Over the last year there have been repeated concerns expressed to Environment Canterbury about the hazards for boating (especially for non-powered craft) under the present Navigation Safety Bylaw provisions applying to Lake Ruataniwha. These hazards have been reported by Environment Canterbury’s contracted boating safety team who patrol the Lake over the peak summer period, by a number of representatives of rowing clubs and by the Waitaki Lakes Shoreline Authorities Committee, which after a presentation from a rowing representative, resolved that Environment Canterbury treat the review of boating regulations on Lake Ruataniwha as a matter of urgency.
Environment Canterbury has accepted South Island Rowing’s submission to the Council’s Long Term Council Community Plan that the Lake Ruataniwha bylaws be reviewed because of safety concerns and is investigating a temporary change in the Lake Ruataniwha by-laws as a ‘trial run’ to improve boating safety .
It is clear that the current rules are too complicated, not generally understood and therefore difficult to enforce. There is widespread agreement that there are significant safety risks particularly at peak times under the present arrangements. The high speed area in the Bay has been highlighted as a hazardous area, and overall there needs to be better separation between powered and non powered craft.
It is proposed that trial changes to the rules applying to Lake Ruataniwha be put in place before the peak summer boating season this year (summer 2009/10) and continue on until the full review of the Bylaws programmed for early next year. The Bylaw review will include full public consultation, so the effects of the trial can be assessed at that time.
The following changes are proposed:
The Bay high speed and water ski area be changed to a non-powered craft area, apart from coaching and safety boats associated with rowing.
Dangerous boating conditions with conflicts between water skiers, personal water craft (jet skis), and non powered craft, including rowing skiffs during training.
Access ramp at the eastern side of the Bay and the informal launching ramp near the camping ground to be closed for powercraft.
The 5 knot limit within 200m of the shore changed to 5 knots within 50m of the shore throughout the whole lake.
The 200m 5 knots from shore rule (which is the national standard) takes up far too much of the lake and is continually breached. 50m is considered sufficient to allow more space for high speed use without compromising safety.
Much enlarged area for power boats; effectively an exchange of area for the Bay.
Crossing of the rowing course prohibited for power craft but still allowed for non powered craft.
Continued high speed crossing of the rowing course without care for rowing crews on the course or risk to lane markers and lines.
Line of buoys marking the outer (southern) side of the rowing course to be installed (mussel buoys joined by surface or near-surface lines) which will effectively be a barrier to powered craft.
Jet ski area only to be deleted.
Jet skiers have continued to use all other parts of the Lake as well. Other powered and passive craft also continue to use the area so the restriction is ineffective.
Line of buoys to be removed; posts to be removed or disguised.
New launching and landing zone in the small bay in what was the jet ski area.
Demand for use of this area for skiing and power boat launching.
200m water ski launching and landing zone on the southern side of the Lake reduced from 200m to 50m wide.
200m zone unnecessarily wide; narrower 50m zone should not increase safety risks. Will reduce wash over to rowing course.
Power craft travel at speed around and behind the island; risk for kayaks etc which use the area.
River at the eastern end of the Lake to be a no power craft area.
Area used by kayaks and fisherman.
Water ski access lane to be replaced by a water ski launch and landing zone.
Present lane too narrow to allow safe launching and landing.
Shift of existing lane posts and buoys/posts altered to delineate ends of zone.
Area presently allocated as part of the rowing course to the west of the rowing launching area be reduced and marked with buoys.
Present area un-necessarily large and restricts the use of the area for water skiing.
Buoy line to be installed.
Specify clearly that no power craft are to be launched at the end of the peninsula (near Rowing 1000m mark).
Although there is no formal ramp in this area launching is occurring. This is incompatible with the rowing course and will be even more so with the Bay as a non power craft area.
(03) 353 9007
0800 324 636 (EC INFO)
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