Changes to navigation bylaw on the Manawatū River proposed

As part of a required review process, Horizons Regional Council is proposing to change the navigation bylaw on the Manawatū River and its tributaries to make it safer for users.

As the regional council, Horizons has the role of harbourmaster for the Manawatū River which includes the responsibility of ensuring maritime safety on the awa. This is achieved through the Manawatū River and Tributaries Navigation and Safety Bylaw 2010 which was due for review this year.

Horizons’ current harbourmaster Jeanie Boost-Turner says a review of the bylaw is an opportunity to consult with the community about whether any updates are required.

“In general, the bylaw sets things like speed limits, rules for personal flotation devices, and responsibilities for owners of vessels on the awa, all with the purpose of minimising the risk of fatalities, injuries, nuisances, accidents, collisions and damage on the Manawatū River and its tributaries,” says Ms Boost-Turner.

“We began the process of revisiting the current bylaws by consulting with iwi and stakeholder groups involved in the awa. This saw a number of changes put forward which we now seek public feedback on.”

Ms Boost-Turner says key proposed changes include a requirement for jetskis to be registered, a formal notification process for collisions or accidents, and updated speed rules.

“We’ve also added some extra context into the bylaw document to reflect the river’s whakapapa and noted legislation such as the Wildlife Act as an avenue that environmental concerns can be addressed.

“We welcome feedback on these changes, as well as anything else that people feel is missing from the draft bylaw, by 5pm Wednesday 4 May 2022. The awa is a pretty special place and we want to make sure that all users can enjoy it safely.”

More detail about the bylaw is available at here or by calling 0508 800 800. Submissions can be made via the submission online and then emailed to They can also be made in writing and sent to Freepost 217922, Private Bag 11025, Manawatū Mail Centre, Palmerston North 4442 or be delivered it to Horizons Regional Council, 11-15 Victoria Avenue, Palmerston North.

If a submission is made in writing, please include name, telephone number, or email address and whether the submitter wishes to speak to the Council in support of the submission.