Auckland councillors have passed the first stage of a new bylaw to make the wearing
of lifejackets compulsory in small boats.

Under the proposed bylaw, lifejackets must be worn on boats less than 6m, with some exceptions.

The measures are supported by water safety groups but strongly opposed by boating groups.

The recommendation by the regulatory and bylaws committee today will go to the governing body for approval before going out for public comment next year. The bylaw is likely to come into effect in the 2104-2015 summer.

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One politician pushing for the bylaw, Alf Filipaina, said he looked forward to the bylaw going out for consultation, saying it was simple and easily understood by all.