Hamilton City Council is implementing contingency plans to maintain essential services to the city while supporting the health and wellbeing of the community and staff in response to Covid-19.

The Council’s Chief Executive Richard Briggs says the Council has established an Incident Management Team which has been co-ordinating the Council-wide approach.

“We’ve got more than 1000 staff in 27 business units across 20 sites who interact daily with thousands of Hamiltonians. We’re taking steps to make sure we support the national response to this situation, while delivering the services our community relies on, like clean water, wastewater, rubbish collection, transportation and much more,” Mr Briggs says.

“These services are vital, so we have plans in place to respond to events which impact our teams or equipment.

“We are working closely with the Ministry of Health and other lead agencies, as well as partner organisations and the groups and individuals who use our facilities as we respond to a fast-moving situation.

“We are taking a measured and responsible approach, and we’re ready to take further measures if required as we support the Government’s advice,” Mr Briggs says.

Mr Briggs says it is important people get health information from the Ministry of Health and don’t share rumours or false information. The Ministry says, with continued vigilance, the chance of widespread community outbreak is expected to remain low. Washing hands thoroughly and frequently is the most powerful way people can help stop the spread of Covid-19 and other infections.

“We’ve cancelled or postponed some events, made changes to how we operate some of our facilities, increased our cleaning programmes at Council-owned sites, halted all international travel for staff and are reviewing all domestic air travel.

“Our priority is the wellbeing of our community. We are continually updating our plans and actions as we get new information, so we can make the best decisions for our city.”

Changes to Council-run events or facilities as at 17 March 2020:

Note: Some privately-run events use Council-owned facilities or open spaces, but decisions to cancel or postpone rest with the individual event organisers. For enquiries regarding these events please contact the organisers.

The following Council-run events have been postponed:

FMG Stadium Waikato open day (was Saturday 28 March)
Melville Park opening celebration (was Saturday 4 April)
Postponement dates still be confirmed.

The citizenship ceremony planned for 23 March is cancelled and the planned 20 April event is under review. Candidates receiving citizenship at these ceremonies will be contacted directly with details on how their citizenship will be presented.

The Council asks that you help protect your community and our staff by not visiting the Council if you feel unwell. This includes attending Council meetings and visiting our facilities and office. People can still contact the Council on 07 838 6699 or by emailing info@hcc.govt.nz. The Council’s meetings are also live-streamed through the Council’s website.

All privately-run events at Council facilities with an expected attendance of more than 500 people have been downscaled, cancelled or postponed in line with Government advice.

Waterworld has cancelled or amended bookings for large-scale school swimming events.

Hamilton Gardens has halted guided tours for the remainder of March and has also had some private events at the Gardens cancelled.

Updates on public events scheduled to be held at Council’s H3 venues (FMG Stadium Waikato, Seddon Park and Claudelands) can be viewed at HLive.co.nz as they are confirmed.