15 May 2020

Check here for the latest information on how the COVID-19 Alert Level system is impacting on Christchurch City Council services, facilities and events.

Free parking to remain a while longer

Christchurch City Council has decided to waive parking fees in the central city until at least 28 May.

That means people using on-street pay-by-plate parking or the Lichfield Street and Christchurch Art Gallery parking buildings do not need to pay.

However, people parking in time-restricted on-street parking spaces will need to adhere to the time limits or face getting ticketed. The time restrictions on pay-by-plate spaces will also still apply and will be enforced as well.

Enforcing time limits ensures that parking in the central city turns over, which supports businesses.

The Council will make a decision on when it will resume charging for parking when it meets on Thursday 28 May.

Community centres reopening from next week

All Council-run community centres will reopen in stages from Monday 18 May 2020, with some changes in place to protect everyone from the risk of COVID-19.

These community centres will reopen on Monday 18 May 2020:

  • Ōrauwhata: Bishopdale Library and Community Centre
  • Rārākau – Riccarton Centre
  • Te Hapua: Halswell Centre
  • Matuku Takotako: Sumner Centre
  • Aranui Wainoni Community Centre
  • Lyttelton Recreation Centre
  • Fendalton Community Centre

We’re aiming to get the rest of our community centres reopened by Friday 29 May.

We’ll be contacting all our regular hirers to discuss future bookings once we have confirmed dates for all our community centres. It is the responsibility of groups or individuals hiring our community centres to ensure they meet the Government’s Alert Level 2 guidelines.

Get more information on venue hire.

Museums reopening

 Akaroa Museum will be re-opening on Monday 18 May at 10.30am. 

The museum will be open from 10.30am to 4.30pm seven days a week. To keep everyone safe, physical distancing, additional cleaning, and contact tracing are all in place.

Canterbury Museum and Quake City, its special exhibition telling stories from the Canterbury earthquakes, will reopen to the public on Thursday 14 May.

Canterbury Museum Director Anthony Wright says staff are excited to welcome visitors again and hope that people will be keen to come back to the central city. “There will be additional hygiene and public health measures in place at both venues as the health and safety of visitors and our staff are our primary concern.”

Mr Wright says that visitors will need to comply with some public health conditions of entry:

  • All visitors will have to sign in and leave their contact details so they can be traced by health authorities if necessary.
  • Only 100 visitors will be allowed in the Museum and 40 at Quake City at any one time. Museum staff will control entry on a one in, one out basis, once these thresholds have been reached.
  • Visitors must practise social distancing, keeping one metre away from strangers.
  • Groups of more than 10 people or anyone who is unwell or who has Covid 19 symptoms – temperature, dry cough, difficulty breathing – will be refused entry to both venues.

Numbers restricted on buses

Bus passenger numbers will be limited to a quarter of the normal capacity under Alert Level 2, with people unable to stand and seating space restricted.

The bus network’s capacity will be limited because of social distancing requirements on all urban and school services.

The Ministry of Health requires the capacity on most buses to be limited to 40 per cent of normal seated capacity – or about 25 per cent of normal total capacity, with standing passengers not permitted.

Passengers are asked to avoid travelling at the peak times of 7am to 9am and 2.30pm to 5.30pm on weekdays, if possible.

Pools, gyms and recreation centres gear up for reopening

Christchurch City Council is gearing up to reopen its recreation and sport facilities under Alert Level 2.

Jellie Park, Taiora QEII, Pioneer, Nga Puna Wai and Graham Condon’s fitness centre and sports halls will all reopen from Monday 18 May, while Graham Condon pools will reopen from 25 May following refurbishments.

Pioneer’s fitness and group fitness programmes will resume before the end of the month following upgrades to the facility’s roof and ventilation system.

Find out more about sport and recreation centres under Alert Level 2.

All you need to know for your library visit

Libraries will start to reopen to the public in Christchurch from Friday.

However, the library layout will be different and you may have to wait before you can enter to pick up a book, check out a resource or ask for help. A range of health and safety measures will be introduced, including restricting the number of people within library spaces at any one time, along with the duration of visits.

All library users will need to sign in and out to aid contact tracing.

The following libraries will be open on Friday: Papanui, South (Beckenham), Fendalton, Linwood, Te Hāpua: Halswell Centre, Hornby, Tūranga, Upper Riccarton, New Brighton, Ōrauwhata: Bishopdale, Little River and Lyttelton.

All libraries will be open to the public from Monday, 18 May, except for Shirley Library, which remains closed for refurbishment.

Playgrounds set to reopen

Kids will be able to burn-off excess energy at their local playground when the country moves to Alert Level 2 on Thursday.

Christchurch City Council is preparing to reopen all the city’s playgrounds, including the popular Margaret Mahy Playground in the central city.

Washington Way Skate Park and New Brighton Pier are also reopening.

Transfer stations to run as normal under Alert Level 2

Christchurch and Banks Peninsula’s transfer stations will operate as normal under COVID-19 Alert Level 2.

That means people will be able to drop off rubbish, greenwaste and recycling and household hazard waste without a booking from Thursday.

Learn more about rubbish and recycling services under Level 2.

Public transport returning to regular service

Metro’s public transport networks are returning to regular timetables from Monday 11 May, and the central city Bus Interchange will reopen.

