COVID-19 update for horticulture

20 Aug 2020 COVID-19 update for horticulture image

Table of contents:

-   HortNZ updates
-   Key links and resources
-   Who to contact at HortNZ

- Operating in Auckland
      -  Exemption for horticulture
      -  Crossing the Level 3 border
      -  QR code posters
      -  Contact tracing register
-  Health
-  Health and Safety
      -  Mental health
-  Advice for employers
      -  RSE redeployment
-  Financial support summary
      -  Wage subsidy extensions
      -  Leave Support Scheme
      -  Business advice and support

Covid information summary 

The weekly HortNZ newsletter contains the latest in industry news, including Covid updates. Click here to signup for the HortNZ newsletter. 

25 August:
Click here to view the 25 August update.


Key links and resources

The government's COVID-19 website contains the latest government announcements and health information. Click here to view the current situation.

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.

Primary industries
Click here to go to the Ministry for Primary Industries' website and information on Covid for horticulture.  

Click here to access Immigration NZ's site.  

Who to contact at HortNZ
Click here to view the list of people you can contact at HortNZ.


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Operating in Auckland

Exemption now gazetted

The exemption granted for horticulture has now been gazetted. Click here to view the gazette notice.

The gazette notice exempts ‘Horticultural workers involved in the production, processing, transport and supply of fresh produce between Pukekohe and the surrounding areas’.


Crossing the Level 3 border

We are recommending that all essential horticulture workers entering and exiting the Auckland region carry a copy of these three letters:

    1.  The gazette notice – Click here to download

    2.  The letter from the Ministry of Health

The letter was sent to growers through the HortNZ newsletter. If you did not receive this, please email

    3.  A Movement Declaration Form, filled in for your workplace – Click here to download.

Employers are advised by NZ Police to provide employees with this form for staff travelling to and from work. The declaration letter declares who they work for, where they are travelling, as well as employer information. Please adapt the letter to your needs.

Please note that freight should be able to travel freely in and out of Auckland.  However, NZ Police is requiring documentation.


QR code posters

All businesses must display an NZ COVID Tracer QR code from 11:59am on Wednesday 19 August. This is in addition to any other sign in protocols that you may have on your sites.

Click here to get your QR code poster.

You will need your NZ Business Number and an NZ drivers licence to complete the application. 

You will need to create a separate poster for each of your sites or unique locations but can print as many copies of each poster as you need. Print your posters in A4 and in colour (if possible). Posters should be displayed in prominent locations next to EVERY site entrance. Place them where it easy for people to reach them to scan the code without creating an obstruction. Click here for more tips from the Ministry of Health.


Contact tracing register

You should also have a contact tracing register at your business for people who cannot use the NZ COVID Tracer app.

Click here for more free COVID-19 posters for your workplace.


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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.


Health and Safety

Learn more about the Health and Safety responsibilities of employers operating essential service businesses during COVID-19 Alert Level 4, and the consequences of not meeting health and safety obligations.

Find out more 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

RSE Redeployment

The Work the Seasons website now has a new page for employers to use to find and redeploy RSE workers:

Financial support summary

To find out what financial help may be available to you, you can use the Covid-19 financial support tool. It will take you, step by step, through a series of questions to show you what support options may be applicable to you.  

Click here to access the tool.

Work is being done to ensure support continues to be adaptable and flexible for alert level movements. This includes work on the Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme and potential further changes to the Leave Support Scheme covered below. Information on the Work and Income website and the website is updated with these changes.

Click here to read the HortNZ summary of changes to support schemes – updated 18 August.


Wage subsidy extensions

The new two week wage subsidy scheme will be open for applications from 1pm on Friday 21 August to 3 September. Click here for more information and to apply.

  • You must be able to show a 40% revenue drop due to Covid-19 for any consecutive period of at least 14 days within 12 August and 10 September compared to last year.
  • The scheme is available nationwide and the two week payment will run from the date you apply.
  • The current wage subsidy extension is still available until 1 September.
  • Businesses can’t apply for more than one scheme for the same employee at the same time.

NB: Businesses can’t apply for more than one scheme for the same employee at the same time.


Leave Support Scheme

The COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme provides a payment to businesses to pay their workers who need to take leave due to COVID-19 public health guidance.

From 1 pm 21 August, the revenue test will no longer apply to the COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme. 

To find out more, click here.


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.

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).



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