Ōpōtiki District Council has held a special meeting to establish an emergency committee for swift decision-making following the Prime Minister's announcement of the move from a Level 3 and then to Level 4 in the country's COVID-19 response.
Ōpōtiki Mayor, Lyn Riesterer said that it was necessary to pass several resolutions so that essential services would keep functioning during the lock-down and into the medium future.
"It's important the council is able to respond swiftly and do what needs to be done while we can't all meet in the same place for meetings. In order to meet Local Government Act requirements, we have a new committee with a quorum of two so that we can meet and pass resolutions necessary without bringing too many of us together physically.
"The decision is in line with guidance from Local Government New Zealand as we can't just do this remotely or with a phone call – there are strict requirements which perhaps aren't as flexible as they could be in these unusual times," Mayor Riesterer said.
In addition, executive powers were extended for the CEO to allow necessary operational decisions for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis.
"These powers have been put in place to help get us through the coming months and are the best we can manage under the current legislation. But we feel it is important to be flexible during these uncertain times in terms of our people, our circumstances and connectivity", Mayor Riesterer said.