Bay of Plenty Regional Navigation Safety Bylaws Review Committee

Ngā Meneti

Open Minutes

Commencing:             Tuesday 2 April 2024, 8:30 am

Venue:                         2 April 2024: Mataatua Room, Regional Council Building, 5 Quay Street, Whakatāne and via Zoom

3 and 4 April 2024: Council Chambers, Regional House, 1 Elizabeth Street, Tauranga and via Zoom


Chairperson:               Cr Andrew von Dadelszen – Bay of Plenty Regional Council Toi Moana (BOPRC)

Heamana Tuarua

Deputy Chairperson:  Cr Toi Kai Rākau Iti - BOPRC

Ngā Kopounga

Members:                    Cr Jane Nees - BOPRC

Cr Kevin Winters - BOPRC

Raewyn Bennett – Tangata Whenua Representative

Patrick Young – Tangata Whenua Representative

In Attendance:            Reuben Fraser – General Manager, Regulatory Services; Toni Briggs – Senior Project Manager; Claudia Cameron – Committee Advisor

External: All submitters as listed in the minutes.

Ngā Hōnea

Apologies:                  Micah Tawhara – Tangata Whenua Representative


1.     Karakia Whakatuwhera
Opening Karakia

A karakia was provided by Patrick Young.

2.     Introduction

An introduction was provided by Toni Briggs – Senior Project Manager, BOPRC.

Field trips to Ōhiwa harbour and Hunters Creek/Otapu would take place at the conclusion of the Hearings. Noted that Micah Tawhara’s apology was for the entirety of the Hearings and field trips. Informed the Panel that submitter, Mack Rewiri, was an apology, however a written statement would be tabled.

3.     Ngā Hōnea


That the Bay of Plenty Regional Navigation Safety Bylaws Review Committee:

1          Accepts the apology from Micah Tawhara tendered at the meeting.



4.     Whakapuakanga o Ngā Take Whai Taha-Rua
Declaration of Conflicts of Interest

Patrick Young declared that he was the brother-in-law of submitter Tuwhakairiora O’Brien.

Raewyn Bennett declared an extended whānau link to residents of Matakana Island and Rangiwāea Island.

8.43 am - The hearing adjourned.

8.48 am - The hearing reconvened.

5.     Reports

Decisions Required


Regional Navigation Safety Bylaws Hearings

Tabled Document 1 - Ōhiwa Harbour Map: Objective ID A4635397

Tabled Document 2 - Lynne Hickling Speaker Notes: Objective ID A4635399

Tabled Document 3 - Ruth Westgate Speaker Notes: Objective ID A4635395

Tabled Document 4 - Gaylene Kohunui Presentation: Objective ID A4635401

Tabled Document 5 - Mack Rewiri - Maromahua Marae Support for Submission: Objective ID A4640722

Tabled Document 6 - Jeff Berkers Speaker Notes: Objective ID A4635537

Tabled Document 7 - Michael McLennan Evidence: Objective ID A4636856

Tabled Document 8 - Myles Reid Presentation: Objective ID A4638337

Tabled Document 9 - Biel Whanau Presentation: Objective ID A4638301

Tabled Document 10 - Denham Cooke Presentation: Objective ID A4638318

Tabled Document 11 - Vance Skudder Kaituna River Map: Objective ID A4638384

Tabled Document 12 - Brett Waterhouse Presentation Photos: Objective ID A4638305

Tabled Document 13 - Kaituna River Rediversion Document: Objective ID A4638380

Tabled Document 14 - Gordy Lockhart (Mount Water Bikes) Presentation: Objective ID A4638340

Tabled Document 15 - Matakana and Rangiwaea Islands Residents Ski Lane Presentation 2024: Objective ID A4638265

Tabled Document 16 - Jetboating NZ - Written Submission: Objective ID A4636874

Tabled Document 17 - Jetboating NZ - Evidence of Katie McNabb: Objective ID A4636872

Tabled Document 18 - Jetboating NZ - Evidence of Allen Meredith: Objective ID A4636870

Tabled Document 19 - Jetboating NZ - Presentation Photos: Objective ID A4638725  


Presented by: Toni Briggs – Senior Project Manager



That the Bay of Plenty Regional Navigation Safety Bylaws Review Committee:

