Hastings District Council plans to maintain essential services

The Hastings District Wastewater Treatment Plant in Clive. Waste is one of the essential services the council wants to keep running throughout the Covid staffing challenges.

As Covid-19 cases rise rapidly in Hawke’s Bay, Hastings District Council is putting plans in place to help reduce pressure on essential services.

The council says that while it has implemented measures to help keep the community as safe as possible, Covid could impact staffing levels.

Council chief executive Nigel Bickle said maintaining essential services was a priority in the face of the possibility of increasing numbers of staff who are absent, sick or needing to self-isolate.

“If community transmission in Hastings continues to increase, it will potentially strain our resources,” Bickle said.

“We may need to review how we temporarily manage non-critical services if staff need to be absent or redeployed to maintain critical services,” he said.

Managing non-critical services means that facilities such as libraries and swimming pools may have to close for short periods if there are not enough people available to work.

Essential services that will continue to operate include potable water, waste and storm water, solid waste, and animal control.

Bickle said: “We have planned for this, and the health and safety of our staff and that of the community is paramount.

“We ask for your patience as we work through this.”

The Board is in regular contact with its contractors and monitoring the situation, but notes that contractors are under pressure with staff resources at this time.

Although all services continue as normal, this may change as Covid impacts continue.

HDC will keep the community informed of any changes via its website and social media platforms as it responds to the impact of Covid-19 in Hastings.

For more information and updates regarding council services and the government’s response to Covid-19, visit www.hastingsdc.govt.nz/our-council/covid-19/

Michelle J. Kelley