The death of a freediver in the Far North has sparked a prompt from water watchdogs to stick to the rules around the coastline.
Under alert level 4, all water-based activities are prohibited to keep people safe and prevent any search and rescue emergency personnel from exposure to Covid.
The 63-year-old man and three friends were freediving for seafood near Waipoua, on the west coast of Dargaville, around 3pm on Wednesday.
The man and a friend entered the water, believed to be around the Waimamakau River area, while their third companion stayed ashore.
The friend returned to shore and grew concerned when he realised the man, who had health problems, had not returned from his dive.
A police spokesman said the man was found later that evening face down in the water.
"CPR was provided but the male was pronounced dead at the scene."
Police suspected the man had drowned. However, the death was referred to the Coroner.
Apart from a handful of surfers who were pinged when hitting the waves in Ahipara on day two of lockdown, things have been relatively calm on the water, the police spokesman said.
Northland Region Council Harbourmaster Jim Lyle hinted police water patrols could start if Northlanders kept flouting the rules.
Currently, police were monitoring the region's closed boat ramps for rule-breakers.
Lyle said he'd received around 10 reports in fewer than 10 days of kayakers and boaties out fishing, and other blatant Covid breaches.
"The problem is when something does happen, people have to assemble and you've got a whole army who have to come to the rescue and break their bubbles, putting themselves at risk," he said.
"People just think about what they want to do. 'Oh, I want to go and do this'. They need to think about others."
Lyle said boats seen moving about the harbour were most likely restocking their supplies. He was in contact with people currently locked down on their vessels – which were their homes – who had informed him of needs for boat repairs or essential supplies.
Under alert level 4, people living full-time on a boat were expected to keep their vessel put as long as they were anchored or moored in a safe location.