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Table of Contents
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Update 20 April 2020
As we approach the end of the initial Level 4 restrictions your New Zealand Geocaching reviewers want to give you some clarity regarding cache publications going forward, and also any restrictions on events in the future.
You will be aware that at Level 4 restrictions, there are no geocaches being published (neither physical or non-physical caches like Virtuals, Earthcaches and Events) and all events that were scheduled to be held during this time were either cancelled, or postponed.
There have been some messages between the geocaching reviewers and the Covid-19 government team who have provided some further advice regarding level 3 restrictions when they begin
Based on the current Covid-19 guidelines as at 20 April 2020, during Level 3, there will be no geocaches of any sort published (neither physical or non-physical, like Virtuals and Earthcaches or Events) and once again, we discourage cachers from physical contact with objects that people from outside their bubble may have touched.
Once we get to Level 2 restrictions, based on the current Covid-19 guidelines as at 20 April 2020, geocaches will be published, and events can proceed based on the following guidelines
Gatherings only allowed for up to 100 people indoors, and up to 500 outdoors. These are total permitted numbers.
Additional conditions on gatherings:
• Physical distancing and infection prevention
and control requirements must be met.
• All gatherings must record attendees to
ensure contact tracing may be conducted if
symptoms or who need to be in isolation/
quarantine for any reason
Update 11 May 2020
UNTIL 11.59pm Wednesday 13th May we are in LEVEL 3 - GEOCACHING PLACING OR FINDING IS NOT ALLOWED
The Government has announced today that we will be slowly easing into Level 2 from Thursday 14th May; as playgrounds and other shared venues will be open so too will be Geocaching.
FOR LEVEL 2;
- If you are unwell - DO NOT GO GEOCACHING! STAY HOME!
- Keep your distance from other people in public.
- Wash your hands, Wash your hands, consider wiping down touched surfaces, WASH YOUR HANDS. If you plan on wearing gloves there are some good online videos on how to safely use them - gloves and masks do not remove the need to wash your hands.
- Please note not all cachers log at the time of their find, so treat any caches found as if they had only been touched.
- Take your own pens and minimise touching these and other swag items in caches - of if you touch them think about wiping them down and Wash your Hands.
- We recommend you consider holding onto TBs for now. But if you are set on moving TBs; wash these down and maybe have a zip lock bag to hand to put them in so you can keep them separate from other items or if possible leave them in a clear bag (where number is visible without having to open) so anyone else going for them can wipe down the bag. Soft materials are not easy to clean so please make sure these are bagged as noted.
- Caches held since lockdown will be published - mostly in the daytime. If you meet others at a cache please remember the social distancing rules and be kind. Note Reviewers and HQ do not get involved in FTF (joint or otherwise) disputes.
- For the first 2 weeks of Level 2 (May 2020) social gatherings are limited to 10 people (the official covid19.govt.nz states 'we can return to our regular recreation activities, at first keeping to 10 people'). This applies to Geocachers too looking or placing caches.
- Now as per HQ rules we are not allowed to limit number of attendees to events - so, no events are allowed for the time being. Note we are keen to meet up with our caching buddies too and whilst its disappointing we will be talking HQ about how and when we can all meet up in line with covid19.govt.nz as we move through Level 2. CO's who have events between now and 30th May will be contacted by one of the local reviewers.
- If your cache is based in a local building check to see what they are doing and if necessary (keep) disable(d), we promise to go easier with the archiving tool for these caches.
- The maintenance sweeper and cache reaper will also be appearing in Level 2. However if you are not well, do not feel comfortable or safe to go check on your geocaches we will be making sure to take this into account and allowing for extended timeframes. However, this will require CO's communicating with the reviewers posting notes.
- Deleting logs - please note the official rules still apply and logs should only be deleted if geocachers have not signed the logbook.
- Please remember to be kind when undertaking this.
