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5 weeks at sea +14 days Auckland Quarantine


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Many may not be aware the current maritime border order allows arriving yachts to count sea time against the 14 day quarantine requirement. This is actually more lax than the Fiji and Aussie border orders.

In our case, we applied 8 Sept for a foreign yacht exemption and were told it would be 15-20 days to hear back. Fast forward to 27th October we received permission! We are former residents and out young daughter is a NZ citizen. During the time while our application was in a satellite “big brother” tracking requirement was added. As we didn’t have this satellite equipment, we asked Customs for and received permission to checkin in twice daily with a NZ licensed maritime station.

 

After brief stops under quarantine in Pago Pago (with permission) and N Minerva reef, we arrived in Opua 8 November having departed French Polynesia 5 November. Have been in Auckland quarantine hotel, two adjoining rooms at taxpayer expense since then. Our initial inspector from customs in Opua was not the regular guy that had been in touch frequently with our NZ shore station. It seemed like an honest mistake was being made and we were initially hopeful it would be sorted quickly. We suggested letting us spend the night onboard under quarantine, but we were whisked off hours later in a 15 passenger Mercedes van to the Grand Millennium.

We’ve made dozens of calls and emails and our shore station has independently confirmed with customs that they made all necessary reports. At this point it appears customs just wishes us to “suffer in silence” and wait it out. Zero accountability from this huge bureaucracy!   Hopefully this storm coming doesn’t damage our catamaran on the customs dock in Opua!

 

Anyone with any ideas please post here! At this point we realize we’re probably stuck here the rest of the 14 days, but would really like to see some accountability for those responsible for this erroneous decision.  Names obviously withheld but happy to share via PM or post here if deemed appropriate. We have nothing to hide.

Jeff Goff

S/V MoJo

 

 

 

 

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A promising start.   The border is not 100% secure to Covid in the same way that our border is not 100% secure to anything.  This is why the testing takes place at entry and in MIQ. T

NYS, the vast majority of foreign cruisers would rate your getting entry into NZ in the current world situation up there with winning lotto. On top of that you say the cost of your quarantine is being

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I really feel for you Jeff, I hope it all works out.

I will make one comment though and that is that the stop at minerva reef zeros your time at sea to whatever time that it takes to get to NZ. Thats because of the possibility of cross boat contact at an anchorage , whether it happened or not. Usually we take 5 days and you'll probably be quicker.  

So they will be counting that for sure and from what I hear you need 11 days at sea to be able to quarantine on board. 

I suspect that is what has happened. 

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1 hour ago, NorthlandYS said:

 

After brief stops under quarantine in Pago Pago (with permission) and N Minerva reef, we arrived in Opua 8 November having departed French Polynesia 5 November. 

 

If that's what you told them? I assume you mean you departed 5 Oct?

Hard luck though. Seems like one of those lose lose situations caused by beauracracy, but I guess the folks running the quarantine program have a bit on their plate. 

 

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1 hour ago, John B said:

I really feel for you Jeff, I hope it all works out.

I will make one comment though and that is that the stop at minerva reef zeros your time at sea to whatever time that it takes to get to NZ. Thats because of the possibility of cross boat contact at an anchorage , whether it happened or not. Usually we take 5 days and you'll probably be quicker.  

So they will be counting that for sure and from what I hear you need 11 days at sea to be able to quarantine on board. 

I suspect that is what has happened. 

You are on the money JB, from the order, see 17.2(a), Minerva will qualify as "other place"

17General requirement to remain in isolation or quarantine

(1)A person who arrives in New Zealand on board a ship must remain in isolation or quarantine for at least 14 days on board that ship.

(2)For the purposes of subclause (1), the period of 14 days is counted from the most recent of the following:

(a)the time at which and date on which the ship last departed for New Zealand from a port or other place outside New Zealand:
(b)the time and date of the person’s last contact, counted from the time at which the contact ended:
(c)the time at which and date on which a new person joins the ship.
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This is obviously a sensitive subject for you, so I want to ask as respectfully as I can (on the basis you have put this in a public forum), what is the issue with having to do quarantine in the Grand Millennium?

