Upgrades to channel marks in the Tasman Bay region

Club Members and commercial vessel operators, launch wardens and other interested parties,

The budgeted and programmed retirement of the outmoded and in some cases derelict leading transit beacons at Mapua, Riwaka, Waitapu and Collingwood is underway, and is likely to be undertaken over the next two months. Also, a replacement floating pontoon for public use at the Mapua wharf will be installed in late May or June.

Aids to Navigation more suited to the small craft that predominantly use these areas with their tidal and changeable approaches will be installed at about the same time.

Lit and unlit channel marks will be installed at Mapua and Collingwood, and a lit fairway buoy to guide approach to the existing informal markers at Riwaka. A fairway buoy will also be placed off the Motueka River delta in response to recent groundings there.

There is no intention to install formal aids to navigation for the defunct port at Waitapu, but unlit buoys may be considered for the benefit of local users if budget allows, once the other locations are complete. The leading beacons at Waitapu have been unlit for several years, and no reports were received when the topmark fell off one last year, so there does not appear to be the demand to justify any replacement.

The Motueka fairway buoy that is at the end of its life will be replaced. Any other improvements to navigation marks at Motueka will be deferred until the groyne has been removed and the approaches have stabilised, and will depend on budget at that time.

Boaties are expected to carry the largest scale, up to date charts of the areas they navigate, and will be informed about changes to charts via the official Notices to Mariners, issued by Land Information New Zealand. Subscription to these notices is free at www.linz.govt.nz/hydro/ntms. Updated signage will also be erected in due course at ramps as required.

If you have any questions about these projects, please contact Selwyn Steedman, Transportation Network Engineer, at the Council’s Richmond office.

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