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Have Your Say On The Proposed New Navigation Safety Bylaw

A lot changes in ten years and that’s why a new bylaw is being proposed around navigation and safety in Turanganui-a-Kiwa / Poverty Bay.

The community can have their say on 11 key proposed changes by Friday 17 May.

Gisborne District Council (GDC) has reviewed its Navigation and Safety Bylaw 2012 and wants public feedback on the new bylaw to replace it – the proposed Navigation Safety Bylaw 2024 - Ture ā-rohe Haumaru Whakatere o Te Tairāwhiti.

Read the full key changes to the proposed Bylaw on Council’s website where you can also make your submission.

Harbourmaster Peter Buell says Council has suggested the changes because it’s been ten years since the Navigation and Safety Bylaw 2012 was last reviewed.

“A lot has changed in that time.

“These changes are proposed to ensure Council continues to comply with maritime law and is aligned with best practice.

“The scope of the changes led to us choosing to revoke and replace the 2012 bylaw, rather than just amending the current bylaw.

“Every day people use Turanganui-a-Kiwa, Gisborne’s navigable waters for both recreation and business purposes.

“The waterways can be busy places with various activities going on in one area.

“To help ensure these activities can be carried out safely, rules are set under the Navigation Safety Bylaw to manage them. The number of people and variety of users of Gisborne’s navigable waters can increase the risk of accidents, nuisance and damage.”

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The Navigation Safety Bylaw puts rules in place to minimise those risks.

“In September and October 2022 we asked our community if they had any changes they would like us to consider when drafting the proposed Bylaw. This feedback was incorporated into the review.

“These are the 11 key changes proposed and we want to know what you think.”

1. Revoke the Navigation and Safety Bylaw 2012 and replace it with a new Bylaw to reflect the more comprehensive review undertaken.

2. Extend bylaw coverage to all navigable waters throughout the district.

3. Extend the life jacket requirement to require every person on board a recreational craft of six metres of less to wear a personal flotation device when a vessel is underway.

4. Prohibit the discharge of cargo into navigable waters.

5. Require vessels to be identified by either a name or number, visible on the vessel.

6. Increase requirements for oil spill contingency plans, including notification to the Council in advance.

7. Require two operational means of communication to be carried on most vessels with some exceptions such as for sporting events and surfing.

8. Increase safety for swimmers in open water by requiring swimmers 200 meters or more from shore to tow a safety float or wear a bright swim cap.

9. Increase the available space to catch crayfish by reducing the cray pot exclusion area within the harbour.

10. Revoke historic exemptions on the Waiapu River (the Water Recreation (Waiapu River) Notice 1979) which exempted the area from speed rules. The area is now subject to the district-wide speed rules within the bylaw.

11. General changes proposed to increase the readability of the Bylaw, to include and formalise existing Harbourmaster directions, ensure consistency with existing national regulation, consistency where appropriate neighbouring regional councils, and make the bylaw more straightforward to administer and enforce.

Navigation and safety bylaw | Participate (

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