1          Receives the report, Regional Navigation Safety Bylaws Hearings;

2          Receives the Full Submissions document;

3          Agrees to accept the noted late submissions;

4          Receives any tabled documents from submitters during the Hearings.




6.     Hearing of Submissions to the Draft Bay of Plenty Regional Navigation Safety Bylaws 2024



Sub #

8.58 am

Tilmann Loewe / Tanja Rother

Tabled Document 1: Ōhiwa Harbour Map

Key Points:

·             Topic 3: Ōhiwa Harbour. Supported Option 1 - Status Quo, but would prefer a total ban of personal water craft (PWC) in Ōhiwa Harbour

·             Had seen regular illegal use of PWC across the harbour, with a lack of respect for the rules and for wildlife

·             Had seen a difference in behaviour between recreational PWC and boat use. PWC were used for speed, whereas boat users navigated across the harbour.

In Response to Questions:

·             On an average day during the holiday peak there were many jet skis in Ōhiwa harbour, yesterday there were approximately 4.

202 / 198

9.10 am

Forest and Bird / Lynne Hickling

Tabled Document 2: Lynne Hickling Speaker Notes.

Key Points:

·             Topic 3: Ōhiwa Harbour. Supported Option 1 - Status Quo. Saw this option as easiest to enforce

·             Other Acts and Plans should be taken into consideration. E.g. Te Rautaki mō Ōhiwa, the Ōhiwa Harbour Strategy

·             The manufacturer guide for jet skis did not recommend their use in water with a less than 1m draw, therefore many places within Ōhiwa did not have enough water for their safe use

·             PWCs were high speed and took unpredictable paths, unlike boats which usually took clear lines and remained within the channels

·             Had seen jet ski use at Ōhiwa boat ramp by under 15 year olds with parents remaining on land, as well as a jet ski becoming stuck on an exposed sand bar

·             Suggested the need for increased permanent enforcement officers.

247 / 1

9.20 am

Ruth Westgate

Presented by: Lynne Hickling

Tabled Document 3: Ruth Westgate Speaker Notes.

Key Points

·             Topic 3: Ōhiwa Harbour. Supported Option 1 - Status Quo, but would prefer to see no jet skis within Ōhiwa harbour. If jet skis remained, there must be increased safety and control

·             Noted that the harbour was becoming shallower.

In Response to Questions:

·             At low tide there currently appeared to be more sand. The weather impacted the location of channels and sand bars, sometimes causing weekly variations

·             Other motorised water vehicles, such as tinnies, did not impact wildlife and the safety of others as they remained within channels or went directly to their destination/fishing spots/crossed the bar

·             Supported a jet ski ban within the harbour, with the exception of launching and navigating directly to the harbour entrance to cross the bar.


9.29 am

Grant Fraser / Dido Eden

Key Points:

·             Topic 3: Ōhiwa Harbour. Supported Option 1 - Status Quo

·             Any more than one hour either side of high tide was too shallow for jet skis in the majority of the harbour. The area of permanent deep water, from  Ruatuna Road to Hokianga Island, was used regularly by swimmers which created the danger of swimmers and jet skiers in a confined space. Warned of the danger of jet skiers to swimmers

·             The shallow harbour, where the tide went out quickly and sand bar locations varied, was unsafe for jet skiers.

572 / 438

9.40 am

Meg Collins

Key Points:

·             Topic 3: Ōhiwa Harbour. Supported Option 1 - Status Quo

·             86% of the harbour was exposed at low tide,  with regularly changing sand banks

·             The Ōhiwa Harbour Management Plan was working for kayaks, yachts, Stand Up Paddle Boards (SUPs) and 1 hour either side of hightide for boats navigating directly out of the harbour. Jet skiers did not follow the rules

·             Boat ramps lacked signage, making visitors unaware of rules.

In Response to Questions:

·             There were different areas for different activities. Suggested jet skis could operate within the waterski area, but would prefer a jet ski ban

·             Ōhiwa Harbour Management Committee met twice a year.


9.52 am - The hearing adjourned.

10.12 am - The hearing reconvened.




