Posted: 24 July 2007
Navigation Bylaw changes proposed
The community is being asked for its views on proposed changes to a Northland Regional Council bylaw that has set the rules for maritime navigation and safety in the region since late 2001.
Ian Niblock, the Council’s Regional Harbourmaster, says a review is required by law before July next year, but is also necessary to take into account a number of developments since the bylaw took effect almost six years ago.
In a nutshell, the review aims to make sure the bylaw reflects changes to the Council’s Regional Coastal Plan, takes into account safety improvements resulting from analysis of previous maritime incidents and incorporates some new activities, like kiteboarding. It will also ensure the local bylaw reflects some subsequent changes to national maritime rules for navigation safety.
Mr Niblock says the Regional Council’s Maritime Team is currently seeking public comment on its ‘Draft Northland Regional Council Navigation Safety Bylaw 2007’, which incorporates all the necessary changes.
Copies of the draft bylaw are available on the Council’s website www.nrc.govt.nz or from Council offices in Whangarei, Dargaville, Opua or Kaitaia and submissions can be made until 3pm Wednesday 15 August.
He says the main changes to the existing bylaw include:
Extending the area the bylaw covers from one nautical mile to 12 nautical miles off the coast
Introduction of flagged areas on beaches for swimmers and body boarders
New clauses on moorings to ensure consistency with the Council’s Regional Coastal Plan for Northland and to help enforcement of certain rules in the plan
A new procedure for the immobilisation of a vessel’s main engine, for vessels over 500 gross tonnage.
Mr Niblock says the Council plans to hear public submissions on the draft bylaw in Whangarei on Monday 21 August.
Any changes needed as a result of the public submission process will then be made and the Council hopes to have the revised bylaw in place before the end of the year.