Auckland provides a gateway to New Zealand via Auckland International Airport and the ports of Auckland (Auckland, Devonport, Chelsea and Onehunga). At least 75,000 travellers pass through Auckland International Airport per week and a significant number of cargo and cruise ships arrive at the ports each year.
International travel means that disease can be spread quickly, and health organizations are also mindful of potential bioterrorism threats.
New Zealand is a member of the World Health Organization and a signatory to the International Health Regulations (IHR) 2005. These regulations are designed to protect public health, and provide responses to the international spread of infectious disease. IHR responsibilities include reporting, inspections of vessels, and on rare occasions quarantine if a passenger’s illness poses a threat to the health of New Zealanders.
The International Health Regulations 2005 require that all international flights must report in by radio at least 30 minutes before landing to advise if there is any illness aboard. Auckland Regional Public Health Service carry out a risk assessments based on information from the plane, airline, airport staff and St. John's. If necessary, the person/s can be placed under observation for a period of time after arrival to ensure that their health status does not adversely impact on the New Zealand population.
The International Health Regulations 2005 require that all vessels arriving from international waters to New Zealand have a Ship Sanitation Certificate. These certificates provide evidence that public health authorities have inspected the ship, there is no evidence of significant infection amongst passengers or crew, and any vectors found have been eliminated. A vector is an animal or insect species that enables spread of certain diseases to humans.
Masters of all arriving vessels must complete the, Advance Notice of Vessel Arrival (ANOVA) form, no later than 48 hours prior to the vessels’ arrival in New Zealand. Masters of vessels or their agents submit an application for ‘pratique’ clearance between 12 and 24 hours prior to arrival.
The International Health Regulations 2005 state that a Ship Sanitation Certificate is valid for a maximum of six months. A renewal of such a certificate will be required after six months. The assessment process to issue these certificates includes a number of variables such as:
- food safety
- potable water safety
- sewage collection and disposal
- ballast water declaration
- storage and disposal of solid & medical waste
- integrated pest management
- medical log for crew members
- gastroenteritis infections log
- general sanitation
More information on the International Health Regulations is available on the website: