Hazards, boating notices and events

If you're planning an event out on the water, get in touch with us at harbourmaster@ecan.govt.nz

Here you'll find current information about hazards, temporary boating notices, Harbourmaster approvals and events in the Canterbury region.

Report an incident, accident or hazard

An incident may be bad behaviour on the water, an accident, a boat crash, and a hazard, a log sticking out of the water.

To report a hazard or unsafe behaviour out on the water, please get in touch with our Harbourmaster's Office:

Canterbury notices and events

Boat washed up in Corsair Bay

The Harbourmaster’s Office is aware of the boat lying upside down on the beach in Corsair Bay. Please do not climb on or go near the boat. We are working with the owner and contractors to have it removed as soon as possible. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact harbourmaster@ecan.govt.nz

Hazards notified to the Harbourmaster's Office

These hazards are ones that are considered to be out of the ordinary for their location, rather than the kinds of things that any prudent vessel skipper or boatie would normally be looking out for. It should not be considered an exhaustive list of any and all hazards.


Aquatic Weed Spraying, Lake Benmore

27 May 2022

Boat-based aquatic weed spraying is scheduled to be carried out on Lake Benmore next week from Monday, 30th May 2022.
The following sites may be targeted for treatment:

  • Sailors Cutting
  • The Neck

Diquat in gel form will be used to treat aquatic weeds targeting Lagarosiphon major. This work is dependent on suitable weed, water and weather conditions and therefore the timing is subject to change.

Advertisements have been placed in the Timaru Herald and The Press to notify the public of this operation. Signage will be placed at key public access points and boat ramps 24 hours prior to and post control.

We recommend a 24 hour stand-down on swimming, fishing or taking water for irrigation or domestic supply once the spraying is complete.

Please read the Diquat factsheet produced by NIWA. This has some really good information on how and why we control aquatic weed.

If you have any questions in relation to this work, please feel free to call us on 0800 638 943 or keep up to date with treatment progress nearer to the time on the LINZ website.  

Oil spill in Lyttelton Harbour

6-9 May 2022

We are responding to a spill of oil from an unknown source in Lyttelton’s Inner Harbour. Our Marine Oil Spill Response Team, led by Regional On-Scene Commander (Oil spills) Emma Parr, is on site and taking action to assess and minimize any impact of the oil.

9 May 2022: Update

Small quantities of an unknown product are still present on the water in areas of the Lyttelton Inner Harbour (Te Whakaraupō). The product has weathered and dispersed significantly but is still thick at some points between ships and jetty piles. We will continue to assess and monitor the spill and its source.

Historic fencing may pose risk in Canterbury rivers

5 January 2021

Rivers including the Poulter, Waiau, Waipara and Okuku may be adjacent to historic fencing that could encroach on the waterways.

River users are advised to check the area they are boating in prior to using the river. Before entering the water please ensure you are aware of any hazards and take safety precautions to avoid getting entangled.

If you come across any man-made hazards on the river, please take a photograph with details of the exact location and send it to harbourmaster@ecan.govt.nz. If you are also aware of the contact details for the adjoining landowners, please also forward this information. We can then update our hazards page so the public is aware of any action being taken to remediate the issue.

Boaties beware of submerged debris in Lake Aviemore

5 January 2021

A sub-surface hazard approximately 4.5km upstream of SH1 Bridge has been notified by Transpower. River users are advised to navigate with extra caution in this area. Updates will be provided as the removal work progresses.

Transpower recently completed restoration work following damage to the Roxburgh to Islington transmission line, which was caused by the flooding of the Rangitata River in December 2019.

One transmission tower, Tower 771, had to be replaced in a new location. The damaged tower structure has been removed, however, due to river levels, the remains of the tower foundations have not been able to be retrieved. These are currently 1–2m below the surface.

When flow conditions are favourable, plans to remove the foundations will be put in place. The foundations are expected to be removed in early 2021.

A yellow buoy has been attached to the foundation and will be checked during regular line patrols. Coordinates of both the old tower and new tower are shown:

Rangitata river hazard location map

Various waterways in the Canterbury Region

1 November 2018

Fluctuating water levels on various waterways, including rivers, lakes, and lagoons in Canterbury may result in fences, waratahs, or other objects being obscured from view and sitting below the surface. All water users are strongly recommended to exercise caution and keep your speed to 5 knots or less within 200 metres of the shore, unless the area is uplifted or has any other form of speed exemption. It is the responsibility of the skipper of the vessel to ensure that the area you are using is navigable and safe to transit.

Waimakariri River - exposed railway iron

21 September 2018

We have recently discovered a line of old railway iron that has become exposed, which is in the central part of one of the main flows of the Waimakariri River, on the true right bank between the two lines of pylons just upstream of Haul Road (between 18.5km and 19km upstream of the mouth).

Depending on the current river flow, they may be visible above water level or may be submerged. River users, particularly jet boaters, are advised to take extreme caution in this area, or avoid travelling on this braid if possible.

These irons will be removed as soon as flow conditions allow. Please call 0800 324 636 with any questions.

Lower Clarence River / Waiau Toa - navigation safety hazards - sputniks

30 January 2015

Sputniks are large concrete blocks with protruding steel beams that were historically used on rivers for bank protection. Many still exist on some rivers, including several in the lower Clarence / Waiau Toa, some of which are navigation safety hazards for those boating the river. For more information see the Sputniks notice (PDF 710 kB).

Brooklands Lagoon - submerged objects

30 January 2015

Submerged and semi-submerged objects including tree stumps have been reported in the Brooklands Lagoon water ski area. Users of this area are advised to exercise caution as these objects may be difficult to see, particularly if navigating at towing speed.

Navigation safety alerts

Navigation Safety Alert: Jet Skis at Sumner Bay Beach

Since mid-2020, the Harbourmaster’s Office has observed numerous instances of unlawful jet ski activity within the Reserved Area of Sumner Bay.

Power-driven vessels are prohibited in the reserved area of Sumner Bay. No power boating is permitted from the beach out to 400m where the reserved area ends, unless transiting directly from or to the nearest point outside the reserved area.


Temporary boating notices

The following information includes temporary regulations made under the Navigation Safety Bylaw 2016 and Controls (PDF File, 5.69MB) for specific short-term purposes, such as powerboat races or large-scale swim events. It also includes minor changes to Bylaw rules for particular areas the water user community has asked for and supports.

Temporary boating notices


South Island rowing regatta dates, Lake Ruataniwha, 2021/22 


  • 8 October: R2k Singles Regatta
  • 8-9 October: Mainland Interprovincial Championships
  • 29-30 October: Aoraki 1k Regatta
  • 10-11 December: Meridian Otago Championships


  • 14-15 January: Meridian Canterbury Championships
  • 28-29 January: Meridian South Island Championships
  • 14-18 February: New Zealand Championships
  • 19 February: NZ Championships Spare Day
  • 11-12 March: Meridian South Island Secondary Schools Championships

New Brighton Power Boat Club 2021/22 season


  • January 16: Club day
  • January 30: Club day
  • February 20: Club day
  • March 27: Club day
  • May 8: Club day
  • May 22: Closing day