Maritime Facilities Bylaw 2015 Ngā ture mō ngā tauranga waka

We are currently preparing a new Maritime Facilities Bylaw. At its 22 March 2022 meeting our Council resolved that a new bylaw was needed to protect the public from nuisance behaviour on its maritime facilities as well as to protect, promote and maintain public health and safety at those locations. A proposed bylaw is scheduled to be taken to the Council’s 3 May 2022 meeting with a recommendation that it be notified for public consultation from 6 May 2022 – 10 June 2022.

You can download the full Bylaw as a PDF here.

This Bylaw simplifies the previous versions.

Council adopted a new Maritime Facilities Bylaw on 9 December 2015 which took effect on 14 December 2015. This bylaw is similar to Council's old 'Wharves and Coastal Structures Bylaw 2008.'

The bylaw regulates how different parts of our community, like recreational boaties, commercial operators and the agriculture industry, use and interact with Council-owned or managed maritime facilities. This includes restrictions on animals on facilities, rules around hazardous substances and unpleasant odours, and rules for how long different users can tie up at our maritime facilities.

The bylaw is also the tool that Council has to set fees for the use of these facilities, but how much those fees are is set separately by the Council by the resolution and aren't included in the bylaw.

This applies to all Council-owned or managed slipways, jetties, wharves, boat ramps, maintenance grids, quays, piers, pontoons, jetties and reclamations. So if you are a frequent, or even a one-off, user of these facilities, then please check out the rules for using them. The bylaw can be downloaded on the right hand side of this page.

Key points include:

  • limiting the time you can tie up to a facility to 30 minutes unless you have permission from the facility manager to be there longer
  • requiring that you clean up any mess you make on the facility, and prohibiting any hazardous substance on the facility without permission from the facility manager
  • fuel for your vessel and other substances required for the standard operation of the vessel are allowed to be brought onto maritime facilities
  • Council can recover costs from the master of any vessel that causes damage to Council facilities

The bylaw was consulted on from 9 October to 9 November 2015, a hearing held on 18 November and deliberated on by the Judicial Committee of Council on 30 November.


1.1. This bylaw is the Thames-Coromandel District Council Maritime Facilities Bylaw.


2.1. The Local Government Act 2002 provides for the making of bylaws to protect the public from nuisance, and to protect, promote and maintain public health and safety.

2.2. Council provides for the orderly management and control of maritime facilities that are owned or under the control of the Thames-Coromandel District Council for the benefit and enjoyment of all users of those facilities. Council provides for the recovery of reasonable costs associated with maritime facilities in support of this purpose.

2.3. This bylaw applies to all maritime facilities owned or controlled by the Thames-Coromandel District Council.


3.1. This bylaw comes into force on [to be determined].


4.1. Review of this bylaw will be undertaken in accordance with section 158 of the Local Government Act 2002.


5.1. In this bylaw, unless the context requires otherwise -

AUTHORISED OFFICER means any person appointed by the Council to act on its behalf and with its authority in respect of any of the matters referred to in this bylaw.

BERTH means the place at a maritime facility where a vessel is tethered anchored or moored.

COUNCIL means the Thames-Coromandel District Council and includes any officer of the Council to whom Council has lawfully delegated any of its powers and functions.

GOODS include wares and merchandise of every description, chattels, livestock and all other articles.

HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCE means any substance -

(a) with one or more of the following intrinsic properties:

(i) explosiveness
(ii) flammability
(iii) a capacity to oxidise 
(iv) corrosiveness
(v) toxicity (including chronic toxicity)
(vi) ecotoxicity, with or without bioaccumulation or(

b) which on contact with air or water (other than air or water where the temperature or pressure has been artificially increased or decreased) generates a substance with any one or more of the properties specified in paragraph (a) of this definition.

(c) where any hazardous substance is required as a normal part of the operation of the vessel it shall not be considered to be hazardous.

MARITIME FACILITY means any building, equipment, device whether man made permanent or temporary fixed to or forming part of land and includes slipways, jetties, wharves, boat ramps, maintenance grids, quays, piers, pontoons, jetties and reclamations providing loading/unloading facilities in, on, or from which passengers or goods may be taken on board of or loaded from vessels whether or not these are above or below Mean Low Water Springs.

MASTER means any person having command or charge of a vessel, but does not include a pilot who is piloting the vessel.

OWNER includes -

(a) in relation to a vessel, the agent of the owner and also a charterer, and
(b) in relation to any dock, wharf, quay, or slipway, includes a lessee of the dock, wharf, quay or slipway.

