Information from the RTF on COVID-19

Information from the RTF on COVID-19

Please note as at 12 March 2021: 

All of New Zealand is now in Alert Level 1

The RTF is the central point of communication to and from Government and the national media for the road freight transport industry. We keep this page updated daily with information needed by road freight operators.

We are in ongoing discussions with the government officials putting all the measures in place during New Zealand’s response to the Covid-19 virus. 

Friday 12 March

Auckland has moved to Alert Level 1 and now the whole of New Zealand is at Alert Level 1.

The Prime Minister’s media release on the announcement is available here.

Wednesday 10 March

Today the Government announced it’s Covid-19 vaccination plan, which you can find here.

The RTF has asked for priority for truck drivers and we are waiting to hear if that priority will be given.

Saturday 6 March

On Friday, the Prime Minister has just announced the following alert level changes:

  • Auckland will move to Alert Level 2 at 6am Sunday 7 March 2021;
  • The rest of New Zealand will move to Alert Level 1 at the same time.

Auckland will remain at Alert Level 2 for at least one week (settings will be reviewed before the end of the 7-day period).

This means that the Northern and Southern Auckland boundary checkpoints will be removed and no regional boundaries will be in place after 6am Sunday 7 March.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and its partners are supporting police in the planning and removal of these checkpoints, and will be working as quickly and safely as they can to return the network to normal.

Wake Kotahi advises that road safety and the wellbeing of all staff working on the network is a priority, and while this work is being undertaken there is a need for vigilance and safe travel through work-sites.

Friday 5 March

On 5 March, RTF CE Nick Leggett issued this blog asking for a government plan for Covid-19 recovery and vaccination.

Thursday 4 March

On 4 March, RTF CE Nick Leggett issued this media release calling for truck drivers to be given priority for the Covid-19 vaccine, given the risks involved in their work.

Wednesday 3 March

The Government has made announcements on business and worker support in the wake of the changes to Alert Levels 3 and 2. 

Businesses can apply for the Wage Subsidy from the Ministry of Social Development from 1pm Thursday 4 March. Payments will begin from Monday 8 March.

The Government issued this statement today:

The Government has confirmed details of COVID-19 support for business and workers following the increased alert levels due to a resurgence of the virus over the weekend.

Following two new community cases of COVID-19, Auckland moved to Alert Level 3 and the rest of New Zealand moved to Alert Level 2 on Sunday 28 February for seven days.

“Firms throughout New Zealand can still apply for the Resurgence Support Payment from Inland Revenue for the 14 to 21 February period as long as they meet the eligibility criteria. The last day to apply is 22 March,” Grant Robertson said.

“The increase in alert levels on Sunday has activated a new round of support, which now includes a nationwide COVID-19 Wage Subsidy as Auckland will be at alert level 3 for at least a week.”

“Businesses can apply for the Wage Subsidy from the Ministry of Social Development from 1pm Thursday 4 March. Payments will begin from Monday 8 March. The payment is to support employers (or self-employed people) to pay their employees and protect jobs,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

“This payment is available to all businesses in New Zealand that meet the eligibility criteria, not just those in Auckland, to recognise that firms throughout the country may have their revenue affected by Auckland being in higher alerts levels for longer.”

“A further Resurgence Support Payment from Inland Revenue has also been activated with the move to the higher alert levels on Saturday. Applications open on 8 March. Business who meet the criteria are able to apply for both the Resurgence Support Payment and the Wage Subsidy Scheme,” Grant Robertson said.

Businesses can apply for the Resurgence Support Payment by logging into their MyIRaccount. Further information can be found on the Inland Revenue website.

Monday 1 March

Auckland border

We are aware there were massive delays on the Auckland borders yesterday, particularly the southern border. We are concerned about driver welfare as well as animal welfare where animals are being transported on trucks, and the condition of perishable goods, including the cost of spoils.

We are unsure why Police and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency haven’t learned from previous lockdowns, and we continue to raise issues with them.

Please contact the RTF if you are having ongoing or serious issues.

Nick Leggett has issued this Advisory with information on the Auckland border and relief for businesses.

Sunday 28 February

As of 6am today, we are at Alert Levels 3 (Auckland) and 2 (rest of country) for 7 days.

The boundary between the alert level areas will be reinstated and the previous restrictions and requirements apply, as per the most recent Alert Level 3 in Auckland. Information on the boundary areas is below.

