COVID-19 - FAQ's for plant producers and garden retailers under the Level 4 lockdown

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Last updated - Friday 27 March 2020

We've received a lot of queries in the past 48 hours. We’ll continue to answer them as accurately as quickly as we can under present circumstances. Here’s some of the most common questions.

Can I continue to operate during Level 4 Restrictions?

  • All plant producers and garden retailers must remain closed throughout the Level 4 Alert, except those that have:
    • Registered for Safe Practice with the Ministry for Primary Industries by 5pm tonight Friday 27 March
    • and restricted all on-site activities to the bare minimum crucial for immediate plant survival.

What are the ‘bare minimum’ authorised activities?

  • Just the basic tasks needed to keep existing plant stocks alive, using the minimum number of people necessary. Think of it as a skeleton crew doing the bare minimum for plant survival in the weeks ahead.
  • For example, you can do watering, pest control, disease control, temperature and humidity control through the Level 4 lockdown. You cannot undertake propagation, potting, administration or other tasks not strictly essential for plant survival and plant health.
  • Business supplying food growers can also provide goods and services that are necessary for food growing activities during the lockdown period.
  • You must operate strictly within your registered Safe Practice Plan at all times.

MPI’s website says operations with less than six staff don’t have to register, so do I have to?

  • Yes – our arrangement with MPI requires ALL nurseries to register. We understand MPI’s website will be updated to reflect his. PLEASE DO register your Safe Practice Plan so you do not have to close indefinitely.

My staff have to travel for work. Is that still allowed?

  • Yes, staff can travel to undertake authorised activities.
  • After you have registered with MPI, the next step is to register with NZ Plant Producers. This is the only way that we will know that you are still operating authorised activities.
  • We will also provide you with letters that your critical staff can keep show police and officials if they are stopped and questioned.

I’m older than 70, or my staff are older than 70. Are we able to keep working?

  • Everyone older than 70 is asked to stay home and avoid all contact with others. If you or your staff work with anyone else – even with 2 metre separation – you should remain in isolation and not go to work.

What support is available for staff and businesses that have lost work because of this lockdown?

  • Financial support is available for staff who have been forced to take self-isolate, due to illness, or to care for a dependent. Learn more here.
  • Financial support is available for businesses that are keeping staff employed but who have suffered a loss in turnover. Learn more here.
  • Some tax relief may be available for businesses. Learn more here.

What’s next?

  • After you have registered with MPI, the next step is to register with NZ Plant Producers. This is the only way we will know that you are still operating a minimum service.
  • We will provide you with industry-specific information and updates about the Level 4 Alert and COVID-19.

How can I contact NZ Plant Producers?

  • This has been a history-breaking week, and the situation is evolving rapidly. We are doing our best to keep up with developments and help you to stay safe and protect your family and staff by supporting the lockdown.
  • You can contact us on 04 918 3511 and office@nzppi.co.nz.

Work with us

NZPPI's COVID-19 work is supported and funded by our members. To join, complete the NZPPI membership application, or contact office@nzppi.co.nz.

26-Mar-2020

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