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Nelson City Council services at COVID-19 Alert Level 3

On Tuesday 31 August at 11.59pm, New Zealand, south of the Auckland boundary, will move from COVID-19 Alert Level 4 to COVID-19 Alert Level 3.

There will be a slight relaxation of the rules around movement, recreation, work, and education, but this does not signal a return to normal activities. People are encouraged to re-familiarise themselves with Alert Level 3 protocols at

There will be a few key changes for the Nelson region at Level 3, in line with government regulations:

Kerbside recycling
Collection will continue as normal, and from Wednesday, 1 September, recycling will also be processed.
We will be taking a strict approach to contamination – bins will not be collected if they contain dirty recycling, or items such as face masks and protective equipment.
Please keep your recycling clean – contamination in our recycling – especially used face masks or protective equipment, could cause our plant to shut down and recycling to go to landfill.

Resource Recovery Centres
Open to the general public, but for a limited range of services – refuse and greenwaste only.
No face-to-face services, e.g. Reuse Shops, are available.
No public recycling drop-off – we will reinstate this service once the demand for waste disposal falls and we are confident we can operate safely.
Normal opening hours apply.
Contactless card payment only (no EFTPOS or cash)
All customers must scan in with the government NZ COVID Tracer app, or give their name and contact details to the gate attendant.
One customer per vehicle – if you are not able to unload with one person then you will need to delay your visit until Level 2.
All customers must wear a mask if they are leaving their vehicle or talking to the kiosk operator.
We will be limiting numbers of customers on site – expect delays, especially at peak times.

Mountain Biking
Most trails in the Nelson region will reopen to mountain biking from Thursday, 2 September, with the exception of trails that are currently closed for forest harvesting operations. Closures include sections of Codgers, the Tantragee walkway and Coppermine Trail.

Contractors will be out checking trails on Wednesday 1 September, which means all trails will be closed on that day so we can ensure they are safe and contractors can maintain 2m physical distancing.

If you are unsure if a trail is open, please check before leaving home. There has been heavy rain in lockdown so some trails may be impacted by slips. Current forestry trail closures can be viewed at

Mountain biking at Level 3 is only recommended for people that are experienced and know the trails. People are asked to stick to familiar trails close to home, ride cautiously and maintain social distancing. Please stay safe to avoid unnecessary injury, and steer clear of any avoidable risks or new activities that put you or others in danger or in need of rescue. Mask wearing is recommended.

Please check for more details.

Public Transport

  • Public transport can be used for a wider range of journeys – including going to work and school if necessary. The reduced bus timetable will continue as at Alert Level 4 with the addition of the Richmond loop services, which will operate on its Saturday timetable, and the addition of the Stoke loop, which will operate on its Monday – Friday normal timetable. Payment will be by Bee Card only, and top ups should be made to your card at
  • Passengers are reminded that face coverings are mandatory when travelling on the bus and while waiting at bus stops. Passengers must not travel on the bus if they are unwell, have been advised to take a COVID-19 test or are awaiting test results. QR codes are available on all buses, and scanning is required.
  • One-metre physical distancing is required on buses at Alert Level 3. This may limit bus capacity, so users are asked to allow plenty of time for their journey. If peak services reach capacity, additional services will be considered.

Recreation / reserves

  • Gates to car parks at Saxton Field, Trafalgar Park, Branford Park and Tahunanui Beach Reserve will reopen.
  • Recreational boating (powered or non-powered) is not permitted at Level 3, and this will be closely monitored by the Harbourmaster, Coastguard and Marina Management. The Marina office will remain closed to the public, with office staff working from home. The hardstand will partially open to registered contractors and will be unlocked and supervised by Marina staff from Monday to Friday – 8am to 5pm. Berth-holders may continue to visit their vessels to check on them for safety reasons. However, berth-holders may not work on their vessels in Level 3, either on the water or on the hardstand.


  • Many contractors will be able to return to work and will be working under Alert Level 3 COVID-19 health and safety plans.
  • Construction projects at Saxton Creek, Main Road Stoke and Rocks Road, as well as various other locations, will recommence.
  • Building inspections, environmental monitoring, and public contact roles such as dog control will be carried out according to the Alert Level 3 requirements. These tasks will be done remotely or virtually where possible.
  • Nelson City Council resource consent and building consent processing will continue. As staff are working from home, applicants may experience longer processing times.

