COVID-19 Response | Hill Laboratories - NZ

COVID-19 Response

Hill Laboratories response to COVID-19

COVID19 UPDATE #5 - MONDAY 18TH MAY 2020

With the move to Alert Level 2, all of our testing services are back to business as usual. If you have any client queries, please don't hesitate to get in contact with us.

Please note that the courier networks are currently backlogged and, as such, we are experiencing some delays with samples arriving to the lab. We expect the disruption to ease over the next week or two. Please hold on to your tracking details so you can follow up on any delayed samples.

COVID19 UPDATE #4 - TUESDAY 21ST APRIL 2020

With the move to Alert Level 3, all of our services will be operating again from Tuesday 28th April. We are anticipating resuming our usual turnaround times and our excellent customer service with you all.

While many of our services have continued to operate during the lockdown, a large number have also been put on hold, as they were not considered to be “essential services”. As of next week, we will all resume activity in those parts of the economy that are considered permissible. As a NZ-owned business, the health of the NZ economy and the wellbeing of all Kiwis is very important to us, and so we’re looking forward to playing our role in getting our economy going again.

Last week work began to ensure our workplace will be safe for our staff to return to, particularly allowing them to maintain appropriate levels of physical distancing while in our laboratories. We will also be asking any of our staff who can do so to continue working remotely from home, to further improve physical distancing among our staff.

We know many of you will be suffering some hardship in your respective businesses, so our thoughts and best wishes are with you. We will all be hoping for a strong rebound from the lockdown.

If you have any questions regarding any aspect of our services, then please don't hesitate to contact us

- Dr Jonno Hill (CEO)

CONTACT DETAILS

Our normal mainline phone number (0508 44 555 22) will resume from Tuesday 28th April - 0508 44 555 22

OPENING HOURS

Our usual opening hours will resume from Tuesday 28th April. These will be reflected on our website accordingly.

SAMPLE DROPOFF

Our Sample Reception areas will remain contactless for sample drop-offs. Instructions can be found upon entry.

COVID19 UPDATE #3 - MONDAY 6TH APRIL 2020

We continue to pay close attention to the fast-evolving COVID-19 situation. We have implemented measures to ensure the health, safety, and wellbeing of our people, clients, and communities which is our top priority at all times. 

Our plan also ensures that we have business continuity to be able to deliver analytical testing services to our “essential service” clients as advised by the New Zealand government.

TESTING SERVICES

Laboratory testing continues for ‘essential services’ clients only. This includes the following services listed below:

  • Food Micro Testing 
  • Water Quality Testing 
  • Honey Testing
  • Agricultural Testing*
  • Wine and Juice Testing
  • Pesticide Residues Testing
  • Heavy Metals Testing (Food Products)
  • Meth Testing
  • Asbestos Testing**

Our Hamilton, Christchurch and Blenheim laboratories are performing essential service testing under the Ministry of Primary Industries criteria, and have registered with MPI as required. 

  • Hamilton laboratory: MPI Reference # 11446821602

  • Christchurch laboratory: MPI Reference # 11443754997

  • Blenheim laboratory: Exempt from MPI registration

LABORATORY OPENING HOURS

Our Hamilton, Christchurch and Blenheim laboratories are currently operating over the alert level four shutdown during the hours listed below.

Hamilton: Mon-Fri 7:00-4.30, Sat 8:00-11:00

Christchurch: Mon-Fri 8:00-4.30, Sat 8:00-12:00

Blenheim: Mon-Fri 8.30-5:00

Our Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch Asbestos laboratories are currently closed but remain available on an on-call basis for ‘essential services’ clients. Please contact env.csm@hill-labs.co.nz to arrange testing.

EASTER OPENING HOURS AND COURIER SERVICES

Hill Laboratories is closed for Easter Weekend on Friday 10th April and Monday 13th April. We will resume normal business hours on Tuesday 14th April. Please ensure time-sensitive samples are sent accordingly, as deliveries and receipts will not occur on Friday or Monday.

Please be aware that courier services will not be operating on Good Friday 10th April. Saturday service will continue as normal, so any samples sent by clients on Thursday 9th April will potentially not arrive at the laboratory until Saturday 11th, with the exception of local same-day delivery. This is especially important for any microbiological samples sent over this time.

CLIENT SERVICES AND SUPPORT

Client Services and Support remain available during the shutdown. Please endeavour to contact the most appropriate team based on your 'essential services' testing needs, as outlined below.

Agricultural contact details (forage samples for animal health, soil, plant, NFT nutrient testing)

Email: ag.csm@hill-labs.co.nz

Food and bioanalytical contact details (food micro & swabbing, honey, wine, pesticide residues, heavy metals)

Email: fnb.csm@hill-labs.co.nz

Environmental contact details (water quality, meth, asbestos)

Email: env.csm@hill-labs.co.nz

SAMPLE DROP-OFF

We encourage you to use the courier network to send samples into our open laboratories. Our Hamilton, Auckland and Blenheim laboratories are now operating ‘contactless’ sample drop-offs and the specific protocols for each site are outlined at their drop off points. Please make sure you follow these and help us to keep our staff and clients safe. 

For safety, our gates at Duke Street, Hamilton will remain closed to unauthorised visitors and you will be required to ring the buzzer at the gate for entry. 

Our Blenheim lab is still able to courier samples to Hamilton and Christchurch for testing as needed. If samples require sending on, please ensure they are at the lab prior to 4 pm for the courier service.

Please note that whilst we continue to receive and register all samples sent to us, only testing that falls under ‘essential services’ as outlined above will proceed until restrictions are lifted by the NZ Government.

SAMPLING SUPPLIES

All pre-scheduled orders for sampling supplies (bottles and containers, etc) will not be dispatched and are not available for collection. If you require any pre-scheduled or ad-hoc sampling items for essential sampling, please contact us on env.csm@hill-labs.co.nz and we will arrange for the required items to be sent.

CARING FOR OUR STAFF

In an effort to ensure that the health of our laboratory staff isn’t compromised, we have reduced staff numbers to minimise their proximity and thereby limit their risk. Please be advised that this may affect our usual turnaround times for some testing, however, we will be in constant communication with our clients in regards to this. We continue to have people in key roles work from home to ensure business continuity. 

We are also reminding staff of our third-party confidential counselling services that are available to them through Vitae, as well as encouraging open communication with their line managers if they are finding things tough.

BUSINESS CONTINUITY 

Hill Laboratories will continue to communicate directly with our people and clients on the implementation of business continuity measures.

*Feed & forage samples for animal health, soil, media & plant samples for crop production, and NFT (Basic Nutrient) samples for greenhouse production can be submitted. Please defer sampling for a few weeks if it is not essential to do testing now. 

**Testing is available on an on-call basis for all essential services. Please contact our team on env.csm@hill-labs.co.nz to discuss your testing needs