A Hawke's Bay seafood supplier continues to trade while waiting on a response to its essential service application.

Takitimu Seafoods, who no longer delivery rurally around the region, have scaled down their business to fit within the Covid-19 guidelines.

Chief executive of Takitimu Seafoods Taine Randell said the business has an obligation to continue until told otherwise.

"Numerous discussions were had with what we were going to do, ranging from full shutdown to business as usual," he said.

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"In the end, the decision was made that as an iwi-owned business supplying an 'essential' product, there was an obligation on us to continue until we get formal notification of our status."

Randell added: "In light of that decision, and also given the difficulties of operating under the Covid-19 danger, we have scaled down our business to online supply to local Hawke's Bay and domestic customers, wholesale supply to mainly supermarkets and small amounts of export."

The seafood supplier continues to take online seafood orders as an essential service, but has reduced staff numbers.

Randell said Takitimu Seafoods was one of thousands to register as an essential business.

"We come under a couple of categories including a primary producer and a supplier of FMCG products," he said.

"As of Friday, our registration has been received and we were notified that we were one of 9000 applications that had been received."

The nationwide lockdown and restrictions have caused "devastating" effects on the business, according to Randell, with the closure of both their Hastings and Napier stores.

"All of our staff have been affected by the uncertainty and fear of what we are facing," he said. "In terms of employment, our staffing has been reduced by approximately 65 per cent.

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"Any reports of customers purchasing goods in those stores relate to before Saturday when they closed."

Takitimu Seafoods said any orders will be left by the door to avoid contact, while an additional one to two days may be added for shipping.