Skip to main content Skip to footer
Family-with-lifejackets Family-with-lifejackets

Boat sewage

Avoid discharging any untreated sewage from your boat. 

If you need to discharge sewage make sure you are underway, well offshore, in open water and away from other boats. You must be:

  • At least 500 metres away from shore and in water more than five metres deep.
  • At least 500 metres away from any marine farm.
  • At least 500 metres away from a customary fishing reserve (mataitai).
  • At least 200 metres from a marine reserve.

Think before you flush. Use toilets on shore before you depart or fit a holding tank and use pump out facilities where provided.

If you think a boat is illegally discharging sewage or any other pollutants, phone our 24 hour Pollution Hotline on 0800 884 883. Details of the boat name, description, photos/videos and the time and location is useful information to convey to our hotline team.

Garbage disposal

Maritime New Zealand prohibits the disposal of most types of rubbish at sea and only some garbage, like food waste can be disposed of.

Food waste may be discharged as long as you are at least 12 nautical miles from the nearest land. If it is ground up so that particles are 25 mm or less in diameter, food waste may be discharged no less than three nautical miles from land.

All other rubbish must be contained and appropriately disposed of when back ashore.

Reduce, reuse and recycle to minimise waste and protect the environment you love.