Successful trial of boating restrictions at Lake Rotoma
Successful trial of summer boating restrictions at Lake Rotoma
For immediate release: 8 April 2013
Positive feedback from a six month trial exclusion zone at Lake Rotoma could see a more permanent solution introduced in the future to manage diver safety during busy periods
Provisional boating restrictions over the summer period in Lake Rotoma have now come to an end.
Access to an area of water within 75 metres of the shore around Otangiwao Point was closed to boats between the hours of 10am to 6pm, seven days a week, from October through to the end of March. The area is a popular spot for diver training and over 1000 divers use the area a year, as it has the perfect depths and conditions.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council Harbour Master Lakes Pererika Makiha said the trial of the exclusion zone had worked well and there had been no reported incidents over the period.
“The exclusion zone was an effective short term measure to ensure the safety of the trainee divers, while also allowing access during popular fishing times. Summer is a busy time on the Rotorua lakes and mitigating any of the safety risks that we can is a top priority for us. We are now removing the exclusion zone during the quieter period and will look into possible options for the future.”
Regional Council has consulted with a number of stakeholders to get feedback on the trial exclusion zone; including dive companies, boaties, Te Arawa Lakes Trust and local community groups.
“We’ve had good feedback from the majority of those involved so far, and plan to continue to consult with the community as we move forward. We are scheduled to review the regional Navigational Safety Bylaws in the 2013/14 financial year and will be considering the potential to introduce a more permanent solution to minimise the safety risk at Otangiwao Point.”
The exclusion buoys have been removed from the zone this week. The isolated danger buoy which is situated immediately off the end of Otangiwao Point will remain in place and be used to display a dive flag which can be seen from both sides of the point when divers are present. New signs are also being put up reminding water users and divers alike about the use of dive flags.
Anyone wishing to provide feedback on the trial of the exclusion zone can contact Maritime Operations Manager Reuben Fraser on 0800 884 880 or by emailing Reuben.Fraser@boprc.govt.nz