10.12 am

Gaylene Kohunui

Tabled Document 4: Gaylene Kohunui Presentation

Key Points:

·             Topic 3: Ōhiwa Harbour. Supported Option 1 - Status Quo. This submission was supported by iwi whānau

·             Safety concerns in the submissions were genuine.  2022-23 had seen a major increase in jet ski use, including launching from the eastern side boat ramp

·             Suggested a fourth option to move the boat ramp to a safer place away from other water users.

In Response to Questions:

·             Increased harbourmaster patrols and clearer signage was required, for example “no jet skis to be launched from this boat ramp”.


10.31 am

Frans Roozendaal

Key Points

·             Topic 2: Tarawera River speed uplifting. Supported Option 1 - Status Quo

·             The river, particularly through Kawerau, was fast flowing which caused vessels to travel faster that 5 knots. A change may unintentionally have a detrimental impact on future rafting and kayaking competitions.

In Response to Questions

·             Supported a speed limit of approximately 7 knots.

Staff Comment

·             The 5 knot rule referred to the “proper speed” of a vessel, which accounted for the speed of the current.


10.41 am

Tuwhakairiora O'Brien

Key Points:

·             Topic 3: Ōhiwa Harbour. Supported Option 1 - Status Quo, but would prefer to see no jet skis within Ōhiwa harbour.

·             Since the mussel repatriation, people would dive for them. Mussels cannot be contained to outside of the water ski area

·             Jet skis in areas being used by other water users was unsafe

·             Suggested providing payment and training for harbour monitors with the ability to educate, warn and give abatement and infringement notices particularly during the summer months. Also suggested the use of trail cameras to collect evidence

·             Increased accuracy in the names of places used within the bylaws was required.

In Response to Questions:

·             Suggested an Option 4 - no jet skis except those used for fishing or for crossing the bar

·             Due to the narrow nature of the harbour at low tide, it would be difficult to be 200 metres from the shore and 50 metres from a person or vessel. Therefore if people abided by the rules, speeds above 5 knots within the harbour would be unlikely.



Mack Rewiri

Tabled Document 5: Mack Rewiri – Marmahua Marae Support for Submission

Minute Note: Mack Rewiri was unable to attend the Hearings, therefore, a letter was tabled.


11.17 am - The hearing adjourned

8.35 am, Tuesday, 3 April - The hearing reconvened in Council Chambers, Regional House, 1 Elizabeth Street, Tauranga

7.     Chair’s Introduction

An introduction was provided by Chair, Cr Andrew von Dadelszen, advising those present of the schedule for the day and health and safety information.

8:40 am - The hearing adjourned.

8.57 am - The hearing reconvened.



Sub #

8.58 am

Jeff Berkers

Tabled Document 6: Jeff Berkers Speaker Notes.

Key Points:

·             Topic 1: Kaituna River speed uplifting and Topic 2: Tarawera River speed uplifting

·             Recreational jetboating was more controlled than racing

·             A 5 knot speed restriction negatively impacted the handling of a jetboat as they are designed to be driven on a plane (15-20 knots), especially through shallow water

·             Had witnessed fellow jetboaters following maritime rules, e.g. slowing around other water users

·             Opposed a blanket 5 knot rule for the whole river;  parts of the river unsuitable for swimming were suitable for jetboating.

In Response to Questions:

·             Rivers used by jetboaters for club runs included: Tarawera river, Kaituna river, Rangitāiki river, Whirinaki river, Motu river, Waioeka river

·             Jetboats could be used on the ocean as they were good for crossing bars, however they handled better in relatively flat water

·             Provided clarification of paragraph 9 – strongly supported the retention of the speed uplifting, not its removal

·             Reluctance to apply for exemptions for day trips as there were aspects which made this challenging.


9.18 am

Miles Patterson

Key Points:

·             Topic 1: Kaituna River speed uplifting. Supported Option 2, introduce designated swimming area

·             Had observed swimmers near to and jumping from the jetty/boat ramp, the wharf, the Bell road boat ramp, the Waitangi bridge and the rail bridge

·             Highlighted the importance of understanding the locations people naturally conduct activities to enable better enforcement

·             Suggested using landmarks plus distances to articulate speed limit locations, supported by clear, correct signage

·             Supported a speed limit uplift from Kaituna cut to the Bell road boat ramp, but 5 knots enforced around swimming locations.

