Covid-19 Update from Wellington Mayor Andy Foster

27 March 2020

Well done Wellington! Day two and you’re absolutely nailing this lockdown!

Today I went for a run in my neighbourhood and I was delighted to see everyone keeping a good wide berth of each other.

Yes there was still some social interaction – people were waving and saying gidday – but everyone was making sure to keep a good distance – generally on opposite sides of the road.

We should all be at home as much as possible, but as long as you are not unwell, it’s fine to go out for a walk, or exercise and enjoy nature.

Just make sure to stay close to home – don’t travel across town – and keep a 2-metre distance from other people at all times.

That’s exactly what I saw happening today, so well done everyone.

On another related matter, I’ve been asked about why we’ve closed Makara Peak for mountain biking, but not for walkers.

It’s a good question. The reason is simply that the mountain bike park is hugely popular and we don’t want lots of keen riders heading there during the lockdown. There is simply too much risk of people being close to each other at locations like the carpark and summit.

It’s also about making sure riders are not getting injured, yes it does happen quite often – and tying up medical and emergency resources at a time when they are needed elsewhere and also increasing the risk of Covid 19 transmission.

Skateparks and playgrounds are closed for the same reason, and also because of the risk of spreading the coronavirus through contaminated surfaces.

I know the closures are disappointing, but they’re also essential to winning the battle against Covid-19.

It is a battle we must win because if we don’t many thousands of us will die.

If there is any doubt about doing anything then please opt for the safe option – do not push the boundaries.

So please stay home, stay in your bubble, stay safe, and keep everyone else safe.

As I said at the start of this video, you’re nailing this guys, you’re doing Wellington proud, and making me very proud to be your mayor.

Local Mayors and Cr Sean Rush and I met – virtually – with Wellington Water today. We are going to be updated every week.

Wellington Water is focusing on delivering essential services and essential capital projects. Stopping non essential capital projects for now frees up staff and contractors so there are back up staff across the board.

It means that for now minor operational repairs – leaks etc – will also be able to be fixed. All this depends of course on workers not getting sick.

In Wellington City the three essential capital projects are

  • Completing the Willis Street sewer pipe project
  • Replacing the Mount Albert tunnel sludge pipes
  • Restoring the Moa Point sewer interceptor

To help out, we ask people not to put anything into the wastewater system that doesn’t belong there as it often ends up clogging up the pipes. So please, no wet wipes, sanitary products or paper towels etc down the toilet!

Thank you again for your attention, and for following the rules to keep us all safe. Together by doing the right things, we will save lives in our community.

Stay safe, stay at home, stay local when you go out for a walk or run, and stay separate.

Kia kaha Wellington.

I’ll be back tomorrow with another update.


Previous Updates:

Mayoral COVOD-19 Update 26 March

Mayoral COVID-19 update 25 March

Mayoral Update for 24 March

Council services reorganised, service centre closing, 23 March