Lake Kaniere - Invitation to comment
Invitation to comment
Maritime NZ invited submissions on the proposal to revoke “The Water Recreation (Lake Kaniere) Notice 1988” (historic Gazette Notice).
The deadline for making a submission was on Friday 10 February 2017, 5.00pm.
The historic Gazette Notice was created under outdated regulations and creates access lanes (for no specified purpose) at Hans Bay and Sunny Bight.
The proposal invites comments on the following options:
- Withdrawal of the historic Gazette Notice and
- reverting back to Part 91, or
- seeking alternative arrangements such as designated reserved areas for specified activities and/or speed uplifting.
The proposal to revoke the historic Gazette Notice arises from a review Maritime NZ undertook of navigation safety at the lake. The review found that while the historic Gazette Notice is still in force, the access lanes it created are no longer relevant or suitable for current lake usage. The access lanes are also not accurately defined or illustrated in current lake signage. Revising the signs to reflect the access lanes that are still in force would create safety risks for lake users.
If the historic Gazette Notice is revoked:
- the access lanes it created will no longer exist and general requirements relating to speed under Maritime Rules Part 91 (Navigation Safety Rules) will apply across the entire lake
- it would be possible for new reserved area(s) or temporary, permanent or event specific speed up-lifting to be put in place. This could provide for particular areas of the lake margins for specified powered boat usage at speeds over 5 knots, or reserving particular areas of the lake for non-powered craft and/or swimmers.
It is important to note that the 2008 draft Navigational Safety Plan for Lake Kaniere referenced on current signage at the Lake is neither legally binding nor enforceable even if it suggests good practise and is recognised by many current lake users. The Plan is not a reflection of the historic Gazette Notice in question.
The proposal to revoke the notice has arisen from a review Maritime NZ undertook of navigation safety at the lake in September 2016. The review found that the current situation at Lake Kaniere creates safety risks for lake users such as:
- confusion over current navigational safety requirements as the access lanes established in the historic Gazette Notice are not accurately represented in current signage at the lake. The current signage confuses lake users with a proposed set of requirements that are not in force, and are at odds with the actual requirements as set out in the historic Gazette Notice
- confusion over current navigational safety requirements as the access lanes established are not appropriate to the current lake environment and usage patterns
- perceived lack of space for the safe separation of ‘incompatible’ activities given the size, proximity and positioning of the access lanes
- the Sunny Bight launching ramp is now inside the access lane, which creates risks to all users and the existing access lane at Sunny Bight encompasses known but unmarked submerged hazards (rocks)
- general lack of knowledge of current speed restrictions which could result in future accidents/incidents at the lake
- use of the lake has been ‘self-regulated’ in that there has been no official local enforcement presence and the safety of the lake on any given day can vary significantly according to who is using it, how it is being used, and the number of people in and on the water (Although no known incidents or accidents have occurred at the lake to date there are several documented complaints retained by Maritime New Zealand about unsafe and inappropriate behaviour in breach of Maritime Rule Part 91)
- since the Notice was put in place 28 years ago the use of access lanes has evolved and the size and speed capacity of powered vessels has increased.