Port Otago's response to Covid-19

27 March 2020

As an essential service, Port Otago's cargo handling services will remain operational during the Covid-19 Alert Level 4 period.

Chairman Paul Rea says it is vital our region has an uninterrupted supply of oil, LPG and critical supplies. "Conversely, continued exports of milk, meat, fish and apples are critical for other countries around the world right now. And, obviously, this also provides valuable cash for the New Zealand economy."

Over this period, export logs and processed timber will not be shipped.

Mr Rea was particularly grateful to the local unions. "They have played an important role over the past week – and will continue to do so – as we work together to identify solutions to problems that didn't exist a week ago, while also keeping our people safe."

Chief Executive Kevin Winders says business continuity plans are in place across the essential parts of the business. "It's all about container flow in and out at the moment, but there are a lot of other aspects of the business that work behind the scenes to make that happen."

The company has implemented a risk management plan to reduce the likelihood of an employee Covid-19 case impacting further. "Central to this plan is keeping teams of people physically apart at all times. Effectively, we have implemented workplace ‘bubbles', so there will be no physical cross over of teams for the foreseeable future."