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Top tips for safer boating:

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Always follow the Boating Safety Code when enjoing sailing or power boat recreational activities. 

Don’t go out further than you have prepared for - motorised boats may seem like they can manage a lot, but New Zealand's waters can be impacted by the weather turning quickly and sand bars are often hard to navigate. See the important links (left) for further advice and information.  

Key contacts for power boats and sailing boats:

  • Coastguard New Zealand - provides practical safety assistance on the water, including offering boat (and PWC) towing-services, resources and helpful on-water mobile apps.
  • Coastguard Boating Education - provides in person and online courses and education relating to the safe operation of boating craft in New Zealand's waters.
  • Maritime New Zealand - regulates the rules around commercial and public boating and provides practical resources relating to activities on New Zealand's waters and the law.

As well as following the Boating Safety Code and being prepared in case you fall in the water by following the Water Safety Code, it's important to remember that even non-motorised and small craft must adhere to boating rules and regional by-laws. Small vessels can be particularly badly hit by changes in the marine weather forcast - always check the marine weather before you go, too. Follow the important links to the left to find out more. 

Key contacts for power boats and sailing boats:

  • Coastguard Boating Education - provides in person and online courses and education relating to the safe operation of boating craft in New Zealand's waters.
  • Maritime New Zealand - regulates the rules around commercial and public boating and provides practical resources relating to activities on New Zealand's waters and the law.
  • Coastguard New Zealand - provides practical safety assistance on the water, including offering boat towing-services, resources and helpful on-water mobile apps.
  • Surf Life Saving New Zealand - provides a national lifeguard service on selected beaches on behalf of central and regional government.

As well as following the Boating Safety Code and being prepared in case you fall in the water by following the Water Safety Code, it's important to remember that all boats craft must adhere to boating rules and regional by-laws. Always check the marine weather before you go, too. Follow the important links to the left to find out more. 

Key contacts for boat fishing:

  • Fish and Game New Zealand - regional and legal information about fishing in New Zealand including fishing licences, regional by-laws and visitor permits.
  • New Zealand Sport Fishing - fishing regulations, sustainability informaion and events.
  • Water Safety New Zealand - key information about water safety and rock fishing safety advice.
  • Coastguard Boating Education - provides in person and online courses and education relating to the safe operation of boating craft in New Zealand's waters.
  • Coastguard New Zealand - provides practical safety assistance on the water, including offering boat towing-services, resources and helpful on-water mobile apps.
  • Maritime New Zealand - regulates the rules around commercial and public boating and provides practical resources relating to activities on New Zealand's waters and the law.

Jet skis and personalised water crafts (PWCs) are great fun when used safely. Operation of PWCs means sticking to the Boating Safety Code and, as the use of these can often result in falling into the water (whether intended or not), we also recommend following the Water Safety Code. There are a few other things you should remember when operating a PWC - follow the links on the left for more information. 

Did you know? Many regional councils require jet skis to be registered - Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Gisborne, Queenstown Lakes and Taupo?

Key contacts for Jet Skis/Personal Water Craft

  • Surf Life Saving New Zealand - provides a national lifeguard service on selected beaches on behalf of central and regional government.
  • Maritime New Zealand - regulates the rules around commercial and public boating including PWCs, and provides practical resources relating to activities on New Zealand's waters and the law.
  • Coastguard New Zealand - provides practical safety assistance on the water, including offering boat and PWC towing-services, resources and helpful on-water mobile apps.
  • Coastguard Boating Education - provides in person and online courses and education relating to the safe operation of boating craft in New Zealand's waters.
  • Watersafety New Zealand - provides resources relating to swimming and other inn-water activities. Manages the popular water safety campaign: the Swim Reaper

Paddle crafts and floats include kayaks and canoes, surfboards, paddleboards and even inflatable floaties. You should always ensure that the craft you are on is only used on waters suitable to the limitations of the craft and it's durability, never leave childeren unattended using flotation devices on or near the water, and expect that no matter what kind device is being used, the chances of falling in to the water and needing to paddle or swim are high - so it's important to be mindful of your own abilities and always follow the Water Safety Code (above).

There are important links on the left that include information about specific floatation devices.

Small boats 

Small boats are required to follow boating rules in New Zealand waters, including by-laws. It is important to follow the Boating Safety Code and to be aware of changeable weather conditions. Find out more in the Boating section.

Key contacts for paddlecrafts and floats:

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