In Response to Questions:

·             Had observed white baiters and those fishing winding their lines in for boats

·             Increased education in maritime law was key, such as 5 knots when within 50m of vessel or swimmer.


9.35 am

Michael McLennan (via Zoom)

Tabled Document 7: Michael McLennan Evidence.

Key Points:

·             Topic 4, Hunters Creek/Otapu Ski Lane

·             Supported an extension to the ski lane to include Duck Bay, this would increase safety by allowing more turning space

·             Supported speed uplifting for non-towing boats within Hunters Creek/Otapu to increase safety with all boats travelling at a similar speed.

In Response to Questions:

·             Suggested temporary moorings away from the ski lane with a 2 hour limit to reduce people landing on beaches.


9.55 am - The hearing adjourned.

10.13 am - The hearing reconvened.



Sub #

10.14 am

Amy Marfall, Waikato Regional Water Safety Strategy Advisory Group

Key Points:

·             Supported section 3.1, clause 3.1.3 and supported removal of 2.1.4 from the 2017 bylaws

·             Aligning Personal Floatation Device (PFD) rules within regional bylaws would reduce confusion when entering Waikato waterways.

In Response to Questions:

·             Waikato regional bylaws had mandated the use of PFDs

·             The Advisory Group provided knowledge and information to assess risks as well as life-saving equipment.


10.55 am - The hearing adjourned.

12.25 pm The hearing reconvened.



Sub #

12.31 pm

Myles Reid

Tabled Document 8: Myles Reid Presentation

Key Points:

·             Topic 1: Kaituna River speed uplifting. Supported Option 1, Status Quo

·             Highlighted issues with boy racers in boat ramp car parks

·             Rules were already in place to go 5 knots when within 50 metres of a swimmer. It was unnecessary to add a blanket speed limit.

In Response to Questions:

·             Considered the option of speed limits during whitebait season

·             Exiting the bar was working well. Boats crossed the bar between 2 hours either side of high tide and passed through the middle of the river not affecting the fishing.


12.45 am - The hearing adjourned.

1.15 pm The hearing reconvened.



Sub #

1.15 pm

Paora Stanley, Ngai Te Rangi Runanga and Ngai Te Rangi iwi Settlement Trust via Zoom

Minute Note: Due to technical issues, Paora Stanley provided a recording of his oral submission.

Key Points:

·             Topic 4: Hunters Creek/Otapu Ski Lane. Supported Option 4, remove ski lane

·             Jet skiing was the most contentious issue for Ngāi Te Rangi Hapū and Marae

·             Jet skis destroy environmental features. People litter and defecate on the islands

·             More boat berths were needed for residents of Matakana/Rangiwāea Islands

·             Sea biscuits are used with limited control, near-misses had been witnessed, particularly around Motuhoa Island

·             Buoy lights and markers were difficult to see when entering the harbour due to the Port lights; it was easy to become disorientated.

551 / 554

1.35 pm

Biel Whānau, Tapuika

Presented by: Ashley Biel, Te Matai Biel, Hinetai Biel, Te Rangiwhakatakaa Wheto Biel and Helen Biel

Tabled Document 9: Biel Whānau Presentation

Key Points:

·             Topic 1: Kaituna River speed uplifting. Supported Option 3, remove all speed uplifting from the entire river

·             Supportive of passive uses such as kayaking

·             Supported the improvement of the river’s health, traditional swimming locations had been lost due to poor water quality

·             Required access during cultural ceremonies and practices; this would reinforce kaitiakitanga  and cultural empowerment

·             The river was used for swimming and rafting, there were safety issues for whānau and mokopuna

·             There was a lack of rule enforcement on the river

·             Did not support Option 2 - designated swimming areas, as did not agree with allocating areas for swimming.

In Response to Questions:

·             Did not swim downstream of the treatment plant but practiced waka ama there

·             The river was used for swimming up to and beyond Showgrounds road. There were many swimming holes, places for waka ama and places for rafting along the river.

