Using your jetski or personal watercraft Using your jetski

The Navigation Bylaw is an Auckland Council bylaw governing the use of vessels in our waterways, including jetskis and personal watercraft.

Enforcement officers may fine people using an unregistered jetski or personal water craft. Find out about registering your jetski or personal watercraft.

Where you can use your jetski or personal watercraft

Jetskis can be used anywhere except:

  • Those areas reserved in the bylaw for swimmers only or for non-mechanically propelled vessels. These are located in the positions shown in the bylaw:
    • Point Chevalier Beach
    • Lake Pupuke
    • Hellyers Creek
    • Judges Bay
    • St Heliers (swimming area)
    • Kohimarama (swimming area)
  • Within an area reserved for a specified activity, eg watersking in Orakei basin (unless the personal watercraft is towing a waterskier). These are located in the positions shown in the bylaw.
  • Those areas covered by the Port Security Act or the Defence Act. These are located around all commercial ship wharves and the defence areas at Devonport and Kauri Point.
  • Within 200 metres of a vessel carrying explosives as cargo. This vessel will display a red flag by day and a red light by night.

You can find maps showing designated areas in the Navigation Bylaw.

Using a personal watercraft from outside Auckland

You may use a jetski or personal watercraft in Auckland provided it is registered elsewhere in New Zealand.

Auckland Transport may grant exemptions for craft competing in events organised by the Auckland Jetsport Association, for the duration of the event only.

Using your personal watercraft outside Auckland

Jetskis and personal water craft using Waikato, Northland, Bay of Plenty and Auckland regions (including Lake Taupō) waterways must be registered. A registration with AT's Harbourmaster will cover all 4 regions.

Speed and safety regulations

Speed and safety regulations are strictly enforced by the Harbourmaster and team. The operator of the jetski will be held responsible for any behaviour or failure to comply with local bylaws. See rules and regulations for details.

Lifejackets or personal floatation devices

Take them and wear them. All vessels must carry enough for everyone on board.

Reserved areas

Safe for swimming, may not be used for other purposes (white / black buoys).

Age of operator

A person must be 15 years or over to operate any personal watercraft capable of speeds over 10 knots.


Maximum of 5 knots when:

  • Within 50 meters of another vessel, craft or person (i.e. no wake riding close to vessels).
  • Within 200 metres of shoreline.
  • Within 200 metres of vessel / craft flying the white and blue diving signal flag.
  • Inshore of yellow buoys marking the 5 knot area.

Waitemata Harbour Speed Limit

Between North Head and the Harbour Bridge, no power driven vessel may exceed 12 knots (unless in designated areas).

Water-skiing and towing people

No skiing during hours of darkness. A lookout is required when towing any person. The lookout must be 10 years or older.