Burial and Cremation Services

  • Council will continue to provide burial and cremation services and will resume ash interment services within Alert Level 3 restrictions. If whānau and families have any questions, they should contact their funeral director.

Many Nelson City Council services will stay the same at Level 3:

  • Nelson City Council has maintained essential services during the Alert Level 4 period, including refuse/recycling collection, public transport, roading, water, wastewater, stormwater, and its cemetery/crematorium, and this continues at Alert Level 3.
  • Council facilities such as the Customer Service Centre, libraries and swimming pools will remain closed.
  • Playgrounds, skate parks, public exercise equipment, the dog park and water fountains will remain closed.
  • Nelson City Council will not carry out water meter reading or invoicing during COVID-19 Alert Level 3. Reading of residential and commercial water meters and subsequent invoicing will recommence at Alert Level 2.
  • Council meetings will continue as usual but will be held on Zoom. Meetings will continue to be live-streamed at

Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese recognised the Nelson community for adapting so quicky and effectively to the snap lockdown.

“I want to thank everyone for doing their part to keep themselves and others safe during the Level 4 lockdown. Your efforts so far have helped put Nelson in a good position to start to move down through the COVID-19 Levels.

“Moving to Level 3 means that we can get out and about a little more, and more of our local businesses can operate.”

“The Delta variant is highly contagious, and we must take the risks seriously. Please continue to follow Ministry of Health advice, wear a face covering, use the COVID-19 Tracer app, and please get vaccinated when you are eligible. I know Level 3 is still challenging for many, but following the guidance will provide us with the quickest path to Level 2.”

A reminder about Alert Level 3 government guidelines:

Government directives at Alert Level 3 are very similar to Level 4, in that people are still asked to stay home if they are unwell, scan QR codes, get tested if they have COVID symptoms and continue to maintain good hygiene practices.

  • You legally must wear a face covering on all public transport including buses and aeroplanes and at departure points such as bus stops and airports.
  • If you are a driver or a passenger in a taxi or ride-share vehicle you must also wear a face covering. Face coverings are legally required to be worn inside any Alert Level 3 business or service that are open and involve customer contact, for example supermarkets, pharmacies, healthcare facilities and for picking-up items such as takeaway food. You are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering when you are outside your home and in a place where it is hard to keep your distance from other people.
  • As per the recent Government mandate for all Alert Levels, everyone over the age of 12 is now legally required to keep a record of where they have been when visiting certain busy places and events to facilitate speedy contact tracing, should it be required.
  • This requirement will come into effect seven days after the alert level change, to provide businesses and other locations time to put record-keeping systems and processes in place. You are strongly encouraged to use the NZ COVID Tracer app if you can; this helps with rapid contact tracing if it is required.
  • At Level 3, people must stay within their household bubble whenever they are not at work or school, however the bubble can be expanded to include close family and whānau, caregivers, and to support isolated people. Keep your bubble exclusive where possible and only include people in your bubble where it will keep both you and them safe and healthy.
  • There are more acceptable reasons for leaving your home, including accessing services that can safely open, going to work and school if you can’t work from home, participating in low-risk recreation and extended bubble arrangements.
  • The Government recommends people work from home where possible, and businesses can only open if they are contactless. Customers cannot come onto your premises — unless you are a supermarket, dairy, butcher, fishmonger, greengrocer, petrol station, pharmacy or permitted health service.
  • Gatherings of up to 10 people are allowed but only for wedding services, funerals and tangihanga.
  • Healthcare services are to use virtual, non-contact consultations where possible.
  • Travel across Alert Level boundaries is strictly limited to stop the spread of the virus. You may need to seek additional permission to complete travel to an area at a different Alert Level.
  • People must keep 2m away from others in public and 1m away in controlled environments such as schools and workplaces.
  • A wider range of recreation is permitted including fishing from a wharf or shore (not rocks), surfing (if you are already proficient, not if you are a learner), and a swim at your local beach.
  • At Alert Level 3, tamariki (children) and young people should learn from home where possible. Schools (years 1 to 10) and early childhood education centres can open for children of parents who need to go to work, but at limited capacity.

For the most up-to-date information about how Level 3 affects you, visit

Click here to find out more…

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