All previous business travel documents (acquired through the MBIE website for permitted activities and exemptions) remain valid so you will be able to use them again.

If you need to register your workers/need help understand how to register:

Here is the final version of the Health Order, with the transport operator guidance available hereSchedule 4 sets out the alert level 3 area, which includes one change which is to bring Port Waikato into the Level 3 area. Schedule 5 has the map of the alert level area. These are outlined below.

The Police and Waka Kotahi NZTA have been working to make the checkpoint layouts work as well as they can for freight in particular, but do be prepared for some delays.

The Government encourages the use of MBIE’s business travel documentation, as the QR codes certainly help to speed up the passage of vehicles going through the checkpoints.

As usual, we will public all updates on this page, so please keep following that. We would also appreciate hearing of delays at borders or concerns with navigating the system in any way.

Nick Leggett has issued this Advisory.

Auckland boundaries – from the Public Health Order

Schedule 4

Description of alert level 3 area

cl 6(1)

Alert level 3 area means—

(a) the area within the boundaries of Auckland as determined by the Local Government (Auckland Boundaries) Determination 2010 (Gazette 2010, p 858); and

(b) the area (bounded by the middle of the roads listed below)—

(i) commencing on the mean high-water mark of the west coast of the North Island at the southernmost point of the south-west corner of the area described in paragraph (a) (the boundaries of Auckland); then

(ii) proceeding in a generally south-easterly direction along the mean high-water mark (and across the mouth of the Waikato River) to the Kaawa Stream; then

(iii) proceeding in a generally north-easterly direction along the north bank of the Kaawa Stream to the intersection with Port Waikato-Waikaretu Road; then

(iv) proceeding south along Port Waikato-Waikaretu Road to the intersection with Baker Road; then

(v) proceeding east along Baker Road to the intersection with Wairamarama-Onewhero Road; then

(vi) proceeding south along Wairamarama-Onewhero Road to the intersection with Bothwell Loop Road; then

(vii) proceeding east along Bothwell Loop Road to the intersection with Waikaretu Valley Road; then

(viii) proceeding east along Waikaretu Valley Road to the intersection with State Highway 22; then

(ix) proceeding north-east along State Highway 22 to the intersection with Glen Murray Road; then

(x) proceeding south-east along Glen Murray Road to the intersection with Churchill Road; then

(xi) proceeding north along Churchill Road until it crosses Opuatia Stream; then

(xii) proceeding in a generally north-easterly direction along the north bank of the Opuatia Stream to the Waikato River; then

(xiii) proceeding in a generally northerly direction along the west bank of the Waikato River to the intersection with Mercer Ferry Road; then

(xiv) proceeding north-east along Mercer Ferry Road to the intersection with Koheroa Road; then

(xv) proceeding north-east along Koheroa Road to the intersection with Mangatawhiri Road; then

(xvi) proceeding north-west along Mangatawhiri Road to the intersection with Lyons Road; then

(xvii) proceeding north-east along Lyons Road to the intersection with Paparimu Road; then

(xviii) proceeding north-west along Paparimu Road to the intersection with the area described in paragraph (a) (the boundaries of Auckland); then

(xix) proceeding in a generally westerly direction along the southern boundary of the boundaries of Auckland to the point of commencement described in subparagraph (i).

Schedule 5

Map of alert level 3 area

View here.

Business advice

The New Zealand Government’s advice on support for businesses is available here.

BusinessNZ is also available to help and have issued this advice:

Please note that financial and other support for businesses due to the current Covid lockdown situation can be found here:

https://covid19.govt.nz/business-work-and-money/financial-support/financial-support-for-businesses/

This support includes:

  • Support for employers of people connected to Auckland COVID-19 cases
  • COVID-19 Resurgence Support Payment
  • COVID-19 Short-term Absence Payment
  • COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme
  • Wage subsidy schemes
  • Business Finance Guarantee scheme
  • Business cash flow and tax measures
  • Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme
  • Insolvency relief for businesses
  • COVID-19 commercial lease dispute services
  • Apprenticeship Boost initiative

The BusinessNZ Network Covid adviceline for businesses is:

Phone 0800 500 362 (North Island)

Phone 0800 50 50 96 (South Island)

Saturday 27 February 

The Prime Minister has announced that Auckland will move to Alert Level 3 at 6am Sunday 28 February for seven days.

The rest of New Zealand moves to Alert Level 2.

The New Zealand Government’s advice on support for businesses is available here.

