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The Gisborne District Navigation and Safety Bylaw 2012 is due to be reviewed.

Before we started drafting the new bylaw, we identified some areas that may require changes. We asked for feedback on some options and any other navigational safety issues you wanted us to consider.

Feedback closed Monday 24 October and we received 13 submissions.

What the bylaw covers

The bylaw currently covers Tūranganui-a-Kiwa / Poverty Bay and Tolaga Bay. However, all navigable waters in the district are covered by maritime laws.

Our waterways can be busy places with various water activities going on at one spot. To help ensure these activities can co-exist safely, rules are set under the Navigation and Safety Bylaw to help manage them.

The bylaw helps to:

  • Regulate and control the use of vessels.
  • Regulate the placing and maintenance of moorings and maritime facilities.
  • Prevent nuisances caused by things like vessels or sea planes, or the actions of persons in or on the water.
  • Reserve areas for events and regulate these events.
  • Specify requirements like when you're required to wear a life jacket or identification of jet ski etc.

The bylaw also identifies area specific requirements such as access lanes, ski lanes, large vessel anchorage positions, crayfish pot and set-net exclusion areas, prohibited anchorage areas, aircraft approach areas and harbour entrance channels.

What the bylaw does not cover

Not all activities can be managed under this bylaw. Here's some examples of what the bylaw cannot address:

  • Swimming - except when in conflict with vessels, such as around wharves when vessels are present.
  • Noise complaints.
  • Activities negatively impacting biodiversity issues like fishing.
  • Erosion.
  • Pollution or litter.
  • Occupation of space.
  • Any other Resource Management Act matters, like allocation of space or structures.

Options - potential changes and additions to the bylaw

We’ve identified some areas of the bylaw which may require changes and are keen to hear your thoughts on these options and about other navigational safety issues that you would like to see addressed through the review.

  • Extend area the bylaw covers

    Extend the coverage to the whole district. Meaning rules would be consistent no matter where you are in the district and out to 12 nautical miles from shore.

    Some activities can still be managed by our harbourmaster outside of Tūranganui-a-Kiwa / Poverty Bay and Tolaga Bay if the activities being undertaken are not in line with the Maritime Transport Act.

  • Life jackets for vessels 6m and under

    To require correctly fitted and well-fastened lifejackets to be worn while the vessel is underway and in times of high risk.

    There are some instances where this wouldn’t apply for example, during sporting events, training or ceremonial events where a support vessel can provide adequate assistance, if you are surfing or diving, or on a commercial raft. These exceptions are all in accordance with the maritime rules.

  • Discharging cargo into navigable waters

    Our current bylaw doesn’t have a provision to prevent the discharge of cargo into navigable waters. So we're considering adding a section which would prohibit the dropping of any cargo from a vessel, wharf or from land, that would be a danger to maritime safety.

    If we added this section there would also be an associated infringement fee if cargo is dropped.

  • Boat name or number

    Add a requirement that all motorised boats over 4m long display a name or number on the side of the vessel for easy identification.
    This provision would be in line with other councils around the country including Hawke's Bay and Bay of Plenty.

Contact Us

Have questions or want to learn more about a project, contact us below:

Phone 0800 653 800 (24 hours)
In writing

15 Fitzherbert Street
Gisborne. 4010
New Zealand