Safer Boating grants total $493,000

Safe Seas Clean Seas Issue 52, August 2017

As part of this year’s Safer Boating Week (October 13–20), Maritime NZ has announced $493,000 dollars in grants to improve safe boating behaviour for the 1.4 million Kiwis who get out on the water each year.

Waikato Regional Harbourmaster Richard Barnett patrols Lake Karapiro last summer.

Maritime New Zealand © 2020
Waikato Regional Harbourmaster Richard Barnett patrols Lake Karapiro last summer.

Waikato Regional Council surveyed more than 300 recreational boating skippers, and found that 93 percent were carrying enough lifejackets for everyone on board, and 82 percent were carrying at least one form of ‘waterproof communication’ to call for assistance if need be. A lower number – 76 percent – ensured lifejackets were worn when required by law.

This compares to $470,000 last year, $124,000 in 2015 and $77,000 in 2014 for recreational boating programmes throughout New Zealand.

The Government provides the funding for safer boating grants from the Fuel Excise Duty on petrol. A proportion of this duty is paid by recreational boaties fueling their boats.

Thousands more boaties will now be reached through face-to-face training courses, school programmes, smartphone Apps, train the trainer courses for Pacific people, and subsidies for the Coastguard’s popular “Old 4 New” lifejacket upgrades. More boaties could also face fines in a “No Excuses” on the water compliance programme.

“Our aim is to support programmes that interact directly with boaties to promote safety and save lives,” says Keith Manch, the Director of Maritime NZ.

“No Excuses will see 10 councils get out on the water to check if boaties are actually wearing their lifejackets, not speeding and are obeying maritime bylaws. If they’re not they could be fined up to $300.”

Maritime NZ has also committed to three years of funding for some programmes to encourage behaviour change.

“This approach will hopefully lead to fewer boaties dying in preventable accidents as programmes can be improved, be designed to meet local boaties’ needs, and we are more likely to see safer behaviour developing over time.”

Summary of the programmes funded for 2017/18:

Organisation Programme Funding
Northland Regional Council Promotional safety campaign “Be a safe boatie mate” centred on new bylaws.  Includes videos, radio advertising, employing a safety ambassador, and purchase of collateral. $20,000
Waikato Regional Council Update the successful Marine Mate smartphone app, social media videos, radio advertising, and produce fishing rulers to help compliance with Ministry for Primary Industries rules, and waterproof cellphone bags. $23,000
Bay of Plenty Regional Council Safety compliance programme - boat ramp workshops, roadshow presentations (clubs, groups, boat shows) college visits, lifejacket advice and training for retailers. $50,000
Hawke's Bay Regional Council Safer boating education for more than 2,000 for primary and intermediate school children $11,000
Greater Wellington Regional Council Safety education programme comprising advertising, boat safety information evenings, and summer patrols (on-water and at boat ramps/beaches) to hand out safety information. $25,000
Tasman District Council and
Nelson City Council
Safety programme that includes “fuel voucher for safety” scheme, and on-water and boat ramp activities $25,000
Tasman District Council On the water safer boating patrols - extension of current programme. $15,000
Marlborough District Council Tailored safety training courses for 200 local boaties and support material. $20,000
Environment Canterbury Programme including boat ramp and on water safety promotions. $50,000
Queenstown Lakes District Council Safety gear checks. $8,000
Environment Southland On water and boat ramp checks and education targeting skippers’ safety knowledge, communications, lifejacket wear, and marine forecasts. $4,000 (plus $21,000 carried over from last year)
Waikato Regional Council, Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Hawkes Bay Regional Council, Greater Wellington Regional Council, Tasman District Council, Nelson City Council, Marlborough District Council, Environment Canterbury, Queenstown Lakes District Council, “No Excuses” on the water compliance checks; including Marlborough District, focussing on unsafe speed by recreational and small commercial boats and testing new equipment to monitor boat speed. $60,000
Coastguard Boating Education Folau Malu Journey Safely- Day skipper training for 96 'community champions' (Pasifika Boating Education Programme) and Boatmaster training for six. $50,000
Coastguard Boating Education Supporting annual trainers’ conference. $5,000
Coastguard New Zealand Extension of 'Old 4 New' lifejacket upgrade campaign to 44 locations around the country, aiming to exchange 5,000 old lifejackets for new. $70,000
NZ Sport Fishing Council Inc. ‘Hiwi the Kiwi' – reach 5000 Pacific island and Maori students in low decile schools in Counties Manukau with lifejacket and boat safety programme. $10,000
NZ Underwater Association ‘Diver Down’ awareness campaign aimed at driving routine and consistent use of dive flags.  $15,000
Waka Ama NZ Safety training for around 200 paddlers at 25 workshops – in partnership with Coastguard Boating Education. $12,000
Yachting NZ A hands-on sailing programme for 3,500 8 to 12-year-old children in the 'Volvo Sailing - Have a Go!' training programme (including boating safety). $20,000
Total   $493,000

*The Safer Boating Forum was established in 2000 to coordinate and implement recreational boating safety initiatives. It is made up of government agencies and local government, water safety and recreational boating organisations, and the marine industry. The Forum’s work is aimed at reducing boating injuries and fatalities and improving boat safety behaviour. Maritime NZ chairs the Forum and members include Coastguard, Jet Boating NZ, Kiwi Association of Sea Kayakers, local and central government, NZ Jet Sports Boating Association, NZ Marine Industry Association, NZ Underwater Association, Surf Lifesaving NZ, Waka Ama NZ, Water Safety NZ, WaterSafe Auckland, White Water NZ, and Yachting NZ.

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