27 Aug 2021

Get the latest information on how the shift in COVID-19 alert levels is impacting on Christchurch City Council services and facilities.

New Brighton Pier

New Brighton Pier is closed under Alert Level 4.  This is because it is too difficult to maintain social distancing on the pier.

Need help keeping the kids entertained?

Running out of ideas to keep your tamariki entertained during lockdown? Christchurch City Libraries has a wonderful digital library where kids can access a wide range of ebooks, picture books and audio books online.

If they’re struggling with homework, there’s even a function where they can access free homework help online, between 1pm and 6pm on weekdays!

You can access the kids’ digital library here, then log in using your Christchurch City Libraries membership details.

Not a member? No problem - you can still sign up online for free.

New dates for WORD festival

After being forced to postpone this week’s WORD Christchurch festival due to the lockdown, the organisers of the event have announced it will now go ahead from 10 to 13 November. 

The WORD team has secured the venues,and is now in the process of checking speakers’ schedules. The new programme will be released soon.

“We moved quickly and decisively to postpone the festival once the first lockdown was extended last week, and we absolutely did the right thing,” says WORD Christchurch programme co-director Rachael King.

“This new programme may be slightly scaled back, but as much as possible will retain the events that our audience has booked for, so there will be as little disruption as possible.”

Rate payments during lockdown

With our service centres closed under COVID-19 Alert Levels 4 and 3, now is a good time for residents who pay their rates in person to try out more convenient ways to pay.

The 31 August deadline for Area 3 rates payments is approaching, and the Council’s direct debit, online banking, phone banking and credit card or debit card options are proving useful for a growing number of ratepayers who want the convenience of paying remotely.

“Doing things face-to-face isn’t as easy as it used to be, so now could be a good time to try a new way of paying,” says Leah Scales, Chief Financial Officer.

“We’ve been helping a lot of our residents make the transition from in-person payments to online, direct debits or phone banking in recent years.

“To some people, online or direct debits may seem difficult or new, but our customer service staff are all here to talk you through it over the phone (call 941-899) or by email, or in person when our facilities reopen.

“Having a regular payment system set up can take a lot of the stress out of keeping to a deadline and making your way physically to a service centre.”

Although the number of people who pay their rates in person with cash or EFTPOS is shrinking, the Council is taking steps to make sure ratepayers who are unable to pay by alternative methods aren’t caught out.

They will have up to five days after the service centres reopen under Alert Level 2 to pay at a service centre without incurring a penalty charge.

“It’s much more efficient for the Council to receive payments online, but this is about making things as easy as possible for all our residents, particularly during a stressful time for many of us,” Ms Scales says.

Essential water services work

Council teams are busy responding to essential and urgent work across the city’s drinking water, wastewater and stormwater networks.

“It’s very important during lockdown that we’re keeping on top of any major leaks, overflows and critical maintenance work across our water services networks,” says Council Head of Three Waters and Waste Helen Beaumont.

“People should still report any leaks or overflows via the Council’s Call Centre or ‘Snap, Send, Solve’ app. We need to know about them.

“If you spot a water leak, have a look for brightly coloured spray-paint or a road-cone nearby. If you see either, it means we’ve already been to inspect the leak and we’ll be coming back soon to repair it.”

“We have teams safely carrying out critical work across the city every day -- unblocking sewers, clearing stormwater outlets, checking fire hydrants, and fixing leaks.

“We’re also completing important work at some of our water supply pump stations, bringing them back online where they’ve been taken out of service for maintenance or upgrades. This is to avoid potential issues as the weather warms up and demand on the city’s water supply network increases.

“Every day, we’re working hard to make sure Christchurch and Banks Peninsula residents can get through lockdown with safe and reliable water services,” adds Ms Beaumont.

Be aware of the lambs on the Port Hills

People exercising in Port Hills reserves are being reminded that lambing is under way so they need to keep dogs on leashes.

“People think of the Port Hills as a recreation area, but Council reserves are also used as farmland by farmers who hold a licence to graze sheep,’’ says Port Hills Head Ranger Paul Devlin.

“Lambing has begun and unfortunately it has coincided with the lockdown and and high numbers of people biking and walking in our reserves.

“People often take their dogs out with them and that’s ok provided they are on leash. What we don’t want is dogs roaming free and potentially putting the welfare of lambs or pregnant ewes at risk,’’ Mr Devlin says.

“If you are using our tracks, please keep your distance from stock, leave gates as you find them, and always keep your dogs on a leash.’’

Skateparks and BMX tracks remain closed

Council staff are reminding people that public skate parks and BMX tracks are closed under Alert Level 4.

Head of Parks, Andrew Rutledge says while these areas are too large to practically tape off, all skate parks and BMX tracks in Christchurch remain off-limits.

“These sorts of areas encourage people to meet and gather, which goes against the Government’s Covid-19 Alert Level 4 guidance of sticking to your own bubbles,” Mr Rutledge says.

“Until we return to Alert Level 2, the ollies and bunny-hops are limited to your driveways and the footpaths around your neighbourhood.”

