Our Council has approximately $10.5 million worth of maritime facilities which include boat ramps, boat trailer parking, wharves and associated assets. There are 14 Council-maintained wharves and jetties and 26 boat ramps in the district. Our Council provides these facilities to support recreation, tourism-related activities, commercial fishing and aquaculture. These facilities are primarily locally funded by ratepayers in the Community Board area in which they are located and from any fees and charges that apply to use of a specific facility. Since 2008, Council has used a bylaw to manage the above obligations and public demand. The current Bylaw (Maritime Facilities Bylaw 2015) will have no legal effect in December 2022. At the 22 March Council meeting it was resolved that a new Maritime Facilities Bylaw was needed (the proposed Bylaw) to protect the public from nuisance as well as protect, promote and maintain public health and safety. At the 3 May Council meeting it was resolved to notify the proposed Maritime Facilities Bylaw for public feedback. To read either Council meeting agenda click here. Purpose of the Bylaw: The purpose of the proposed bylaw is to regulate the use of maritime facilities to ensure the facilities are used in a manner that is fair, safe, and efficient for – (a) recreation purposes: (b) the travelling public: (c) commercial transport of goods and passengers. To view the full proposed Bylaw and our Statement of Proposal see the "supporting files" to the right. There is also a copy of the current Maritime Facilities Bylaw and a comparison with the proposed Bylaw. Council works in conjunction with the following agencies in regards to Maritime Facilities: The Waikato Regional Council (WRC). The WRC uses the following methods to manage maritime facilities: Waikato Regional Coastal Plan – This plan is prepared under the Resource Management Act 1991, manages the potential and actual discharges to air and water. Waikato Regional Council Navigation Safety Bylaw 2013 – This bylaw is made under the Maritime Transport Act 1994. Its purpose is to manage navigation safety and activities that can interfere with safe vessel movement. There is overlap with the Council’s Bylaw where activities on or around maritime facilities affect safe vessel movement. It is enforced by regional Harbourmasters who can issue infringement notices as well as carry out prosecutions. New Zealand Police – The Police are responsible for managing criminal matters. Maritime New Zealand – This body operates under the Maritime Transport Act 1994. It manages the operation of vessels and ports, provides maritime safety infrastructure and responds to incidents (including search and rescue, oil spills and vessel accidents). Important dates: The consultation opened on Friday 6 May and closed at 4pm on Friday 10 June 2022. Next steps: A hearing will be held in Thames in August 2022 for Councillors to listen to those who wish to speak in support of their submission. After the hearing, our Council will consider the submissions and make decisions on any amendments to the proposal as a result. Our Council will consider the proposed Maritime Facilities Bylaw at a meeting after the hearing.