A new rule requiring all jetskis to be registered will "make people more responsible for their actions" on the water, the president of Hawke's Bay Jet Sports club has said.
Yesterday the Hawke's Bay Regional Council agreed to adopt the 2018 Navigational Safety Bylaw for lodging with Maritime New Zealand for final approval.
Reviewed by the Harbourmaster, this new version was hoped to clarify the 2012 bylaws and bring them up to date, with recreational water use "rapidly changing" as the rate of change of technology accelerates.
The most significant addition to the bylaw was the introduction of the mandatory registration of jetskis, which was welcomed by Hawke's Bay Jet Sports club president Phil Hutchinson.
"At the moment there's a lot of skis that look similar. You're not really able to identify if someone is playing by the rules," he said.
"At least if there is a registration number it can be picked up. This will make people more answerable to their foolish mistakes that they do down on the river, or down at sea."
Their club had been working with Harbourmaster Martin Moore to prepare members. With all members' skis already numbered, Mr Hutchinson hoped these could be incorporated into the new registrations.
The move would also help bring Hawke's Bay in line with the rest of country - he believed this was one of the last region's without mandatory registration.
A paper before council yesterday stated there would be "substantial" public engagement and education prior to any enforcement.
The bylaw's amendments would allow for more uniformity with other regional Navigation and Safety Bylaws around the country.
Other changes included making the definition of an "offence" against the bylaw more clear, and that there would be consequences - the 2012 document had no specific reference to what constituted an offence.
Also raised during the consultation was concern the residents, and key users of the Porangahau river were not happy with the boundaries for the various activities that had been proposed.
"The Harbourmaster undertook a further round of consultation and on site meetings with
those concerned at which it was agreed the bylaw as it stood was fit for purpose but the
signage could be improved and made clearer."