“No Excuses” for recreational boaties on water in West Coast

Recreational boaties on the West Coast of the South Island will be safer this summer, thanks to the Buller District Council joining the national compliance “No Excuses” campaign.

The campaign targets recreational boaties who are not carrying or wearing lifejackets and who speed on the water.

This is the fourth year of the No Excuses campaign and for the first time 18 harbourmasters are participating with Maritime officers on the No Excuses Campaign this summer.

This is Buller District Council’s first official involvement in the campaign. It gets underway this weekend and those who break the rules will face consequences, including infringement notices of up to $300.

Manager, Sector Engagement and Collaboration, Baz Kirk said the combined effort between Maritime New Zealand and regional councils has made a huge difference in recent times.

“It’s fantastic that Buller District Council have joined No Excuses. Over the last four years considerable progress has been made towards a more collaborative approach to recreational boating safety.”

The No Excuses campaign is funded by Maritime NZ so harbourmasters can provide additional staff, time and resources to the Campaign, on top of the safer boating work they already do.

Mr Kirk said, “Up to two thirds of recreational boating fatalities could have been prevented if lifejackets had been worn.

“Boaties should always follow the boating safety code – wear life jackets, carry at least two waterproof ways of calling for help, check the marine weather, avoid alcohol, and be a responsible skipper.

“And remember – boaties speeding in any area especially heavily populated areas is unsafe, as it can lead to accidents and injuries of other water users, especially those who are hard to detect in the water, swimmers, divers and small craft, so skippers must keep a good lookout.

“Personal Water Craft (Jet Skis) are also a power driven vessel, and operators must comply with the rules of the road at sea.”

This weekend the Coastguard Old4new life jacket upgrade van is in town. For a limited time you can trade in your lifejacket for a great discount on a range of new, modern, fit for purpose lifejackets. Boaties truly have “No Excuses ” for not doing the right thing.


The Maritime Transport Act and council bylaws require carrying and wearing lifejackets. The five knot rule is in place within 200 metres of shore and divers, and within 50 metres of swimmers and other boats.

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