Plan to arrive in good time

The first starts for the sprints on Friday are from 4pm in Levin.

If you are considering flying in to Wellington or crossing from the South Island before driving north, be aware that Labour Weekend traffic can be heavy. Expect severe congestion at any time of the day, especially in the afternoon. If you’re flying from elsewhere in the country, it may be more efficient to fly to Palmerston North as congestion from there to the event sites is much less likely to be a problem.

Many participants will either be travelling through or beginning their journeys in Wellington. We strongly recommend that you leave Wellington at around 12.00pm. This will give you peace of mind that you will arrive in Levin in good time for your sprint. If your journey goes well and you end up with time on your hands, there’s plenty to see and do along the way.

Road trip resources

The NZTA journey planner is a useful resource when planning your trip, as is the real-time traffic information on Google Maps. And if you can car-pool with other orienteers and reduce the number of cars on the road, so much the better!

Alternative start times

As with all major events, you should plan your travel for the listed “first starts from” start times.

In accordance with ONZ Foot Orienteering rules, specific start time requests can only be considered for parents of young children who may need split starts, and event officials including volunteers.

Entries re-opened!

We’re delighted to announce the details of the rescheduled Nationals 2020 for Labour Weekend at long last.

It’s been a significant task to get all the permissions arranged for the new dates, but the good news is that we are able to hold the forest events as planned. Unfortunately the sprint event can’t be held in the original location, but we have a brand new area to play with instead – the Horowhenua Showgrounds and surrounding schools in Levin.

Our National Coordinator Gillian Ingham is confident that the new area can provide excellent sprint orienteering for the ONZ Championships, and while there is obviously work to do to create the new courses, our sprint planner and controller are on the case!

This means we have a new embargo for the sprint area, while existing embargoes for the forest events remain in place.

New schedule of events

DateStart timesEventLocation
Friday 23 OctoberFrom 4:00pmSprintHorowhenua Showgrounds, Levin
Saturday 24 OctoberFrom 10:30amLong distanceParewanui, Santoft Forest
Sunday 25 OctoberFrom 10:30am
Middle distance
Prize-giving and social
Waitarere Northwest, Waitarere Beach
Himatangi Beach
Monday 26 OctoberFrom 10:30amRelayWhirokino, Waitarere Beach

Entries are open now, so what are you waiting for?

Other information

The holding of the competition is subject to the following conditions, as previously advised:

  • 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.

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.

Pictures from the forest, and a friendly embargo reminder

The controlling team were in the forest last weekend checking courses and found time to take a few picture for us to share. These are from the middle- and long-distance areas near Waitarere Beach and Scotts Ferry.

Our National Controller also reminds you to check the embargoed areas before venturing out into the forests around Waitarere or elsewhere in the Manawatū.

SI Air+ information

We’ve added some details about SportIdent Air+ contactless punching and how it will be used at the Nationals. Hopefully this helps answer some of your questions!

SportIdent Active Card

The basics:

  • SI Air+ is enabled for all events except the sprint, where it is only enabled for the elite M/W21E and M/W20 classes.
  • If you don’t have a SportIdent Active Card (SIAC) and enter the M/W21E or M/W20 sprint class, we will loan you one at no cost.
  • This is to ensure fairness, so all orienteers in your sprint class will be punching the same way as you.
  • You can enter the Nationals with a SIAC or a normal SI card, just enter your SI number on the entries page as usual.
  • If you don’t have an SI card, you can arrange to hire one during the entry process.

Entries are open

Entries are now open and close at midnight Friday, 27 March. Don’t leave it too late!

Orienteers set off into the forest

Discounts for volunteers

Orienteering Wellington invites members from Orienteering Wellington, Orienteering Hutt Valley and Red Kiwis to help out with start procedures, assisting at registration, car parking, collecting controls, and more. In return for your hard work, we can offer you a discount on your registration.

If you are happy to help—even if for only part of the weekend—then email us and we will send you a discount code for your entry. Thanks!


Orienteering Wellington invites you to the Manawatū for the Orienteering New Zealand National Championships at Easter 2020. 

2020’s events will offer world-class orienteering in the coastal dunes and pine forests of the Manawatū and northern Horowhenua, and a sprint event around an intriguing new area in Palmerston North. 

Check out the event information to find out more.

Club President Sarah O'Sullivan in action

“We’re delighted to host New Zealand’s premiere orienteering event in 2020. While there will be a competitive spirit, there will be courses for all ages and stages. Nationals 2020 is for everybody. Our emphasis is on having fun in the forest on some awesome courses.”

Club President Sarah O’Sullivan