Under review. Council, 1 July 2008.

Marine and River Facilities Bylaw 2008

The 2008 bylaw continues to be in force until the consultation process is completed, which is expected in late 2017.

Marine and River Facilities Bylaw 2008 [PDF, 30 KB]


The purpose of the Bylaw is to provide for the orderly management and control of marine and river facilities that are owned or under the control of the Council for the benefit and enjoyment of all users of those facilities.

This Bylaw deals with the management and control of slipways, wharves, jetties and other marine facilities in Banks Peninsula and owned by the Council.


  • The use of marine and river facilities by commercial and charter operators
  • The use of wharves
  • The obstruction of marine and river facilities
  • The provision for fees and charges relating to the proposed bylaw
  • The provision for offences and penalties relating to the proposed bylaw.

Background and timeline

Submissions on this bylaw were made to the Council from 12 April 2008 to 14 May 2008. Public hearings were held from 3–6 June 2008. The report of the Hearings Panel is available on the Council website.


  • Banks Peninsula District Marine Facilities Control Bylaw 2002.

Proposed Marine, River and Lake Facilities Bylaw 2017

Public consultation on this proposed replacement bylaw is open from 3 July 2017 to 6 August 2017.

Pursuant to the Local Government Act 2002, the Christchurch City Council makes this bylaw.

1. Short title and commencement

(1) This bylaw is the [proposed] Christchurch City Council Marine, River and Lake Facilities Bylaw 2017. This bylaw comes into force on [date] 2017.

2. Purpose

(1) The purpose of this bylaw is to facilitate the fair and safe use of, and access to, Council marine, river and lake facilities (including those around the estuary), and to protect them from damage.

3. Coverage and exclusions

(1) This bylaw applies to Council structures or facilities that provide access to the water (such as wharves, jetties, boat ramps and slipways), and associated access points (such as ramps, steps, ladders and pontoons). It also applies to related structures or facilities (including storage areas, buildings, refuelling facilities, and associated car-parking or manoeuvring areas).

(2) This bylaw does not cover:

(a) privately owned facilities

(b) maintenance or repair of the facilities

(c) Council sea walls

(d) Council boardwalks and viewing platforms, unless they are alongside or partially in a river or lake

(e) activities on the water, such as boat safety or speed limits (these are covered by the Canterbury Regional Council Navigation Safety Bylaw 2016)

(f) anything relating to water quality or pollution

(g) any facilities, structures, or land, owned or operated by Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (whether open to the public or not).

4. Interpretation

(1) Text in this bylaw that is in a grey box is not part of the bylaw, but is explanatory in nature, and the Council may update or delete this text at any time without amending the bylaw.

Explanatory note: Explanatory notes are used for a number of reasons, including to explain the intent of a clause in less formal language, to include additional helpful information, or because the information may be subject to change and need to up updated before the bylaw itself has to be updated.

(2) In this bylaw, unless the context otherwise requires:

Access points are those parts of the facility that have been designed to allow access from the wharf or jetty to vessels on the water, and vice versa, and include steps, ladders, ramps and pontoons
Authorised Officer officer means an officer or other person appointed by the Council to perform duties or give permissions under this Bylaw
Authorised vehicle means a vehicle:
(a) associated with a commercial activity that has permission from the Council to operate in relation to a wharf, or
(b) associated with the servicing of a wharf or any associated structure, equipment or machinery, or
(c) any other vehicle that has written permission for wharf access.
Commercial purposes means: 
(a) any charter operation involving carrying fare-paying passengers for profit or reward (including for transport, tourism, recreation or fishing purposes), or
(b) any commercial fishing operation, or
(c) sale or advertising of goods, services or events, or
(d) hire or rental of equipment that utilises Council facilities, such as for launching or landing.
Council means the Christchurch City Council
Facility means any marine, river, lake, estuary-based Council owned or controlled structure or facility that:
(a) provides access to the water, including, but not limited to: wharves, jetties and pontoons; slipways and boat ramps; steps and ladders; or 
(b) is associated with providing access to the water, including, but not limited to: car parking or manoeuvring areas; shelter or storage buildings or areas; and refuelling facilities.
Jetty means a structure similar to, but smaller than, a wharf. This will usually be a platform built on piles in a river or lake, or in the sea, that provides access to the water. 
Explanatory note: Whether currently accessible or not, jetties in the district include: Akaroa Recreation Ground Jetty West, Akaroa Recreation Ground Jetty East, Charteris Bay Jetty, Church Bay Jetty, Corsair Bay Jetty, Drummonds Jetty, Duvauchelle Jetty, French Farm Boating Club Jetty, Little Akaloa Jetty, Lyttelton Public Ramp Jetty, Purau Jetty, Redcliffs Jetty, South New Brighton Park Jetty, Takamatua Jetty, Tikao Bay Jetty, and Wainui Finger Jetty, as well as river and lake jetties.
Servicing  generally means the loading and unloading of goods or equipment, or the maintenance of structures, machinery or equipment
Vessel  means, but is not limited to: boats, ships, tenders, barges, yachts, dinghies, jet skis, canoes, kayaks, windsurf boards, and kite boards, and includes any other watercraft:
(a) whether propelled by motor, wind or other means; and 
(b) intended for use on the water; and
(c) that carries a person or people. 
Wharf means a structure similar to, but generally larger, stronger and higher than, a jetty. 
Explanatory note: Whether currently accessible or not, wharves in the district include: Akaroa Wharf, Daly’s Wharf, Diamond Harbour Wharf, Old Duvauchelle Wharf, Governor’s Bay Wharf, Little Akaloa Wharf, Pigeon Bay Wharf, Port Levy Wharf, Gallipoli Wharf (Rapaki), Robinson’s Bay Wharf, and Wainui Wharf.


