Related law and policies

The Lake Taupō Navigation Safety Amendment Bylaw 2017

The Lake Taupō Navigation Safety Bylaw 2017 came into effect 12 April 2017.

The Bylaw applies to all the waters of Lake Taupō, the navigable rivers and streams flowing into that lake, the tailrace from the Tokaanu power station, and the waters of the Waikato River between Lake Taupō and the Huka Falls, collectively referred to as 'the Lake’.

The Bylaw is aimed at assisting in the safety of users on the Lake.  It sets out safe practices for users engaged in towing, swimming, boating and other water related activities on the Lake.

Instant fines of $200 per infringement may be given for offences against the Bylaw and more serious offences may be prosecuted.

The previous Lake Taupō Navigation Safety Bylaw 2010 has been revoked.

The two main changes from the 2010 Bylaw are:

1. Mandatory wearing of lifejackets in vessels 6 meters or less in length overall (LOA), whilst making way.

  • Up until now you only had to carry lifejackets of the correct size for everyone on-board. This particular ‘old rule’ still stands for every vessel in excess of 6 meters length overall.

2. Mandatory carriage of at-least one form of communications on all vessels, that:

  • Is able to communicate with a person ashore.
  • Has enough ‘battery life’ for your entire voyage.
  • Has adequate ‘coverage’ in the area you will be operating.
  • If your vessel is less than 6 meters LOA, your communication device must be waterproof or in a waterproof container (cellphone in a ziplock bag is suitable, providing it meets the 3 requirements above).
  • If you are a ‘group’ of vessels (i.e. a group of kayakers, either commercial or not), only one person needs to carry the communications on behalf of the group.
  • ‘Voice’ communications is acceptable for vessels close to shore i.e.
    • Children on a kayak at the beach able to yell to parents / caregivers ashore.
    • A person rowing from their parent vessel to shore (or back), where they can yell to a person on the parent vessel, or to a person who is ashore.

The 2017 Bylaw changes provide a set of rules that are more effective for navigation safety purposes and are aimed at assisting in public safety on the Lake.

The changes are consistent with similar Bylaw changes introduced by other Regional Councils such as the Waikato Regional Council.

Safety patrols and enforcement officers will begin informing boat operators about the new Bylaw.  Once the education period is over, infringement notices will be issued to offenders.

The Habourmaster’s Office provides information to boat users and stakeholders on the Department’s website, the Harbourmaster’s facebook page, local media and / or public notices and via the Taupō Moana Boating Guide (PDF, 625KB)

Lake Taupō Navigation Safety Bylaw Revocation Notice 2017

1. Pursuant to sections 33M and 33W(4) of the Maritime Transport Act 1994, on 15 March 2017, the Lake Taupō Navigation Safety Bylaw 2017 was made, and takes effect from 12 April 2017.

2. Pursuant to sections 33M and 33W(4) of the Maritime Transport Act 1994, the Lake Taupō Navigation Safety Bylaw 2010 is revoked with effect from 12 April 2017.

Regulatory Impact & Agency Disclosure Statement 2012

Analysis for an Order in Council under the Local Government Act 1974 to set new regulations to increase fees on a full cost recovery basis for the use of Crown-owned boating facilities on Lake Taupō.

Other statutory and legal policies

Section 33M of the Maritime Transport Act 1994 provides that a regional council may make bylaws to regulate and control waters in its region for the purpose of navigation safety.

Section 33W(4) provides that the Minister of Local Government (or the Associate Minister of Local Government as the case may be) may make bylaws in accordance with section 33M for navigational safety on Lake Taupō.

A deed entered into in 1992 between the Tūwharetoa Māori Trust Board and the Crown set out the Crown’s specific rights to control and legislate in respect of navigational safety on Lake Taupō. Under the terms of that deed the ownership of the beds of waters are vested in Ngāti Tūwharetoa, and were set out to be managed and administered in partnership between the Tūwharetoa Māori Trust Board and the Crown.

A revised deed was signed between the Crown and the Tūwharetoa Māori Trust Board in 2007. Under the revised deed (specifically clause 3.3) the Tūwharetoa Māori Trust Board acknowledges the right of the Crown to control and legislate in respect of water, including its use and quality, public safety, public health, navigation and recreation.

Regulation through a bylaw is common practice and proposed amendments to a bylaw need to be widely available and accessible. Navigation safety bylaws work efficiently for regional councils, as many are based on maritime rules, which in turn have been based on well tested international maritime conventions. Bylaws provide a means of converting those international conventions into workable maritime rules for a local area. Bylaws are an effective way of encouraging good boating practice and can be tailored to suit local geography and conditions.

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