Saliva testing for border workers

Last updated: 23 September 2021

Border worker describes their experience with saliva testing

Chris Coleman, Marine Pilot at Lyttelton Port Company talks about his experience using COVID-19 saliva testing.

My name's Chris Coleman and I work as a marine  pilot at Lyttleton, Port of Christchurch.

I volunteered to participate  in the saliva testing prototype in the hope that very soon, this will  replace the need for a nasal swab test.

Having undertaken 45 nasal swab tests  and 9 of the saliva test prototypes, I found the latter to be quick, very convenient and painless.

Also, as a self-test on arrival at work and  using a phone app to record the test before putting the sample into a collection bin.

You can do it at anytime of the day  or night, to fit in with your work.

The whole process can be  completed in less than a minute.

Campbell’s top tips for saliva testing

Tips from an operations administrator who participated in the saliva prototype. 

Best time to give your sample:

  • First thing at work to get it out of the way
  • Or right before lunch (before eating) if it’s a busy morning
  • The morning health check is a good time to hand in your sample
  • Whatever fits your routine best!

Giving the sample:

  • Don’t sit and wait for a minute or two for the saliva to come – you can do other things while it collects in your mouth
  • Let a lot of saliva collect in your mouth and drool your sample into the tube in one go!

Saliva testing helps keeps border workers, whānau, communities and our borders safe

Border workers who must undertake regular surveillance testing can choose to give a series of saliva samples rather than nasal (nasopharyngeal) swabs. 

This option came into effect with the amendment to the Required Testing Order on 11 August 2021.

Collecting and dropping off a saliva sample is more comfortable than undertaking a nasal swab, and it’s easy to provide for workers on rotating shifts.

More regular testing shortens the time between someone contracting the virus and it being picked up through testing, meaning we can get on top of managing positive cases and act to prevent community transmission much more quickly.

More frequent testing, through use of saliva testing, for example, provides more effective surveillance for a vaccinated workforce.

Vaccinated border workers who catch COVID-19 may only have very mild or little to no symptoms. Regular saliva testing means that the virus is more likely to be detected during the high-risk transmitting period between days two to seven, rather than at days 7 or 14 as per the nasal swab test requirements.  

6 FAQs

What if I have opted into saliva testing but have not yet received an email from the saliva test provider Asia Pacific Healthcare Group (APHG ) inviting me to participate?

If you have been opted in to saliva testing on the BWTR but still have not received a confirmation email, please visit the APHG Saliva Testing App website to sign up:

Is saliva testing still available at all Alert Levels?

Yes, collection sites remain open, including at Alert Level 4.

Is leaving home to deliver a saliva sample an acceptable activity in Alert Level 4?

Yes.

What if I am unsure whether I can make saliva testing work with my shift pattern?

If you are not sure how saliva testing would work for you, please contact us at [email protected]

Can saliva testing be used for diagnostic purposes?

A nasal swab will still need to be undertaken if someone has COVID-19 symptoms, or if the result of a saliva test is positive, because for diagnostic purposes a swab taken by a trained health care worker is the preferred sample type. Also, whole genome sequencing, which is undertaken for all positive cases and provides valuable information on the strain of the virus and its chain of transmission between cases, cannot be done using saliva samples at this stage.

I’m a border worker undertaking regular nasal swab testing for COVID-19, how do I sign up for saliva testing?

Employers are legally obliged to offer the option of saliva testing. Please look out for information on how to sign up for saliva testing in your workplace. You will need to speak to your manager to opt into saliva testing.

Please see below for more FAQs

Our approach

Our approach is science and public health led and guided by worker and PCBU experience. We will continue to be guided by the feedback received and apply lessons learned to ensure our national rollout is informed and our border workforce’s voices are heard. If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact us at [email protected].

Operational delivery

The delivery of saliva testing services at the border will be carried out by Asia Pacific Healthcare Group (APHG). APHG provides a wide range of pathology services to 75 percent of New Zealand’s population and has more than 2,000 staff across its network of 25 laboratories and 150 collection centres.

The company has been heavily involved in New Zealand’s response to COVID-19, processing a third of all tests carried out to date. For more detailed operational information about saliva testing in the workplace, please contact APHG.

Site roll out

The table below shows saliva collection sites at border locations. More workplaces will have saliva testing available as the rollout continues.

Key:

  • (P) = public access. Open to anyone on a saliva testing programme. Useful for workers on a day off who have to provide a sample to comply with their testing series.
  • (R) = restricted access. Restricted to site employees.

