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Harbour management

Harbour management

Updated 24 November 2021 11:10am

COVID-19 update

Posted 7/9/21

At level 2 the Harbours team welcome you back on the water, but don’t forget to check on the changeable spring weather. Remember to keep safe distances at boat ramps and keep track of who you are going boating with. Take all normal boating safety precautions. Wear lifejackets in boats under 6 meters length, carry two forms of waterproof communications and let someone know where you are going and what do if overdue (dial 111).

Our harbours staff are available on 04 830 4160 if you have concerns with anything on the water or with boats. In an emergency always dial 111. Thank you for understanding as we work together to protect our community.

USS Howards will visit Wellington for a few days

On Friday the USS Howard will visit Wellington for a few days. She is sister ship to the USS Sampson that visited here in 2016 after assisting in Kaikoura post-earthquake. To assist in a smooth visit the Harbourmaster has put an exclusion zone around the vessel both while moving within the harbour and berthed.  The ship will be escorted while underway by Police assisted by Centreport and Greater Wellington vessels.


More information on the exclusion zone

For information about the ship and her visit contact the US Embassy.

No lifejacket? No excuse.

Lifejackets save lives. When out on the water everyone should be wearing a lifejacket.

Our Harbourmaster team hears all kinds of excuses, but it’s the skipper's responsibility to make sure everyone on board is safe and wearing a lifejacket. Accidents can occur suddenly without warning and you won’t always have time to put one on.

There are many different sizes and types of lifejacket and you need to make sure what you’re wearing is well-fitting, in good working order, and fit for purpose.

For more info, check out the Maritime NZ lifejacket page.

We provide safe and efficient maritime management for recreational and commercial users of our region's waters.

We operate a 24-hour harbour communication station, operate and maintain navigation aids in the region, manage mooring areas and respond to marine oil spills. 

The waters of our region extend from the Otaki River in the west to the Mataikona River north of Castlepoint in the east.

Report pollution or a hazard Plan an event

Safety on the water

A fundamental rule of being on the water is keeping a lookout and avoiding collision. If you are on a recreational boat of any type (powerboat, jetski, windsurfer, kayak etc) you need to avoid swimmers and large ships. Just as important is travelling at a safe speed, there are rules, bylaws and guidance about how you do this but those two rules are absolutely essential.

If you are within 200 metres of shore or 50 metres from a person in the water keep your speed below 5 knots. On Wellington harbour stay clear of large shipping.

If you are on the water always keep a good lookout for what is going on around you in order to stay safe. Read more.

How to contact us

During office hours, call:

After hours for urgent matters, eg marine oil spill or unsafe boating behaviour, you can contact us on  04 388 1911 or 04 473 4547.

Our office is on the first floor of the Meridian Building on Queens Wharf.