Boating grants: 4,000 new lifejackets, education for 5,000 children, training for boaties, and more!

26 October 2018

This year safer boating grants will provide 4,000 new lifejackets, education for more than 5,000 children, training for boaties, and much more!

These are some of the programmes receiving $450,000 of safer boating grants from Maritime NZ.

“The grants are a practical way of following up Safer Boating Week and helping boaties keep safer on the water,” Maritime NZ Director, Keith Manch, said.

“Lifejackets are boaties most important safety equipment but must be in good condition to save lives. That’s why we are funding Coastguard’s ‘Old4New’ lifejacket upgrade campaign to provide 4,000 new lifejackets,” Mr Manch said.

“We want boaties to check their lifejackets, and if their lifejackets are old or damaged, then destroy them and replace them. Manufacturers recommend replacing lifejackets after about 10 years.

“Kapok-filled lifejackets should not be used at all. They have not been made since the 1980s and, even if they look brand new and have been well looked after, should be replaced and destroyed.

“We fund children’s boating education because in New Zealand we often start boating quite young, children can influence families and our children are our next skippers.

“Skipper responsibility is central to safety, and learning as children to understand boating risks, knowing your boat and equipment, and making good decisions is important to help make that behaviour really stick.

“Training for adult boaties isn’t ignored. There is funding for Folau Malu Pasifika Boating Education Programme for community boating champions, jet boat, diver and waka ama safety, and for harbourmasters to work with their local communities.

“The popular MarineMate app is being completely rebuilt. It uses GPS to provide useful information about boat ramp and mooring locations, tides, bylaws and local notices, towing lanes, speed limits, fishing rules and lots more.”

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 power boats.

The grants’ purpose is to support national and regional programmes that work directly with boaties to improve safety.

Summary of grants:

Organisation Programme Funding
Northland Regional Council,
Maritime Officer, Tammy Crookshanks,
09 402 0018 027 492 1287
‘Be a safe boatie mate’ campaign is focused on promoting ‘skipper responsibility’. We are concentrating on lifejackets, speed and wake, jet ski registration and boat safety. The campaign involves the use of videos, radio advertising, on-water patrols, events, competitions, employing four summer safe ambassadors, and distributing promotional and educational material. $30,000
Waikato Regional Council, Marketing & Project Advisor,
Irene Maton,
07 859 0793
Continuation of MarineMate app programme, with the addition of two smaller projects. Marine mate updates (rebuilds onto new software with new app development company to enable use on new devices and build in new features in the future). $27,000
Peter Buell, Bay of Plenty Regional Council,
027 519 3559
‘Towards Zero Recreational Boating Safety Programme’ involving boat ramp workshops, roadshow presentations (clubs, groups, boat shows) college visits, and distribution of promotional material (including advice and training of retail staff on lifejackets). $42,000
Hawkes Bay Regional Council,
Habourmaster, Martin Moore,
027 544 6912
Safer boating education in local schools (for up to 12 year olds). Use of Coastguard volunteers to present programme. Presenters widened this year to include SUP coverage. $10,000
Greater Wellington Regional Council,
Harbourmaster, Grant Nalder,
027 451 6156
A continuation of the Council’s education and enforcement programme based on the Safer Boating Forum and Council’s priorities, including lifejackets, communications and safe speed. Advertising (using MNZ material/messages), employing a summer ranger, providing safety material, engagement with casual boating groups, promoting education and subsidise training through local providers, and on-water patrols. $24,000
Tasman District Council,
Harbourmaster, Dan Cairney,
03 543 8400
Safer boating patrols - extension of current programme by 300 plus hours over summer. $15,000
Nelson City Council, Manager Consents and Compliance,
Mandy Bishop,
03 545 8740


Tasman District Council,
Harbourmaster, Dan Cairney,
03 543 8400
Targeting ‘skipper responsibility’, the campaign will include a fuel voucher for safety scheme, harbourmaster’s race showcasing clubs, supporting Coastguard courses and running basic skipper education safety workshops, holding a harbourmaster for a day competition, and Nelson City Council Deputy Harbourmaster patrols (on-water checks, education and enforcement). $24,000
Environment Canterbury,
Navigation Safety Officer, Gary Manch,
0800 32 46 36
Boating safety promotions at boat ramps and on-water in Kaikoura, Lyttelton, Akaroa, and McKenzie lakes, Benmore, Aviemore, Ruataniwha, Tekapo, Opuha. Additional staff time, promotional material, radio promotion. $42,000
Environment Southland,
Harbourmaster, Lyndon Cleaver,
03 211 5115
On water and boat ramp checks/education targeting skippers’ safety knowledge, carriage of communications, wearing of lifejackets and checking marine forecasts. $10,000
13 Councils and Department of Internal Affairs: Auckland, Waikato Region, Bay of Plenty Region, Taupo (DIA), New Plymouth City, Hawkes Bay Region, Greater Wellington Region, Tasman District, Nelson City, Marlborough District, Environment Canterbury, Otago Region, Queenstown Lakes District, Environment Southland. Five days of on-water ‘No Excuses’ enforcement $60,000
Coastguard Boating Education
021 307 169
Folau Malu (Journey Safely) - Day skipper training and water survival for 90 ‘community champions' (Pasifika Boating Education Programme) and Boatmaster training for 5. $43,000
Coastguard NZ, Communications Manager,
Julia James,
09 905 4762
Extension of the Old4New Lifejacket Upgrade campaign, involving 56 locations around NZ and approximately 4,000 jackets to be distributed. Contact with boaties includes the provision of key safety messages, and thorough widespread media coverage of the programme. Key stakeholders are engaged to help promote the programme and provide collateral. $70,000
Jet Boating NZ,
National Executive Member, Richard Anderson,
03 341 8814
Production of an updated annual jet boat safety handbook, with a focus on key safety messages (including lifejackets, skipper knowledge, communications, river rules, alcohol, cold water immersion etc). Driver training programme designed to take new members from knowing nothing about their boats to become competent, capable and safe drivers. $5,000
NZ Underwater Association,
General Manager, Andrea MacFarlane,
09 623 3252
‘Diver Down’ awareness campaign aimed at driving routine and consistent use of dive flags – the aim this year is to extend the programme by offering deeper insights into the options of flags and safety devices available to water users in various categories. Social media is the key delivery platform. $13,000
Yachting NZ, Chief Operating Officer,
Andrew Clouston,
09 361 1471
Support for 'Volvo sailing - have a go' training programme – which includes safety as a very important part of the programme - for around 3,600 8-12 year olds. The programme has been running for 12 years, with over 40,000 students having taken part. $20,000
Waka Ama NZ, President,
Lara Collins,
027 548 4612
Safety training for around 200 paddlers at eight workshops, in partnership with CBE. Will include eight Waka Ama social media safety videos. $15,000


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