Updated boating bylaw approved

Jetskis in the Bay of Plenty will have to be registered from July 1.

The issue of the moving exclusion zone campaigned against by Tauranga boaties for the updated Navigation Safety Bylaw has been ignored by regional councillors who passed the bylaw this week.

The Tauranga Yacht and Boat Club campaigned against a proposal of moving prohibited zone for ships over 500 gross tonnes in Tauranga Harbour. This will now come into effect on July 1, 2017.

This means that in the main navigation channel, boaties are not allowed to navigate 500m in front of, and 50m each side of large ships.

There was also concerted opposition to a proposal to install a ski lane in the anchorage at Pane Pane Point - and Hunters Creek will be closed to water skiing two hours either side of low tide.

Independent commissioners suported the boaties on that issue stating that water ski activities should not be placed in this area.

"It was viewed that there would be too great a conflict with anchored boats and vessels moving at speed. Using an area so close to a major shipping channel was also raised by many submitters as dangerous. Submitters who spoke to this were the majority of those opposed," says the commisisoners' decision.

For a sensible skipper who makes considered decisions, knows the laws (both nationally and locally) and generally behaves on the water it is business as usual, says Bay of Plenty Harbourmaster Peter Buell.

“It's been a lengthy review process but it was important that we got the best Bylaw for the community,” says Peter.

“This week Councillors adopted the independent commissioners report and recommendations and we will now work with all water users to raise awareness of the changes. We want to extend a huge mihi to those who have engaged with us throughout this process.”

Amendments include:

  •   •  The mandatory wearing of lifejackets on vessels 6m and under unless the skipper has assessed the risk and advised it is safe to not wear them.

  •   •  Personal water craft (jet skis) using Bay of Plenty waterways will need to be registered.

  •   •  For safety reasons, the Hunters Creek ski area will be closed to ski traffic two hours either side of low tide.

  •   •  Boaties will not be permitted to anchor in the same area of Tauranga Harbour for more than 14 consecutive days.

  •   •  Boaties will not be permitted to secure their boat to a mooring without permission of the owner.

For a more detailed list of the key changes click here.


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Rotorua lake, Mokoia island and a manned canoe.  Photo: Thirza Fleeson.

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