Boating in Northland

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					Boating in Northland
Your regional Harbourmaster’s news                                                                    SPRING / SUMMER 2011




                                                   TIDE TURNING FOR MOORINGS
CONTENTS                                          There are currently about 3000 swing          moorings in high demand areas as a
                                                  and pile moorings in Northland, of which      result,” says Ben.
Page 1: Welcome to Northland
                                                  more than 2300 are in mooring zones and
        Tide turning for moorings
                                                  only around 350 of these have resource        The proposal would see the council
Page 2: Anchoring ban for safety sake             consent.                                      reallocate the mooring space to people
Page 3: Navigation bylaw changes                                                                on an official waiting list – compiled on a
Page 4: Diving safety                             Northland Regional Council Policy             first-come, first-served basis – rather than
        Keeping boats and moorings                Specialist Ben Lee says the council is        them being sold.
        shipshape                                 considering a number of changes to the
                                                  way these mooring zones are managed in        The possibility of making mooring space
                                                  Northland, including one that will remove     non-transferrable may become part of

NAU MAI, HAERE MAI                                the need for a consent and make all
                                                  existing moorings in designated mooring
                                                                                                the upcoming review of the council’s
                                                                                                Navigation Safety Bylaws (see the article
                                                  zones ‘permitted activities’.                 on P2).
Welcome to Northland
                                                  “This means that only new moorings will       “Part of the argument for making
Summer boating in Northland is always busy        require consent for the initial placement     mooring space non-transferable is the
and the Northland Harbourmaster’s Office is       of the mooring, while all others will be      issue of private individuals benefitting
expecting this season to be no different.         ‘permitted’,” says Ben.                       from what is public space,” says Ben.

There’s a record 51 cruise ships booked to        “Moorings would still require a licence       “Currently no one who uses coastal water
arrive in the Bay of Islands this season, which   under the council’s Navigation Safety         space pays anything to occupy that space
typically runs from October to April, with the    Bylaws and there may also be some new         – so private users of a public resource get
largest – the ‘Radiance of the Seas’ – almost     restrictions on moorings in some areas, for   to use it for free and prevent others from
300 metres long and weighing more than            example they may not be able to be used       using the same space.”
90,000 tonnes. (See Anchoring ban for             for vessels that can be transported on a
safety sake on P2 to find out how this will       trailer.”                                     There is also a commitment in the Draft
affect you.)                                                                                    New Regional Policy Statement to
                                                  “These changes are part of a change to        introduce coastal occupation charges
There are some key changes to Northland           the Regional Coastal Policy, which will be    which will see private users pay for the
mooring regulations that all mooring-             open for submissions early next year.” (To    privilege of using public space, although
holders should be aware of. Check out the         find out more go to www.nrc.govt.nz/          there are currently no details as to what
article this page, for more information.          mooringsandmarinas)                           the value of this will be.

Safety on Northland waters is the primary         Ben says the second of the proposed           The Draft New RPS is currently available
concern of the Harbourmaster’s Office. The        changes is to make mooring space non-         for public consultation on the council’s
Navigation Safety Bylaws set out the rules        transferable, which will make them            website www.nrc.govt.nz/newRPS or
that help us keep our coast safe for all users.   potentially cheaper to own, particularly in   freephone 0800 002 004.
                                                  prime coastal spots.
This year we’re proposing a number of                                                           If you’d like to comment on any of
changes to the bylaws – find out more about       “The issue is that some moorings are          the proposed changes you can email
these and how you can have your say in            currently being transferred between           Northland Regional Council Policy Analyst
Navigation bylaw changes (P3).                    owners for as much as $20,000 as opposed      Michael Day, on michaeld@nrc.govt.nz
                                                  to what they typically cost to buy – $2800    or Ben Lee, Policy Specialist on benl@nrc.
Jim Lyle                                          to $4000 – and there are many unused          govt.nz or freephone 0800 002 004.
Northland Regional Harbourmaster




                                        Putting Northland first
                                        www.nrc.govt.nz/onthewater                                                                             1
 Boating in Northland                                             Your regional Harbourmaster’s news




