Access to essential appliances and electrical goods allowed

Another gentle easing of rules on essential goods and services from MBIE:

The Government has decided that the sale of essential goods such as heaters, whiteware and computers will be allowed – in recognition of the need for people to safely isolate, stay connected to one another and work or study from home. In order to protect public safety, there are conditions around the selling of these goods.

Essential goods are those that will keep people warm (heaters, blankets), replace key household appliances, and maintain people’s health. Examples of essential products are blankets, fridges, heaters and computers or tablets to work from home or do distance learning, or simply connect with people.

Public to be able to access essential goods during shutdown

Published: 30 March 2020

The Government has decided that the sale of essential goods such as heaters, whiteware and computers will be allowed – in recognition of the need for people to safely isolate, stay connected to one another and work or study from home. In order to protect public safety, there are conditions around the selling of these goods. These are outlined below.

The Government indicated at the start of the shutdown that we were considering whether some products could be made available online or by phone and we have decided there are essential non-food products that people should be able to buy so they can safely isolate and stop the spread of COVID-19.

Essential goods are those that will keep people warm (heaters, blankets), replace key household appliances, and maintain people’s health. Examples of essential products are blankets, fridges, heaters and computers or tablets to work from home or do distance learning, or simply connect with people. If people can’t buy these, then we risk people venturing out of their homes more often.

Businesses must operate responsibly and only make available for sale genuine essential goods – goods that are necessities of life while ensuring we restrict the movement of people and workers to combat COVID-19.

The public must order responsibly purchasing only those items that are absolutely necessary to facilitate life and work during the lock down period.

In order to be able to sell these essential goods, businesses must:

  1. Only take orders online or by phone and keep storefronts shut.
  2. Take orders for only essential non-food goods.
  3. Home deliver all essential goods in a contactless way and not allow people to visit stores to select or collect goods.
  4. Take all appropriate public health measures to protect their staff and customers (e.g. physical distancing, hygiene basics, appropriate personal protective equipment).
  5. Notify MBIE that they meet these conditions and intend to offer essential goods for sale and provide a list of those products. See covid19.govt.nz(external link) for more information on how to do this.

If a business cannot meet these conditions, they should not offer to sell essential goods while the country is at Alert Level 4. If businesses are too generous in their interpretation of what is “essential” or flout these rules, Government will take further action.

We would like to acknowledge the support of Retail New Zealand who assisted us in developing this new approach.

We recognise it may take some time for businesses to amend their systems in order to comply with these conditions so we ask the public to be patient.

Information on Essential Services is being regularly updated on covid19.govt.nz(external link)

Important Pike River evidence missing

There has a lot been said and claimed over the Pike River mine disaster, but this seems like a big deal.

1 News:  Former chief mines inspector says missing piece of evidence could point to cause of Pike River Mine disaster

The mystery around a missing piece of evidence could point to the cause of the Pike River mine disaster, according to a former chief mines inspector in the UK.

The door from a fan control box was photographed nine days after the first explosion in 2010.

Tony Forster, who is now advising the families affected by the Pike River disaster, has tried to track down the object with no success.

Stuff:  Pike River families claim ‘vital’ evidence from mine explosion has been lost

A group representing some of the families of men who died in the Pike River Mine say critical evidence disappeared during the initial investigation.

The cover of an electrical cabinet was blown to the surface in one of the explosions that rocked the West Coast mine, north of Greymouth, in 2010, killing 29 men.

After it was photographed, Tony Forster, a former mines chief inspector now advising the Pike River families, told TVNZ he understood it was flown by helicopter to the Pike River office. Its current whereabouts are unknown.

“It blows my mind that something as significant as that, in an area that the Royal Commission centred on, has gone missing,” he said.

Efforts are ramping up to re-enter the mine. Police said last week they would not accompany the first re-entry team due to safety concerns, but would reconsider if there was a critical find, such as human remains.

Obviously, electrical equipment and wiring in a potentially highly flammable environment is an important thing to check when a mine explodes. So the location of the cabinet will be aan obvious thing to check when the mine is re-entered.

The electrical cabinet cover being blown 100m up a shaft and out of the mine is a big deal. As it it going missing.