Keep up the recycling

Our recycling facility and organics processing plant are operating as normal during the lockdown so please keep recycling and putting the right items into the right bins.

There is no change to the kerbside collection service so make sure you remember to put your bins out as normal.

Please space the bins 30cm apart to allow our trucks to pick them up without the drivers needing to move them.

If parked cars are in the way please place your bin on the road, closest to the kerb. Alternatively, place at the end of your driveway. 

Please don't light outdoor fires

Environment Canterbury is asking people to help keep essential staff safe by not lighting outdoor fires during lockdown.

It has received a large number of calls from people concerned about outdoor fires during Alert Level 4.

Even if the fire is under control, the smoke often results in 111 calls which mean firefighters need to deal with an avoidable call and risk exposure to COVID-19.

Avoiding outdoor fires is particularly important at the moment due to the warm, windy weather forecast for the region for the rest of this week.

Any escaped fire, however minor, puts fire crews at risk. Fire and Emergency NZ is also asking people to check carefully to make sure any old fires are completely out and not to light any new fires while we are in lockdown.

Please do your bit and keep everyone safe by not lighting outdoor fires, including vegetation and garden waste, during this lockdown.

Find out more about outdoor burning rules.

Accessing food and essential items

We all need food and essential items such as medicine through COVID-19 lockdowns, so please don’t try to go without.

This fact sheet has information about the many ways of getting food and other essential items to you.

WORD festival cancelled

WORD Christchurch has announced that its 2021 festival, due to take place from 25 to 29 has been postponed.

The organisation is working on a new date later in the year, which will be announced soon, and hopes to release the new programme in the next few weeks.

“It’s disappointing to have to postpone the festival,” says programme co-director Rachael King. “But this is the reality of the times we live in. It is much better to lock down and keep COVID at bay than to put everyone at risk.

“We will be back, and as much as possible we’ll retain the elements of the festival that will make it such a powerful, diverse and entertaining event.”

Ticket buyers will be contacted regarding potential ticket transfers (to new dates) and refunds.

Help is available

If you need help with food and accommodation during the lockdown,  in the first instance you should contact

Other agencies that may help:

Public transport reminder

With the Level 4 lockdown extended until at least 11.59pm on Tuesday, Environment Canterbury is reminding people that:

  • Face coverings are essential on public transport  for everyone 12 and over.
  • Greater Christchurch buses are operating with rear door boarding and alighting only, unless you require front door boarding for accessibility reasons. 
  • All services will operate to a Sunday timetable, including this Saturday and Sunday (21 and 22 August).
  • The Christchurch Bus Interchange, Riccarton Lounge and the Metroinfo counter are all closed.

Mayor comments on lockdown extension

Christchurch City Council is prepared for an extended lockdown and all essential city services will continue to be provided, Mayor Lianne Dalziel is reassuring people.

“We had all hoped that we could avoid an extended lockdown but with new community cases of the Delta variant of COVID-19 appearing, we know that continuing the Alert Level 4 lockdown is the right call to make.''

Read more.

Please keep recycling

Under Covid-19 Alert Level 4 our recycling and organics plants are operating as normal so please keep recycling and put the right items into the right bins. You can check what items can be recycled at ccc.govt.nz/recycling.

Playgrounds closed

At this stage we are not taping off playgrounds as it will take longer than the lockdown itself and requires significant resource to be deployed.

We are carefully monitoring the Government’s messaging regarding lockdown and levels. If the Government extends the Level 4 lockdown status for a week or more, or sends us into Level 3, then we will assess and address signage and other means of preventing use of facilities in due course.

In the meantime, we encourage all citizens to read and be aware of the Level 4 lockdown advice from the Government and or follow advice on Council's website.

Report an issue

Our teams are still responding to urgent repairs across the water and wastewater networks, so people should still report major leaks or overflows via the Council’s Call Centre (941-8999) or the ‘Snap, Send, Solve’ app.

If you spot a water leak, have a look for brightly coloured spray-paint or a road-cone nearby. If you see either of these, it means we’ve already been to inspect the leak and we’ll be coming back soon to repair it.


If you're taking your dog out for a walk during the lockdown, please keep them leashed at all times, even in our dog parks.

This is to reduce the contact between dogs and other owners.  Apply the same physical distancing guidelines to your dog as you would to yourself.

Please clean up after your dog and put your dog’s waste in your red bin when you get home.

Our free microchipping service has stopped until further notice.

If you’ve lost your dog, call 941 8999 to speak to the animal control team.

Meeting changes

Some meetings scheduled for this week have been changed due to the COVID-19 lockdown.

You can find details of the changes here.

Rubbish and recycling

Under Covid-19 Alert Level 4 there is no change to our kerbside collection service. You should continue to put your bins out as normal and put the right items in the right bin.

Please space them 30cm apart to allow our trucks to pick up the bins without the drivers needing to move them. If parked cars are in the way please place your bin on the road, closest to the kerb. Alternatively, place at the end of your driveway. 

