Avsec officers supporting the Police, Ministry of Health and other government agencies in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Under section 80(eb) of the Civil Aviation Act 1990 the Minister of Transport has requested the Aviation Security Service to work with or help any government agency or local government agency that is involved in the COVID-19 pandemic response.

These duties have included:

  • Providing security at quarantine or managed isolation facilities where people coming back from overseas must stay. They’ve also joined Police to carry out compliance checks;
  • Visiting residential properties for isolation checks;
  • Working alongside Police for reassurance patrols in the community and helping educate people breaching rules around physical distancing etc;
  • Being deployed on trains and at transport hubs to assist with public assurance and law and order.

Aviation Security Officers do not have any power to do anything more than any ordinary New Zealander. They cannot prevent anyone from leaving a managed quarantine facility, demand anyone answer their questions or arrest or detain anyone for failing to comply with isolation obligations.

However, Aviation Security Officers who observe any potential non-compliance with any New Zealand law, including the Health Act 1956, will inform the New Zealand Police for them to respond.