APPLICATION FOR EXEMPTION FROM COVID-19 INTER-REGIONAL
Application for specific class of business, service or goods
: This template should be fil ed out for specific classes of businesses, services or goods
seeking an exemption to the inter-regional travel restrictions made under section 27 of the COVID-
19 Public Health Response (Alert Level 3 and 2) Order 2020. Information on the class of business, service or good
Key contact details
Covid Duty Manager
Ministry for Primary Industries
Description of the activity Horticulture
Number of people of
Horticulture New Zealand estimates 300 workers not involved in the
entities the exemption
transport and supply of goods wil need an exemption to travel inter-
request relates to
Ruth Fairhall, Deputy Director General – Policy and Trade
Ministry for Primary Industries
Karen Adair, Deputy Director General – Agriculture and Investment
Date of submission
15 / 11/ 2020 OFFICIAL
Considerations of impacts
Why is the exemption
THE and around the Auckland regions supplies a significant
necessary? (rationale of
proportion of New Zealand’s fresh vegetable demand and is highly
sensitive to seasonal timing and processing.
For example, the Pukekohe Hub supplies just under a one third of
New Zealand’s vegetables generating revenue in excess of $350
million. Pukekohe (which straddles the border) is the largest
vegetable growing and processing area in the North Island and most
of this production is for domestic consumption, particularly in
Auckland. Over 80% of produce produced by the Hub goes to
supermarkets, independent fruit and vegetable retailers and farmers
Vegetable crops need to be planted, maintained, and harvested
during specific narrow and critical seasonal periods and also require
continual activity to maintain production. Some labour is drawn from
South Auckland, and Horticulture New Zealand estimates that 300
people travel in and out of the Auckland region daily for work.
Are these activities time
Pukekohe alone feeds Auckland and much of the North Island. If
production from Pukekohe was reduced due to labour shortages the
supply of vegetables to Auckland and the upper North Island would
decrease and prices are likely to rise.
The economic loss to growers and everyone in the supply chain 1982
would be significant. Fresh leafy vegetable production in particular is
a continuous and staggered activity where growers will be growing,
maintaining, picking and packing. Any disruption to this wil have
consequence for ongoing production and supply of vegetables to
consumers. Late winter is also when a lot of land preparation for
spring planting occurs.
The Pukekohe Hub is the most productive growing area in New
Zealand and a vital producer of fresh produce in spring as further
south frost and cold conditions inhibit growing.
Can someone in the
Finding alternative resourcing at short notice is likely to risk
bubble (or outside) do
disruptions to the supply chain.
Does it promote the
Horticultural activities can be performed observing social distancing
purposes of the Order
rules and safely without risk to employee and public health. Field
and the COVID-19 Act?
work which is the main activity impacted is done in the open air.
Enabling people employed in the horticulture sector to move inter-
regionally will ensure that they are can continue carrying out the key
functions required to ensure food supply to Auckland and the rest of
the North Island. This reflects the purpose of the Act to al ow
economic factors to be taken into account.
What public health
Social distancing rules will be observed, employees will wear face
masks and PPE where necessary, practise sound hygiene, and will be
are/can be put in place to encouraged to only transit to and from their workplace for the
minimise the risk of
required horticultural activities over the current alert level period.
transmission of COVID-
MPI safety guidance will also be issued to Horticulture NZ to share
with their employees for their travel.
What are the
A significant volume of horticulture production in Auckland is to
consequences should an
supply the domestic market and disruptions due to labour shortages
exemption not be
are likely to lead increased prices.
UNDER able fruits and vegetable products risk being wasted. Pukekohe
supplies Auckland and surrounding region with large volumes of fruit
and vegetables. Decreased production will disrupt food distribution,
including to food banks.
Food safety risks if fruit and vegetables are not processed and stored
appropriately. This is a time critical process. There may be long term
impacts on the seasonal production cycle if pesticides and agriculture
sprays cannot be applied at the right time.