If the situation changes and we need to make any changes we will keep you fully informed. Please note, other kerbside services, such as bin swaps and repairs, may be delayed.

Our inner-city bagged service will operate as normal.

Transfer Stations – drop off facilities

Under Alert Level 4 our EcoDrop transfer stations and recycling centres at Metro Place, Styx Mill and Parkhouse Road are closed to public and only open to kerbside collection trucks and essential account customers.

On Banks Peninsula, the Barry’s Bay Transfer Station is closed to the public during Alert Level 4.  Our community collection points will operate as normal and the Birdlings Flat transfer station will be open on Saturday for local residents only.

Processing sites

Our resource recovery processing facilities are all operating as normal. This includes our recycling facility and organics processing plant , so please keep recycling and put the right items into the right bins.

Call centre open 24/7

While all our offices and public facilities may be closed, our call centre remains open 24/7.

If you need assistance, you can email us or call us on 941-8999.

Stay safe everyone.

Community housing

Ōtautahi Community Housing Trust is prioritising communication with tenants during this time. A text has been sent to all tenants  encouraging them to stay home and to contact the Trust’s call centre should they have any concerns or are feeling isolated. Tenants are also being asked to check Facebook and the website for more updates. Tenants can also call OCHT on 0800 624 456.

Staff are checking in by phone with tenants who have been identified as being most at risk or vulnerable. ŌCHT will be reviewing the need for any further communication should the lockdown be extended.

Ōtautahi Community Housing Trust is prioritising maintenance jobs and only urgent jobs are being undertaken while we are at Alert Level 4. They will be reviewing this as required.


Cemeteries will remain open but people should wear a face covering and keep two metres distance from others.  

Funeral directors can continue working at Alert Level 4. However, gathering together for funerals and tangihanga is not permitted at Alert Level 4.

Road maintenance

Our transport maintenance crews are continuing to do essential work to keep our roads running.

Non-essential road works are stopping but there may be some work happening to make the work sites safe.


Our car parking buildings are open for essential services workers.

Parking officers will only be undertaking essential enforcement and won’t be enforcing payments in parking buildings and on-street spaces while we’re in Alert Level 4.

Boat ramps and jetties closed

All boat ramps, wharfs and jetties are closed during the lockdown.

Online fitness classes return

We're bringing back our popular online fitness classes while we're in lockdown.

Find out more here.

Christchurch Art Gallery

Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū is closed. Its online resources remain available.

Two openings will be postponed until further notice – the Hellzapoppin’! The Art of Flying Nun exhibition and an installation by local Tongan artist Kulimoe'anga Stone Maka.

The Hellzapoppin’! Opening Party scheduled for Friday 20 August is also postponed.

Library services during lockdown

All of our libraries are closed but you can still access our digital content 24/7.

Please do not return your books and items to any library. All returns bins are closed. Loan periods for physical material  will be extended to 14 days after returning to Level 2. This timeframe maybe reduced depending on period of time libraries are closed.

Free wifi is available outside all libraries except Tūranga.

Parks open but keep your distance

Parks across the city remain open for people to exercise in but if you are visiting a park, please make sure you keep your physical distance from other park users.

Carparks within parks are closed for vehicle access.

Playgrounds and exercise equipment closed, as are the drinking fountains.

If you're walking  your dog in the park, please take any dog waste home with you and dispose of it in the red bin.

Botanic Gardens

The Christchurch Botanic Gardens are closed under Alert Level 4.

Please do not try to visit until the alert levels have changed and we have notified you that the gardens have re-opened.

Public transport

Metro customers are advised that public transport will be available for those needing to travel for essential reasons.  That is, travelling to work in essential services, for medical reasons, and to get to the supermarket.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency has advised that fares will not be required on Christchurch’s Metro services.

Customers are requested to use window seats only, and adhere to physical distancing which is required at Alert Level 4. Due to these requirements, bus capacity will be limited.

Change to Metro services

  • The Metroinfo counter at the bus interchange is now closed.
  • All Christchurch buses will operate under Sunday timetables.   
  • The Bus Interchange is closed. From today, Wednesday 18 August,  passengers will use the super stop on Manchester Street between Gloucester Street and Worcester Street.
  • School bus services will not run under Alert Level 4.

Face coverings
The Government requires the use of face coverings on all public transport. These can be disposable masks, reusable ones, or even something you made at home. There are some exemptions – see the Unite Against COVID-19 website for more detail.  

Boarding and alighting 
To help protect the drivers and to maintain the service, Christchurch buses will have rear boarding only.  Front door boarding/alighting will be available to those that need it.

Scan the QR code  
Please scan the NZ COVID Tracer app using the QR code nearest your seat.

If you are unable to scan the QR code, you can call 03 366 8855 to register your travel.   

Essential services to continue

As with the lockdown last year, Christchurch City Council will continue to provide essential services such as water, wastewater, traffic control and kerbside rubbish collection throughout the Alert Level 4 restrictions.

Read more.