Up to 40% of Wellington council teams sick, services cut


Wellington City Council has been forced to limit and halt services such as landfills and recycling, as Covid-19 sweeps through its workforce and contractors.

The council’s infrastructure chief, Siobhan Procter, said the council has been forced to focus solely on urgent reactive maintenance.

Around 40% of its regular road contractors are unavailable due to Covid-19, so they have been forced to call in emergency crews to address urgent road issues.

“So if there are security issues on the transport corridor, we deal with them first, but there will be an impact on the projects.

“Wellington Water, we know they’ve lost 30% of their construction staff there, so we’ve put a couple of their renewal projects on hold as well.”

Garbage collection and recycling services have also been reduced, with around a third of recycling and garbage collection companies sick.

About half of all household waste had to be sent to landfill this week, and curbside glass collection has stopped altogether.

Procter said it’s impossible to say how long the current situation will last, but they hope to restore full waste and recycling services within weeks.

“We have … very good business continuity services, our contractors have very good business continuity services – so we know we can maintain these essential services.”

“Hopefully within a week or two we’ll start to see things improve and staff come back.”

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