Two weeks left to enter!

There are now just two weeks to enter the NZ Orienteering Championships (‘Nationals’). 

Based on where we’re at and the need for orienteers and organisers to have certainty, we are now moving forward with our Level 2 plan. Key elements of the Level 2 plan are as follows:

  • Nationals will be a 3-day event (Saturday 24 – Monday 26 October).
  • Long distance on Saturday, Middle distance on Sunday, and Sprint on Monday. 
  • People will be assigned to ‘travel groups’, according to their club or where they are travelling from. 
  • Elites will be allocated their own time block, regardless of travel group. 
  • World Ranking Event status still applies for long- and middle-distance events. 
  • No food, coffee or water at the event centre, and limited other facilities—so come well prepared! 

COVID Tracer QR codes for contact tracing, good hygiene practices, and physical distancing where possible are all an expectation of participation at Nationals 2020. 

We know that things will look and feel a bit different, but we need to ensure a safe and fun competition for everyone. 

What if alert levels change? 

None of the key elements of the Level 2 plan that are listed above will be revisited, even if COVID-19 alert levels across the country are below Alert Level 2 on the day. 

We know that people want to catch up and compare notes. If all of New Zealand is at Alert Level 1, you will more likely see a more relaxed approach at event centres—but one that conforms to the expected public health practices of that alert level. 

For detail about what happens if alert levels anywhere in New Zealand exceed Level 2 as of 23 October, see our decision criteria.

Everyone must register to enter

Entries for Nationals are now open until midnight Friday 9 October.

All entries from April were voided, so anyone who intends to come along needs to re-enter. Until your name appears on the list of confirmed entries, you are not entered—and you are not automatically re-entered, even if we are holding over your entry fee from Easter. 

We will be contacting those people whose money we have to ensure that they receive the correct reimbursement in light of our moving to a three-day event. We are also contacting our volunteers to reconfirm their arrangements for helping.

We appreciate your commitment to attending Nationals—make sure to enter by midnight Friday 9 October.

Planning for Labour Weekend

We’re pleased to let you know where we’re at with planning for the 2020 ONZ National Foot-O Championships. Further to Orienteering NZ’s recent major events update, Orienteering Wellington would like to present our plan for the 2020 Nationals.

Our key considerations in developing this plan have been to ensure the safety of competitors and to follow government guidelines on gatherings and social distancing.

How it works

  • If all of New Zealand is at COVID-19 Alert Level 1, or lower, we will run Nationals under our Level 1 plan.
  • If any part of New Zealand is at a COVID-19 Alert Level between 1 and 2, we will run Nationals under our Level 2 plan.
  • If either Manawatū or Wellington is at a COVID-19 Alert Level greater than 2, we will not run an event.

If Manawatū or Wellington is at level 2 or lower, and any other part of New Zealand is at a COVID-19 Alert Level greater than 2, we will consider running a multi-day event over Labour Weekend. This won’t be the Nationals as such as some competitors will not be able to travel to attend, but will use many of the same high quality maps and courses.

Given the uncertainty around when and where Alert Levels might change, Orienteering Wellington will confirm which Level Plan we will use at the end of September. See our decision criteria for more details.


We realise these are uncertain times and we’re lucky to be able to plan an A-level event at all. To help alleviate the uncertainty for competitors, full refunds for entry fees will be available up until the closing of entries. If the event takes place using our Level 2 plan, the relay entry will be refunded.

In line with government health advice, please do not attend if you feel unwell. Competitors who need to withdraw due to illness will get a full refund of their entry fees.

Unfortunately, Orienteering Wellington cannot take liability for any loss associated with travel or accommodation cancellation.


All previous embargoes remain in place.


Entries are open now, and you’ll need to enter by midnight on Friday 9 October.

Decision on Nationals 2020 currently on hold in light of COVID-19 announcements

At this time, all of New Zealand is in Alert Level 2. Auckland, and people from Auckland, are at Alert Level 2 with additional restrictions.

These alert levels will remain in place until at least Monday 21 September.

Orienteering Wellington and Orienteering NZ are monitoring the situation. Possible implications for proceeding with Nationals at Labour Weekend (23-26 October 2020) are also being assessed at this time.

It is now more crucial than ever to practice good hygiene, keep track of where you’ve been, and stay home when you’re sick.

To see what the change of alert level means for your region, see United against COVID-19.

Labour Weekend

Orienteering Wellington would like to invite you to attend the rescheduled NZ Orienteering Championships at Labour Weekend (23-26 October 2020) in the Manawatū. We’re looking forward to a great weekend of events but at this stage there are a few things that we ask you to keep in mind:

  • We intend to run all four events — Sprint, Middle, Long and Relay, but the exact details are still to be confirmed.
  • Entries will open in July, when we have confirmed the event schedule and times. 
  • SI Air+ can now be used by all classes at all events. A supply of SIACs will be available to rent from Orienteering Wellington as part of the entry process.
  • Event locations are as previously advised: Pit Park, Waitarere, Scotts Ferry and Whirokino. See locations and embargoes for more information.
  • Entry prices are as previously advised: Maximum $155 for senior and $115 for junior if entering all four events, with the family rate capped at 2 adults and 3 children.
  • A prize giving and social event will be held on the Sunday evening.
  • Previous recipients of trophies please bring these with you, or if you aren’t planning to attend this year please pass them on to someone who is. 

We’ve also had to make a few changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our precautions include:

  • There will be no shared water facilities at the event centres, and no food trucks. However, we are hoping to have a coffee cart!
  • NZ COVID Tracer QR codes will be available at each event centre. We do not collect this data but ask that you scan these to facilitate the Ministry of Health’s contact tracing program. 
  • Everything is contingent on all of New Zealand being at COVID-19 Alert Level 1 (or lower) from 29 July until Labour Weekend.

All being well, we look forward to seeing you in the forest!

Postponed due to COVID-19

Regretfully, Orienteering Wellington and Orienteering New Zealand have come to the joint decision to postpone the NZ Orienteering Championships 2020. We believe that this is in the best interest of our orienteering community at this time. The decision to postpone is due to the unfolding presence of COVID-19 in New Zealand.

COVID-19 is a highly communicable virus and has widespread implications for public health. You can find out more about COVID-19 from the World Health Organisation. Guidelines specific to New Zealand are provided by the Ministry of Health

We had always intended to take precautions but given the Government’s firm stance against indoor or outdoor gatherings of 500 or more people – around the level of previous Nationals attendance – we feel it is too much of a risk to proceed. We know that people have many concerns at this time and we wish to provide you with certainty. 


We will be in contact with everyone who has entered to date to offer a full refund using the email address provided when the entry was made. Please appreciate that contacting everyone and processing refunds may take some time. However, if you haven’t heard from us by Sunday 29 March, please let us know by contacting Gerald Crawford at

Looking forward

We hope that you appreciate our reasons for this decision and that we are responding to a situation beyond our control. We were all looking forward to getting the chance to run on some fantastic terrain this Easter. We had commissioned new maps and updates for these areas and we, along with Orienteering NZ, remain optimistic that we will be able to use these maps and courses later in the year. As such, the posted embargoes for Nationals areas remain in place beyond Easter and until such time as they are lifted by us.

We will provide more information here and via the Nationals newsletter when the situation changes.

Stay safe everyone.