Waka Kotahi adjusts to COVID-19 alert levels


Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency confirms that its construction projects in the Auckland region are operating under COVID-19 Alert Level 3 protocols from Midday Wednesday.

The sites are working under the same strict health and safety protocols that applied under Alert Level 3 in April. That includes working in “bubbles” to limit contact with other work teams, restricted access to sites, requirements for workers to increase hygiene measures, maintain physical distancing, and use additional personal protective equipment and clothing, says Waka Kotahi Senior Manager Project Delivery Andrew Thackwray.

“The safety of workers and road users is our top priority, and we're working with contractors on operating plans that align with the strict industry standards provided by Construction Health and Safety NZ (CHASNZ).”

“Some sites may need their plans to be refreshed before resuming work. This could be because the work has moved to a new phase or a new part of the site and plans have to be updated to reflect that. It may be because there are different people on site and new site inductions are required to ensure correct health and safety procedures are followed.”

Road maintenance crews are also working under Alert Level 3 health and safety protocols to ensure Auckland’s transport network is safe for road users.

Mr Thackwray says staff will also be maintained in Auckland’s traffic control operations centre. Other staff in non-essential roles are working from home.

Outside of Auckland, Waka Kotahi construction projects are operating under Alert Level 2 protocols, first used in May this year. This includes measures such as increased hygiene, restricted access to sites, requirements for workers to maintain physical distancing and use additional protective clothing.

Waka Kotahi offices outside the Auckland region remain open and the 0800 free phone lines and online services are operating. The Contact Centre is open 8:00AM – 5:00PM Monday to Friday but is experiencing higher than normal volumes of calls and emails, leading to significant wait times. If your query is not urgent, please read the Frequently Asked Questions online or consider contacting us at a later date.

Driver licensing agents in Auckland are closed from midday 12 August 2020. Practical driving tests in Auckland this week have been postponed and are held in the booking system. VTNZ will contact people directly regarding new test booking dates and times. Driving tests will be rescheduled as soon as practically possible once Auckland moves down to Alert Level 2.

Elsewhere, licensing agents are open for driver licensing and driver testing services. Please be aware that there may be wait times due to higher than usual demand. 

Public transport remains operating across New Zealand. Please follow the Government’s health and safety guidelines when using public transport or contact your local government. 

“We are all having to adjust to the COVID-19 Alert Level 3 and 2 requirements. If you must travel, please be patient and kind to other road users so that everyone gets home safely,” says Andrew Thackwray.

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