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New channel on trial in Tauranga Harbour

Monday, 24 August 2015 10:00 a.m.

A new channel has been marked to improve high tide travel through the central Tauranga Harbour between Matakana Point and Matahui Point.

By of Plenty Regional Council Harbourmaster Peter Buell said that the usual central channel through the harbour has become increasingly shallow and is no longer navigable for about half the tide.

“Another channel has formed which remains accessible for at least another hour either side of the tide cycle, so we’ve marked that up with port (round, red) and starboard (round, green) buoys”.

“The new channel doesn’t give all tide access. It’s only navigable about four hours either side of high tide but we’ll be monitoring it to see if that improves over time,” Mr Buell said.

The old channel markers will be left in place for now but may be removed in time if the old channel comes permanently blocked.

For boat operators travelling up the harbour towards Bowentown, the new channel branches off to the west at the ME 15 channel marker and re-joins the existing channel at marker MW 29.

“We urge boat owners to continue take great care when navigating through the harbour. Channels and sandbanks are dynamic and it’s easy to get caught out on any tide,” Mr Buell said.

The Regional Council Harbourmasters Office can be contacted for updates on channel changes and harbour conditions by calling 0800 884 880.

Visit www.boprc.govt.nz/taurangaboating for more information about boating safety in Tauranga Harbour.

Pahoia oioi and boat, Matakana in background, Tauranga Harbour