Last updated: 29 May 2020

We remain committed to serving our community at this challenging time and recognise the critical role we play in keeping our communities safe and helping everyone in our rohe to manage and recover from the impacts of COVID-19.

At Alert Level 2 we are continuing to deliver essential services, support the health-led regional pandemic response through our Civil Defence and Emergency Management work, and have now returned to ‘safe-normal’ day-to-day operations.

We’ll be keeping our customers and staff safe by following appropriate contact tracing, hygiene and physical distancing guidelines, as we go about our day-to-day work. We’ll also continue to hold meetings online rather than in-person as much as possible.

Contacting us

We continue to offer a number of contact-free ways for people to connect with us, including by phone, email or via our website. Contact our customer service team via our web form or by calling 0800 884 880.

Our reception areas will be open to the public from 8.30am-5pm weekdays from Monday 18 May, with strict physical distancing and hygiene practices in place.

Some staff will continue to work from home, so please call ahead to make prior arrangements if you wish to meet with someone in particular.

Care group work

Care group volunteers are welcome to resume their volunteer activities as long as they can do so safely, follow hygiene precautions, and have landowner permission to do so. Volunteers who are unsure about appropriate safety protocols or have other questions, should please contact their care group leader or usual local Bay of Plenty Regional Council contact.

Council consultations

Due to COVID-19, the Regional Council has decided not to hold consultation on the Annual Plan 2020/21. In the situation, significant consultation would not have been appropriate. As an alternative, we released an information document on our Annual Plan page.

We will engage with our communities on key issues for the region in greater depth later this year, and early next, as part of our next Long Term Plan process.

We offered online consultation on our Flood Protection and Drainage Bylaws 2020 and public submissions on the bylaw proposal have closed.

See details and next steps on our Flood Protection and Drainage Bylaw Review webpage.

The Flood Protection and Drainage Bylaws are regulations that safeguards flood protection and land drainage assets from damage or misuse.

Submissions on the Statement of Proposal are now closed. Thanks to everyone who made a submission.

Due to the enactment of COVID-19 Response (Further Management Measures) Legislation Act 2020, Bay of Plenty Regional Council will be postponing the proposed Flood Protection and Drainage Bylaws 2020 hearings, deliberations and adoption until the following dates:

  • Hearings: 26 August 2020
  • Deliberations: 30 September 2020
  • Adoption: 29 October 2020.

Schedule 16 of the COVID-19 Response (Further Management Measures) Legislation Act provides temporary legislation, and updates s160B of the Local Government Act 2001, to ensure that the 2008 Floodway and Drainage Bylaw is not revoked on 30 June 2020 and continues to be in force until adoption of the Flood Protection and Drainage Bylaws 2020, or 30 June 2021, whichever is earlier.

The Floodway and Drainage Bylaw 2008 remains in force until then.

Proposed Flood Protection and Drainage Bylaw consultation

You may be wondering why we were still consulting on the Flood Protection and Drainage Bylaws while New Zealand is at Alert Level 4 due to COVID-19. This may seem odd, but Council had legislated timeframes it must meet. These timeframes have since been extended due to the reasons mentioned above.

Flood Protection and Drainage Bylaw

The Flood Protection and Drainage Bylaw helps protect the scheme assets that have been constructed to prevent damage, danger and distress to the community from river flooding and problems associated with a lack of drainage.

Bylaw review

Bay of Plenty Regional Council is currently reviewing its Flood Protection and Drainage Bylaw.

Find out more at the link below.

Council meetings

With the increase in gathering size allowed under Alert Level 2, some Council meetings are transitioning back to physical meeting spaces and will no longer be live streamed.

Public and media access at some physical meetings may be by prior arrangement only, so that we can ensure safe physical distancing is maintained for all attendees.

Please see our Committees pages for public access arrangements for each particular meeting.

Public transport

See our Bay Bus website for the latest user guidelines and updates on public bus routes and timetables.

Note that not all bus routes will be running immediately and passenger capacity will be reduced due to physical distancing requirements.

School bus services will resume from Monday 18 May.

Total Mobility

Total Mobility is part of our public transport system. It provides door-to-door transport for those with long term impairments who are unable to use regular public transport. See details here.

Pollution Hotline

Our 0800 884 883 Pollution Hotline continues to operate 24/7 and we are working to monitor incidents related to discharges to the land, water and air in the Bay of Plenty.

Regional parks

All tracks, carparks and toilet facilities at Te Rae o Papamoa Hills and Onekawa Te Mawhai Regional Parks are now open.

Enjoy the parks but remember we all have a responsibility to keep each other safe.

Please:

  • Keep your distance from other park users. Give way on narrow tracks.
  • Avoid touching surfaces such as gates, fence posts and map boards.
  • Wash your hands before and after you visit.
  • Sneeze and cough into your elbow.
  • Stay home if you’re unwell or have been told to self-isolate.

Regional recovery

We’re working together with iwi, city and district council, economic development agency, business, industry and central government leaders to help the Bay of Plenty region to recover from the impacts of COVID-19 and ensure that no-one is left behind.

See our Regional Recovery web page for details and follow the page to receive updates as this work progresses.

Where to go for COVID-19 information

The Unite against COVID-19 website provides everything you need to know about COVID-19 in one place. Learn the simple steps you can take to unite against the virus and slow its spread. Find out the latest updates, what the COVID-19 alert levels mean and what help is available.

Visit www.covid19.govt.nz.