Alert Level 3 Information

​Alert Level 3 - Key information 

  • Council offices will continue to be closed to the public with services available by phone or email. Call Council on 07 348 4199 or email info@rotorualc.nz
  • Public facilities will remain closed – Rotorua Library, Rotorua Aquatic Centre, Energy Events Centre, Rotorua Stadium and iSite
  • All playgrounds and sports facilities will remain closed
  • Rotorua Landfill will be open with safe operating measures in place
  • Recycling facilities will remain closed
  • Building and other site inspections will resume with safe operating measures in place
  • Some parks and reserves carparks will be open
  • Parks and reserves maintenance will resume 

Read the FAQs below for more information about Council services during Alert Level 3

​Council Response

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

As of 11.59pm Monday 27 April, the country will move into Alert Level 3 to continue to fight the spread of COVID-19.

During Level 4, Council's essential services, such as drinking water, wastewater, rubbish collection, animal control, essential roading and safety repairs, continued to operate with most staff working from home. Council will now begin to deliver Rotorua's Build Back Better economic recovery plan as well as stand up services and capital expenditure projects that are permitted under Level 3. ​

Council's Civil Defence Emergency Management team will continue to support local, regional and national Civil Defence efforts with its operations focussing on recovery and welfare functions. 

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​​

ouncil agreed to target its response packages to those in most immediate need. Council’s commitment is 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.

Find out about the rates deferral scheme HERE

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 still come into the Council offices?

No. Under Alert Level 3 we will continue to limit face-to-face interaction. Most Council services will be available either by phone, email or by restricted appointment only. If you need to contact Council please call us on 07 348 4199 (24/7) or email info@rotorualc.nz and a Customer Advisor will be able to help you.​

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Water services

What happens with the water systems?

Water (Wastewater, Stormwater and Water Supply) will continue without change. If you require assistance with anything in regards to your property please advise at the time of your call or email if anyone at a property is in isolation or at particular risk. Please note that we also ask that people do not flush wet wipes down the toilet, most wet wipes are not degradable and cause problems for the system and environment.

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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. ​​

Is the Rotorua landfill open to the public?

Yes. Both businesses and the public can access the landfill under Alert Level 3. The appropriate precautions will be in place to ensure the landfill can operate safely for staff and customers. 

Will the Rotorua Landfill be open at normal hours?

Yes. 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.

​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. A camera has been installed at the kiosk to record the registration number of the vehicles for contact tracing, if needed.

​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 someone be able to help me unload my rubbish at the landfill? 

No. To ensure the landfill is operating safely under Alert Level 3 restrictions staff will be practciting physical distancing and only one person, per car will be permitted to enter the landfill. 

​How many people are allowed onsite per vehicle?

While there may be more than one person in the vehicle, only one person is permitted to exit the vehicle onsite to unload. This is to ensure that that there is enough room for correct physical distancing between people (2 metres), and helps to limit different 'bubbles' making contact with each other.

​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.

​Will it take longer to get into the Landfill?

We anticipate that there may be an initial increase in customer numbers in the first few days, however the waiting time at the landfill weighbridge will be no longer than during normal operations. Where possible, we ask that the public wait a few days after the landfill reopens, to avoid forming lines and long wait times.

The Te Ngae Waste Management Transfer station at 6 Hamiora Place (corner of Te Ngae Road and Hamiora Place) is also re-opened to the public at Alert Level 3. Please note this transfer station will not be accepting green waste.

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

Yes. Green waste disposal will be open.
Green waste disposal will not be open at the Te Ngae Waste Management Transfer station at 6 Hamiora Place.

Can I drop off my recycling at the landfill?

No. Recycling sorting centres will remain closed during Level 3 given the manual nature of the work and the risk of spreading COVID-19. All waste materials, including items that would usually be recyclable, taken to the landfill will be treated as general waste. ​

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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. 

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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What is happening with recycling?

To stop the spread of COVID-19, recycling sorting facilities will remain closed during Level 3. However, we would like people though to stay in the good practice of separating recyclables so when sorting centres do reopen we can continue our hard-gained achievements of waste minimisation - so please continue to put recycling in your yellow lid bin. In the meantime, your yellow bin recycling will be collected as normal but it will be delivered to landfill with general waste until sorting centres are open.

If you prefer, you can stockpile recycling at home, and take it to the recycling centre when it reopens. Please clean it thoroughly and store in a dry location.

Please note glass will continue to be recycled as normal. 

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Why can't Council find somewhere to stockpile recycling?

To be able to stockpile recycling Council would need to find a suitable location. It would need to be large enough, covered and secure from the elements to keep the recycling dry. We would also need to ensure the recycling was clean enough to ensure that it would not attract pests. It would also require specialised equipment and extra staff to move the items back into trucks when the Alert Level 4 phase ends.

This would all cost a considerable amount to ratepayers and would take a significant amount of time to organise. It would also require significant labour, which would be contrary to the intent of the Alert Level restrictions imposed by the Government.

