COVID-19: MPI Register for Safe Practice

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Primary industries and some suppliers to them have been deemed an essential service, however they will need to follow strict rules to stop the spread of COVID-19. The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is requiring assurances from industries and businesses which intend to continue to operate during the lockdown that their processes will protect workers and the public by limiting interactions and reducing the potential spread of COVID-19. MPI has created a register which will remain in place until the National Alert Level has been lowered. Businesses must register with them by 5pm on Friday, March 27.

Essential businesses or essential services as relating to the Primary Industries which must register fall under one or more of the following categories:

  • Entities involved in the packaging, production and processing of food and beverage products, whether for domestic consumption or export;
  • Entities involved in relevant support services, such as food safety and verification, inspection or associated laboratory services and biosecurity functions;
  • Entities providing veterinary services; and
  • Any entity whose closure would jeopardise the maintenance of animal health or welfare standards.

To assess whether they need to register, operators should ask themselves;

1) Are there five or fewer people (including the owner) working at each business site?

2) Can you achieve social distancing measures, including travelling, to and from work?

If the answer is ‘yes’ to both, then you do not need to register. If ‘no’ to either, or in doubt, then you must fill in the form.

Registering requires businesses to fill out a free form, with key details and to answer questions about how they intend to stop any spread of COVID-19;

  • Business name
  • NZBN number
  • Contact details
  • Registration type (under which Act you operate)
  • Business sector
  • How many workplaces / premises / facilities / operating locations are there?
  • What number of employees are at each premise / facility / operating location (show numbers by location)?
  • What number of employees do you already have working from home?
  • How do your production processes protect your workers and the public by reducing the potential spread of COVID-19?
  • How are you ensuring that workers and others at work are observing social distancing to and from work, during work and during rest breaks?
  • What personal hygiene steps have you put in place for workers to reduce the likelihood of virus spread at work?
  • What existing, or additional personal protective equipment could you introduce that would reduce the likelihood of virus spread at work?
  • What steps are you taking to limit access to your workplaces apart from essential workers?
  • How are you isolating staff, or parts of your workplace, so that virus spread would be contained should it occur?
  • What arrangements have you put in place for staff to report any illness and remove themselves from work?
  • What arrangement have you put in place for staff to report any suspected exposure to COVID-19?
  • What actions would you take should a staff member be suspected of or confirmed as having COVID-19?
  • How do you ensure that staff at particular risk of COVID-19 identify themselves and are isolated from work?
  • How will you ensure that your workers observe ‘stay at home’ rules at the conclusion of each working day?

The registration process can be found here. The freephone contact for more information is 0800 00 83 33.

If you have any questions, please contact Nick CrangDanielle Consedine or any of our lawyers


Disclaimer: the content of this article is general in nature and not intended as a substitute for specific professional advice on any matter and should not be relied upon for that purpose.​


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