Waikato crisis support in operation

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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.  

Public health and other information  

The official Ministry of Health website is still the main source of all up-to-date New Zealand Covid-19 health information and advice. Further information on the wider national response is available at www.Covid19.govt.nz 

For easy access, Tamahere Forum is providing Covid-19 Help and Advice web links and phone numbers in one place on this site – see top of the right hand column (if reading on a computer) or scroll down (if on mobile).

Rubbish and recycling

Rubbish and recycling collection services are running as normal in Tamahere and Matangi.

To ensure the health and safety of collection staff residents are asked to be more vigilant when putting out their waste and recycling.

Separate recycling and ensure crates are clean

If you or your whanau have been diagnosed with Covid-19, retain your refuse and recycling for a week. Ensure all recycling is washed clean. Double bag any waste before it goes to the kerb.

The recycling crates are for glass bottles and jars, plastics with recycling symbols 1, 2 and 5, tins and cans only.

Put glass in one crate, and tins, cans and plastics (labelled 1, 2 and 5) in the other. Secured and flattened cardboard/paper should go between or under a crate or in a cardboard box; not in the crate.
If you only have one crate, rotate your recycling. Glass one week and plastic, tins and cans the next week.  All items should be washed clean (wash it like you would your dishes).

There have been reports of some recycling crates contaminated with waste like dirty clothes, nappies, wipes, tissues, and food cartons. It’s a big concern because of the potential effects of the Covid-19 virus.

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.

No fires

Fires remain prohibited in all of the Waikato district. No fire of any description may be lit in the open air.

For information about the fire season status throughout the country visit www.checkitsalright.nz.

Water alert level 2

Tamahere and Matangi are currently on water alert level 2, along with Hamilton city.

Alert Level 2 requires sprinkler and watering systems to only be used on alternate days, meaning if your street number is even then you can use your outdoor water systems on an even day. However, if your street number is odd, then use is only permitted on odd days of the week. Sprinkler use must be between 6am to 8am and 6pm to 8pm on your designated days, while hand-held hosing is permitted at any time.

Waikato Covid-19 response

The Waikato District Council and Hamilton City Council have joined forces to operate a North Waikato Combined Emergency Operations Centre (NWCEOC) to co-ordinate community support during the Covid-19 National State of Emergency.  

The public health response is being led by the Ministry of Health and District Health Boards, but at a local level there is a raft of community support requirements to be managed as the nation deals with the wider wellbeing needs of residents and visitors.  

Merv Balloch, one of four shift Controllers, says the combined team has done an amazing job in a short time to create a fully operational centre almost overnight. The NWEOC has built a new team structure, provided shared technology access, integrated systems and built a staff roster from people working remotely as well as from centres in Ngaruawahia and Hamilton.  

“Even while we have been bedding in these systems our teams have been co-ordinating community welfare needs, liaising with government agencies and local support agencies and identifying at-risk groups and individuals. The teams have been working closely with response teams at both of our partner councils. They are also providing logistics support for the establishment of community-based assessment centres as well as a variety of other tasks,” Balloch said.  

“The overall Waikato Civil Defence response is being managed by a regional Emergency Co-ordination Centre in Hamilton, but to reduce duplication of resources, to enhance sustainability of the response and to free up staff at individual councils throughout the wider Waikato we have set up combined teams. Hauraki, Matamata-Piako, and Thames-Coromandel District Councils have established a similar CEOC in Thames.  

“This is an unprecedented time for our country and our region. The wellbeing of our communities is paramount and the creation of these combined centres is one way we can fine-tune our response to ensure that most resources can be directed to those who are vulnerable and in need, as efficiently as possible,” Balloch said.

“Between the two councils we are sharing operations, logistics, communication, intelligence and planning functions, as well as setting up separate welfare teams for each council area. I’d like to acknowledge the can-do attitude and the co-operation by all involved as we support the great work being done at a local level by other council and Civil Defence staff locally, across the Waikato region and nationally.  

“There’s a lot to be done, but the combined approach is another step on the way to getting through this difficult time,” Balloch said.  

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