COVID-19: Important council services continue
Published in the Southland Express, 26 March 2020
From Rob Phillips, chief executive
I want to reassure Southlanders during this time of uncertainty with COVID-19, that Environment Southland’s essential services will continue. Those include our 24/7 pollution response, supporting Emergency Management Southland, our river level and flow monitoring for flood warnings and our stop bank management.
While this week we are getting ourselves set up to continue with our business as much as we can from home, it’s still important to notify us of any pollution incidents when they are happening. We have a 24 hour, 7 day-a-week response service – call 0800 76 88 45 to report pollution or environmental incidents.
Our office is closed, but you can still contact us and get information by calling 0800 76 88 45, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, visiting our website www.es.govt.nz, following us on social media facebook.com/environmentsouthland.
Remember, the best place to go for authentic, up-to-date information on COVID-19 and the Government’s response is the Unite Against COVID-19 website, www.covid19.govt.nz and Facebook page, www.facebook.com/UniteAgainstCovid19.
During this week, the Prime Minister announced that the country would step up its response to Alert Level 3 and then Alert Level 4, we followed the Government’s direction to close our offices to the public.
Our Incident Management Team undertook the huge task of ensuring all our staff were set up to work from home. We will endeavour to respond to enquiries, but please be patient as we bed in our new normal, which may mean that some things don’t get done as quickly as we’d all like and others may not get done at all during this period of self-isolation.
These are strange and difficult times, and it’s important that all of us remember to be kind to one another and to follow the Government's direction and stay at home.
I know this will be a particularly difficult time for some, but Southlanders are resilient and resourceful and we will get through this. The recent floods in Southland showed this to be as true as it has always been.
On behalf of our councillors and all our staff, I wish you all the best for the month ahead. Take care of yourself and your whanau and if you need support please don’t hesitate to reach out for help, there are many services available and initiatives popping up in our communities.