Environment Canterbury’s senior manager public transport, Stewart Gibbon, says that under COVID-19 Alert Level 3 the number of people using the bus services has doubled since Level 4.

“We know that people rely on Metro’s network for their essential travel, to work, school and to pick up supplies, and we’ve been keen to increase our service frequency again to bring a little normality back to people’s lives.

“Although there may still be some service disruptions over the coming weeks, our operator partners are doing their best to minimise these,” Mr Gibbon says.

The reduced driver workforce may have an impact on some services, as a number of drivers fall within the ‘at risk’ category.  Any service cancellations will be notified on Metro’s website metroinfo.co.nz

To keep everyone safe, physical distancing, additional cleaning, and contact tracing are all in place.

Community Board meetings to resume

Christchurch City Council has agreed to reinstate all Community Board delegations at an extraordinary Council meeting today.

Community Board meetings will resume the first week of June and the delegated decision-making powers of these bodies will return midnight 18 May.

In March, the Council temporarily revoked the Board delegations in response to the Government’s announcement the country was going into COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown.

Council preparing to re-open public facilities

Christchurch City Council is working on plans for re-opening its public facilities under Alert Level 2.
Sport and recreation centres, libraries, pools, community centres and playgrounds have all been closed since late March to prevent the spread of COVID-19.


The Christchurch Art Gallery, the Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre, the Civic Offices and Council Service Centres have also been closed.

However, the Government has today announced that such facilities will be allowed to re-open under COVID-19 Alert Level 2 as long as they limit the number of people inside at once and keep groups of attendees one metre apart.

Find out more about the reopening of Council facilities.

Christchurch’s Agricultural Show cancelled

The New Zealand Agricultural Show is the latest casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the first time since World War II, one of the highlights of Cup and Show Week in Christchurch will not be held this November.

The show normally attracts thousands of people over three days, giving city dwellers a chance to spend a day in the “country” at the Wigram site.

The community-owned Canterbury A and P Association has announced the decision this week, citing uncertainty over the show being able to go ahead this year, and concerns over being unable to recoup costs.

Building work to restart on community facilities

Building work can restart on about 40 community facilities around Christchurch following the Government’s decision to move to alert level 3.

Christchurch City Council has kept in close contact with contractors who were working on the projects – which include the Thomas Edmonds Band Rotunda, Opawa Public Library and St Albans Community Centre - before the lockdown began.

The Council and our contractors are committed to cracking on with these important projects, but of course we’ll make sure all construction work is carried out within strict COVID-19 health and safety protocols,'' says Council Capital Delivery Community Manager Darren Moses.

Find out more about work restarting on the community facilities.

Consenting team to restart site visits

On site building and subdivision inspections are set to resume in Christchurch from next Tuesday, 28 April when COVID-19 restrictions move to Alert Level Three.

Under lockdown rules Christchurch City Council staff were unable to visit sites in person but they have continued to process building and resource consents, providing planning and advisory services remotely from their homes.

With next Tuesday's move to level three, on site inspections will restart, with additional health and safety measures in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Find out more about consents and on site visits.

Video exhibition brings art into our 'bubbles'

Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū is giving people the chance to get their art fix at home with an online video series featuring the work of a dozen Kiwi artists.

Called Spheres: An Online Video Project, the programme will run on the Gallery’s website for six months starting next Tuesday, with a moving image work by a different artist released on each of the first 12 days. They will be available to watch here.

Find out more about the online video series.

Work to resume on roading projects

Contractors will resume work on a number of key roading projects around Christchurch when the Level 3 restrictions come into force.

Christchurch City Council stopped work on all non-essential roading projects during the Level 4 lockdown but the Government’s decision to move to Alert Level 3 from Tuesday 28 April means roading contractors can get back to work.

“There will be additional health and safety measures required to ensure the safety of the crews working on these roading projects so it won’t be quite business as usual for our contractors, but they will be able to start re-activating their work sites so they can get back to work’’ says Christchurch City Council Transport Planning and Delivery Manager Lynette Ellis.

Find out more about the roading projects.

Buses to run more frequently under Alert Level 3

Environment Canterbury is preparing to provide increased public transport services when the country moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 next week.

Under Level 3, government advice is that travel is still restricted, and is only allowed for permitted movement in your local area – e.g. for going to work or school, shopping, or getting exercise.

“We know some of those going back to work or school at Level 3 will need public transport as an important part of their day. Starting on Tuesday 28 April, we will be moving to a Saturday timetable running Monday – Saturday, with the Sunday service running on Sundays, for most services,'' says Senior Manager Public Transport, Stewart Gibbon.

“The timetable will have some modifications, including Route 85 running to its usual weekday timetable and some changes to the ferry timetable. These will be updated on our website,” he said.

Find out more about public transport under Alert Level 3.

Businesses reminded to run taps,flush toilets

People returning to business premises soon are being encouraged to run taps and to flush toilets so pipes can refill with fresh water.

Under the Government’s Covid-19 Alert Level 3, businesses can open premises for trading from next Tuesday but cannot physically interact with customers.

“People returning to business premises should run all indoor and outdoor taps for at least two minutes and flush all toilets. This removes the stagnant water that has been sitting in the pipes during lockdown and brings in fresh, clean water from the street mains,'' says Christchurch City Council Head of Three Waters and Waste Helen Beaumont.

Find out more about  flushing your pipes.

