SLSNZ sports events will not proceed - COVID-19 - Memo #3

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Lifeguarding and Life Saving Sport Event Announcement

Following the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 on events and mass gatherings, Surf Life Saving New Zealand (SLSNZ) and Surf Life Saving Northern Region (SLSNR) have determined that we will not proceed with any scheduled Nationally or Regionally based lifeguarding competition or lifesaving sport events & activities for the remainder of the 2019/20 season.

This includes, but is not limited to:

  • South Island IRB Championships, 21 March, Waikouaiti;
  • Northern Region IRB Championships, 21 March, Ruakaka;
  • Northern Region Rookie Challenge, 21 March, Ruakaka;
  • Christchurch Rookie Competition, 21 March, Waimairi;
  • Southern Patrol Championships, 28 March, Sumner;
  • Eastern Region Rookie Challenge, 29 March, Waihi;
  • NZ IRB Championships, 4 & 5 April, Ruakaka;
  • BOP Long Haul, 3 May, Whakatane
  • Any other lifeguarding competition and sport events currently scheduled for the 2019/20 season

We will work with Clubs, committees, staff and suppliers to determine potential opportunities to run these events at a later date as well as assessing events currently scheduled for the 2020/21 season.
We pride ourselves on keeping our communities safe, therefore the health, safety and well-being of our membership and staff is our highest priority.

While some of these events may not exceed the current Ministry of Health guidelines of 500 people, as un-ticketed events with multiple points of entry Surf Lifesaving cannot control the numbers attending. This also makes it difficult to contact trace all attendees should a participant or attendee deliver a positive result following the events.

While medical advice is that the risk of community transmission remains low, the risk significantly increases where activities involving close personal contact such as sport, or where shared accommodation is required and events involving airports, air-travel, travel from all over New Zealand, some of which occur as part of organising, participating and attending these events. 

SLSNZ will publish a further update on other operational activities including but not limited to patrols, beach education, and external event guarding by 12 noon Friday 20 March.

For further information please visit SLSNZ COVID-19 web page.

- Paul Dalton, Chief Executive Officer, Surf Life Saving NZ


For more information, please contact:

Melanie Louden
Media and Communications Manager
Surf Life Saving NZ 
021 757 433