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14 July 2021

Government makes COVID-19 vaccinations compulsory for more border workers.

The new order will extend to cover a further 1,800 currently unvaccinated active border workers. It will come into effect at 11:59pm on 14 July.

The legislation allows for a reasonable window for vaccination.

  • All government employees covered by the order must have had their first dose by 26 August.
  • Privately employed border workers must have had their first dose by 30 September.
  • New workers covered by the Order (regardless of employer) will need to have their first dose before starting work.

Border workers who remain unvaccinated after the requirements come into effect will need to discuss options with their employer. They will not be able to continue working in a high-risk border environment until they are vaccinated.

The expanded Order applies to people working at affected ports. It also includes work:

  • That involves handing affected items removed from ships
  • Where the job is for a company that is routinely engaged to provide services for a ship
  • Where the employee 'has contact with' people who belong to different groups in the Order.

Government makes COVID-19 vaccinations compulsory for more border workers | Unite against COVID-19 (

COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Amendment Order 2021 (LI 2021/182) – New Zealand Legislation

Border and MIQ worker vaccinations | Unite against COVID-19 (



22 April 2021

The Nelson Marlborough District Health Board have invited all Port Nelson workers who have direct contact with our workers who are in the COVID testing regime to book an appointment to be vaccinated.

Their Household contacts can also be placed on the contingency list.

To book your vaccination call: 0800 FLU INFO (0800 3584 636 - available Monday-Friday 8.30am-5pm)

All vaccinations are held at Nelson Hospital on Level 2.

Click here to view FAQ’s with further information about the COVID-19 vaccine.



22 April 2021

It is important to keep our border workforce safe and limit the opportunity for transmission of COVID-19 into our community. Border workers undergo regular testing, and are also a priority group to receive a COVID-19 vaccination invitation. This statement describes how information about each border worker will be managed for the COVID-19 response, including testing, vaccination invitations and status, and contact tracing.


View the Privacy Statement - Border Workforce Testing Register 

View the Border Workforce Testing Register - Factsheet



22 April 2021

At 11:59 pm on 21 April 2021 changes to the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Required Testing) Order 2020 (‘the Required Testing Order’), will come into effect. The changes were introduced in order to further strengthen the border testing regime in response to the new community cases detected in Auckland in February, and the presence in New Zealand of more transmissible variants of COVID-19, first identified in the UK, South Africa and Brazil.

This guidance explains the changes to the Required Testing Order. It updates the guidance issued on 27 November 2020, when the Required Testing Order was last amended.

The new changes:
• Extend mandatory testing requirements to new groups of border workers.
• Increase the current 14-day mandatory testing frequency for certain higher-risk border workers to every seven days.
• Provide for flexibility in the scope of sampling methods that can be used.
• Clarifies testing cycle requirements to reflect that the time between tests must not exceed the length of the relevant testing cycle.
o These changes apply from 22 April 2021.
• Make it mandatory that employers use the Border Workforce Testing Register kept, maintained and monitored by the Ministry of Health to keep the required records of testing for workers subject to mandatory testing.
o This change applies from 27 April 2021.


Port Nelson will release further information regarding how this Order affects Port Employees shortly. 


Click here to view the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Required Testing) Order 2020 ('the required testing order')



15 April 2021

Click here to view the latest COVID 19 Public Health Response Required Testing Amendment Order 2021



1 April 2021

Click here to view the Covid-19 Vaccination Worker Engagement Guidance



7 March 2021

Port Nelson is now operating back at Alert Level 1. Alert Level 1 practices apply. 

View the Port Nelson COVID Work Practices here. 



28 February 2021

As of 6am Sunday Morning, New Zealand moved back to Alert Level 2, Auckland moved to Alert Level 3. 


With the move in Alert Levels, Alert Level 2 work practices apply. View these below. 


