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.
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.
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.
Updated at 11am
Updated at 7.30pm March 26
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.
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.
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
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.
MPI has provided responses to two more grower questions, as below.
- Essential Services Information- RSE workers- Labour and Jobs- Government Support- Food Safety- NZGAP and GLOBALG.A.P.- Staying well
We know a number of growers have questions about employment as it relates to welfare.
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.
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.
The Government has announced that a new COVID-19 payment that will be available to essential businesses for essential workers from 6 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.
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.
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.
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.
New Zealand onion growers are celebrating being able to export their world class crop to Indonesia again.
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has issued guidance for the horticulture industry on operating under Alert Level 4 to:
HortNZ’s Board has reviewed the events planned through winter this year and decided because of COVID-19, the following events are postponed:
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.
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.
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
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.
New Zealand Good Agricultural Practice (NZGAP) has joined the rest of New Zealand in the move contactless interaction.
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.
A Bill to give Immigration New Zealand more flexibility during the COVID-19 response and recovery was introduced into Parliament on 5 May.
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 has welcomed the 2020 Budget, acknowledging the Government’s support for the primary sector in the COVID-19 recovery.
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.
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.
Horticulture New Zealand says the Government’s decisions around freshwater recognise the importance of growing fresh fruit and vegetables in this country.
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.
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.
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 New Zealand needs more water storage schemes like the one just announced for Northland.
The New Zealand Defence Force has begun taking more than 1000 Vanuatu nationals home. Photo: NZDF
This page contains COVID-19 information.
This page was archived on 25 June 2020. For the latest information, click here.Table of contents:
This page contains COVID-19 information.
Table of contents:
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.