UNWANTED ORGANISM has the same definition as that contained in the Waikato Regional Council Regional Pest Management Plan.

VESSEL has the same meaning as ship in the Maritime Transport Act 1994.


6.1. No maritime facility may be permanently or temporarily erected on any Council land that adjoins the foreshore, seabed, or the bed of any lake or river without the written authorisation of Council.


7.1. The master of any vessel coming alongside any maritime facility shall be responsible for the proper and safe berthing of that vessel and the master and owner of the vessel shall be responsible for any damage done to any maritime facility in connection with that vessel. 

7.2. The Council may repair any such damage and charge the cost of doing so against the master or owner of the vessel doing the damage, and the Council may recover that cost from the master or owner by action in the appropriate court.


8.1. Before any vessel is removed from any maritime facility, the Master must thoroughly clean all dirt and rubbish from the area of the Maritime Facility occupied by that vessel. The dirt and rubbish shall be disposed of in the manner directed by an Authorised Officer and not dumped into the coastal marine area.  In the event of the Master of any vessel failing to comply with such direction, the Council may clean the maritime facility and recover the costs from the Master or owner of the vessel or both of them.


9.1. No person shall permit animals to remain on any maritime facility for a time longer than necessary for loading or unloading the same from a vessel.

9.2. No person shall knowingly spread, or cause the spread of unwanted organisms.


10.1. No person shall bring any hazardous substances on any maritime facility without the prior approval of an Authorised Officer.

10.2. Every person who proposes to bring any hazardous substances on any maritime facility shall, if required by an Authorised Officer, complete an application in the prescribed form for the approval of an Authorised Officer before doing so.

10.3. The provisions of clause 24.1 shall apply to any hazardous substances brought onto any maritime facility in contravention of this clause. 

10.4. The owner or consignee, (or their agents) of any hazardous substances landed on any maritime facility shall be responsible for removing such substances from the maritime facility immediately on being landed.  The owner, consignee and their agents shall be jointly responsible for any damage or loss that may be caused as the result of any accident involving hazardous substances. Such liability shall be in addition to any other penalty which may be prescribed for such accident.


11.1. No activity shall be undertaken on any maritime facility or vessel alongside any maritime facility which results in an objectionable odour.  In determining whether or not an odour has an objectionable effect Council will assess the situation taking into account the -

(a) frequency
(b) intensity
(c) duration
(d) nature
(e) locationof the odour.

11.2. If as a result of the assessment Council determines that an odour has an objectionable effect it may give written notice to the owner and/or Master of any vessel or to any person undertaking the activity creating the odour requiring the cessation or modification of that activity.  The failure to comply with the terms of any such notice shall be an offence under this bylaw.


12.1. The security of all goods landed or placed on any maritime facility is the responsibility of the consignor or consignee. Council has no liability or responsibility in respect of any such goods.  


13.1. An Authorised Officer may regulate the duration of stay of any vessel at any maritime facility. The master of any vessel requiring to berth at any maritime facility shall obey the instructions of the Council or any authorised person, as to where that vessel is to be berthed and for what period of time it may remain berthed. 

13.2. No vessel shall remain berthed at any maritime facility longer than is necessary to load or discharge passengers or goods.

13.3. Notwithstanding clauses 13.1 and 13.2, no vessel shall remain berthed at any maritime facility for more than 30 minutes unless the prior permission of the Council or any authorised person has been obtained and the prescribed fee has been paid. 

13.4. Should any biosecurity high risk vessel present itself, the vessel will not be allowed to tie up until the risk is mitigated.

13.5. Any master required by the Council or any authorised person to move any vessel from any maritime facility must do so immediately. 


14.1. No person shall drive, park or store any vehicle on a maritime facility except with the permission of an Authorised Officer which may be granted subject to conditions. Any vehicle that is driven, parked or stored on a maritime facility without the permission of an Authorised Officer may be removed. The owner of the vehicle shall be liable for the costs of removal.

14.2. No person shall move any vehicle on any maritime facility at a speed exceeding 5km per hour.

14.3. No person shall in any way obstruct or impede traffic on any maritime facility

14.4. No person shall park a vehicle on any maritime facility other than in accordance with instructions of the Council or any authorised person.

14.5. No person shall bring onto a maritime facility any vehicle where the single or combined weight of vehicles on the maritime facility exceeds the weight limit for that wharf as specified on the notice displayed at the facility.


15.1. Every person when on a maritime facility whether employed on said maritime facility or not, shall comply with the orders and directions of an Authorised Officer as to the use and occupation of the maritime facility, and if required by an Authorised Officer so to do shall immediately leave said maritime facility.

