New safety laws for boaties have been passed and will come into effect in time for next summer.

The Navigation Safety Bylaw was adopted at the first Bay of Plenty Regional Council meeting of the year this week.

The new regulations will come into effect on July 1 2017.

Bay of Plenty Harbourmaster Peter Buell said if you are a sensible skipper who makes considered decisions, knows the laws, and generally behaves on the water, it is business as usual.


"It's been a lengthy review process but it was important that we got the best bylaw for the community. This week councillors adopted the independent commissioners report and recommendations and we will now work with all water users to raise awareness of the changes.

"We want to extend a huge mihi to those who have engaged with us throughout this process," said Mr Buell.

The amended clauses that will come into effect on 1 July 2017 include:
-The mandatory wearing of lifejackets on vessels 6m and under unless the skipper has assessed the risk and advised it is safe to not wear them.
-Personal water craft (jet skis) using Bay of Plenty waterways will need to be registered.
-For safety reasons, the Hunters Creek ski area will be closed to ski traffic two hours either side of low tide.
-Boaties will not be permitted to anchor in the same area of Tauranga Harbour for more than 14 consecutive days.
-Boaties will not be permitted to secure their boat to a mooring without permission of the owner.

For a more detailed list of the key changes click here.