Can I Fish Under Lockdown Levels 3 and 4?

When much of the country transitions to Alert Level 3 on Wednesday 1 September, anglers will continue to benefit from the resumption to fishing introduced by Government last weekend.

Restrictions on travelling anglers will remain in place. Guidance from Government states – ‘go to your nearest spot, not your favourite spot.’

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It is also important to note, fishing from a boat or PWC remains out of bounds to all anglers at Level 3. Using a kayak or paddleboard is permitted, so long as it remains within 200m of shore.

Safety remains the key concern, both for individuals and communities. Only experienced anglers who know how to minimise risks should consider going fishing to avoid unnecessary callouts of Police, Coastguard or Surf Lifesaving services. In addition, anglers are reminded to maintain social distancing with people outside your ‘bubble’.

ACT Party leader David Seymour says campaigning by his party led to the changes which made fishing and whitebaiting fairer to all.

Last Saturday the COVID website removed all reference to customary rights. Previously the rules said ‘at alert Level 4, recreational fishing and white baiting is not allowed, except for Maori customary fishing and whitebaiting.

This was changed to allow for fishing from the shore or wharves, as well as whitebaiting. David Seymour suggested viruses do not discriminate by race, and neither should the law. “The Police Commissioner wasn’t able to say last week what the legal definition of ‘customary’ was. He is a trained lawyer and in charge of the entire police force. If he couldn’t work out what the law meant, what hope did the rest of us have?”

Under Level 3 you can go surfing, swimming (including free diving from the shore) beach and wharf fishing (including drone and kontiki fishing), whitebaiting as well as kayak fishing, the latter provided you stay within 200 metres of the shore.

The Government also stresses that this is not the time to try a new recreational pursuit.

Scuba diving, any boat-based fishing activity – including using a boat to get to your whitebait stand – yachting, jetski fishing, and rock fishing is banned.

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