Business as usual at Waikato District Council following office closures
It is business as usual at all Waikato District Council offices and libraries today. All sites were closed last Friday following a message from a caller to visit a council site with harmful intent against staff.
“We take any threat to our staff seriously and place their safety first. The threat was not specific to a particular office, library or council-operated site therefore for the safety of all our people and of the public we closed all sites for the day,” said Chief Executive, Gavin Ion.
“This was not an over-reaction. Put simply people’s safety was on the line. In those circumstances you cannot be too careful and I make no apology for putting safety first.”
“I am pleased with our processes and procedures for dealing with the situation. We had cooperation from staff, those visiting our buildings at the time, our contractors and from the police, with whom we were working throughout the day,” Mr Ion said.
Processes were put in place to deal with final registration of nominations for October’s local elections which closed at noon on Friday.
Staff were able to leave the various sites across the district later on Friday afternoon after confirmation the police had visited an individual at a Waikato address in connection with the threat. No further information about the individual or any charge against them was made available by police.
As a precaution, security staff remained on duty on at Council offices and libraries offering Saturday services.