- As we have seen the rules change quickly and to help educate geocachers, we ask CO's to consider including at the top of their cache descriptions; "For information on Geocaching during Covid19 in New Zealand please visit wiki.groundspeak.com/display/GEO/New+Zealand. "
- If you are not sure on what the level is in the area you are currently in and the activities you can undertake to get a cache (hiking, biking, kayaking etc) then a good simple guide can be found at www.covid19outdoors.nz
- For updates - you can either place this page on a watchlist or follow the reviewers page on Facebook; 'Frie-NZ of the Frog'
- Remember to look after yourself and each other, be kind and be safe.
- IF IN THE EVENT WE RETURN TO LEVEL 3 or Level 4 (LOCKDOWN) OF THE COUNTRY OR REGION YOU ARE IN, YOU SHOULD NOT BE FINDING GEOCACHES, or PLACING GEOCACHES
Hi All, things are changing and we need to make sure we can keep geocaching going for all of our mental health. But we need to make sure we can look after our community, so until we can get anything clearer from HQ we recommend that events do not go ahead during Level 3 (or 4). No caches will be published during Level 4. If you are a geocacher who is ill, no matter the level, please do NOT attend any geocaching event. If you are going to an event check out the guides on physical distancing.
When it is safe to do so according to the government and your local councils As HQ said in their blog think about some unfound local caches, still hit the local hills. Please note not all cachers log at the time of their find, so treat any caches found as if they had only been touched.
- In the meantime, no matter the alert level; you can go to your workshop to work on those lingering cache ideas or work on those D5 puzzles.
If your cache is based in a local building check to see what they are doing and if necessary disable (we promise to go easier with the archiving tool for these caches).
Remember to look after yourself and each other, be kind and be safe.
If you have any queries feel free to message any of the reviewers
North Island cachers need to be aware of a serious danger currently threatening Kauri trees throughout the North Island. This information link https://www.kauridieback.co.nz/ has details of the problem and what you can do to minimise the spread of the disease. For cache owners, it is important NOT to go off the track to place caches in certain forests.
Christchurch Flat Lands Residential Red Zone.
The Manager of Community and Customer Services for Crown Property, within Land Information New Zealand has been consulted and advised about geocaching and has no issues for having geocaches placed within the Flat Lands Red Zone, but the Port Hills Red Zone is out of bounds (This area has been zoned red because of the life risk posed by rock fall and/or cliff collapse, and land slips. Please note this is an extremely dangerous area for the general public – there are natural hazards present and heavy machinery may be in use.)
A Map of the red zones is available here, and the RedZone is a layer that can be added to the map.
Caches within the Flat Lands Red Zone are to have this text added to the listing.
‘This geocache is placed within the Christchurch Flat Lands Residential Red Zone. Please follow all warning signs that you may come across. It there are areas that are fenced off with no access, then this is for a reason. There are to be no motorised vehicles (cars, motorbikes etc) used to travel through the Red Zone land or on roads where barriers are in place. People used to live in these areas, so please be respectful when in the Red Zone.’
Power boxes, Utility Boxes and Phone Booths
As these are owned and maintained by their respective companies. Some have warning signs of different types and some don't.
"Geocaches or any other material should not be attached to any electricity reticulation or equipment and we also encourage the public to keep clear of any electricity or other infrastructure.
There is a hazard if people are looking for the geocache feel for boxes in or under parts of the equipment. While the equipment is basically safe and is regularly inspected, we cannot guarantee this if there is a fault or damage that has not been identified.
It should be noted that transformers have 11,000 Volt wiring present inside the case."
"Our (Spark) preference is that the Geocaching community not affix containers to the phone booths, magnetically or otherwise. While I don’t believe the containers would cause any technical disruption to the service, or control panel access issues, it’s more about setting a precedent of allowing the public to place items on the booths - however unobtrusive they might be.
Also, the booths are regularly serviced by maintenance crews so which would probably result in a higher rate of container loss than some of the other locations your players use."