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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.

The Financial Cycle of Life

26th May 2020

Getting the COVID recovery right falls to all the small to medium sized businesses around the country, be they urban or rural based. It is a fallacy to think the Government will provide the recovery.

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.

The future for crop protection: A Lighter Touch

2nd June 2020

Even Auckland City is now realising the need to capture and store water. As a country, we are at a crisis point as climate change brings longer and more frequent droughts. Plants and humans need water to survive.

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.

Back the superhero: the primary sector for our economic recovery

8th June 2020

This week, the first round of the wage subsidy scheme ends. Businesses are now realising that there is an end to Government support and are asking, ‘where to next?’ The wage subsidy, and the next instalment of it, only mark time.

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.

Covid recovery is a partnership

15th June 2020

New Zealand is getting back to the business of making money with Covid Alert Level One seeing the re-opening of what was closed or restricted during Covid Alert Levels 4 and 3.

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:

Border lessons from Covid

18th June 2020

There is much we can learn from Covid, including international and New Zealand made lessons. The most critical is that the border is not secure. In the primary sector, we are only too aware that the border leaks. Biosecurity is one of our biggest concerns.

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:

Regulatory balances

25th June 2020

Are we going to take advantage of the many opportunities that Covid has presented us? After all, there are many downsides. The chance to remove unnecessary regulation is a key area in which we need to take advantage because unnecessary regulation stifles growth.

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.

Auckland needs to own its water problem

2nd July 2020

Our urban water crisis has been coming for some time and is not just limited to Auckland. Many other urban centres around New Zealand faced severe water shortages last summer. This water crisis is no longer just a once in many years event. It is the future.

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.

Fit for a Better World – workers for the future

10th July 2020

The Fit for a Better World primary sector action plan was released by the Government on 6 July. It contains some seriously ambitious targets through three themes:

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.

Horticulture’s contribution to Covid recovery

16th July 2020

Our industry’s contribution to the Covid recovery would seem as simple of providing fresh healthy grown local vegetables and fruit. But since we emerged from lockdown, this has become much more difficult and can no longer be assured.

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.

Water and workers – where’s the certainty?

24th July 2020

We are rapidly approaching spring and with spring comes harvest. First strawberries and asparagus, then cherries. At the same time, spring vegetable production steps up.

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.

‘The times, they are a changing’

29th July 2020

We pride ourselves in New Zealand as being innovators. The New Zealand horticulture industry is no exception to this reputation for innovation, with growers developing new and better techniques, constantly linking through to our sector’s research providers, for example Plant and Food Research.

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.

Are you listening?

6th August 2020

The different world we now live in requires us all to learn new skills. It requires us to interpret what is happening in new and different ways. It requires us to listen to signals about the future in a way we have never done before.

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.

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.

Covid-catchup with Summer Wynyard

26th May 2020

HortNZ is speaking with younger people in the industry to see what they have been up to during the COVID-19 lockdown. This week we interview Summer Wynyard, the recently appointed Student Liaison at New Zealand Apples and Pears Inc.

New Zealand horticulture industry rewarded by outstanding survey result

26th May 2020

If you clicked on a link to Farm Environment Plan article in the HortNZ Newsletter, please click here.A survey showing that New Zealanders rate horticulture more highly than any other part of the primary industry sector is rewarding for fruit and vegetable growers across the country.

Horticulture industry unveils new GoHort initiative to attract talent for post-COVID recovery

26th May 2020

A new initiative – called GoHorticulture or GoHort – to attract people to horticulture by showcasing careers and opportunities comes at a time when the industry is on the hunt for people to help with the post-COVID recovery.

Farm Environment Plans come out on top for growers and the environment

26th May 2020

Farm Environment Plans have come out on top as the best way for vegetable and fruit growers to manage their environmental impact and at the same time, provide evidence to regulators.

Importance of horticulture recognised in Government’s freshwater decisions

28th May 2020

Horticulture New Zealand says the Government’s decisions around freshwater recognise the importance of growing fresh fruit and vegetables in this country.

Govt backing horticulture to succeed

2nd June 2020

The Government is backing a new $27 million project aimed at boosting sustainable horticulture production and New Zealand’s COVID-19 recovery efforts, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor.

HortNZ Annual Report for 2019-2020

28th May 2020

No one could have predicted how the financial year to 31 March 2020 would end, with New Zealand – like many other countries in the world – in lockdown due to COVID-19.

