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Please Stop Flouting The Rules And Treat Your Pets As Part Of Your Bubble

Please, stop flouting the rules

Our Thames Valley Emergency Operating Centre (TVEOC) are concerned that the guidelines during lockdown continue to be flouted in our district.

"This is particularly the case around shoreline areas," says Civil Defence Controller Garry Towler. "People are still fishing, boating, swimming, surfing, exercising far from home, or driving around for no particular reason."

Click to watch.

"Stay home - if you don't need to go out, then don't. We need people to be considerate, there are a lot of people who are abiding by the guidelines and it's placing unnecessary added stress and worry on them to see others disregarding the guidelines to suit themselves," says Mr Towler.

"We are all in this together and to get through this we need to work together by staying at home and in your bubble."

If you suspect a business or individual is breaching the guidelines, you can report them online here or call the non-emergency number - 105. Don't ring 111 as that is for emergencies only.

  • Free phone 0800 800 405 has been established for Waikato people struggling to get food, groceries, medication or other household goods and services. This is available between 7am and 7pm daily, but does not replace other government helplines already in operation.
  • Being in lockdown makes us experience all sorts of things: anxiety, loneliness, fear. Need to talk? Free phone or text 1737.

Treat your pets as part of your bubble

Going out for a walk to get some sunshine and fresh air is necessary during Alert Level 4 for both people and their dogs. But there are some guidelines that apply to dog walking during the lockdown period.

“We’re seeing increasing numbers of people out walking their dogs,” says Brian Taylor, our Regulatory Manager. “During lockdown, we ask all dog owners to please keep your dog on a lead at all times, including our off-lead dog areas, reducing chances of transmitting COVID-19 and dog altercations, keeping you, your family and our staff safe.”

Treat your pets as if they are part of your ‘bubble’ and keep a 2-metre distance from others. The risk of cross contamination extends to touching other people’s dogs. While it’s not likely the spread of COVID-19 from animal to animal can occur, it is possible for them to have the virus on their fur through human contact.

It’s important to not touch other people’s animals or allow your children to touch them, and always remember to wash your hands when you get home.

“To make sure there’s no room for doubt here, owners should always have dogs on a lead,” says Mr Taylor.

Our compliance teams are out and about gathering critical information in all our settlements across the Coromandel, focusing on animal control, rubbish collection, essential businesses, freedom camping and activities in public spaces. We are there to provide education, and information is passed on to Police if enforcement is needed.

By keeping your dog on a lead at all times this reduces any unnecessary interaction.

If you usually drive somewhere, such as the beach to walk your dog, you need to change your dog walking route. Stay local and do not drive to walk your dog. You shouldn’t be driving unless you have a very good reason to do so.

As an extra precaution, we discourage people from patting dogs that are not within their own self-isolation ‘bubble’.

“We all have a part to play here to keep everyone safe, including our pets, so during this lockdown period walk with your dogs on a lead at all times and keep your walks to your local neighbourhood,” says Mr Taylor.

Being a responsible dog owner during lockdown:

  • Have your dog on lead at all times
  • Maintain a 2-metre distance from others
  • Keep your walks to your local neighbourhood
  • Pick up your dog’s poo, please carry bags with you
  • Makes sure your property has somewhere to keep your dog safe, secure and under control (and in the shade) where they will not be a nuisance to neighbours
  • Ensure your dog is registered and wears a registration tag at all times

Update on other Council services

Kerbside rubbish and recycling:

All rubbish and recycling must be bagged and placed in your recycling wheelie bin and will be collected FORTNIGHTLY. The fortnightly collection will occur on your normal recycling day in your normal recycling week. Click here for further details.

Kerbside collections resume on Monday, 6 April:

  • Whangamata 'Week 1'
  • Onemana & Opoutere
  • Tairua

View the full schedule for next week here.

Boat Ramps - Signs are being installed to reinforce that our boat ramps are closed for recreational use, and only open to essential commercial activities and emergency services.

Water Services - Please call us to report any leaks, no matter how small, so that they can be assessed and repaired quickly. We also ask you keep water usage to a minimum while maintaining the appropriate health standards. Conservation measures are still in place in some areas and being assessed daily. Until there is substantial rainfall, they are expected to remain in place – tcdc.govt.nz/water.

