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Source: Auckland Council

Auckland Council has welcomed today’s announcement by the Government that the country will move to Alert Level 3 on Tuesday 28 April.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says, “The upcoming change to alert levels has been made possible thanks to New Zealanders’ collective commitment to follow the rules around staying home and maintaining physical distancing.

“But we can’t afford to stop now. While the move to Level 3 restrictions will allow many businesses in Auckland to resume operations, everyone must continue to comply with the Government safety guidelines to avoid a further outbreak of COVID-19.

“Work in the construction and infrastructure industries will be able to get underway as soon as possible, with projects such as the City Rail Link able to resume construction work next Tuesday once the Level 4 lockdown is lifted.

“The resumption of business, particularly in the construction and infrastructure industries, will play an important role in kick-starting the economy and getting people back into work as we move into the recovery phase of the COVID-19 crisis,” Phil Goff says.

“In addition, we have submitted a list of shovel-ready infrastructure projects where work is ready to start in the short-term, pending stimulus funding from the Government. These projects will help create employment opportunities and will deliver a long-term legacy for the city.

“While the non-essential retail sector and the restaurant industry will not be able to open physical stores at Level 3, they will be able to sell goods under restrictions such as online ordering and contactless payment systems, which will provide much-needed income and further benefits for the wider economy.

“I know many businesses have been working hard to prepare for the shift to Alert Level 3, and I thank them for the commitment to keeping Aucklanders safe as we move into a new environment,” Phil Goff says.

Auckland Council Chief Executive Stephen Town says the council’s focus over the next week will be to work through what moving to Alert Level 3 means for the organisation and the additional services it will be able to provide.

“Like many Aucklanders, we’re pleased to see that the measures the Government put in place four weeks ago have had an impact on curbing COVID-19. We are delighted that this will allow major infrastructure projects like the City Rail Link to resume work,” says Mr Town.

“Auckland Council’s focus in Level 3 will largely continue to be on maintaining essential services to keep Aucklanders safe and healthy, and on providing help where it’s most needed.

“For the safety of our staff and communities it is important we take the time needed to assess the risks and make wise decisions about where and how we can resume services under Level 3. This is likely to mean a staged approach in some areas.

“Under Alert Level 3, many of our buildings and facilities will stay closed and most staff will continue to work from home. That includes all of our corporate offices, libraries, pools, leisure centres and community venues, as well as playgrounds, basketball courts, skate parks and pump tracks,” he says.

“Along with resuming major constructions projects, we will be looking across a range of regulatory and service functions to see what additional services we may be able to safely provide.”

Further information on Auckland Council’s essential services under Alert Level 3 will be provided once confirmed.