Media Advisory #14 Vital for community to keep following stay at home requirements


4 April 2020


Stuart Hylton, Incident Controller for the Whanganui District Health Board-led Emergency Operations Centre, says it’s vital the community continues to keep following the requirement to stay at home.


“We want to keep the district’s number of COVID-19 cases as low as possible and that’s why it is important that you only go out when it’s essential - for food shopping and health needs, exercise in your neighbourhood, and to conduct essential work.”


“People should not be travelling between districts, unless they are required to as part of their role in delivering essential services. “Please do not invite friends and family from outside the district to visit. And likewise, do not travel to other districts yourself,” he says.


Mr Hylton says, “On the whole, the Whanganui community’s support for the current COVID-19 alert level 4 restrictions is encouraging. “There has also been a real community spirit and collaboration between the Emergency Management partners and local organisations to keep each other safe and to offer support.”


Inspector Nigel Allan, New Zealand Police Area Commander – Whanganui-Ruapehu, says police are working hard to support communities by engaging, encouraging and educating the public about the restrictions at every opportunity. 


“At the same time we remain focused on ensuring that we continue to deliver our core policing services to a very high standard.  I would absolutely expect that police are more visible in our communities and that what we are doing is delivering on our commitment to ensuring our communities are safe and feel safe,” Inspector Allan says.


Ken Mair states that iwi leaders are also putting out the message across their networks, urging people to stay at home.


“We need to ensure that all the measures put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19 are followed. People should only be using their cars for essential shopping for food or medicine, or for travel to and from work if they are an essential worker. We are reiterating the message that there should be no non-essential travel in and out of Whanganui at this time.


“This will help protect our community from the spread of COVID-19,” Mr Mair says.


To further protect communities, Whanganui District Council has restricted access to the Whanganui River Road and Kaiwhaiki Road to residents and essential and emergency services only and signage has been placed at both ends of the Whanganui River Road and at the entrance to Kaiwhaiki Road.


The Council’s Chief Executive, Kym Fell, says, “Apart from essential and emergency services, non-residents must not use these roads under any circumstances.


“Please respect these restrictions and adhere to the Government stipulation to cease all non-essential travel. We ask you to stay home – and save lives.”