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New website provides clarity on outdoor recreation during Alert Level 3

Under Alert Level 3 you're allowed to drive a short distance for a walk, but you're still required to keep it local. Photo: Alistair Hall

Can I tramp at level 3? Can I drive to my favourite day walk? And what about hunting?

These are but a small slice of the questions outdoor-loving Kiwis have asked during the Covid-19 lockdown – and the answers haven’t always been obvious.

A new interactive website developed by the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council (MSC), Water Safety NZ and Recreation Aotearoa hopes to change that.

The website – www.covid19outdoors.nz – allows users to select their location and pick from a wide-ranging list of recreational activities.

Users are then provided with clear guidance as to whether that particular activity is permitted and if there are any restrictions or important considerations.

MSC chief executive Mike Daisley said the organisation identified a need to provide clear and consistent guidance for outdoor activities. 

“As we move through the alert levels, it’s essential that we all know what are and what aren’t acceptable forms of personal outdoor recreation,” he said.

Daisley said it was important to create a tool which allowed for the guidance to be tailored to different regions throughout the country.

“If we find ourselves in a situation where different parts of the country are in different alert levels at the same time, we need to make sure that the information provided to people is relevant, consistent and accurate,” he said.

The website was made with the support of more than 30 national organisations, and currently covers 61 land and water-based outdoor activities, from walks through to mountain biking, skiing, hunting, paddle boarding, surfing, cycling and camping.

Water Safety New Zealand CEO Jonty Mills said it’s ideal to have all activities in one central location.

“People don’t want to have to look across several websites to find out what they can and can’t do during this time,” he said.

“Being able to pull together each organisation’s area of expertise will ensure Kiwis get the clearest and best information.”

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