If residents prefer, they can choose to stockpile their clean recyclable items at home in a dry place – this option means there is no extra cost passed on to the ratepayer.

Parking services

Will there be changes to parking services?

There has been no enforcement of parking during Levels 4 and 3, other than responding to parking safety issues.​

​In Alert Level 2 (date to be confirmed by Government), when parking in the CBD, customers will need to start paying for parking again. Free P60 parks remain down most of Tutanekai Street and on the outskirts of the CBD.​

The Pukuatua Street Parking Building will also begin operating with its upgraded technology and layout approximately two weeks from Day 1 of Alert Level 2. To find out about the building’s new parking options visit http://www.i-park.co.nz/rotorua.html.​

Customers that have outstanding parking infringements will be given two weeks from Day 1 of Alert Level 2 to pay these before they are escalated further. To pay or dispute an infringement visit http://www.i-park.co.nz/rotorua.html.

If you would like to dispute a parking ticket you are welcome to do this through our disputes process once we are back up and running.

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Animal Control

Will Animal Control services be available?

Animal control officers will be attending priority jobs only such as attacks, stock wandering on roads, and collecting dogs that have been found roaming and have been secured by a member of the public (these dogs will now be impounded under Alert Level 3 rather than being returned home as they were under Alert Level 4). All other jobs will be followed up via phone. Officers that attend urgent jobs will be following strict guidelines such as asking screening questions and avoiding contact with people they deal with.

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Will the pound be open to the public? 

No. The Rotorua Pound is not open to the public. Where possible, dogs currently up for adoption have been put in foster care until rehoming can resume. Any dogs remaining in the pound are being cared for. Under Alert Level 3, arrangements will be made for owners to collect impounded dogs in a contactless way. Animal Control staff will inform owners of this process. ​

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​​​Parks and Recreation

​Key recreation information: 

  • Public toilets will remain closed during Alert Level 3
  • All playgrounds and sports facilities, including Rotorua Stadium, will remain closed during Alert Level 3
  • Driving for recreation is permitted during Alert Level 3. Keep it to short distances only.
  • Some carparks will open where physical distancing can occur easily and where it supports access to recreational activity. Others will remain closed. See the list below for more info
  • Where possible staff will work from home with some staff returning to facilities to operate. All venues and public facilities will remain closed. ​
  • Get national information about recreation during Alert Level 3 HERE

Which carparks are open and closed?

Carparks where physical distancing can easily occur, and where it supports access to recreational activity, will be open during Alert Level 3. Carparks at locations, which may encourage further travel, gathering or use of play equipment or facilities, will remain closed.

Carparks open:

  • Tikitapu opposite Top 10 and at lookout
  • Centennial Park to access Memorial trees

Limited carparking:

  • Waipa
  • Long Mile Road

Carparks remaining closed:

  • Hannah's Bay Reserve
  • Puketawhero Park
  • Kuirau Park carpark
  • Ray Boord Park
  • Boyes Beach
  • Manuka Crescent
  • Butchers Pool

​Will Waipa and Long Mile Road (Redwoods) carparks be open?

Waipa and Long Mile Road main access gates will remain closed. Limited parking at the entrance to Long Mile Road and Waipa will be open. Limited parking supports the Government's directive to avoid large gatherings of people. We continue to encourage forest users to exercise safely and well within your ability. 

What people need to know if they want to use the forest and other reserves:

  • Do not meet up with others – stay in your bubble
  • Stick to areas where you are able to easily stay 2m from anyone you may come across
  • Be mindful of other users in public spaces 
  • Ride and exercise safely and within your ability
  • Tell someone where you are going and take your mobile phone. Do not put yourself in a situation where you could be injured and require emergency help

​Can I use playgrounds? 

No, to stop the spread of COVID-19 the Government has directed all playgrounds must remain closed during Alert Level 3. Council has taped around playgrounds and placed signage asking people to keep off the equipment. If you see people using these areas ​please rep​ort it to the police online at www.police.govt.nz/105support 

Will Council be gardening and mowing reserves?

Council's contractors will focus on mowing, weed control and vegetation maintenance to bring our reserves back up to standard. After the past few weeks of being restricted to essential work only, Council's contractors will be working to catch up and we appreciate everyone's understanding and patience while the crews work through the backlog. They will also be doing safety repairs to assets (not playgrounds), hard surface maintenance and tree work with a focus on facilitating safe recreational enjoyment of our reserves and open spaces. Some garden work will be undertaken in the inner city too. All work is being under taken to support community use under Level 3 restrictions and where the COVID19 work practices and strict physical distancing can be observed.​

Noise Control 

Who can I call about noise control issues?

Council will respond to urgent matters however, to reduce the spread of COVID-19, staff will try to respond to matters by phone. A response in person will be at the discretion of Noise Control staff but urgent matters may be considered as multiple calls received within an hour about the same residential property.

It is important at this time that people respect their neighbours and consider the noise levels coming from their own properties. Please also take into consideration the safety of staff that are responding to call outs.

