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Council Prepares To 'Play It Safe' In Alert Level 2

Kāpiti Coast District Council is ramping up its plans to re-open most of its community facilities following the Government’s announcement today that New Zealand will move to alert level 2 from Thursday 14 May.

Kāpiti Coast Mayor K Gurunathan said the majority of the Council’s customer facing facilities will re-open but it will take time to get the required safety measures in place.

“Council staff have been preparing for the move to level 2 following the release of updated government guidance last week.

“Re-opening our Council facilities is not a straight-forward process as we too need to ensure we “play it safe” and minimise any risk to staff, customers and the Kāpiti Coast community.

“We’ve come this far so it’s critical that we take the time to get our systems and processes right before opening the doors to our customer services centres, pools and libraries and community venues. We cannot afford to take our foot off the pedal and lose sight of the gains we’ve made in our fight against COVID-19,” said the Mayor.

Chief Executive Wayne Maxwell said maintaining public health and safety is a priority for the Council.

“We know that people are keen to get back to using our facilities and we are committed to getting these services back up and running as quickly as possible but we need to be confident that we’ve got appropriate measures in place to help keep people safe.

“In the case of our customer service centres, pools, libraries and community venues we need to look at how we maintain the required physical distancing and limit the number of people that can be in our facilities at any one time.

“We also need to ensure we have a robust process in place for registering people’s names and contact details when they visit our facilities for contact tracing purposes.

“Our Council teams are working hard to get things back up and running as soon as we move to level 2 but for some of our facilities it won’t be possible to open straight away or they may open with reduced hours or levels of service.

“There’s a lot to work through and we’ll be updating our website with information about what Council facilities and services will be available under alert level 2 over the next few days,” Mr Maxwell said.

Under alert level 2 the district’s public playgrounds, skate parks, courts and toilets will re-open but water drinking fountains and BBQ areas will remain closed for now.

People can start using the district’s sports fields again but are urged to follow good hygiene practices and to check in with their club for updates and information about training and sports fixtures.

Dog parks will re-open under alert level 2 and dogs can be walked off leash in designated off-leash areas.

Council operations staff will resume full mowing, gardening and maintenance work with robust procedures in place to keep staff and public safe.

Mayor Gurunathan said while the relaxing of the rules is welcomed by many it is vitally important that people continue to practice physical distancing, limit social gatherings to no more than ten people, exercise good hygiene practices and stay home if they, or a member of their household, is unwell.

“We have a lot of well-utilised public facilities in Kāpiti and I know we’re all itching to get back to work and support our local business community.

“While alert level 2 means that the government is confident that there is no risk of community transmission and the disease is contained, we cannot afford to lower our guard so I’m asking everyone to play it safe and make smart choices for the benefit of all New Zealanders.”

© Scoop Media

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