Freedom Camping - There are two sites in our district (Rhodes Park and the Mercury Bay Multi Sport Park in Whitianga) where campers are being moved to for the duration of the lockdown. This is being managed by police and the Thames Valley Emergency Operating Centre (TVEAO). If you see people camping, call us on 07 868 0200.

Roading - We will continue with any urgent road repairs and fixes, so please contact us if you notice any dangerous potholes on Council roads. Some urgent work is being undertaken on Port Jackson Road and in the Mercury Bay area this week. See tcdc.govt.nz/roading for details.

Consents, applications and online services - We are still able to process applications for building consents, planning consents and alcohol licenses.

  • Building and resource consents are still being processed and we’re still working to meet our statutory deadlines. Track applications online here.
  • If your alcohol licence or managers certificate expires during this period, please make sure you apply to renew it before the expiry by emailing the application form to customer.services@tcdc.govt.nz.
  • We're processing LIMs electronically which is helping things move along as normal.
  • We also have online payment options.

Rates - If you think you will have trouble meeting your rates payments, please get in touch with us. We can waive penalties for late payment for those who enter into an arrangement to pay with us. The Department of Internal Affairs Rates Rebate Scheme and rates postponement under Council’s rates postponement policy can be applied for if certain criteria are met. There is information on our website at tcdc.govt.nz/ratesrebate and tcdc.govt.nz/ratespostponement.

Annual Plan - The consultation runs until 14 April, and after that we will be considering all requests, feedback and submissions before making any decisions about projects, spending and rates. Please read the consultation document on this page - tcdc.govt.nz/annualplan2020 - and send us a submission with your thoughts on what projects and services should take priority as we set the budgets for the 2020/21 financial year.

Public toilets - 23 public toilets are open around the district due to decreased level of demand and to limit the transmission of COVID-19. Toilets that are closed will have closed signs on them and the full list of toilets open can be found here.

Playgrounds, parks and reserves - Our Council playgrounds are closed, and we’ve also closed off our drinking fountains and water sources to minimise the chance for contamination and spread of any germs.

Public spaces - The Department of Conservation facilities including tracks, and the Hauraki Rail Trail are closed and should not be used. These public places and others where people usually congregate, such as Hot Water Beach, are being monitored by our staff and referred to Police.

Libraries - Our District libraries are closed however members can access over 18,000 e-books and e-audiobooks, which can be borrowed online 24/7 - tcdc.govt.nz/libraries.

Stay informed or contact us:

Check our website COVID-19 page for local information, daily updates and advice on how people can stay connected.

Tune into the radio - We’re advertising with local radio stations any important updates and our Mayor Sandra has an interview with CFM on Mondays, Tuesdays with Gold FM and Thursdays with Coromandel More FM.

Newspapers - Keep an eye out in the local newspapers that are still running as we are advertising Council information in some of those including the Waikato Times. The Mercury Bay Informer is still printing and will be in letterboxes and distribution points. All other local papers are all online for now. Tear out the Kerbside changes and stick it on your fridge.

Stay home, save lives campaign - We're touching base with local people to keep you inspired and share their tips during lockdown. See the latest from our Mayor Sandra Goudie here.

Community Based Assessment Centres (CBAC)

The Waikato District Health Board are setting up Community Based Assessment Centres (CBAC) throughout the Waikato.

These centres are for assessment and swabbing if you think you may have COVID-19. This is not a place for treatment or vaccinations i.e. influenza - you need to contact a general practice or doctor or pharmacy for these.

If you are displaying flu-like systems or have recently travelled, you need to phone Healthline on 0800 358 5453. Healthline will provide guidance on whether assessment and testing is needed. If you cannot get through to Healthline you can also phone your general practice/doctor for advice.

All GPs can offer COVID-19 assessments too as well as the following primary care organisations who are offering extended hours:

Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki Thames
830am to 4.30pm Monday to Sunday
210 Richmond Rd
Thames
Ph: 07 868 0033
Ph: 0508 835 676

Click here for more information.

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