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Rules tidied up for water users

9 September 2004

Rules tidied up for water users

Environment Bay of Plenty has tidied up its rules for boaties and other water users.

The regional council recently updated its Bay of Plenty Regional Navigation and Safety Bylaws to make them consistent with new maritime regulations. The revised version will be formally adopted on September 23 and will come into force on October 15.

Maritime manager Jon Moore says the review also allowed “minor tidying up” of other bylaws. However, most of the changes “will simply bring our local bylaws into line with maritime navigation safety rules”. Though some regional variation is allowed, maritime rules “win out” over bylaws when they are inconsistent.

One of the changes made for this purpose is a new “wake” rule to support the five-knot rule. It ensures the wake of a vessel does not harm people or cause unnecessary risk or damage to other vessels or structures. Another allows someone under 15 years to operate a powered vessel when under direct supervision of an older person in immediate reach of the controls. Mr Moore says both alterations will bring local bylaws into line with maritime regulations.

To cover costs, mooring licence fees will increase from $75 a year to $120 a year, with a new administrative fee of $45 for processing new applications, lease agreements and changes of ownership.

As part of the consultation process, Environment Bay of Plenty distributed 150 copies of the draft bylaws to iwi, pilots, marinas, shipping agents, boat clubs, wardens and the Port of Tauranga Ltd. The council received six submissions, many of which resulted in changes to the draft. Mr Moore wishes to thank all those who took part.

ENDS

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