COVID-19 Recovery Plan

Our Recovery Plan is a living document which has been developed by drawing on a wide range of national and local data and insights shaped from ongoing community engagement. You can view our initiatives and track our progress here.

What we've learnt, and what we'll do next

Council formally adopted our Recovery Plan as a "living document" on 24 September 2020. The idea around a living document is that it gives us the agility to respond to emerging issues as they arise and report back to decision makers and the community regularly. You can read about all our initiatives in the sections below.

While we were working on the plan, we saw the re-emergence of community transmission in other parts of the country which resulted in us moving up alert levels. This was a timely reminder that COVID-19 is an ongoing public health challenge, and that the full social and economic challenges are still not fully understood.

What we’ve learnt so far is a starting point. With Ngāti Toa, the Council will continue to work alongside communities, be agile in our approach, and respond to emerging issues in partnership with the community.

Thank you for everyone who took the time to give us their feedback and is working with us on our ongoing recovery initiatives. If you have any ideas about what recovery for our city looks like, or feedback on our initiatives below,  email our team at [email protected] for a chat.

2020 Covid-19 Recovery Plan front cover

Download Porirua City’s Recovery Plan

Council has created this plan in partnership with Ngāti Toa and key stakeholders to support local communities and businesses. This plan belongs to everyone who lives, works and plays in Porirua. 

👉 Download the recovery plan here.

Supporting documents

Evidence base for the Porirua City COVID-19 Recover Plan, Understanding the impacts of COVID-19.

This report contains the evidence base (data and information) that informs and supports the Porirua City COVID19 Recovery Plan which contains business and community initiatives to help address the impacts of COVID-19. Porirua Council has worked in partnership with Ngāti Toa and stakeholders to develop this evidence base, drawing on qualitative and quantitative data sources and feedback from engagement with the community and local businesses to better understand the impacts of COVID-19. 

Download the document here

What has our community told us so far?

So far, we’ve had input from over 30 different community groups and more than 500 responses to our community survey. Clear and consistent themes have emerged regarding Council’s role in recovery, and what the priorities should be for community organisations.

Feedback from the community has called for Council to:

  • Demonstrate strong leadership in the response and recovery phases of the pandemic, and to strengthen our roles as a co-ordinator, advocate and facilitator.
  • Provide clear and ongoing communication with community organisations that strengthens coordination between central and local responses.
  • Support long-term, community led recovery solutions.

In terms of the social impacts of the pandemic, the community has expressed particular concern about four issues:

  1. Emergency housing that is safe and appropriate for families and for young people
  2. Food security
  3. Financial stability
  4. A serious spike in youth unemployment and possible long-term economic and wellbeing impacts of long-term benefit dependence

Thank you for everyone who took the time to give us their feedback and is working with us on our ongoing recovery initiatives. If you have any ideas about what recovery for our city looks like, email our team at [email protected] 

Initiatives and how they will be tracked

We have learnt a lot about our city’s vulnerabilities over the last few months as we’ve moved through alert levels and we want to ensure we are well placed to enable safe, healthy, resilient communities and a thriving economy. While Government has provided financial and social safety nets, a lot of these will be temporary, so it’s critical that local support initiatives are put in place and existing ones strengthened. 

These will be updated regularly - the next update will be available in November 2021.

16 December 2020 - Quarterly Update on Recovery Plan

06 May 2021 - Update on Recovery Plan

What we've done so far

Provide immediate response for welfare and other forms of assistance particularly during Alert Levels 4 and 3 including:

  • Providing the Awhina helpline for food deliveries and emergency accommodation (Porirua received 55% of the welfare requests for the region)
  • Onsite support from local Regional Public Health liaisons (CCDHB) to support people with additional, complex and ongoing needs and help connect them with appropriate support
  • Providing public information through web, radio, social media • Maintaining essential services such as three waters, waste collection, transport 
  • Making the Arena available for welfare or hospital needs
  • Putting in place partnerships with Salvation Army, St Anne’s Pantry and CAB to deliver food, services and welfare checks

FUNDING - Existing budgets & cost recovery from National Emergency Management Centre where appropriate.

Commercial ratepayers can defer paying all or a proportion of their 2020/21 commercial property rates and then pay them back over the following three years. Council felt this would make it easier for landlords to be lenient on commercial tenants.

FUNDING - Existing budgets

Residents facing financial hardship will be given up to six months more to pay their rates. They can arrange a payment plan and a penalty for late payment will not be charged.

FUNDING - Up to $40k reallocated budget

Council decided to keep rates at 4.98% and to increase borrowing to cover the gap.

FUNDING - Increased borrowing to cover operational shortfall

Encourage residents to love local business and spend locally as we move to Covid-19 Alert Level 3 and beyond.

FUNDING: Existing Budget

Council provided a rental holiday for its property tenants which included leased carparks.

FUNDING: $140-200k lost revenue in 2020 funded through reallocated budget

Council facilitated and co-ordinated a workshop with 20 local community organisations to discuss emerging issues and discuss a plan for changing alert levels.

Co-ordination of youth-facing organisations, who meet every six weeks, to reduce sector fragmentation, share information and discuss emerging trends.

FUNDING - Existing budget

Council adopted the Status Report Trends in the Wellbeing of Children and Young People 2020 in August. This contains pre-pandemic data that will be used as a baseline to compare impacts of Covid-19 in years to come.

