Skip to main content


Home > Our region and environment > Water > Harbourmaster > Moorings in the Bay of Plenty

Moorings in the Bay of Plenty

Moorings IconA mooring is any structure which a vessel can be secured to. It includes the chain, rope, buoy or other device that's attached or connected to the weight, but doesn't include an anchor which would normally be removed with a vessel when it leaves the anchorage.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council administers the moorings under its Navigation Safety Bylaw (for the full legal description)

Moorings area

Mooring areas are areas where vessels may be placed, and are defined in the Bay of Plenty Regional Coastal Environment Plan, or from time to time by council, under the Resource Management Act 1991. It does not include an anchorage.

Mooring licence

All moorings are individually owned. The mooring owner holds a licence for that mooring which is boat specific and subject to compliance under Navigation Safety Bylaw 2017.

There is an annual Mooring Licence Fee currently set at $241.50 GST inclusive which runs from 1 July to 30 June.  A discounted fee of $207.00 applies if paid within 30 days from the date of invoice issue.

All moorings must be inspected every two years to the Harbourmaster’s specifications by an approved inspector. A lift and service fee is payable, plus the cost of replacement components.

Common mooring questions

I’m Selling or Leasing my mooring

  • Approval for the vessel from the Harbourmaster's office is required prior to a lease agreement being entered into or buying a mooring.
  • The mooring lease or transfer will not be approved unless there is an up-to-date mooring certificate for the mooring, or indication in writing that arrangements have been made for the mooring to be lifted and inspected by a Regional Council approved mooring inspector. The boat owner must satisfy themselves as to the adequacy of the mooring when considering the size of the vessel intended to be moored.
  • The boat owner must give consideration to the position of the mooring relative to other moorings in close proximity and the possibility that larger or different vessels than those that originally occupied the mooring may endanger or damage other moored vessels.

Selling: Complete the Mooring Transfer Form (90KB, pdf)

Leasing: Complete the Change of Vessel on Mooring Form (90KB, pdf)


There’s an issue with my mooring

There is someone on my mooring!  What are my rights? 

The Navigation Safety Bylaw 2017 bylaw, section 3.12.20 states that it is illegal to secure a vessel to a mooring unless permission has been granted by the mooring owner.  The Harbourmasters office can issue a $200 infringement to the master of any vessel on a mooring without the owner’s permission.

If you find someone on your mooring contact the Harbourmaster’s office on 0800 5KNOTS.

My mooring needs repairs

Bay Marine Works are the approved contractor for mooring repairs, please contact them directly at


What are my responsibilities?

Every mooring is to be inspected every two years to the Harbourmaster’s specifications, completed either by an approved inspector or the mooring owner. A lift and service fee is payable, plus the cost of replacement components. 

Your mooring must be kept up to date with the current specifications here: Mooring specifications 2017 (75KB, pdf)

If you complete the inspection on your mooring yourself, you must provide written confirmation and photographs to the Moorings officer -, that all reporting requirements are met.  You should also contact your insurance company before proceeding with self-inspection – some companies will not provide cover for self-inspected moorings.

The section from the waterline to the headline secured to the vessel is the boat owner’s responsibility.

  • You must ensure that a chafe guard is fitted to protect both headline and vessel;
  • Check for wear on the headline,
  • Ensure the mooring tag is clearly visible on a handled pickup buoy  
  • That lift floats are adequate to ensure that the buoy remains visible at high tide when the vessel is away.
  • If the headline can be inspected to the swivel, make sure that this is still moving freely. Marine growth and seasonal sea lettuce in the harbour can often cause moorings to be pulled under.


I want to buy or lease a mooring

Moorings must be purchased or leased from the current owner.  Available moorings may be advertised on TradeMe, in the Waterline magazine and on location at boat clubs or on local notice boards.

A few things to remember before deciding to buy or rent a mooring:

  • All moorings are individually owned. The mooring holder holds a licence for that mooring which is boat specific and subject to compliance under clause 3.12 of the bylaw. There is an annual mooring licence fee.
  • Every mooring must be inspected every two years to the Harbourmaster’s specifications, by an approved inspector.
  • Moorings can accommodate vessels up to 15m only. Vessels larger than 15m will require an engineered solution approved by a Naval Architect or similar professional.
  • All vessels need to be approved for a particular mooring prior to moving onto this mooring – this is to ensure that the mooring block, chain and swing room etc. are suitable for that vessel. Contact the Moorings Officer ( with details of the mooring and your vessel before signing a lease agreement.

You and the current owner must both sign and forward a Mooring Transfer Form or Change of Vessel on Mooring (lease or change of boat) to the Moorings Officer at

A letter acknowledging the approval of the lease or transfer request will be sent to both mooring owner and boat owner.

The Bay of Plenty Regional Council, in processing these mooring requests accepts no liability for the inadequacy of any part of the mooring to securely moor a particular vessel (see Bay of Plenty Regional Navigation Safety Bylaw, clause 3.12).


Can I tie onto any free mooring?

No.  You must have permission from the Mooring owner before attaching anything to a mooring that you do not own or lease. Under section 3.12.20 of the Bay of Plenty Regional Navigation Safety Bylaw 2017, it is an offence to secure any vessel to a mooring without the mooring owner’s prior permission; this offence carries a $200 infringement.


I’m visiting for a holiday, are there short term moorings available? 

Yes there are, the Harbourmaster's office has a couple available for short term rent, contact the moorings officer on 0800 5KNOTS for more information and availability.  These are not always readily available at short notice as they are working moorings. 


For more information

Any other questions about moorings, please complete the Mooring Enquiry Form (92KB, pdf) and email it to the Moorings Officer: