In a development prompted by the onset of global pandemic COVID-19, New Zealand’s Eastland Port is continuing to undertake weekly dredging operations using its owned-and-operated suction hopper dredger Pukunui.
The regular removal of sediment to maintain access to the port has been deemed a matter of national importance, maintaining the export of wood to various international customers, and the dredger will be operating to this end whenever weather permits over the next few weeks; meanwhile the vessel’s crew will be maintaining social-distancing principles for the duration of their stints on the vessel, Eastland Port said in a statement.
“Eastland Port, like all ports in New Zealand, is designated an essential service by the government for COVID-19 Level 4,” said chief operating officer Andrew Gaddum. “We’re required to keep the port fully operational at all times, under Level 4 regulations and also the Civil Defence Act. Maintaining the channel is part of this.”