Does the announcement from MPI mean that Moving Day can happen under all alert levels?
Yes, it does. How Moving Day needs to be managed under each of the alert levels will be slightly different. Because we don’t know which alert level we will be at we need everyone to plan for all scenarios. This means that even if New Zealand goes back to Alert Level 4, we can proceed with confidence.
So, what will we need to do differently?
The sector has developed a set of checklists, guidelines and procedures for farmers to follow for Moving Day. These cover livestock, vehicles, the dairy shed, the broader farm, moving of houses and possessions, and moving of people. They also list the types of businesses you can involve in your move such as moving trucks and cleaning companies and how you should manage this.
Will my friends and family be able to help with Moving Day?
Anyone that is in your bubble – yes.
Anyone outside of your bubble – it depends.
At Alert Level 4 any assistance would be restricted. We are fortunate that our sector can proceed with Moving Day and need to respect that Alert Level 4 would mean the rest of the country is in lockdown. So whilst it might be inconvenient all New Zealanders are experiencing inconvenience. We would ask instead that you use other businesses to support your move where health and safety is more formally managed, i.e. cleaning companies, moving trucks.
At Alert Level 3 people are asked to remain within their immediate household bubble, and we still recommend that you use businesses as a preference for Moving Day assistance. It should go without saying that anyone who is unwell should not be involved nor anyone with underlying health conditions or who is considered vulnerable. You will need to record who has assisted.
At Alert Level 2 family and friends can assist but manage physical distancing as much as possible with regular hand washing. And of course, unwell people should not assist.
For all of the above scenarios we will be providing more information.
How do I know which businesses I can use?
We are working with MPI to confirm this list for the different alert levels but you can start booking in moving and cleaning companies now as well as preparing for the sale and transfer of stock.
Who is responsible for houses being left in the correct condition, i.e. clean and disinfected?
This is no different to other years.
The people who have been living in the house are responsible for leaving it in a clean and tidy state. This year everyone should do the right thing and give it an exceptionally good clean.
Further to this the sharemilker or contract milker is responsible for ensuring that their own house and their employees house/s have been left in a clean and tidy state.
A farm owner is responsible for ensuring that any employees they employ leave their houses in a clean and tidy state. And they should check the condition of all houses on their farms before any new contract milker or share milker moves in as the farm owner is ultimately responsible.
Note if anyone who has been living in the house is or has been Covid-19 positive, or suspected to be, or a close contact of someone positive or suspected to be, then more extensive cleaning is required. Please refer to Ministry of Health guidelines and we will provide more detail in the coming weeks.
Can we move from the North Island to South Island (and vice versa) and what are the requirements/guidelines for this?
Yes you can. The rules are the same as for everyone else except you have further to go! See our Moving Day guidelines and templates.
Regions may operate at different alert levels. If you are travelling, check whether a different alert level applies in your region or destination.
At Alert Level 3, everyone can travel for work within their region, or to a neighbouring region. You should only travel if it is necessary. Essential workers can travel outside of their regions, where it is necessary to do so.
At Alert Level 2, you can travel for work anywhere in New Zealand, but should only do so if necessary.
Can we have our house tested for methamphetamine?
Yes. It is part of your obligations as a landlord that the house you will rent out is suitable for people to live in safely so if you have any concerns that methamphetamine may have been produced or consumed in the property you should test.
Will the cleaning companies be fully aware of protocols for cleaning under different COVID19 alert levels?
We would hope so but since you will be contracting them it is your responsibility to ensure they manage their business to appropriate health and safety standards. You will need to ask them a few questions. If their answers don’t give you confidence, then you should find another provider. All information regarding protocols that essential services are required to adhere to can be found here.
We were planning to undertake some renovations to the farm house to make it compliant with the Healthy Homes legislation and/or other remedial repairs while the house is empty, can we still do this?
Yes you can – unless we move back to Alert Level 4 again. And please do – your employees will be grateful and some work might be required for your house to be legally compliant, e.g. insulation.
I do not have any staff movements on Moving Day but have a number of farms where we have regular changes in staff both before and after Moving Day. What is the general guidance for movement of these people (including between islands)?
The same as it is for actual Moving Day. Whilst many people are on the move on 1 June the reality is Moving Day is really Moving Week and even longer. Further guidance is available on the MPI website and more advice will be provided in early May.
If we require a letter as ‘proof’ of the need to move farms, where do I get this?