Transfer stations to re-open

The EcoDrop transfer stations at Parkhouse Road, Bromley and Styx Mill will be reopen to the public when the country moves to alert level three on Tuesday 28 April.

Residents will be able to drop off rubbish, greenwaste, hazardous items and select recycling.
However, there will be strict controls around the management of the stations, with people needing a booking to drop off their material.

Kerbside recycling service to resume

The processing plant that sorts the items put out for kerbside recycling in Christchurch is planning to re-start operations under Alert Level 3.

That means people will need to make sure that only the right stuff goes in their yellow bin.

“If there is waste, dirty material, liquids or other contamination in the recycling then we are unable to process material and our markets won’t buy it.

"For the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) to operate successfully under Alert Level 3 we need everyone to take extra care with their recycling and only place the right materials in the yellow bin,'' says Christchurch City Council Resource Recovery Manager Ross Trotter.

Find out more about the resumption of the kerbside recycling service.

Change to Alert Level 3 marks start of city's recovery

Christchurch City Council is geared up to resume work on building and infrastructure projects around the city when the country moves out of Level 4 lockdown on 28 April.

“We’ve been planning for this move in alert levels and we have a whole raft of projects ready to resume work on that will help to get our local businesses back to work and keep people in jobs,''  says Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel.

Work will restart on major transport and three waters’ projects as soon as the lockdown ends.

Find out more about what the alert level change means for Council services and facilities.

Orion offering business customers payment deferral

Electricity lines companies Orion, which is part-owned by Christchurch City Council, is offering a payment deferral programme to business customers on its network.

It is one of four lines companies that are proposing payment deferrals of at least three months to assist with immediate customer cashflow challenges that businesses are experiencing during this time.

Details of each of the deferred payment options are being finalised in conjunction with the energy retail companies, but may include for example, a deferral of fixed line charges. It is up to each retailer to take up this offer and pass it on to its business consumers.

“This is a challenging time and all four companies are committed to supporting New Zealand businesses to ease their financial burden where possible, so that they can continue to make valuable economic and social contributions to the communities in which they operate - now and into the future,’’ says Vector Group Chief Executive Simon Mackenzie, who is the spokesperson for the four companies.

Council readying for potential change to alert level

The Council is preparing for a potential change in the COVID-19 alert level.
“We are looking closely at what activities we could re-start if we move from Alert Level 4 to Alert Level 3 next week,’’ says Mary Richardson, who is leading the Council’s COVID-19 Incident Management Team.
“Where we can re-start things we will because we know that will help our city’s recovery, but our number one priority is protecting the public’s health and preventing the spread of COVID-19.’’

Please don't stockpile your recycling

Christchurch residents are being urged not to stockpile their recycling, including glass, at home.

Christchurch City Council has temporarily paused its processing of recycling because of the global and local impacts of the COVID-19 crisis.

Yellow recycling bins are still being collected from kerbsides around the city but for a short time the contents are going into landfill. This is because of the risk to staff having to handle recycling, an increase in incorrect items going into yellow bins, and limited access to overseas markets.

Holding on to glass bottles and jars and other recyclables in the hope they can be processed when the current pandemic restrictions are lifted is not a good idea, says the Council’s Resource Recovery Manager Ross Trotter.

Find out more about why you should still put your recycling out.

Pay heed to the road rules

Christchurch residents are being reminded the road rules still apply even though traffic volumes in the city have dropped significantly since the lockdown began three weeks ago.

“Having less vehicles on the roads does not give people a license to speed or to drive through red lights. We maybe in lockdown but the road rules still apply,’’ says Christchurch Transport Operations Centre Manager  Simon Harty.

Read more.

Stay safe while biking in your bubble

With so many families heading out for bike rides to burn energy during the lockdown, we've put together a couple of video with some tips on how to ensure you stay safe on the road.

Public boat ramps closed

Christchurch City Council is closing all its boat ramps around Christchurch and in Lyttelton and Akaroa Harbours while the country is in Alert Level 4.

This follows the Government advice that people are not to go boating, surfing or swimming during the lockdown period.

“People are being asked to stick to simple outdoor exercise close to home, and avoid activities where you could get injured or lost,” says the Council’s Head of Parks Andrew Rutledge.

“This is to keep our emergency services free to support the COVID-19 response. So we’re closing off all Council-owned boat ramps ahead of the Easter weekend to help keep everyone safe.”

Wheelie bins need to be spaced apart

When you are putting your wheelie bins out for kerbside collection, please make sure you space them well apart so they don’t need to be handled.

Visiting a park during lockdown?

Park ranger Robbie Hewson has some helpful tips on what you should - and shouldn't do - if you are visiting one of our parks during the lockdown.

Free online home schooling resources

If you are grappling with home schooling, pop onto the Christchurch City Libraries website and check out the range of School at Home electronic resources for all ages.

The School at Home page covers a wide range of learning resources to help parents and caregivers as they suddenly take on a teaching role during the COVID-19 shutdown.

Find out more about School at Home. 

Plant closure forces temporary end to recycling

The contents of yellow wheelie bins put out for kerbside collection in Christchurch and Banks Peninsula will start going to landfill from next week to protect the safety of staff at the processing plant.

EcoCentral has advised the Council it is temporarily suspending operations at its Materials Recovery Facility (MRF), which unfortunately means there is no capacity to sort and process the mixed paper, plastic and glass put out for recycling.

