Wellington Scoop

Keeping our distance

by Andy Foster
Today I went for a run in my neighbourhood and I was delighted to see everyone keeping a good wide berth from each other. Yes there was still some interaction – people were waving and saying gidday – but everyone was making sure to keep a good distance, generally on the opposite side of the road.

We should all be at home as much as possible, but as long as you are not unwell, it’s fine to go out for a walk, or exercise and enjoy nature.

Just make sure to stay close to home – don’t travel across town – and keep at least a 2 metre distance from others at all times.

That’s exactly what I saw happening today, so well done everyone.

On another related matter, I’ve been asked why we’ve closed Makara Peak for mountain biking, but not for walking.

It’s a good question. The reason is that a mountain bike park is a place where a lot of people gather, it is hugely popular and we don’t want lots of keen riders heading there during the lockdown. There is simply too much risk of people being close to each other at locations like the carpark and the summit.

It’s also about making sure that riders are not getting injured, and yes it does happen quite often – it ties up medical and emergency resources when they are needed elsewhere, and also increases the risk of Covid-19 transmission between the bikers and medical staff.

Skateparks and playgrounds are closed for the same reason – also because of the risk of spreading the coronavirus through contaminated surfaces.

I know the closures are disappointing, but they’re also essential to winning the battle against Covid-19. It is a battle we must win because if we don’t many thousands of us will die.

If there is any doubt about doing anything, then please opt for the safe option and do not push the boundaries. So please stay home, stay in your bubble, stay safe, and keep everyone else safe.

Local mayors, Cr Sean Rush and I met – virtually – with Wellington Water today. We’re going to be updated every week on what’s going on with our water services.

Wellington Water is focussing on delivering the essential services and essential capital projects. Stopping non-essential capital projects for now frees up staff and contractors so there is back-up staff available if needed.

It means that for now also minor operating-type repairs, leaks etc, will still also be able to be fixed. But all this of course depends on workers not getting sick.

In Wellington the three essential capital projects to continue are:

– completing the Willis Street sewer pipe project;

– replacing the Mt Albert tunnel sludge pipes;

– and restoring the Moa Point sewer interceptor.

You can help out too. To help out we ask people not to put anything into the wastewater system that doesn’t belong there, as it often ends up clogging the pipes. That’s true all the time but especially now. So please no wet wipes, sanitary products or paper towels etc down the toilet.

Thank you again for following the rules to keep us all safe. Together, by doing the right things, we will save lives in our community. So stay safe, stay at home, stay local and stay separate.

Kia kaha Wellington.


  1. Michael Gibson, 29. March 2020, 6:32

    Just the right touch, Mr Mayor. Thank you.

  2. N.D., 29. March 2020, 9:18

    “Divided we stand, united we fall”.