Horizons essential services at Alert Level 3

Horizons Regional Council will continue to deliver essential services to the region during Alert Level 3 in accordance with strict physical distancing, contact tracing and hygiene protocols.

This includes providing passenger transport services for essential travel only, and undertaking emergency river management work.

Passenger transport timetables will continue to operate in the same way as they did at Level 4 with most services running to Saturday timetables during this period. Services will run as per the Saturday and Sunday schedule on weekends

Fares are reinstated at Level 3, those who can tag on and tag off with their Bee card should do so. At Level 3, cash will not be collected for fares or Bee card top ups. People are able to register and top up their Bee cards online at www.beecard.co.nz.

Horizons Chief Executive Michael McCartney says our region should be proud of the effort so far to keep ourselves and our community safe, but we need to be mindful that the shift to Alert Level 3 doesn’t change all that much for most.

“We need to stay the course which means staying home unless you are going out for essential movements.

“If you do need to use public transport, try to avoid peak times unless you’re going to work or school, say Mr McCartney.

“For Horizons, the majority of staff are well placed to continue working from home.

“Field work under Level 3 will include a limited number of site visits, environmental monitoring, urgent consent compliance inspections, and other pest plan and animal predator monitoring and control activities.

“All work will be carried out under level-appropriate COVID-19 protocols including wearing face coverings when appropriate, using contact tracing and making contactless deliveries.

“We have strict processes in place to ensure access to our sites will be managed safely, and for those who need to go in to retrieve the equipment.”

“Our Manawatū-Whanganui Civil Defence and Emergency Coordination Centre continues to operate in Te Ao Nui, Palmerston North with rostered teams supporting our region’s COVID-19 response.

“Horizons’ service centres remain closed to the public at Alert Level 3. Administration work will continue remotely, including the processing of rates payments. Under Level 3 Council meetings will continue to be held virtually and are being recorded and added to our website retrospectively to ensure decision making remains transparent.”

Mr McCartney says rates payments can be made online through Internet Banking, or on Horizons’ website.

“Yesterday, Council agreed to temporarily suspend the credit card surcharge for online payments due to our offices being closed.

“The due date for Horizons rates remains 24 September. If people have difficulty or concerns regarding payment they are encouraged to contact Horizons to make arrangements at rates@horizons.govt.nz or call 0508 800 800.”

Council have given until 24 October before any penalties will be applied to unpaid rates.