A welcome change in step levels for Aucklanders will see more council services available in Tāmaki Makaurau from Wednesday 10 November.
The popular click and collect library service will now extend across the region, while some community centres, service centres and all recycling centres will reopen. With strict health guidelines in place, it isn’t business as usual, but the Auckland Council website will have all the details.
Councillor Alf Filipaina, chair of the parks, arts, community and events committee, says Aucklanders will be looking forward to the new freedoms but encourages everyone to keep to the rules.
“This is still alert level three, not free. While we are anticipating reconnecting with more friends and whānau/’aiga in person, we need to remember that COVID-19 is still in the community so remaining with the guidelines is really important. Please stick to the gathering restrictions and keep it outside where there is much less chance of spread.”
He also reminds Aucklanders to continue to be kind to one another.
“We are all slowly emerging from the longest lockdown in Aotearoa. The staff at libraries, museums and other facilities are re-adjusting as much as everyone else and are trying to serve communities in a reduced capacity. Please be patient if things take a little longer than normal.”
Below is a summary of council facilities and services in Auckland at Level 3 step 2:
- Libraries: all 56 libraries across Tāmaki Makaurau have reopened to the public, and will also continue to offer a contactless click and collect service. More information here
- Community Centres and Art Galleries: some will open
- Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Auckland Zoo and New Zealand Maritime Museum: phased opening – will open in stages, see websites for details
- MOTAT: will open
- Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum: will open from Monday 15 November. Further details can be found on the Museum website
- Waste services: all community recycling centres and recovery shops will open
- Service centres: will open, with the exception of integrated centres at Takapuna, Pukekohe, Papakura, Westgate Te Manawa, Kumeū and Helensville libraries, which will remain closed
- Chamberlain Park Golf Course shop: will open
- Auckland Botanic Gardens Huakaiwaka Visitor Centre: will open
- Arataki Visitor Centre: will open with reduced hours (9.30am-4pm) to enable regular cleaning
- Cemeteries: gates at our three main cemeteries, Waikumete, North Shore Memorial Park and Manukau Memorial Gardens will remain closed. Our cemetery offices will open by appointment only and with reduced services. See our website for detailed information on cemetery services
- Early childhood education programmes: can increase to a maximum of 20 children in each bubble
- Public toilets: all will open
- Pools, gyms and leisure centres: remain closed
- Venues for hire: remain closed
- Holiday parks, campgrounds, SCC parking areas (motorhomes) and council baches: remain closed
- Team sport: cannot proceed.
Auckland Council Libraries is pleased to offer the contactless click and collect service at all 56 library sites across Tāmaki Makaurau when Auckland moves to Alert Level 3 Step 2.
“Aucklanders have really embraced the new service that we began offering in the month, so we are delighted to offer it across all our library sites at Alert Level 3 Step 2,” says Mirla Edmundson, Auckland Council’s General Manager for Connected Communities.
“Alongside this, our eCollections service will still be operating. The eCollections have really helped Aucklanders in lockdown and we had our 3 millionth e-item borrowed last week which shows how much Aucklanders have embraced digital reading.”
The contactless click and collect will mean people will be able to collect their hold items, no matter which library those are at.
The mobile library service, house-bound service and rural library service will return from 15 November, providing disabled, older and more isolated communities the opportunity to enjoy having a physical book to read.
Auckland Council Libraries will begin to re-open in-library services when the impacts on staff of school opening schedules are fully understood.
“One of the challenges we have to balance is that several of our staff are working parents with school-aged children who are not yet old enough to return to school and require childcare," Mirla says. “We also have a 3-month backlog to work through. Most of our library sites have a large pile of returned books to process. It is going to take time to work through that while adhering to alert level health guidelines.”
She highlights that this is a staged re-opening with the health and safety of both the public and staff at the forefront of any decision making.
“We want people to know it is safe coming to our libraries. We will constantly assess how the re-opening is progressing and will re-open other services in the near future.”
Click and collect process:
- Head to the Auckland Council Libraries click and collect page
- Select the item(s) you would like to request from the catalogue (you choose) or select a Ready-to-Go Reads pack (library staff choose for you)
- Select the click and collect site that is most convenient for you to pick the items up from
- You will receive an email notification when the item(s) are ready
- Head to the click and collect site you selected, with your library card, to pick up your items.
Alternatively, if you do not have the ability to request an item online, please feel free to call 09 377 0209 and one of the helpful staff will take you through the process.
Park visitor centres
The visitor centres at both Arataki and Auckland Botanic Gardens will be opening with some restrictions to ensure that 2m social distancing guidelines are followed.
Additionally, Auckland Botanic Gardens will have its on-site Cafe Miko open for contactless takeaway options only.
Bookable venues at Auckland Botanic Gardens can be hired but only on the condition that those hiring adhere to all COVID-19 health guidelines, including contact tracing and people capacity limits.
Council service centres
All seven council service centres across the region will be re-opening as well. These are:
- Bledisloe Lane Service Centre
- Aotea Great Barrier Island Service Centre
- Henderson Service Centre
- Manukau Service Centre
- Ōrewa Service Centre
- Waiheke Island Service Centre
- Warkworth Service Centre
These service centres will be open Monday-Friday, 8.30am-4.30pm.
All COVID-19 public health rules are in place, so please remember to wear your mask, check-in on arrival and maintain 2m social distancing. All staff will be following these guidelines as well and there will be security guards at the entrances to our corporate buildings, so please follow their instructions.
Please note that integrated service centres will remain closed at this time. These are located at Helensville Library, Kumeū Library, Papakura’s Sir Edmund Hillary Library, Pukekohe Library, Takapuna Library and Westgate’s Te Manawa.
Wider council whānau
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Auckland Zoo and New Zealand Maritime Museum are looking forward to welcoming visitors back. The venues are taking a phased approach to reopening over the coming week to ensure they can open safely and responsibly. Please check each venue’s website for opening details.
The Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT) will be reopening to visitors from Wednesday 10 November. The Museum will operate at its pre-COVID-19 opening hours of 10am-4pm, 7 days. With some spaces remaining closed due to the level restriction, MOTAT are discounting all general admission tickets by 50 per cent while Tāmaki Makaurau is in Alert Level 3 - Step 2. Please check the website for more information and health and safety guidelines while visiting.
Meanwhile, Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum will open for the public on Monday 15 November. Visitors will again be able explore the Museum’s galleries including the free exhibitions: SHELF-LIFE by international award-winning British photographer Mandy Barker and Love & Loss which explores expressions of love, loss, hope and longing shared between lovers, friends, and families.
Museum staff will be preparing the museum during this week to ensure a safe return for Aucklanders. This will include getting health and safety measures in place, including managed entry, contactless payment, COVID-19 check in, compulsory mask wearing and a capacity limit of 500 people inside.
Additionally, all interactive displays will be deactivated. Food and drink will be unable to be consumed in the Museum, as masks must remain on at all times. Both the 1929 Espresso Bar and Tuitui Bistro and Café will operate for takeaway service only and any purchase must be consumed outside the Museum.
For more information, head to the Museum website.