19 July 2024

Waikato Univ to remain open; Council steps to keep community safe

With a spike in coronavirus cases taking the total to 39 in New Zealand, and with a ban on mass gatherings, the Hamilton City Council is making changes to community facilities and suspending some programmes. Waikato University, however, shall continue to operate normally.

Even though Auckland Council is closing libraries, pools, recreation centres and major venues, Hamilton Council has decided to keep open Waterworld, the Gallagher Aqatic Centre, Hamilton Gardens, Waikato Museum and Central/ community libraries, but there would now be restricted to 100 people.

Similarly, in spite of Massey University and University of Auckland”s decision to suspend teaching across its campuses from Monday, Waikato University, however, continues to operate ‘normally’. The university has not taken any decision so far to suspend face-to-face classes.

A Waikato University spokesperson told NewsViews this afternoon, “The University is increasing the provision of teaching in an online environment and recording classes where we are able, however the University is still operating normally so most teaching continues to be delivered on campus in the normal way”. 

Meanwhile, Hamilton Libraries has closed the Makerspace in the Central Library due to difficulties in meeting social distancing requirements. The following public programmes at all libraries have been suspended for the same reason: Wriggle and Rhyme, Storytime, The Lab, School Holiday Programme and Computer Mentors.

At the Central Library, additional programmes are also on hold: Lego Mindstorms, Mandarin Storytime, Makey-Makey, Teen Book Club, Youth Quiz Night, English Language Corner, Enrich Classes, Writer’s Den and Toastmasters.

The Lab and Reading Buddies programmes run through Hamilton community centres have been suspended.

Hamilton Zoo has suspended the visitor education programme, animal encounters and keeper talks, however still remains open at this time.

Hamilton Gardens remains fully open, but events in the Pavilion have been limited to gatherings where social distancing can be maintained.

Funeral services at the Hamilton Park Cemetery and Crematorium chapel are still going ahead with attendees required to maintain a two-metre distance from each other.

Mayor Paula Southgate says the Council measures are necessary to keep the community healthy and safe.

“I know this is a really unsettling time for people but I also know the people of Hamilton will want to do their part to keep the wider community safe. So I absolutely support these measures.”

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