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Source: Auckland Council

As week four of life in lockdown ends, we’ve pulled together some of the key information you need to know this long weekend.

Traditionally, Anzac Day is one where we come together to pay tribute to our servicemen and women past and present, but the extension of alert level 4 means how we mark it will be different this year. While all dawn services have been cancelled, Aucklanders are encouraged to commemorate the day from the safety of their bubble.

Alert level 3 comes into effect next week

The move to alert level 3 at 23.59 on Monday (27 April) means we’ll see some workplaces and schools opening up on a limited basis, but it’s important that we stay vigilant.  If you are able to work from home, you must continue to do so. 

Under alert level 3, restrictions around some activities will be lifted. Experienced swimmers and surfers will be able to get back into the water but are asked to maintain physical distance from those not in their bubble and to avoid taking risks. Fishing from a wharf is allowed but boating is still off limits.

Council services under alert level 3

The move to alert level 3 means there will be some changes to council services; but it is largely similar to level 4. Public transport will continue to be available for those who need to use it for work, school and accessing local services. Buses and trains will be busier under alert level 3, so travelling in peak hours should be avoided if possible. For those using public transport, there are a number of measures in place to ensure passengers stay safe on board.

Kerbside rubbish, recycling and food scrap collections continue as normal; however, due to Anzac Day, all collections next week will be made a day later than usual. Please follow our advice to ensure your kerbside collection is picked up. Waitakere Refuse and Recycling Station will be open for limited hours on Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays from Friday 1 May to accept refuse and green waste and there will be limited services at some Community Recycling Centres.

Our regional parks remain closed to vehicles under alert level 3 but you can access them on foot if you’re local. Small gatherings (up to ten people) at cemeteries will be permitted to farewell loved ones. Other community facilities including our libraries, pools, art galleries, playgrounds, basketball courts, skate parks and pump tracks will remain closed. Most public toilets including those in parks will also remain closed.

Support for those who need it

Auckland Emergency Management continues to respond to those Aucklanders who need our help at this time. Now in its third week, our welfare food parcel initiative has taken around 27,000 calls, resulting in approximately 14,000 requests for assistance. As of Tuesday, 7,867 parcels had been dispatched and we estimate that a further 5,000 will be sent out over the course of the coming week.

There is a significant backlog in delivering parcels as there is considerable pressure on sourcing food and supplies from the supply chain. The distribution centre is operating well but we know people are waiting for parcels. They are being distributed as quickly as we receive the stock. However, it can be five or more days before boxes arrive.

The service remains a one-off stop gap for those still having difficulties getting food or essential supplies. The service is intended for people and whānau who don’t have any other options available to them. The service operates seven days a week from 7am to 7pm. Call Auckland Emergency Management welfare response helpline on 0800 22 22 96.

Outreach calls to older Aucklanders complete

More than 15,000 outreach calls to Aucklanders who are over 70, live alone and have limited to no online access, have now been completed.

A team of around 70 Auckland Council library staff made the general welfare calls, taking details of any challenges that residents were encountering and referring them along to the Ministry of Social Development and Auckland Emergency Management to resolve.

Supporting Māori communities during COVID-19 response

Support for our Māori community has been provided through our dedicated Te Pouwhakarae team. Te Pouwhakarae has made welfare calls to 700 vulnerable Māori and delivered cleaning packs and food parcels to marae and whanau across the region.

Aucklanders asked to use water responsibly 

The Auckland region is continuing to experience drought and limited rain is expected for the rest of April. This is putting considerable pressure on our water supply, with water storage now at just 48 per cent. This is well below the average of 76 per cent for this time of year and also down on last year’s figure of 66 per cent at the same point.

It’s important that we continue to follow the protocols of thorough hand washing to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, but Aucklanders are asked to avoid excess water use. While a long weekend is usually the time for jobs like washing the car or water-blasting the house, outside water usage should stop.  Reducing the amount of time spent in the shower and avoiding the use of garden sprinklers and hoses are other ways we can all do our bit to help.

Where to turn for information and support

The latest COVID-19 help, advice and updates from Government are available at Covid19.govt.nz

Managing your mental wellbeing – If you feel you’re not coping, it’s important to talk with a health professional. For support with grief, anxiety, distress or mental wellbeing, you can call or text 1737 – free, anytime, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – to talk with a trained counsellor.  

Financial support – Work and Income call centres are experiencing very high demand at the moment, so it’s recommended you check the website first. If you don’t have access to the internet you can call on 0800 559 009. 

Feeling unwell – if have health questions, call your GP before you visit. Or call Healthline on 0800 358 5453.

If you’re not sure what assistance may be available, or you don’t know who to contact for help, phone the Government Helpline on 0800 779 997 (8am – 10pm, 7 days a week).

MIL OSI