Playgrounds, libraries, facilities re-opening

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The Tamahere skate park and play ground will be (officially) open from Saturday, May 16 as Waikato district facilities slowly open again under Covid-19 lockdown alert level 2 conditions.

The Tamahere playground and skate park
re-opens on Saturday, May 16

The Waikato District council said this week playgrounds will be sanitised and signage installed to remind people to keep 2 metres away from others they don’t know. Parents and caregivers will need to make sure children wash their hands or use hand sanitiser before and after using the equipment.

The Tamahere skate park has continued to have some use despite level 3 restrictions as skateboarders have played cat and mouse with authorities who have tried to enforce the shutdown with warnings, tape and finally fences.

Despite that, council chief executive Gavin Ion said people in the Waikato district had done a fantastic job during lockdown and because of this hard work, community facilities could now begin to re-open.

The council’s priority was still the health and safety of the community and staff.

“When we do open, we’ll have measures in place to keep everyone safe. Under Alert Level 2 at council facilities, physical distancing will still apply. We ask everyone to keep a 2-metre distance from people you don’t know,” he said.

“The same hygiene measures we’ve followed during lockdown should continue to be followed. This includes regularly washing your hands and coughing or sneezing into your elbow. And please don’t visit a council facility if you’re feeling unwell.”

Some community facilities will re-open at a reduced capacity under Alert Level 2, and Government guidance will be followed as required regarding maximum visitor numbers, and contact tracing measures.

Council offices

Offices in Ngaruawahia and Tuakau will open from Tuesday, May 19. Opening hours will be Monday to Thursday 8am-5pm, Fridays 9am-5pm at Ngaruawahia, with 8.30.am – 5pm Monday to Friday at Tuakau. There will initially be some limitations to services available at the offices themselves. Operations will be reviewed on a fortnightly basis as we progress through Level 2.

Hamilton City Libraries

All branches will partially reopen from Thursday, May 14 with reduced hours: Monday to Friday, 10am to 4.30pm; Saturday, 9am to 12.30pm; Sunday, closed. For the first two weeks of Alert Level 2, library users can return items via the after-hours slots and collect new items using a new contactless Click and Collect service.

Customers will not be able to enter branches to browse the shelves or use computers or toilets until branches fully reopen in a few weeks. Libraries staff are encouraging borrowers not to rush to bring their loans back, so returns can be processed over time and not all at once. All loans have been extended to June 30.

Waikato district libraries

All Waikato district libraries/ service centres except for Meremere Library will re-open from Tuesday, May 19 with reduced hours – Monday to Friday 9am-4pm, closed Saturdays. There will be no programmes or events running that could encourage gatherings. A strict one person at one computer terminal rule will be enforced. But customers will be allowed to browse through books while adhering to physical distancing measures. Operations will be reviewed on a fortnightly basis as we progress through Level 2.

Playgrounds

Playgrounds will re-open on Saturday, May 16. This week they are being sanitised and signage is being installed reminding people to keep 2 metres away from people they don’t know. Parents and caregivers will need to make sure children wash their hands before and after using the equipment.

Boat ramps

Boat ramps will be open from Saturday, May 16, except for ones on the Waikato River. These will be open once the rahui on the river is lifted.

Community/town halls

Hall committees are preparing to have halls open as soon as possible, while ensuring that Government guidance on gatherings, hygiene, physical distancing and contact tracing are followed. Contact details for the Tamahere Community Centre are here.

Rubbish and recycling

Rubbish and recycling collection will continue has it has done through Alert Level 3. Details are available here.

Walking tracks

All district walking tracks and walkways are open under Level 2. But the Hakarimata Summit Track in Ngaruawahia, co-managed by DOC and Waikato District Council, remains closed until further notice because of the high number of people who usually use the track leading to difficulties meeting Government guidelines on physical distancing and hygiene.

Campgrounds

The Raglan Kopua Holiday Park will re-open on Friday, May15 while the Lake Hakanoa Motor Caravan Park in Huntly will re-open on Monday, May 25.

Council meetings

Waikato District Council meetings will continue to be held via Zoom for at least the next few weeks. These will be livestreamed on the Council website and YouTube channel.

Check here for facilities that are re-opening in Hamilton city.

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