UPDATE: 1000hrs on Wednesday 21 October 2020
Northport is aware of concerns surrounding the COVID-19 status of ships’ crews calling at New Zealand ports. We share community conviction that processes and procedures, in place to prevent transmission of COVID-19 through our vital marine trade and supply links, should be scrutinised and enforced rigorously.
We continue to operate the port according to very clear and very strict procedures. These have served us well at all alert levels and we have no reason to believe that they will not continue to do so.
Northport and NZ Customs are enforcing national standards and legislation in place to safeguard the limited number of port staff who have any interaction with ships’ crews. Port workers with any interaction with international ships and their crews are subject to mandatory testing as per Ministry of Health protocols.
Shore leave is a matter for the Ministry of Health and Northland District Health Board, in addition to the checks carried out by NZ Customs. Very strict processes, quarantine requirements and health safeguards, including negative COVID tests, govern whether crew members can come ashore for any reason.
Crew transfers are a matter for the Ministry of Health. Our observations are that crew are transferred with utmost caution and treated as if they have the virus.
None of these processes or procedures are unique to Northport, and nor are the challenges involved. We work closely with other NZ ports to share information, learn lessons and enhance protections wherever necessary.
We want to assure Northlanders that our entire team, and all the organisations who work on the Northport site, continue to do whatever we can to keep New Zealand safe. It’s not a responsibility we take lightly.