Questions & Answers
Updated 2.00pm Thursday 26 March 2020
THIS PAGE WILL BE UPDATED FREQUENTLY
We are currently in a national state of emergency at an Alert Level 4 lockdown. The Government has stated that fishing and hunting are not permitted during this time. On Wednesday, when asked if people can fish and hunt during Alert Level 4, the Prime Minister said to “stay home”. Information conveyed in these questions and answers is a result of consultation between Fish & Game, NZ Police, Ministry of Health, Department of Conservation, Mountain Safety Council and other relevant agencies.
Q. Can you fish or hunt in an Alert Level 4 lockdown?
A. No, the Prime Minister has announced that the intention of an Alert Level 4 lockdown is for people to stay at home.
Q. Can you fish or hunt in an Alert Level 4 lockdown on your own land?
A. This is not a Fish & Game decision. It is the Government that is asking people to stay at home. This means movements on your own rural property (that you live on and do not need to travel to) need to comply with government-imposed restrictions. As a guideline, when asked about fishing and hunting, the Prime Minister said to stay home. She also said at all times “you should act as if you have COVID 19” so that you are at no risk of contracting or spreading the virus.
Additionally, Minister of Agriculture Damien O'Connor said in relation to whether you can go hunting and fishing: “No. Just stay at home. I mean there's a very clear message across the world, internationally - stay at home. The only reason that we're allowing people to move from home is for essential services.”
Q. Can you fish or hunt if it is within immediate walking distance of your home?
A. The Government has indicated that walking close to home is encouraged, but they have said that this should not include fishing or hunting.
Q. When will we be able to freshwater fish or game bird hunt again?
A. You will be able to fish and hunt again when the Alert Level drops to Level 3 or below, provided you follow all Government recommendations.
Q. Can I get a refund on my game bird licence?
A. Game bird licences will be refunded if there is no ability for hunters to hunt during the 2020 game bird season (i.e. if we stay in Level 4 lockdown throughout the length of the season).
Q. Will we defer the game bird season?
A. The Level 4 lockdown is set to end prior to the start of the game bird season, so the intention is for the season to proceed as normal (the only change at this stage is that pegs from 2019 will carry over into 2020). If it becomes apparent that Alert Level 4 will continue through opening weekend, a decision on the implications of this will be made closer to the time. See more information here
Q. How does the lockdown affect pegging?
A. Pegs from the 2019 season will carry over to the 2020 season provided you have a valid 2020 game bird licence.
You do not need to have purchased your 2020 licence by April 5th (pegging day) for your peg to stand, provided you have a valid 2020 licence by Opening Weekend.
Q. Can I continue to feed my pond given the game bird season may be on?
A. No, not if it involves travel, the Prime Minister has announced that the intention of an Alert Level 4 lockdown is for people to stay at home.
Q. Will there be enforcement activities during the lockdown?
A. Fish & Game will continue to enforce fishing and game bird hunting regulations in accordance with the Wildlife and Conservation Acts during this time. It is important to note that all Police Officers also have enforcement powers under the Wildlife and Conservation Acts.
If you are fishing or hunting at all when the Government has specifically outlined these activities as prohibited, this will be a Police matter and not the responsibility of Fish & Game.
Q. Are Fish & Game licences suspended during Alert Level 4 lockdown?
A. No. Licences are valid, however there are Government enforced restrictions in place for fishing and game bird hunting when we are at Alert Level 4 lockdown.