Old4New lifejacket upgrades, lifejacket borrowing hubs, on beach training and much more

This year, safer boating grants coordinated by Maritime NZ will provide 3,000 new lifejackets, support lifejacket loan hubs, help create new, at-the-beach, training programmes for boaties using jet skis, standup paddleboards and kayaks, and much more!

These are some of the initiatives from right across New Zealand that are receiving $626,570 in safer boating grants.

Maritime NZ Director, Keith Manch, said the purpose of these grants is to improve safety for the over 1.5 million Kiwis who get out on the water each year. They are a practical way to support boating organisations and council programmes that work directly with boaties.

The Government provides the funding for safer boating grants through money collected from the Fuel Excise Duty (FED) on petrol. A proportion of this duty is paid by recreational boaties fueling power boats. Some of this money is provided to Maritime NZ and used to support recreational boating safety initiatives including regional programmes focused on promoting safer boating. This year there is continued funding for some existing programmes, and some new initiatives getting started.

“Boating is changing and we are seeing big increases in jet skis, standup paddleboards and kayaks – we are supporting new, at-the-beach training for boaties using these small craft.

“These will be national pilot programmes run by Tasman District Council, Standup Paddle boarding and the Kiwi Association of Sea Kayakers. “Lifejackets are boaties single most important piece of safety equipment on all boats – sailing, powered or paddled.

“That is why, for the first time, Maritime NZ is supporting Drowning Prevention Auckland’s ‘lifejacket hubs’ and a similar programme run by the Harbourmaster in Gisborne where lifejackets can be borrowed. We are also proud to continue supporting Coastguard NZ’s successful ‘Old4New’ lifejacket upgrade campaign,” Mr Manch said.

Coastguard will receive $80,000 to help provide 3,000 subsidized lifejackets to Kiwi boaties.

“We also fund several children’s boating education programmes because in New Zealand people often start boating quite young and children can positively influence the safety behavior of their families,” Mr Manch said.

There is funding for Folau Malu programme for Pasifika boat users, Survive the Dive for divers and Waka Ama safety basics courses.

The ‘No excuses’ campaign received $70,000 funding to enable 18 councils and the Taupō Harbourmaster to carry out on-water enforcement with a ‘no excuses’ approach to compliance being taken with boaties found in breach of key safety regulations. The campaign focuses on consequences for those breaking the rules.

FED funding provides support funding for campaign initiatives based on priorities decided by the Safer Boating Forum. The Forum is made up of boating organisations, the marine industry, and local and central government agencies. It has led the campaign over the last two decades through partnership activities to reduce the number of fatalities on our waters.

Northland Regional Council

Maritime Officer, Tammy Crookshanks

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