COVID-19 21 April Update for NZ-wide Groups


Dear BDS friends – those who receive their books by courier

I hope you’re all well and coping with the isolation.

I’m happy to advise that the BDS is able to reopen on Tuesday, 28 April at Level 3 because we do not come into contact with any of the groups outside Christchurch, and staff can work under the social distancing rules.  Our first priority will be to catch up on despatches and we hope to be able to do this within a few weeks.

There are a number of things to be aware of: 

  1. As previously advised, we’ve extended the due-back date of all books so overdues will not be a problem at level 3, and for some of you, level 2 as well.
  2. We realise that a number of groups have not been able to distribute the books to members.  Once we’re at level 3, we hope that family and friends can help you to distribute the books to your members and you will then be able to discuss them remotely and return them when you’re able.   Perhaps you could ‘meet’ more regularly than once a month INITIALLY, so you too can catch up and eventually be able to return your books on time.  Our goal is to get things back to normal within a couple of months where you’re able to meet (remotely, for quite a while) at the usual time and return the books on time.    This goal is important, as we will need the books back so we can dispatch them to other groups.
  3. Please review your dispatch address.  For example, if the books are sent to your work address, is this still appropriate?  If you live in a retirement village with very strict rules about NZ Post and the courier, do you need to change the address?    Just have a think about what address will be best for level 3 and beyond.  For those of you who do need to change the address, please do this online, or email us at
  4. Some of you may feel that you can’t receive another bookset at this time.  Our board met remotely on Monday evening to discuss this possibility and they have asked that you cancel any meetings rather than put your subscription on hold.  Because we’re a charitable trust and do not have reserves to fall back on, we will not be able to continue operating if groups re-enrol later than they normally do, which would be the situation if current subscriptions are put on hold.  We rely on those funds to purchase books and to pay wages.    If you are able to treat the cancellation of a meeting as a donation, we would be extremely grateful.
  5. If you would like to cancel a meeting, please get in touch with us at or phone.  We hate to think of you missing out on books, so before you cancel a meeting, have a think about whether your group could read two books at once – perhaps this could be done over 4-6 weeks?     If you’re not sure and would like to discuss it, please phone or email us to talk it through.

Hygiene tips

Please remember – the virus may survive on plastic for up to 72 hours, and on cardboard for up to 24 hours.  When you and your members receive books, you should put them aside for the required time and wash your hands.


We look forward to being back at work and dispatching books to you.  It will take a while to catch up on dispatches, so please be patient.  If you have any concerns at all, please get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.


Stay well - Barbara

The Book Discussion 
Scheme is a member of the Federation of Workers Educational Associations in Aotearoa New Zealand
BDS is a member of the Federation of Workers Educational Associations