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Have your say on navigation safety rules

12 February 2014

Have your say on navigation safety rules

Keeping people and vessels safe on the water is the focus of proposed changes to Auckland Council’s proposed navigation safety bylaw, which opens for consultation this week.

The council is proposing several significant changes to the bylaw, which it inherited by from the former Auckland Regional Council as follows:

• Making it mandatory to wear a personal flotation device (including lifejackets) while on board a vessel of six metres or less in length
• compulsory carriage of a communication device such as a VHS radio or mobile phone
• ability for Harbourmaster to prevent anyone being in charge of a vessel while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs
• improved management of moorings sites.

“We know Aucklanders love to get out on the water and have fun, but it can get dangerous when conditions turn bad so we need some rules in place to keep people as safe as possible,” says Councillor Calum Penrose, chair of the council’s Regulatory and Bylaws Committee.

He says the proposal regarding lifejackets follows concerns about the number of drownings when people weren’t wearing them.

“The community and our local boards have expressed concerns about this and have called for increased regulation with the hope of reducing the risk of preventable death.”

The existing rule for personal flotation devices on small vessels requires that enough for everyone on board be carried and stored in an easily accessible area.

With both the lifejacket and carriage of communication device proposals, some practical exceptions will apply.

“Balancing the diverse needs of all users is important so I encourage people to take the time to review the draft bylaw and to make a submission,” says Cr Penrose.

Submissions open Friday, 14 February and close at 4pm on Monday, 17 March.

For more information and to make a submission go to the council’s website,www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/haveyoursay

Copies of draft bylaw and supporting material also in public libraries and service centres.

The new bylaw will be in effect for the summer of 2014/2015.

The council is responsible for the management of navigation safety on coastal and inland waters within Auckland. The navigation safety bylaw sets out the rules for all craft and people using these waters.

It is required to review all bylaws inherited from Auckland’s former local authorities by October 2015.

ENDS

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