ANCHORING BAN FOR SAFETY SAKE
Concerns over recreational boaties             “But in recent years, we’ve been               This applies to all vessels in the Bay of
stopping in the approach path of huge          experiencing increasing problems with          Islands Harbour, which is inside the line
cruise ships has prompted a ban on             other, smaller vessels anchored in the way     between Cape Wiwiki, Ninepin Island and
anchoring in part of the Bay of Islands        of the cruise ships.”                          Cape Brett.
when the larger vessels are moving within
the harbour.                                   Jim says in many cases the smaller boats do    “This bans any vessel from anchoring
                                               not even realise a ship is approaching while   within any sector of the Waitangi Sector
The Northland Regional Council’s Öpua-         they are concentrating on their fishing.       light, from the 10 metre depth contour line
based Regional Harbourmaster Jim Lyle                                                         adjacent to Hermione Rock, out to three
says the ban – which took effect recently      “Some of these cruise vessels are roughly      nautical miles from Täpeka Point towards
– comes amid safety concerns as increasing     as long as Auckland’s Sky Tower is tall and    Ninepin Island when a vessel over 500 gross
numbers of cruise ships visit the Bay of       they weigh many tens of thousands of           tonnes is moving within the harbour.”
Islands.                                       tonnes which means they obviously can’t
                                               manoeuvre anything like as quickly and         The ban applies when the larger ship is
Jim says a record 51 cruise ships are booked   nimbly as a smaller vessel.”                   either approaching to pick up a pilot,
to arrive this season, between them                                                           approaching to drop anchor or picking up
carrying about                                                                                           anchor to leave the harbour.
111,000 passengers
and crew, many                                                                                           Jim says any vessel that is
during the busy                                                                                          anchored in this area must
months of January                                                                                        keep a sharp lookout for
and February.                                                                                            approaching or departing
                                                                                                         vessels. (They usually arrive
Jim says under                                                                                           early morning, and leave late
Maritime NZ                                                                                              afternoon or early evening, but
rules, ships more                                                                                        can move at any time.)
than 500 gross
tonnes (GT) must                                                                                         “If one is seen, the anchored
be guided by a                                                                                           vessel should immediately pick
licensed pilot into                                                                                      up anchor and move away from
the Bay.                                                                                                 the limits of the sector light.”

“To do this the                                                                                          Similarly, if the Northland
cruise ships                                                                                             Regional Council pilot vessel
approach on                                                                                              approaches and signals any
the Waitangi                                                                                             vessel that it is impeding the
sector light and                                                                                         safe navigation of another ship,
rendezvous with                                                                                          that vessel must immediately
the pilot, who                                                                                           pick up anchor and move away
boards the cruise                                                                                        from the limits of the sector
ship about three                                                                                         light.
nautical miles out from Täpeka Point, and      “It is also important that they stay in deep
in line with the Waitangi sector light. The    water, and are not forced to stray closer to   Jim says if people are unsure whether a
ship then heads in on the sector light to      the shallow reefs just to avoid small boats.   vessel over 500 GT is moving, or is likely
anchor within the Bay of Islands pilotage      People should also realise that once they      to move within the harbour, they need to
area at a position decided by the pilot.”      are close under the bow they disappear         err on the side of caution and not anchor
                                               from view from the bridge of the cruise        within the sector light limits.
He says the large ships, which have drafts     ship.”
of up to 10 metres, are required to stay
within the sector light approach for           Jim says to avoid potential accidents, he
navigational safety reasons.                   recently issued a Harbourmaster’s Directive.




                                                 Report all oil spills, accidents or navigational hazards
2
                                                                                                                        www.nrc.govt.nz/onthewater




     NAVIGATION BYLAW CHANGES
   NRC Nav Safety Bylaw 2011_Nav Safety Bylaw 24/08/11 12:24 PM Page a




          Navigation Safety                                              Jim says among the main changes the
                                                                         council’s proposing will be:
                                                                                                                      •	 Extra	information	on	‘prohibited	
                                                                                                                         areas’, including a map showing
            Bylaw 2011                                                                                                   prohibited areas around the New
                                                                         •	 A	new	definition	of	‘estuary’	and	           Zealand Refining Company wharves
                                                                            ‘estuary mouth’. This is included to         and one which applies (subject to
                                                                            clearly spell out where some activities      certain circumstances and conditions)
                                                                            could be limited, like kiteboarding          around the Northport wharf.
                                                                            at speeds above 5 knots close to
                                                                            shore. (This proposed change comes        •	 Changes	to	some	‘prohibited	
                                                                            in response to concerns about                anchorages’ as a result of alterations
                                                                            swimmers’ safety.)                           to underwater cable areas in recent
                                                                                                                         years.
                                                                         •	 Dropping	the	current	exemption	
                                                                            allowing board sport enthusiasts          •	 A	new	section	containing	safety	
                                                                            to travel faster than 5 knots within         information and guidelines. These
                                                                            50 metres of any other vessel, raft,         include recommendations for
          Putting Northland first
                                                                            or person in the water. Under the            visibility of kayaks, stand up paddle
                                                                            proposed change, an exemption                boarding, bar crossing procedures
                                                                            within 200 metres of shore would             and a trial of a tsunami warning light
                                                                            only apply if the board sport was            in the Tutukäkä marina.
                                                                            carried out on the seaward side of
                                                                            the estuary mouth.                        Once the official summer submission
                                                                                                                      period is over, the council will hold
   This summer the Northland Regional                                    •	 Introduction	of	new	areas	that	would	     hearings to consider people’s comments
   Council is consulting on a number                                        allow people to exceed 5 knots for        in March 2012.
   of proposed changes to its existing                                      certain recreational activities. These
   Navigation Safety Bylaws that could                                      would be additional to – or replace –     Any changes to be implemented as
   affect a variety of issues – from permitted                              ski lanes in certain areas. Some access   a result will need to be approved by
   speeds to lifejacket use.                                                lanes are to be modified or removed       councillors and are likely to take effect in
                                                                            due to increasing activity posing         mid-2012.
   Jim Lyle, the council’s Regional                                         hazards.
   Harbourmaster, says full details of all                                                                            For more information, contact the
   the proposed changes will be made                                     •	 A	rewrite	of	the	entire	clause	on	        council on 0800 002 004.
   available later this year when an official                               lifejackets to reinforce that legally
   consultation period begins and he’s                                      one must be carried for everyone
   encouraging as many people as possible                                   on board. The rewritten text would
   to comment on them.                                                      also stress that lifejackets must          FIND OUT MORE
                                                                            also actually be worn under certain
   “Submissions don’t have to be limited                                    circumstances and conditions.              •		 Navigation	Safety	Bylaws
   to our proposed changes – it’s also
                                                                                                                       •		 Marine	pollution	regulations
   your opportunity to have your say on                                  •	 Adding	‘pile’	to	the	definition	of	a	
   anything you’d like to see included in                                   mooring. This proposal has been            •		 All	you	need	to	know	when	you’re	
   these bylaws.”                                                           added to make it clear that – like             out on Northland’s waters
                                                                            swing moorings – pile moorings also
                                                                                                                       www.nrc.govt.nz/onthewater
                                                                            require regular maintenance.




