Swing moorings

Here you can find everything you need to know about swing moorings in Canterbury/Waitaha, including details on the services we offer and the annual fees associated with swing moorings.

There are approximately 700 swing moorings in Canterbury — mainly in and around Lyttelton Harbour/Whakaraupō and Akaroa Harbour. 

Others are dotted around Banks Peninsula, Moncks Bay, Kaikōura, Kaiapoi River and the Tekapo/Takapō outlet.

Swing moorings are privately owned but the Harbourmaster’s Office manages their placement and safety under the Navigation Safety Bylaw.

About swing moorings

Swing moorings are generally concrete blocks positioned on the sea bed with a series of chains attached to a buoy which floats on the water. The top chain or rope is attached to the vessel. Currents, wind and weather conditions affect the way vessels ‘swing’ around their mooring blocks.

There are about 670 swing moorings in Canterbury. In Lyttelton Harbour/ Whakaraupō, you’ll find the majority of them at Cass/Corsair Bays and Purau. In Akaroa Harbour, the moorings are mostly in Akaroa township, Takamatua, French Farm and Tikao Bay.

Other locations include the Eastern bays of Banks Peninsula, Moncks Bay, Kaikōura, Kaiapoi River and Tekapo/Takapō outlet. The Regional Coastal Environment Plan sets out designated moorings areas in Canterbury's coastal areas.

You can view authorised swing mooring locations on Canterbury Maps. Use this info sheet for instructions (PDF file,1.26MB).

All moorings in designated areas require authorisation from the Harbourmaster. Moorings outside designated areas require permission of the Harbourmaster and unless the mooring was lawfully established before July 2009, they also require resource consent.

All moorings must be inspected annually to meet specifications. A mooring is only authorised for a vessel of up to a certain length.

Swing mooring services

Here you can find additional information on applying for a new mooring location or purchasing an existing one. Learn about the process of modifying mooring specifications, updating personal or vessel details and cancelling a mooring. You can also request a mooring inspection and find a mooring contractor.

New moorings

New swing mooring within a designated mooring area

You can apply for a new mooring position within a designated mooring area by completing the online application form (HAR001).

Some designated mooring areas have a waiting list. Send us your application form so we can put you on a list. We will notify you when a position becomes available in the area of your choice.

Please include the fee and a photo of your intended vessel with your application form. Once you have received your mooring authorisation, the mooring may be constructed and installed. 

When the mooring is installed you must provide a mooring inspection report (PDF file, 355 KB) to the Harbourmaster’s Office to demonstrate the mooring meets the required specifications.

New swing mooring outside of a designated mooring area

Please note, that a new swing mooring outside a designated mooring area will also require resource consent (PDF 93KB). For more information on this, see the mooring resource consent information sheet (PDF 94KB).

Existing moorings

Buying an existing mooring

The mooring equipment (eg, block, chain, shackles, etc) are the property of the mooring owner and may be sold.

The position the mooring occupies is not something that may be sold or purchased. There are mooring waiting lists in place for the mooring management areas and any mooring space will be allocated to a person on the waiting list.

It is recommended that you ensure the mooring equipment is right for you and your vessel.

Information on existing moorings

If you have checked that the mooring is right for you and your vessel, and are able to proceed, please complete the online application form (HAR001) and pay the application fee (information on "Fees, payment and invoicing" in the dropdown below).

Please contact the Harbourmaster's Office if you have any further questions.

Inspections needed

All moorings must be inspected at least every 12 months and meet specifications. Forward the inspection report to the Harbourmaster’s Office within 10 days of the inspection. An additional fee applies when a mooring report is submitted late. Please fill in the mooring inspection report form (PDF file, 355 KB).

A person requesting an inspection: If you wish to apply to the Harbourmaster's Office for authorisation to inspect your own mooring, please read this information sheet (PDF file, 30KB) and complete the online application form (HAR003).

A company requesting an inspection: If you wish to apply to the Harbourmaster's Office for authorisation to inspect a mooring, please read this information sheet (PDF file 30 KB) and complete the online application form (HAR003).

Details of mooring contractors are below. Please fill in the swing mooring inspection report form (PDF file, 355 KB) (HAR002).

Mooring specifications

Mooring system specifications have changed over the years. A mooring that was authorised during a particular period may meet the specification relating to that period. When a component on the mooring system needs repair, the Harbourmaster requires the component to be replaced to meet the current specification.

Read the current Swing mooring specification for the Canterbury region (PDF file 983 KB).

