For the first time: ‘No Excuses’ for Otago boaties

8 March 2019

Otago boaties can expect ‘No Excuses’ from the Harbourmaster and Maritime NZ this weekend. The team will be on the water to ensure boaties are wearing life jackets, keeping a safe speed and following the rules.

This is the first time Otago Regional Council has done ‘No Excuses’ days and lead Maritime Officer for the project, Matt Wood said Maritime NZ is thrilled to be working alongside the Harbourmaster on the campaign.

“The campaign is about keeping people safe. The team will be on the water ensuring people know and follow the maritime rules. This is a significant step to improve boating safety in Otago,” Mr Wood said.

“The weather’s looking promising for the weekend. We’re expecting lots of boaties enjoying one of the last summer weekends.”

ORC Harbourmaster Steve Rushbrook said he was really pleased to be part of the national campaign for the first time, and was looking forward to engaging with boaties in Otago on all aspects of water safety.

“This is the first opportunity as Harbourmaster that I have had to engage the public in a national campaign of this type. It’s so essential that people understand the maritime rules. A lifejacket could be the difference between life and death in any incident on the water – it’s really that simple.”

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. ‘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.

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.
  • ‘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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