If you are travelling outside your region you will likely need to provide evidence (whether to the police, if you get pulled over, or the transport agency) that you are an essential worker and therefore allowed to travel outside your region.
You may like to download DairyNZ’s letter template which can be provided to authorities as evidence of you are an essential worker and your travel is safe and necessary.
Under what circumstances would we need to have new staff self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival at the farm?
If someone becomes sick with COVID-19 or is suspected of having COVID-19 it’s critical they self-isolate, which means stay at home and recover. They should not relocate until they have recovered.
If they become sick after relocation, they must self-isolate and not work for 14 days.
Should there be a down time between a family moving out of a house and someone moving in (72hrs)? If this is not practicable should additional sanitising be done to surfaces?
It is not necessary for the house to be empty for 72 hours but as with every year, the house should be cleaned, and surfaces sanitized.
We hope people will be particularly thorough this year and guidelines will be provided in early May.
Are there specific cleaning/sanitising products that we can use to ensure the safety of surfaces in the workplace/home? Perhaps some direction on what a ‘deep’ or extra clean looks like?
It is not necessary for the house to be empty for 72 hours although we would recommend this if the person living in the house has had Covid-19 or suspected of having Covid-19 by MoH. If this is the case, then you could consider using local motel accommodation or equivalent.
Every year the house should be cleaned, sanitising surfaces, but this year we hope people will be particularly thorough.
What direction is there for movement between regions IF different regions have different Alert Levels?
Our request to government was for Moving Day to happen under all alert levels. It is not yet known what alert level New Zealand will be under come Moving Day, but we have been given assurance we can proceed in any case. If it happened that different regions were under different alert levels we would ask that people adhere to the higher alert level involved.
The Sharemilking Contract requires the Sharemilker to do a farm walk with the advisor/farm owner/incoming/outgoing sharemilker on moving day. How can/should this proceed?
This can proceed (unless someone is unwell or suspected of having Covid-19) but managing physical distancing and adhering to the requirements of the different alert levels. See more information here.
Livestock agents often require the vendor and purchaser to both be present to body condition score/pick rejects from herd etc. just prior to change of hands of the herd. Are there any new guidelines for this?
This can proceed. Key considerations are managing physical distancing and of course if someone is unwell they should not participate. See more information here.
Will there be direction provided to the dairy industry relating to migrant workers? For example, a migrant worker already in NZ and due to start new role on new farm but needs new or amended visa but application can’t progress under lockdown; or a contract signed with a migrant worker that is still in a foreign country.
A proposal has been submitted to government by DairyNZ and Federated Farmers seeking certainty for visa holders and as soon as we hear we will let farmers know. It currently seems unlikely that migrant workers (even those with signed employment agreements or those who were on holiday when the borders shut) will be able to enter New Zealand for many months.
Visas which expired between 2 April to the 9 July have automatically been extended until 25 September 2020. Migrants with current temporary work visas already employed in essential services are able to vary their hours and be redeployed to do other roles within their current workplaces. They can also do their current role in different workplaces to help essential businesses keep operating while New Zealand remains at Alert Level 3 or 4 and six weeks after that. More information can be found here.
Should I be wearing gloves and mask at all times during moving process if in Level 4/3? What are the benefits? Is this a necessary precaution?
Under Alert Levels 3 and 4 the use of gloves is recommended if multiple people (from different bubbles) will be touching the same items.
Use of a mask is not necessary but can reduce the spread of infection when used correctly and in the appropriate context. They also help prevent you from touching your face or mouth.
Hand hygiene and cough/sneeze etiquette (maintain distance, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues and wash hands) will, however, have a bigger impact.
What are my NAIT obligations this moving day?
Make sure all your animals are tagged and registered in your NAIT account after tagging.
Record all farm to farm livestock movements in NAIT.
Ensure your NAIT account is up to date before moving farm or herd. Remember - new farm, new NAIT number.
Call the OSPRI Contact Centre 0800 482 463 to set up your new NAIT location and update your TB herd records.
From this year, your transport operator may require you to complete a declaration that your animals are NAIT compliant before moving them. You can request a book of transporter declaration forms from OSPRI.
What are my TB testing obligations if I’m in a movement control area (MCA), such as Hawke’s Bay?
If your property is in an MCA, all cattle or deer over 90 days of age must have tested clear to a pre-movement TB test within 60 days of being moved. More information.