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Navigation Safety Bylaw

Image of the cover of the Navigation Safety BylawAbout the bylaw

The bylaw covers all navigable waterways in the Waikato region (with the exception of Lake Taupō) and is aimed at ensuring the safety of users on these waterways.


The bylaw sets out safe practices for people using the lakes, rivers and harbours for water skiing, swimming, boating, kayaking or other water activities safely, by seeking to reduce the conflicts between different activities.

Other rules

The bylaw should be read in conjunction with: 

  • the Local Government Act 1974
  • the Maritime Transport Act 1994
  • the Resource Management Act 1991
  • Amusement Devices Regulations
  • Machinery Act 1978  
  • Port Operations Code of Practice
  • and / or any other Act or statutory instrument relevant to navigation safety.

Lake Taupō

The bylaw does not apply to Lake Taupō. Regulation for Lake Taupō is provided by the Department of Internal Affairs.

View the Lake Taupō harbourmaster's website for information and rules on safe boating on the lake.

Read the bylaw

You can download and view/print the bylaw from the link below.

Navigation Safety Bylaw 2013 [PDF, 2.5 MB] 

You can also see the bylaw's Lake Karapiro maps, here.

Summary of key rules

You can also read or download a summary brochure of the key rules for boating [PDF, 359 KB] in the Waikato region.


Need an exemption to the bylaw? Complete the bylaw exemption application form [PDF, 36 KB]

For further help, call our freephone 0800 800 401 and ask to speak to someone in the Maritime Services team.