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07 July 2020

Strong efforts deliver swab kits for Kiwis

A collaborative effort between NZ Health Partnerships (NZHP) and assembler and distributor Fort Richard Laboratories (FRL) saw 500,000* COVID-19 swab kits being delivered to New Zealanders.

In a joint sourcing and shipping initiative, NZHP and FRL ensured rapid delivery of the swab kits to COVID-19 testing laboratories.

“We have been so impressed with FRL’s response to this and we know their Ōtāhuhu-based factory workers have been working incredibly hard to get these kits shipped across New Zealand, to where they’re needed most,” says NZHP General Manager Procurement, Hayley Greatwood.

Hayley adds that her own team has also been working hard – in a tough global market – to source and get tests into the country on behalf of the Ministry of Health.

FRL Director Business Development Brendon Clist adds this could not have been achieved without a true partnership approach.

“One business partner helped us with some logistics challenges; one organisation, which is traditionally a competitor, we are distributing for. We also increased supply from 13,250 swab test kits per month to a 250,000 per month.”

The process to get supplies to laboratories is not always simple, with four components to each test requiring special handling and refrigeration from -20 to -70 degrees Celsius. The Ministry coordinated COVID-19 laboratory representatives to support the work to get the tests into laboratories across the country.

New Zealand has had one of the highest per-case testing rates in the world, and the deliveries will enable tests to continue for several months.

*as at 17 June 2020