Updating personal contacts or vessel information

You must notify Environment Canterbury if you change your postal address or contact details.

Also please contact the Harbourmaster's Office to let us know if you would like to change the vessel attached to your mooring. Please include the vessel name, type, length overall, beam, draught and displacement.

If you are a mooring owner who has arranged to lease a mooring out, please fill in this form.

If you are planning to moor your vessel on a mooring that is not owned by you, please complete this form.

Cancel your mooring

If you no longer wish to keep your mooring, you can surrender the authorisation by reading this information sheet (PDF file, 23 KB) and completing this online application form (HAR003). The mooring (block, chain, rope and buoy) may need to be removed from the sea floor.

Waiting lists, registering and leaving a mooring vacant

There are often waiting lists for new moorings in designated mooring areas. To apply to be added to the waiting list please complete this authorisation form.

If you wish to advertise or lease a mooring, visit our mooring lease page.

If you wish to leave your mooring vacant for more than 6 months, please read the information sheet (PDF file, 29 KB) and complete the online application form (HAR003).

Mooring contractors

Inspection of a mooring can be carried out by a hired contractor or a competent person. Mooring contractors’ contact details are listed below.

Please note these are contractors that work in the Canterbury region but the council does not provide any approval for them.

Banks Peninsula

Maritime Specialist Services Ltd
 03 328 8400
or call Nigel Banks, Managing Director on
 021 955 530

 03 328 8322
or call Dwayne Pool on
 027 439 8169


Akaroa Moorings
Otto Roessink
 022 341 3622


Purau Moorings Association
Daniel Petrache
 027 201 2229

Mooring Contractor checklist
  Marinetec Engineering Maritime Specialist Services Akaroa Moorings
Vessel compliant with MNZ Law MOSS
Operating a commercial vessel that is certified under Maritime New Zealand Law, with a current Maritime Operator Safety System
Certificates of Components
Can supply test certificates showing safe work loads/breaking strains of chains, shackles, ropes
Carry out Construction, Installation, Inspection and Repairs to Environment Canterbury Standard
Inspections and repairs meet Environment Canterbury Standards
Can construct and install specialised new mooring systems
Naval Architect/Marine Engineer available/employed to design mooring systems
Offers integrated moorings management to mooring owners
Provide regular inspections, maintenance and explanation of moorings, submit inspection reports on behalf of the owner
Qualified Specialists Used
Certified Commercial Divers, certified welders, certified lifting equipment and certified operators of lifting equipment
GPS Recording
Have the appropriate equipment and knowledge to correctly record the GPS position of a mooring position
Public Liability Insurance
Has a current certificate of insurance cover for public liability insurance
Length of time servicing moorings
This is the year that this contractor has been registered on Environment Canterbury's website
2012 2009 2012

Purchasing a slipway and/or associated boatshed

We only oversee the transfer of slipways and their associated boatsheds (PDF file, 108KB).
Slipways, and sometimes associated boatsheds, are not rateable. The owner is responsible and owns the slipway/boatshed but not the land it occupies.

As long as the slipway/boatshed remains, and is kept in a good state of repair, the slipway/boatshed is a permitted activity, which means the owner does not require resource consent for its use.
Please include transfer fee when submitting the application form.

For information on the rules about slipways and/or associated boatsheds, please read the slipways and boatsheds information sheet (PDF file, 72.26KB).

Mooring authorisation forms

Use these forms to apply for new swing moorings, cancel an existing mooring, change vessel details and how to lease/use private and council swing moorings.

Swing mooring fee

The annual swing mooring fee is $230 (inc GST). It provides for effective management of moorings and available space helping to ensure a safe and secure location for vessels.

Management includes ensuring all moorings are of a suitable construction standard and are maintained to that standard; ensuring moorings are being used by vessels of a suitable size; and that unauthorised, uninspected and non-maintained moorings are removed.

Swing mooring fee for administration, supervision and monitoring $230.00 (per year)
Swing mooring fee towards the removal of wrecks/abandoned vessels from swing moorings. Find out more about what is covered in the fees. $57.50 (per year)
Charge for processing an application for approval of a swing mooring, or a variation to an existing mooring authorisation $287.50 (per application)
Fee for receiving and processing of a mooring inspection report not provided to the Regional Harbourmaster in accordance with clause 27(4), 27(6), 27(2) $115.00 (as needed)

Swing moorings for lease

You can lease swing moorings either privately or through the council.

Find out how to list a mooring and your responsibilities after the mooring has been leased.

View current moorings available for lease.


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