Note that some of this information is now redundant following changes to regulations from the Government.
Here are some of the common questions we've been asked so far. If it's not covered here, we're happy to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org
How did councillors come to this decision?
This was an operational decision made by council management in consultation with Councillors and is in line with many councils across New Zealand.
We made the decision to offer the best level of protection and access to facilities for the vast majority of the community and the fully-vaccinated workforce working in our facilities. This decision was confirmed after comprehensive staff consultation and risk assessments.
Some of the information in our risk assessments relates to individual staff members, but you can see the template that was used below.
What are the best ways of paying my rates/parking tickets/dog rego?
What options do I have if I want to pay by cash or in person, I don't have internet access or if my computer is broken?
While you need a vaccine pass to enter the building, we're happy to assist you to make in-person payments
- Cash and in-person payments can be made at our customer service centres (Main Council building, Temuka and Geraldine libraries). Please let the team member or security guard at the front that you intend to pay this way and we will come out to the entry points to assist you. We can either bring the receipt back out to you or post it to you.
- Mobile EFTPOS is available at all service centres.
- You can place cash in an envelope and place this in the mail box at the front doors of the main council building, we can send you a receipt by post.
- We are working on additional options such as phone-based credit card payments. Updates will be available on the rates and property page.
Can I get a refund for the facilities I'm not allowed to use?
Rates are a tax on property, and like income tax or GST they are not a fee to provide a specific service they go into a general fund that pays for a variety of services. There are two basic types of rates:
- General rates cover facilities like roads, pools, parks, libraries, museums and galleries, which are funded on a ‘common good’ basis. It’s been decided that these things are a benefit to the whole community at large rather than any specific individual. Whether you use them or not, so everyone contributes to them. We do not provide a rates remission if you don't or can't use these services.
- Targeted rates are charged for services that you either personally benefit from like rubbish, water and wastewater, where you only pay if you receive the service, or for services delivered in a defined area such as community boards, where residents of that area pay.
All of the facilities that require a Vaccine Pass are funded through general rates.
Can I have a breakdown of where all my rates go?
The Timaru District Council Rates Resolution, which shows the full breakdown of the rates we charge can be found here: https://www.timaru.govt.nz/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/563186/Timaru-District-Council-Rates-Resolution-2021-2022-1.pdf
Although we provide a breakdown of rates spent in our Long Term Plan, this is an estimate for education only and is not used in any calculation. Note that this breakdown doesn't include rates that we collect on behalf of Environment Canterbury.
Security at Council Facilities
The roll-out of security presence at staffed Council facilities was to ensure that the My Vaccine Pass could be smoothly rolled out while allowing team members to continue performing the duties. Unfortunately, there have been some negative interactions with a small number of the community, which has warranted the presence of security guards.
The disclosure of the cost of security is refused under commercial sensitivity provisions. This falls under Section 7 of the Local Government Official Information and Meeting Act 1987.
This is discriminatory, a private health matter and you have no right to do this.
This is an unprecedented public health emergency, as a local council, it’s our duty to help deliver the public health response. We’re operating under clear guidance and legal authority from the Government, and it’s Council’s priority to promote healthy and safe community access to our facilities.
Vaccine mandates comply with the Bill of Rights as the overall benefit to the community of Vaccination outweighs people’s individual rights. The New Zealand Human Rights Commission has a significant number of resources on the topic.
Why don’t you just remove the mandates entirely?
We are satisfied that we have the settings correct to balance public safety while ensuing the best facility access for the majority of our community. In cases such as CBAY we have to continue to follow the red settings under the Covid-19 Protection Framework in order to keep facilities such as the gym and café open.
We will review our settings with guidance from local public health authorities once we are past the peak number of cases and infection rates are declining in the community.
Can unvaccinated students now use CBAY and STEC all the time?
No, access for those not holding vaccine passes is only during sporting or EOTC events organised by a registered education provider. Outside of these specified events our normal vaccine pass requirements are in place.
What about home schooled students?
Home school students can take part in specified sporting or EOTC events organised by their education provider. Please note that all adults and carers who are supervising students need to be holding a valid vaccine pass to enter our facilities.
How often do we review the mandate position?
We will actively review our mandates on a weekly basis and will move out of them when we can do so safely and considering the public health advice and guidance. We will post our weekly reviews and brief assessment to our social media pages and the website.
Do you have more questions, or do you want to tell us what you think?
Drop our team an email to email@example.com