View the Port Nelson General Alert Level 2 Work Practices

View the Port Nelson Operational Areas Alert Level 2 Work Practices



18 February 2021

As of 11.59pm Wednesday evening, New Zealand with the exception of Auckland moved to Alert Level 1, Auckland moved to Alert Level 2.


With the move back into Alert Level 1, the previous Alert Level 1 Work Practices apply. 

View the Port Nelson COVID Work Practices here. 


There is still a risk of community transmission so please ensure you are keeping track of your movements by using the COVID Tracing App and enabling Bluetooth or manually record your movements.


If you begin to feel unwell or start to develop COVID-like symptoms stay at home and contact Healthline 0800 358 5453.


Separate Alert Level Practices apply for Maritime Border Workers. 




15 February 2021

Port Nelson is now operating under Alert Level 2 protocols.


Read the Port's COVID-19 Level 2 general work practices 


Read the Port's COVID-19 Level 2 operational work practices 


Auckland moved to Level 3 and the rest of New Zealand to Level 2 as of midnight Sunday.


There are several specific points to note for PNL Workers:

  • Port Nelson workers, in general, will remain working at PNL
  • Any workers identifying as vulnerable people should talk to their manager and this will be addressed on a case-by-case basis
  • If you begin to feel unwell or start to develop COVID-like symptoms stay at home and contact Healthline 0800 358 5453
  • The PNL testing facility located in the gatehouse carpark is for any PNL worker who wishes to be tested, even if a test is not required under mandatory testing
  • Ensure you are keeping track of your movements by using the COVID Tracing App and enabling Bluetooth. If unable to use the app, manually record movements




14 February 2021

Ministry of Health has indicated vaccine roll out to Border workers and family contacts from March to mid-April (media are reporting a late Feb start date with a 2-to-3-week completion date). We continue to work with our local Public Health Service on finalising these arrangements.

For further information, view the COVID vaccine FAQ below. 




23 December 2020

A recent amendment to the Public Health Response Required Maritime Border Order has been released and provides improved clarity on the requirements for foreign ships seeking exemption from the Order to enter New Zealand for the purposes of repair, refit or refurbishment. The amendment also mandates that personal protective equipment (PPE) be used in specific high-risk scenarios when boarding ships to undertake necessary tasks

The amendment is effective from 23 December 2023 


COVID-19 Public Health Response (Maritime Border) Order (no. 2) Amendment Order 



23 November 2020

Due to the recent amendment to the Public Health Response Required Testing Order, Port Nelson has updated their COVID Work Practices. 


View the Port Nelson COVID Work Practices here. 



23 November 2020

A recent amendment to the Public Health Response Required Testing Order has been released and shows an increase in testing for port workers including weekly testing for ship pilots and persons who spend more than 15 minuets in enclosed space on board affected ships and increased testing for other port workers. 

View the amended Requested Testing Order here, view page 6 for a breakdown of groups relating to affected ports. 



23 September 2020


Port Nelson is now operating under alert level 1 practices including following the COVID golden rules; 



  • Do not come to work if you are even slightly unwell with a cold or flu.
  • If you have symptoms consistent with Covid 19 get tested, self-isolate at home until the test result is received.
  • Access test by contacting your GP or calling Healthline 0800 358 5453 or 0800 6111 16 and state you are a Maritime border worker.
  • Keep a minimum distance from crew of 2m. 
  • All sneezing, coughing etc. into elbow or tissue.  
  • Avoid touching your face; if you see a workmate touching their face, please point it out  
  • Wash your hands – LOTS especially after touching surfaces that others may have touched  
  • Wash your hands before entering any kitchen area or touching cups, plates etc  
  • Keep work areas clean
  • Report any concerns or noncompliance with these work practices including ships crew.


The level 1 practices are in addition to the enhanced border controls which are a directive from the Ministry of Health effective immediately. This includes mandatory testing of higher-risk workers. View the recent health orders below. 




