Skip to content

Navigation and Safety Rules

Navigation and Safety Rules

Updated 28 November 2016 10:46am

This section covers the regulations and legislation involved in the management of the Wellington's harbours and regional coastal waters.

Unsafe Boating and Harbour Use

To report any unsafe boating behaviour or harbour use, you can contact us on  04 388 1911 or 04 473 4547.

Restricted zone - Wellington wharves

Wellington Regional Harbourmaster Captain Mike Pryce has declared a sea side restricted zone alongside Wellington’s main wharves which excludes boaties from the area following Monday’s severe earthquake.

Read more

Navigation and Safety Bylaws for the Wellington region

The bylaws are to ensure safe usage of the harbours and waters of the region. They apply throughout the waters of the region from the Otaki River Mouth, around to Cape Palliser and then up to the Mataikona River and extend to the coastal waters up to three miles offshore.This includes both Wellington and Porirua Harbours and Lakes Wairarapa and Onoke, but they do not cover the region's rivers.

These bylaws are made under the requirements of the Local Government Act 1974, and came into effect on 1 July 2009.

There is a summary the parts of the bylaws most relevant to recreational boating on our recreation pages.

For a full copy of the bylaws, download the PDF here, these are A4-sized. For a copy of the printed A5-sized bylaws and one of our boating safety packs please contact us, telephone 830 4160 or e-mail

Maritime Rule 91

This is the National Navigation Safety Rule, issued by Maritime New Zealand. It is designed to cater for any areas not covered by regional bylaws. It also provides a basis for regional bylaws so that bylaws are consistent throughout the country.

The Wellington bylaws were developed in conjunction with Rule 91 and Maritime New Zealand considers our bylaws to be consistent.