24/7 Environmental Hotline 0800 504 639
                                                                                                                                                                     3
Boating in Northland                          Your regional Harbourmaster’s news                          SPRING / SUMMER 2011




DIVING SAFETY
                                              If you’re out diving this summer remember       Northland’s Navigation Safety Bylaw
                                              to display a blue and white dive flag!          sets out the regulations that need to be
                                                                                              followed when out on the region’s waters
                                              That’s the message from the Northland           including those regarding dive flags.
                                              Regional Council’s Deputy Harbourmaster
                                              Chidambaram Surendran.                          “The dive boat is required to remain within
                                                                                              200 metres of the divers with the boat crew
                                              “All divers need to follow dive safety rules    ready to quickly help them if needed,” says
                                              and have a dive flag (Flag A) of not less       Chidambaram.
                                              than 600 x 600mm on the boat so anyone
                                              passing knows there are people in the           He says other vessels in the area should not
                                              water,” he says.                                exceed 5 knots within 200 metres of a vessel
                                                                                              flying a dive flag and should keep a good
                                              “Cloth flags are the best however the           lookout.
                                              flag can be made from a flat piece of any
                                              suitable material cut to size, painted and      “Remember, plan your dive and dive your
                                              displayed.”                                     plan! Dive safe everyone.”



KEEPING BOATS AND MOORINGS SHIPSHAPE REGIONAL OFFICES
The Northland Regional Council’s maritime     Jim says that if boats become unseaworthy,
team has been involved in several boat and    and sink, or look like they have the            Report all navigation hazards to:
mooring safety incidents over the last few    potential to sink, the maritime team tries to
weeks.                                        contact the owner from the details on the
                                              mooring file.                                   WHÄNGÄREI             KAITÄIA
                                                                                              36 Water Street       192 Commerce Street
Regional Harbourmaster Jim Lyle says the
                                                                                              P: 09 438 4639        P: 09 408 6600
incidents included an anchored boat that      “If the owner is difficult to locate and a
                                                                                              F: 09 438 0012        F: 09 408 6601
was holed by its own anchor coming free,      problem arises, the maritime team may
a houseboat taking on water, a boat that      end up having to remove the vessel at the       DARGAVILLE            ÖPUA
almost sank when the bilge failed and a       owner’s expense,” he says.                      61b Victoria Street   Unit 10, Öpua Marine Park
launch that broke free from its mooring as                                                    P: 09 439 3300        P: 09 402 7516
the headline was worn and parted.             “Owners need to make sure if they go            F: 09 439 3301        F: 09 402 7510
                                              overseas, or live out of the region, that
“Boats require regular maintenance to         they have a local contact on the regional
keep them safe and seaworthy – often,         council’s mooring file so we can contact        24/7	Environmental	Hotline	 	         	
                                                                                              0800 504 639
the maintenance required is simple and        someone if there is a problem. Contact
inexpensive,” says Jim.                       details clearly visible on the boat will also
                                                                                              Facebook:
                                              help.”
                                                                                              www.facebook.com/NorthlandRegionalCouncil
“Similarly, moorings should be visually
inspected regularly to check the condition    He says the worse case scenario if they         Twitter:
of the headlines, as these ropes often        cannot locate an owner is the vessel is sold    www.twitter.com/NRCExpress
chafe on the fairlead or anchor and wear      to recover costs.
through. Owners also need to check any
protective cover is secure and in the right
position.”




                                     Putting Northland first
4                                    www.nrc.govt.nz/onthewater

				
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