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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.

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