Work on some of Auckland’s major construction projects is set to start again next week when the country moves to Alert Level 3, a move that will progress much-needed Auckland infrastructure and generate jobs and growth to assist economic recovery, says Mayor Phil Goff.
Projects that were well underway and halted when the country was moved into Alert Level 4 included significant programmes of work in the city centre, such as the Downtown programme, the City Rail Link, the redevelopment of Wynyard Quarter, the Karangahape Road enhancements project and the Victoria Street cycleway.
Mayor Goff says the restart of construction is good news for the many workers employed on construction sites and the companies involved.
“We’re getting back to work but it won’t be business as usual - there will be a strong focus on measures to protect workers and the public from COVID-19 transmission,” he says.
“We want to get back to work as quickly as possible to kick-start economic activity and contribute to job growth recovery, but we also need to lock in the progress we have made in stopping the spread of COVID-19.
“With the injection of Government capital under the Infrastructure Upgrade decision made in January, and the shovel-ready projects to be announced in May, Auckland can play a key role in working with Government to promote economic recovery,” Phil Goff says.
To help the construction industry scale back up, Auckland Council will also temporarily relax the rules around construction hours.
Standard construction hours are normally from 7.30am to 6pm Monday to Saturday, however for four weeks from April 28, the hours will be extended through until 8pm and will also include Sundays from 9am to 4pm.
Building inspectors will also be allowed to resume building inspections, which will also help keep the industry moving forward.
Auckland Council Chief Executive Stephen Town says alongside getting key construction projects back up and running, the organisation will continue to provide essential services to keep Aucklanders safe and healthy, with a focus on where it’s most needed.
“Under Alert Level 3, we’ll be following the guidance of the Government by allowing gatherings of up to 10 people at our cemeteries for burial services. Our early childhood education centres will also be open based on demand,” says Mr Town.
“Our noise control officers, who weren’t considered an essential service during Alert Level 4, will also resume their normal duties and will respond in person to noise complaints around the region.
“Aucklanders who have spent the last few weeks decluttering their houses will also be pleased to hear that we’ll be reopening the Waitakere Refuse and Recycling Station for limited hours on Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays from Friday 1 May to accept refuse and green waste. Some Community Recycling Centres will have limited services, too.
“Naturally, all of these services will be carried out with the highest of health and safety provisions and COVID-19 risk management practices in place.”
However, Mr Town cautions that many of the restrictions in place during Alert Level 4 will remain during Alert Level 3.
“Unfortunately, that means most of our buildings and facilities like our libraries, pools, leisure centres, community venues and customer service centres will stay closed.
“This also applies to all of our facilities within our parks, like playgrounds, basketball courts, skate parks and pump tracks, however we do encourage people to continue using those spaces for walking and cycling while maintaining safe social distancing,” says Mr Town.
Other changes to services provided by Auckland Council from next Tuesday include:
- Animal management officers to respond to a broader range of complaints and undertake some targeted proactive work. Animal shelters will remain closed
- Some limited inspections will be carried out by our environmental health and alcohol licensing teams
- Some on-site visits to be undertaken by our building and resource consent teams
- Removal of all graffiti to resume
- CityWatch to resume work supporting safety in the city centre
For more information, please visit the Auckland Council website.