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Water Safety New Zealand (WSNZ) is urging all New Zealanders to recreate responsibly during the Covid-19 lockdown period and stay out of the water.

While it might seem tempting to head out to sea, the rivers, lakes or head for the hills for some remote recreation, the public is reminded that New Zealand’s water safety and search and rescue services are predominantly made up of volunteers who will also be in lockdown. WSNZ supports the positions of all its’ partner agencies who are united in their messaging.

“The message is a clear one,” says WSNZ CEO Jonty Mills. “If you get into trouble you will put others at risk who will have to come out of self-isolation to help you and potentially be exposed to COVID-19.”

New Zealanders are asked to listen to the authorities and avoid high risk activity during this period that could potentially end up needing rescue or emergency services.

“The Prime Ministers advice is clear. Stay at home to save lives. We’re right behind that resolve.”

“While it is important to get some exercise we are urging everyone to avoid going boating, fishing and swimming or tramping into remote areas,” says Mills.

“We are all in this together and everyone has to do their part to fight and beat COVID-19. That means recreating responsibly and not putting our emergency and rescue services at unnecessary risk. They need to be fully available to respond to COVID-19 so be responsible about the type of exercise you undertake and where.”

“This is a time for New Zealanders to pull together to ensure that our emergency services are available to help those in highest need.”


For media enquiries or to request an interview please call Ben Christie on 021770285 or email

New Zealanders urged to stay out of the water during lockdown period.

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