A Northlander has been fined for creating a wake that endangered a vessel belonging to the Northland Regional Council and its staff who were on board.

Kim Feickert, 53, challenged two infringement notices issued by NRC and a judge-alone trial was held in the Whangarei District Court this week.

One ticket was for navigating a recreational craft so that its wake caused unnecessary danger, and another was for navigating a vessel above 5 knots at Whangarei Harbour at Marsden early last year.

Mr Feickert was returning to Marsden after a fishing trip to the Hen and Chicken Islands.


At the conclusion of the judge-alone trial, Judge Greg Davis ordered Mr Feickert to pay a fine of $200 and $130 court costs for the unnecessary danger charge, while the NRC could not prove its case in the second infringement notice.

NRC harbourmaster Jim Lyle said the waves Mr Feickert's boat created were big enough to rock a 6.7m Surtees boat owned and operated as a patrol vessel by the council.

Under NRC's Navigation Safety Bylaw, every person who propels or navigates any craft must ensure that its wake does not cause unnecessary danger or damage to other vessels or structures, or harm to other persons.

"If you're going through a busy area, you have to slow down or sometimes stop and let waves dissipate. A lot of people slow down then drag a wave behind them," Mr Lyle said.

In terms of speed, he said no boatie should navigate or propel a vessel at more than 5 knots within 50m of another vessel or structure and within 200m of a vessel flying a dive flag or shore.