Maritime NZ: $740,000 for 21 national and regional safer boating initiatives

05 August 2021

Maritime NZ has announced recipients of the annual Fuel Excise Duty (FED) funding for safer boating initiatives to help reduce recreational boating fatalities and injuries.

Maritime NZ Director Kirstie Hewlett said annually there are too many preventable deaths on the water and it is great to be able to work with, and support, a wide range of initiatives with our safer boating partners aimed at turning this around.

“More than $740,000 in funding will be distributed to 21 on-water and land-based safer boating initiatives as part of the 2021 Safer Boating Campaign.

“Making life safer for all recreational boaties is the central focus of the campaign, and the grants will go a long way toward achieving this.

“Maritime NZ knows from research that a third of all boaties do not undertake any special planning before they head out onto the water which is why a mix of on-water and land-based engagement is crucial to improving safer boating outcomes,” Ms Hewlett said.

“Funding a range of safer boating programmes, in a number of regions, with different partners, ensures we can educate and reach a range of communities and make an impact to behaviours before people get on to boats as well as on the water.

“Nearly 10% of the funding – $70,000 – is being allocated to the on-water “No Excuses” campaign.

“No Excuses” brings harbourmasters from the 14 participating district and regional councils, to join with Maritime NZ staff to ensure boaties know, understand and follow the rules, including lifejacket wearing and safe speed,” Ms Hewlett said.

It is particularly noteworthy that this funding is drawn from the Fuel Excise Duty (FED) on petrol, reflecting that boaties contribute to the fund through boating activities.

Initiatives funded include programmes to upgrade lifejackets, focus on skipper responsibility, safety training for kayakers, paddle boarders and waka ama paddlers, diver supervision, yachting training for children and a drowning prevention programme specifically targeted at the Pacific Island community.

The amounts allocated range from $5,500 for the Kiwi Association of Sea Kayakers (KASK) to $80,000 for Coastguard’s Old4New campaign offering discounted lifejackets to those who upgrade their old or damaged lifejackets across New Zealand.

“Unsafe lifejackets do not discriminate on who their victims are which is why Maritime NZ continues to work with Coastguard to get unsafe lifejackets out of circulation.

“Old lifejackets also include those with cotton straps and filled with kapok, which has been proven to absorb water and cause wearers to sink,” Ms Hewlett said.

Notes to Editor:

  • The Safer Boating Campaign is a collaboration between Maritime NZ and the Safer Boating Forum which is made up of 24 member organisations with an interest in reducing injuries and fatalities on the water.

