The Health Minister has moved to plug a gap in New Zealand's COVID-19 response system, with all foreign ship crew coming in or out the country will now face mandatory testing.
However, the country's two biggest ports, Auckland and Tauranga, already have that and more - making the Minister's announcement largely redundant.
Hundreds of foreign seafarers have flown into New Zealand and boarded ships without being tested - but that will no longer be allowed.
"Today, I'm announcing that we will be introducing mandatory testing for all workers that will be transferring onto or off a ship through New Zealand," Chris Hipkins said at a press conference on Friday.
Foreign crews transfers - or crew swaps - happen so seafarers, who've made the often weeks-long journey to New Zealand on a ship, can then fly out and return to their homes overseas.
The rule change follows a border failure which saw an Auckland engineer catch COVID-19.
The most likely source was untested foreign crew, who'd flown into Auckland and boarded the bulk carrier, Sofrana Surville, in Taranaki - the same ship the engineer was working on.
But the Minister's announcement will actually have little effect, as the country's two biggest ports have already said that it will be mandatory for all foreign crew to undergo 14 days in isolation and produce double negative tests before they board any ship.
"We would prefer that the ports didn't go and set up their own arrangements and set their own rules," Hipkins said.
But those arrangements are already in place.
"We're not going to change our position on this," Matt Ball, Ports of Auckland spokesperson, told Newshub. "We think it's really important to protect our staff."
The Minister doesn't want foreign crew to isolate for 14 days, saying he doesn't want to disrupt cargo ship operations.
"If we said that every ship coming into New Zealand had to float offshore for 14 days, they simply wouldn't come," Hipkins explained.
But Ball says that's simply not the case, and not how it works. He says all it means is that shipping agents need to plan to get crew in two weeks earlier.
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Hipkins said the measure the Ports of Auckland have put in place won't really increase protection at all - but again, the company disagrees.
"All we've done is basically introduce for transferring crew the same measures that anyone coming into New Zealand has to go through [14 days in managed isolation]," Ball says.
"So it must be safe, because the Government's approved it."
Ball says it's about providing the best possible layers of protection for their staff - but also for staff at ports in the Pacific and beyond.