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12 May 2020

Council facilities will reopen in phases over the next few weeks as New Zealand moves to Alert Level 2.

The Queen Street customer service centre and Masterton Library will both reopen on Monday.

Masterton District Council Chief Executive Kath Ross said the Council was following the Government’s emphasis on reopening in a safe way.

“We know people want to use their favourite services and facilities as soon as possible and we can’t wait to have you back – the health and safety of our residents and staff remains our top priority so we’re making some changes to how we operate and phasing our openings to ensure that we’re doing it safely,” Kath said.

Community facilities including playgrounds, drinking fountains and public toilets will also open gradually.

“While some of our facilities will be available for community use towards the end of this week, we need to make sure we can manage regular, and in many cases, enhanced cleaning and physical distancing,” Kath said.

All playgrounds and park furniture will be cleaned, and all play equipment inspected before they reopen for public use. Public toilets will also reopen when they have been fully cleaned.

Kath also urged people to please take notice of special arrangements in place under Level 2, and to be patient and kind to staff and one another.

“People will need to remember to keep their physical distance and work with us to ensure this distance is maintained. We’ll also be asking people to share their contact details when they use our facilities to enable contact tracing, should that be required.”

Kath encouraged people to make use of the online services available to save time.

“There is a lot people can do online or over the phone, including paying rates and dog registrations. We want to make it as easy as possible for people – if we can help over the phone rather than you coming into the office, then give us a call.”

The customer service centre will be open 9am – 4pm next week, while the library will be open from 10am to 5:30pm on weekdays aside from Thursday, when it will be open until 6:30pm. It will be open from 9:30am to 1pm on Saturday. People are asked to only have one member of their household visit the library and to keep their time in the library to under 20 minutes.

The gym at the Trust House Recreation Centre will reopen on Thursday, with the opening of pools to be phased in after 23 May.

Community Facilities and Activities Manager, Andrea Jackson, said physical distancing would be paramount once facilities began to reopen.

“Our pool managers will be keeping a close eye on how the facilities are used to make sure appropriate distance is maintained,” Andrea said.

“We’re keen to provide our facilities as soon as we can, and we’ll be doing that in a sensible, measured way. Reopening the seven-lane pool will be a priority.”