We’re back into Level 2 lockdown from midnight Sunday to midnight Wednesday.

Our health professionals need time to track any potential community transmission and to roll out testing in order to confirm what our country’s true situation is. I love that our country strives to be guided by the facts and actual information. Our national response is a credit to our health professionals for doing the research and tracking, and to our community for thinking of each other and complying with the Level 2 and 3 rules.

We’ve done it before and we can do it again.

Additionally, I want to point out, that it would be foolish to think COVID-19 will never come to our community, it will eventually. But we can play our part to delay it’s arrival here for as long as we can. This will give us time to roll out a plan that looks after our community.

We have to remind ourselves that we need to take this seriously. We are blessed to be in the position that we are in, let’s honour that blessing by continuing the great work we’ve already demonstrated we can do.

This week in council we have the Finance and Performance committee meeting on Wednesday and the Operations committee meeting on Thursday.

Two things I want to mention today are roads and water.

At Operations we are confirming our support for traffic calming measures on Stout St, Tyndall Road and Domain Road in Ormond.

Stout St will be receiving two raised speed tables; these serve a dual purpose of calming traffic and also providing a walkway crossing for pedestrians. Tyndall Road will be receiving something very similar at the Rutene Road end of Tyndall Road. Domain Road is having it’s speed reduced. These are all in response to community petitions and letters to council.

In the same paper, we are also receiving an update on the 2020/21 road safety projects, which include several of the roads around some of our schools, street light replacement and the implementation of a One Way road on Titirangi maunga. I look forward to hearing about the One Way programme on Titirangi as it was one of the first things I was approached about when I first became a councillor.

At Operations we’re also receiving an information report about the Water Services Bill, which is part of the Three Waters Reform Programme.

In short, the reformed Bill pulls together all the different parts regarding drinking water in other bills and combines them into one Water Services Bill. The bill means that council will have responsibilities due to council’s position as a water provider and a territorial authority.

Within a year council will need to demonstrate how it is meeting these higher standards of compliance for the city and within five years for our areas with smaller population where water is supplied by council to residents.

This could possibly be an issue for the Waingake water supply as it currently meets all standards, but it’s unclear whether it currently meets the future compliance standards. As it is, we haven’t allocated any capital spend for this kind of work in our Long Term Plan. Council staff are currently doing the work to assess the impact.

Generally increased standards make sense, we can’t “she’ll be right” things, especially when it comes to water. I do worry about the pressure the incremental increases of compliance will put on our small ratepayer base. This is a point I plan on bringing up at the meeting.

Lastly, remember to social distance, wash your hands, stay home if you’re sick, and wear a facemask if necessary.

As always, it’s a privilege to do this work on behalf of you Te Tairawhiti.