“This is not an ideal situation but EcoCentral is concerned about the safety of its staff and their potential exposure to COVID-19,’’ says City Services General Manager David Adamson.

Find out more about what's happening with the recycling.

Council approves rates relief

Christchurch ratepayers facing financial hardship because of the COVID-19 crisis will be able to defer their rate payments for up to six months. 


The rates deferral and three-month rent holiday for Council’s commercial tenants are part of a package of measures approved today by Christchurch City Council to help alleviate the immediate financial stress that many businesses and households in the city now face. 


Find out more about the rates relief.

Tsunami siren test cancelled

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 response, the Council will not be conducting a tsunami siren test on Sunday.

“With everyone affected by the corona virus response, the last thing we want to do is cause any anxiety or confusion by running our normal siren test.  We have advised our contractor to cancel the test that was due to happen on Sunday morning,”  says Council Head of Civil Defence Emergency Management Rob Orchard.

Siren tests are normally held twice a year, timed to coincide with the beginning and end of daylight saving.

Helpline for welfare assistance

Christchurch and Banks Peninsula residents in need of assistance in accessing essential household goods and services due to the COVID-19 lockdown can get help via a local helpline.

The 0800 24 24 11 helpline will be run by Christchurch City Council staff and will operate around-the-clock.

Find out more about the helpline.

Consents still being processed

Council staff are continuing to process building and resource consents during the COVID-19 lockdown.

 Although the Civic Offices are closed, staff are working from home processing consents so that projects will be ready to go when the current situation eases.

Find out more about the consenting process during lockdown.

Draft Annual Plan consultation extended for a week

Consultation on the Council’s draft Annual Plan 2020-21 has been extended a week in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Consultation was due to close this week, but will now close on Thursday 9 April to give people more time to have their say.

“We recognise that there’s a lot going on for people at the moment. We hope that by extending the consultation deadline for a week, we can take the pressure off a bit, and give people the time they need to share their views with us,” says Diane Keenan, Head of Public Information and Participation.

Give you feedback on the draft Annual Plan 2020-21.

Botanic D'Lights postponed

This year’s popular winter spectacle Botanic D’Lights 2020 Tīrama has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event, which was scheduled for August, is now being planned for June 2021. However, this will depend on how the situation develops.

Read more about Botanic D'Lights. 

Virtual inspections for log burners

A virtual inspection service has been set up for Christchurch and Banks Peninsula residents with newly installed solid fuel heaters.

The virtual inspection service requires the property owner to complete an online form and submit photographic evidence that shows their solid fuel heater has been installed correctly.

“During the lockdown period we can’t go into people’s home but through this virtual inspection service we can still check that consented appliances have been installed correctly and are able to be used,’’ says Heading of Building Consenting Robert Wright.

In the first two days of the lockdown, Code Compliance certificates were issued for three log burners using the virtual inspection process.

Get information on how to book an inspection.


Lockdown forces halt to heat pump installation work

The COVID-19 lockdown has forced a temporary halt on the installation of heat pumps and better ventilation in hundreds of social housing homes around Christchurch.

Christchurch City Council and the Ōtautahi Community Housing Trust (OCHT) were aiming to install heat pumps in more than 900 homes by the start of winter as part of its Warm and Dry initiative.

However, they have had to push pause on the joint initiative to protect the safety of tenants and contractors during the COVID-19 lockdown.

“Obviously we are disappointed that we have to postpone the programme but the safety of our tenants, employees and contractors is a key priority. I can assure people that we will restart the programme as soon as possible and once lockdown is lifted we will be back out in your homes scoping and installing heat pumps and again targeting the 909 highest priority homes,'' says OCHT Chief Executive Cate Kearney.

Read more about the Warm and Dry initiative.

Dog walking etiquette

Dogs are required to be leashed at all times while on a road and footpath, and we're asking that dogs are kept on a leash at all times in all our parks to help reduce the contact between dogs, and between their owners.

It's important to control your dog’s movements – apply the same physical distancing guidelines to your dog as you would to yourself.

It’s also still important to clean up after your dog if you are in a public space and place your dog’s waste in the red bin when you get home.

Help for travellers

Travellers needing assistance should call the free government helpline on 0800 779-997.  The helpline operates seven days a week from 8am till 1am.

Stay off fitness, play equipment

We’d like to remind people not to use any playground and fitness-related equipment in our parks during this Level 4 lockdown period.

Touching hard surfaces and using this equipment increases the potential spread of the COVID-19 virus and puts the lives of others at risk.

Parks across the city continue to be maintained on a reduced schedule.

Stay away from playgrounds

We've received reports of people using Margaret Mahy Playground and other playgrounds around the city despite them being closed and taped off during the lockdown period.

Please, for the safety of others, stop using the equipment.

Police will enforce this if they have to.

Library WiFi

 WiFi is still available from outside our library buildings. We’ve made this decision after advice from the Medical Officer of Health to leave WiFi switched on to make it as easy as possible for people to get important information during the COVID-19 emergency period.

People using the WiFi outside our libraries must follow the Government social distancing guidelines and keep at least two metres apart.

Work stopped on capital projects

We’re stopping all our non-essential capital works during the COVID-19 lockdown.

