Maritime NZ announces safer boating funding

08 August 2022

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

In total, 24 projects and initiatives around the country will share $853,000 worth of funding.

Too many people die each year while participating in recreational boating, says Maritime NZ Director Kirstie Hewlett.

Maritime NZ research shows that 98 people died in various incidents between 2015 and 2020.

Ms Hewlett says the fund will help various national and regional campaigns and initiatives to turn that number around.

“We want to ensure all boaties enjoy the water and come home safe,” she says.

“We want to help boaties know, understand and follow the rules each and every time they head out on the water.”

Initiatives which have received funding include Coastguard’s Old4New lifejacket upgrade programme which received $125,000; Northland Regional Council’s Nobody’s Stronger Than Tangaroa campaign, which received $70,000; and $60,000 for Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s Kia marutau ki te wai and Safety is Our Wai scheme.

Many of this year’s grants focus on communities most in need of support, says Ms Hewlett.

“The funding is specifically targeted at on-water compliance activities for people and areas that don’t currently have it, such as ethnic minority groups, low socio-economic and hard-to-reach areas,” she says.

These include Northland, Bay of Plenty and the West Coast.

Pasifika, Asian and Māori communities are the targets of a number of programmes.

These include Royal New Zealand Coastguard Boating Education’s Folau Malu campaign, Drowning Prevention Auckland’s Wai Wise initiative and the NZ Underwater Association’s Dive Pacific Māori programme.

A key purpose of the fund is to support campaigns and collaboration of New Zealand’s Safer Boating Forum, a group of organisations dedicated to improving safety in the recreational boating sector.

Forum members include Coastguard, Jet Boating NZ, NZ Search and Rescue Council, Surf Lifesaving NZ, and a number of regional councils.

Ms Hewlett says that collaboration and the allocation of FED funding is essential to saving lives.

“More than two million New Zealanders take part in recreational boating every year and this funding allocation will hopefully ensure their lives are safer as a result,” she says.

Successful recipients

Council / Organisation Programme Funding recommendation
13 participants:
Queenstown Lakes District Council
Northland Regional Council
Environment Southland
Bay of Plenty Regional Council
Environment Canterbury
Nelson City Council
Tasman District Council
Waikato Regional Council
Greater Wellington Regional Council
Hawke's Bay Regional Council
Taranaki Regional Council
Otago Regional Council
Auckland Council / Auckland Transport
‘No Excuses’ on water campaign
On-water campaign targeting high-risk factors in recreational boating fatalities, in particular lifejacket wearing and safe speed
Kiwi Association of Sea Kayakers (KASK)
Ian McKenzie
KayakSafe NZ
Continuation of Meet the Paddlers/People programme to educate kayakers to be safe skippers of their own boat.
Royal New Zealand Coastguard Boating Education Ltd
Marilyn Brady
Folau Malu – (Journey Safely) Pasifika Boating Education
Continuation of an existing programme to educate Pasifika boaties to be more knowledgeable and safer skippers.
Northland Regional Council
Peter Thomas
Laura Biddle

Nobody's stronger then Tangaroa
Continuation of existing programme. The campaign aims to address the lack of skipper knowledge and responsibility with an iwi based approach. 
Hawke's Bay Regional Council
Martin Moore

Safe Boating Education
Continuation of Safer boating education in local schools (for up to 12 years old) and education to boaties at boat ramps.
Marlborough District Council
Jake Oliver

Boating safety workshops
Continuation of an existing program run in the past to run safer boating workshops with a focus on the local area.
Environment Southland
Lyndon Cleaver

Environment Southland Boating Safety Programme
Continuation of 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.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council
Jon Jon Peters
Julie Taylor
Kia marutau ki te wai and Safety Is Our Wai
Continuation of education program of delivering Safer Boating Education to local iwi and program of delivering Safer Boating Education in the region, which will be heavily focused on Safety and Harm Prevention.
New Zealand Stand Up Paddling Inc.  (NZSUP)
Bill Dawes

