Harbourmasters, hunting groups and Search and Rescue have joined calls for people to stay indoors or near their homes during the nationwide lockdown.
New Zealand currently has 451 confirmed and probable cases of Covid-19, after a further 78 new confirmed cases and five new probable cases were announced today.
Queenstown Lakes harbourmaster Marty Black was forced to warn rule-breakers out on the water amid the lockdown.
“There's been a couple of people we've witnessed out on paddleboards and kayaks and one of them didn't even have a lifejacket,” Mr Black said.
“The problem is if something goes wrong, we put other people at risk.”
Long queues formed at hunting stores before the lockdown on Wednesday, but now hunting supplier Bushbuck has spoken out against people rushing outdoors to hunt.
“Out here, all of this will still be waiting for us once this blows over,” ------- said.
“How we spend time in the high country, that’s changed too, ‘cause at the end of the day, we've got to get this right. All of this means nothing without this.”
Fish and Game New Zealand said that even people hunting or going angling near their homes still carry a risk which could impact healthcare workers or rescuers. They urged people to stay near their homes and stay safe amid the lockdown, which will last for at least one month.
Land Search and Rescue’s Carl McOnie said it was also about protecting volunteers who are in self-isolation.
”We don't want to put them at any undue risk of catching the virus,” he said.
However, Mr McOnie said even if people ignore the warnings and need saving, the volunteers will be there to help.
“They're very altruistic. They'll get out there and support their communities. If a search and rescue operation was to get called out today, as we've seen a couple already, they will go out there and support their communities finding the lost missing or injured.”
Signs have since been erected around the country to encourage people to stay away during the lockdown.