Safety on Lake Rotoiti

Key Risks For Recreational Boats

As Found in a National analysis by Maritime NZ

* Failure to wear lifejackets all the time - 67% of recreational boating fatalities would likely have been prevented if people wore their life jacket.

* Inability to call for help when an accident happened

* Failure to check the weather forecast before going out

* Alcohol

* Speeding within 200m of the shore or within 50m of another vessel

Step One in staying safe on our lake is to make sure you have these Risk Factors covered!

Key Rotorua Lakes Concerns:

From the Harbour Master


The Regional Council Harbourmaster team is reminding jetski users that their craft must be registered and they must obey the same rules that apply to boaties. This summer a $200 fine will be handed out to those that are ignoring the rules – a $200 fine will also apply to those jetskis that aren’t registered. There will be a 14 day grace period from day of breach before fine will be issued. Jetskis must keep to 5 knots within 200ms of the shore, a structure or dive flag. The 5 knot rule also applies within 50m of another boat, raft or person in the water. The owner of the jetski is responsible to make sure that any person in charge of their jetski is competent and aware of the local regulations.



In the Bay of Plenty, lifejackets must be worn at all times unless the skipper has assessed the risks and advised that it is safe to remove them. Crotch straps are essential for children’s lifejackets.

We are already seeing people on Kayaks and paddle boards ignoring the requirement. Two young boys were very lucky to have been found after their Kayak overturned on Lake Rotorua and were found clinging to their craft. They were very cold and more than 400m from shore. They were found 45mins after the report was made. This is not the only rescue story of a kayaker this season without a lifejacket.

Before you go on the water, these simple tests can help ensure the lifejacket you are wearing is seaworthy:

Pull the straps, hard. If any of them stretch or tear, do not use the lifejacket, dispose of it, and replace it.

Check for any existing tears, cuts or punctures in the straps and lifejacket. If there are any, do not use the lifejacket, dispose of it, and replace it.

Check your lifejacket floats.

Inflatable lifejackets should be regularly serviced at a testing station in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

VESSEL Naming:

All vessels over 4 metres are required to be named, including party barges and yachts. The name must be visible from 50m with no intent to make it hidden, for example black stickers on a black hull, Jetski numbers installed inside the foot wells.

The name must consist of a minimum of two letters or numbers or a combination of both. They must be a minimum of 90mm in height and it does not incorporate the vessels make or model. There has been an excellent acknowledgement of this bylaw with less and less vessels failing to comply.

Harbour Master Lake Management

Summer 20/21 if a person has breached a Bylaw they have the opportunity to complete a day skippers course with the coast guard. With evidence of completion of the course the fine would be waived as we would prefer there is an opportunity to upskill the skipper.

The Lakes are actively being patrolled over the summer season, so expect to see us out and about. There are also volunteer wardens scattered around the lakes so we expect to be out educating over the busy times.

Any boat or navigation related incidents and or complaints please remember to call 0800 556 687 to report to the on call duty person.

Okawa Bay Water Skiing Notice

Bay of Plenty Regional Navigation Safety Bylaw 2017

Applies to Lake Rotoiti

It is available here and covers useful topics like:


1 Preliminary Provisions

2 General Matters

2.1  Personal Flotation Devices

2.2  Swimming or Diving around Wharves and Jetties

2.3  Use of Vessel Engine around Wharves, Jetties and Ramps

2.4  Vessels which are not Seaworthy

2.6  Vessels to be Adequately Anchored, Moored or Secured

2.7  Prohibited Anchorages

2.8  Restricted Anchorages

2.9  Restricted Launching

2.11  Collisions and Accidents

2.12  Aids to Navigation

2.13  Sound and Light Signals

2.14  Use of Distress Signals

2.15  Discharge into Water

2.16  Flagged Areas on Beaches

2.17  Directions by Harbourmaster or Enforcement Officer

3 Operating Requirements

3.1  Minimum Age for Operating Powered Vessels

3.2  Speed of Vessel

3.3  Speed Limits on Region’s Waters

3.4  Lookouts on Vessel used for Water Skiing or Towing any Person

3.5  Water Skiing or Towing a Person between Sunset and 
Sunrise or in Restricted Visibility

3.6  Designating Temporary or Permanent Access Lanes, 
Reserved Areas and Speed Upliftings

3.7  Conduct in Access Lanes and Reserved Areas

3.8  Marking of Access Lanes and Reserved Areas

3.9  Special Events

3.11  Closure of Areas

3.12  Moorings

3.13  Duty of Master of a Vessel under 500 Gross Tonnage

3.15  Dive Operations

3.16  Collision Prevention

5 Administrative Matters

5.2  Application to Master/Owners

5.3  Navigation Safety Licences

5.4  Registration of Personal Water Craft

5.5  Naming of Vessels

5.6  Fees and Charges

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