New boating guide now available

The Harbourmaster’s Office has released its free Canterbury Safer Boating Guide (PDF File, 12.42MB), which brings together all the key information boaties in our region need to follow for a safe summer on the water.

The guide includes maps, the regional Navigation Safety Bylaws and incorporates safety messages from Maritime New Zealand’s own Safer Boating Guide.

Essential information for anyone heading out on the water

The guide is packed with information every boatie should know, whether they’re on a kayak, paddle board, jet ski, sailboat or motorboat.

“This free guide has the essentials you need to follow for a safe day out on Canterbury’s waters; from coastal areas through to our braided rivers and inland lakes,” deputy harbourmaster (operational) Gary Manch said.

Tips include how to prepare and maintain your vessel, check your gear, choose the right lifejacket, communication tools you should carry, how to cross the bar and the safety rules you must follow to be a good skipper.

Manch said the guide is essential reading for people of all experience levels, whether new to the water or a lifelong boatie.

Make sure you know the regional Navigation Safety Bylaws before you go

Canterbury has ten regional councils who oversee specific boating rules, called Navigation Safety Bylaws, for their respective areas. Find out more about the regulations.

Manch said some district councils have specific rules in their district plans related to activities on the water, which are included in the new guide so boaties can easily access all the rules in one place.

“It’s important to know the rules before you venture out, otherwise you risk getting an infringement notice and fine if you’re caught not obeying them.  Bylaws are in place to ensure the safety of all boaties” said Manch.

The Harbourmaster’s Office will be out on the water across Canterbury this summer, talking to boaties about the key safety protocols and bylaws they must be following and making sure no one is putting themselves or others at risk, said Manch. 

“We want everyone to have a great time out on the water and get home safe,” he said.

Download the Canterbury Safer Boating Guide (PDF File, 12.42MB).

For more information and updates about boating in Canterbury visit