Positive response to new boat ID system

Boaties are responding well to Environment Canterbury’s new rules on vessel identification.

“Our Harbourmaster’s office has been out and about in the Canterbury region, chatting to boaties about the new requirements and the response we’ve had so far is encouraging,” said Environment Canterbury Navigation Safety Officer Gary Manch.

As part of the Navigation Safety Bylaw 2016, all vessels in Canterbury need to have an identifying name or number displayed on each side.

“Some vessels are already identified, which is great to see. Those who haven’t yet got their identification sorted have generally been very receptive and willing to chat to us about it, so we’re confident we’ll see even more progress over the next few years,” he said.

“We knew the first few years would be a bedding in period, and we’re looking forward to getting out on the water and down at boat ramps again this summer to educate people on their obligations.

“Most people who go boating on our region’s waterways do so safely and sensibly, but this ID system will make it easier for us to contact that small group who we do get complaints about.”

What a proper ID looks like

The identifying name or number could be printed on a large sticker at a sign or print shop. It needs to be:

  • A contrasting colour to the boat
  • At least 90 millimetres high
  • Above the waterline
  • Visible from 50 metres away

The name or number would be the boat’s trailer registration number, radio call sign, Maritime New Zealand registration number, or sporting organisation number.

For example, the Harbourmaster’s jetski pictured above clearly shows the ID “IR555”, which is also the trailer number. It is printed on both sides of the jet ski in large white letters against the black background.

Paddleboards and kayaks exempt

Non-powered vessels under six metres long – like paddleboards and kayaks – only need to have the owner’s name and contact details somewhere on board, which could be written with a marker pen.

Learn more about the rule change

To read more about the vessel identification rules, visit ecan.govt.nz/bylaw.