Otago Daily Times

The risk from ships


Union national secretary Joe Fleetwood said the risk of having internatio­nal ships carry internatio­nal shipping, and all other cargo should be securely shifted by New Zealandfla­gged vessels.

Dr Shoemack figured such an arrangemen­t would not be technicall­y difficult, and would offer some limit on the number of port workers on ships.

‘‘But they might be on the ships for longer. So you win some, you lose some in that respect,’’ he said.

‘‘There would also be another consequenc­e in lost revenue for the closed ports and port workers left without a job to do.’’

He pointed out that New Zealand’s greatest border risk still remained its airports, given the larger volumes of people coming through them, and straight from other countries in short timeframes.

‘‘Whereas people coming in by ship have been sailing for at least a few days, and most of the ships arriving here have come from places more distant — in which case they’ve been at sea for many days.’’

Whatever issues needed to be fixed — and however the virus again got loose in New Zealand — Prof Baker said we could be certain of one thing: the careful actions of one person likely just saved the country another Covid19 headache.

‘‘This case also did all the right things in terms of seeking testing as soon as he developed symptoms.’’

It means that every single one of our ports is an internatio­nal border point and it puts our

members and the public at risk

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