The official government COVID-19 website remains the primary source of government information on COVID https://covid19.govt.nz/ 

For COVID-19 health advice and information, contact the Healthline team (for free) on 0800 358 5453 or +64 9 358 5453 for international SIMS.

The Prime Minister’s statement is available here.

Guidance and protocols

When we went to Level 3 in 2020, WorkSafe signed off guidance and protocols developed by the RTF to help businesses transition to Alert Level 3. These include  Covid-19 workplace protocols for road freight transport, as guidance to businesses moving to Alert Level 3. You may need to refresh your memory on what is required.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated its Covid-19 advice, available here.

Advisories and media releases

2021

On Monday 1 March, Road Transport Forum chief executive issued this Advisory.

On Sunday 28 February, Road Transport Forum chief executive issued this Advisory.

2020

On Friday 30 October, Road Transport Forum chief executive Nick Leggett wrote this blog about the need to urgengy focus on the supply chain.

On Thursday 20 August, Road Transport Forum chief executive Nick Leggett wrote this blog about the state of the Government’s preparedness for the Covid-19 resurgence in Auckland.

On Tuesday 18 August, Road Transport Forum chief executive Nick Leggett issued this Advisory on Auckland road border documentation and port testing.

On Monday 17 August, Road Transport Forum chief executive issued this Advisory around border issues in Auckland and testing at the Ports of Auckland and Port of Tauranga.

On Saturday 15 August, Road Transport Forum chief executive Nick Leggett put out this media release about the mayhem caused by a rapid order to test truck drivers at Ports of Auckland and Port of Tauranga.

RTF CE Nick Leggett issued this Advisory.

On Friday 14 August, Nick Leggett has written this blog about transporting goods under the changing Covid-19 alert levels.

On Thursday 13 August, Road Transport Forum chief executive Nick Leggett put out this Advisory on Auckland border control and the Government QR code.

On Wednesday 12 August, Road Transport Forum chief executive Nick Leggett put out this Advisory on Police control of Auckland roads, including check points at the entry/exits to Auckland.

On Wednesday 12 August, Road Transport Forum chief executive Nick Leggett put out this Advisory with the initial advice from the Ministry of Transport.

On Wednesday 12 August, Road Transport Forum chief executive Nick Leggett issued this media release asking for clarity from the Government about Auckland’s border control for trucking operators.

Law

On Monday 17 August, the Minister of Health Chris Hipkins signed an amdment to the  Covid-19 Public Health Response (Covid-19 Testing) Amendment Order 2020, extending the timeframe of the previous order and introducing a new definition of higher risk workers to be tested. You can view that here.

On Wednesday 12 August, Health Minister Chris Hipkins signed this Covid-19 Public Health Response (Alert Levels 3 and 2) Order 2020 which permits freight to move.

On 13 May the New Zealand Government passed the COVID-19 Public Health Response Bill under urgency. This is to provide the legal framework for managing COVID-19.

Other information

Where to buy PPE

Hand sanitiser and face masks are available here.

Financial information for businesses

All the Government’s up-to-date information about financial support for businesses is available here.

On 17 August,  Finance Minister Grant Robertson announced  that workers whose jobs may be affected by the re-emergence of Covid-19 in Auckland will be supported by a new wage subsidy scheme and a simplified leave scheme. You can read the media release here.

Media

12 August, RTF media release, Covid level moves create supply chain issues

15 August, RTF media release, Mayhem at the ports bewildering

15 August, Stuff, Coronavirus: Havoc for trucking operators under ports’ Covid-19 testing rules

16 August, Newshub, ‘It’s not possible: 12,000 Auckland and Tauranga port workers unlikely to get COVID-19 tests by deadline

17 August, NZ Herald, Covid 19 coronavirus: Auckland and Tauranga port communities caught in mass Covid-19 test order

17 August, AM show,Silly rules’: Truckies to ignore deadline for getting COVID-19 test

17 August, TransportTalk, RTF questions COVID-19 testing of truck drivers

17 August, NewstalkZB, Police add more checkpoints to daily gridlock

17 August, Newshub 6pm news, Chronically-ill Northlander trapped in Auckland due to police checkpoints

18 August, RNZ, Covid-19: Truck drivers complain of hours stuck at Auckland border

18 August, NZ Herald, Covid-19 Coronavirus: Government relaxes Auckland and Tauranga ports blanket testing order

Nick Leggett’s blogs:

Heading down the uncertain Covid-19 road