Earlier, the Prime Minister announced that the Government will be keeping the current alert levels in place until 11.59pm Tuesday 24 August, with Cabinet meeting on Monday to determine next steps. The decision means that we’ll all continue to live and work under Alert Level 4 for a while longer.
This notice contains important information about accessing and undertaking works in Spark buildings during Alert Level 4 shut down for non-essential teams and contractors. We will continue the current network restrictions for a further 7 days unless otherwise advised.
We take our role as a lifeline utility and an essential service provider very seriously, as we’re involved in the production, supply and distribution of telecommunication services, and maintenance and repair services for utilities and communications across New Zealand. This means we must work in a way that ensures the continued operation and maintenance of the network and service to our customers.
All Spark buildings are now locked down
All Spark buildings are now completely locked down, which means access cards won’t work. This effects exchange buildings, data centres, retail stores and all of our office buildings. It’s essential that we know who is in our buildings, so we’re asking everyone who needs to gain access to a site to request permission by calling the Spark SOC team (0800 10 30 60 and select Option 3).
Please ensure that you clearly set out why you are needing to access the building to assist with the approval process. Spark SOC will assist you with gaining exemption approval or with a follow up email when required. If you’re reading this and are inside a Spark building right now, we recommend you do this now to reactivate your card immediately.
For those working onsite at one of our EDC's (Emergency Distribution Sites), your access will continue to work for the rest of the day. We will then make sure that anyone who is scheduled to work at an EDC has access provided for the days they will be onsite, though it will not be set up as permanent access
Essential Works Support Letter
We understand that as part of your obligations to the Government Alert Levels relating to essential works being carried out across New Zealand you may require a supporting letter from Spark confirming that you are delivering services for Spark as an essential services provider. If this is the case, we ask that you provide a list of people performing the services with a clear view on what projects they are delivering against and how this aligns to an essential service, we ask that you provide this request to using the link provided in the email sent to you.
Once you have provided the list of names and the link to the project Spark will generate a letter for you as a provider to share with your relevant team members. This letter will act as a supporting letter and is to be used in conjunction with a letter generated by the team members employer.
Mayoral Drive update
Earlier this week we advised you about a worker who recently visited our Mayoral Drive (MDR) building who had been identified as a close contact to a positive Covid-19 case. We’re pleased to let you know that overnight we received word that this person has returned a negative test result.
What we ask of you
Helping our team work remotely
The vast majority of Spark people are now working from home. There are still some key members of our wider team who continue to work onsite at designated Spark buildings or at alternate sites in order to keep our critical network and services running smoothly for New Zealand.
We don’t anticipate any issues with remote working, but here’s how you can continue to help:
- Send only digital documents as physical mail might be delayed and we want to ensure no essential services are impacted, e.g.: contract notices, receiving invoices.
- Accessing key staff members may be limited while we work through our new team norms during the COVID-19 response.
Continue to ship any items that are already on order, especially where these may be required to support or provide an essential service.
If you have any questions or are unclear on how best you can support us, please email us on the link provided here.
Health and safety
We ask that you continue to comply with the New Zealand Government COVID-19 protocols and apply all necessary health and safety measures in a way that maintains physical distance between people and ensures appropriate heath, hygiene and safety measures are in place, especially where it is not possible to deliver services remotely.
We are absolutely committed to doing this too, so that together we can support each other and keep our people safe and well. We know that our services and infrastructure support your business continuity, and we want to reassure you that this is a focus for us too.
If you have a suspected or confirmed case, and or, if you or a staff member working directly or indirectly with Spark, or our joint customers has been exposed or potentially exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or has already tested positive for COVID-19, please immediately contact Paul Uttley, Spark’s Health & Safety Lead Partner using the mobile number in the email we sent to suppliers.
If you or a staff member working directly or indirectly with Spark or our joint customers are requested to take a COVID-19 test where there has been no contact with a potential or confirmed COVID-19 case (e.g. routine medical testing), then we ask that in addition to working with the Ministry of Health to trace recent movements of the individual and determine whether there are close and / or casual contacts, you also urgently contact the Spark Health & Safety team on email@example.com, and share any information that you can while complying with the Privacy Act 2020.
We note that the Office of the Privacy Commissioner has issued guidance on these types of scenarios https://www.privacy.org.nz/blog/faqs-on-privacy-and-covid-19/. It is very important that Spark is kept informed as soon as possible so that we can support you and your business, and the people your company works with along with our own people. Spark will only use any information shared to take steps to attempt to prevent or lessen any serious threats to the health or wellbeing of our people and those of our suppliers and customers. Spark will keep your organisation similarly updated too if we have any confirmed or potential cases of COVID-19 that are traced back to anyone within your organisation, strictly for the purpose of enabling you to take appropriate steps to help keep your people safe and minimise concerns about risks to your people in our buildings.
NZ Covid Tracer App
We are reminding all our people, suppliers, and contractors that it is also important to download and use the Government’s contact tracing app – the NZ Covid Tracer App – to ensure you are supporting contact tracing as much as possible, as this is a critical part of our defence against COVID-19
While we wait for further developments, please continue to follow the Ministry of Health’s guidelines around hygiene, physical distancing, wearing masks when out in public and contact tracing through the COVID-19 Tracer App.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for working with us to keep all of our people and your people safe and to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
In the meantime, stay safe and take care of each other.