Nimble approach key to COVID-19 recovery planning
Kāpiti Coast District Council is taking a nimble approach to the district’s recovery from the impacts of COVID-19 in the face of potential further outbreaks and escalation in alert levels, elected representatives heard yesterday.
Councillors were briefed on Council’s ongoing work developing a Recovery Plan aimed at restoring community wellbeing and quality of life of those affected by COVID-19, a requirement for local governments following an emergency event like a pandemic.
“A Recovery Plan sets out a vision and objectives to guide what recovery will look like on the Kāpiti Coast and identifies short, medium and long-term actions, for Council and as a community, for how we get there,” says Natasha Tod, Group Manager Regulatory Services and Recovery Manager for Kāpiti.
“Many uncertainties still remain but the data and what we are hearing indicates that Kāpiti is, in general, faring reasonably well, although we’re continuing to watch things carefully. In saying that, we know that some of our people have been disproportionately affected – particularly the young, older persons, Māori and Pasifika, those already in hardship and parts of our business community.
“The issues that were already present prior to COVID-19 appear to be amplified – things like availability of affordable and emergency housing, access to mental health and social services, and limited local employment pathways and training.
“COVID-19 will be with us for some time yet and while the situation will continue to evolve, it’s important we progress planning for recovery based on what we know now, and be ready to adapt. Our Recovery Plan will be a living document, agile and open to change.”
Planning for recovery follows Council’s short-term support package announced in April which included 25% refunds to businesses on fees for food, alcohol and outdoor dining licences paid in the 1 July 2019–30 June 2020 financial year, and the temporary removal of late rate payment penalties and deferrals on rate payments for those in need.
The Plan, which will be presented to Council for endorsement in early October, will lay out initial actions that respond to immediate and emerging needs, and identify longer-term initiatives and partnerships that will need to be refined through the long-term planning process set for early next year.
Kāpiti Coast District Mayor K Gurunathan says it is community stepping up to look after community that has helped Kāpiti get through so far, and he expects the same will be key to the district’s recovery.
“I want to thank you for your efforts so far, Kāpiti. You continue to look after each other by playing it safe, being kind and keeping calm. We’ve got a long journey ahead of us but we have a great team of 55,000 and we’re all in this together.”
Watch James Jefferson, Civil Defence Emergency Lead Controller for Kāpiti discuss the local impacts of COVID-19 and planning for recovery here.
Read more about Council’s work planning for recovery here.