COVID-19 FAQs

We've put together some common questions we receive from our community about COVID-19 and the corresponding answers below.

If you can't find the answer you're looking for please visit covid19.govt.nz, phone 06 366 0999 or email enquiries@horowhenua.govt.nz

Rubbish and Recycling

Is the kerbside rubbish collection service operating during Alert Level 1?

Yes, this service is continuing as normal. 

Is the kerbside recycling collection service operating during Alert Level 1?

Kerbside recycling collection services will continue, following the normal schedule. To find out when your next collection date is please visit our Check my rubbish and recycling collection date page

Are waste transfer and recycling stations open during Alert Level 1?

Transfer stations are open to the public. Recycling stations in Levin, Foxton and Shannon, and mobile community recycling stations, will be open.

Rates and charges

What should I do if I can’t pay my rates?

If you're experiencing hardship paying your rates please contact Council by emailing rates@horowhenua.govt.nz, or calling 06 366 0999 as soon as possible, so we can help you.

What is a Rates Rebate and how do I apply for one?

A rates rebate is a reimbursement of your rates. To be eligible, you must be:

  • Named as a ratepayer for that property; and
  • Living at that property on 1 July 2020.

If you're receiving NZ Superannuation, WINZ benefits or your combined income is within a certain threshold you may be entitled to a rebate of up to $655.

You can find out how to apply on our Rates Rebates page, or call us on 06 366 0999.

I’m facing hardship but am not eligible for a Rates Rebate, what other support is available?

The Accommodation Scheme assists those with accommodation costs, including homeowners seeking help with their rates. Homeowners must occupy the house that they are paying accommodation costs for as their own home and payments will depend on a person’s financial position, accommodation costs, family circumstances and where they live.

You can apply for the Accommodation Scheme through Work and Income’s website or by phone on 0800 559 003

Parks and facilities

Will Council’s main office be open in Alert Level 1?

Normal opening hours are operating at Alert Level 1, with Council's main office open from 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Residents and customers are still able to contact us by phone on 06 366 0999 or email at enquiries@horowhenua.govt.nz. We also have lots of services and information here on our website.

Are libraries and community centres open at Alert Level 1?

Normal opening hours are operating at Alert Level 1. Opening hours are available on the following websites:

Are swimming pools open at Alert Level 1?

Normal hours are operating at the Levin Aquatic Centre. For more information, please visit our Aquatics Horowhenua website

Foxton Heated Pools re-opened for summer on 1 September. Opening hours are:

11am – 7pm Monday – Friday
10am – 6pm Saturday & Sunday.

Can I go to the beach or park?

Yes, you can go to the beach or park. Please observe the Alert Level 1 Golden rules.

Are public toilets open?

Public toilets remain open at Alert Level 1. Please observe the Alert Level 1 Golden rules.

Can I take my children to the playground?

Playgrounds are open at Alert Level 1. Please observe the Alert Level 1 Golden rules.

Can I exercise my dog at Kowhai Park?

Our parks remain open, including Kowhai Park.

Compliance

Will Council continue to respond to noise control and animal control complaints?

Yes, please contact us on 06 366 0999 or enquiries@horowhenua.govt.nz if you wish to report an issue.

Understanding Alert Level 1

What does Alert Level 1 mean?

For information about New Zealand’s four-level COVID-19 alert system and what the current alert level means for you, please visit the COVID-19 website

Do I need to wear a mask?

At Alert Level 1 there is still a risk of COVID-19 being present in the community. We encourage you to wear face coverings on public transport and when you cannot maintain physical distance in crowded indoor places, like in supermarkets.

You legally must wear a face covering when you’re travelling on a domestic flight anywhere in New Zealand  — this does not include private flights.

For more information about face coverings, including face coverings in Auckland, visit the COVID-19 website

What is contact tracing?

Health services use contact tracing to find people who may have been exposed to an infectious disease – that is, anybody who may have come into contact with a person carrying the infectious disease is traced and, potentially, tested to see if they also have the disease.

