December update: Kaikōura zone delivery lead

Kaikōura zone delivery lead Kevin Heays

Kaikōura zone delivery lead Kevin Heays

Kaikōura zone delivery lead Kevin Heays provides us with some key messages about being safe on the water this summer.

Another year has flown by, another some would perhaps happily leave behind given the challenges COVID-19 has presented.

As I sign off for 2021, there are a few things I’d like you to keep in mind over the silly season – as always, these things will help keep you, your whānau, your friends, your environment, and our staff, who will be on incident response over the break, safe.

She’ll be right… until it’s not - Summer boating safety

We live in a beautiful, wild, coastal environment which means summer brings with it more people out on the water, be it locals, semi-locals or those visiting.

Before setting out on the water, I’d encourage you to go to saferboating.org.nz for all the information you need to check you’re prepared for a day out on the water. For Canterbury specific information you can head to ecan.govt.nz/gethomesafe.

Our core message is always that everyone should follow the five key points in the Safer Boating Code:

  1. Wear a lifejacket regardless of the conditions
  2. Take two waterproof ways to call for help and keep your phone in a dry bag
  3. Check the marine weather forecast (if you’re going out on the ocean) or the rural forecast (if you’re heading out on lakes or rivers)
  4. Avoid alcohol
  5. Be a responsible skipper.

And as always, check your gear before you leave. If the boat’s been in the garage for a while, make sure it’s ticking over and up to scratch. Check your lifejackets for wear and tear, and repair or replace them if needed. It’s better to have a safe lifejacket that you don’t end up using, than an unsafe one that doesn’t work should you need it.

Summer risks, rules, and keeping things tidy

Fire rules and safety

As is always the case, fire lighting, especially during summer, has rules to protect people and the planet. Find out more about our outdoor-burning rules, including no fires on properties under two hectares.

Fire Emergency New Zealand has its own seasonal restrictions and permitting requirements. Even if your burning is within the Environment Canterbury rules, be sure to check if it’s an open, restricted, or prohibited fire season. Visit checkitsalright.nz for more information.

Reporting rubbish

If you see any rubbish that’s out of place, make sure you report it. You can do this by calling our Incident Response Line on 0800 765 588 for dumped waste at river sites. Please try to provide an accurate location, time(s) and date(s) the incident was observed, and a full description of the activity, including images, if available.

You can also download Snap Send Solve, which is a smartphone app to help make reporting incidents easy. It uses your phone's location to provide an accurate address and can capture photos to help us to identify and investigate the issue.

Travel safe

If you’re taking a trip somewhere, drive to the conditions and be aware of other road users. It would be great to give our hardworking local emergency response staff a break too.

Office closure

Our office will be closed from 4.30pm Thursday 23 December 2021 until 8am Thursday 6 January 2022. If you have an urgent general enquiry during this time, you can call Environment Canterbury on 0800 324 636.

Our regional customer support, consents and compliance services will be available until 5pm Thursday 23 December 2021. We will reopen at 8am Thursday 6 January 2022. 

During the holiday period (24 December - 5 January) we have after-hours support available for emergencies on 03 364 8398. We will also have services available for commercial shipping enquiries, recreational boating incidents, park ranger and incident response. 

Summer students

We’ve got two summer students coming to work for us over the summer period. They’ll be helping Heath out in the biodiversity space. If you see them around, be sure to give them a wave and say hello – let’s give them the Kaikōura welcome and make sure they have a happy (and educational) summer in our wonderful slice of paradise.

Share this kōrero

Download and share these messages about keeping our coastline safe.

Look after yourselves

And lastly, although a time of relaxing for many, it can also be a time of stress. Look after yourselves, your friends, your whānau, and your environment.

Have one for me.

Until next year,

Kev