Saliva Testing Sites and Collection/Drop-off Points

Northland

Site(s)

Collection / Drop-off Point

Address

Opening Hours

Access

Opua Marina

Kaikohe Collection Centre

Broadway Health Centre, 36 Broadway, SH12

Mon-Fri

8.00am-2.00pm

P

Kerikeri Collection Centre

7 Homestead Rd, Kerikeri

Mon-Fri

8.00am-3.00pm

P

Paihia Collection Centre

Bayview Medical Centre, 7 Bayview Rd, Paihia

Mon-Fri

8am-1pm

P

NorthPort Whangarei

NorthPort Customs Gate Office

21 Ralph Trimmer Drive

Mon-Sun

R

Rust Ave Collection Centre

11 Rust Ave, Avenues

Mon-Fri

P

Rust Ave Path Lab

24 Rust Ave, Avenues

Mon-Fri

P

Kensington Collection Centre

8 Kensington Ave, Kensington

Mon-Fri

P

Onerahi Collection Centre

116 Onerahi Rd, Onerahi

Mon-Fri

P

Kamo Collection Centre

1A Clark Rd, Kamo

Mon-Fri

P

Auckland

Site(s)

Collection / Drop-off Point

Address

Opening Hours

Access

Auckland International Airport

International Terminal Building,

NHRCC Health Clinic, Ground Floor by Check-in Counters

24/7

R

 

 

Kauri Corridor

24/7

R

Port of Auckland

Princess and Queens Wharf

Tinley St Gatehouse

24/7

R

 

 

Mess Hall, Ferguson Container Port

24/7

R

 

Northcote Community Testing Centre

16-18 College Rd, Northcote

CTC Opening hours

P

 

Health New Lynn

Totara Health Services, Level 1/1 McCrae Way, New Lynn, Waitakere

CTC Opening hours

P

 

Balmoral Community Centre

182 Balmoral Rd, Mt Eden

CTC Opening hours

P

 

Otara Community Testing Centre

Otara Town Centre, 14 Fair Mall

CTC Opening hours

P

 

The Whanau Ora Community Clinic

25 Druces Rd, Wiri

CTC Opening hours

P

Jet Park Auckland

Security Hut, Main Entrance

63 Westney Rd, Mangere

24/7

R

Novotel/Ibis Ellerslie

Staff Health Check Station

72-112 Green Lane East,

24/7

R

Holiday Inn

Auckland Airport

Entrance Foyer

2 Ascot Rd, Mangare

24/7

R

Waikato

Site(s)

Collection / Drop-off Point

Address

Opening Hours

Access

Jet Park Hamilton

Collection Box

201 Airport Rd, Hamilton

24/7

R

Ibis Hotel Hamilton

Collection Box

18 Alma St, Hamilton

24/7

R

 

Pathlab Waikato

58 Tristram St, Hamilton Central, Hamilton

Mon-Fri

7.30am-6.00pm

Sat

8.00-11.45am

 

R

Bay of Plenty

Site(s)

Collection / Drop-off Point

Address

Opening Hours

Access

Port of Tauranga

Security Gate

Hull Rd Site

24/7

R

 

Security Gate

Main Car Park, Sulphur Pt Site

24/7

P

 

Pathlab BoP Collection Room

Tauranga Hospital Campus, 829 Cameron Rd, Tauranga

Mon-Fri

7.30am-6.00pm

Sat

8.00-11.45am

P

 

Pathlab Whakatane Collection Room

Phoenix House, 5 Payne St, Whakatane

Mon-Fri

7.30am-4.00pm

P

 

Pathlab Whitianga

Pathlab Whitianga Collection Room, 26 Lee St, Whitianga

Mon-Fri

8..0am-3.00pm

P

Rotorua

Site(s)

Collection / Drop-off Point

Address

Opening Hours

Access

Rydges Rotorua

Main Entrance

272 Fenton St, Glenholme

24/7

R

 

Swabbing Room

R

Ibis Rotorua

Main Entrance

Lake End, Rangiuru

24/7

P

 

Swabbing Room

R

Sudima Lake Rotorua

Security Port-a-com

1000 Eruera St, Rotorua

24/7

P

 

Swabbing Room

R

Tairawhiti / Gisborne

Site(s)

Collection / Drop-off Point

Address

Opening Hours

Access

Eastland Port

Port Office

2 Crawford Rd, Inner Kaiti, Gisborne

24/7

R

Taranaki

Site(s)

Collection / Drop-off Point

Address

Opening Hours

Access

Port Taranaki

Shed 1

Port Taranaki

24/7

R

 

Port Port-a-com

Port Taranaki

24/7

R

 

Taranaki Laboratory Collection Centre

1 Paraite Rd, Bell Block, New Plymouth

 

P

 

New Plymouth Collection Centre

179 Gill St, New Plymouth

 

P

Napier

Site(s)

Collection / Drop-off Point

Address

Opening Hours

Access

Napier Port

Collection Box, 2 Wharf Office

Western Entrance off Breakwater Rd, Napier

24/7

R

Manawatu / Palmerston North

Site(s)

Collection / Drop-off Point

Address

Opening Hours

Access

 

Reception Entrance

Gribbles Veterinary Palmerston North
840 Tremaine Avenue, Palmerston North

24/7

P

Wellington

Site(s)

Collection / Drop-off Point

Address

Opening Hours

Access

Wellington International Airport

Adjacent to Police Station

Stewart Duff Drive, Rongotai

24/7

R

CentrePort

Inwards Good Receiving Office

2 Fryatt Quay, Pipitea, Wellington

24/7

R

 

Covered Entrance far end of Carpark

Mein St Entrance, Wellington Regional Hospital, Newtown

24/7

P

 

