Country moves to Alert Level 3 on 28 April

21 Apr 2020

The Prime Minister has announced that New Zealand will move to Alert Level 3 at 11.59pm on Monday 27 April. 

For an essential service like horticulture, the move to Level 3 will see retention of the same anti-COVID-19 transmission measures that were put in place under Level 4

Click here to view the Ministry for Primary Industries’ (MPI) guidance updated on 20 April.
Click here to view the MPI guidance about operating at Level 4, developed in consultation with the horticulture industry.

Moving to Alert Level 3 means that all horticulture activities – including construction – can resume, as long as the same strict health and safety practices as in Level 4 are observed at all times. This development will help our industry meet future domestic and export demand for fresh produce. 

Activities include:

  • the planting of new vegetable crops and fruit trees
  • winter pruning
  • the maintenance and building of plant support structures and facilities like packhouses
  • ground and structure work including bulldozers changing contours and the building of artificial shelter. 

Lastly, the move to Alert Level 3 will enable independent fruit and vegetable retailers and roadside stalls to run contactless ‘click and collect’ services, where customers order and pay online or by phone and come and collect their produce, while keeping their distance. 

However, independent retailers cannot reopen their doors.  Nevertheless, we are still in discussions with the Government about the importance of independent retailers reopening, because of the high volumes (20% to 30%) of fresh fruit and vegetables that they sell. 

We understand that horticulture businesses will not be required to undergo self-accreditation with the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).  

Please keep an eye on the HortNZ newsletter and COVID-19 webpage for ongoing updates.