COVID-19 Important Information

Below you will find information that may be helpful to your organisation courtesy of Seafood New Zealand, including:

  • Contacts for PPE supplies
  • Checklist for processes and procedures to protect your staff
  • Subsidy and support package information
  • Information regarding staff support

Seafood New Zealand is providing COVID-19 updates every day – to receive these updates, please contact the team via email: info@seafood.org.nz

If there is any assistance that Te Ohu Kaimoana can offer your organisation at this time, please contact us on (04) 931 9500 or via email at: ika@teohu.maori.nz

Subsidies and assistance

The Government has implemented a number of support packages for businesses to help get through the COVID-19 crisis, including wage subsidies. Information on support packages for businesses, including wage subsidies can be found here.

The wage subsidy application form can be found here.

Staff support

It is highly likely that your staff may be feeling anxious or scared, regardless of whether they are working from home or are coming to work on-site.  It is a perfectly normal response.  However, there are things that you can do to help.

Reassure your staff that you are doing everything you can to protect them while they are at work.  If they need more assurance, give them a copy of the ‘Infection prevention and control advice’ which you can download from the Ministry of Health’s website, it provides good information about preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace, it can be found here.

Give them tips on what they can do to help while they are at home. Things like using technology to stay connected with whānau and friends not living with them.  Other things like maintaining some form of exercise, taking time to relax and sticking to a routine may all help your staff to get through this challenging time. Again, the Ministry of Health’s website is a good source of information for maintaining well-being, see link.

Please see this checklist to use as a guide to confirm whether you have the processes and procedures in place to protect your staff from the transmission of COVID-19 checklist here.

Support networks – There are also many support networks available to help people.  ‘Text 1737’ is there to support with grief, anxiety, distress or mental well-being, you can call or text 1737 to talk with a trained counsellor for free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – Contacts

New Zealand Uniforms
Email: shaun.crockford@nzuniforms.com
Ph: 021 702 557

Hibiscus Solutions
Email: CarolynSutton@hibiscus-solutions.com

Tahi Marine
Email: Tony@tahimarine.com
Ph: 07 850 1201

Inland Revenue advice

The following important message is from Inland Revenue. Inland Revenue will write-off any penalties and interest for businesses unable to pay taxes on time due to the impact of COVID-19. Do not worry about contacting them right now. Get in touch when you can. Payments, including Working for Families customers, will still be made.

Medical certificates and “tickets”

Maritime NZ has announced it will provide automatic extensions for medical and seafarer certificates (tickets) to support seafarers during COVID-19. If your medical certificate, ancillary certificates or your ticket expires between 11 March 2020 and 30 June 2020 you automatically have an extension for three months from its expiry date. You do not have to get in contact or do anything else.

Please note that:

  • Any conditions and limitations on your documents will still apply.
  • Suspended certificates are still suspended.
  • Full details are available on the Maritime NZ website.

For further questions, please contact:

Email: seafarers@maritimenz.govt.nz.

Market access and trade

MPI are in regular contact with many of the seafood sector’s international trading partners and are doing everything they can to help facilitate trade. As part of this, they have set up a dedicated email address to report any market access, export trade or international supply chain issues relating to COVID-19.

If you come across any specific market access or trade issues, please email: Covid-19.Trade@mpi.govt.nz.

Please note, using this email address does not override your legal obligations for reporting export non-conformances. This requires you to notify MPI within 24 hours of becoming aware, if the products you have exported, or are about to export:

  • Aren’t fit for their intended purpose. This may be due to any event which occurred or could have occurred prior to entry into the destination country (regardless of when it was detected)
  • Are refused entry by the government of the destination country
  • Do not meet, or no longer meet relevant Overseas Market Access Requirements
  • Do not have, or no longer have the required official assurances.

For more information, including access to the ENC reporting form, visit MPI’s site.

MPI guidance

Seafood New Zealand today received a letter from Ministry for Primary Industries director-general Ray Smith, outlining his expectations for managing staff safety and health in the primary industries during alert level 4. Accompanying this is a guide MPI put together to assist the implementation of these measures.
Smith’s letter and MPI’s guide can be found here.

We acknowledge there has been some confusion around guidance on physical distancing. MPI’s guide clarifies this. Their expectation is that 2 metres will be maintained between staff where at all possible, at all times. If that is not possible, then a minimum of 1 metre must be maintained with the implementation of other risk mitigation measures. The guide also provides examples of what those measures might consist of.

Seafood New Zealand’s guide has also been updated accordingly to provide further detail and clarify the distancing requirements. It has also been reformatted for ease of reading. Anything new is highlighted in grey. SNZ’s updated guide can be viewed here. If you require further information or have any questions, please get in contact.

Email: Cathy.Webb@seafood.org.nz

A message from the Marine Stewardship Council

We are pausing some of our certification processes to support everyone in the sustainable seafood industry. Key excerpts from the note circulated globally on the measures MSC have taken.

All fisheries are being given an automatic six-month certificate extension. Conformity Assessment Bodies (CABs) have been told to extend deadlines for all associated processes, including assessments, conditions, action plans and milestones. Fisheries can choose to continue their current process by arranging remote audits with their CAB, where feasible. The exception is expedited audits and objections, which need to continue to protect fish stocks and maintain confidence in our program.

We will provide further details on these two processes shortly. For further support and clarification on this matter, please feel free to reach out to Matt Watson, senior fisheries manager, MSC Australia, New Zealand & SEA at matt.watson@msc.org.

All supply chain companies may now be audited remotely until 27 September 2020. If this is not feasible, CABs have been told to delay the audit and issue a 6-month extension to prevent a certificate expiring. For further support and clarification on this matter, please feel free to reach out to Anita Lee, senior commercial manager, MSC Australia & New Zealand anita.lee@msc.org.

The announcement is posted on the website. There may be some discussions around how these measures are locally adopted to specific scenarios, so please feel to chat through this with us. Thank you continuing to help put food on plates, by working to still fish sustainably and maintain supply chains around the world. We hope to get through this global crisis together.