Important information for equestrian coaches in regards to coaching in Covid Level 3

We have been in touch with MPI once more about coaching in Level 3 and have been given the following advice:

The current Health Order, which can be found here, requires that businesses or services comply with conditions that minimise the risk of spread of Covid-19 in order to be able to operate. If businesses or services cannot comply with those conditions, then they must not operate under Alert Level 3. The conditions are summarised below, however, it is up to each individual business or service provider to determine whether they are able to comply with these conditions, so please encourage everyone to read and understand the conditions in the Order fully.

Under Alert Level 3, businesses and services can operate unless they are unable to comply with the requirements relevant to the kind of the business/service. Under the Order, businesses and services must have systems and processes in place to comply with Clause 26 of the Order including:

  • maintain compliance so far as is reasonably practicable with the 1-metre physical distancing rule (rather than the 2-metre physical distancing rule) for all workers in a workplace of, or while working for, the business or service; and
  • maintain compliance so far as is reasonably practicable with the 2-metre physical distancing rule for any other persons entering a workplace, or using the services, of the business or service; and
  • mitigate, so far as is reasonably practicable, the risks of spreading COVID-19 that arise to the extent that physical distancing is not fully maintained (for example, through regular cleaning of surfaces or the installation of plastic barriers).

Equestrian services such as coaching are not specifically listed under Schedule 3 of the health order, and are likely to be covered by item 24 relating to all other businesses and services. Therefore, equestrian service operators must have systems and processes in place to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that no customers or clients enter the workplace except to the minimum extent necessary to collect goods through a method that minimises physical contact and—

  • does not involve entering a building; or
  • involves entering a shopping mall, but not entering an individual store;

Businesses and services falling under item 24 must also comply with the contact record rule, whereby they must have systems and process in place to ensure so far as is reasonably practicable that each person aged 12 years or older, who enters the workplace—

  • scans the QR code for the workplace; or
  • provides details in a contact tracing record that the person in control of the workplace collects.

It is up to individual business or service providers to ensure that they are complying with all of the relevant conditions of the Order, and that they have sufficient records/evidence of the measures taken to ensure compliance. Again, if businesses or services are unable comply with the conditions set out in the Order, then they must not operate under Alert Level 3. Worksafe have published some helpful guidelines for operating under Alert Level 3, which can be found here.

MPI recognises that overall purpose of Alert Level 3 is that everyone stays at home to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Individual businesses and service providers may wish to defer any services that are not essential for animal care or welfare until the Alert Level is reduced.

One change in this Order that was not in previous Orders for Alert Level 3 is the specification of In home services that can be provided to a person (A) at A’s home or place of residence. This is item 21B under Schedule 2. Personal coaching/training or any sporting services are not listed in here, so under the Order it is unlikely coaches would be able to provide in home services. The link to Schedule 2 is here:

MPI understands this may not be welcome news, but again MPI recognises the need for everyone to stay home and minimise the spread of Covid-19.


A person in control of premises in the alert level 3 area must close those premises unless the person is carrying on a business or service that is operating in compliance with the alert level 3 requirements (described below and in further detail in the Order). A breach of this subclause is an infringement offence for the purposes of section 26(3) of the COVID-19 Public Health Response Act 2020.

26 Offences relating to compliance with orders

(1) A person commits an offence if the person intentionally fails to comply with a COVID-19 order.

(2) A person who commits an offence against subsection (1) is liable on conviction to—

(a) imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months; or

(b) a fine not exceeding $4,000.

(3) A person commits an infringement offence if the person does anything specified as an infringement offence in a COVID-19 order.

(4) A person who commits an infringement offence is liable to—

(a) an infringement fee of $300; or

(b) a fine imposed by a court not exceeding $1,000.

ESNZ have had legal advice and also advice from SportNZ that supports this.  In-person equestrian Coaching cannot take place under Level 3 as it currently stands.  Further information on our Alert Level Systems can be found here (updated 23/09/2021).

ESNZ is also trying to find out the process for applying to have changes made to Schedule 2 of the Order, so that equestrian facilities can be recognised as an outdoor sports facility.  However, our understanding is this is a lengthy process and could be somewhat difficult.