22 March 2020
The three Wairarapa Councils are uniting to fight the spread of COVID-19 and urgently asking the community to follow Government advice.
A case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in the Wairarapa and the Councils have been advised to close libraries as a precaution.
The three Councils are urgently asking everyone to adhere to advice given to those over 70 and with compromised immunity or underlying respiratory conditions to stay at home and for everyone to practise physical distancing measures.
South Wairarapa District Mayor Alex Beijen said it was paramount businesses followed this advice.
“We don’t want people to feel socially isolated, but we are sending a strong message to business owners that we need them to be sensible. That means, everyone should be sitting at least one metre apart.”
“And to our communities, we need you all to stay calm, stay clean, stay apart but keep connected.”
Carterton Mayor Greg Lang said that as a small community, we need to take care of each other, remain calm and listen to reliable sources of information. “We need people to realise this is serious but to trust in the authorities. Our council services are still operating, but we have changed how we are operating to protect our staff and our community,” Mayor Lang said.
“This is not a time to be complacent.”
Steps taken across the three Councils include making a joint decision to close libraries and having staff members critical to delivering services working from home.
Each Council will update its communities with any changes to its facilities via their websites. Masterton Mayor Lyn Patterson said the welfare of the wider Wairarapa community was paramount.
“I want to reiterate to everyone that we have planned for this, and have been gradually stepping up our response as we receive further advice from the Ministry of Health.
“Our priority is making sure people get the information they need, when they need it, and ensuring we can assist with welfare support as more people go into self-isolation.”
The Wairarapa Emergency Operations Centre, run under the national Emergency Management Agency, has been partially activated since late last week.