Maritime New Zealand wants Auckland water-users to prioritise safety this holiday weekend

28 January 2022

Maritime New Zealand is asking Aucklanders to think about how to protect themselves and others on the water this anniversary weekend.

Getting out on the water over Auckland Anniversary Weekend is a popular tradition.

“A few minutes of planning before heading out can make the difference between a day spent creating happy memories or one that ends in tragedy,” Northern Compliance Manager, Neil Rowarth says.

“We want you to be safe, not sorry this weekend.”

Thousands of people are expected to be out and about on the water around Auckland this weekend. 

“All three days are expected to be fine, but the weather can change in an instant so it is important you check the marine forecast before heading out,” he says.

A significant issue popping up around Auckland is the speed of watercraft near shore.

“The Navigation Bylaw states vessels need to travel at five knots or under within 200m of shore, a diver’s flag, within 50m of other vessels or a person in the water.

“It is hugely important everyone sticks to this speed limit, it is in place to ensure everyone’s safety” Neil Rowarth says.

As well as speed, Maritime New Zealand is urging anyone planning on crossing a bar to follow a few key steps.

“This can be an incredibly dangerous activity, especially at low tide. We recommend before skippers leave land, they understand the bar they are crossing, the potential conditions and assess the risks,” he says. 

The Maritime NZ website has some helpful tips on how to safely navigate a bar crossing.

If you’re in doubt about what you need to do or how to prepare for a day on the water, have a look over the Boating Safety Code.

Wear your lifejacket –Auckland Transport has guidance available.

Take two waterproof ways to call for help - a VHF or distress beacon are your best options.

Always check the marine weather forecast - it’s a key element that’ll make or break your day.

Avoid alcohol – Stay sober on the water.

Be a responsible skipper. Auckland Transport has information available.

“These are important no matter whether you are jumping on a paddle board, going out in a dinghy or out on a fishing charter. Every vessel has its risks,” Neil Rowarth says.

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