Ban for powered craft on sections of Clutha River
As of 1 December, the use of all powered craft on the Clutha River between the Wanaka Outlet and the Albert Town Bridge is prohibited.
The restriction, which is subject to specified exceptions, will be in place until 30 April 2020. It has been put in place for the safety of all river users, with the affected stretch of river known to be a particularly busy area over summer.
Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) harbourmaster Marty Black said the ban would help ensure the safety of people in the water.
“This particular stretch of the Clutha River is popular for people looking to take a dip in the summer heat,” Mr. Black said.
“With so many people in the water it would be dangerous for powered river craft to be using the same space at the same time. This prohibition makes the situation safer for everyone.”
As of December 1 the section of river downstream from Albert Town Bridge has a full uplifting, removing the 5-knot speed restriction below the Albert Town Bridge. However, it is expected boat users will be considerate of the residents alongside the river edge. Both the Navigation Safety Bylaw and Maritime Transport Act must be adhered to at all times.
The harbormaster and his team will be regularly patrolling the area. A camera has also been added to the boat ramp at the Albert Town Bridge.
The restriction is an amendment to the Navigation Safety Bylaw and was voted in by Council in late 2018.
The specified exceptions are:
(i) (the vessel) is expressly authorised to operate in this area by a resource consent issued by the Council;
(ii) it is carrying out one of the following permitted activities under the Queenstown Lakes District Plan, with the permission of the Harbourmaster:
(A) emergency search and rescue;
(B) hydrological survey;
(C) public scientific research;
(D) resource management monitoring;
(E) water weed control; or
(F) access to adjoining land for farming activities.
(iii) it is being operated by the Harbourmaster or Deputy Harbourmaster for the purposes of exercising his or her functions under the Act or ensuring compliance with this bylaw.