Skip to Main Content
Auckland Transport

Harbour rules & regulations

All vessel owners should know the rules and regulations governing the harbours, and any notices or directions to mariners.


Navigation Safety Bylaw 2014

The Navigation Safety Bylaw came into effect from Labour weekend 2014. The Navigation Safety Bylaw is an Auckland Council bylaw.

Download Navigation Safety Bylaw 2014 (PDF 4.8MB, 88 pages)


Accident and incident reporting

It is your obligation to report any accident or incident.

Please contact Maritime New Zealand.


Auckland Harbour restricted areas

There are restrictions on some areas of the harbour.

Download Auckland Harbour restricted areas map (PDF 6MB) to find out more.


Port and Harbour Safety Code

If you want a copy of the report, approved by Maritime New Zealand and adopted by Auckland Transport, email the Harbourmaster's office.

You can find more information on the Port and Harbour Safety Code on the Maritime New Zealand website.


Harbour safety policy

Auckland Transport will undertake and regulate marine operations in the Waitemata and Manukau harbours in a way that safeguards these harbours, their users, and the environment.

The harbour safety policy will:

  • use the code and its supporting guidelines as a standard against which the regional council will measure itself and be measured by others
  • ensure that the relevant assets of the harbour are managed safely
  • enforce bylaws and harbourmaster directions appropriately
  • ensure that staff are properly trained for emergencies and contingencies
  • identify measures to address conflicts of interest
  • adequately resource management of port and harbour navigation safety.

The Auckland Council Port and Harbour Safety Policy, Health and Safety, and Environmental policies are supported by Ports of Auckland policies.

Auckland Transport commits to implementing the requirements of the NZ Port and Harbour Safety Code supported by Ports of Auckland and the New Zealand Navy.


Commercial and large recreational vessels

The Auckland Transport Harbourmaster is responsible for overall harbour management.

The commercial port, run by Ports of Auckland Ltd (PoAL), is the major player in terms of this management function.

The movement and operation of commercial and large recreational vessels is subject to requirements which may place responsibilities on them or vessels navigating near to them.

Port facility operators, such as the Ports of Auckland Ltd, are responsible for the operation of wharves and facilities they own or operate.

The master of a vessel wishing to use a commercial wharf should contact the facility operator before they arrive.

Visit the  Ports of Auckland website.


Harbourmaster directions

Vessel operating requirements

This direction ensures that vessels manoeuvring within a pilotage area can be navigated in a way that will not adversely affect the safety of navigation.

Download HM Direction 2-16 Vessel Operating Requirements (PDF 414KB, 3 pages)

Downtown ferry terminal basin

This direction aims to set down periods where arrival of large ships and/or use of tugs within the Downtown Ferry Terminal Basin cause concern, and to prohibit restrict this activity. The Direction also sets out a clear procedure for the testing or use of any Propulsion or Manoeuvring equipment of large vessel within the basin.

Download HM Direction 1-16 Downtown Ferry Terminal Basin (PDF 429KB, 3 pages)

Pilotage

This direction contains the requirements for the compulsory pilotage areas within the Auckland region. This direction updates and supersedes previous Harbourmaster Direction 1-07.

Download HM Direction 4-16 Pilotage (PDF 606KB, 5 pages)


Navigation safety operating requirements

These requirements set out the practices and procedures for various locations and circumstances.

Tamaki River

Download Tamaki River (PDF 630KB, 6 pages)

Operation of a superyacht in the Auckland region

Download Operation of a superyacht in the Auckland region (PDF 831KB, 12 pages)

Auckland Downtown ferry terminal area

Download Auckland Downtown Ferry Terminal Area (PDF 487KB, 5 pages)

Auckland pilotage area tug and towing operations

Download Auckland pilotage area tug and towing operations (PDF 358KB, 5 pages)

Operation of vessels during periods of restricted visibility

Download Operation of vessels during periods of restricted visibility (PDF 874KB, 13 pages)

Operation of emergency response vessels within Auckland

Download Operation of Emergency Response Vessels within Auckland (PDF 625KB, 8 pages)


Bunkering procedures and notification

Commercial operations that provide bunkers or discharge sludge/waste oil within the Auckland region need to notify the Harbourmaster's office before the transfer. 

Fuel oil operations and bunkering notification procedure

To ensure an adequate level of safety and planning in the execution of fuel oil operations and bunkering in the Auckland region. To ensure the Harbourmaster is aware of oil transfers and bunkering operations within the Auckland region

Download Bunkering notification procedure (PDF 213KB, 1 page)

Email the notification to the Harbourmaster's office.


Hot work operations and notification

The person in charge of a vessel must ensure that they take all precautions for the detection, prevention, and extinguishing of fire on board the vessel or elsewhere as a result of the hot work operations. Before commencement of any hot work, the person in charge of a vessel must obtain written approval of the owner, or manager, of the facility at which the work is to be conducted. All hot work operations must comply with the Code of Safe Working Practices for Merchant Seafarers. A copy of the ‘Code of Safe Working Practices for Merchant Seafarers’ may be downloaded off the Maritime New Zealand website. Audits of hot work operations may be undertaken by the Harbourmaster. If he is not satisfied adequate precautions have been taken, he may forbid operations to commence or continue.


Pilot Exempt Master peer review

Pilot Exempt Master is a master holding a current pilotage exemption certificate for the Auckland or Manukau Harbour issued under Maritime Rule Part 90 (or previous relevant legislation).

The peer review form is to be used by Pilot Exempt Masters in order to comply with annual assessment requirements, as required by Maritime Rule Part 90.

Download the Pilot Exempt Masters peer review form (PDF 276KB)


Weather information

For up to date weather information please visit the Met Service website.

For VHF radio continuous weather forecast, please listen on Ch 20, 21, 22, 23 (channel depending on location).