A man accused of illegally hunting on public conservation land during the lockdown has been charged.
The 33-year-old firearms licence holder from North Canterbury allegedly drove about 230km on a round trip for a four-day hunt from Monday to Thursday last week.
Canterbury rural area commander Inspector Peter Cooper said the man had been illegally hunting on Department of Conservation land in the Lewis Pass area.
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The man has been charged with obstructing a medical officer of health and unlawful hunting and is due to appear in court in June.
During alert level 4 there was a blanket ban on hunting. That's been relaxed in level 3 but hunting is still only allowed on private land.
"Police are and will continue to take breaches seriously," Cooper said.
"If you're thinking of going hunting during alert level 3, be sure to follow the strict rules. You can hunt on private land within your region, but not on public conservation land.
"Police will have the discretion to take the appropriate action against anyone flouting alert level 3 restrictions."
The Government announced on April 23 that recreational hunting for big and small game would be allowed in level 3, on private land only.
But hunters must get permission from the landowner, as normal.
Last week Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern acknowledged hunting was necessary in many parts of New Zealand to provide food for families.
"Hunting is an important part of many New Zealanders' lives."
While the rules would be relaxed in level 3 Ardern said it was important people keep to social distancing.
In level 3 - which started at midnight - low-risk recreational activities are allowed, as long as they're local - such as going for a walk or a run.
You can swim at the beach, go for a day walk, or fish off a wharf. You can also hunt on private land - but you must stick to your bubble and stay in your home region. Overnight trips aren't allowed.
Only hunting on foot is allowed - quad bikes, off-road bikes, helicopters and other motorised vehicles are off-limits.
Boating, yachting and any team sports or training are also not allowed.
More information on hunting during level 3 is available on the Government's Covid-19 website.