Like the rest of New Zealand Tiny Shops Village went into Covid-19 Lockdown on Thursday March 18.

Within the short time between the announcement and full lockdown starting, we managed to organise some art packs for local families, prepare for contactless delivery of our weekly foodbank service and install a Covid-19-themed artwork.

Before the final lockup we re-dressed Tiny Wardrobe’s mannequin “Dolly” into some cosy, staying-in-at-home-attire, and popped some bears, left over from our Teddy Bear Hunt and Picnic event, in the windows.

In the first couple of weeks, an independent food rescue service thought to unofficially use Tiny Shops’ entrance – as a known and accessible community resource sharing location – to leave large numbers of bags of fresh tomatoes and mushrooms that they were rescuing from Subway sandwich stores.

There were several break-ins to the Tiny Shops buildings, which was extremely disappointing – both for us and for those breaking in, as there is nothing of great monetary value on our premises. The main items taken were jewellery handcrafted from bicycle parts by Robin who runs the ICEcycles free bike repair service at Tiny Shops.

Garden Wind Sculpture smashed up.

Some local community members were particularly upset and moved the side fence to the front, removed our street signage and regularly drove past to keep a daily eye on the site, hoping to prevent further damage.

Boarding up of the shops to prevent further break-ins.

At Alert Level 3 in May, ICEcycles started a contactless puncture repair service and moved to the site at Te Whare Roimata where it was easier to enforce social distancing.

They returned to Tiny Shops soon after NZ moved to Level 2.

Tiny Shops reopened a few weeks into Alert Level 3, with social distancing measures in place.

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