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~ Te takutai moana



The Hawke's Bay Regional Harbormasters role is to oversee the safety of commercial shipping and recreational boating (including kayaks, paddle boards, dinghies and jet skis etc) who use the region's coast and rivers, from Mahanga in the north, to Porangahau in the south. This role has a huge range and variety; not unlike the various sizes of ships and boats that travel through our waters.

Find out more about the Harbourmaster's role and water safety in our video below.


For Harbourmaster notices about sea or river exclusion zones, click on Event Calendar here.


Read this recent article from the Harbourmaster about boating safety.

Here is the Spring 2017 newsletter from the Harbourmaster.

Navigation Safety Bylaws - Review 2017

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council is reviewing the Navigation Safety Bylaw that applies to coastal and some river areas. The bylaw covers boating safety, life jacket rules, navigation infrastructure, and maps of activity zones (such as boat ramps and swimming zones).

You can view the draft bylaw here and current bylaw here.

This review goes to Council for final approval in September 2017.

martin moore resizedThe Harbourmaster's Role

The Harbourmaster promotes the safe and navigable use of the region's waterways by:

  • Development of Navigation Safety Bylaws in consultation with the community and water users.
  • Enforcement of the Navigation Safety Bylaws and issuing fines or prosecutions.
  • Maintaining navigation aids and markers such as buoys, beacons and lights along the coast and within harbour limits
  • Removing navigation hazards such as large logs and drifting vessels
  • Disposing of wrecks and derelict vessels
  • Ensuring compliance with the Navigation Safety Bylaw through enforcement
  • Maintain maritime signage at boat ramps
  • HBRC staff, Port staff and Coastguard volunteers are involved in regular oil spill drills to make sure they can respond quickly and effectively using the equipment stored ready for this purpose.
  • Providing exclusion areas for events such as multisport and boat races so they can be conducted within safe areas
  • Educating people about navigation and water safety.

Boating and Safety Education

The Harbourmaster is responsible for the successful Safe Boating in Schools programme which is run annually throughout Hawke's Bay at no cost to the schools. This extends to the school holiday and Afcare schemes. If you would like us to bring this interactive and beneficial programme to your school or Afcare centre, please read and complete the registration form or call the Harbourmaster on +6468334525.

Useful websites

VHF Radio Weather Channel  - find the correct frequencies to tune in to for weather updates.

Hawke's Bay Fishing Guide and Charts

Napier Port

Safer Boating NZ - Safer Boating aims to focus boaties’ attention on key safety messages

Water Safety NZ national organisation responsible for water safety

Coastguard - volunteer rescue crews provide the primary maritime search and rescue service in New Zealand.

MetVUW - weather and climate service.

AdventureSmart - AdventureSmart provides tips, links and advice for you to plan and prepare any activity safely, for any level of ability. – Paddle boarding – Recreational Boating Instruction – Jet Boating

email – Jet Skis

Swimming Education NZ - courses in schools


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While every endeavour has been taken by the Hawke's Bay Regional Council to ensure that the information on this website is accurate and up to date, Hawke's Bay Regional Council shall not be liable for any loss suffered through the use, directly or indirectly, of information on this website. Information contained has been assembled in good faith. Some of the information available in this site is from the New Zealand Public domain and supplied by relevant government agencies. Hawke's Bay Regional Council cannot accept any liability for its accuracy or content. Portions of the Hawke's Bay Regional Council information and material on this site, including data, pages, documents, online graphics and images are protected by copyright, unless specifically notified to the contrary. Externally sourced information or material is copyright to the respective provider.

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