Information from the RTF on COVID-19

Information from the RTF on COVID-19

Please note as at 8 April 2020: 

The RTF is the central point of communication to and from Government and the national media for the road freight transport industry. We keep this page updated daily with information needed by road freight operators.

We are in ongoing discussions with the government officials putting all the measures in place during the National State of Emergency in New Zealand. This is a moveable feast as we try and unblock the areas restricting the movement of freight and the health and safety of the workers involved in that, as well as look to life outside the Level 4 lockdown.

Updates Wednesday 8 April

On behalf of the road freight industry, RTF CE Nick Leggett appeared before the Parliamentary Epidemic Response Committee today (Wednesday 8 April). You can watch a replay here.

This committee was established on 25 March 2020 to consider and report to the House on matters relating to the Government’s management of the COVID-19 epidemic.

The hearing was covered by the NZ Herald here and Newsroom here.

Updates Tuesday 7 April

On 7 April, RTF CE Nick Leggett issued this Advisory. He will appear before the Parliamentary Epidemic Response Committee on Wednesday 8 April, on behalf of the road freight industry.

On 7 April, RTF issued this Advisory on RUC policy at this time.

Updates Monday 6 April

On 6 April, RTF issued a media release about adding key roads to the Government’s new infrastructure spend. You can read that here.

On 6 April, RTF issued a Memo on permit renewals under Covid-19 lockdown.

Updates Saturday 4 April

Toilets available in the North Island

Toilets available in the South Island

Where to get hand sanitiser and face masks

General information

Essential and non-essential goods 

We are still working to have the Government understand that all freight needs to move, whether they deem it essential or non-essential, it is part of a chain and if you remove one link, the chain no longer holds.

Truck drivers cannot be expected to carry the burden of determining what freight is essential or non-essential, that responsibility lies with the customer receiving the freight.

Your customers with goods coming into ports should put in place arrangements to shift and store those goods and that may involve your transport services.

This has been an area of some concern and the Ministry of Transport is updating its advice regularly.

That information is available here: 

Further advice about essential services can be obtained from MBIE. Email or call 0508 377 388.

On Monday 30 March the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment issued this media release adding goods to the essential goods list, including heaters, whiteware and computers. You can read that here.

The Ministry of Transport COVID-19 Alert Level 4 Transport Essential Services list and information is available here.

Financial information for businesses

All the Government’s up-to-date information about financial support for businesses is available here.

On 1 April the Government announced that businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can read about this here.

On 3 April, the Government announced it will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. You can read the media release here.

Rest areas during the lockdown; where to buy PPE

RTF has compiled lists toilets open during the Level 4 lockdown, as well as where to get hand sanitiser and face masks.

The North Island toilet list is available here.

The South Island toilet list is available here.

Hand sanitiser and face masks are available here.

Vehicle inspections

VINZ has been granted NZTA approval to offer limited services to essential service vehicles and vehicles of essential service workers. The details are here.

AA and VTNZ have also put together a reduced inspection network across New Zealand to meet the requirements of essential service vehicles. You can find information about that here.

Supply chain news and information

Identification of essential workers – wine industry

On 30 March, New Zealand Winegrowers shared this information about identification of essential workers.

Air freight

On 26 March, Air New Zealand announced that it would be ramping up cargo operations. You can read about that here.

Road freight

On 26 March, RTF issued a media release highlighting the confusion around non-essential and essential freight and calling for the Government to allow all freight to move. You can read that media release here.


On 26 March, NZTA announced – Critical state highway maintenance work to continue

RTF fact sheets, circulars and advisories

7 April, Update from Nick Leggett

7 April, Advisory: The RTF issued this Advisory on RUC policy at this time.

6 April, Memo: The RTF issued a Memo on permit renewals under Cover-19 lockdown.

3 April, Advisory: The RTF issued an Advisory on wellbeing and safety for essential workers.

1 April Advisory: Update from Nick Leggett

1 April Advisory: The RTF issued this Advisory about keeping yourself, your truck and your freight safe from theft during the Level 4 lockdown.

31 March Advisory: The RTF issued this Advisory to livestock transporters on animal status declaration handling alternatives.

30 March Advisory: Update from Nick Leggett on:

  • The Ministry of Transport’s latest update on Personal Protection Equipment; Identification of Essential Workers; and WOFs and COFs
  • Identification of essential workers in the wine industry
  • Health and Safety on the road – food and rest areas

30 March Advisory: The RTF has issued this Advisory about knowing your rights and being identified as an essential service worker, including a template of a letter to make that identification which you can find here.

30 March Advisory: The RTF has issued this Advisory on container storage and the transport of essential goods.

27 March Circular: COVID-19 Update from CE Nick Leggett

26 March, Circular: COVID-19: Of importance to all transporters – information about registering with MPI by Friday 27 March

26 March, Circular: Worktime and logbook compliance/essential service compliance/backloads on essential service vehicles

Circular: COVID-19 update as at 25 March – general update from the RTF

Fact sheet 1 – COVID-19 – 17 March 2020   on preparing your business

Circular: Coronavirus (Covid-19) planning – 17 March 2020

From the Government

The New Zealand Government has centralised information about COVID-19 on one website here: 


6 April, RTF media release Add key roads to new infrastructure spend

3 April, RNZ, Nick Leggett spoke on how things are going for truckers on the road during the lock down. You can listen to that here.

2 April, RNZ, Nick Leggett spoke to Nine to Noon about why the Government shouldn’t term freight non-essential as it breaks the supply chain. You can listen to that here.

2 April, Stuff, Freight company, retailers join call to free up online sale of goods

2 April, RTF media release Supply chain links vital to essential supplies

31 March, Tranzliquid driver Luke Taylor told TVOne’s Breakfast show what it’s like on the road during the lockdown, including the lack of food and toilets. You can view that here.

26 March, RTF media release All freight is essential and must move

25 March, RNZ, Truckies exempt from lockdown

24 March, Stuff, Truckers call on Govt to provide more clarity on what’s an essential delivery

24 March, RNZ Morning Report, Coronavirus: Essential industries to carry on

24 March 2020, RTF media release Trucks need freedom of movement

Nick Leggett’s blogs:

Free up freight to keep the economy moving

Communication key in dealing with coronavirus