New law officially bans hunting, surfing and swimming during lockdown

Surfers at St Clair beach earlier in the lockdown. PHOTO: CHRISTINE O’CONNOR
There is now no doubt - fishing, swimming, surfing, hunting and tramping are all banned activities under new lockdown laws.

Kiwis had previously been advised not to take part in these activities during the Covid-19 lockdown period but that was made official in fresh laws released on the Government's Covid-19 website yesterday.

The notice to all persons in New Zealand stated people were not permitted to leave home to hunt, tramp, swim, take part in other water-based activities, such as surfing and boating, or do any activity exposing participants to danger or that may require help from rescue services.

The Game Animal Council said it had given "consistent guidance" that hunting - like many other recreational activities - should not be undertaken during the level 4 lockdown.

That guidance had now been reinforced by a Government Order effective from 6pm April 3, it said.

"Please don't be in any doubt that this is enforceable," council general manager Tim Gale said.

"Under this order, the police have the power to do anything reasonably necessary to enforce compliance, including using the power of arrest."

He said the most hunters were doing their bit to fight Covid-19 and had complied with the guidance not to hunt, despite it being "frustrating to stay at home during the roar".

"For those people that have been selfishly flouting the rules, this should be a wake-up call. It is time to do the right thing and stay at home," Gale said.

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