447 / 453 / 463 / 485 / 528 / 534 / 544 / 550 / 556 / 558 / 570

2.20 pm

Denham Cooke

Tabled Document 10: Denham Cooke Presentation

Key Points:

·             Topic 4: Hunters Creek/Otapu Ski Lane. Supported Option 1, Status Quo

·             Straight lines and speeds of up to 80mph were required for barefoot water skiing

·             Status quo in Hunters Creek was safe: sheltered from most wind directions, straight lines of the minimum required length (800m), no other vessels e.g. commercials, and there were easily identifiable channels. It was the only useable ski lane option in the Tauranga Harbour

·             Further restricting the space would concentrate vessels increasing the risk of interactions reducing safety. There had been a continual loss of water ski areas.

In Response to Questions:

·             Was disappointed to hear people abused the islands. Suggested increased public education.


2.35 pm

Vance Skudder

Tabled Document 11: Vance Skudder Kaituna River Map

Key Points:

·             Topic 1: Kaituna River speed uplifting

·             The river was a key aspect of their genealogy

·             Kaituna River Document aspirations of restore, protect and enhance should be acknowledged, particularly Objective 3 – water quality and mauri

·             Supported the proposed 5 knots speed limit as it was safer for swimmers and there were many swimming holes throughout the Kaituna

·             At Te Matai Marae jet boaters had requested swimmers leave the river. There was a danger of swimmers underwater not hearing the boats and boats not seeing them.

In Response to Questions:

·             The Kaituna River Document contained recommended swimming locations, e.g. Mangorewa River to the expressway bridge, however, families were located all the way along the river.

 516 / 517 / 518 / 519 / 520 / 521 / 523

2.55 pm - The hearing adjourned.

3.44 pm - The hearing reconvened.



Sub #

3.45 pm

Shane Killingback

Key Points:

·             Topic 4: Hunters Creek/Otapu Ski Lane

·             Supported reverting to original Hunters Creek/Otapu ski lane to increase safety. Previous changes had made it more restrictive, more congested, narrower and had created a less safe environment

·             Larger, clearer signage and an appropriate 5 knot marker buoy was required

·             Had not witnessed issues with littering

·             Boat wakes caused less damage than storms/king tides.

In Response to Questions:

·             More users in summer, 3-4 at a time with fewer at the top end and very few during school/work hours

·             A minimum of 250m was required to do six turns (slalom course), space was needed to turn safely and 500-600m of straight run to ski effectively

·             Suggested non-towing boats be able to travel across the area faster than 5 knots

·             Supported an extension into Duck Bay, to increase safety. This would provide a better view of boats and a wider channel which could be seen clearly from either end and provide a clear run for skiers

·             The other ski lane by Matakana Island was not safe as there were too many boats and no shelter from wind due to the felled trees.


4.16 pm

Brett Waterhouse

Tabled Document 12: Brett Waterhouse Presentation Photos

Tabled Document 13: Kaituna River Rediversion Document

Key Points:

·             Topic 1: Kaituna River speed uplifting

·             Noted the shifted bar and recent significant changes to the river mouth

·             Suggested increased signage for surf casters demonstrating rules and responsibilities, and the need to position these in locations the fishermen can see them. Highlighted the danger of braids and sinkers to boats and jet skiers

·             Navigational Aids:

o   Reflective triangle when entering the river should be reinstated

o   Bar camera was very useful but should be positioned higher on the pole

·             Regular river users, e.g. commercial fishermen, were happy to share information to enhance safety.

In Response to Questions:

·             Suggested a 5 knot limit on the bend around to the location of the coast guard. This would ensure skippers slowed and could check the bar and allow fishermen time to wind in their lines.


4.42 pm - The hearing adjourned.

9.00 am, Thursday 4 April 2024 - The hearing reconvened.



Sub #

9.05 am

Gordy Lockhart, Mount Water Bikes

Tabled Document 14: Gordy Lockhart (Mount Water Bikes) Presentation

Key Points:

·             The proposed swim lane would render Mount Water Bikes unable to operate at low tide on Pilot Bay. As this was approximately 50% of the time, the business would become uneconomical to continue and could not relocate

·             Continuous lane markers in Pilot Bay would be unsafe.

