Freephone 0800 800 405
That’s the freephone number to call if you live in the Waikato region and you or your whānau need help getting food, groceries or other household goods and services.
A newly formed Covid-19 emergency operations centre formed by the Waikato district and Hamilton city councils will collect information from you to provide the support you need throughout the lockdown period. It operates 7am to 7pm daily.
It is intended for those facing hardship, particularly the disabled, at risk groups, and people without access to their own transport.
It does not replace other government helplines already in operation, which can be found here.
Community based assessment centres (CBAC)
Covid-19 assessment centres are being set up and operated by the Waikato District Health Board for your area. They are only for assessment and swabbing if you think you may have Covid-19. Phone Healthline (0800 358 5453) to get guidance on whether assessment and testing is needed.
From Waikato District Council:
Rubbish and recycling
Rubbish and recycling collection services are running as normal in most areas.
To ensure the health and safety of our staff and our contractors, we are asking people to be more vigilant when it comes to putting out their waste and recycling.
Collection of refuse and recycling from infected household:
If you or your whanau have been diagnosed with Covid19, we are asking you to retain your refuse and recycling for a week. Please ensure all recycling is washed clean. Double bag any waste before it goes to kerb. We are sorry for the inconvenience but we want to ensure the safety of our collection tea.
Rubbish collection Easter update
If your recycling is still being collected make sure it’s clean and sorted and if not, store it clean. If you only have one crate – put out glass one week and plastic, tins, and cans the next.
Here are your kerbside collection changes for Easter:
If your rubbish and recycling is normally collected on a Friday, this week it’ll be Saturday April 11th.
Following Easter Sunday, there is no collection on Monday 13th, so all collections for the week will be one day later than normal.
In general for recycling:
As it’s an essential service, we want to ensure your recycling can continue to be collected and processed, but we need to make sure our drivers and runners are safe.
Please don’t be offended if your recycling is not collected – Please sort and clean more diligently next week
What to flush (and what not)
The council reports that at least one sewage pumping station a day in the district is getting blocked.
The unusual number of blockages is being caused by flushed rags and wet wipes.
For those of us with home-based sewerage systems or septic tanks, which also get blocked by wet wipes and rags, the advice to only flush pee, poo or paper – the three Ps – is the same as for those on district sewerage systems.
Put your wet wipes and other cloths in the rubbish bin. Even if wipes say they’re flushable, they’re usually not.
Fires remain prohibited in all of the Waikato district. No fire of any description may be lit in the open air.
Community welfare key focus for councils during and after COVID-19 lockdown
Rates, council’s role in the economic recovery and looking after vulnerable people were the three main topics of discussion at Monday’s Waikato Mayoral Forum.
Mayor Sanson said that the regions would play a key role in leading the economic recovery. “Here in the wider Waikato we’re the food basket of the country. It’s the export sectors, the primary industries, like farming and forestry, that will lead us out of this,” he said. “It is worth noting that the farming and food production sectors have not stopped during this crisis.”
He said every council in the Waikato had unique challenges but that mayors were working closely together.
“Our role is crucial to society, both during crisis and recovery. Not everyone realises what we do or what their rates actually fund.” During the lockdown councils are responsible for providing services that are essential to keeping people safe and healthy, such as drinking water, wastewater, rubbish collection, burials, essential roading and safety repairs and flood protection.
During an emergency, councils carry out a major role in supporting the local, regional and national Civil Defence efforts. In the wider Waikato, this effort is currently focusing on ensuring the welfare of all residents throughout the COVID-19 lockdown.
“Councils have been running meals to those most in need, setting up Community Based Assessment Centres for COVID-19 testing with the DHBs, and putting plans together to fund and deliver shovel-ready projects to get the economy moving after the lockdown.
“Rates are needed to fund infrastructure projects which will be crucial to the economic stimulus that we deliver jointly with central government, Iwi and the region, as we recover from the COVID-19 impact. There is a big role for many councils to advance capital expenditure programmes and the rates households and business pay are a critical part of the funding for those,” he said.
Dennis Turton, Trust Waikato Chief Executive, said food was the number one welfare issue facing the community.
The Community sector has collaborated to meet the food needs of Waikato communities. He praised council and Iwi efforts in supporting food banks through their civil defence and welfare operations.
“Welfare will continue a long time after we have entered the recovery phase, and councils and Iwi will play a big role in that,” he said.
Waikato Group Controller Julian Snowball said that accommodation for Kiwis coming home to New Zealand, particularly those returning from Australia, would become a key focus for the welfare response and that this would ramp up over the lockdown period.
The Mayoral Forum discussions, which will take place every Monday during the lockdown, provide a framework for forming a united and cohesive ‘Waikato’ approach and aim to leverage Central Government support on behalf of the region.