I.e. is there some where else you need to be?

You are safe, your boat is safe, and the rest of us are safe.

Your boat will be fine on the quarantine dock, is is effectively as sheltered there as it is in the marina. The storm is a big media beat up. We'll be lucky to get our rain tanks filled - if a weather event even occurs. If there is any hint of risk the locals will sort your boat, esp if you are linked in on social media, as it appears you are. And if you went in on the 8th Dec, you'll probably be out before we get any descent weather.

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10 hours ago, Fish said:

This is obviously a sensitive subject for you, so I want to ask as respectfully as I can (on the basis you have put this in a public forum), what is the issue with having to do quarantine in the Grand Millennium?

I.e. is there some where else you need to be?

You are safe, your boat is safe, and the rest of us are safe.

Your boat will be fine on the quarantine dock, is is effectively as sheltered there as it is in the marina. The storm is a big media beat up. We'll be lucky to get our rain tanks filled - if a weather event even occurs. If there is any hint of risk the locals will sort your boat, esp if you are linked in on social media, as it appears you are. And if you went in on the 8th Dec, you'll probably be out before we get any descent weather.

We were 7 days from Minerva. There were no boats there but impossible to prove.   Should then be a 7 day quarantine not 14.

my point here is that Customs are not following their rules and apparently have Carte Blanche to alter people’s life’s as they deem fit.

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41 minutes ago, NorthlandYS said:

We were 7 days from Minerva. There were no boats there but impossible to prove.   Should then be a 7 day quarantine not 14.

my point here is that Customs are not following their rules and apparently have Carte Blanche to alter people’s life’s as they deem fit.

NYS, the vast majority of foreign cruisers would rate your getting entry into NZ in the current world situation up there with winning lotto. On top of that you say the cost of your quarantine is being paid for by the NZ taxpayer, ie me and the rest of the NZ tax paying population. 

So to echo Fish, be it 7 or 14 days in quarantine, it is a very minor inconvenience for you to be allowed into NZ. 

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BTW welcome to NZ/home.

Relax, and know that we're all gonna get along just fine if we play by the rules, so think of the greater good.

But yes they do have carte blanche to protect our borders, as do most border protection forces and I am sure many here would suggest that at times the line has been overstepped by the authorities. Extraordinary times demand extraordinary steps.

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1 hour ago, NorthlandYS said:

We were 7 days from Minerva. There were no boats there but impossible to prove.   Should then be a 7 day quarantine not 14.

my point here is that Customs are not following their rules and apparently have Carte Blanche to alter people’s life’s as they deem fit.

If I could give some free advise. You need to educate yourself to the local mood and views on covid, the border and all things related. Customs job is to keep our border secure, which they are doing. They need to be more cautious than anything, not lax. The social and economic costs to us of boarder infractions that lead to city wide or country wide lockdowns are significant. We wear face masks when there is a need. Where keep socially distanced when there is a need. Hell, we even don't go sailing when told (although there is a whole lot of bitching about it).

So to complain about being put up in comfortable accommodation is not going to endear yourself to many of us.

I thought you may have a sick or dying close relative to attend to, or a small business you needed to get back to before it went bust. But if you complaining about 14 days quarantine because you want to get out on your boat and enjoy our beautiful coastline, you aren't going to get any sympathy, sorry. 

Be grateful for your situation. The Germans that turned up had their boat impounded and were deported forth-with. You could be in Fiji, preparing for a direct hit from a cyclone right now, instead of enjoying the air conditioned ambiance of your room.

Just don't be ungrateful for minor inconveniences in the big picture. Customs job is to keep our borders secure. Nothing else.

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1 hour ago, NorthlandYS said:

my point here is that Customs are not following their rules and apparently have Carte Blanche to alter people’s life’s as they deem fit.

Yep, great isn't it? Means that we are in a totally different situation to most of the world. And shortly you will be enjoying that freedom behind the very same borders you're currently bitching about. Happy Xmas!

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