Alert Level 4 Information
The information below refers to Council operations during Alert Level 4.
Can I still come into the Council offices?
No. In accordance with Alert Level 4 guidelines, our Customer Centre will be closed. If you need to contact Council please call us on 07 348 4199 (24/7) or email firstname.lastname@example.org and a Customer Advisor will be able to help you.
What services are still available?
Essential businesses, and those that support them, will continue to provide the necessities of life for everyone in New Zealand. This means food, medicine, healthcare, energy, fuel, waste-removal, internet and financial support will continue to be available.
For Rotorua Lakes Council, our essential services are defined as:
- Water (Wastewater, Stormwater and Water Supply)
- Transport and roading networks
- Rubbish and recycling collection
- Civil Defence and Emergency Management
Some staff will be working from home so if you are unsure about a service contact our office on 07 348 4199 and a Customer Advisor will advise if it is available.
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.
Rubbish and recycling
Will my wheelie bins still get collected?
Yes, put your wheelie bins out on the kerbside on your regular collection day. Assisted collection will also continue.
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?
No, in Rotorua, transfer stations are closed at Alert Level 4.
Is the Rotorua Landfill open?
The Rotorua Landfill and green waste disposal facility is not open to the general public, but will remain open for commercial operators who have existing accounts with Waste Management.
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.
currently happening with recycling?
Recyclables in the kerbside collection will continue to be recycled in the coming days. Please continue to use your kerbside service as per normal, and put ONLY recycling in your yellow lid bin, and only glass in your blue crate.
Council are working with recycling operators to recycle as much of the recycling from Rotorua as possible. Due to the swift move to Alert Level 4, many rubbish and recycling operators are still making adjustments to their operations for the health and safety of staff and to comply with alert level restrictions. This means that our ability to recycle may change in the coming days. Please check here for any updates on this.
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.
Will there be changes to parking services?
There is no requirement to pay for parking during Alert Level 4. Parking matters considered to be a safety risk should be directed to the Police as a Road Safety issue. Timeframes listed on any existing Infringement Notices (ie, to pay, dispute etc) remain as is.
Will animal control services be available?
Animal control officers will be attending urgent jobs only such as attacks or stock wandering on roads. 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.
Will the pound be open to the public?
No. The Rotorua Pound is not open to the public. Dogs in the pound will continue to be cared for.
Parks and Recreation
Are parks, reserves and playgrounds still open?
Council is following the Government's directive to the public to stay at home as much as possible to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Because they are not essential services, all Council carparks, public facilities and playgrounds in parks, reserves, and other recreational areas are now closed. This includes carparks, cafes, public facilities and playgrounds in recreational spaces in the lakes and rural areas and in the Tokorangi (Redwoods) Forest and Whakarewarewa Forest. Access to the Redwoods, Whakarewarewa forest and other council reserves is currently open to the public for walking and biking, however all vehicle access points are closed. Please enter these spaces either on foot or by bike. Do not drive to these areas.
Can I go to the Redwoods or Whakarewarewa forest?
Access to the Redwoods, Whakarewarewa forest and other council reserves is currently open to the public for walking and biking, however all vehicle access points are closed. Please enter these spaces either on foot or by bike. Do not drive to these areas.
Activity that's not necessary, including driving, puts others at risk, including emergency services staff if you have an accident or injure yourself. The last thing we need to do is add pressure on essential services.
What people need to know if they want to use the forest and other reserves:
- Vehicle access points to the forest are closed
- If you want to access the forest for exercise, please do so by foot or bike - do not drive to the forest
- Do not meet up with others - stay in your bubble
- Stick to areas where you are able to easily stay two meters 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
For more information: https://covid19.govt.nz/.../for-everyone/exercising-safely/
Can I use playgrounds?
No, to stop the spread of COVID-19 the Government has directed all playgrounds to be closed during Alert Level 4.
Will reserves be mowed during Alert Level 4?
The Government has made allowance for certain parks and recreation areas to be mowed and maintained during Alert Level 4. General sports fields and reserves/green spaces will not be mowed during Alert Level 4 as it is not considered an essential service.
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.
Are the buses still running?
Please check www.baybus.co.nz for changes to bus timetables.
Help and assistance
Who do I call if I have a request for assistance?
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.
For all other support services the Government has developed a Welfare Contact Card with contact information for a range of support services. You can view this HERE.
I am visiting Rotorua and I need help finding accommodation. 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 phone). 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.
Is freedom camping still permitted in the District?
Campgrounds are essential services and permitted and encouraged to stay open during Alert Level 4. However, shared facilities must not be used and owners may wish to close these off where possible.
Self-contained vehicles can be used as accommodation by persons that are self-isolating. 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. They must remain at the same site for four weeks or until the Alert Level is reduced. Note that during Alert Level 4, Department of Conservation campsites will be closed, along with many local council-owned freedom camping spots.
Vehicles that are not self-contained must not be used for self-isolation. Those currently living in vehicles that are not self-contained must find alternative accommodation while New Zealand is at Alert Level 4.
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 4.
Are Council meetings still going ahead? (Note: this information was relevant to our last Level 4 lockdown in 2020 and may be updated as the current situation evolves)
Not in their current format. On Wednesday 25 March 2020, Council approved the delegation of decision-making to the Chief Executive during the period of the COVID-19 Alert Level 4.
It was explained that while Standing Orders allowed for elected members to meet via audio or audio-visual link, the Local Government Act currently still required a quorum to be physically present and as this would not be possible during Alert Level 4 , elected members would not be able to adopt decisions.
Delegating decision-making authority would enable decisions to be made and immediately enacted. Virtual meetings of the elected members would be held to discuss any key decisions that would need to be made during this period to seek their input and endorsement.
Will key projects continue?
No. All Council projects, apart from essential services (3 Waters, roading and rubbish and recycling) will be placed on hold during Alert Level 4. Council will follow Government guidelines and review any further closures.
What is happening with building consents?
The Consents Team is working remotely, processing existing consents and taking new consent applications. We will not be accepting physical applications as Council is closed and you are encouraged to remain isolated. 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 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 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.
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 will be severely limited. If the application is hard-copy, many consents awaiting responses to RFI's will be inaccessible by staff. We will only be able to process RFIs if the building consent was lodged via email.
What is happening with onsite inspections?
Council will not be undertaking any inspections during Alert Level 4.
Can I still lodge resource consent applications?
The Consents Team is working remotely, processing existing consents and taking new consent applications. Council is not able to accept physical applications during Alert Level 4. We will temporarily accept planning consent applications through email. All applications can be sent through to email@example.com
- Files must be in PDF or PDF/A format
- Email is limited to 200MB 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 meetings during Alert Level 4. 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.
Will you still be conducting Site visits and site meetings?
Site visits will not be able to continue through Alert Level 4.
What happens in instance of 224c Applications?
224c applications will not be able to be approved in some situations where a site visit is essential.
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.
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 through contactless delivery.
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.