News and Events

ORC info and services during COVID-19 alert levels

This page is the ORC hub for info about our services as we move through the COVID-19 alert levels.

At Level 2, we have re-opened our Stafford Street (Dunedin) office to the public. Subject to physical distancing and health and safety plans, we are able to provide most of our services, whether from home, our offices, or out and about in Otago.

Our bus services, Orbus Queenstown and Orbus Dunedin, remain fare free at Level 2. Orbus Dunedin has returned to usual pre-COVID timetables, while Orbus Queenstown is currently continuing to run the modified COVID-19 service.  


Public transport

Orbus Dunedin and Orbus Queenstown are still currently fare free. Our Dunedin service has returned to pre-COVID timetables, while Queenstown has continued to run the modified COVID-19 service. We ask that if you are using an Orbus service that you track your travel, and follow our guidelines for keeping yourself and others safe on the bus.


Civil Defence and Emergency Management Otago

ORC is home to the Emergency Management Otago team, which includes staff embedded across the city and district councils to support each district’s civil defence emergency management operation. The Emergency Coordination Centre for Otago is coordinating activities across the region.

Activities include providing support to health authorities – principally relating to the welfare of people in self-isolation. They are also coordinating all welfare support across the region via the Otago COVID-19 welfare hotline (0800 322 4000) and email. Liaison with the national crisis management centre, emergency services, partner agencies and lifeline utilities is another ongoing activity.

For more information from Civil Defence and Emergency Management head to the website or facebook page.


Customer services

We are again able to welcome customers in-person to our Stafford Street customer service centre in person at Level 2. Our service centres in Queenstown and at Philip Laing House (Dunedin) remain closed for now, but we're still available 8am to 5pm via phone or online:

Call us on 0800 474 082 or 03 474 0827

Email us at

Fill out an online form here, or contact us through facebook.


Council, Councillors and public meetings

The COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Act 2020 enabled Councillors to continue having meetings online throughout Alert Levels 3 and 4. At Level 2, Council will be meeting in person, with some Councillors joining via videoconference. The meetings will still be streamed live to the public via our YouTube page, and remain available to view afterwards. 

Our Annual Plan hearings (21, 22 and 25 May) will be livestreamed on our YouTube channel.

The next ORC Council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday 27 May.

If you would like to speak with a Councillor, their contact details are available on their profile pages.


Media releases about our COVID-19 response

14 May 2020 - ORC resuming more services and fieldwork at Alert Level 2

7 May 2020 - Moving Day for farmers will go ahead

28 April 2020 - ORC services at Alert Level 3

15 April 2020 - Otago Mayors and ORC Chair to donate 10% of their pay to charities for next six months

8 April 2020 - ORC Council meeting to be held via video-conference, and streamed to YouTube

1 April 2020 - ORC Chair emphasises that no decisions have yet been made on the Annual Plan for 2020-2021

1 April 2020 - More time for submissions on ORC's Water Permits Plan Change recognises COVID-19 impacts

26 March 2020 - Orbus and COVID-19

24 March 2020 - Update on public transport in Otago

23 March 2020 - Update on Otago Regional Council Services

22 March 2020 - Update on ORC services, events and customer service points


More information

Unite against COVID-19

Otago Civil Defence and Emergency Management

New Zealand Ministry of Health

Southern District Health Board

Do you need help accessing essential items or services (e.g. supermarket or pharmacy)?


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