​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?

Public transport is still available at this time, but in line with government advice, movement will be restricted to necessary trips, keeping as much distance between you and other travellers (and the driver) as possible. Use the rear doors to enter and exit the buses and wash hand for 20 seconds before and after travelling. 

Under Alert Level 3 travel is allowed for the following essential personal movement in your local area:

  • Accessing local services and businesses.
  • Going to work and school (only for those that have to).
  • Low-risk recreation in local area.
  • To support extended bubble arrangements.
  • Travelling to permitted gatherings.

Any changes to services or restrictions will be shared on the Bay Bus website.

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Help and assistance

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

If you need assistance during Alert Level 3 you can phone 0800 884 222. This number has been set up to help people in the Bay of Plenty region who are concerned about accessing essentials such as food, home care needs and accommodation.

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.  

A comprehensive national guide about getting the help and support you need is available HERE.

A national services and support contact list is available HERE

Information on how Civil Defence Emergency Management can help during COVID-19 is available HERE. ​

What is happening with people who are homeless?

Council continues to support the Ministry for Social Development and the Ministry for Housing and Development in their work to encourage people to take up the emergency housing options available to them, particularly at this time.

​Emergency housing that allows for self-isolation has now been arranged by the Ministry for Soci​al  Development with a local accommodation provider. 

Where do I find information about a rates deferral?

​​​Council agreed to target its response packages to those in most immediate need. Council’s commitment is 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.

Find out more about the rates deferral options HERE

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​Visiting Rotorua 

I am visiting Rotorua and I need help finding accomodation. Who can I call? 

If you require assistance finding somewhere to stay so you can self-isolate while visiting Rotorua we suggest you contact the Rotorua i-SITE on 07 348 5179 (please note the i-Site building is closed so you will need to call). You can also contact the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to help with temporary accommodation. You can register your details by calling 0508 754 163.​

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Is freedom camping still permitted in the District?

Under Alert Level 3 Freedom Campers and people traveling within New Zealand should follow the stand practice as Alert Level 4. Council owned campgrounds will remain closed and people travelling in non-self-contained vehicles should seek alternative accommodation.

Self-contained vehicles can be used as accommodation. 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.

Travel will continue to be restrictued during Alert Level 3. Freedom campers or people travelling should not travel outside of the area where they are currently.

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 Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has provided these guidelines  for anyone working in the hospitality sector during COVID-19 Alert Level 3.

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Governance

Are Council meetings still going ahead?

In Alert Level 3 Council meetings will continue to operate like they have done so in Alert Level 4 using virtual meetings. Elected members will continue to meet via zoom with meetings being live streamed.

In May Council will reassess the meeting schedule based on how long Alert Level 3 restrictions stay in place. It is expected that a full round of committee and Council meetings will resume in June.

In line with Council's standard operating procedures a number of council forums may need to be held. These are not formal meetings, they are opportunities for elected members to get informed, ask questions, provide guidance to officers and provide input into emergency policy, plans and strategy.  The outcomes of all forums will then be taken to a committee or council for a decision.​​

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Building consents and inspections

Can I book a building inspection?

Building Inspection will be available starting 28 April 2020 as an essential service in line with the government guidance.

Those customers who were waiting for building inspections prior to lockdown will be contacted directly to discuss a suitable time for these to be undertaken.

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 COVID-19 lockdown, Rotorua Lakes Council have been accepting electronic lodgement of building consents through email. However, email has limitations on file size and some large applications have needed to be submitted over a series of 5 or 6 emails.

If your plans exceed 50MB 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.​

What is happening with building consents?

The consents team are working remotely, processing existing consents and taking new consent applications. We will not be accepting physical applications as council offices will remain closed during Alert Level 3. As council does not yet have an online lodgement system, we will temporarily accept 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 50MB 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 in a short period of time. 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 will be severely limited. As we are paper-based, many consents awaiting responses to RFIs will be inaccessible by staff. We will only be able to process RFI's if the building consent was lodged via email.

​Resource consents 

Can I still lodge resource consent applications?

The consents team are working remotely, processing existing consents and taking new consent applications.​​Council are not able to accept physical ​applications as our offices will remain closed during Alert Level 3. We will temporarily accept planning consent applications through email. All applications can b​e sent through to info@rotorualc.nz

​File requirements:

  • Files must be in PDF or PDF/A format
  • Email is limited to 50MB in size so multiple emails may be required for large applications.

Attach separate files for the following:

  • Application forms and checklists
  • Assessment of Environmental Effects (AEE)
  • Individual supporting technical reports
  • Plans (including survey plans)

What are the RMA processing timeframes?

We will be extending (doubling) all resource consenting timeframes during this period pursuant to section 37 of the RMA.

​Is there still a Duty Planning Service?

The Duty Planning service will continue to operate remotely. 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.

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 may now be carried out for 224 inspections. 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.​​

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Page reviewed: 12 May 2020 12:56pm