Need to report someone lost or missing? Dial 111 and ask for Police




9 June 2020

Exercise, sport and recreation at Alert Level 1

New Zealand moved to Alert Level 1 at 11:59pm on Monday 8 June.

This means that everyone can return without restriction to work, school, sports and domestic travel, and you can get together with as many people as you want.

The Golden Rules for everyone at Alert Level 1:
  1. If you’re sick, stay home. Don’t go to work or school. Don’t socialise.
  2. If you have cold or flu symptoms call your doctor or Healthline (0800 611 116) and make sure you get tested.
  3. Wash your hands. Wash your hands. Wash your hands.
  4. Sneeze and cough into your elbow, and regularly disinfect shared surfaces.
  5. If you are told by health authorities to self-isolate you must do so immediately.
  6. If you’re concerned about your wellbeing or have underlying health conditions, work with your GP to understand how best to stay healthy.
  7. Keep track of where you’ve been and who you’ve seen to help contact tracing if needed. Use the NZ COVID Tracer app as a handy way of doing this.
  8. Businesses should help people keep track of their movements by displaying the Ministry of Health QR Code for contact tracing.
  9. Stay vigilant. There is still a global pandemic going on. People and businesses should be prepared to act fast to step up Alert Levels if we have to.
  10. People will have had different experiences over the last couple of months. Whatever you’re feeling — it’s okay. Be kind to others. Be kind to yourself.

The full guidelines for Alert Level 1 are available on the COVID-19 website, here(external link)


14 May 2020 

New Zealand moved to Alert Level 2 at 11:59pm on Wednesday 13 May.

Exercise, sport and recreation at Alert Level 2

"You can do your usual exercise and recreation activities, provided you can do them safely.

This includes activities that were restricted previously, including:

  • walking, biking and hunting on public conservation land
  • swimming at a public swimming pool, but there will be restrictions
  • going to the gym, but there will be restrictions
  • boating and motorised watersports
  • hunting during duck shooting season — starting Saturday 23 May

Initially, community sports will be limited to groups of 10.

Government is working with community sports organisations to work through how community sport can be restarted safely."

More information is available on the COVID-19 website, here(external link)


28 April 2020

New Zealand moved to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 at 11:59pm on Monday 27 April. We will stay in Alert Level 3 for two weeks, before Cabinet reviews how we are tracking and makes further decisions on 11 May.

Exercise, sport and recreation at Alert Level 3

Information about the recreational activities permitted under Alert Level 3 have been provided on the COVID-19 website as follows:

"Exercise and recreation is an important part of maintaining our health and wellbeing. However, there is a very high risk of transmission if we come into contact with others, touch common equipment or surfaces, or need rescuing or medical care.

We need to keep doing our bit so that our gains in Alert Level 4 aren’t compromised.

You can do activities that are local, safe, and do not involve interaction with other people outside your bubble.

The most important thing is to stay safe. Do low-risk activities, so you don’t need rescuing or medical care. You should also keep a 2 metre distance from people who aren’t in your bubble.

You can do more activities at Alert Level 3 but only if you’re experienced and do them safely. These include:

  • surfing — if you are an experienced surfer, you can go to your local break. If you’re not experienced, don’t surf
  • fishing — if you want to go fishing you can do so from a wharf or the shore, but don’t cast off the rocks or fish from a boat. Boating is not allowed
  • tramping — is okay for day walks on easy trails. Remember to keep your distance from other people
  • mountain biking — if you are experienced and know the trail
  • hunting —  you can hunt on private land, but not on public conservation land. You need to stay within your region and stick to your bubble. Overnight trips are not allowed. You may only hunt on foot — using quad bikes, off-road bikes, helicopters and other motorised vehicles is not allowed.

Boating, yachting and any team sports or training are not allowed.

Now is not the time to take up new activities, or expose yourself or your bubble to any risk. Use your common sense — stay local, stay safe. 

Where you can exercise

Stick to your local area. For example, go to your nearest beach or park, not your favourite one. Staying overnight at a bach or holiday home is not permitted.

You should drive as short a distance as you can and still do the activity.

If you live on a regional boundary, this might mean travelling to a neighbouring region. This is fine as long as it’s still local and a close distance from your home."

More information is available on the COVID-19 website, here.(external link) 


4 April 2020

Additional guidance on Alert Level 4 rules

The Ministry of Health has released further guidence regarding outdoor recreational activities during COVID-19 Alert Level 4, as follows:

  • ..."Exercise is to be done in an outdoor place that can be readily accessed from home and two-metre physical distancing must be maintained. 
  • Recreation and exercise does not involve swimming, water-based activities (for example, surfing or boating), hunting, tramping, or other activities of a kind that expose participants to danger or may require search and rescue services..."

Please see the full media release for further detail, here(external link).


24 March 2020

Kiwis urged to exercise in low-risk environments

Stick to simple outdoor exercise, that is the message from the Chair of the Search and Rescue Council Peter Mersi. He is urging people to take only undertake activities that are of a minor risk to injury, and to avoid going into areas where you could become lost or require search and rescue.

“You should not do any activities where you may unintentionally end up needing emergency services. This includes tramping, hiking into backcountry or remote areas, going boating, fishing and going swimming.

Current Government advice is that you can go outside, but you need to limit your contact with others. Our emergency services need to be fully available to respond to COVID-19. Therefore, it is also vital that New Zealanders are sensible about what types of exercise they undertake and where. 

No-one goes into the outdoor environment intending to get lost or injured, says Peter.  “We are asking New Zealanders to be sensible and to adjust the way they enjoy our outdoor environment at this time, to ensure that our emergency services are available to help those in highest need.

More information can be found on the COVID-19 website: link)

About the NZSAR Council(external link)

For more information about this advice contact Duncan Ferner, Manager, NZ Search and Rescue Secretariat


Back to Top