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Navigation Safety Bylaw

New nav bylaw banner (May 2016)
Bay of Plenty's harbours, lakes and rivers are used by thousands of people every day for a wide range of activities. To help ensure these activities can co-exist safely, rules are set under the Navigation Safety Bylaw to help manage them.  A copy of the existing Bylaw can be found here. 

Regional Council is required to review this Bylaw every five years, and this gives us the opportunity to take a closer look at what’s working well and what needs to be refined in the existing Bylaw. We are currently in this process. 

This review started in December 2015. We engaged with iwi representatives, key stakeholders and interested members of the public. More than 300 people gave feedback as part of this early engagement process and these insights enabled the Regional Council to identify issues that were significant regionally and propose changes accordingly.

Submissions for the proposed Navigation Safety Bylaw were open from Tuesday 7 June to 5pm Thursday 7 July. In total we received 218 submissions. You can read a summary of the submissions online here or at any of our Tauranga, Mount Maugnaui, Whakatāne or Rotorua offices. Please note these summaries must be read onsite and cannot be taken away. 

So where are we at in the process?

Independent Commissioners are currently working their way through the 218 submissions received and have asked for further information on some of the key topics. Once they have finished deliberating and have finalised their recommendations these will be presented at a full Council meeting. While it was hoped the Commissioners recommendations would be presented at a Council meeting in August, there is a large amount of information to process before this can occur.

So when will the new Bylaw be operative?

It was always our preference to have the new Bylaw operative ahead of the 2016/17 summer season but it is more important that we get the best Bylaw for the community. Due to the delay, the new Bylaw will not be operative for the 2016/17 summer season. Therefore the existing Bay of Plenty Regional Navigation Safety Bylaw 2010 will remain in force for this summer.

The new Bylaw will become operative for the 2017/18 season and we will advise of new timings once they are confirmed.

So what are the changes in the proposed Bylaw?

While the majority of the clauses from the existing Bylaw were carried through to the proposed Navigation Safety Bylaw, the key changes are detailed here and summarised in more detail below (see Summary of Changes to read this content in a single document). Please note this is not a full list of all changes (check out the Statement of Proposal for this). The changes that have been proposed largely reflect changing legislation, community expectations and respond to a significant increase in the number of boats on the water. 

Compulsory Wearing Of Lifejackets Icon Lifejackets must be worn at all times in vessels 6m or under unless the skipper advises otherwise
Aquatic Events Icon Definitions for passive recreation area and non-watersports area added
Harbour And Lakes Guides Icon Changes to reserved areas 
Passing large vessels icon  Navigating around large vessels
Registration Of Jet Skis Icon

Registration of personal water craft

Boating Bop Icon

Naming of vessels

What We Dont Do Icon

Astrolabe exclusion zone 

5 Knot Icon

Lake Rotorua jet boat operator