Avsec officers supporting the Police and other government agencies in response to COVID-19.

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.

Their duties have included:

  • Providing security at hotels where people coming back from overseas must stay in quarantine and isolation. They’ve also joined Police to visit those hotels to carry out compliance checks;
  • Visiting residential properties for isolation checks;
  • Working alongside Police for reassurance patrols at supermarkets and helping educate people breaching rules around physical distancing etc;
  • Helping the Police with reassurance patrols on foot and in cars;
  • Being deployed on trains to assist with passengers.

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.