Don’t take the boat and don’t go to the bach


State of emergency declared in Marlborough

A state of emergency remains in place following the recent storm event. See our alerts section for updates

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Don’t take the boat and don’t go to the bach

  • Date 4:11 PM Wednesday 25 March 2020
  • Type COVID-19

The Marlborough Harbourmaster, Port Marlborough, Police and many of New Zealand’s authorities are telling boaties not to try to take vessels out on to the water during the Level 4 COVID-19 crisis response.

Harbourmaster Luke Grogan says people need to think of the wider community.

“Outdoor activities that put people at risk in any way are completely unacceptable.”

“Do not attempt to go boating during the Level 4 lock down. Do not head off to the bach for Easter. Stay at your main residence for the full duration of this emergency, where you are close to family, a supermarket, health and essential services.”

“Where you are now is where you need to stay for the next month.”

“This is a national emergency and we all want to save lives, not endanger them further.”

Civil Defence Emergency Management director general Sarah Stuart-Black said today there would be no tolerance for people who do not self-isolate.

New Zealand Police will announce today or tomorrow what the consequences for people flouting the self-isolation rules will be. The Government has made it clear that people who go hunting or get into situations where they might need rescuing were taking people from the front line in the fight against COVID-19.

“Boaties might need rescue services which takes up scarce resources and create opportunities for viral transmission. Just getting your supplies and fuel for a trip creates opportunities for mixing with other people – don’t do it,” Luke Grogan said.

“We will have patrol boats on the water and will work closely with the Coastguard and Police to ensure that everyone obeys the rules.”

Port Marlborough Chief Executive Rhys Welbourn says the Port will remain open to essential services, which includes the Cook Strait ferries for freight, Picton Harbour radio, pilotage and towage services, some refuse collection and jetties accessed by Sounds’ residents.

“The marinas will be limited and generally closed to everyone except businesses that provide essential services, emergency response facilities and Sounds’ residents for essential travel.”

“We will maintain security of vessels at berths and compounds and will continue to complete any necessary repairs. We will only maintain access to facilities for a very small number of live-a-boards who were already registered with us, and we will maintain access for Sounds’ residents.”


The information in this media statement was correct at time of publication. Changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of the information.