Regional safety information

Find and understand the rules and regulations that relate to boating and water-based activities in your specific region.

On this page:

About regional bylaws

New Zealand is a unique country with regional variations in the environment, water conditions and weather.

Regional bylaws for boating in New Zealand take into account all the information available for an area.

Why are regional bylaws important?

Regional bylaws exist to ensure the safety of all water users and to reduce conflicts between the different water-based activities in an area.

Bylaws apply whether you are on a lake, river or the sea, and regardless of whether you are water skiing, swimming, boating, kayaking, jetskiing or taking part in other water activities.

You should check your regional bylaws before you head out.

Find your regional bylaws

How to prepare for your region

1. Find your regional bylaws

Check with the area you are boating in to determine the bylaws that will apply to you:

Auckland

Boating bylaws for Auckland, New Zealand.

The boating bylaws in this region are determined by the Auckland Council.

Phone:

+64 9 301 0101

Email:

harbourmaster@aucklandtransport.govt.nz

For more information

Bay of Plenty

Boating bylaws for Bay of Plenty, New Zealand.

The boating bylaws in this region are determined by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.

Phone:

0800 884 880

Email:

info@boprc.govt.nz

For more information

Gisborne

Boating bylaws for Gisborne, New Zealand.

The boating bylaws in this region are determined by the Gisborne District Council.

Phone:

0800 653 800 or +64 6 867 204

Email:

service@gdc.govt.nz

For more information

Hawke’s Bay

Boating bylaws for Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand.

The boating bylaws in this region are determined by the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council.

Phone:

0800 108 838 or +64 6 835 9200

Email:

info@hbrc.govt.nz

For more information

Manawatu-Wanganui

Boating bylaws for Manawatu-Wanganui, New Zealand.

The boating bylaws in this region are determined by the Manawatu-Wanganui Regional Council.

Phone:

0508 800 800 or +64 6 9522 800

For more information

Northland

Boating bylaws for Northland, New Zealand.

The boating bylaws in this region are determined by the Northland Regional Council.

Phone:

0800 002 004 or +64 09 470 1200

Email:

mailroom@nrc.govt.nz

For more information

Taranaki

Boating bylaws for Taranaki, New Zealand.

The boating bylaws in this region are determined by the Taranaki Regional Council.

Phone:

+64 6 765 7127

Email:

info@trc.govt.nz

For more information

Waikato

Boating bylaws for Waikato, New Zealand.

The boating bylaws in this region are determined by the Waikato Regional council.

Phone:

0800 800 401 or +64 7 859 0999

Email:

info@waikatoregion.govt.nz

For more information

Wellington

Boating bylaws for Wellington, New Zealand.

The boating bylaws in this region are determined by the Wellington Regional Council.

Phone:

0800 496 734 or +64 4 384 5708

Email:

info@gw.govt.nz

For more information

Canterbury

Boating bylaws for Canterbury, New Zealand.

The boating bylaws in this region are determined by Environment Canterbury.

Phone:

0800 324 636 or +64 3 353 9007

Email:

ecinfo@ecan.govt.nz

For more information

Central Otago

Boating bylaws for Central Otago, New Zealand.

The boating bylaws in this region are determined by the Central Otago District Council.

Phone:

+64 3 440 0056

Email:

info@codc.govt.nz

For more information

Grey

Boating bylaws for Grey, New Zealand.

The boating bylaws in this region are determined by the Grey District Council.

Phone:

+64 3 769 8600

Email:

info@greydc.govt.nz

For more information

Marlborough

Boating bylaws for Marlborough, New Zealand.

The boating bylaws in this region are determined by the Marlborough Regional Council.

Phone:

+64 3 520 7400

Email:

mdc@marlborough.govt.nz

For more information

Nelson

Boating bylaws for Nelson, New Zealand.

The boating bylaws in this region are determined by the Nelson City Council.

Phone:

+64 3 546 0200

Email:

enquiry@ncc.govt.nz

For more information

Otago

Boating bylaws for Otago, New Zealand.

The boating bylaws in this region are determined by the Otago Regional Council.

Phone:

0800 474 082 or +64 3 479 0015

For more information

Queenstown

Boating bylaws for Queenstown Lakes, New Zealand.

The boating bylaws in this region are determined by the Queenstown Lakes District Council.

Phone:

+64 4 441 0499

Email:

services@qldc.govt.nz

For more information

Southland

Boating bylaws for Southland, New Zealand.

The boating bylaws in this region are determined by the Southland Regional Council.

Phone:

0800 76 88 45 or +64 3 211 5115

Email:

service@es.govt.nz

For more information

Tasman

Boating bylaws for Tasman, New Zealand.

The boating bylaws in this region are determined by the Tasman District Council.

Phone:

+64 3 543 8400

Email:

info@tasman.govt.nz

For more information

West Coast

Boating bylaws for West Coast, New Zealand.

The boating bylaws in this region are determined by the West Coast Regional Council.

Phone:

0508 800 118 or +64 3 768 0466

Email:

info@wcrc.govt.nz

For more information

2. Know your responsibilities

In addition to adhering to the bylaws, you must meet all other requirements of the Maritime Transport Act 1994.

Instant fines can be given for offences against a regional bylaw. For more serious offences, you can:

  • be prosecuted under the Maritime Transport Act
  • have your vessel detained
  • have conditions imposed on the continued use of your vessel.
Related information:
Maritime NZ encourages recreational boaties to use apps built for maritime use.

Maritime on mobile

Get updates, weather forecasts, relevant local information and more on your smartphone.

Get it on mobile
A quick visual guide to rules and safety on water.

Know the rules

‘Rules of the road’ apply to all recreational vessels

Know and understand the rules before heading out.

See all rules