New boating bylaws are now in effect across the Bay of Plenty.

The bylaws include changes to lifejacket rules and the mandatory registration of jetskis and similar craft.

Bay of Plenty harbourmaster Peter Buell said lifejackets were heavily debated throughout the review of this bylaw, with people mostly on the fence about whether it should be compulsory to wear them while on the water.

"In the end, the independent commissioners have opted for the Auckland rule which says that they must be worn on vessels 6m or less unless the skipper has assessed the risk and advised it's safe to remove them. This means the onus is on the skipper," Mr Buell said.

Another key change was around the registration of jetski and other personal water craft.


Owners would now need to register these vessels online through Auckland Council.

There would be an initial grace period but he regional council expected them all to be registered by summer, Mr Buell said.

"Other changes boaties will need to get up to speed with are around the compulsory naming of vessels and in Tauranga Harbour the reduced ski period for Hunters Creek and the newly created moving prohibited zone in the shipping channel," he said.

The 2017 Navigation Safety Bylaw came into effect on July 1 after it was adopted in February.

Mr Buell said although the changes were not major it was still important people were up to date with them.

Over the next few months the regional council will upgrade their signs to reflect the changes to the bylaw. Check out a summary of the changes at the Bay of Plenty Regional Council's website.