent applications during Alert Level 2. We will continue to accept physical applications where permitted by Covid-19 Alert Level guidance. Our preferred method of lodgement is electronic in accordance with the following requirements:

Email your resource consent application to Planning.inbox@rotorualc.nz

File requirements:

  • Files must be in PDF or PDF/A format
  • A minimum of 300 DPI
  • In colour where possible
  • Email is limited to 200MB in size so multiple emails may be required for large applications. (Bundle over trusted file transfer may be possible)

Attach separate files for the following:

  • Application Form and checklist
  • Application Report
  • Assessment of Environmental Effects (AEE)
  • Individual supporting technical reports
  • Plans (including survey plans)
  • Affected parties
  • Other supporting documents.

Guidelines for use of the Planning email address:

  • For lodging of new consents only including, land use and subdivision applications, variations, objections, extension of time, s226, s348 LGA applications, s223 and s224, planning Certificates
  • Correspondence to do with the processing of a consent already lodged is to be sent directly and only to the Planner processing the application i.e. for RFI's

Is there still a Duty Planning Service?

During Alert Level 2 the Duty Planning service will continue to operate, however there will be no face to face meetings during this time. The Duty Planner contact number is 07 348 4199.

​Can I set up pre–application meetings?

There will be no pre-application face to face meetings at this time. We are still able to assess and provide comments on draft proposals, however this will be limited to email responses only. Zoom meetings can be arrange if required. Please contact the Duty Planner to arrange a zoom meeting with one of the Planning team. ​

​What is happening with Resource Consent RFIs?

RFIs will continue to be processed provided that all responses are sent to the processing Planner via email.

What happens in instance of 224c Applications?

Site visits will continue to be carried out for 224 inspections where permitted by COVID-19 Alert Level restrictions. Inspections will take slightly longer than usual to ensure that correct sanitation procedures are followed so please be patient and kind.

When booking an inspection you will be asked a series of questions relating to your health and recent travel. Your contact details will be collected at this time. You will also be asked about your site protocols ie site register and who will be onsite at the time of inspection.

When the inspector arrives the key question will be repeated and for tracing purposes the contact on site and their phone number will be recorded

​The inspector will use appropriate PPE and will require a 2m physical separation, both horizontally and vertically while on site. Plans must still be available on site.

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Land Information Memoranda​ (LIM)​

Can I still request a LIM report?

Yes. Customers can order LIMs through the regular channels. Our online ‘eservices’ applications are open and this is the preferred method of application.​​

Page reviewed: 03 Mar 2021 5:52pm