7 September 2020 


A recent amendment to the Public Health Response Required Testing Order is as follows: 

The Ministry of Health have released a health order that require from 11:59pm 16 September, those who work in the following roles will need to undergo routine mandatory Covid testing every 14 days :
All maritime ports that receive a ship from a location outside of New Zealand:
Fortnightly tests until further notice for:
·        Pilots carrying out work on or around an affected ship
·        Stevedores carrying out work on or around an affected ship
·        Persons who board, or have boarded, an affected ship
·        Workers who transport persons to or from an affected ship

An affected ship is a ship which has a person or persons on board who are required to be isolated or quarantined in accordance with a COVID-19 order.  

If you fit the criteria for mandatory testing you will have been contacted by your Manager and advised of this requirement.  We still encourage all other employees to participate in the ongoing surveillance testing.

COVID19 Public Health Response Required Testing Amendment 

COVID19 Public Health Response Required Testing Order





12 August 2020 

Port Nelson continues to operate following the government's announcement to return to alert level 2 on Wednesday 12th August. 

Port operations continue with normal cargo flows and additional COVID-19 practices in place.  

The move from Level 1 to 2 sees the continuation of enhanced maritime border controls for any person interfacing with international vessels. The recent order introduced by the Ministry of Health requires Port Nelson to have controls in place similar to those in level 4. 

Businesses accessing the Port will experience a change in procedures to meet the Level 2 criteria, please take the time to understand these on your next entry to the Port. Port Nelson buildings are locked down to outside personnel unless deemed essential. Essential meetings will be held in a dedicated meeting room and all non-essential meetings will move to online video conferencing, or held outside at distance. 

Port Nelson staff are operating under safe COVID practices which includes social distancing, increased hygiene procedures, and contact tracing. 

Port Nelson is prepared and on stand-by to move to alert level 3 and 4. 




26 June 2020

On the 26 June 2020, The COVID-19 Public Health Response (Maritime Border) created an order to further mitigate the risks from COVID-19 entering New Zealand via the maritime pathway. 


Read the interim guidance for the quarantine/isolation process by clicking here.


You can also read the Border Advisory by clicking here


This Border Advisory includes the following information:

  • Update on the current situation - update on numbers
    • New Zealand COVID-19 Alert Level
    • Summary of current border measures
    • Entry and exit health processes at international airports – now includes health assessments of
    air crew
    • Exemptions to managed isolation – all compassionate exemptions from managed isolation have
    been suspended
    • Advice to persons transiting through New Zealand to another country – no change
    • Advice for air crew – updated requirements for air crew
    • Strengthening of maritime pathway border controls through the COVID-19 Public Health
    Response (Maritime Border Order 2020) which comes in force on at 11.59pm on 30 June 2020
    – this replaces previous advice on craft and persons arriving via the maritime pathway with
    changes to strengthen the controls on the maritime border
    • Persons arriving on yachts and pleasure craft are subject to the requirements of the new order
    • Personal protective equipment for border staff – reminder
    • Ministry of Health testing strategy – update
    • Further information and resources – no change.



29 March 2020

Essential Services Safely Provided at Port Nelson

Under the State of Emergency declared by the government, Port Nelson is classed as an essential service and the port infrastructure is classed as critical infrastructure to continue current and future operations.

As an ‘essential service’, the port is required to continue key aspects of our necessary regional services, while ensuring the safety of our staff and sub-contractors. Where the Government has determined that goods can flow, then our focus is to make that happen safely.

Being an essential service is a privilege and a responsibility. It means we are able to assist our regional exporters, who are classed as ‘essential businesses’, to import and export what they need to supply the region, and the country.  For those that are not classed as essential services, the port is working to safely unpack and store imported goods for distribution once the lockdown is lifted.

While all industries face their own impacts of COVID19, the fair-weather growing season has resulted in bumper crops for apples, kiwifruit and wine in the Top of the South. These crops are listed by Government as Essential Services. Port Nelson is continuing operations to get these containers out on the regular calls of the CMA CGM group through its ANL service, MSC, Maersk and Pacifica shipping lines. Where possible, the port is also looking to create additional space for the increased number of containers being exported this season.

