Manawatū River and Tributaries Navigation and Safety Bylaw changes

Horizons Regional Council has reviewed the Manawatū River and Tributaries Navigation and Safety Bylaw 2010 and proposes to amend it. The Council would like to know what you think of the proposed changes. The purpose of the Bylaw is to ensure the safety of all users on the river and its tributaries.


Under the Local Government Act 2002, Horizons Regional Council is required to review the Manawatū River and Tributaries Navigation and Safety Bylaw 2010 by 1 July 2020, being 10 years since it became operative.

The current bylaw remains in force for two years after the 10-year review is due. Thereafter it is automatically revoked if not reviewed within that period. This effectively means that if the 2010 bylaw was not reviewed it would be automatically revoked on 1 July 2022.

Horizons Regional Council initiated the review process 01 February 2021 with an email to iwi partners and stakeholders to advise them of these requirements and the process.

Proposed changes

After a pre-consultation process with iwi partners and stakeholders the following changes were proposed to the current bylaw:

  • A requirement for all Personal Watercraft (commonly known as jetski) to be registered with:
    • The Council; or
    • An authorised agent of the Council; or
    • Another regional council that also registers Personal Watercraft.
  • A notification process for collisions or accidents.
  • A speed restriction of 5 knots 200m upstream and downstream of the Whirokino boat launching ramp given the increase in river user activity in this area.
  • New speed upliftings as requested by JetBoat NZ.
  • Updated and improved maps for inclusion in the Bylaw.
  • Introduction has incorporated a Māori world view by including the whakapapa of the Manawatū River.
  • Introduction refers to other legislation such as the Wildlife Act to highlight other avenues where environmental concerns can be addressed.

Draft Manawatū River and Tributaries Navigation and Safety Bylaw 2022

Have your say

The views of people who live, work and play in the region are important. Council would like your feedback on the proposed changes and draft Bylaw - any person or organisation is welcome to make a submission.

submission form

Submissions can be made via the submission form above and then emailed to You can also make a submission in writing and send it to Freepost 217922, Private Bag 11025, Manawatū Mail Centre, Plamerston North 4442 or deliver it to Horizons Regional Council, 11-15 Victoria Avenue, Palmerston North. 

If you do wish to make a submission in writing please be sure to include your name, telephone number, or email address and state if you wish to speak to the Council in support of your submission. Submissions close at 5.00pm on Wednesday 4 May 2022.

Submitters should note that their submission will be copied and may be made available to the public after the submission period closes. This includes your name; your contact information will not be visible. Council may be obliged to provide those details in some circumstances (for example, where a personal address is used on behalf of a club or business) if we receive a request for information under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act. The Council will contact submitters (who wish to be heard) by phone or email to advise the confirmed time, date and venue of the hearing.