MPI held a meeting today with primary industry leadership and a couple of things from that to share with you.
- They are aware that if nothing changes in the next days, Auckland and Coromandel will be at different alert levels to the rest of country. Essential work would continue in all regions at 4 or below. Given the number of reported cases, the view was we should be prepared for all of NZ to go to L4 for a period of time. On the other side of a (potential) national lockdown, regions will (potentially) change levels so MPI are looking at those disrupt implications.
- I asked how closely MPI was working with NZ Police to ensure consistency of response to the presentation of essential worker letters? Deputy Director General Agriculture, Karen Adair advised she had employees based with the police to ensure this was happening. I had a few calls this morning about constabulary stopping workers and giving them the once over for approval to work. Whilst understanding they have a job to do, be cool if they get over zealous. Present your essential worker letter and if you have any difficulties please contact me directly to speak to any officer who isn’t convinced by your essential worker bona fides.
- They recommend looking at workplace bubbles and 100% ensuring face masks are available and used when at work. This social distancing and personal protection is part of the public health order so please do your bit.
- If any of you have any queries to feed to MPI directly they are online 24/7 to service the primary sector [email protected]
The top 3 queries shared with us
- Do I need to register as an essential worker?
- No, not this time & RCNZ has you covered with the letter endorsing your essential worker status which contains the necessary public health orders and lead agency name.
- Is the letter used last time OK to use again?
- No. Last year’s letter needed to be replaced with the one we issued yesterday.
- Are butchers, green grocers and fishmonger able to open.
- Yes as long as the transaction is contactless.
Beer is available at the supermarket…..
I’ll be regularly meeting with MPI and will let you know as and when things change.
Andrew Olsen, Chief Executive, RCNZ