MPI: Sector Update #5 - Covid

Wednesday 1 Sep 2021

(A message from Deputy Director-General, Te Uru Rākau ­- New Zealand Forest Service) - Tēnā koutou. Thank you to everyone across the sector for your efforts over the last week and a half, and for your contribution to New Zealand’s response to the current COVID-19 outbreak.

The Government has announced that from Wednesday 1 September, the plan is for all areas south of Auckland to move to Alert Level 3, while Auckland and Northland will remain at Alert Level 4. When Alert Level 3 comes into force in your area the Forestry and Wood Processing Sector will be able to operate in compliance with Alert Level 3 requirements.
For businesses within the Auckland border and Northland region, the current Alert Level 4 requirements will remain until further notice. For clarity of the difference between Alert Level 3 and Alert level 4 please see the link here.

What everyone can do now: establish updated Covid-19 protocols - In preparation to reopen operations, you must first ensure you have strong protocols in place for your business to operate safely and protect against spread of the COVID-19 delta variant. We recommend you read the updated Alert Level 3 COVID-19 Industry Protocols on the SafeTree website (accessed here) to assist you with developing your own business specific protocols. Wherever possible we urge you to adopt the highest level of safety possible to protect your workforce and community.

Preparing for moving to Alert Level 3: for businesses outside of Auckland and Northland - Forestry and wood processing businesses in Alert Level 3 areas will be required to operate in compliance with the Alert Level 3 requirements which can be found here. However, currently we remain at Alert Level 4, so until the change to Alert Level 3 this means preparing equipment for operation should only be done after the change to Alert Level 3.
If you believe there is a critical risk to essential supply chains which requires urgent action we ask that you seek guidance from your Lead Liaison (see below) at Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service before undertaking any activity prior to the move to Alert Level 3.

Freight of Goods to, from and within Alert Level 4 areas - In Alert Level 4 all freight can be distributed and received, with essential freight prioritised. This includes unloading, delivery to, and receipt by, businesses (including those businesses not currently permitted to trade for receipt only) and customers.

Registering to Travel - If you are a business that requires your employees to travel across the alert level boundary for work, visit MBIE’s website here. This includes information about permitted travel, the business travel register, the boundary, and exemptions.

The business travel register opened from midday, Sunday 29 August.

It’s important to note, you won’t be able to re-use the travel documents that you applied for during previous Alert Level changes and will need to reapply for new documents.

Public Health remains the priority - The public health threat posed by the Delta variant of COVID-19 remains high. We strongly recommend your organisations continue to exercise restraint and minimise operations and worker movement where possible and comply with your legal obligations under the Order. This includes businesses operating under Alert Level 3. If possible, people should continue to work from home.

We also recommend providing any people needing to be onsite with a personally addressed letter by the company’s Chief Executive outlining the clause they are operating under, in case they are approached by authorities.

If you are unsure on what the above means for your operations or have any issues you would like clarity on, I recommend that you reach out to your Lead Liaison (see below).

Getting in touch with us - If you require clarification about your ability to operate, please contact:

Thank you once again for your commitment to helping protect New Zealand against this COVID-19 outbreak.

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