This is to keep our contractors, staff and communities safe and to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Projects affected include all of the Transport and Three Waters projects such as the Lyttelton Harbour Wastewater Project, Victoria Street upgrade and 40 community facilities projects such as the Thomas Edmonds Band Rotunda, the St Albans Community Centre and the Travis Wetlands board walks.

Enable geared to deliver critical fibre broadband services

Christchurch fibre broadband network provider, Enable, says it is fully prepared for continuing to deliver essential fibre broadband services to the community during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Thousands of local families are depending on Enable fibre broadband internet connections to work from home, learn online, be entertained and connected with loved ones through this challenging time.

“We’ve been working for several weeks to ensure our business is ready for a community-wide lockdown. We are a lifeline utility and essential service provider which means our business needs to remain open through this time to serve our community,” said Enable Chief Executive Steve Fuller.

Read more about Enable's services during the lockdown.

Fenced dog parks are closed

Fenced dog parks that have gates and need "hands on" contact to be accessed are now closed.

They are: Horseshoe Lake, The Groynes, and Styx Mill Reserve.

All other parks are available to take your dogs for a walk but please follow the Government's advice and practice social distancing - at least two metres apart from people outside your own household.  

Online fitness classes to help keep you active

Our gyms may be shut but you can still take an exercise class with us.

Our group fitness instructors have started running online classes to help you stay fit during the COVID-19 lockdown.
You can take part in the classes through the Christchurch Recreation and Sports Centre’s Facebook page.

Wipes go in the bin, not the loo

Please remember that if you are using wet wipes, they should be disposed of in the bin, not down the loo.

Even so-called flushable wipes don’t break down properly in our wastewater system.

They bunch together and can cause blockages, breakdowns and overflows further down the line, with the potential for sewage to then leak into our streams and rivers.

The only things people should be flushing are the three Ps – pee, poo, and paper.


Public transport running to Sunday timetable

Public transport in Greater Christchurch is now running to the Sunday timetables. 


Environment Canterbury Senior Manager Public Transport Stewart Gibbon said that to support people relying on public transport to reach essential services, Metro is running additional services on a limited number of routes early in the morning and later in the evening, outside of the usual Sunday timetable operating hours.   


“We appreciate these may not cover everybody who would like to use public transport for their essential travel, however we are doing our best and will review the demand for these services regularly,” he said. 


Additional changes include Route 135, which travels from The Palms to New Brighton, will operate Monday to Saturday, using its Saturday timetable, and the Diamond Harbour Ferry timetable. 


Find out more about public transport.

Work halted on Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre and Metro Sports Facility

Ōtākaro Limited have provided the following update on how the COVID-19 lockdown will affect their two largest building projects in Christchurch:

As we enter this extraordinary period of time it has become clear that, unfortunately, our two large building projects - Te Pae - The Christchurch Convention Centre and Metro Sports Facility - will be significantly impacted by the COVID-19 Level 4 restrictions.

Work on both sites has been halted and the lost construction time will be greater than the isolation period itself, as the contractors, sub-trades and manufacturers will all need time to ramp back up again once the restrictions are lifted.

It’s now unlikely that Te Pae Christchurch will be able to open as planned in mid-October, while the impacts on the Metro Sports Facility, which was expected to open early in 2022, are still to be determined.

Throughout the isolation period we will continue to work with our contractors, Te Pae Christchurch operator ASM Global, and Metro Sports Facility project partner Christchurch City Council on mitigation strategies. These projects will be a significant part of the economic recovery for the region and every effort will be made to get them open as soon as possible.

EcoDrop closes

The EcoDrop transfer stations at Parkhouse Road, Styx Mill and Bromley will close to the public from 4.30pm Wednesday, 25 March.

Make sure you stay fire safe

Fire and Emergency is urging New Zealanders to think about fire safety as they self-isolate to prevent spread of COVID-19.

Chief Executive Rhys Jones says with people staying home for at least the next four weeks, it’s now more important than ever for everyone to be fire-safe. 

“We’re heading into winter, and with households self-isolating together, there’ll be more cooking at home, and more use of open fires, heaters, and dryers - all things which can increase fire risk,” Mr Jones says.

Read more about how to stay fire safe.

Water collection points closed

The untreated water collection points at Keyes and Burnside pump stations have been closed to reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission as a result of people congregating to collect water and, potentially, people who are unwell contaminating the taps and fittings.

If you are concerned about the taste of your water, you can keep drinking water in an open jug in the fridge. The chlorine taste will dissipate naturally over a few hours.

Alternatively you can use a filter or filter jug to remove most of the chlorine.

Animal matters

The Council is stopping the weekly Wednesday-morning dog microchipping sessions at the Animal Shelter at 10 Metro Place until further notice.

The Animal Shelter is closing to the public at 5.30pm today until further notice. 

Animals at the shelter will continue to be cared for.

If you have lost your cat or dog call 03 941-8999 and you will be directed to a member of the animal control team for assistance.

General planning inquiries

A Christchurch City Council duty planner will remain available to the public to answer any general planning inquiries during the nationwide shutdown.

The decision to make a planner available supports the Council’s commitment to providing ongoing services to the community during the Government’s Alert Level 4 period.

People can ring 03 941 8999 and ask for the duty planner.

For some inquiries, planning advice may be provided via email.

A video message from Mayor Lianne Dalziel and Chief Executive Dawn Baxendale

Urgent road repairs update

Urgent repairs by Council contractors will continue to keep Christchurch roads safe.

