Maritime NZ: Auckland boaties encouraged to know the rules of Safer Boating and COVID-19

06 October 2021

With Auckland’s three-step plan for easing COVID-19 restrictions underway, and school holidays in progress, Maritime NZ is expecting boaties to make the most of it.

For a safe and enjoyable day out on the water, we are urging everyone to know the rules for Safer Boating and COVID-19.

In Auckland, the changes mean that all types of recreational boating, both motorised and sailing, can now take place. However, all boating activities must be completed in one day and no one can cross the Auckland boundary to go boating for recreational purposes.

For boaties planning a day trip*, all boating activities should be limited to people from the same household. Visit for more information.

Neil Rowarth, Northern Compliance Manager of Maritime NZ, says Aucklanders will be itching to get out on the water and encourages people to be cautious, and to check the rules.

“Over the winter months, boats and safety equipment, such as life jackets, can deteriorate and need to be checked. In addition, some safety equipment, such as flares, might have expired. So, before you go out, it’s important to take three simple steps, ‘Prep your boat, Check your gear, Know the rules’.”

Prep your boat:

  • Take the time to check your boat and safety equipment are up to scratch. 

Check your gear:

  • To check your gear, give it a good once over, look inside and out and check for damage.  The same goes for life jackets. Make sure they still fit, and check for any damage. If you find any damage, don’t head out on the water - no matter how appealing it might be. 

Know the rules:

  • Know the safer boating rules and Covid-19 rules to help keep everyone safe. If in doubt, don’t go out!

“While wear and tear affects both boats and equipment, people get rusty too so take that extra time to plan your trip well,” said Mr Rowarth.

You should also take two forms of water proof communication, check the marine weather forecast and tell another person where you are going and when you’re coming back.

All boaties need to avoid alcohol no matter how tempting it may be to sit back and relax in the sun. 

“So, as part of being a responsible skipper, take a few minutes to plan before you go. This will help make your day out on the water a safe one for everyone on board,” said Mr Rowarth.

For more information on safer boating, please visit:

*Correction: In the original media release (6 October 2021), Maritime NZ stated that gatherings of up to 10 people, from up to 2 bubbles, can legally gather on the outside areas of a boat. This requirement has changed since publication.

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