At least 180 submissions have been made as the Bay of Plenty Regional Council prepares to change the rules governing Tauranga's waters.

Submissions on the Navigational Safety Bylaw for boating and watercraft in the region closed yesterday.

Regional council senior planner Shawn Baker said the two main issues submitters were concerned about were the Hunters Creek ski area and rules for navigation around large ships.

"Hunters Creek was also a major topic through the last review," Mr Baker said.


"It attracts a lot of water skiers, recreational boaties and the channel is used as a main route in and out for Matakana residents. On top of this, over time the sand banks have changed to reduce the navigable area.

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"You can start to see how it's a challenge to manage these potentially conflicting activities safely. Before any decisions are made, we are interested in receiving submissions for and against both Hunters Creek and a proposed new ski area at Panepane point."

Tauranga Jet Sport Association secretary Rob Larman said the club had made a submission suggesting the proposal to have jetskis registered should apply to all personal water craft, including boats.

"We feel it shouldn't just be targeted at one group," Mr Larman said.

"We feel there are just as many inexperienced people on boats that get themselves into trouble or cause issues for other water users. It should be targeted to the whole sector."

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Russ Hawkins who operates Fatboy Charters and is a members of the Mount Maunganui Underwater Club said he has made a personal submission against the proposal that everyone on a boat must wear lifejackets at all times.

"It's just ridiculous," Mr Hawkins said.

"I carry lifejackets and always have, especially when going over bars or it gets a bit choppy, but what I didn't like was that every vessel under 6m they were proposing would have to wear lifejackets at all times. That to me is a bit steep."

Mr Hawkins said there could be all sorts of problems prompted by constantly wearing a lifejacket, including the risk of unwittingly puncturing the lifejacket while fishing, rendering the device useless when it might be needed.