People interested in new water activity rules on the popular Kai Iwi Lakes are being urged by "Friends" to have a say before the window of opportunity closes.
The Northland Regional Council's (NRC) draft navigation safety bylaw for the lakes is open for public consultation until Wednesday next week, August 2.
The community group, Friends of Kai Iwi Lakes (FoKIL), is encouraging people to make submissions before then and is offering a template to make it easy.
"There are items within the draft bylaw that the public should to be aware of," said FoKIL chairman Colin Rowse.
They include the reduction in ski lanes and the designation of swimming zones that exclude motor boats.
NRC proposes to cut the number of ski lanes on Lake Taharoa to two, rather than the existing five.
"As it will be the only inland waterway in Northland available to waterski and wakeboard, it is very important to see those five lanes reinstated," Mr Rowse said.
Ski access lanes were already a nationally recognised navigational system that allowed for children and learner skiers to start and finish their sport from the shoreline, he said.
Those existing laws offered a buffer zone that kept skiers separate from other water users.
Another area of concern was the proposal for two swimming zones which excluded power boats, Mr Rowse said.
He described the total 18ha area as "unnecessarily large".
"One of these [zones] is over 2km walk from both campgrounds, has no vehicle access or toilet facilities."
FoKIL was concerned about the inclusion of the zones in the draft bylaw considering none of the 1050 submitters to Kaipara District Council's Reserve Management Plan consultation process in 2016 asked for them.
Both passive water recreation and motor-boating are popular on Lakes Kai Iwi, Taharoa and Waikare in the 538ha Taharoa Domain. Skiing is only allowed on Taharoa, which is often called "the Ski Lake".
Northland's existing navigation rules apply only to estuaries, inlets and harbours.
Given the compact nature, ecology and at times incompatible variety of water activities the freshwater dune lakes attract, the NRC had to tailor-make a bylaw.
Two local-authority bylaws will apply to the domain - one for water-based activities under NRC and the other for land-based activities under Kaipara District Council (KDC) and its partner, Taharoa Domain Reserve Management Committee.
FoKIL has developed a Frequently Asked Questions website and a submission template to help people have their say. FoKIL's Facebook page can be accessed at
https://www.facebook.com/groups/kaiiwilakes/ or www.kaiiwilakes.nz.