Grant Summaries

Council / Organisation Programme Funding
14 participants:
Bay of Plenty Regional Council
Buller District Council
Environment Canterbury
Environment Southland
Gisborne District Council
Greater Wellington Regional Council
Hawkes Bay Regional Council
Marlborough District Council
Northland Regional Council
Otago Regional Council
Queenstown Lakes District Council
Taranaki Regional Council
Tasman District Council
Waikato Regional Council
‘No Excuses’ on water campaign
On-water campaign targeting high-risk factors in recreational boating fatalities, in particular lifejacket wearing and safe speed
Bay of Plenty Regional Council
Jon Jon Peters
Towards Zero
Continuing the work started with the Towards Zero programme and continue to grow and improve the safe boating priorities in the Bay of Plenty
Bay of Plenty Regional Council
Jon Jon Peters
Kia marutau ki te wai – be safe in the water
A pilot education programme will be run during the summer of 2021/22 to provide safer boating training specific to the needs of individual iwi and hapū.
Carole French
Old4NewLifejacket Upgrade Programme
Continuation of the Old4New Lifejacket Upgrade campaign offering heavily discounted lifejackets and PFD’s to those who upgrade their old or damaged lifejackets across NZ.
Coastguard Boating Education
Kirstin Brown
Folau Malu – (Journey Safely) Pasifika Boating Education
Continuation of an existing programme – education for Pasifika boat users on Coastguard NZ Day Skipper course, in-water survival course and Maritime VHF radio operator certificate.
Environment Canterbury
Gordon McKay
Canterbury Safer Boating Programme
The programme will target skipper responsibility, including speed, lifejacket’s and boating behaviour through radio, social media, face to face at boat ramps and camping areas
Environment Southland
Lyndon Cleaver
Environment Southland Boating Safety Programme
On-water and boat ramp checks targeting skippers' safe boating knowledge and responsibility, carriage of communication and safety equipment, wearing lifejackets, checking marine weather forecasts and education around alcohol on the water
Gisborne District Council
Salvatore Ali
Tairāwhiti Haumaru Moana
New campaign focused on promoting safer boating throughout the region including reaching out to the remote communities around East Cape. Key messaging will focus on skipper responsibility and the carriage and use of safety equipment throughout the recreational boating community.
Greater Wellington Regional Council
Grant Nalder
Be seen, be heard, plan to be safe
Reinforcing basic safety messages, importance of communication and promotion of further training and education via in-person engagement with boaties on and off the water.
Hawkes Bay Regional Council
Captain Martin Moore
Safe boating education in schools and at boat ramps
Safer boating education in local schools (for up to 12 years old) and education to boaties at boat ramps
Kiwi Association of Sea Kayakers (KASK)
Steve Flack
Meet The Paddlers
Road show travelling to different town centres/regions to provide kayak safety advice and training. The programme is expected to run in Northland, Auckland, Tauranga, Taupo, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Wellington, Nelson and Christchurch.
Nelson City Council
Mandy Bishop
Responsible and informed recreation
The programme will target skipper responsibility so boaties know what to do to ensure they and others are safe on the water.
New Zealand Stand Up Paddling Inc
Bill Dawes
SUP Safe
Campaign targeted at stand up paddle boarders to increase safety behaviours. It addresses safety knowledge gaps around lifejackets/PFD's, communications equipment and paddling in unfamiliar locations among other topics.
New Zealand Underwater Association
Andrea Macfarlane
NZUA ‘Survive the Dive’ RDASS Certificate (Recreational Dive Activity Skipper/Supervisor Certificate)
The NZUA 'Survive the Dive' RDASS certificate is a free online training/refresher program teaching, quizzing and examining participants on the safe supervision of divers in the water plus the basic skippering skills required to support recreational dive activities. The program is specifically tailored to the needs of the typical New Zealand recreational boat skipper engaged in diving activities with groups of friends or family.
Northland Regional Council
Peter Thomas
Jalissa Karena-Lange
“Nobody’s stronger than Tangaroa”
Continuation of existing programme that was formerly called “Be a safe boatie mate”. The campaign aims to address the lack of skipper knowledge and responsibility, failure to wear life jackets/compliance, speed and wake and addressing alcohol use on the water.
Taranaki Regional Council
Tony Parr
Know Before You Go
Continuation of an existing programme of interaction with the recreational boating public over the summer period. Programme includes distribution of a local ‘quick reference guide’ (‘Know Before You Go’) for recreational boats and watercraft in Port Taranaki and its approaches. Ngamotu Beach and Port ramp venues. The Harbourmaster has recently acquired a vessel which will allow programme to be taken up on the water.
Tasman District Council
Dan Cairney
Increasing on water Harbourmaster hours for the Tasman District Council
On water patrol hours in high use recreational boating areas of the Abel Tasman National Park and the Nelson Lakes National Park plus delivering a “Guide to Boating and Water Sports” brochure to their 18 regional boat ramps
Waikato Regional Council
Irene Maton
Operation Neptune 2021-2022
On-water education and enforcement in high risk / high volume boating areas
Waka Ama New Zealand
Lara Collins
Safer Waka Ama
Delivery of online safety workshops. The course is available to all waka ama paddlers who are affiliated to a Waka Ama NZ club. There are 90 clubs from Kaitaia in the north to Invercargill in the South. This course is also available to non-affiliated paddlers, which does include schools, outside organisations such as marae and iwi.
Watersafe Auckland Inc (Drowning Prevention Auckland)
Nicola Keen-Biggelaar
WaiWise for the Pasifika community
This programme will provide specific drowning prevention education to the Pacific Island community with an emphasis on safer boating within the Auckland region
Watersafe Auckland Inc (Drowning Prevention Auckland)
Nicola Keen-Biggelaar
Lifejacket hubs and lifejacket loan scheme for drowning prevention education
Drowning Prevention Auckland, in partnership with local boat clubs, surf club, community and church organisations, will provide hubs where people can access lifejackets.
Yachting NZ
Raynor Haagh
Yachting New Zealand’s new schools programme Kōkōkaha (powered by the wind)
A training programme that provides a unique opportunity for children aged 8 to 14 years to experience the thrills and spills of sailing while building confidence, encouraging independence, teaching tolerance and teamwork as well as engaging them in our marine environment and promoting water safety.


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