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Home > Our region and environment > Water > Harbourmaster > Who we are and what we do

Who we are and what we do


Who we are

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From left to right: Senior Maritime Officer Ross Powell, Senior Maritime Officer Joe Burke, Moorings Officer Donna Polmear, Maritime Pollution Prevention Officer Adrian Heays, Administration Officer Jo Kapua, Harbour Master Peter Buell, Maritime Officer Daniel Rapson, Deputy Harbour Master Chris Isherwood and Administration Officer Julie Taylor. 


What we do

The Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s Maritime Team keeps Bay of Plenty waterways safe for everyone to enjoy. We:

  • Carry out regular patrols to ensure that harbour and lakes users know the rules and are abiding by the Bay of Plenty Navigation and Safety Bylaw
  • Maintain more than 800 navigation aids, lights and beacons around the region
  • Remove hazards (when accessible), such as large logs and fallen trees from local waterways.
  • Dispose of abandoned vessels
  • Maintain safe boating signage at your local boat ramps
  • Respond to marine oil spill events
  • Issue mooring licences for 482 swing moorings
  • Manage aquatic events and lakes closures
  • Promote safe boating
  • Keep local and visiting boaties informed of changes to local rules and regulations

Also check out our Boating in the Bay of Plenty booklet or the full and summary version of the Navigation Safety Bylaw. To order a copy of these resources click here.

Harbour Wardens

Harbour Patrol Wardens and Voluntary Safe Boating Advisors assist the Maritime Team with the promotion of safe boating Navigation Safety Bylaw compliance.

They do this through education and enforcement. Our Wardens are warranted to enforce the Bylaw, they are also some of the best people to answer your questions about local conditions, where the local ski lanes are and what the local boat ramps are like.

If a Warden asks, you are required by law to stop, supply your name and address, and (if required) move your vessel if it is moored or anchored in a dangerous position.


What we don’t do

Other organisations are also working to care for our harbours, lakes and wildlife.  Here’s what they do.

Department of Conservation (DOC)

DOC looks after marine mammals and marine reserves.

Alert the Department of Conservation to a whale stranding, seal in distress or suspicious activity inside a marine reserve, by calling 0800 DOC HOT (362 468) .

For general information on tramping, hunting, huts and campsites, or native animals please visit the DOC website on         

Recreational fishing rules & limits            

Ministry for Primary Indistries (MPI) provides lots of free ways to check the fisheries rules. This includes a free text service, a free Smartphone app, or visiting their website or offices.

Download the free Smartphone app by texting the word ‘app’ to 9889.   The app works even when you have no coverage.

Free text the name of the species you are fishing for (e.g. blue cod or paua) to 9889 and receive legal size and bag limit via return text.

Visit for more information.

Why recreational fishing rules matter

Fishing is one of New Zealand’s most popular outdoor activities. To keep the fisheries sustainable MPI sets recreational fishing rules. By sticking to the rules and fishing responsibly, fishers help make sure that there will be fish today, tomorrow and for generations to come.

Poacher prevention

MPI is responsible for protecting local fisheries and stopping illegal activities such as poaching. To do this, MPI needs you to report any suspicious or illegal activity in your area.

If you see people acting illegally, taking more than their daily limit or undersized fish or selling or trading their catch, please report it. Any information provided stays completely confidential.

Report poaching, suspicious or illegal activity by calling 0800 4 POACHER (0800 476 224).


A charity, run by volunteers, dedicated to saving lives at sea.  They have units placed along New Zealand's coastline and major lakes and rivers. They are manned by volunteers who dedicate their time to saving lives. Coastguard units consist of vessel crew, communications volunteers, air patrols, incident managers and essential support crew.

I’ve heard of Coastguard membership – what is that?

Coastguard membership is for boaties. It functions rather like an automobile breakdown service, entitling you to free mechanical assistance.  

Find out more by visiting their website

Shipping & cruise ship schedules

The Port of Tauranga has all the information you need on Tauranga’s shipping and cruise ship comings and goings.  Check out their website for up to date schedules

Land Air Water Aotearoa (LAWA) 

Find out more about beach and fresh water quality near you.


Need a place to berth your boat in Tauranga?

Tauranga Bridge Marina - 07 575 8264 - VHF CH 73

Marina berths range from 10.5 to 37.0 metres. Limited multihull berths are also available. Rental berths are available both short and long term.

Tauranga / Sulphur Point Marina - 07 578 8747

For a comprehensive list of marine services, electronics and boating equipment suppliers in Tauranga check out Tauranga Marine Industry Associations website


Who looks after our boat ramps and jetties?

Tauranga City, Western Bay District. Whakatāne District and Rotorua Lakes Councils all look after structures on land.

They provide facilities such as boats ramps and jetties, give approvals for land-based events such as triathlons on beaches and reserves and they look after vehicles on beaches.

Remember, the Police regulate dangerous behaviour and illegal vehicle use (like speeding, drink driving, licences), on beaches as well as on our roads. 

Tauranga City Council            07 577 7000

Western Bay District Council  07 571 8008

Whakatāne District Council     07 306 0500

Rotorua District Council          07 348 4199