In Response to Questions:

·             Water bikes used the entire length of Pilot Bay out to the 1st line of moorings

·             There were five water bikes; it would be less safe to condense them into a restricted area

·             Currently operated in a very safety-conscious manner: slow speeds, radio contact, constant monitoring, rescue craft, life jackets and an allocated area

·             Had observed some unsafe jet ski behaviour in Pilot Bay.


9.25 am

Chris Bredenbeck, Waikato Regional Council Harbourmaster

Key Points:

·             Strongly supported compulsory wearing of PFD and the removal of clause 2.1.4 which allowed skipper discretion

·             Councils not having compulsory PFD rules were in the minority and included: Southland District Council, Queenstown Lakes District Council, Canterbury Regional Council, Nelson City Council, Wellington Regional Council, Northland Regional Council, Gisborne District Council, Hawkes Bay Regional Council, Taupō and Auckland Council

·             Consistency of compulsory PFD rules would aid enforcement.

In Response to Questions:

·             A $200 infringement fee was consistent with Waikato. Considered this deterrent enough and a higher fee would not increase compliance

·             Skippers from other regions pushed back on the rules; time and money was spent promoting Waikato rules in other areas.


09.45 CT

Ngaraima Taingahue (Matakana Island and Rangiwāea Island)

Presented by: Enoka Rolleston, Ngaraima Taingahue, Charlie Tawhiao, Mikaere Sydney and Mark Murray

Tabled Document 15: Matakana and Rangiwāea Islands Residents Ski Lane Presentation

Key Points:

·             Topic 4: Hunters Creek/Otapu Ski Lane. Supported Option 4, remove ski lane

·             Represented 5 hapū and 200+ residents

·             Water skiers showed a lack of knowledge and regard for the rules and for other users. They abused the islands and there was a lack of enforcement

·             No regard was shown for culturally significant aspects, such as the urupa by the ski lane

·             Mokopuna waka ama practiced in Otapu as it was the most culturally appropriate place for their training

·             The ski lane created an exclusive use for a minority group, there was a growing demand for use of the space by other recreational users.

In Response to Questions:

·             Other users were peaceful and used Otapu as a haven, e.g. yachts, there were no issues with these users

·             Whānau as part time wardens may result in conflict with users

·             The ski lane created danger for residents and mokopuna swimming.


11.15 am - The hearing adjourned.

11.31 am - The hearing reconvened.



Sub #

11.32 am

Jetboating NZ (JBNZ)

Presented by: Chris Thomsen, Katherine (Katie) McNabb and Allen Meredith

Tabled Document 16: Jetboating NZ - Written Submission

Tabled Document 17: Jetboating NZ – Evidence of Katie McNabb

Tabled Document 18: Jetboating NZ – Evidence of Allen Meredith

Tabled Document 19: Jetboating NZ – Presentation Photos

Key Points:

·             Topic 1: Kaituna River speed uplifting and Topic 2: Tarawera River speed uplifting

·             Slow speeds were not the safest way to operate a jet boat, they were designed to travel on the plane. Speed uplifting did not mean unlimited speed but a Skippers call to drive to the conditions

·             Environmental concerns were not within the scope of Navigation Safety Bylaws

·             The Maritime Rules were sufficient to prevent collision. If signage sufficiently instructed boat users to drive at 5 knots by swimmers, an additional 5 knot swimming area was not necessary. It may cause boats users to think swimmers were not elsewhere on the river

·             No record of a jetboat harming a swimmer previously

·             Requested paragraph 18 of the Written Submission be dismissed and within footnote 16 the last word evidence be changed to submission.

In Response to Questions:

·             Point 37 clarification – retention of uplifting east of Matatā to Whakatāne. The coastal road as opposed to SH2

·             Straightforward rules, education for boat users and  clear signage was required. Option 1 would be challenging to manage

·             Roughly 20-25% of jetboaters belonged to JBNZ; there were approximately 3,500 members. Jet boaters made up approximately 0.06 of the total boating population.


12.38 pm – the hearing closed.




                                                                                                                    Cr Andrew von Dadelszen

Chairperson, Bay of Plenty Regional Navigation Safety Bylaws Review Committee