Coronavirus (COVID-19) Key Links and Information

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Alert Level 1 key information 

New Zealand will move to COVID-19 Alert Level 1 from midnight Monday 8 June 2020. 

This means previous restrictions from Alert Levels will be lifted. There will be no limits to public and private gatherings. There is no requirement for manual contact tracing and people can return to work. 

Although nearly all of the restrictions have been lifted, people should continue to reduce the risk of COVID-19 by:

  1. Keeping track of where you’ve been and who you’ve seen. This is critical information for effective contact tracing.  The NZ COVID Tracer app is an easy way of doing this.
  2. Regularly wash your hands and disinfect hard surfaces.
  3. If you are feeling unwell – stay at home.​

Rotorua Lakes Council will now begin the transition to Alert Level 1. This means staff will be able to return to work and services can start to return to normal. We appreciate your patience and understanding while the organisation makes the transition. 

Customers are still encouraged to access council services online as much as possible and phone or email the Customer Centre with enquiries (07 348 4199 or info@rotorualc.nz).

​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. Council is working to deliver Rotorua's Build Back Better economic recovery plan as well as stand up services and capital expenditure projects. . ​

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​​

​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 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 come into the Council offices?

Yes. From Tuesday 9 June, Council's Customer Centre will open to the public however we encourage people to continue to use online and phone services as much as possible. 

While manual contact tracing is no longer required, we encourage our customers to continue to keep a digital diary using the Government's COVID-19 contact tracer app. Find out more about the app here

​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.

What about appointments with duty officers?

More info to come. 

What Council buildings/venues will be open?

Yes. Council venues will begin to operate without Alert Level restrictions. Each venue will begin to transition to Alert Level 1 from Tuesday 9 June 2020. We appreciate your patience and understanding during this time. 

We we encourage our customers to continue to keep a digital diary using the Government's COVID-19 contact tracer app. Find out more about the app here

Rubbish and Recycling

Rubbish and recycling collections have returned to normal. Please continue to put your wheelie bins out at the kerbside (by 7.30am) on your regular collection day and follow the instruction below to ensure smooth collections for your 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.
  • If you have excess recycling please take it to the in-town recycling centre 

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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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 white sticker on my recycling bin. What does it mean?

Council's rubbish and recycling contractor Smart Environmental and volunteers are currently performing random bin audits to create awareness of correct recycling practices. Any yellow lid bins containing rubbish, green waste or dirty recyclables will receive a sticker that notifies the resident that their bin poses contamination risk to recycling. Any overfilled bins will also be stickered as bin lid must be completely closed to prevent littering or items spilling out during collection.

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Why are bin audits necessary?​

Bin audits help council learn about how residents use the kerbside collection, how it can divert refuse from landfill to minimise waste, and highlights ways to improve the recycling and rubbish collection. ​

Council is focusing on ways to limit contaminated recycling from being collected by our recycling trucks. Bin audits are one way of educating the Rotorua community around what they can and can't put in their bins and how to use the service correctly.

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Do other councils conduct bin audits?

Yes, many other councils around the country use bin audits and have been conducting them since their recycling services started.

Auckland Council have said their bin audits have reduced the amount of contaminated material in their kerbside recycling collection and have also helped to change peoples' recycling habits. Read an article about this here.

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What should I do if my recycling bin is audited and it is stickered?

If your recycling bin has been stickered for contamination, please remove the non-recyclable items from the bin and use good recycling practices in the next recycling collection. Your bin will then be collected in next recycling run. Alternatively, you can bring clean recycling to the recycling centre.

My red bin has been stickered. What does that mean?

A white sticker on your red wheelie bin lid indicates that your bin was overfilled with rubbish and the lid was not closed. An overfull bin creates spillage and windblown litter. The bin lid must be closed completely. 

Are bin audits against the privacy act?