Work on non-urgent repairs or road improvement projects may stop temporarily.

Project updates will be provided to residents and businesses as information becomes available.

Essential maintenance work will continue during the nationwide shutdown. Council contractors will still carry out safety-related work, pothole repairs, street cleaning and the emptying of rubbish bins.

New Brighton Pier closes

New Brighton Pier has closed, with fences being installed to prevent public access.

Council agrees on interim governance arrangements

The Council has held an extraordinary meeting this evening to put in place special arrangements to ensure decision-making can continue through the lock-down period.

It has set up an Emergency Committee which the Mayor will chair and all Councillors will be members.

The Committee will have the decision-making authority of the Council. Only two members of the committee will need to be physically together in order for there to be a quorum.

Find out more about the interim governance arrangements.

Christchurch Hospital park and ride shuttle service to be put on hold

The park and ride shuttle service for patients and visitors to Christchurch Hospital from the Lichfield Street Carpark will stop operating from 8.30pm on Wednesday, 25 March.

The temporary shutdown is in response to the Government’s nationwide Alert Level 4.

The Canterbury DHB has also postponed all non-urgent surgery, procedures and non-urgent face-to-face outpatient appointments at all Canterbury DHB facilities, effective from today.

Parking around the city

The Christchurch Art Gallery car parking building is closed.

The Lichfield Street car park is open and free, mainly for essential services staff working in the central city. The lifts and toilets in the building are closed.

In line with the Government directions and in order to provide certainty to essential workers at Christchurch Hospital, metered and time-restricted parking spaces around the hospital campus will not be enforced. 

The following still apply:

  • Do not park in mobility parking spaces unless a pass is held
  • Do not park on broken yellow lines or where no-parking signs are present.
  • Do not park in or across accessways
  • No parking in loading zones or resident parking spaces

The parking compliance team will only be reacting to blocked vehicle entrances and serious road hazards/safety issues, such as vehicles parked in the middle of the road.


Cemeteries will remain open to public access. In line with the Government’s advice, please practice appropriate social distancing if you are visiting a cemetery. 

Camping grounds

In light of the Government's decision to move to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 from midnight Wednesday 25 March, our public camp sites will be closing to the visitors.

No one should be freedom camping or staying in public places.

Spencer Park Holiday Park will have limited bookings for Campers who have their own shower, toilet and cooking facilities inside their vehicle only. No communal facilities will be open e.g showers, toilets, kitchen or laundry etc.

If you are unable to return home immediately you may be able to access temporary accommodation for self-isolation. More information is available at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. To register your details please call 0508 754 163.

Paying your rates

Our service centres and Civic Offices are closed but you are able to pay for rates through your internet banking or online via Visa or Mastercard.

If you can’t access online payments please contact us on 03 941 8999 or 0800 800 169.

Find out about rate payments.

Rubbish disposal

There is no change to our kerbside collection service. You should continue to put your bins out as normal. If the situation changes we will keep you fully informed.

Please space your wheelie bins at least 50cm apart to make them as accessible for our trucks as possible.  This prevents our drivers having to handle bins.

You will be able to continue to drop rubbish at the Ecodrop Transfer stations at Parkhouse Road and Bromley transfer stations.

Find out more about rubbish disposal during the lockdown.

Access to Christchurch Airport terminals

Christchurch Airport is asking that only people with confirmed travel bookings come into the terminals. 

Friends and family should drop-off people booked on flights and not accompany them into the terminals.

People going to the airport to pick-up arriving passengers should also arrange to meet them outside.

Christchurch Adventure Park closed

The Christchurch Adventure Park is closed until further notice. 

More information for the pass holders will be posted on the Christchurch Adventure Park website.

Public transport

Today and Wednesday 25 March the city's urban buses and ferries will run to the normal weekday timetable.

The Metroinfo counter  has been closed and the Bus Interchange will be closed from after the last bus on Wednesday, and passengers will use the super stop on Manchester Street between Gloucester Street and Worchester Street. 

After Wednesday, public transport will only be available for people working in essential services, for medical reasons, and to get to the supermarket.

The Sunday timetable will run across all Christchurch buses.

To help protect bus drivers and to maintain the service, buses will have rear boarding only, and fares will not be required after Wednesday.

These measures are expected to remain in place for at least four weeks. 

If you are unwell and need to travel, you must use private transport.

Council to maintain essential services during lock-down

Mayor Lianne Dalziel and Christchurch City Council Chief Executive Dawn Baxendale are assuring residents that essential services will continue to be provided across Christchurch and Banks Peninsula throughout lock-down period.

“The organisation has had an incident management team planning for this eventuality since the end of January so we are prepared,’’ the Mayor says.

Read more from the Mayor and the Chief Executive.

Hot pools opening postponed

The opening of He Puna Taimoana -  the new hot pools at New Brighton - has been postponed.

The pools were due to open on Saturday 4 April.

Got library items on loan?

Don't worry if you have library items on loan. We're  automatically extending loan periods while our libraries are closed.

We will waiving all fines for library items during the closure period.

Find out about facilities closures.

Gym and pool memberships

We have put an automatic freeze on all payments while our facilities are closed. You do not to contact us for this to happen.

This includes: pool and fitness and multi memberships and Swimsmart lessons and memberships.

Find out about facilities closures.

