8 Jul 2021

Covid-19: Port Taranaki won't let ship with infected sailors dock

From Morning Report, 7:09 am on 8 July 2021

Port Taranaki's decision to refuse entry to a ship with two Covid infected crew, is being labelled inhumane.

The pair were among nine sailors who flew into Auckland on Monday, and were driven to New Plymouth where they boarded the Viking Bay deep-sea fishing vessel, without first having to quarantine.

Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said at Wednesday's Covid-19 briefing the vessel was on its way back to Taranaki.

However, there are no managed isolation or quarantine facilities in New Plymouth and Port Taranaki says it won't let the ship dock.

Port sources in Auckland and Wellington said last night they hadn't been told that the vessel would be coming to them instead.

The Ministry of Health declined to be interviewed.

Bill Preston was the ship's agent when it was in Taranaki.

He spoke to Susie Ferguson.