Marine pollution

Can I discharge here?

Non-discharge areas and Marina sewage Pump-out Facility locations

Our free offline Northland Boat Discharge Rules App provides your location in relation to; Marina Pump-out Facilities, Marine farms, Anchoring Restrictions, Marine Pollution Regulation and Limits.

Follow these steps to download the App to help you follow the rules while out on the water.

Stop harbour pollution

In our harbours, untreated sewage can contaminate the shellfish we eat or make water unsafe for swimming for a long time after its discharged.

If you’re a boat owner, help protect our harbours by disposing of your boat sewage properly. 

To report pollution, phone our Environmental Hotline on 0800 504 639.

Vessel sewage management

Under Northland rules, it's illegal to stay overnight in the marine pollution limits (see maps)– even at anchor – without a proper way of treating or containing your boat's sewage. This means having (and providing proof if requested):

  • A well-maintained treatment system that complies with the Marine Pollution Regulations; or
  • A sewage holding tank, a portable toilet or a composting toilet 
  • It is illegal for one or more people to stay overnight on a vessel with a sewage holding tank or composting toilet for more than 10 preceding nights (consecutive or not) if the vessel has not:
    - pumped out all of the sewage from the vessel’s sewage holding tank at a sewage pump-out facility, or
    - navigated into waters seaward of the marine pollution limit. 

Marine pollution rules

There are strict rules covering sewage discharges into Northland waters. Failure to comply with the rules is likely to result in formal enforcement action.

Open the Proposed Regional Plan (Appeals Version) and go to section C.1.2.2 - Vessels - sewage management - permitted activity (pg 56) (PDF, 6.5MB)

Treat, flush it offshore or pump it out

Un-treated sewage from boats should be discharged well outside of harbours or at a marina pumping facility.

Marina pump-out facilities
This map shows the location of marina pump-out facilities in Northland.

Download the pump-out facility map and information about staying on your boat overnight (PDF, 770KB)

Marina pump-out facilities in Northland.

What is Treated boat sewage?

Grade A or Grade B? These two grades of treated sewage systems are described in the Resource Management (Marine Pollution) Regulations 1998.

Grade A sewage treatment systems - www.legislation.govt.nz 

Grade B sewage treatment systems - www.legislation.govt.nz

Useful information

Download the 'Sewage systems for recreational boaties' from the www.mfe.govt.nz website (PDF, 370KB)

Download 'Waste Management Handbook for Inshore Vessels' from the www.seafoodnewzealand.org.nz website (PDF, 1.49MB)

Environmental Hotline 0800 504 639