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Source: Auckland Council

Auckland Council is encouraging Aucklanders to enjoy the eased restrictions safely, and to stick to the guidelines to keep their friends, whānau and community safe.

Aucklanders are reminded that if they’re planning to catch up with another bubble, it needs to be outside where there is much less chance of contagion. COVID-19 is still in the community so keep your activities within the new rules.

Continue to wear a mask, maintain social distancing and track your movements with the NZ COVID Tracer app.

Auckland Council is also encouraging anyone who has not been vaccinated to please do so as soon as possible. This weekend is a great opportunity with extended open hours for vaccination centres on Super Saturday. Vaccination is the best way we can keep ourselves, our families and our communities safe from COVID-19 and will help us move towards a lower level of restrictions.

For more information on Super Saturday, visit the COVID-19 website.

Read on for more information around a planned protest at Auckland Domain, rules on overnight stays, what’s happening in our regional and community parks, and restricted access for Whatipu Road.

Auckland Domain protest

Pukekawa / Auckland Domain is one of our largest and most popular urban public parks. As Aucklanders look forward to another sunny weekend at Alert Level 3 Step 1, we know many will be considering heading there for a picnic or playdate in their extended bubbles.

However, we’re aware of plans for a large gathering in the Domain on Saturday 16 October, which would be a breach of the Government guidelines. The council does not endorse this event and it is expected that Police will be present.

If you’re planning to head to the Domain on Saturday, please remember to follow the Government guidelines. Make sure you’re wearing a mask, only meet with one other household and keep track of where you’ve been, either through the NZ COVID-19 Tracer app or manually.

Overnight travel and holiday homes

Auckland Council has received a few queries around overnight stays and using holiday homes.

Under Alert Level 3 Step 1, the only reasons you can move into a different home is if you:

  • are moving permanently, or long-term.
  • need to use a temporary or emergency home, for example for care while sick or to seek refuge from an unsafe domestic violence environment.
  • are required to by a court order.
  • are asked to by a person exercising a power under any enactment to order you to be detained, to change your place of detention, or determine your place of residence (for example, a direction of the New Zealand Parole Board or a probation officer).
  • are going to your residence once your detention or determination ends.

Overnight stays, for example at the bach, in AirBnB accommodation or going camping, cannot happen.

For more information on what movements are permitted during Alert Level 3 Step 1, visit the COVID-19 website.

Auckland Council community and regional parks

Our parks and green spaces are a great place to connect with nature and make the most of our beautiful region. They are also the perfect place to check in with a friend or family member you haven’t seen for a while. Spring is an incredible season to visit a park with so much happening in nature – new growth, flowering and new wildlife. Please be respectful.

Auckland Council would like to remind all Aucklanders that the region is still at Alert Level 3 Step 1 and COVID-19 guidelines for step two should be followed in parks and green spaces.

  • A maximum of two households meeting together outside at a park.
  • No more than ten people from those two households can meet together.
  • Wearing a mask is strongly encouraged.
  • Maintain social distancing of two metres.
  • Playdates can occur outside for tamariki (kids) with one other household at a time.
  • Use the COVID Tracer App and either scan in or manually check-in if you can’t find a QR code.

Additionally, we would like to remind Aucklanders that your safety is important to us, and we ask that you do not attempt any high-risk recreational activities.

Please be respectful of our council staff in places like the Auckland Botanic Gardens, regional parks and cemeteries – please maintain physical distancing, and observe any advice they are providing

Regional parks are open, and people are permitted to travel to them for recreation, but our visitor centres and cemetery offices remain closed under Alert Level 3 Step 1.

However, why not keep the exploration of the region closer to home and discover a gem you didn’t know existed in your neighbourhood? Perhaps it is a path you haven’t walked down before, or a park you are yet to visit. With over 4000 parks across the region, there is a park near to everyone where connecting with nature or re-connecting with loved ones can occur.

If you’re keen to go for a day walk in the Waitākere Ranges Regional Park, remember that storm damage still affects some tracks, and this will continue for a while yet. Current track closures due to storm damage include:

  • Ahuahu Track due to slip damage
  • Karamatura Track lower loop and Karamatura Falls access due to flood damage
  • Ussher Track due to a bridge washout
  • Winstone Track due to a bridge washout

There is now foot-only access to tracks in the Whatipū area via the walking tracks that start at Karamatura, or by walking in from the Karekare end of Whatipū Beach. This is a long day walk and should only be undertaken by people with good levels of fitness. Toilet facilities at Whatipū are not open.

Sections of the Te Henga Walkway, managed by DOC, have been re-opened from both the Constable Road end and the Te Henga Road end, although an area in between remains closed due to a slip.  People will not be able to walk the length of the track and will have to return to the end they entered the track from.

Whatipū Rd remains closed to everyone, apart from limited access to properties for local residents. Serious slips on the road have caused dangerous conditions so local residents are asked to please take care. Pedestrians are not allowed to use the road. There is evidence that some people have ignored the road closures. This could further destabilise the slips and end up putting themselves and others at risk. We ask that everyone abides by all road closures.

Waiheke and Aotea Great Barrier

Travel to Waiheke and Aotea Great Barrier islands for recreation is prohibited unless you are a resident of either of the islands.

Neither island has had a case of COVID-19 and with limited healthcare services in place combined with older populations, the new rule will help to reduce risk for the island’s residents.

For more information, visit OurAuckland.

Together at Home

Next week is the start of term four and while many of our tamariki (children) will be returning to distance learning, there is still a lot of time in the day to keep tamariki engaged and entertained.

Auckland Council’s Together At Home campaign provides plenty of things to do whether you want to enjoy friends or family from another bubble or prefer to stay at home. Whether it is looking for an idea to help feed your mind; wanting to move your body in a new way; finding a new way to lift your spirits during this challenging time; or simply needing something exciting to help the whānau (family) and tamariki take a break from the schoolwork. 

There are lots of ideas of how to explore nature in your backyard or at your local park, exercises that you can do as a whānau, or new ways to learn together. 

With ideas and opportunities from across the wider Auckland Council group including Auckland Council Libraries, Auckland Council Corporate Records and Archives, pools and leisure, parks services, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Watercare, Auckland Unlimited, Auckland Zoo and Auckland Maritime Museum, there is plenty to keep the whole family entertained while also discovering new things about this beautiful region.