To stop any future spread of COVID-19, we need to trace the contacts of anyone who may have been exposed to COVID-19 and break the chain of transmission. Recording people’s movement helps us to do this quickly and efficiently.

Use the NZ COVID Tracer app to keep track of your movements if you can, otherwise use whatever method works for you. You should keep track of:

  • Where you went
  • When you went there
  • Who you met.

You can download the NZ COVID Tracer app from the Google Play or your Apple App Store.

Businesses must display a NZ COVID Tracer QR code for each business location in a prominent place or near main entrances.

For more information about QR codes for your business, visit the Get your QR code poster page on the COVID-19 website.

For more information about contact tracing, including privacy, visit the Keep track of where you've been page on the COVID-19 website.

What are the rules about gatherings?

At Alert Level 1 there is no limit on the number of people who can attend a social gathering or event or enter a public facility.

For more information about gatherings and events, including special events such as funerals, visit the Gatherings and events page on the COVID-19 website.  

Can I attend religious services?

There is no limit on the number of people who can attend a religious event or ceremony at Alert Level 1.

When do I need to self-isolate or stay home?

Self-isolation means staying at home and taking common sense precautions to avoid close contact with those you live with.

If you have COVID-19, or if you’re feeling unwell, it’s critical you stay at home and recover. If you are waiting for COVID-19 test results, you should also self-isolate as a precaution. 

If you have been told you need to self-isolate, you must do so immediately. 

If you are in self-isolation, follow these precautions: 

  • Avoid sharing a bed with others if possible.
  • Minimise the time you spend in shared spaces such as bathrooms, kitchens and sitting rooms.
  • Clean surfaces with disinfectant after you use them. Try to avoid touching them after you have cleaned them.
  • While you’re unwell, do not invite or allow social visitors, such as friends, family and whānau, to enter your home. It’s okay for friends, family, whānau or delivery drivers to drop off food and supplies. Ask them to leave items at the door.

Can I play sports at Alert Level 1?

At Alert Level 1 you can do your usual sport and recreation activities. For more information about sports and recreation at Alert Level 1, visit the Exercising safely page on the COVID-19 website.

Should I get tested for COVID-19?

If you have cold or flu symptoms, call your doctor, iwi health provider, or Healthline on 0800 358 5453, to check if you need to get tested for COVID-19.

COVID-19 symptoms include:

  • a cough
  • a high temperature of at least 38 degrees Celsius
  • shortness of breath
  • sore throat
  • sneezing and runny nose
  • temporary loss of smell.

Can I send my kids to school?

At Alert Level 1, Early Learning Centres, schools and tertiary education facilities are open for all age groups.

The only exceptions are children or young people who are sick or have any COVID-19 symptoms, are in isolation, or are awaiting for the result of a test.

For more information about education at Alert Level 1, please visit the Minstry of Education COVID-19 page.

Business and financial support

Can I open my business premises?

Yes, at Alert Level 1 everyone can return without restriction to work, school, sports and domestic travel, and you can get together with as many people as you want.

It's still important to keep basic hygiene measures, including washing your hands and coughing or sneezing into your elbow.

For more information about what Alert Level 1 means for your business, please visit:

There is a free helpline to provide all New Zealand businesses with advice and to connect them with additional support. To find out more call 0800 500 362 (North Island), or 0800 50 50 96 (South Island). 

Where can I get help if my business has been significantly impacted by COVID-19?

For more information about financial support schemes to help businesses and their employees recover from the effects of COVID-19, please visit the Financial support for businesses page on the COVID-19 website.

Where can I get help if I need financial support due to COVID-19?

For information about support for individuals and whanau facing financial pressure as we recover from the effects of COVID-19, please visit the Financial Support for Individuals and Whanau page on the COVID-19 website.

Key contacts

Phone numbers

All of Government contact line

If you're not sure what assistance may be available, or don't know who to contact for help, call the free Government helpline on 0800 779 997 (8am-10pm, 7 days a week).

Healthline

Only refer people to this for specific queries about their health.

0800 358 5453

Mental health - 'Need to talk?' call 1737. Talk with a qualified counsellor free, 24/7.