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For almost quarter of a century, NZKGI has been the voice for New Zealand’s kiwifruit growers, helping to make key decisions within the industry and acting as an advocate for the industry at government level.

NZKGI COVID-19 Information Hub

Harvest on-orchard protocols for workers are short and simple. Everyone needs to be wearing gloves and masks, distancing is not required as long as masks are worn. For the full list of on-orchard protocols, see below.

If you have any questions or feedback on the information provided below, please email us here.

Managing positive cases on orchard

Staff MUST NOT come to work if they have a sore throat, runny nose, fever, persistent cough, are having problems breathing, or are suffering from cold and flu-like symptoms. If a worker or visitor to an orchard does become a positive case, these are the steps to follow:

  • Send the person home, and advise that they get tested if not already and self-isolate immediately
  • Identify any close contacts within the orchard and follow MOH advice for these contacts. Follow the decision tree here to identify close contacts. Note: under phase three, close contacts no longer need to isolate if asymptomatic unless they are household contacts. Household contacts may be able to return to work under the Close Contact Exemption scheme, more information below. 
  • Sanitise areas visited by the person and sanitise any tools used by the person
  • Notify your post-harvest facility of the case and for further guidance
  • The person who has been sick should not return to work until 7 days after they tested positive. The worker does not need to do another test to be cleared.
  • Records of visitors and workers onsite should be kept for a minimum of 12 months
Close Contact Exemption scheme

The Close Contact exemption scheme has been put in place for businesses classified as critical to keep critical supply chains running through Omicron phases 2 and 3. Under this scheme, critical workers who are deemed as a close contact can continue working during their isolation period if they are:

  • Showing no symptoms
  • Taking daily RAT tests which are negative
  • Double vaccinated

Note: Under phase three, close contacts do not need to isolate and therefore do not qualify for this scheme unless they are household members of a positive case.

Businesses will need to self-register as critical through an online registration system, with knowledge that a risk self-assessment has taken place. Critical businesses include food production and its supply chain, which the horticulture industry falls under. NZKGI recommends any growers with their own employees should register as critical to access this scheme.

Registration website can be found here.

Information on the registration process can be found here.

Workers will also still be expected to isolate outside of work, as they would be following all other household close contact guidance.

Information on how to collect RAT tests can be found here.

Instructions on how to administer RAT tests in different languages found here.

Guidelines have also been confirmed that people who either work alone or have capacity to do so, for example, farmers and growers on their own orchard, can continue to operate if they are a close contact. These workers will have to be showing no symptoms and are double vaccinated, and are working completely isolated from others. They do not need to return regular RAT tests but will follow all other close contact guidance.

For more information on these announcements, click here.

On-orchard protocols under the COVID-19 Protection Framework:

Updated 25 Mar 2022

Mask wearing:

  • Masks must be worn at all times during harvest activities and other PPE (gloves) when handling fruit. Cotton or other picking gloves may be worn and must be washed and/or replaced when soiled or damaged.
  • Face coverings used must be an actual mask, and should be of medical grade
  • Mask wearing is strongly encouraged at all other times

Record keeping:

  • Records of all personnel entering the orchard must be maintained

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

Notification of positive case on orchard:

  • Your post-harvest facility should be notified of a positive case on orchard.

Travel between different regions:

  • Under CPF, there are no borders between different regions, even if the regions are at different traffic light settings

Have a plan for COVID-19 on your orchard:

  • Checklist for Growers
  • There is also a step-by-step guide on what to do if there is a positive case on your orchard under our FAQs

Full protocols can be found here.

FAQs:

Found here.

Testing:

Under phase three, either a PCR test or a RAT test can now be used for diagnosis. These can be accessed through testing location across the country, listed here.

If you test positive on either test, you must isolate for at least 7 days. An additional test does not need to be completed unless new symptoms have developed on day 7. More information on what to do can be found here.

Household members of a positive case will also need to isolate for 7 days as well, and test on days 3 and 7 of the period. If one of these tests is positive, the household contact must isolate for an additional 7 days after positive result. More information here.

For instructions on how to administer a RAT test in multiple different languages, click here.

NZKGI office COVID-19 protocols:

The following information gives an outline of the NZKGI office COVID-19 protocols. The protocols derive from NZKGI’s Infectious Diseases policy which recognises that the Health and Safety of people is of utmost importance to NZKGI. Infectious diseases are considered a workplace hazard which NZKGI has a responsibility to actively manage under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA).

In establishing the protocols, NZKGI has followed guidance from the Ministry of Health.

The following NZKGI protocols are aligned with protocols established by Zespri (as landlord) and followed by KVH (given shared resource/space).

All Traffic Light settings
All staff, contractors, growers, and other visitors who wish to physically be on-site in the NZKGI office will be asked to show their vaccination status and demonstrate they are fully vaccinated. Any staff, contractors, growers or other visitors who are not fully vaccinated or who are not prepared to disclose their vaccination status will be required to provide a negative COVID-19 test (RAT) within the last 24 hours to gain entry into the NZKGI office. A RAT test can be procured from the Zespri reception. In addition, the following general settings will be adhered to:

  • Record Keeping/scanning required
  • Face coverings encouraged to be worn
  • Maintain social distance
  • Ensure basic hygiene
  • Stay at home if unwell

Orange/Green Traffic Light:

The NZKGI office will be open to vaccinated individuals and those that provide a negative COVID-19 test (RAT).  Meetings can be held face to face.

Red Traffic Light:

NZKGI employees will have flexibility between working from the NZKGI office and home, with consideration for certain risk levels. In-person meetings and events will be limited, and when held will be conducted under MOH guidance. Travel and fieldwork will also be limited, with approval required from Chief Executive.

These protocols will come into effect from Tuesday, 18 January 2022, and will be reviewed regularly. These protocols are in abbreviated form. For the full NZKGI office COVID-19 protocols, please contact the NZKGI office.

Vaccinations:

Information on and to book vaccinations/boosters here.

Risk assessment information here.

Market Access:

Zespri continues to provide input into a high-level MPI consultation of industry views on vaccination requirements for market access purposes. There is currently no legal requirement for mandatory vaccinations for these purposes (for any market).  We will keep you informed with details of any Government proposals as they become available.

Alert level system information:

The NZKGI information on the old alert level system can be found here.