15.2. No person is to jump or dive off any maritime facility unless an area has been designated by an Authorised Officer for this purpose.

15.3. An Authorised Officer may from time to time make decisions relating to the use of a maritime facility without limiting the scope of this power decisions may include the use of propulsion systems on vessels, stipulating times and uses of a maritime facility.


16.1. To regulate the efficient operation of  maritime facilities and if necessary to provide for the loading or unloading of any cargo which may be hazardous or dangerous or not compatible with any other cargo to be loaded or unloaded on or adjacent to the maritime facility, an Authorised Officer may -

(a) Close any maritime facility or any part of any maritime facility to any vessel or type of vessel or to any cargo or type of cargo for such time as may reasonably be required.
(b) Order any vessel to be removed from any berth alongside any maritime facility to any other maritime facility, whenever such removal in the opinion of an Authorised Officer is reasonably necessary for the general accommodation of shipping.
(c) Order the removal from a maritime facility of any vessel having on board cargo or other matter which in the reasonable opinion of an Authorised Officer is or may be injurious to health or offensive or dangerous or hazardous in any respect.


17.1. No person shall fish from a maritime facility in the path of a vessel approaching or leaving a berth on the maritime facility.


18.1. The Council may from time to time by resolution set aside any area of a maritime facility as a commercial zone and such a zone shall be marked by signposts.  No person shall enter any commercial zone without the permission of an Authorised Officer.

19. FEES 

19.1. The Council may from time to time prescribe fees by resolution to be publicly notified payable for the use of a maritime facility. 


20.1. The Master, owner or their agent of every vessel berthing at any maritime facility either directly to the maritime facility or outside any vessel or vessels berthed against the maritime facility shall be jointly responsible for and shall pay to the Council such fees as determined by the Council from time to time by resolution.


21.1. The Master or owner or their agent of any vessel plying for hire or reward or carrying passengers for hire or reward and using a maritime facility shall make application to Council on the prescribed form prior to commencing service.   

21.2. The Council may grant a licence or permit to operate on conditions considered appropriate by Council which may include a requirement to pay to the Council such fees as are determined by the Council from time to time by resolution. Such fees may be calculated on a per passenger basis or a per vessel basis or on such other basis as is determined by the Council.

21.3. For the purpose of ascertaining whether clause 21.2 has been or is being complied with by any Master or owner or their agent of any vessel which carried passengers, any authorised officer may require that person to produce for inspection any books or records in that person's possession or over which that person has control and the authorised officer may take extracts from or make copies of any books or records so produced.

21.4. All passenger fees shall be paid in accordance with Council requirements.


22.1. Every person who uses any maritime facility for landing or shipping any goods shall pay to the Council such freight fees as are determined by the Council from time to time by resolution.

22.2. The Master, owner or their agent of every vessel carrying freight in respect of which any fees are payable to Council shall not later than the 7th day of every month furnish to the Council a certified copy of the freight lists of the cargo carried by that vessel on each trip with proper accounts of weights and measurements of all goods landed on and shipped from any maritime facility during the previous month and at such time shall pay to the Council maritime facility fees as are determined by the Council in respect of all goods carried.


23.1. Every person whose goods remain stored in or on any maritime facility shall pay to the Council such fees as are determined by the Council from time to time by resolution.


24.1. Where any cargo or goods remain on any maritime facility without the consent of an Authorised Officer or where any cargo or goods hinder the loading or unloading of any vessel or are impediments to the approaches to the maritime facility, the Council may remove the cargo or goods at the expense of the owner and the cost of removal shall be payable to the Council by the owner before taking receipt of the cargo or goods.


25.1. Every person commits an offence against this bylaw who -

(a) Fails to comply with any order or direction by an authorised officer.
(b) If acting in breach of this bylaw and being required by an authorised officer to give his or her name and address fails to do so.
(c) Commits any act or omits to do anything in contravention of this bylaw.

25.2. The Council may use its powers under the Local Government Act 2002 to enforce this bylaw.25.3. Every person who commits an offence under this bylaw is liable to the penalties stipulated in the Local Government Act 2002.


26.1. Where in the reasonable opinion of Council full compliance with any provision of this bylaw would unnecessarily injuriously affect any person or unnecessarily be attended with loss or inconvenience to any person without any corresponding benefits to the community, the Council may on the application of such person dispense with full compliance with the provisions of this bylaw.

26.2. Where there is a signed management agreement with Council for any maritime facility the clauses contained in the management agreement shall apply. Should there be any conflict in the clauses contained in this part of the bylaw and the clauses contained within the agreement then the clauses in the agreement will take precedence.