Continuation of campaign targeted at stand up paddle boarders to increase safety behaviours. 
Waikato Regional Council
Kelly Thomson

Operation Neptune 2022/23
Continuation of on-water education and enforcement in high risk / high volume boating areas.
Watersafe Auckland Inc.
Nicola Keen-Biggelaar

WaiWise for the Pacific & Asian communities
Continuation of programme will provide specific drowning prevention education to the Pasifika and now also the New Settler/ Asian background community with an emphasis on safer boating within the at-risk communities in Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland.
Jet Boating New Zealand Inc.
Stephen Woodside

Jet Smart – Safer Jet Boating
New campaign to produce a series of Jet Smart – Safer Jet Boating videos that contain many safety messages that are common to all boaters.
Greater Wellington Regional Council
Grant Nalder

Respect our local conditions
Continuation of 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.
Watersafe Auckland Inc.
Nicola Keen-Biggelaar

Lifejacket Hubs for drowning prevention education
Continuation of Drowning Prevention Auckland, in partnership with local boat clubs, surf club, community church and Marae community groups to provide hubs where people can access lifejackets.   Looking to expand these lifejacket hubs with a further two locations (Northland and Waikato) outside of Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland.
Waka Ama NZ
Lara Collins

Waka Ama Safety Campaign - Kia hoetahi tātou!
Continuation of delivery of the CBE Waka Ama Safety Course to all waka ama paddlers around Aotearoa.  In addition the CBE Waka Ama Safety Workbook and assessment will be updated and a social media campaign on social media platforms will be used to actively promote key Waka Safety Messages. This is centred on the concept of “hoetahi” which means to paddle together as one.
Nelson City Council
Mandy Bishop

Maritime Safety Internship
Continuation of an existing  New programme to provide assistance for greater watch of activities on the activities on the water and more coverage of regional waters, to provide ability for higher levels of compliance checks for lifejackets, communication and other safety equipment and skipper knowledge of local weather and sea conditions.
Nelson City Council
Mandy Bishop

Sup on water educational programme
New programme to educate SUP users, aligning with the SUP Safety Guide on safety and help develop skills about informed decision making in dynamic environments.
Yachting New Zealand
Raynor Haagh

Yachting New Zealand’s sailing experience RŪNĀ
A campaign introducing a new school engagement framework RŪNĀ to encourage a broader and diverse cross-section of students aged 8-14 to engage with sailing both in and out of the classroom made up of three curriculum-based elements utilising their network of member clubs to deliver localised RŪNĀ sailing experiences throughout the country.
New Zealand Underwater Association
Andrea Macfarlane

The Dive Pacific Māori and Pacific Island community safety content engagement campaign
A new campaign to provide new content for Dive Pacific online – the only dedicated diving media from some of the Māori and Pacific Island communities.
Coastguard New Zealand Tautiaki Moana Aotearoa
Carole French
Nātia Tucker

Old4New Lifejacket Upgrade Programme including Second-Life Lifejackets
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.
Gisborne District Council
Peter Buell

Tairāwhiti Haumaru Moana
A new campaign to focus on promoting safer boating throughout the region by education, particularly reaching out to the remote communities around the East Cape.
Environment Canterbury
Gordon McKay
Canterbury Safe Boating Programme
Continuation of programme to educate safer boating using media including radio and social media, face to face promotions at boat ramps or camping areas near boat ramps.  Collaborating with Jet Boating New Zealand to provide another Enforcement Officer to specialise in educating the jet boat sector at boat ramps, events, and boating safety days.
Taranaki Regional Council
Tony Parr
Know Before You Go Continuation of an existing programme of education and enforcement 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 the region. $24,000

Note to editors

All of Maritime New Zealand’s recreational boating work is funded through fuel excise duty on petrol (about $5.4 million). This is from contributions to the tax take boaties make when refuelling their boats. That is redirected to support recreational boating safety.

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