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Hawke’s Bay Councils unite as they plan for COVID-19 regionwide response

Hawke’s Bay’s five Councils are working together to ensure an integrated approach to their response to the COVID-19 health crisis.

The mayors and chair along with the chief executives of the Hawke’s Bay Regional, Wairoa, Central Hawke’s Bay and Hastings District, and Napier City Councils met yesterday afternoon to discuss the pandemic. Wairoa Mayor Craig Little could not attend as he is in self-isolation after returning from overseas yesterday.

The regional leaders want Hawke’s Bay to ‘Unite against COVID-19’ and be as prepared as possible to ensure the spread of COVID-19 is limited in the community. They are urging people to be calm and pragmatic as they manage themselves, their family, work and community responsibilities.

All the region’s councils are undertaking their own business continuity planning and following national guidelines, which include maintaining good hygiene practice, limiting close proximity and contact with others, avoiding any large gatherings and asking staff to stay at home if they feel unwell.

The regional leaders are encouraging the public to check the Government’s website set up to provide information and advice on COVID-19 – www.covid19.govt.nz

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council Chair Rex Graham says the region’s five councils already collaborate effectively and this strong working relationship puts them in a great position to tackle this issue together.

Napier Mayor Kirsten Wise says it is important the community doesn’t panic, but everyone ensures they are following the health advice and doing their own planning in case the situation escalates.

Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst says they understand this is an uncertain time for the community and it’s really important people look after each other and check on friends and whanau to make sure they’re managing and keeping healthy.

Wairoa Mayor Craig Little says being in self-isolation after an overseas trip he knows first-hand what many people around the country are going through and urges everyone to support each other.

Central Hawke’s Bay District Mayor Alex Walker says the pandemic will have huge flow-on effects in the region and something else everyone can do to help is to continue to support local businesses.

While the Councils are still involved in business continuity planning, they are also turning their attention to the social and economic recovery of Hawke’s Bay. Following the Government’s $12.1 billion coronavirus support package the councils are starting to consider a social and economic stimulus recovery package for Hawke’s Bay.

For further information please contact Helen Shea – Hawke’s Bay Regional Council Principal Communications Advisor – 027 662 5953.

18 March 2020

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