This page contains an explanation of Council's response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
20/03/2020 1:09 p.m.
Whangarei District Council is supporting calls for people to avoid risking their own and other people's exposure to the Covid-19 virus.
“We don’t want anyone going into Council spaces if they are at all unwell,” said Council Chief Executive Rob Forlong.
“Well or unwell, there are many not-in-person ways to take payments or applications or seek advice and we can also make arrangements to delay payment deadlines - all people have to do is call us.”
Keep safe – visit Council online
Whangarei District Council customers are asked to avoid paying bills in person and to use Council’s online facility instead.
“If you usually pay at our counter and are unable to pay online, please give us a call so that we can make a payment arrangement with you,” said Customer Services Manager Lesley Ashcroft
“We usually get hundreds of people coming into Council on days when water rates and rates are due, and while it puts pressure on the staff, we always get through.
This year we would like to avoid gathering large groups of people together. Fortunately there are several ways that people can pay rates and other bills online, or through internet banking, and we can help you with those over the phone.”
Online ways to pay rates, bills, fines
We can set up a direct debit payment from your bank account on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly plan. You can find a form for this on our website www.wdc.govt.nz – search for Direct Debit, fill out the form and post it in or call us to set one up for you. Another option is to print it out, scan the form or take a photo of it and email it to us.
You can set this up yourself using internet banking. If you need to know how much to pay each month ring us – we can help with that.
Internet Banking or Bill Payment
You can make payments to us whenever you want using internet banking.
Just remember to make a separate payment if you have several different bills to pay – don’t add it all together and pay one bill.
Council is already set up as a bill payee with all major banks so there are a range of Council areas to choose from on drop-down payee menus with most banks.
If you want to pay in person, follow the Ministry of Health guidelines listed here when you come to our office:
stay at home if you are feeling unwell
stay at home if you have travelled and/or in self-isolation.
cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or cough/sneeze into your elbow
dispose of used tissues appropriately in a bin
wash hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water before drying them thoroughly, or use hand sanitiser:
before eating or handling food
after using the toilet
after coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose or wiping children’s noses
after touching public surfaces
avoid kisses, hugs and hongi when greeting each other.
Having problems paying?
The Government has acknowledged that some people will be affected financially by the emergency and has arranged for help. Call us if you think you may have problems paying your rates. We may be able to point you to some assistance.
How to make applications
“You can also use the internet to submit applications and apply for some of the services Council offers, without having to come into the office.
“The front page of our website has a section called “apply for it”. This takes you to a page with forms for a very wide range of applications from all-things building, to property searches, to drone permits, funding applications, liquor licencing, resource consents, road closures, trade waste disposal, to water testing. Print out the form, then scan it or take a photo of it and email that in to us.
We have taken a number of other measures to ensure we can play our part to keep people safe, including event cancellations.
The Tarewa i-SITE has closed following a traditional end of season slow down, compounded by a steep drop-off in customers because of Covid-19.
Its operations are relocating to Te Manawa, The Hub, at the Town Basin. The toilets at the Tarewa site will continue to operate.
Mrs Ashcroft said the a full ticketing and visitor information service would continue to be available at Te Manawa the Hub.
The Libraries have cancelled group events for the foreseeable future.
Venues and events
Staff are liaising with people who hire Council venues and who organise events in the community to make them aware of health guidelines for events as required.
Many people have contacted Council directly to cancel or postpone their events.
We have cancelled the Fritter Festival and the Love our City events. Anzac Day events and Rally of New Zealand have been cancelled.
Staff continue to monitor and take direction from the Government as the situation changes each day.
Stay in touch
“We are a pretty friendly bunch at Council and we will miss the contact with our customers, but we want to do everything to help them, and us, to stay healthy during this pandemic, and it’s good to be able to offer some low-contact ways to do that,” Mrs Ashcroft said.
“Our team is ready to take your calls – ring us on 09 4304200, 0800 WDC INFO, or email us at email@example.com.”