Maritime New Zealand is urging those heading out on the water this long weekend to prepare for changing weather and water conditions.
Waitangi Weekend is historically popular for people in New Zealand to get out onto the water for a range of activities, ranging from paddle boarding to recreational boating and this year is no different.
Maritime NZ wants people to enjoy themselves but also to be prepared for changing conditions.
“People need to know the ways of the water before they leave the land. If you’re out on the water be vigilant, be aware and be responsible – Kia Maatara,” says Maritime NZ’s Senior Adviser Recreational Boating and Common Compliance, Matt Wood.
Forecasts for the long-weekend are varied across the motu, with some locations expecting to see fine conditions, while heavy rain and strong winds are likely in others.
“It is vital for water users to consider the risks before heading out, and there is nothing wrong with cancelling due to potentially risky conditions,” Mr Wood says.
He said water users should check the marine forecast on MetService or on MarineMate before they head out and continue to check it during the day as conditions change.
The Boating Safety Code is a good tool to use to ensure you keep yourself, your whānau and your friends safe, Mr Wood said.
“It is important to leave the beers behind while on the water, take two waterproof ways to call for help, wear a lifejacket at all times, be a responsible skipper and check the marine forecast.”
“Local authorities have different rules around what you can and cannot do on the water, when life jackets must be worn and speed regulations. Checking these on MarineMate will help you make sure you are doing the right thing.”