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COVID-19 key contacts

24th March 2020

HortNZ has set itself up in the following way in response to COVID-19. Please call or email the person/s noted below if you have questions or concerns that fall into their areas.

Guidelines for horticulture businesses operating as an essential service

25th March 2020

HortNZ has put together some guidelines on the kinds of measures to have in place, when operating as an essential business under COVID-19 Alert Level 4.

COVID-19 update for horticulture - 26 March

11th March 2020

HortNZ is closely monitoring the COVID-19 coronavirus situation and its potential impact on the horticulture industry. The situation is constantly evolving. Please keep an eye on the HortNZ newsletter as well as our website’s homepage. What follows are our latest updates.

MPI responses to key grower questions and concerns - 5pm

26th March 2020

Updated at 7.30pm March 26

MPI visiting packhouses and other horticultural operations on Friday 27 March 2020

26th March 2020

We have just received notice that the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) will be visiting packhouses and other horticultural operations across the country from tomorrow.

Time to Re-Focus

5th March 2020

Coronavirus or Covid 19 has impacted the world. Things that we have all taken for granted are under threat: unrestricted air travel, goods being rapidly shipped around the world and New Zealand being highly connected to the whole world despite being a long way from major population centres.

Guidance for registering as an essential business

27th March 2020

These guidelines provide advice to horticulture businesses on the kinds of measures Horticulture New Zealand believes members ought to have in place, and to enforce, if they are to be granted and maintain “essential business” status under COVID-19 Alert Level 3 and 4.

People are paramount

12th March 2020

As a world we are focusing on people, with the World Health Organisation declaring COVID-19 a pandemic, travel restrictions in place, and events being postponed or cancelled.

Wage subsidy scheme update 27 March 2020

28th March 2020

The government announced modifications to the wage subsidy scheme on 27 March 2020.

MBIE says door-to-door, local fruit and vegetable box deliveries can go ahead, but all COVID-19 anti-transmission measures must be in place

28th March 2020

MBIE has just advised HortNZ that door-to-door, local fruit and vegetable box deliveries can go ahead, but COVID-19 anti-transmission measures must be in place, such as the 2m distancing rule and deliveries being done without individual contact.

Uncertain times for all

31st March 2020

We are now nearly a week into lockdown and I feel it is important for me to acknowledge the pressure and uncertainty that growers and others in our essential industry are under. From the reports I am getting, many growers are facing devastation with, as an example, no choice but...

MPI update on 29 March 2020

29th March 2020

MPI has provided responses to two more grower questions, as below.

COVID-19 and the consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables

6th April 2020

Fresh fruit and vegetable consumption in Germany has increased by 100% since they were hit by COVID-19. Empty fruit and vegetable shelves are being spotted every day at Swiss retail stores, as daily order volumes are around 60% greater than normal.

COVID-19 update for horticulture - 2 April

26th March 2020

- Essential Services Information- RSE workers- Labour and Jobs- Government Support- Food Safety- NZGAP and GLOBALG.A.P.- Staying well

A new world after the COVID-19 winter

17th April 2020

The New Zealand Treasury has released an assessment on the impact of COVID-19, which makes very depressing reading. Treasury’s most dire prediction is unemployment could reach 26% and almost a third wiped off Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

COVID-19 Advice on employees

30th March 2020

We know a number of growers have questions about employment as it relates to welfare.

Supply chains disappearing into the COVID Vortex

23rd April 2020

We are all focused on doing our level best not to catch COVID-19.

COVID-19 Advice on health and safety, and duty of care

31st March 2020

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.

Finding the missing link between employers and kiwi workers

29th April 2020

An employer and someone sitting at home without a job have exactly the same problem: none of us know what is going happen as the country works its way through COVID-19.

Immigration New Zealand RSE update

2nd April 2020

Immigration New Zealand - part of the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment - released on 1 April information that clarifies the situation for RSE workers and their employers. You can read the information here.

Food supply and security, and McDonald’s lack of lettuce

1st May 2020

Like a dog howling at the moon, Horticulture New Zealand has been on about the need for New Zealand to have a food security policy and plan.

New Essential Workers COVID-19 Leave Payment Scheme

2nd April 2020

The Government has announced that a new COVID-19 payment that will be available to essential businesses for essential workers from 6 April 2020.

What’s needed for successfully redeploying unemployed workers

7th May 2020

We all know we need to redeploy unemployed workers. There are numerous ways of finding people who are looking for work. The challenge is getting the right fit for both the worker and the employer, with the skills for the role.

Reducing food waste during COVID-19

2nd April 2020

A large number of growers are contacting HortNZ about produce they no longer have a market for due to the closure of independent fruit and vegetable stores and produce markets. Please note we are still in discussions with the Government about reopening the independent stores.

Growing our way out of COVID in the recovery's third wave – growing healthy food

18th May 2020

I am proposing that there is a third wave to New Zealand's COVID recovery plan. The first wave focused on the health of people. The second wave is focusing on the economy, with a large number of financial initiatives announced in last week's 2020 Budget.

