Department of Conservation blasts boaties for island-hopping during COVID-19 alert level 4

The Department of Conservation (DoC) has blasted boaties cruising around the Coromandel during the nation's level 4 lockdown, saying it's "completely unacceptable".

Nick Kelly, the Department of Conservation’s Coromandel Operations Manager, says he understands there is a "steady stream" of boats travelling around Ahuahu-Great Mercury Island and the wider archipelago.

"It’s completely unacceptable. Boating and island hopping are not permitted at Level 4. People need to be adhering to the Government’s direction," he says.

"DoC is committed to stamping out the virus and keeping communities safe from COVID-19. Anyone caught breaking the COVID-19 rules will be reported."

Under COVID-19 alert level 4, everyone must stay home except for essential reasons - such as going to the supermarket, getting medical care, or completing essential work.

Recreational water activities like surfing, swimming and boating are completely prohibited - and police are prosecuting those who are defying the rules. 

Since Alert Level 4 came into place, 44 people have been charged with a total of 48 offences nationwide as of 5pm Tuesday.

In the same time period, 108 formal warnings were issued and 507 infringement notices were issued to people for COVID-19 related breaches.