Maritime police were patrolling known northern fishing spots last week, asking people not to fish from the rocks.
The Government says the distance that northern residents can travel for recreation or exercise is a “common sense” decision down to the individual.
The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet was responding to enquiries about what constitutes “local” in north Rodney, where most recreational amenities are at least a 15 minute drive away.
“The distance people need to travel for recreation depends on where they live,” a spokesperson says.
“We’ve always been flexible about this and we expect people to use common sense.”
The Government says that the most important thing is to stay as close to home as possible.
“Go to your local beach, not your favourite one.”
The advice follows reports last weekend that people fishing at Ti Point wharf were asked to leave because they were not “local”.
A Leigh resident says that officers were taking down the details of people at the wharf including addresses, drivers licences and car registrations.
One person fishing was from Warkworth and was reportedly told he ought to be fishing from the Mahurangi River because it was closer to home.
Neither the Warkworth Police Station nor the Maritime Police Unit were aware that searches of wharves were being undertaken in Rodney. It is believed that the officers at wharves were from outside the area.
The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet says it is the role of Police to ensure that people are following alert level requirements.
“We encourage people to follow Police advice when spoken to and to keep their recreation as local as possible to help prevent the spread of the virus.”
During alert levels three and four, fishing is permitted from a beach or wharf, but not from rocks or boats.