Unwanted horticultural pest detected in routine surveillance

8th June 2020

Two small populations of an unwanted horticultural pest, the tomato red spider mite (Tetranychus evansi), have been found by Biosecurity New Zealand (the biosecurity arm of the Ministry for Primary Industries) on nightshade weeds at two Auckland locations during routine and follow up surveillance.

HortNZ says country needs more water storage schemes like Northland’s

12th June 2020

HortNZ says New Zealand needs more water storage schemes like the one just announced for Northland.

BNZ’s survey confirms horticulture’s readiness to support post-Covid recovery, says Horticulture New Zealand

16th June 2020

Horticulture New Zealand says the findings of a Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) survey of the horticulture sector confirm that horticulture can fully support New Zealand’s post-Covid recovery.

Katikati Innovative Horticulture Trust pledged $150k

16th June 2020

Ann Owen of Aongatete has pledged $150,000 to the Katikati Innovative Horticulture Trust project to build an educational facility in Katikati.By Elaine FisherAnn Owen of Katikati believes so passionately in both education and the horticultural industry she has pledged $150,000 to the project to build a dedicated horticultural facility in...

Update on regional council plan changes

16th June 2020

HortNZ continues to advocate on behalf of growers in several regional council plan changes. Here’s a brief update.

Export and domestic organic horticulture industry will benefit from a national standard

23rd June 2020

Horticulture New Zealand says it backs moves to introduce a national standard for organic products through the Organic Products Bill, currently before Parliament.

Horticulture industry and govt cooperate to get thousands of RSE workers home

23rd June 2020

The New Zealand Defence Force has begun taking more than 1000 Vanuatu nationals home. Photo: NZDF

People profile: Trixie-Lee Grey

23rd June 2020

Photo: NZAPI

Tomato red spider mite – response stand-up

25th June 2020

Two populations of the tomato red spider mite (Tetranychus evansi) were found on nightshade plants near Auckland Airport and in Pakuranga as part of routine surveillance several weeks ago.

COVID-19 update for horticulture - 25 June

3rd April 2020

This page contains COVID-19 information.

This page was archived on 25 June 2020. For the latest information, click here.Table of contents:

COVID-19 update for horticulture

25th June 2020

This page contains COVID-19 information.

Table of contents:

People profile: Alex Tomkins

30th June 2020

Alex Tomkins is already making waves within the horticulture industry, despite not yet having left Massey University. Now in the final year of studies for her Bachelor of AgriCommerce degree, Alex is majoring in International AgriBusiness with a minor in Horticulture and is also president of the Massey Horticulture Society.

Direction of horticulture industry aligns with Fit for a Better World

7th July 2020

Horticulture New Zealand says the horticulture industry’s future focused strategies align well with what is proposed in Fit for a Better World.

Government support and increased flexibility for RSE workers overdue

8th July 2020

Horticulture New Zealand says while it welcomes increased government support and flexibility for the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) workers who are still in New Zealand waiting for repatriation back to the Pacific, the decisions should have come a lot earlier, says HortNZ Chief Executive, Mike Chapman.

Increased flexibility for RSE workers

8th July 2020

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Minister of Immigration has granted a special direction to issue new limited visas to stranded Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) workers who qualify.

RSE update - 14 July

14th July 2020

We sent out an update on the changes to the RSE scheme that were made on 8 July. These changes offer increased flexibility and certainty for those involved with the scheme. You can read our update on what these changes include here.

Horticulture post-Covid recovery strategy

16th July 2020

HortNZ Chief Executive Mike Chapman and Minister for Agriculture Damien O'Connor at the launch in Nelson. Photo: Summerfruit New Zealand.

Immigration webinar update - 17 July

17th July 2020

Due to the Minister of Immigration having had surgery, he will not be able to do the webinar scheduled for 2pm Friday 17 July because he has no voice.

Farm Environment Plan workshops re-starting in Pukekohe

22nd July 2020

FEP workshops are restarting in Pukekohe for growers in Auckland and Waikato. The workshop series will get underway in August, and run through to November 2020.

HortNZ releases election manifesto

29th July 2020

Post-Covid, the New Zealand horticulture industry has a critical role to play in our country's economic and social recovery. Horticulture New Zealand's election manifesto has been written with that role in mind because if horticulture is to spearhead New Zealand’s recovery, the next government needs to take immediate action in...