Proposed Navigation Safety Bylaw 2024

Tasman is a great place to live, play, work and explore!

We are lucky to have an extensive 812km coastline and many rivers, lakes and beaches, are often in remote areas. Our great climate and environment mean we have a significant increase in recreational water users over summer undertaking a variety of water activities, boating and sports.

There are 67 boat access locations along our coast and we have high levels of commercial passenger traffic. The Tasman District has two ports, located at Motueka and Tarakohe.

What is Council’s role?

Tasman District Council has responsibilities for making our waters a safe and enjoyable place for everyone and this role extends out to the 12 nautical mile territorial sea limit.

The Maritime Transport Act 1994 enables a regional council to make navigation bylaws, in consultation with the Director of Maritime New Zealand, for the purpose of ensuring maritime safety in its region.

Our Navigation Safety Bylaw

The Council is developing a new bylaw to keep people safe on the water around the Tasman District. There are a wide variety of recreational and cultural activities on our waterways happening all year round, alongside our commercial users.

The bylaw will consider all these users and cover all water activities and boating. It will set out the local rules, complementing national rules to enhance water safety and ensure that people safely use and share our waterways.

Water safety issues in Tasman

Some of the water safety issues we’ve identified and are looking to address in the bylaw include:

  • Requirements or exemptions for wearing a lifejacket (or personal floatation device)
  • Easily identifying a vessel, and its owner or skipper
  • Long term anchoring
  • Risks from large vessel activity
  • Visibility of small, lone watercraft
  • Identifying and improving the regulation of personal watercraft (PWC)
  • Communication requirements for all vessels
  • High traffic density – commercial vessel tracking

During the early engagement period, we are inviting your views, concerns and thoughts on how you might like to see these issues addressed by the bylaw.

Please send this feedback through to us using the webform below by 23rd June 2024.

You can also email the Harbourmaster team directly at