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Navigation and Safety Rules

Navigation and Safety Rules

Updated 10 September 2020 10:29am

Navigation and Safety Bylaws help us ensure safe usage of the harbours and waters across and around our region.

  • Here's a summary the parts of the bylaws most relevant to recreational boating.
  • Download a full copy of the bylaws.
  • These bylaws apply from the Otaki River Mouth, around to Cape Palliser and then up to the Mataikona River. 
  • They extend in the coastal waters up to three miles offshore. This includes both Wellington and Porirua Harbours and Lakes Wairarapa and Onoke. 

These bylaws are made under the requirements of the Local Government Act 1974, and came into effect on 1 July 2009. They do not cover the region's rivers.

If you'd like a printed copy of A5-sized bylaws and one of our boating safety packs please  call on (04)830 4160 or e-mail

Proposed amendments to our Bylaws

We want to make our harbours safer by amending our Bylaws to make the rules more consistent with elsewhere in NZ.  These will reduce risk and improve safety measures on the water.

Your feedback is being sought on these proposals, which would amend the Wellington Regional Navigation and Safety Bylaws 2009. Check out the proposals on our Have Your Say page and send us your comments and feedback by 5pm, 30 November 2020.”

Maritime Rule 91

This is the National Navigation Safety Rule, issued by Maritime New Zealand. It covers all of New Zealand's waterways and provides a benchmark for our regional bylaws. Our regional Navigation and Safety Bylaws may impose additional provisions above those required by Part 91.

Reporting unsafe behaviour

We all need to look out for each other on the water. If you see anything or anyone acting silly call us on (04) 388 1911 or (04) 473 4547.