Media release

ORC resuming more services and fieldwork at Alert Level 2

Thursday 14 May 2020

The Council fulfilled a range of essential services both in the field and working from home during lockdown.

The Otago Regional Council (ORC) is resuming core services at Alert Level 2, while many staff are continuing to work from home.

The Council maintained a range of essential services, including flood monitoring and pollution response, at levels 3 and 4, and staff had been able to continue providing many normal services from home.

Under the government’s guidelines for level 2, field work and site visits are able to resume with physical distancing and hygiene measures in place.

All Council functions and services are subject to health and safety plans to minimise the risk around Covid-19. Staff are working through safety plans before they resume work in-office and in the field.

Because physical distancing guidelines reduce capacity in-office – and in keeping with government advice to continue using alternative ways of working where possible – staff who are able to work from home will continue to do so at level 2.

ORC’s customer service centre at Stafford Street will re-open with protective measures in place next Tuesday, while customer service points at Philip Laing House and in Queenstown currently remain closed.

ORC hosts the Otago Civil Defence Emergency Management Group, which has been coordinating welfare support for people affected by COVID-19 across Otago. This is continuing under Alert Level 2 through the dedicated Otago Helpline and accommodation and utilities support.

ORC are awaiting further guidance from the Covid-19 Local Government Response Unit on the rules for Council Meetings taking place in person. Meetings will remain online until advised otherwise. The next ORC Council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday 27 May.

Changes to public transport at Level 2 were set out in an earlier media release. Dunedin is resuming full services, while Queenstown will continue its slightly revised service. Buses will remain free, and passengers are being asked to consider traveling off-peak or by alternative means, as bus capacity is significantly reduced by physical distancing guidelines.


Otago CDEM Helpline: 0800 322 4000, 9am-5pm /

Accommodation and Utilities Support: Fill out the form at

Orbus Services at Alert Level 2: