River Safety

Manawatu River Safety

Anybody who uses the Manawatu River and its tributaries for enjoyment, recreation and business should do so safely and with knowledge of the rules.

The Bylaw reflects Maritime Rule Part 91, as well as local rules. Following is a summary of important points in the Bylaw for your reference.

Speed not to exceed 5-knots:

  • At any time within 50m of other vessels or person in water

  • At any time 200m either side of Manawatu Marine Boating Club launching ramp at Foxton Beach

  • At any time in the Foxton Loop between Speir's Corner and the corner adjacent the Water Tower

  • During the period one week prior to and one week after duck shooting season opening day (first Saturday in May) except when transiting to/from the open sea

  • From Jackeytown Road to point 350m upstream of SH3 Bridge at Ashhurst  during period 1 October - 31 March each year (jet skis not to exceed 5-knots at any time in this area) 


Due to recent flood events a navigation hazard in the form of railway irons has been exposed on the Manawatū River. The hazard is located in the Te Matai Road area on the left hand bank when looking downstream and will be marked with buoys. On water users are advised to take caution in this area until the hazard can be removed.

Water ski & jet priority 
  1. On the Manawatu River between 2km upstream of the Whirokino Bridge down to the Whirokino boat launching ramp

  2. On the Manawatu River upstream of the Whirokino Bridge, from the Te Pehu Trig Station to another point 1.6km upstream where Cooks Drain enters;

  3. On the Manawatu River below the Foxton - Shannon Bridge, between points 1 and 4 km downstream of that bridge; and

  4. On the Manawatu River from a point 200m upstream of the Manawatu Marine Boating Club launching ramp to the downstream end of the Foxton Loop. 

Remember: Life jackets are to be worn, and a minimum age is 15 years for skippers of boats capable of more than 10 knots.

The Harbourmaster and appointed Enforcement Officers have powers under the Bylaw to keep the Manawatu River and its tributaries safe for navigation and recreation.