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Small craft FAQs

Here are some of the Frequently Asked Questions we receive from small craft operators.


On my journey to Opua, I was hailed on VHF16 from an aircraft. Does New Zealand monitor the coastline?

Yes. New Zealand works with all agencies in monitoring our coastline and approaches to New Zealand. This includes aircraft and waterborne assets. Also, for verification purposes, there is an expectation for transmitting on AIS or other forms such as Predict Wind. If using Predict Wind, Iridium GO, or any other similar tracking capability, forward the link to Customs.

Do I need to isolate once I arrive in New Zealand?

From 11.59pm, 2 May 2022, people arriving via sea are no longer required to isolate unless you test positive for COVID-19. Passengers and crew will be provided with two Rapid Antigen Tests. One test must be administered on day 0/1, and the next on day 5/6. Passengers and crew will be able to disembark providing all have had a negative day 0/1 test and have been cleared by border and health agencies. If the result is positive, you will be required to self-isolate.

If I test positive and can’t safely self-isolate on-board will I need to go to a Managed Isolation and Quarantine Facility?

If you test positive for COVID-19 and cannot safely self-isolate for 7 days on board, you may isolate on land. It is possible, but unlikely, that you could be required to go to a managed isolation facility by a Medical Officer of Health.

Once I arrive at Opua, when will I be swabbed/tested?

You will be provided with a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) kit containing two RATs – one for use on day 0/1 and the other on day 5/6. You will be asked to self-administer the first RAT when you arrive and the Master is required to report the result to the local Public Health Unit. If you test negative and have been cleared by border and health agencies, you will be able to disembark.

Can I arrive at another port in New Zealand other than Opua?

No. Opua has been set up to control and manage arriving small craft in a safe manner, with strict protocols and staffing available.

I have a foreign registered vessel (not New Zealand registered). All of the crew are New Zealand citizens (New Zealand passport holders). Do I need to apply for Ministry of Health (MoH) exemption?

No. Clause 10 (1)(a) and (b) COVID-19 Public Health Response (Maritime Border) Order (No 2) 2020 allow for this situation and provide for exemption.

I have a foreign registered vessel (not New Zealand registered). Not all of the crew are New Zealand citizens (New Zealand passport holders). Do I need to apply for Ministry of Health (MoH) exemption?

Yes. MoH approval will be required to bring the vessel into New Zealand and Immigration NZ visas would be required.

I have a New Zealand registered vessel. Not all of the crew are New Zealand citizens (New Zealand passport holders). I am married to an Australian. Do I need to apply for Ministry of Health exemption?

No. As it is New Zealand registered, you do not require MoH exemption as the vessel is registered in New Zealand. However, all non-NZ citizens (including Australian citizens) require the appropriate Immigration NZ visas.

Can we stop on the way, such as Minerva Reef?

Yes, from 11.59pm, 2 May 2022, people arriving in New Zealand via sea are no longer required to isolate unless they test positive for COVID-19. Therefore, any stops on the way to New Zealand no longer have an impact on isolation periods prior to arrival in New Zealand.

What are the charges/fees for my vessel to be berthed at Opua?

This information can be obtained from Bay of Islands Marina staff.

Website: Bay of Island Marina

Phone:   +64 9 402 7124
Fax:       +64 9 402 6124