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We know how important it is to keep in touch. We publish news in lots of different ways. These are our official media releases, and articles provided to local papers.

Council staff rise to the challenge during lockdown

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Jono Griffith helps load welfare support parcels going out to residents from the Porirua Emergency Operations Centre.

When New Zealand went into Alert Level 4 lockdown on Wednesday 25 March, Porirua City Council staff prepared for the worst, as Covid-19 took hold around the world.

While New Zealanders united to defeat the virus, Council staff worked to keep the city’s essential services running, and others took on new roles at Porirua’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), as it activated seven days a week to support the community.

“It’s been a huge effort, under quite challenging conditions, but I’m really pleased with the way we’ve been able to support our residents through this time,” says Mayor Anita Baker.

Most Council staff have been working remotely to keep services such as water, waste, roads and cemeteries running safely, and Council business moving forward.

Meanwhile, nearly 90 Council staff have been working shifts at the Porirua EOC to support the safety and welfare needs of the community by taking calls and helping residents needing urgent medical supplies, household goods and accommodation, says EOC Controller Scott Martin.

“We worked with Government agencies and local community groups to support more than 5000 Porirua residents – either directly with parcels of food and household goods, or indirectly with help to connect to the right support agencies.”

Mayor Baker says the welfare support line (0800 141 967) will continue for those in our community who have no support networks and need urgent help to get through.

Council staff at the EOC also worked to keep residents safe by closing off parks and playgrounds and doing daily patrols to ensure the strict Covid-19 safety restrictions were being followed.

The EOC is being scaled down and many Council staff are swapping their emergency roles for business as usual, as the pools, libraries and other sections of Council swing back into action. 

Some of the community feedback on welfare boxes

“We just received the food boxes. Thanks to all the Porirua City Council for the big support and help. Much appreciated. God bless you all.”

“Omg!!! Thank you so much. I can sleep knowing these families have received help. Bless u all.”

“Thank you so much for the parcel for me and my family. I really appreciate it. Thank u, keep safe.”

A resident called to pass on her heartfelt thanks to the welfare team working in Porirua for the boxes that were delivered to her. She is looking after four grandchildren and had at times been struggling to make sure that everyone was fed. Her grandchildren asked whether it was Christmas when the boxes arrived, and she wanted to say how grateful she was for the help and how blessed she felt.

20 May 2020