Ross Collings, owner of Hunting and Outdoor Supplies expects to go into debt. PHOTO/ALEYNA MARTINEZ

ALEYNA MARTINEZ
aleyna.martinez@age.co.nz

Ammunition has been flying off the shelves at Hunting and Outdoor Supplies Carterton since New Zealand’s imminent lockdown was announced on Monday.

Owner Ross Collings said his ammunition sales had increased as hunter stock-piled for the annual ‘Roar’, but also, in anticipation for the four-week lockdown where all non-essential goods including hunting and fishing supplies would not be available.

As a business owner, Collings was highly nervous about how the lockdown would affect his livelihood.

“I need to do a whole month’s worth of sales today [Wednesday] if I want to pay my bills,” Collings said.

“Of course, the lockdown will have a big economic impact on all of us – I mean normally my sales from now until the 29th of next month is what pays last month’s bills, but of course I’m going to be in debt.”

On Tuesday, the Game Animal Council and the New Zealand Deerstalkers Association issued a statement urging all hunters to ‘do the right thing’ and stay at home while New Zealand was at covid-19 alert level four.

NZDA president Trevor Chappell said that while he was incredibly disappointed, staying at home was the right thing to do.

“It is heart-breaking as a hunter to be stuck at home during the roar, but as hunters, we also have our part to play to beat covid-19,” Chappell said.

“The better we all comply with the restrictions, the sooner we will get this virus under control, and we can go hunting again.”

Police Senior Sergeant Shayne Nolan said although huts would be shut during the lockdown, Wairarapa was still a unique place to be at this time.

“We have a very good, unique environment in relation to the rest of the country,” Nolan said.

He advised people to get out and explore instead of stressing themselves out in isolation.

DOC director-general Lou Sanson said the lockdown did not mean people were confined indoors, but huts and campsites are closed.

“Time spent in nature feeds the soul, keeps us fit, and calms the mind.

“We must all look after ourselves and loved ones during this time.

“While rangers won’t be placing signs at, or checking every hut and campsite, we expect the public to do the right thing for their safety and the safety of others.

“The majority of DOC rangers will be self-isolating like the rest of us and need to focus on their wellbeing and the wellbeing of those close to them.”

Coastguard New Zealand is asking people not to go out on the water during the lockdown period to avoid putting themselves or Coastguard volunteers in harm’s way.

“Last year, Coastguard volunteers responded to more than 3700 calls for help, proving that regardless of planning and preparation, people can’t always rely on their own steam to get home,” Coastguard New Zealand chief executive Callum Gillespie said.

“We have had a lot of calls and messages from the public asking if they’re able to go out on the water during the lockdown period, the answer is no.

“Should you get into difficulty, you will quickly want help from Coastguard volunteers and staff, requiring them to leave self-isolation and come together to help you.”