Covid-19 Update

Update 13 May

Posted by Ian Coventry on May 13, 2020

Kia ora koutou

Well done to everyone for being part of successfully harvesting the 2020 Sun Gold crop. Faced with some
crazy challenges, everyone has gone above and beyond to get the job done and achieve what looked unlikely,
if not impossible, when lock down was announced back in late March!

You’ve all been impacted in different ways by Covid-19, and some of you haven’t even been able to be back
at work with your mates since way back then. That doesn’t mean you haven’t contributed or done your bit
because you have, and your work from home and support of your whanau is very much appreciated!

It’s been a huge OPAC Team effort so far with Gold picking finished, and we can now see the light at the end
of the tunnel with the Hayward crop expected to take about another four weeks to pick and pack. We will be
operating all of our picking teams and all four packing shifts right to the end of Hayward.


The Prime Minister announced this afternoon that the country will move to response Level 2 from this
Thursday. This significantly changes what we are able to do and will give all of us some normality back in our
lives. It also has the potential to increase the risk of a rebound in cases if we don’t continue to do the right
things under the new guidelines.

The key messages we want to reinforce for our teams are:

  •  Alternative ways of working is encouraged where possible, so working from home and rostered work
    will still operate for some roles
  • We need to keep the COVID-19 risks conversations going. i.e. keep working together to identify risks
    and the ways we will manage them
  • It is as important as ever to keep our workplace healthy - if you are sick, stay at home!
  • We will be letting contractors and growers know that if they have cold or flu-like symptoms they
    cannot visit our site, and they should let us know they are unwell if we are visiting their place.
  • The security gate and checks will continue to be in place to monitor entry onto our site at least until
    the end of packing.
  • We should still be maintaining physical distancing – 2 metres apart is the gold standard and in some
    areas it will be 1 metre apart. We will let you know where these areas will be.
  • We will be keeping contact-tracing records for anyone who will have close interaction with our
    workers including all contractors and growers
  • We will maintain good personal hygiene practices – Wash your hands. Wash your hands. Wash your
    hands – minimise the number of shared surfaces, and regularly disinfect them.
  • Maintain the 3 S’s – in our café/smoko areas - seated, separated, and use a single server if needed

When we are not at work we will now be able to mix with people from outside of our “bubbles’ and travel
outside of town quite freely. We do ask that you continue to take care of yourself and your whanau, be
careful when mixing in other towns and with people that you do not know, and help us keep OPAC and
Opotiki Covid-19 free!