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Flexibility added to Level 3 restrictions for commercial marine companies

by Michael Brown/Yachting New Zealand 3 May 11:28 NZST 3 May 2020
Emirates Team New Zealand's test boat Te Kaahu is prepared for their its first test session since the five week-long COVID-19 lockdown - April 30, 2020 © Emirates Team New Zealand

Certain sectors of the marine industry have been given permission to restart some on-water operations under alert level 3.

The most obvious example of this was the sight of Emirates Team New Zealand resuming their testing programme on the Waitemata Harbour today with Te Kahu, their 12m test boat.

Regular sailing and boating is prohibited while New Zealand is under alert level 3 with the exception of windsurfing and kiteboarding as long as it is done within 200m of shore.

The Government released updated guidelines on sectors of the marine industry that could operate under level 3. This was done after consultation with Maritime New Zealand and other government agencies.

The move was welcomed by Yachting New Zealand chief executive David Abercrombie, who said: "It was great to see people making sensible decisions around commercial operations because the marine industry contributes so much to the New Zealand economy.

"It's really important people continue to follow the guidelines on and off the water so they uphold the integrity of the New Zealand marine industry and the rules the New Zealand Government have set under Covid 19."

The following business activity is allowed:

Marine industry companies are permitted to sea trial new and serviced boats/vessels, in an inner harbour sheltered water area, as part of their normal business practice, subject to the company having work place plans in place to comply with the physical distancing and contactless customer requirements and other requirements of Covid 19 restriction level 3.

Marine industry companies are permitted to motor/move a customer’s boat/vessel, in an inner harbour sheltered water area, to a local servicing area or haul out yard for marine companies to refit/service the boat/vessel, as part of their normal business practice, subject to the company having work place plans in place to comply with the physical distancing and contactless customer requirements and other requirements of Covid 19 restriction level 3.

Marine industry companies in the business of selling their own stock boats or on behalf of vendor’s boats as part of their normal business practice may do so subject to the company having work place plans in place to comply with the physical distancing and contactless customer requirements and other requirements of Covid 19 restriction level 3. In doing so, boat shops, display rooms and boat agency offices will need to remain closed to the public and customers. Examples of rules relating to real estate agents for showing a limited number of customers house’s, that vendors have agreed to be shown under alert level 3, can be applied to a boat broker opening a boat for a viewing by a customer – with the maximum of two people from the same bubble viewing a boat.

Emirates Team New Zealand today returned to the water for the first time since March 23. Last week they announced they had commissioned personal social distancing devices and they have also resumed work on construction of their second AC75 and likely race boat.

"Hopefully they learn enough in the next little while to make the winning changes to their new boat," Abercrombie said.

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