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At NZKGI, we aim to keep our grower community up-to-date with relevant industry news and key event information. See below for all of our latest industry news announcements and the details you need to know for our upcoming events.

Grower Guidance / November 30, 2021

COVID-19 FAQ’s

What should an employer do if a worker or visitor to their orchard tests positive with COVID-19?

Advise positive case to self-isolate and contact Ministry of Health for further assistance, helpline 0800 358 5453, or visit the website here.

Identify close contacts on the orchard who will need to get a test and self-isolate. Other workers may be counted as a casual contact and should follow guidelines if they develop symptoms. Information on who is a close contact and other guidelines can be found here.

There is a payment scheme in place to cover workers who are isolating while waiting for test results or are a positive case, information on how to apply is found here.

If there are any places that are frequented by the case, close and sanitise the area (eg break rooms, toilets).

HortNZ has a checklist for growers to plan for COVID-19 cases on their orchard, found here.

 

How do employers cover wages of employees who have to take time off because of a covid test/positive case?

Discuss with the employee what they are wanting. If they have available sick leave, they may want to use that.

There is a payment scheme in place to cover workers isolating while waiting for test results or are a positive case, this is open to all legal New Zealand workers. Information on how to apply is found here.

 

Should an employer mandate vaccinations in their business?

A risk assessment tool for businesses will be released Mid-December to help businesses determine whether they need to mandate vaccinations. More information about this tool can be found here.

NZKGI has also published information on work that requires a vaccinated employee, which can be found here.

 

Is an employer able to inquire about the vaccination status of their employee?

An employer can ask, but the employee does not have to tell, unless they are part of a mandated workforce (eg border workers). To see whether the work being done requires a vaccinated employee, click here.

 

Do workers need to wear masks while on the orchard?

  • Masks must be worn at all times during harvest activities, and gloves while handling fruit.
  • Under Red and Orange:
    • Masks must be worn where a 1 metre distance cannot be maintained
    • Masks must be worn on public transport
    • Mask wearing is strongly encouraged at all other times
  • Recommending separation of workers on orchard (bubbles)
    • The use of bubbles reduces transmission and close contacts within the orchard
    • We also recommend that bubbles are adhered to on transportation too

 

What is needed to cross between regions of different levels?

For crossing the Auckland border proof of vaccination status (vaccine pass) or negative covid test is required until 17th January.

All other regional crossings have no requirements.

More information here.

 

Can an orchard operate at all levels?

Kiwifruit orchards can operate under the Covid Protection Framework (CPF) at all levels if controls are in place to protect our workers and the communities in which they operate.  These controls include tracing, physical distancing and gathering restrictions, health checks, and hygiene measures that ensure the health and safety of our people. For further information on the protocols to follow, click here.