Alert Level 2 Information
*This information is subject to change as the situation evolves.
Alert Level 2 - Key information
- Council's Customer Centre is open to the public with the majority of staff working from home. Staff and customers will be required to follow government requirements for mask use, physical distancing and record keeping. We would like to encourage everyone to continue to use online or phone services for your business with Council as much as possible. You can reach Council on 07 348 4199 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- If you want to visit Council offices, including Rotorua Library and Rotorua Aquatic Centre, use the Government's COVID-19 tracer app to ensure contact tracing can happen quickly if required.
- Where possible, please wear a mask when visiting Council buildings or using Council facilities.
- All Council staff that are able to will work from home.
- Public facilities will be open and 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.
- The kerbside rubbish and recycling service will continue to operate as per normal.
- Recycling will continue as per normal.
- Building and other site inspections will continue with safe operating measures in place. Please note staff will ask you COVID-19 related 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.
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.
Read the FAQs below for more information about Council services during Alert Level 2
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 this may result in queues and 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:
- Wear a face covering
- Use the Government's COVID-19 Tracer app on your smart device to make contact tracing quicker if required.
- 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 email@example.com 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.
Building, planning and regulatory site inspections will continue. Staff will be asking COVID-19 questions prior to bookings and visits and will have appropriate PPE. Social distancing is also required.
What Council buildings/venues will be open?
Council buildings and venues are open in Alert Level 2, however, Level 2 guidelines have changed to meet the needs of the Delta variant. All locations will be following the updated Level 2 safety guidelines including wearing a face covering, 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 - Check the Rotorua Night Market and Rotorua Farmers Market Facebook pages for updates on these events
What is happening with inner city security?
Inner city security continues in Level 2 as normal.
What is Council doing to help Rotorua recover from COVID-19?
In March 2020, Rotorua Lakes Council agreed to adopt a strategy similar to the Government in response to combatting COVID-19: Rotorua's Build Back Better economic recovery plan, and has since gone on to develop our Draft Economic Development Strategy Framework.
Businesses or residents that are experiencing financial impacts from COVID-19 can contact Council to discuss their situation and establish alternative rate payment arrangements. Phone our Customer Centre on 07 348 4199 for more information.
If you have been unable to pay your rates please phone our Customer Centre on (07) 348 4199 to discuss this as soon as you can. Information on how to pay your rates is available HERE.
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.
Will the contents of my recycling bin be recycled under Alert Level 2?
Yes, kerbside recycling will continue.
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.
- Remove lids and bottle tops of your glass items before you put them in the blue crate for 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 Council's friendly operators.
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.
Are the transfer stations open?
Yes, in Rotorua, transfer stations are open at their regular operating hours. For more information and to see each transfer station’s opening and manned hours, click here.
Will the Rotorua Recycling Centre be open?
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
How will the Recycling Centre operate safely under Alert Level 2?
All people going onsite at the Recycling Centre must; wear a mask, scan the QR code or provide contact tracing details upon entry, and stay two meters apart from others outside of your bubble. Only one person is able to exit the vehicle to unload recyclable items.
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.
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 recycling 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.
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.
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 from Monday to Saturday, 9.30am - 4.30pm on Sunday and Public Holidays. Note: Vehicles are not permitted to go into the landfill from 4:25pm.
The Te Ngae Waste Management Transfer station at 6 Hamiora Place (corner of Te Ngae Road and Hamiora Place) is also open to the public at Alert Level 2.
How will the landfill 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.
Only one person per vehicle is permitted to exit the vehicle to unload. This is to ensure there is enough room for two meters of social distancing, and helps to limit different 'bubbles' making contact with each other.
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.
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?
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 kindness at this time.
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 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.
Can I drop off my recycling at the landfill?
Yes, landfill operators Waste Management are accepting recycling.
The in-town Recycling Centre (24 Te Ngae Road) is also open and you are able to drop off your recyclable items during their regular opening hours.
Will there be changes to parking services?
Council's parking services will resume in Alert Level 2 to help ensure adequate availability of parking spaces for users.
Please remember to check for signs conveying the maximum time limits for the area in which you have parked and 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.
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 will also be operating again in Alert Level 2.
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.
To pay or dispute an infringement visit www.i-park.co.nz/rotorua.html.
Will Animal Control services be available?
Full Animal Control services will resume in Alert Level 2 with additional health and safety measures in place, such as mask use and physical distancing.
This includes dog adoptions. Visit our Facebook page Rotorua Pound - Homeless Hounds for more info on dogs available for adoption. We encourage customers to call ahead and make an appointment if possible in Alert Level 2 to assist in minimising waiting times at the Pound. Phone 07 348 4199 to make an appointment.
Will the pound be open to the public?
The Rotorua Pound will be operating during regular open hours, Monday to Friday, 2pm - 4:30pm, with the above safety measures in place, as well as only allowing one customer per entry. Signing in or QR code scanning is mandatory as per government guidelines. Please ensure you wear a mask during your visit.
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.
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 wearing a face covering, 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 all Alert Levels) for all businesses and services to display a QR code for the NZ COVID Tracer app prominently at every entry point of their premises. QR codes, and alternative contact tracing systems, must be accessible to everyone entering the premises. 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.
Who can I call about noise control issues?
Noise control services will resume in full at Alert Level 2. If you need to report a noise control issue please phone 07 348 4199 at the time that it is happening.
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.
- To help achieve physical distancing, customers are not permitted to stand on public transport.
- 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.
Help and assistance
Who do I call if I have a request for assistance?
- If you need financial assistance or support for accommodation you should call the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) on 0800 559 009.
- If you need emergency assistance for food and grocery items call The Salvation Army on 07-346 8113. Please note the Salvation Army foodbank only operates during business hours, Monday to Friday. The Salvation Army is being supported by MSD for food security during the COVID19 lockdown.
- For any other form of emergency support, call Rotorua Lakes Council on 07 348 4199 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and a friendly Customer Advisor will help you access welfare support from the Civil Defence and Emergency Management Welfare team; which is working in partnership with other local agencies such as the Te Arawa COVID-19 Hub.
If you have concerns about Council services phone 07 348 4199 or email email@example.com and a friendly Customer Advisor will be able to help you.
Can I travel to Rotorua or another region?
In 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:
- Use a face covering
- 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
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 must 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.
What are the guidelines for accommodation providers?
The Unite Against COVID-19 has provided these guidelines for businesses operating at Alert Level 2.
Are Council meetings still going ahead?
Council meetings will continue with their normal schedule.
In light of the presence of COVID-19 in the community outside of Auckland, Rotorua Lakes Council committee and Council meetings will be closed to public attendance for the time being.
The public can still access meetings as they happen via livestreaming, and can access recordings of the meetings later, both via Council’s YouTube channel HERE.
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 i.e. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com
- 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 (refer to Applying for a building consent - Rotorua Lakes Council)
- 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.
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. 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.
Can I still lodge resource consent applications?
Yes, the Planning Consents Team is 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.firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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.
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.
Food Licensing enquiries
Please enquire about your specific circumstances to confirm whether food verification is applicable by phoning 07 348 4199.
Off licence remote liquor sales
Can I sell and deliver alcohol remotely?
Off-licence holders whose license enables them to sell and deliver alcohol remotely can do so.
All requirements of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act, licence conditions/restrictions and requirements for remote sales apply. Limits on quantity of spirits sold is recommended.