No, once the wheelie bin is on the berm, it's in the public domain. The audit is about checking the recycling bins to make sure they do not contain dirty or contaminated materials, household rubbish, or incorrect items.  

What common items are considered contamination in recycling?

The five most common types of contaminants in recycling bins are:

  • Soft plastics (e.g., plastic bags, cling wrap, bubble wraps, foils)
  • Batteries (e.g., alkaline, lithium, coin)
  • Polystyrene (e.g., packaging, containers)
  • Gas canisters 
  • Wood (any kind)

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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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Is the Rotorua Recycling Centre open?​

Yes, the Rotorua Recycling Centre (24 Te Ngae Road) is open to the public from 7.30am – 4.30pm Monday to Saturday, and will be accepting most household recycling materials.

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Is the Rotorua landfill open to the public?

Yes both businesses and the public can access the landfill.  

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.

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​Parking services

Parking services will operate normally at Alert Level 1. 

We remind you that while the need to pay for your parking tickets was suspended during Alert Levels 3 and 4, you now need to ensure you pay for any existing infringements. 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

Animal Control staff will transition to Alert Level 1 from Tuesday 9 June 2020. This includes pound services. We appreciate your patience and understanding during this time. 

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​​​Parks and Recreation

All parks, playgrounds, public toilets and recreation areas (including car parks) will be open at Alert Level 1. Council staff and contractors will begin to transition to Alert Level 1 from Tuesday 9 June. ​We ask that the community is patient, as contractors and staff move through this transition. 

Information for businesses

In Alert Level 1 businesses are no longer required need to record the contact details of people entering their premises.  However, businesses are required to keep the registers they kept during Levels 3 and 4 for two months – just in case they are needed to support the contract tracing process if another outbreak occurs.

We strongly encourage businesses to create their unique NZ COVID Tracer QR code, to print it in colour and display it in a prominent place for customers, staff and suppliers to scan as they enter the premises. People who have downloaded the app are able to register their contact details and keep a digital diary of where they have been. Being able to quickly contact trace people who may have been infected is one of the critical strategies for helping keep the virus under control. 

More information about the app and how to generate a QR code is available HERE.

Council’s advisors will again be active in supporting local businesses to understand how they can continue to keep themselves, their staff and their customers safe from COVID-19.

Noise Control 

Noise control services will operate normally at Alert Level 1. 

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​Public Transport

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 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 the Bay of Plenty Regional Council on 0800 884 880 and ask to speak to the Civil Defence Welfare team.

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. 
  • 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 of 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 

At Alert Level 1 all domestic travel restrictions are lifted. People are encouraged to keep track of where they visit and to keep a digital diary of their movements by using the NZ COVID-19 tracker app

Freedom camping

At Alert Level 1 all overnight parking areas and Council-owned campgrounds will begin to open. Council's contractors will begin to prepare each site for opening from 9 June 2020. We ask that visitors are patient while contractors work through this process. If you would like to know whether a site is open prior to your arrival please phone our Customer Centre on 07 348 4199. 

Governance

​​Council meetings will resume to their normal schedule with added meetings to catch up on missed committee meetings. 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

Building inspections and appointments will now return to normal at Alert Level 1. Staff are now beginning to make the transition so there may be some delays while this process is underway. We appreciate your patience and understanding at this time. 

We will continue to accept consent applications via email however, due to email has limitations on file size and some large applications have needed to be submitted over a series of 5 or 6 emails. It is preferable for oversized applicatons to be submitted in hard copy. 

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.

​How to email your building consent application

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.

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

​Resource consents 

Planning inspections and appointments will now return to normal at Alert Level 1. Staff are now beginning to make the transition so there may be some delays while this process is underway. We appreciate your patience and understanding at this time. 

We will continue to accept applications via 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?

Land Information Memoranda​ (LIM)​

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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Further information about Council shovel-ready projects​​

Infrastructure Reference Group - project list - 1 July 2020

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Page reviewed: 01 Jul 2020 12:10pm