Covered Entrance at street level Wellington SCL Collection Centre

17 Raroa Road, Lower Hutt

24/7

P

 

Wellington SCL Collection Centre Entrance

6 Hartham Place, Porirua City Centre

24/7

P

 

CBD Towers Building (rear of building)

Bradley Lane Entrance, Upper Hutt

24/7

P

Grand Mercure Hotel

Hotel Reception

345 The Terrace, Te Aro, Wellington

24/7

R

Bay Plaza Hotel

Hotel Reception

40-44 Oriental Bay Parade, Oriental Bay, Wellington

24/7

R

Nelson Marlborough

Site(s)

Collection / Drop-off Point

Address

Opening Hours

Access

Port Nelson

Port Nelson Gatehouse

8 Vickerman St, Nelson

24/7

R

 

Stevedoring Deployment Area (White House)

Main Shipping Entrance

Mon-Fri

8.00am-5.00pm

R

 

MLS Nelson Hospital

Level 3, Nelson Hospital, Tipai St

Mon-Sun

7.00am-7.00pm

P

 

MLS Collingwood St

63 Collingwood St, Nelson

Mon-Fri

7.30am-4.15pm

P

 

MLS Tahuanui

25 Tahuanui Drive, Tahuanui

Mon-Fri

7.30am-1.15pm

P

 

MLS Richmond

Lower Queen Street Health, 335 Lower Queen St, Richmond

Mon-Fri

7.30am-4.15pm

P

 

MLS Motueka

158 High St, Motueka

Mon-Fri 7.30am-1.45pm

P

Canterbury

Site(s)

Collection / Drop-off Point

Address

Opening Hours

Access

Christchurch Airport

Christchurch Airport Terminal

30 Durey Rd, Harewood

24/7

R

Lyttelton Port

Waterfront House

37-39 Gladstone Quay

24/7

R

 

Tug House

Tug Wharf

24/7

R

 

Lyttelton Health Centre

18 Oxford St, Lyttelton, Christchurch

Mon & Wed

8.00am-5.00pm

Tues & Fri

7.30am-5.00pm

Thurs

8.00am-5.30pm

P

 

 

 

 

 

 

Orchard Rd Community Testing Centre

174 Orchard Rd, Harewood

Mon-Sun

9.00am-4.00pm

P

 

Canterbury SCL Northfield Collection Centre

Level 0 Northfield Business Park, 60 Langdons Road, Papanui, Christchurch

Mon-Fri 7.00am-4.45pm

Sat

8.00-11.45am

P

 

Canterbury SCL Hornby Collection Centre

7 Witham St, Hornby, Christchurch

Mon-Fri

7.30am-4.15pm

P

 

Canterbury SCL Barrington Collection Centre

14-18 Athelstan St, Barrington, Christchurch

Mon-Fri

7.30am-4.15pm Sat

8.00-11.45am)

P

Chateau on the Park

Entrance Foyer

Darvel St Entrance, Riccarton

24/7

R

Sudima Christchurch Airport

Entrance Foyer

550 Memorial Ave, Harewood

24/7

R

Novotel Christchurch Airport

Entrance Foyer

30 Durey Rd

24/7

R

Crowne Plaza Christchurch

Main Entrance Foyer

364 Colombo St, Christchurch Central

24/7

R

Commodore Airport Hotel

Main Entrance Foyer

449 Memorial Ave, Burnside

24/7

R

Distinction Christchurch Hotel

Main Entrance Foyer

14 Cathedral Square, Christchurch Central

24/7

R

South Canterbury

Site(s)

Collection / Drop-off Point

Address

Opening Hours

Access

Prime Port Timaru

Maritime House

1 Marine Parade

24/7

R

 

Medlab Entrance Foyer

4 Dee St, Timaru

Mon-Fri

7.30am-4.15pm

 

P

Otago

Site(s)

Collection / Drop-off Point

Address

Opening Hours

Access

Port Chalmers Dunedin

Port Courier Entrance

15 Beach St, Port Chalmers

24/7

R

 

Cruise Terminal

5 Beach St, Port Chalmers

24/7

R

 

SSA Main Office

31 Devon St, Dunedin

Mon-Fri

(opening hours)

R

 

C3 Main Office

6 Wickliffe St, Dunedin

Mon-Fri

(opening hours)

R

 

SCL Collection Centre

18 Filleul St, Dunedin Central

Mon-Fri

7.00am-5.15pm

Sat

9.00-11.30am

P

Southland

Site(s)

Collection / Drop-off Point

Address

Opening Hours

Access

Tiwai Point Invercargill

Pandemic Room

The Smelter, Tiwai Point

24/7

R

South Port

Collection box

251 Foreshore Rd, Buff (SeaFarers Association)

Mon-Fri

24/5

R

 

SCL Invercargill

169 Don St, Southland

Mon-Fri

7.00am-5.00pm

P

What happens next? 

We will continue to update this page regularly as information and collateral becomes available.

  • Number of border workers who have opted into saliva testing so far: 1394. (This number will fluctuate due to the dynamic nature of our border workforce.)
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