As New Zealand enters a lockdown period for at least the next four weeks, there’s only one message out there for all Kiwis—stay home, save lives.
The government has made their intention clear—fishing and hunting are prohibited during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown period. Therefore, Fish & Game New Zealand are urging all anglers and hunters to do the right thing and stay at home.
“Unfortunately, being at Level 4 means that anglers and hunters aren’t able to do the pursuits that they love,” Fish & Game New Zealand chief executive Martin Taylor said.
“The advice we have is that at Alert Level 4, anglers and hunters should not undertake activities that expose them and others to higher levels of risk. We are also advised that DOC huts and campsites are closed as they do not meet minimum separation requirements.”
New Zealand Search and Rescue (NZSAR) is asking people to stick to simple outdoor exercise and avoid areas where they could get lost or require search and rescue. NZSAR wants to ensure that emergency services are available to help those in the greatest need.
Fishing and hunting, even close to home, inherently carry a degree of risk and it is important for anglers and hunters not to further burden the country’s emergency services and healthcare system, Fish & Game NZ said in a statement released.
Staying in and around home is simply the right thing to do.
“It is heartbreaking to not be able to spend time in the outdoors, especially as for many of us this is our main way to destress, but we all have our part to play to beat COVID-19,” Taylor said.
“The point of the next four weeks is to kill the virus in New Zealand so that life goes back to normal as quickly as possible. Let’s stay home for four weeks then we can get outdoors and back into angling and hunting.”
For now, the Level 4 lockdown period is scheduled to end prior to the start of the game bird season, but circumstances may change.
“We ask for your patience while we piece together the complexities of what we are facing. In particular, we will have further advice on pegging day as soon as possible,” Taylor said.
Stay up-to-date with all the most recent government guidance around COVID-19 here.