HortNZ submission on importance of independent fruit and vegetable retailers reopening

3rd April 2020

Click here to read HortNZ's submission to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) requesting recognition of independent fruit and vegetable retailers as an Essential Service, which would allow them to reopen.

Educate to innovate

22nd May 2020

It’s time to release our education from the shackles of the past. What worked pre-COVID will simply not work in the new world. If we try and replicate the current education system, growth and recovery will not be enabled.

Essential Workers Leave Support

6th April 2020

The Government has announced that a new COVID-19 leave payment scheme will be available to essential businesses for essential workers from 6 April 2020.

Prime Minister praises the horticulture industry

8th April 2020

In her daily COVID-19 press conference, the Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern took the time to praise the horticulture industry for continuing to feed New Zealanders, export produce overseas, and provide New Zealanders who are out of work as a result of COVID-19 with jobs, particularly in the kiwifruit and apple industries.

April Issues of The Orchardist and NZGrower

9th April 2020

Due to the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown, we were unable to print the April issues of The Orchardist and NZGrower. However, you can still read the magazines via the links below.

New Zealand onion growers celebrate multimillion-dollar export success in Indonesia

12th April 2020

New Zealand onion growers are celebrating being able to export their world class crop to Indonesia again.

MPI guidance on operating under COVID-19 Alert Level 4 / diagram on social distancing and transport

14th April 2020

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has issued guidance for the horticulture industry on operating under Alert Level 4 to:

Postponement of HortNZ Events

14th April 2020

HortNZ’s Board has reviewed the events planned through winter this year and decided because of COVID-19, the following events are postponed:

Government to make decision about move to Alert Level 3 on 20 April

17th April 2020

The Prime Minister has said that the Government will make a decision about whether and when the country will move to Alert Level 3 on Monday 20 April.

Covid-catchup with Dylan Hall

20th April 2020

HortNZ is speaking with young people in the industry to see what they have been up to during the COVID-19 lockdown.This week we interview Dylan Hall, a second-year Massey agribusiness student, who comes from an orchard in Gisborne. Dylan is also current treasurer of the Massey Horticulture Society.

Otago Region – Proposed Water Permits Plan Change 7

21st April 2020

Otago Regional Council (ORC) has proposed a plan change to the Regional Plan: Water for Otago for the replacement of deemed permits with water permits, and for the replacement of any water permits expiring prior to 2025.

Country moves to Alert Level 3 on 28 April

21st April 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.

Horizons Ballance Farm Environment Awards winners praise NZGAP’s approach to making compliance straight forward

23rd April 2020

Woodhaven Gardens, the 2020 Regional Supreme Winner at the Horizons Ballance Farm Environment Awards, are fans of how New Zealand Good Agriculture Practice’s (NZGAP) Environmental Management System (EMS) ‘add-on’ makes compliance more straight forward.

Covid-catchup with Melissa van den Heuvel

28th April 2020

HortNZ is speaking with young people in the industry to see what they have been up to during the COVID-19 lockdown.This week we interview Melissa van den Heuvel who was the winner of the 2020 Bay of Plenty Young Grower Competition and is an Industry Systems Associate at NZ Avocado.

Keeping fruit, vegetables, growers and the public safe with remote audits for NZGAP certification

5th May 2020

New Zealand Good Agricultural Practice (NZGAP) has joined the rest of New Zealand in the move contactless interaction.

New Zealand horticulture exports grow to $6.2 billion

8th May 2020

New Zealand horticulture exports reached a record breaking $6.2 billion in the year ending June 2019 - an increase of $720 million from the previous year, and more than 10% of New Zealand’s total merchandise export income.

Covid-catchup with Austin Singh Purewal

4th May 2020

HortNZ is speaking with young people in the industry to see what they have been up to during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Immigration Act amendment as a result of COVID-19

11th May 2020

A Bill to give Immigration New Zealand more flexibility during the COVID-19 response and recovery was introduced into Parliament on 5 May.

Pluses and minuses for vegetable production in Waikato Regional Council’s Plan Change 1 proposal

12th May 2020

HortNZ says the plan change that Waikato Regional Council has notified is an improvement on the 2016 proposal but will still affect the local industry’s ability to meet future demand for vegetables.

COVID-19 update for horticulture

3rd April 2020

This page contains the latest COVID-19 information and is updated daily.

Table of contents:

HortNZ welcomes Budget 2020’s support for the primary sector in the COVID-19 recovery

14th May 2020

HortNZ has welcomed the 2020 Budget, acknowledging the Government’s support for the primary sector in the COVID-19 recovery.

Covid-catchup with Regan Judd

19th May 2020

HortNZ is speaking with young people in the industry to see what they have been up to during the COVID-19 lockdown. This week we interview Regan Judd who was the winner of the 2019 Hawkes Bay Young Fruit Grower Competition and is currently working for T&G Global.