TRC back in business - but not business as usual

The Prime Minister has announced that the country will move to Alert Level 3 from next Tuesday 28 April.

This allows most Taranaki Regional Council services and activities to resume, with staff following specific Government directives for regional councils to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“The Council is back in business but it’s not business as usual,” says the Chief Executive, Basil Chamberlain. “Our staff will be out and about, picking up where they left off, but they will be following strict Level 3 health and safety protocols.”

“The top priority is to maintain public safety and the safety of our staff. There will be no close physical contact with any member of the public, with physical distancing being practiced at all times,” Mr Chamberlain says.

He says the Council is once again delivering services and undertaking other activities supporting livelihoods, improving lifestyles and taking Taranaki forward.

The Stratford office remains closed to the public under Level 3 but the Council’s switchboard remains open 24 hours a day.

Services and activities include:

Gardens | Buses & Total Mobility | Farm plans | Biodiversity & Predator-Free

Consent holders | Incidents | Environmental monitoring

Pukeiti, Tūpare and Hollard Gardens

The three heritage properties will be open for walkers only. Buildings and facilities will remain closed apart from public toilets. Some garden areas may also be closed, either for essential maintenance or because their layout makes physical distancing too difficult. Garden visitors are to maintain physical distancing at all times and keep at least 2m from others, including gardeners.

Public transport

Under Level 3, travel is allowed for:

  • Accessing local services and businesses
  • Going to work and school.
  • Low-risk recreation in local area.
  • Extended bubble arrangements.
  • Travelling to permitted gatherings.

Citylink urban services: The current reduced Citylink urban timetable will continue under Level 3, with adjustments if and when required. Free fares continue under Level 3. For updates, see www.taranakibus.info(external link)

Citylink school buses: Citylink school services will resume on Wednesday 29 April. Buses will run only on routes required - students MUST advise their school if they require bus transport. Buses will be free.

Hāwera-New Plymouth Connector: Services will increase from the current one a day to three a day, with free fares. See www.trc.govt.nz/hawera-np-connector 

Southlink services: The Waverley to Hāwera service will continue once-weekly, with free fares. The Ōpunake-New Plymouth and Ōpunake-Hāwera services continue to be suspended. 

Total Mobility: Total Mobility continues to operate with reduced fares for eligible users requiring essential travel. In most cases this means travel will be free.

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Farm plans

Staff will be visiting farms by appointment to discuss riparian management plans and hillcountry farm plans, and to monitor progress in implementing them. Physical distancing and all other Level 3 requirements will be observed.

Biodiversity / Towards Predator-Free Taranaki

Staff involved in these programmes will be resuming field work. Physical distancing and all other Level 3 requirements will be observed.

Resource consent compliance

Staff will resume site visits and inspections of industry and farms to ensure resource consent conditions and permitted activity standards for forestry are being complied with. Physical distancing and all other Level 3 requirements will be observed.

Incidents and complaints

Staff will continue to respond to environmental incidents and complaints, while maintaining physical distancing and all other Level 3 requirements. Such responses were continuing under Level 4. 

Environmental monitoring

Staff will resume environmental monitoring programmes covering air, freshwater, land and coast.

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“Administrative work including the processing of resource consent applications continued under Level 4, and will continue as we move through the different levels,” says Mr Chamberlain. 

People needing to contact the Council are encouraged to do so via email. Remote or digital meetings can be arranged if required.

COVID-19

The Taranaki Regional Council office will remain closed under Level 3 Pandemic Alert requirements and reflecting our commitment to keeping our community and staff safe. We also remain committed to protecting livelihoods, improving lifestyles and taking Taranaki forward, and our programmes and activities will all continue under Level 3. Please feel free to email us, or speak to our team about remote or digital meetings.