As the region approaches its first weekend in Alert Level 3, Auckland Council is asking Aucklanders to keep following the rules and stay local to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says, “While the single-digit case numbers announced on Friday were encouraging, it is important to remember that COVID-19 is still out in the community, and we have to stay vigilant.
“Please continue to follow the rules of Alert Level 3 over the weekend, stay local and stay within your bubbles. If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, get a test. I encourage everyone who has not already been vaccinated to get it done this weekend.”
Need to know at Alert Level 3
- Public toilets– 258 public toilets are open for people using key transport and freight routes, and for those carrying out essential work and travel. A full list of public toilets open at Alert Level 3 can be found on OurAuckland
- Regional parks– generally, gates remain closed with pedestrian access for those whose regional park is their local park. Mountain biking and horse-riding access where permitted.
- Dog walking– consider walking your dog on a leash so you can keep a safe distance from others.
- Playgrounds, pump tracks and skate parks– all remain closed.
- Boating– boat ramps remain closed and boating is still not permitted.
- Cemeteries– funeral and tangihanga services remain limited, up to 10 people can attend a funeral, tangihanga or burial. Walk-in access to cemeteries is ok.
- Mowing and maintenance– will start to resume within the alert level restrictions and with priority placed on the upkeep of valuable assets like sports fields and high-use areas.
- Waste collection– normal kerbside collections continue and bin tags will be removed (in areas where bin tags are used).
- Transfer stations– open to the public with restricted services and cashless payment.
- Inorganic collections– these resume and rescheduling of collections postponed at Alert Level 4 is underway.
- Community recycling centres– some are open with restricted services and cashless payment.
- Regulatory services can restart site visits and inspections.
For a full list of the services that are and aren’t available during Alert Level 3, please visit the Auckland Council website.
Parks and storm damage update
Auckland Council Park Services would like to remind Aucklanders that people who live near a regional park can do an easy day hike under Alert Level 3, but all facilities are closed, and overnight tramps are not allowed.
Additionally, the storm earlier this month has severely damaged some tracks and they have had to be closed. These tracks are being assessed but repairing the damage will take time and the tracks will remain closed until those repairs are completed.
Stephen Bell, Auckland Council's Western Principal Ranger would like to remind people that facilities are closed for people’s safety, including toilets, tracks, and vehicle access gates. Unfortunately, vandalism of some of those facilities has occurred during both Alert Level 4 and 3 lockdowns.
“Our facilities are closed in line with the government’s guidelines, so to see a number of vandalism incidents occurring is disappointing. We’ve had toilets broken into, park gates cut open, hygiene stations damaged, track closure signs removed, and road closures ignored.”
“This mindless vandalism is frustrating as it costs money, time and effort. Our rangers work really hard to ensure people’s safety. Ignoring the rules not only puts yourself in potential danger but also puts others like our rangers, and search and rescue people in danger as well.”
Stephen encourages anyone who witnesses vandalism occurring to notify Police.
Current track closures:
- Ahuahu Track due to slip damage
- Lake Wainamu Tack due to flood 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
- Ōmanawanui Track due to hygiene station vandalism
- Pūriri Ridge Track due to hygiene station vandalism
- Signal House Track due to hygiene station vandalism
Additionally, the Whatipu road is closed to all but local traffic due to a number of significant slips.
Stephen also reminds people that the Department of Conservation has closed Te Henga Walkway while they assess it. The track will remain closed until that assessment is completed.
Auckland Council staff continuing to support lockdown efforts
Auckland Council staff continue to support other council departments and local agencies with efforts to assist Aucklanders during Alert Level 3. This includes working with The Fono Te Atatū, The Clendon Pride Project and The Glen Innes Family Centre, delivering food parcels to Aucklanders in need.
Since the region moved into lockdown at 11.59pm on 17 August, a total of 123 staff have been redirected to help, including working with Auckland Emergency Management (AEM), and externally with agencies like Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS), the Student Volunteer Army and the Cook Island Development Agency (CIDANZ).
105 staff are still actively involved in their redirections, with 48 staff on the welfare desk undertaking welfare calls to those who need it.
Exploring and keeping active in your bubble
The hope of fine weather this weekend provides a great opportunity to get out and enjoy your neighbourhood while still sticking to Alert Level 4 guidelines of staying within your bubble.
Auckland Council’s Together At Home campaign provides plenty of things to do this weekend. 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 (kids) get through the weekend.
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.