Canterbury Museum closing

Canterbury Museum and Quake City, its special exhibition telling stories of the Canterbury earthquakes, have closed to visitors until further notice. This includes the Museum cafe and store.

“We are following Christchurch City Council’s lead and closing the Museum and Quake City as a precaution to help stop the spread of Covid-19,'' says Museum Director Anthony Wright.

“The Museum's non public-facing activities, including caring for our collections, will continue. We will follow the guidance of health authorities to do this in a safe way. We will watch developments with the Covid-19 situation carefully and hope to reopen to visitors as soon as we safely can,'' Mr Wright says.

Council closing all its community facilities

The Council is closing down all its community facilities from 4pm Saturday 21 March.

That means there will be no public access to libraries, sport and recreation centres, pools, community centres,  the Christchurch Art Gallery and the visitors' centre in the Botanic Gardens until further notice.

Find out more about the facilities closures.

Council's park toilets

The Council is ensuring each public toilet facility across Christchurch and Banks Peninsula has adequate handwashing amenities as a measure to help stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Additional soap dispensers have been put in place, and will be checked and serviced regularly.

“Please continue to practice Ministry of Health guidelines at our public toilets,” says Mary Richardson, who is leading the Council’s COVID-19 Incident Management Team.

“This includes handwashing and social distancing recommendations. We will be guided by the Ministry regarding any changes to the provision of our Council facilities.”

See the latest advice from the Ministry of Health.

Changes at community facilities

Christchurch City Council is making changes at many of its community facilities so it can keep them open while still adhering to Health Ministry guidelines on how to limit the spread of COVID-19.

“We know how important our facilities are to people’s physical and mental health.  We need to follow the  advice from the Ministry of Health about how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 so we are making some changes to how we operate our facilities so we can keep them open,’’ says Mary Richardson, who is leading the Council’s COVID-19 Incident Management Team.

“These changes affect our libraries, service centres, pools and recreation centres, the Christchurch Art Gallery and Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre.

Imagination Station

Imagination Station has closed its public areas in Tūranga as a precautionary response to Covid-19.

After school classes, birthday parties and other paid/ticketed sessions will continue.

Find out more about the Imagination Station.

Anzac Day

The Council will be working with the Returned Services Association (RSA) on ways Anzac Day can be commemorated in Christchurch without public events.

The RSA announced today that it was cancelling Anzac Day services and postponing the Red Poppy Appeal due to Coronavirus.

Duncan Sandeman, Director of the Office of the Mayor and Chief Executive, says the Council will work with the local RSAs to ensure those who served their country are remembered on Anzac Day.

“The restrictions on public gatherings means the traditional Anzac Day services cannot go ahead but we will find ways for people to honour the sacrifices that our servicemen and women have made,’’ Mr Sandeman says.

Change to inspection processes

We are changing the way we manage site visits to keep you and our staff safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our new guidelines will help staff lower their risk of exposure to the virus when they visit residential and commercial properties and building sites. This will help to protect you as well.

Find out about our new inspection procedures.

What we're doing at our sport and recreation centres

We are taking preventative measures to ensure our sport and recreation centres are a safe environment. We are following advice from the Government and we encourage you to do the same.

We are increasing our efforts to clean and disinfect shared spaces, surfaces and equipment. 

We encourage you to wash and dry your hands thoroughly and use our spray stations to wipe down equipment before and after use.

Please bring your own towel and drink bottle when you work out.

To ensure that customers have sufficient space to work out and minimise the chances of physical contact, we are reducing the number of people who can attend group fitness classes, including Spin.

Additional virtual Spin classes will be held at Pioneer and Taiora QEII to meet demand.

Group fitness classes that require physical contact, such as BoxFit, are being replaced with Xtrain.

Graham Condon Tumbletimes sessions are being moved to Cowles Stadium. Please check the timetable for the latest information.

We will be monitoring class numbers to ensure that we keep everyone safe.

Swimsmart lessons, gymnastics and adult recreation classes continue to run as usual.

Self-isolating? You can still access library services from home

If you're self-isolating and confined to your home, Christchurch City Libraries has lots of online content that can help you keep boredom at bay.

Find out about online library resources.

Advice for freedom campers

Freedom campers are being advised that if they arrived in New Zealand after 1am 16 March they will need to self-isolate for two weeks. This is vital to minimise the spread of COVID-19 in New Zealand.

If you are self-isolating at a campground you will need to book accommodation that contains bathroom and kitchen facilities or have your own motorhome containing these facilities.

If you are self-isolating in a self-contained vehicle you must only use the facilities (e.g. toilet and cooking facilities) within your vehicle.

If you are self-isolating you must not use any public facilities e.g. public toilets, kitchens, laundromats, swimming pools during this period.

Stay away if you're feeling unwell

If you’re unwell, or you’ve travelled from overseas within the last 14 days, please delay your visit to Council facilities, including service centres, libraries, swimming pools, recreation centres, the Visitor’s Centre at the Christchurch Botanic Gardens and the Art Gallery.

We’re still open for business, and key services and facilities are unaffected by the Covid-19 outbreak.

If you’re unwell, you can still contact us by phone, through our website and social media.

Tourism industry show cancelled

New Zealand’s biggest tourism trade show, TRENZ, has been cancelled due to coronavirus.


