Introduction - Our role

Boating in Northland has a range of information to help keep you safe while you're out enjoying Northland's unique coastal environment.

Keep this booklet handy while you're out on the water – you'll find advice on safe boating, local rules, tide tables for 2018-2019 and more.

For more information, visit: or contact the council's Harbourmasters Office staff on 0800 002 004.

Useful contacts

Northland Regional Council

Report pollution, oil spills, navigation hazards and dangerous boating to the 24/7 Environmental Hotline:
0800 504 639.

Ministry for Primary Industries

For general enquiries, fishing and shellfish rules or to report a poacher or something out of the ordinary in the water:
0800 00 83 33.
To report illegal fishing activities:
0800 476 224.

Department of Conservation

To report fishing in marine reserves or whale or dolphin strandings:
0800 362 468.


For marine weather forecasts go to or phone:
Metphone 0900 99909 (toll call).


Find the Coastguard for your area at:

ISSN 2253-5039 (Print)
ISSN 2253-5047 (Online)

Disclaimer (As of May 2018)

We have endeavoured to ensure that the information in this publication is accurate and current. However, we do not accept liability for any error or omission. The information that appears in this publication is intended to provide the best advice that the above organisations have had access to. It may be subject to change at any time, without notice. The Northland Regional Council takes no responsibility whatsoever for the currency and/or accuracy of this information, its completeness or fitness for purpose. All references to regional and district council legal requirements were correct at the time of printing. Maps contain data sourced from Land Information New Zealand (Crown Copyright Reserved).

Our role

Our job as your regional council is to keep Northland's harbours safe for everyone to enjoy.

Men on inflatable boat.


Eye on the coast

We have a Regional Harbourmaster who heads an experienced team at the Northland Harbourmaster's office. These officers:

  • Carry out regular harbour patrols to make sure harbour users are sticking to the rules (they can issue an instant fine if you are breaking a harbour bylaw. Find out more at or go to the Safety Information section);
  • Make sure more than 300 navigation aids are kept in good condition;
  • Respond to incidents reported by the public;
  • Respond to marine pollution incidents like oil spills;
  • Manage mooring licenses – find out more at or go to the Moorings section;
  • Promote harbour safety;
  • Help pilot ships safely into our harbours; and
  • Assist organisations in holding on water events.  Find out more at

Spot a problem? Call us…

Our region has the largest coastline in New Zealand and we need your help to keep it in the best state possible. If you spot something on one of our harbours please call our 24/7 Environmental Hotline:
0800 504 639

Things we want to know about include:

  • Suspected sewage discharges;
  • Oil spills;
  • Chemical spills;
  • Navigation light breakdowns;
  • Dangerous boating;
  • Maritime bylaw infringements;
  • Suspected pollution of any sort; and
  • Sinking or drifting vessels, derelict vessels, wrecks.

Our harbour wardens

The Northland Regional Council has several harbour wardens helping to keep an eye on our harbours – from Mangawhai in the south to Houhora in the north.

The harbour wardens have the authority – under the Northland Regional Council Navigation Safety Bylaw 2017 – to enforce the navigation bylaws. They educate people, raising public awareness about navigation and safety. They ensure everybody gets the opportunity to enjoy water activities safely. Find out who they are at

Woman and child waving to a boat.