Maritime NZ announces $470,000 for safer boating grants

17 October 2016

As part of Safer Boating Week (October 14-21) Maritime NZ has announced $470,000 dollars in grants – a major increase in national funding for recreational boating programmes.

Last year safer boating grants totalled $124,000 and in 2014 they totalled $77,000.

The Government provides the funding for safer boating grants from the Fuel Excise Duty on petrol. A proportion of this duty is paid by recreational boaties fueling power boats.

Thousands more boaties will now be reached through face-to-face training courses, school programmes, smartphone apps, subsidised “Old 4 New” lifejacket upgrades, and many more initiatives.

“Our aim is to support community programmes that help boaties be safer,” the Chair of the Safer Boating Forum*, Maritime NZ Deputy Director Lindsay Sturt, said.

“We are helping groups and regional councils to do more to interact directly with boaties.”

Mr Sturt said Maritime NZ is also looking at how councils and boating organisations can be funded over three years so programmes could have continuity.

“Continuity will hopefully lead to fewer boaties dying in preventable accidents. Programmes could be better planned, messages repeated and reinforced, and you are more likely to get safer behaviour.”

Summary of the 15 programmes funded:

Organisation Programme 2016-17
Marlborough District Council
Luke Grogan
03 5207468
Tailored safety training courses for local boaties and support material, plus on-water patrols. $20,350
Bay of Plenty Regional Council
Jessica Somerville
0800 884 881 ext 8149
Safety compliance programme - boat ramp workshops, roadshow presentations (clubs, groups, boat shows) college visits, on-water enforcement. $62,000
Environment Canterbury Regional Council
Gary Manch
Programme including boat ramp safety promotions, on water patrols, competitions and media, all promoting boating safety through information, advice, education and compliance activities. $50,000
Waikato Regional Council
Stephen Ward
07 859 0782
Update the successful Marine Mate smartphone app, produce fishing rulers to help compliance with MPI rules and waterproof cellphone bags. $23,000
Hawke's Bay Regional Council
Martin Moore
027 445 5592
Safer boating education for more than 2,000 for primary and intermediate school children. $10,000
Environment Southland
Lyndon Cleaver
03 211 5115
Regional newspaper and radio advertising and face-to-face engagement with boaties on the water and at boat ramps. $30,000
Tasman District Council and Nelson City Council
Chris Choat
0272460264 and
Boat ramp safety promotion (Fuel for safety) boat checks and associated media coverage; harbourmasters invitational race day Oct 15 with a variety of water sports clubs; be a harbourmaster for a day colouring competition; plus meetings with clubs and other organisations; school visits; increased water safety patrols; updated boat ramp signage etc. $30,000
Tasman District Council
Chris Choat 0272460264
On the water safer boating patrols - extension of current programme. $15,000
Queenstown Lakes District Council
Michele Poole
03 450 1723
Local radio advertising to support Council boating safety compliance campaign. $5,000
Eight regional councils On-water enforcement activity – details to be confirmed. $50,000
Coastguard Boating Education
Neil Murray
021 307 169
Folau Malu Journey Safely (Pasifika Boating Education Programme).- provide day skipper, basic sea survival, boatmaster, and day skipper tutor courses for Pasifika boating safety 'champions'. $50,000
NZ Sport Fishing Council Inc.
Dave Lockwood
021 177 1705
'Hiwi the Kiwi' - reach 5000 Pacific island and Maori students at 10 decile one schools in South Auckland with lifejacket and boat safety programme. $14,000
Coastguard New Zealand
Monique Caddy
021 420 653
Extension of 'Old 4 New' lifejacket upgrade campaign to cover the North Island. $75,000
Yachting NZ
Danika Mowlem
09 361 4028
A hands on sailing programme for 3,500 8 to 12-year-old children in the 'Volvo Sailing… Have a Go!' training programme (including boating safety). $25,000
Coastguard New Zealand
Monique Caddy
021 420 653
Production of Boating Safety Code brochure and advertising. $10,000
Total   $469,350

Safer Boating Week, October 14-21

Safer Boating Week is the week before Labour Day weekend, the traditional start of recreational boating in much of the country. The aim is to encourage boaties to take simple steps before getting back on the water: Prep your boat, Check your Gear, Know the rules.

  • Prep - service the engine, check and change the fuel, check the battery and just generally give the boat a good onceover.
  • Check - make sure your lifejackets are still fit for purpose and you have enough. Service any inflatable lifejackets and ensure you have two reliable forms of communication equipment.
  • Know - ensure you know the “rules of the road” on the water, and check your local bylaws to make sure you understand what the requirements are in your area.

See also

Safer Boating Week

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*Safer Boating Forum
The Forum was established in 2000 to coordinate and implement recreational boating safety initiatives. It is made up of government agencies and local government, water safety and recreational boating organisations, and the marine industry. The Forum’s work is aimed at reducing boating injuries and fatalities and improving boat safety behaviour. Maritime NZ chairs the Forum and members include Coastguard, Jet Boating NZ, Kiwi Association of Sea Kayakers, local and central government, NZ Fishing News, NZ Jet Sports Boating Association, NZ Marine Industry Association, NZ Underwater Association, Surf Lifesaving NZ, Waka Ama NZ, Water Safety NZ, WaterSafe Auckland, White Water NZ, and Yachting NZ.

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