Christchurch was due to host TRENZ for the first time in 14 years but the event – scheduled to take place in May - has been called off.


TRENZ was forecast to have an economic impact on Christchurch city of $1 million from the vent, and more than $9 million long-term direct benefit.


“While we are bitterly disappointed that Christchurch will not play host to TRENZ in 2020, we respect the decision of the New Zealand government and the Tourism Industry New Zealand Trust (as owner of TRENZ) and understand that the health and safety of delegates and the public must remain the utmost priority,’’ says ChristchurchNZ General Manager Destination and Attraction Loren Heaphy.

Large scale gatherings being cancelled or postponed

Christchurch City Council is following the Government’s advice and cancelling or postponing any upcoming events that might have more than 500 participants or attendees.

“We are reviewing all our civic and community events and will be cancelling or postponing events that are likely to attract large crowds,’’ says Council Citizens and Community General Manager Mary Richardson.

“We know people will be disappointed that some of these events aren’t going ahead but it is important that we follow the Government’s advice and take precautionary measures to limit the potential spread of Covid-19 in our communities.

“We are reviewing on a daily basis the operation of Council facilities such as libraries and sport and recreation centres and assessing what steps we can take to safeguard public health.  We will be releasing more information on this in the coming days,’’ Ms Richardson says.

Events that have been postponed include:

  • The Organics Processing Plant open day, which was scheduled to take place this Saturday.
  • Le Race, the Christchurch to Akaroa cycle race, which was scheduled to take place this Saturday.
  • BLACKCAPS T20 at Hagley Oval, which was scheduled to take place on 29 March.
  • The City to Surf fun run, which was scheduled to take place this Sunday.
  • Sea2Sky endurance race, which was scheduled to take place on 29 March.
  • The Single Fin Mingle, which was scheduled to take place this weekend.
  • The 2020 BMXNZ National Championships, which were scheduled for 10 April.

Events that have been cancelled include:

  • The Trucking Industry Show, which was scheduled to take place this weekend.
  • The Woolston Gala, which was scheduled for Saturday 28 March.
  • The Muddy Good Run, which was scheduled for Sunday 29 March.
  • The Little River Pumpkin Festival, which was due to be held on 26 April.
  • Canterbury Secondary Schools Triathlon, which was due to be held this Friday.
  • The Christchurch Libraries’ annual book sale, which was due to be held on 27 and 28 March.
  • The Grow Ō Tautahi garden festival, which was scheduled to take place this weekend.
  • Easter Camp 2020, which was scheduled to take place over Easter.
  • Men's National Open Softball Championship, which was due to start on Wednesday.

Find updated information on event cancellations and postponements.

Council keeping close watch on coronavirus situation

Christchurch City Council is closely monitoring the coronovirus situation and awaiting advice from the Ministry of Health before making any decisions on facilities and events.

"This is quickly-evolving situation so we can't put a timeframe on when these decisions will be made, but contingencies are in place should we be required to act,'' says Mary Richardson, General Manager Citizens and Community.

"The Council has already increased hand sanitizers across all facilities and advised staff on appropriate cleaning protocols for things such as computer equipment that is in use by members of the public. We are regularly updating our internal hub page to keep all staff up to date.

"Any support mechanisms for residents and visitors to Christchurch will be considered across multiple agencies including Council. These discussions are ongoing,'' Ms Richardson says.

Grow Ō Tautahi garden festival scaled back (see cancellation update 17 March 2020)

Christchurch’s home-grown garden festival Grow Ō Tautahi is being significantly scaled back because of coronavirus concerns.

Find out more about Grow Ō Tautahi.

National Remembrance Service cancelled

Sunday's National Remembrance Service marking the first anniversary of the Christchurch mosque attacks has been cancelled, as a precautionary approach to Covid-19.

The event, to be held at Horncastle Arena in Christchurch at 3pm Sunday 15 March 2020, was expected to attract a large crowd, with many travelling from around New Zealand and from overseas.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says while we still have no community transmission of Covid-19 in New Zealand, we are taking a precautionary approach to protect the health of all New Zealanders.

“This is a pragmatic decision. We’re very saddened to cancel, but in remembering such a terrible tragedy, we shouldn’t create the risk of further harm being done.''

Read more about the cancellation.

Don't attend public events if you're feeling sick

With a number of gatherings planned to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the events of 15 March 2019 this weekend, Cantabrians are being urged to be vigilant and stay home if they are sick.

 If you are unwell, you should not be attending large public gatherings or events.

 Canterbury Medical Officer of Health Dr Ramon Pink says the 15 March commemorations this weekend are important for many in the Canterbury community, but it’s vital those considering attending events follow the latest health advice.

 “While the Ministry of Health doesn’t propose altering arrangements for public events as a result of COVID-19, the public need to take responsibility for not spreading illness.

 “People should be extra vigilant when deciding whether they should attend an event. The basic message is: if you’re sick stay home.

 “COVID-19, like the flu, can be spread from person to person. When a person who has COVID-19 coughs, sneezes or talks, they may spread droplets containing the virus a short distance, which quickly settle on surrounding surfaces, so if you are feeling unwell please stay home.

 “It’s also a good reminder for everyone to be practicing good hygiene. You should regularly wash and thoroughly dry your hands and use good cough and sneeze etiquette, coughing and sneezing into a tissue, your clothes or the crook of your elbow” says Dr Pink.