Covid-19 Guidance for summerfruit growers

Fruitbowl Ham

Summerfruit NZ continues to cooperate with others across the horticulture sector to resolve issues and clarify matters in situations relevant to us. 

Recent developments 

Please see the Ministry for Primary Industries guidance for the horticulture industry on operating under Covid-19, via the HortNZ link here


Managing Covid-19 risks at harvest time

With harvest already underway for some, and not far off for others, it is timely to consider contingency plans for mitigating risks should further Covid outbreaks occur, anywhere in New Zealand.

We do expect that in the event of a severe outbreak and any reinstatement of measures above Alert Level 1, that horticultural businesses would continue to operate as essential businesses. Despite that there are some simple things to consider given the effects of a regional increase in restrictions that may limit the movement of products to markets and ports/airports, and also your staff.

We are working with the Ministry for Primary Industries to fully understand the risks, and develop a plan to mitigate those. That includes in particular the movement of our high-value, perishable fruit across any closed internal borders.

There are some simple things that you can do to minimise risks:

  • Think of managing the risks just like any other biosecurity response –
    • know where people have been and when 
    • minimise possible entry points and pathways
    • take precautions to prevent potential spread – disinfect regularly.
  • Ensure you have your business Covid Tracer app QR code (each business in New Zealand must display a QR code for each location).
  • For those staff who you are in contact with about working the upcoming season, getting them to all use the Covid Tracer app. This might ensure they can move for work if lockdown happens.
  • Ensure all current staff are using the Covid Tracer app.
  • Consider work bubbles to minimise risk of the whole team being considered close contact risks.
  • Monitor staff health daily to enable early detection of Covid-19.

Published 18 November 2020


Latest Pacific repatriation country overview

The latest update from Wednesday, 28 October can be found here.

Please be aware of the following notes:


The next flight from Auckland to Tonga is confirmed for 19 November.


The Tuvalu Cabinet has confirmed two NZDF repatriation flights from New Zealand to Tuvalu on 5 and 19 November, carrying 60 passengers per flight. No further expressions of interests are being accepted for the 5 November flight. 

Published 4 November 2020


FAQs for RSE employers, WHV and VV to SSE visa

Please see here information from Immigration NZ that aims to clarify some of the requirements for the different visa holders applying to work in the horticulture and viticulture sectors. 

If you still have questions after reading this document, please send your query to the RSE Unit by email to 

SSE Approval in Principle

Immigration NZ have advised that applications for SSE Approval in Principle need to be sent to their National Documentation office as follows:

  • By courier to: c/- DX Mail EP71514, 20 Fairfax Avenue, Penrose, Auckland 1061
  • By post to: PO Box 76895, Manukau, Auckland 2241

Published 19 October 2020


Latest Pacific repatriation country overview

The latest update from 12.07pm Monday, 12 October can be found here.

Please be aware of the following notes:

Solomon Islands

The planned flight for 25 October, has been confirmed, subject to final clearances. A deadline of 15 October has been given for all paperwork to be completed, so a final decision will be made on the flight going ahead shortly.


A 30 October commercial repatriation flight from Auckland has been approved. Air New Zealand have confirmed they can reschedule their weekly Tuesday cargo flight to this date. 111 passengers (46 RSE and 65 non RSE) are expected to be confirmed for the flight. Air New Zealand are in discussion with the Government of Tonga over the next approved flight date, likely late November.


The Tuvalu Cabinet has endorsed dates for two NZDF repatriation flights from New Zealand to Tuvalu (5 and 19 November). Planning will commence this week. Tuvalu’s pre-departure requirements, including potentially self-isolation, remain to be confirmed.

Published 13 October 2020


Latest Pacific repatriation country overview 

The latest update from 10.20am Monday, 5 October can be found here

Please be aware of the following notes:

Solomon Islands

Following a confirmed case of Covid-19 in managed isolation, all flights into Solomon Islands are on hold, including the proposed 25 October ex Auckland, until the situation is clearer.

Please note: Any employer who has a booking on this flight please advise Summerfruit NZ's Richard Palmer by email to asap.


Samoa’s Cabinet has agreed to two further commercial passenger flights out of Auckland; one in October and one in December. We understand the passenger manifestos are being managed by the government of Samoa. 

Please note: Any Samoan workers still wanting to go home, please advise both the Samoan High Commission and also Emma Sherwood at NZ Apples and Pears by email to

Published 5 October 2020