Early advice from government permitted the removal of logs from wharves. This advice has now been tightened to permit log movement only if essential to clear space for the accumulation of imported containers and uncommitted containers. This is to avoid compromising the flow of containers related to essential services.

Essential services being imported through the port and safely out to supply our community include; the continued vital supply of fuel for the Top of the South and fertilizer for essential agriculture and horticulture businesses.

Food manufacturers such as Sealord and Talley’s, in the port’s seafood precinct, also continue to operate as a MPI approved ‘essential service’. Their land-based factory and vessel operations are operating under stringent COVID19 working practices.

Construction projects related to an essential service are considered an essential service. As a result, the Port’s Main Wharf Project continues. The Port is currently compromised in its ability to receive vessels greater than 245m without the completion of the project.

The safety of our staff and sub-contractors are our top priority as we undertake our important duties during Alert Level 4. The Port and our contracting partners have implemented strict procedures, tailored for each work activity. These procedures have been developed based on Ministry of Health guidelines, and generally exceed recommendations.

It is a privilege to continue to support our community and facilitate businesses in our region during these unprecedented times.



24 March 2020

Following the government’s announcement on 23 March, Port Nelson is moving to a Level 4 operational mode.

The Port is an essential service as are many Primary Industries, particularly those related to food and related supply chain industries. Transportation related to essential services is also an essential service. As a result, the Port will continue to operate our services as normal.

At the time of writing, the status of forestry as an essential service is being clarified. It is understood that the harvesting and processing of forests is not an essential service, however the transportation and exporting of stored timber and timber products may be permitted. We will update on this as it comes clear.

The Port’s Slipway is open to vessels related to essential services; fishing and Port activities.

The Port’s staff are now operating under COVID-19 Work Practice Protocols. These practices provide an enhanced level of protection, above those currently required by Ministry of Health. The health and safety of our staff is of utmost priority to us.

Businesses accessing the Port will experience a change in procedures to ensure the highest level of precaution against COVID-19. Please be patient and adaptable as you work with these procedures.

19 March 2020

Port Operations in the time of COVID-19


  • Port Nelson is very much open for business and we are recording strong export and import volumes
  • Container volumes in February were particularly strong, with wine and incoming empty continers up on budget. In addition petroleum, cement and fertiliser imports have been strong
  • Log exports have been hit hard, with volumes in February approximately 70% of last years volumes. This reflects the challenges the timber industry has been having over much of the last year, which have only been made worse by the COVID-19 challenge
  • Looking forward, Port Nelson is expecting to see strong exports of apples, kiwifruit and wine over the rest of the year. Shipping companies are advising that there will be sufficient refrigerated containers to support this bumper crop.

Our response to COVID-19

 Port Nelson has three priorities at this time of the COVID-19 challenge:

 Safe guard the community’s sea border at the Port and safeguard our team members who are at the front line of that border

  1. Ensure safe working practices are adopted by the Port team and those who enter the Port area
  2. Ensure the Port operations continue throughout the current challenge

Looking at each of these in overview:

Safe guard the community’s sea border at the Port: Port Nelson receives some vessels directly from overseas ports, so it operates as a port of first arrival. Ministry of Health and Maritime NZ have provided clear guidelines covering the arrival of vessels at the Port. Current requirements require crews to remain on board and not come to shore unless they have met self-isolation requirements. With Port staff we have adopted an approach of requiring a level of protection above that recommended by Ministry of Health.

Ensure safe working practices are adopted by the Port team: Port Nelson has established ‘Working Practice’ requirements which again follow Ministry of Health guidelines but genreally with an increased level of protection. This information has been shared with other companies in the Port area to support the sharing of solutions.

Ensure the Port operations continue throughout the current challenge: The Port has developed plans to ensure critical roles have a high level of back up and to ensure its ability to continue to operate should infection in the community become an issue.

Refer to the Maritime New Zealand page for further updates: