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Around our coast


What to look out for if you live or work near the coast, or you’re often out at sea.

Our coastlines are part of New Zealand’s border, and criminals can use them to bring drugs into our country. If you’re near the coast, be alert to the signs of cross-border crime.

If you notice yachts or boats meeting at sea, or landing in an unusual area, or transferring objects between vessels, you may have witnessed something illegal. People or vehicles in unusual or isolated areas near the coast – especially activity that looks rushed, nervous or secretive – can also be a sign of crime.

Look out for private or commercial vessels of any size that are:

  • meeting at sea or signalling to the shore
  • attempting to land in remote or unusual locations
  • operating at night without lights
  • departing in unsuitable weather conditions
  • transferring things between them at sea

Report unusual or abandoned vessels, in particular:

  • seaworthy vessels that appear abandoned
  • vessels with equipment that doesn’t seem to match their intended purpose
  • vessels with unusually damaged hulls

Report any unusual objects on the shore or floating in the water. Often it’s not what you see, but what you hear. Wherever you are, if you hear about possible illegal activity, let us know.

You know your coast. If it doesn’t seem right, report it.

You do not have to provide any personal information to make a report.

If it’s an emergency

Call 111 and ask for Police when:

  • someone is badly injured or in danger
  • there's a serious risk to life or property
  • a crime is being committed and the offenders are still there or have just left
  • it's happening now or has just happened.

This information is available on the New Zealand Police website.

Before you report