This page contains links to hazard notices for navigation safety hazards on waterways in the Canterbury Region that have been notified to the Harbourmaster's Office.

These hazards are ones that are considered to be out of the ordinary for their location, rather than the kinds of things that any prudent vessel skipper or boatie would normally be looking out for. It should not be considered an exhaustive list of any and all hazards.

Debris in Waitaki rivers and lakes

11 December 2019

As a result of recent heavy rainfall, a significant amount of debris is currently floating or submerged in the Waitaki rivers and lakes. Submerged and floating logs in particular are currently a hazard for recreational river and lake use and will remain a hazard for a number of weeks, throughout the summer boating season. It is the responsibility of the skipper of the vessel to ensure that the area you are using is navigable and safe to transit. We strongly recommend keeping speeds to a minimum and being vigilant to stay safe.

Affected water bodies

Lake Benmore, Lake Aviemore, Lake Ohau, Lake Waitaki and Lake Ruataniwha are all affected.

Various waterways in the Canterbury Region

1 November 2018

Fluctuating water levels on various waterways, including rivers, lakes, and lagoons in Canterbury may result in fences, waratahs, or other objects being obscured from view and sitting below the surface. All water users are strongly recommended to exercise caution and keep your speed to 5 knots or less within 200 metres of the shore, unless the area is uplifted or has any other form of speed exemption. It is the responsibility of the skipper of the vessel to ensure that the area you are using is navigable and safe to transit.

Waimakariri River - exposed railway iron

21 September 2018

We have recently discovered a line of old railway iron that has become exposed, which is in the central part of one of the main flows of the Waimakariri River, on the true right bank between the two lines of pylons just upstream of Haul Road (between 18.5km and 19km upstream of the mouth).

Depending on the current river flow, they may be visible above water level or may be submerged. River users, particularly jet boaters, are advised to take extreme caution in this area, or avoid travelling on this braid if possible.

These irons will be removed as soon as flow conditions allow.  Please call 0800 324 636 with any questions.

Rakaia River - large log in waterway

03 July 2018

Downstream near the end of the bridge, there is a large log in the water. It is a danger to any boats travelling in that area. All water users are strongly recommended to exercise caution and keep speed down so that collisions with the log can be avoided.

Motunau Fisherman's association — river warning

2 September 2016

The channel marker has been repaired and is back in position. Both lead lights are operating. Caution is advised when navigating the channel of the Motunau River due to increased amounts of sand and narrowing of the channel.The channel is forever changing course and may not be in the same place as your last visit. Please have a check at low tide before heading out to sea.

For more information please phone Helen 03 314 3751.

Waiau River - navigation safety hazards— railway irons

3 July 2015

These are upstream of Leslie Hills Bridge (seen in the second photo in the Waiau River railway irons notice (PDF 466 kB)). Environment Canterbury is presently investigating removal options for these as they may present a hazard for boats on the river. No removal date has been scheduled – please check this website for updates.

In the meantime, river users are urged to exercise caution in this area, particularly at higher flows when the irons may not be as easily seen as they are at the low flow the photos were taken at. This site (see photos in the Waiau River railway irons notice (PDF 466 kB)) can easily be seen from upstream and downstream in good time to allow boaters to avoid the objects. For further information contactharbourmaster@ecan.govt.nz

Lower Clarence River / Waiau Toa - navigation safety hazards - sputniks

30 January 2015

Sputniks are large concrete blocks with protruding steel beams that were historically used on rivers for bank protection. Many still exist on some rivers, including several in the lower Clarence / Waiau Toa, some of which are navigation safety hazards for those boating the river. For more information see the Sputniks notice (PDF 710 kB).

Brooklands Lagoon - submerged objects

30 January 2015

Submerged and semi-submerged objects including tree stumps have been reported in the Brooklands Lagoon water ski area. Users of this area are advised to exercise caution as these objects may be difficult to see, particularly if navigating at towing speed.