Skip to main content
Published: 2014-08-06 00:00:00

Waikato Regional Council has joined forces with Bay of Plenty Regional Council to make bar crossings safer for boaties.

Crossing a bar is one of the highest risk activities, even for the most experienced boatie, and the two regional councils have produced five films showing local bars and how to cross them safely.

Waikato Regional Council project managed the development of the films in conjunction with Bay of Plenty Regional Council with funding and support from ACC, Maritime NZ, Water Safety NZ, and Coastguard. This has meant a fantastic series of films have been able to be produced. The films include the notoriously dangerous Raglan, Tairua, Bowentown and Kaituna bars as well a general ‘how to’ film.

The films feature Waikato harbourmaster Mat Collicott and Coastguard unit members explaining the must dos of making a safe crossing.

Basic tips for making a safe bar crossings include checking the weather before heading out, checking the tide times, alwaysavoiding low tide, talking to locals about the bar conditions and contacting Coastguard before and after doing the crossing. Everyone must wear a lifejacket, and loose items including anchors should be tied down.

“Bar crossings consistently show high accident rates in the Waikato, Bay of Plenty and the rest of the country. Three Kawhia bar incidents in the past two months highlight a real need for good quality education to be available to the boating public,” said Waikato Regional Council maritime services manager Nicole Botherway.

Water Safety New Zealand CEO Matt Claridge says: “These films are an easy and accessible education opportunity for skippers. It is essential to get education before attempting to cross any bar.”

Initial online feedback on the films has been positive, with one post saying: “Great video guys, something every boatie should watch before going out.” There have been over 2000 hits already in the past two weeks.

See the generic film online at

or all the films are linked at:

A trailer is available at