The Wellington region's harbourmaster is asking boaties to resist the temptation of good weather during the Covid-19 lockdown after two water rescues in the past week.

The most recent incident happened yesterday morning when two people took on water in their kayak, making it unstable, and causing it to roll.

Thanks to a passing fishing boat they were picked up and returned to shore safely.

Late last week two people took a small boat out on the water to go diving at Barrett Reef.


But something went wrong with the boat and it ended up being swamped.

Luckily, both people were wearing wetsuits and life jackets and were able to raise the alarm for help. The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website

Greater Wellington Regional Council harbourmaster Grant Nalder said no matter how nice the weather was, recreational boaties should not be tempted to go out on the water and should stay at home.

"The guidance we're taking is what the Prime Minister has said and that's stay home.

"Going out on the water is not essential."

Nalder said boaties risked unnecessary contact and redeployment of resources by being on the water.

"You've got to get them off and expose other people. You might need either boats or helicopters resources that could be better used elsewhere.


"It's really all about minimising risk. It's a great shame but it's short term pain for long term gain."

Nalder also cautioned those thinking of taking bigger boats further afield because if passengers became unwell, they would be further from medical assistance.

He said Wellington Harbour was reasonably easy to monitor because movement could be spotted from the shore.

If anyone had any concerns about lockdown breaches, they should contact police, he said.

While in lockdown, Nalder said he was keeping a close eye on a signal station at Breaker Bay that handled communication for all commercial ships on the harbour.

"That's pretty much our top priority is keeping that operational and making sure all the staff there are well."

Earlier this week Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced that people needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home for the Covid-19 lockdown would be able to continue using passenger services until midnight on Friday.

But while Cook Strait ferries will shortly cease to carry passengers, they'll continue to operate carrying freight.

"It's quite an important lifeline", Nalder said.

Meanwhile, police are using surf cameras to check for Covid-19 lockdown rule breakers as a dramatic injury demonstrated the danger of practising outdoor sports.

On Wednesday afternoon, hours before the lockdown rules came into force, a surfer came off on a large wave at Gisborne's Wainui Beach, and suffered severe spinal injuries, needing to be flown to Middlemore Hospital in Auckland.

An Eastland Helicopter Rescue Trust spokeswoman said the 32-year-old was in a stable condition throughout the flight to Auckland.

Although it was prior to the level 4 lockdown, it was a reminder to stay home during this time.