Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Don wants a safe summer in eastern Bay of Plenty

Don wants a safe summer in eastern Bay

4 January 2013

Don Herdman has been spreading the word about water safety for 25 years and reckons wives and mothers are the best people to target to ensure water users know the rules.

The 83-year-old former Whakatane mayor is one of a group of wardens who patrol the Ohiwa Harbour area for the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, enforcing rules and ensuring people are in the correct designated areas.

“When we talk to the people in charge of boats and jet skis we also give information to their families and the wives are usually the best at making sure everyone in the family is aware of the rules and sticks to them,” he says. “Everybody needs to know the rules.”

In the Ohiwa Harbour area where Mr Herdman patrols there are designated areas for different water activities – jet skiing, water skiing and jet skis towing skiers, swimming, boating and others like sailing, windsurfing and kayaking. Mr Herdman credits this for keeping the harbour area relatively problem-free. Retiring from public life in 1995 after 12 years on council, his last term as mayor and two before that as deputy mayor, he was on the Whakatane District Council when it established the designated areas.

Mr Herdman lives at Ohope, overlooking the harbour area which he patrols on foot, spreading the water safety message among locals and visitors.

This summer the Regional Council is focused on improving the behaviour of jet ski users on Bay of Plenty waterways. As the number of jet skis has increased in recent years, so have the number of accidents, incidents and near misses across the region. Most jet ski incidents in the Bay of Plenty involve males aged about 17 to 30.

“Sometimes jet skiers take off too fast and we have to remind them they can’t go faster than 5 knots within 200 m of shore or 50 m of other vessels or people in the water,” says Mr Herdman.

“And if several jet skis are going out together we will issue a strong reminder of the rules and the fact they could be liable to a fine or prosecution if they break them.

“We don’t have too many problems and I think that’s because of the designated areas. Sometimes people go where they shouldn’t but generally most are really good and some who we’ve gotten to know after years of patrolling help to pass on the message to others. It works really well.”

Mr Herdman says just as jet ski users sometimes need to be reminded of the rules, so do boaties and swimmers and parents need to keep a close eye on where their children are in the water to ensure they don’t encroach on ski areas.

Over the years Mr Herdman has seen an increase in the number of people wearing life jackets when boating or jet skiing and he says that’s a real positive.

“It gets pretty busy where I patrol and if everyone is mindful of the rules and of each other, everyone can enjoy their fun.”

Eastern Bay of Plenty Harbourmaster Brian Spake says so far this summer water users have been “pretty well behaved” and he wants to see that continue.

He and his team take a preventive approach, speaking to people before they take to the water ensuring they know the rules and emphasising safety.

There are about 85,000 jet ski and powerboat landings in the Eastern Bay of Plenty every year. There is usually an influx of jet skis during the three to four weeks from Boxing Day and Mr Spake and his team will be speaking to everyone they see who has one.

Jet skis are as powerful and as fast as a car but under current laws anyone 15 and over can be in charge of a jet ski, no licence required.

“We don’t generally have many problems in the Eastern Bay – the messages seem to be getting through to many people and we hope this summer will be no different. We don’t want anyone putting themselves or others at risk.”

This summer’s regional jet ski safety campaign has the support of Bay of Plenty-based professional surfer Matt Hewitt and Olympic kayaker Luuka Jones and the whanau of teenager Bishop Thompson, who was killed as a result of a jet ski accident on Lake Okareka, Rotorua, in January 2011.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On The Pakistan Schoolchildren Killings

The slaughter of the children in Pakistan is incomprehensibly awful. On the side, it has thrown a spotlight onto something that’s become a pop cultural meme. Fans of the Homeland TV series will be well aware of the collusion between sections of the Pakistan military/security establishment on one hand and sections of the Taliban of the other…

Reportedly, it was the breakdown of the relationship between the Pakistan Taliban and the Pakistan military – which for the first time, began bombing Taliban enclaves in the Tribal Federated Areas earlier this year – that led to this revenge attack on the school, which is attended by the children of the military. More>>

 

Parliament Adjourns:

Police: Phillip Smith Investigation Passport Charge

A 25 year-old man will appear in the Whanganui District Court today charged with the Passports Act offence of False Representations. The charges were laid on December 9 by the Auckland-based Phillip Smith investigation... More>>

Intelligence: Inspector-General Accepts Apology For Leak Of Report

The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, has accepted an unreserved apology from Hon Phil Goff MP for disclosing some of the contents of her recent Report into the Release of Information by the NZSIS in July and August 2011 to media prior to its publication. The Inspector-General will not take the matter any further. More>>

ALSO:

Drink: Alcohol Advertising Report Released

The report of the Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship has been released today, with Ministers noting that further work will be required on the feasibility and impact of the proposals. More>>

ALSO:

Other Report:

Leaked Cabinet Papers: Treasury Calls For Health Cuts

Leaked Cabinet papers that show that Government has been advised to cut the health budget by around $200 million is ringing alarm bells throughout the nursing and midwifery community. More>>

ALSO:

Maori Party: Tribunal Report Confirms Iwi Ownership Of Lake Waikaremoana

“We are pleased for the claimants that eight years after the hearing began on Lake Waikaremoana they have some closure,” says Māori Party Co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell. “Most importantly, the report confirms freshwater is a taonga and identifies the ownership rights of Tūhoe, Ngāti Ruapani, Ngāti Kahungunu, and Ngāi Tamaterangi to the lake bed.” More>>

ALSO:

Climate Performance Report - Not Achieved: NZ Government Part Of Global Climate Problem

The New Zealand Government’s position on climate change is part of the global problem that we need to overcome if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change, the Green Party said. More>>

ALSO:

NSW Police Statement: Three Dead Following Martin Place Siege

About 2.10am (Tuesday 16 December), a confrontation occurred between police and a man who had taken a number of people hostage inside a café on Martin Place. Shots were fired during the confrontation. As a result, the 50-year-old man was pronounced dead after being taken to hospital. Another man, aged 34, and a woman, aged 38, were pronounced dead after being taken to hospital. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Sydney Siege (And DHB Budget Cuts)
Whenever the authorities bring a siege situation to an end, there will be criticism if – as has happened in Sydney – any hostages are seriously hurt, or killed... In the Sydney Morning Herald this morning, columnist Peter Hartcher raises a different point – that the initial public response had been noticeably different to the agitated reactions of politicians and the media. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Income Inequality, And Yo Ho Ho Christmas Songs

As 2014 grinds to a close, we probably didn’t need one more reminder of this government’s ability to stare reality in the face and declare black to be a very fine shade of white... Yet on Wednesday, there was Finance Minister Bill English trying to tell RNZ that the OECD was (a) wrong (b) using old data and (c) somehow anti-growth and in any case (d) New Zealand allegedly already had a strongly re-distributive tax system... More>>

Werewolf: Public Health - The Silent Crisis

Gordon Campbell: New Zealand’s public health system has been in crisis for so long that its failings – and deteriorating performance vis a vis other developed countries – now tend to be treated as its normal mode of being. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: House Adjourns For Summer

Parliament has risen for the summer break with the Adjournment Motion agreed just after 5pm on Wednesday. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news