‘No Excuses’ for Kapiti boaties this weekend

1 March 2019

There will be ‘No Excuses’ for Kapiti boaties found breaking the rules off the Kapiti Coast this weekend.

“We’re working with our partners at Greater Wellington Regional Council and Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) staff on the NZ Police launch Lady Elizabeth IV to ensure boaties are doing the right thing and following the rules”, said lead Maritime Officer for the project, Matt Wood.

The nationwide ‘No Excuses’ campaign run by Maritime NZ, 13 councils and the Taupo Harbourmaster, can result in infringement notices of up to $300, depending on each council’s bylaws. Each council is conducting five ‘No Excuses’ days until the campaign ends on 31 March 2019.

“While the Harbourmaster and I are conducting ‘No Excuses’ - checking boaties’ lifejackets and speed - our friends at MPI are checking that the catch limits and sizes are being observed,” Mr Wood said. “When we work together, we can achieve more.”

‘No Excuses’ data from more than 3,000+ recreational boaties engaged with so far across New Zealand shows that compliance with lifejacket rules is very high - consistently over 90%. Additional good news is that almost all vessels in coastal and deeper waters have VHF radios on board.

“Kiwi boaties are in the habit of wearing lifejackets,” said Mr Wood. “They also understand the importance of taking waterproof ways to communicate. VHF is a strong option - it’s your rescue network at sea and it lets you obtain help from nearby boaties.”

With perfect weather conditions forecast, the team is expecting a busy weekend. Already this morning, the team have chatted with five boaties - who crucially were all following the rules. “There are lots of boaties out on the water. It’s a mint day,” Mr Wood said.

“Most boaties we chat with are happy to see us on the water. Look out for our team this weekend and say ‘hi’ if you see us.”

Notes to editors

  • Full results from this year’s ‘No Excuses’ campaign will be released in mid-2019.
  • The Maritime Transport Act and council bylaws require carrying and wearing lifejackets. The five knot rule (speed limit) is in place within 200 metres of shore and divers, and within 50 metres of swimmers and other boats.
  • The Wellington-based Lady Elizabeth IV is an 18.5 metre catamaran, which allows up to eight staff from different agencies to go to sea for a week.
  • ‘No Excuses’ began in the summer of 2016 with Maritime NZ and eight councils. Last summer, 10 councils chose to join in, and in 2018-19 this has increased to 14 (including Lake Taupo, whose Harbourmaster is employed by the Department of Internal Affairs). The period of the campaign started two months earlier than previous years in October 2018 and continues until March.

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