Timing right for boaties bylaw

Dec 18, 2009

Two Queenstown Lakes District Council bylaws should be considered a gift for boaties and their families in the district this summer, QLDC general manager regulatory and corporate Roger Taylor said.

The Navigation Safety Bylaw and the Shotover River Bylaw regulations were gazetted this week, meaning that the instant fines would come into force today (Friday).

“Given that last summer in this district we experienced the worst accident record on our waterways for 25-years, this summer, if everyone abides by the rules, we hope to see none. That would be a gift to the community worth having,” Mr Taylor said.

The Shotover River Bylaw pertained to the restricted zone which is operated by Shotover Jet. “It’s fairly simple, you need a permit to take your boat on that stretch of river,” Mr Taylor said.

Whereas the Navigation Bylaw addressed all other aspects of safe boating (water activities and commercial operation) on all waterways in the district.

“There’s only one way to look at it, the bylaws are there to make sure that people stay safe. The timing this week couldn’t be better with the anticipated influx of boaties for summer,” Mr Taylor said.

The Navigation Bylaw included the rule that the person in charge of a vessel (any recreational craft less than six metres) ensured that every person on board wore a properly secured life jacket.

It also covered everything from safe water skiing and speed limits to safe navigation.

“The harbourmaster would rather issue season’s greetings than tickets but our aim is for everyone to have a great time and go home safely,” Mr Taylor said.

The instant fines range between $300 and $500.

>> Schedule of offences - Queenstown Lakes District Navigation Safety Bylaw 2009 (pdf 88.6kb)
>> Schedule of offences - Shotover River Bylaw 2009 (pdf 76.9kb)

With two fulltime harbourmasters, 12 wardens patrolling the district during summer, safety signage at all waterways facilities and the bylaws readily available, the council was doing its bit for water safety.

“Now it’s over to the community to do the right thing. We can only hope that boaties and water users do their bit and play by the rules,” Mr Taylor said.

Meanwhile the only remaining outstanding bylaw issue continued to be the Hunter River access for jet boats.

“The hearings panel will undertake a site visit when conditions allow and that will be followed by a hearing next year. At the moment it’s the status quo, which means the restriction remains,” Mr Taylor said.


For further information please contact Roger Taylor 03 441 0499.