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Harbour management

Harbour management

Updated 21 November 2019 3:45pm

The Harbourmaster and his team work to ensure all water users are able to share in the use of our waterways in a safe manner.

We provide safe and efficient maritime management for commercial and recreational 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.

What do these two things have in common?

Big or small, both of these can be easily missed. If you are on a recreational boat of any type (powerboat, jetski, windsurfer, kayak etc) you need to avoid swimmers and large ships.

A fundamental rule of being on the water is keeping a lookout and avoiding collision. 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.

In recent days we have had two incidents; one where a windsurfer hit a swimmer, resulting in significant injury and secondly a yacht obstructed a container ship approaching its berth in the harbour. 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.

Accident reporting

Accidents on the water are required to be reported - this should be done as soon as practical depending upon the severity of the accident. Reports can be made either to the Harbourmaster or Maritime NZ.

If life is at risk make a MAYDAY call on VHF ch16 or dial 111.

If the accident involves any pollution or the vessel may sink or be a navigation hazard please contact Wellington Harbour Radio on Ch 14 or Ch62 or Ph 04 388 1911 as soon as possible.

For other notifications either email or complete Maritime New Zealand’s online form.

How to contact us

During office hours you can contact us on 04 830 4160 or 0800 496 734.

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

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.

E-mail is  (this is only monitored during office hours.)

The Harbourmaster and his team work to ensure all water users are able to share our waterways in a safe manner.

Know Before You Go Quiz T&Cs

The winner will be drawn at random and will be announced on 20/12/19. To enter the competition you need to complete the Know Before You Go Quiz by 23:59 19/12/19. The winners will be contacted by phone or email. Entries from outside the Wellington Region are not eligible.