Back on 14 July I asked Napier Port this simple question:

Can you tell us (BayBuzz) what percentage of Napier port workers (all varieties) are vaccinated?

Here’s the kiss-off I received:

“Napier Port is confident that our frontline employees subject to mandatory testing have received their COVID-19 vaccinations.

“In addition, we are confident there is good vaccination coverage among all other Napier Port employees. We have strongly promoted vaccination to our employees, offering vaccinations on site during work time. We can’t provide an exact percentage because of privacy regulations. Individual vaccination information is confidential and is held by the Ministry of Health.”

“Privacy regulations” cited to deny disclosure of percentages?! Nonsense.

The national media now reports that 1,478 border workers have not yet been vaccinated. And especially pertinent for Hawke’s Bay, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins last week said he was “very concerned” about the 44% of all port workers — about 1,000 workers — who were still unvaccinated.

Rather worrisome when we have foreign ships floating offshore with Covid-infected crews.

For public sector border workers the deadline for getting vaccinated is 26 August; for those privately employed, the deadline is late September. At Napier Port, this latter category would include, for example, the companies who contract work such as fumigating logs.

Obviously Port workers will be in contact with overseas crews and exposed to Covid. And then exposed to their work mates, family, friends, maybe you, etc.

Therefore I re-ask Napier Port:

Can you tell us (BayBuzz) what percentages of Napier port workers (all varieties) are vaccinated?

If Port officials simply say they are ‘confident’ about their vaccination status, is that response good enough for you? Not for me. And definitely not for me if I were an HBRC councillor!

C’mon Napier Port, we’re not asking whether Port chair Alasdair MacLeod is vaccinated, we’re looking for percentages. If the national rate for port workers is 56% vaccinated, is Napier Port 60%, 75%, 95%? What is “good vaccination coverage”?

And if these percentages are not near perfect, what will be done about that?

Tricky business! If too many frontline Port workers refuse vaccination, and therefore must be re-deployed, at what point might the Port grind to a halt?


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  1. The port companies are being clever because they are not the only employers on the wharf. And main stream media haven’t picked up on this either. So suggest to expand your enquiries to companies like C3 and ISO both of whom do stevedoring work at PoN. But agree with your main concerns

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