State of Emergency allows extra powers
A national state of emergency was declared yesterday at 12.21pm.
This means Gisborne CDEM group controller Dave Wilson can now exercise all emergency powers under the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act. These powers allow for the possibility of military patrols.
The notice also invokes powers under the Health Act 1956, the Social Security Act 2018 and the Immigration Act 2009. Some of those powers include the conservation and supply of fuel, closing of roads, prohibiting and regulating of traffic and excluding people from certain places.
Mr Wilson heads a team covering logistics, welfare, information, intelligence and more to ensure everyone plays their part in stopping the spread of Covid-19.
“We are a close-knit community with strong connections in both our work environments and our day-to-day life,” he said.
“It is relationships like those that really come into play in a situation like this.
“I have a team of very experienced staff working together across all agencies. This is a team I am proud to lead and I want to reassure the community that together, if we all do our part, we can address this.”
The State of Emergency was declared as part of the Epidemic Preparedness (Epidemic Management – Covid-19) Notice 2020 and was agreed by Parliament yesterday. Civil Defence Emergency Management director-general Sarah Stuart-Black said the State of Emergency legislation allowed it to be in place for seven days, and could be extended.
Council chief executive Nedine Thatcher Swann is suspending penalties attached to general fines that may be due during the lockdown period of at least four weeks. Anyone with questions should call Customer Service on 0800 653 800.
Kerbside rubbish and recycling across Tairawhiti will continue but residents are being asked to do all they can to reduce the amount of both to take pressure off staff. Continue to wash plastics, glass and tins, squash plastic and cardboard, clean everything and take tops off bottles and tins. Don't overfill the recycling bin.
Rubbish bags with tissues and wipes should ideally be double-bagged.
Residents are reminded the nation is in a Covid-19 alert level 4 from midnight last night, as well as a National State of Emergency.
Everyone apart from those considered to be working in essential services needs to stay home in an effort to halt the spread of the virus.