No Excuses 2022 on-water campaign launches over Labour Weekend

21 October 2022

Over Labour Weekend Maritime New Zealand alongside regional harbourmasters will kick off the seventh ‘No Excuses’ campaign. 'No Excuses' is a national on-water compliance campaign involving Maritime NZ and regional councils.

For five random days over spring and summer, a 'no excuses' approach will be taken to recreational boaties who fail to comply with safety rules. Maritime NZ maritime officers will be out on the water talking to skippers.

Maritime NZ’s Harm Prevention Lead - Recreational Craft Victoria Slade says there are about two million recreational craft users in New Zealand on the water every year and it is critical - for their safety and that of other water users, they comply with the rules.

Two key focus areas for ’No Excuses’ are making sure boaties wear lifejackets and adhere to the required speed limits.

"To re-enforce the campaign name, there are simply no excuses for failing to obey the rules.

"These are in place for a reason, and that is to help you and others on the water get home safely," Victoria Slade says.

No Excuses began in 2016, when Maritime NZ partnered with eight councils. This has since grown to 18 councils/harbourmasters around Aotearoa.

"In that time compliance has increased. In recent years we have seen least 90% of the vessels carrying lifejackets, which is great."

However, some issues remain with skippers and their passengers not wearing lifejackets correctly.

"Not wearing a lifejacket properly, is not safe. It is very important that a life jacket is correctly fitted and is done up.

"We want people to have a safe and enjoyable time on the water and we aim to take an education first approach, but sometimes there is no option but to hand out a fine.

"Last year we handed out fewer than 90 fines, from more than 7500 interactions, so the vast majority of people were doing what is right," Victoria Slade says.

The campaign runs until the end of March.

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