Following the announcement by the Prime Minister to go to Level 2 on the new national Covid19 Alert system, we are required to follow national direction and the precautionary steps the Government is taking by closing the District’s libraries as of Saturday night, said Tasman Mayor Tim King.

“Over the last two years Tasman people have shown their resilience and remarkable ability to come together as a community as we dealt with devastating natural events. We are being asked to display this cohesive spirit again. The united front against Covid19 required nationally will only be effective if we work together locally to meet the challenges this event brings.

“Closing the Richmond, Motueka and Takaka libraries is such a step as we look to minimise the risk of inadvertent spread. This is probably the first of such closures we may have to make as we continue to assess our response to the national call to action.  It is very likely we will need to make similar decisions affecting recreation centres and pools over the coming days.

“Internally we remain focused on ensuring the continued delivery of essential services to ensure our communities can operate safely in this rapidly changing situation. We have also postponed non-essential Council meetings.

There a very small number of meetings that will have to continue as planned, but these will be managed within the Ministry of Health’s guidelines for personal interaction. This will most likely mean alternative venues to enable physical distancing and the possible use of remote audio-visual technology.

“We are also reviewing our current operations with Business Continuity Plans activated to manage the new way of working. Staff that are at risk, and those able to, will be working remotely.  However, central to those arrangements is the need to retain our ability to provide services and advice to our residents.

“We are continuing to work with Civil Defence regionally and follow the lead of the Government’s strategy to ‘flatten the curve’.

For all information about the Government’s decisions and for advice please go to www.covid19.govt.nz.

Note: The Murchison Office is not included, while having a library attached it is small and the office will continue to provide Council services to the local community.