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Harbour management

http://www.gwrc.govt.nz/harbour-management

Harbour management

Updated 2 December 2020 2:20pm

No lifejacket? No excuse.

Lifejackets save lives. When out on the water everyone should be wearing a lifejacket.

Our Harbourmaster team hears all kinds of excuses, but it’s the skipper's responsibility to make sure everyone on board is safe and wearing a lifejacket. Accidents can occur suddenly without warning and you won’t always have time to put one on.

There are many different sizes and types of lifejacket and you need to make sure what you’re wearing is well-fitting, in good working order, and fit for purpose.

For more info, check out the Maritime NZ lifejacket page.


We provide safe and efficient maritime management for recreational and commercial users of our region's waters.

We operate a 24-hour harbour communication station, operate and maintain navigation aids in the region, manage mooring areas and respond to marine oil spills. 

The waters of our region extend from the Otaki River in the west to the Mataikona River north of Castlepoint in the east.

Report pollution or a hazard Plan an event

Safety on the water

A fundamental rule of being on the water is keeping a lookout and avoiding collision. If you are on a recreational boat of any type (powerboat, jetski, windsurfer, kayak etc) you need to avoid swimmers and large ships. Just as important is travelling at a safe speed, there are rules, bylaws and guidance about how you do this but those two rules are absolutely essential.

If you are within 200 metres of shore or 50 metres from a person in the water keep your speed below 5 knots. On Wellington harbour stay clear of large shipping.

If you are on the water always keep a good lookout for what is going on around you in order to stay safe. Read more.

How to contact us

During office hours, call:

After hours for urgent matters, eg marine oil spill or unsafe boating behaviour, you can contact us on  04 388 1911 or 04 473 4547.

Our office is on the first floor of the Meridian Building on Queens Wharf.