Wednesday, November 22, 2017
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New boating rules come into effect

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Bay of Plenty boaties are being reminded to check out the changes to the region’s Navigation Safety Bylaw before they next head out on the water.

The 2017 Navigation Safety Bylaw came into effect over the weekend, after it was adopted in February following a lengthy review.  

The amended rules only came into effect on July 1, to give boaties time to adjust before the busy summer season.

Bay of Plenty Harbourmaster Peter Buell says although the changes are not major it’s still important that people are up to date with them.

“This Bylaw is all about balancing safety with the needs of different users of our waterways. These users can really vary; from recreational fishers to water sports enthusiasts to commercial boats navigating a shipping channel. 

“The changes to the Bylaw reflect the huge increase of recreational boats on the water, especially Personal Water Craft – commonly known as jetskis - and their sometimes competing needs.”

Lifejackets were heavily debated throughout the review of this Bylaw, with people mostly on the fence about whether it should be compulsory to wear them while on the water. 

“In the end, the independent commissioners have opted for the Auckland rule which says that they must be worn on vessels 6m or less unless the skipper has assessed the risk and advised it’s safe to remove them. This means the onus is on the skipper,” says Peter.  

“Another key change is around the registration of jetski and other Personal Water Craft. Owners will now need to register these vessels online through Auckland Council. Although there will an initial grace period we expect them all to be registered by summer.

“Other changes boaties will need to get up to speed with are around the compulsory naming of vessels, and in Tauranga Harbour the reduced ski period for Hunters Creek and the newly created moving prohibited zone in the shipping channel.”

In the next few months, Regional Council will upgrade their signs to reflect the changes to the Bylaw.

In the meantime people can check out a summary of the changes, the full 2017 Navigation Safety Bylaw and how to register a Personal Water Craft at or they can collect a copy from their nearest Regional Council office.

Comments on SunLive

Registration better

Posted on 05-07-2017 13:05 | By Papamoaner

We need identifiable transoms on trailered boats so un-hosed props and rudder gear can be reported. We have a serious problem now with algal cross-contamination of fresh water lakes that some of these Tupperware floaties don’t care about. A few heavy fines ought to do the trick by putting the word out there.
I agree Papamoaner

Posted on 04-07-2017 13:57 | By Border Patrol

We are boaties and have been for many years both in Tauranga harbour and coastal, and have seen how much busier our waters are now. It is pretty obvious that there are more people out on the water who don’t have a clue about maritime rules or even commonsense, with some of the stupid behaviour we’ve seen. This needs more policing and actually pinging people with fines or taking their craft off them. With the naming vessel rule in place, perhaps it will make it easier to at least identify these people and deal with them appropriately.
About time too

Posted on 03-07-2017 21:42 | By Papamoaner

The density of watercraft now demands it. For decades, the police on the Swan river in Perth have been patrolling there in fizz boats with sirens and they don’t hesitate to hand tickets out.
Compulsory naming...

Posted on 03-07-2017 11:02 | By Leadhead

Other changes boaties will need to get up to speed with are around the compulsory naming of vessels" that correct? first I’ve heard of it.
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