FUNDING - Existing budget

Council facilitated reimbursement of Covid-19 related claims to local service providers.

FUNDING -  Cost recovery from National Emergency Management Centre

Council facilitated a workshop with the Porirua Pacific Service Network to discuss Covid-19 impacts and recovery. Part two of the workshop will be hosted in October. It also provided funding support for key groups.

FUNDING - Existing budget

What we're working on, along-side our partners

Our economy - Support for businesses

A help centre for local businesses linking them to grants, education programmes, advice and information.

FUNDING: Existing budget

DELIVERY PARTNER: Ngāti Toa, WellingtonNZ

Establish a Workforce Forum with business, education, NGO and Government partners to support collaboration and the delivery of the Porirua Employment and Skills Plan.

FUNDING: Existing budget

DELIVERY PARTNER: Ngāti Toa, WellingtonNZ, Partners Porirua, Chamber of Commerce, MSD, MoE, Whitireia, key businesses

The Council has applied for Government funding to bring forward the building of infrastructure to boost local employment opportunities. 

FUNDING: TBD pending Government decisions on stimulus projects

DELIVERY PARTNERS: Crown Infrastructure Partners

To assist the hospitality sector, Council is to consider discounting Alcohol License Fees by three months.

FUNDING: $8.5k lost revenue funded from existing budget

To reduce the amount of waste going to landfill and grow jobs we are investigating a waste diversion facility with Kāinga Ora which will deconstruct houses from the Eastern Porirua regeneration and sell the recycled timber and stock.

FUNDING: $50k reallocated budget

DELIVERY PARTNERS: Ngāti Toa, Kāinga Ora, Whitireia, MfE, MSD

We can improve the quality of the harbour by riparian planting all of the streams and catchments in Porirua over 20 years. We are developing a business case where jobs can be created using governments subsidised work scheme.

FUNDING:$50k reallocated budget

DELIVERY PARTNERS: Ngāti Toa, MfE, DOC, MSD, GWRC, WCC, MBIE, rural land owners

Our communities - Support city wide 

Events, recreation and sports will be an important part of Porirua’s wellbeing and economic recovery. We are developing a “getting back to normal” summer events and recreation programme.

FUNDING: Existing budget

As part of our summer events and recreation programme, we will include free pool access to residents for one month during the Christmas/New Year holiday period.

FUNDING: Up to $100k lost revenue would need to be funded from existing budget

To ensure oversight of emerging health and wellbeing trends, Council will continue to build on its partnership with RPH and regularly attend and feed into regional cross-agency Psycho-Social co-ordination hui led by CCDHB.

FUNDING: Existing budget


Even though the civil defence emergency status has been lifted, all councils will have an ongoing role supporting Government agencies with emergency response activities. These activities are monitoring future Covid-19 outbreaks, supporting local accommodation, food and welfare needs, and reporting to regional and national agencies.

FUNDING: Existing budget

Support for children and young people

Council is sponsoring a skills and employment hub project being led by Kāinga Ora, which will link employment opportunities out of the Eastern Porirua regeneration with local job seekers in infrastructure and construction and other opportunities.

FUNDING: Existing budget


As a result of Budget 2020 and the scale of investment into tertiary education and vocational programmes, we are expecting Council to have a role in developing and supporting pathway programmes from education into internships and employment.



Develop a graduate programme for young people in the consenting team of Council.

FUNDING: Existing budget

Work with YouthQuake to produce a directory of youth services that is accessible to young people and designed in a way that is useful and relevant to them

FUNDING: Existing budge


- Support for local community groups and agencies 
- Ongoing co-ordination and collaboration 
- Building capacity

Establish a collaborative cross-agency task group to address emerging issues around housing, food security and financial literacy. (Council has already been working with local police to strengthen perceptions of safety within key areas of the city.)

FUNDING: Existing budget

DELIVERY PARTNER: Local community organisations, central Government agencies

Maintain close relationships during the recovery to ensure we know what their changing needs are, including regular forums and information sharing at executive level.

FUNDING: Existing budget

DELIVERY PARTNER: Ngāti Toa, local community organisations, central Government agencies

Co-ordinate a skills and knowledge-sharing group to enable organisations and groups to apply for external funding and grants for Covid-19 recovery initiatives.

FUNDING: Existing budget

DELIVERY PARTNER: Central Government agencies and local funding partners

Provide fees relief to up to 70 different parks and recreation groups (incl. Scouts and sports clubs) financially affected by the lockdown.

FUNDING: $190k lost revenue funded through reallocations

Act as a ‘one source of information’ for Covid-19 issues, through the Council website, hardcopy information, and regular email updates to key groups. 

Create a local directory of key agencies. 

Establish key contacts for community groups within the City Partnerships team – incorporating BAU and emergency response into long-term outcomes.

FUNDING: Existing budget

DELIVERY PARTNER: Central Government agencies and local partners

2020 Covid-19 Recovery Plan front cover

Download Porirua City’s Recovery Plan

Council has created this plan in partnership with Ngāti Toa and key stakeholders to support local communities and businesses. This plan belongs to everyone who lives, works and plays in Porirua. 

👉 Download the recovery plan here.

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