COVID-19 update for horticulture - 11 August

22 Jun 2020 COVID-19 update for horticulture - 11 August image

Table of contents:

-   HortNZ updates
-   Key links and resources

-  RSE workers
      -  Visas
      -  Translated Pacific Resources
-  Wellbeing
      -  Food safety
      -  Mental health
-  Advice for employers
      -  Government Support
      -  Business advice and support
      -  Wage subsidy
      -  Business cashflow and tax
      -  Jobs


Covid information summary 

Throughout the Covid lockdown, HortNZ worked with product groups and government departments to ensure that growers could continue to grow, harvest, process and sell fruit and vegetables, in New Zealand and overseas.  This page is a summary of information that is still relevant.   

The weekly HortNZ newsletter publishes the latest industry news, including any Covid updates. Click here to signup to the HortNZ newsletter. 


Key links and resources

The New Zealand Government’s official Covid website has been renamed to 'Unite for the Recovery' from COVID-19. Click here to access this site.
The government's COVID-19 website remains the best place to find all relevant information. Click here to access their current Alert Level summary. 

Immigration New Zealand is regularly updating its website. Click here to access their site. 

Click here to go to Ministry of Health Covid information. This includes symptoms and how to identify COVID-19, self-isolation, signs for workplaces in various languages, and more.

Identifying symptoms:
Click here to view a chart to help identify COVID-19 from a cold or the flu.


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RSE workers

Click here for up-to-date information for RSE workers from Immigration NZ.


Holders of an RSE Limited Visa with an expiry date of 2 April to 9 July 2020 inclusive who are in New Zealand on 2 April 2020 have had their visas automatically extended to 25 September 2020.

Confirmation of extensions were emailed to all visa holders. The conditions on the visa at the time of the extension still apply.


Translated Pacific Resources

The Ministry for Pacific Peoples has put together a range of translated material for Pacific workers which can be view here.    


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Food Safety

New Zealand Food Safety Science and Research Centre (NZFSSRC) and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) have stated that there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted by food or food packaging. 

Click here to view the findings of NZFSSRC.  NZFSSRC and United Fresh continue to monitor available scientific literature.  You can view United Fresh's 8 April update here.


Mental Health

These continue to be uncertain times for many New Zealanders.  It is important to stay connected and talk about how things are going, and how you and the people around you are feeling.

The Mental Health Foundation has put together some practical advice. Click here to view.  

The Ministry of Health has also launched the Getting Through Together mental health promotion campaign, which is focused on things we can all do to maintain our mental health and wellbeing. 

Where to get help with how you or others are feeling: 

If you are worried about your or someone else's mental health, the best place to get help is your GP or local mental health provider. However, if you or someone else is in danger or endangering others, call the Police immediately on 111.

If you feel you are not coping, it is important to talk with a health professional. For support with grief, anxiety, distress or mental wellbeing, you can call or text 1737 – free, anytime, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – to talk with a trained counsellor.  

Other options include: 
RURAL SUPPORT: 0800 787 254
LIFELINE: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
SUICIDE CRISIS HELPLINE: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
YOUTHLINE: 0800 376 633
KIDSLINE: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
WHATSUP: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
DEPRESSION.ORG.NZ: 0800 111 757 text 4202


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Advice for employers

Government Support

The Government has put together financial support packages and other support measures to help businesses through these uncertain times.

HortNZ has collated available information, which it will update when things change or are altered. 

Covid financial support tool
The tool will take you, step by step, through a series of questions to find out what financial help may be available to you. Employers, employees, self-employed and people who have lost their job due to Covid can all use this tool.


Business advice and support

Free specialist support (up to $2000) is being offered to businesses with 50 fulltime employees or less. This covers areas such as business continuity planning, finance and cash flow management, HR and staffing.

This initiative is being managed by the Regional Business Partner Network, the Employers and Manufacturers Association (EMA) and the Canterbury Chamber of Employment and Commerce. 

Registration is by online application. Click here to access.

New helpline for businesses 
There is now a free helpline service for all New Zealand businesses. It can offer:
• specific advice and access to Government-funded business support
• advice on what Alert Level 3 means for your business
• general business advice and access to online resources and webinars
• connections to business advisory services
• HR, employee relations, and health and safety advice.

To find out more call 0800 500 362 (North Island), or 0800 50 50 96 (South Island).


Wage Subsidy Extension

The wage subsidy is to help keep businesses going if they facing revenue reductions because of COVID-19. If you’re an employer, contractor, sole trader or are self-employed you may qualify.

Click here to view more details.


Business cashflow and tax

Accounting support measures have been created to help with businesses cashflow and taxation. These measures include depreciation on commercial and industrial buildings; deductions for low value assets; increase in the threshold for small businesses having to pay provisional tax, and waiving interest and penalties on late tax payments for businesses affected by COVID-19. 

Click here to view more details.



Employers can list their vacancies on Work the Seasons, and anyone looking for seasonal work, should check the listings:

For people wanting to know how they can join the horticulture industry, check out GoHorticulture:


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