5. Use of facilities for commercial purposes or organised events

(1) No person may use a facility for commercial purposes without the prior written permission of an Authorised Officer.

(2) No person may use a facility for an organised competition, lesson, club or training event without the prior written permission of an Authorised Officer, if that use may be reasonably likely to:

(a) result in the exclusive use of a facility and prevent or reduce access for the general public; or

(b) give rise to any health and safety issues resulting from anticipated participant or supporter numbers.

(3) A permission given under clause 5(1) or 5(2) of this Bylaw may contain conditions, and may set out, among other things:

(a) the hours, days or dates within which an operator or organiser intends to utilise the facility;

(b) the location (or part of a facility) that will be used;

(c) limitations on access to the facility and requirements about vacating the facility;

(d) information on any signage relating to the commercial activity or organised event under clause 6 of this Bylaw;

(e) any other conditions that must be adhered to; and

(f) the payment of fees.

Explanatory note: See later clause on permissions under this bylaw (clause 15).

6. Signage for commercial purposes, organised events or other purposes

(1) No person may install or display signage in, on or affixed to a facility, near a facility, or in relation to the use of a facility, without the prior written permission of an Authorised Officer.

Explanatory note: The general principles applying to signage and advertising in, on or around facilities are:

• signage may not unreasonably obstruct or otherwise endanger facility users
• signage for an ongoing situation may need to be removed regularly, and only be displayed while the activity or event is taking place or being offered
• signage should not damage the facility
• signage should be kept in good order
• signage must comply with other regulatory requirements (such as the applicable district plan).

Regulatory signs from other organisations must also have permission before being installed. This is so that unnecessary proliferation can be avoided, and coordination can occur, where appropriate/possible.

(2) Unauthorised signage in, on, around or near facilities may be removed at the discretion of an Authorised Officer.

Explanatory note: Generally, land around or near facilities will be land under the control of the Council (often, for example, reserve land). A similar clause is contained within the Parks and Reserves Bylaw.

7. Vehicles on wharves and jetties

(A) Controls on all vehicles on wharves and jetties

(1) No person may drive or park a motor vehicle on a jetty.

(2) No person may drive or park a motor vehicle on a wharf, unless:

(a) the wharf is structurally sound for vehicle use; and

(b) the vehicle is an Authorised Vehicle; and

(c) the vehicle is either:

(i) below the gross laden weight listed on a Council sign affixed to the wharf; or

(ii) the vehicle has been given written permission by an Authorised Officer based on a specific vehicle-to-structure assessment.

Explanatory note: Wharves that are structurally sound for vehicle use are subject to change over time, depending on structural assessments. The current structural allowances are:

• Akaroa and Diamond Harbour Wharves can accommodate vehicles up to 3,500kg gross laden weight
• Akaroa and Diamond Harbour Wharves can potentially accommodate vehicles over 3,500kg gross laden weight, but each vehicle must be considered on a case-by-case basis and a specific vehicle-to-structure assessment
• Wainui Wharf can accommodate vehicles up to 7,000kg gross laden weight
• Daly’s and Little Akaloa Wharves may be appropriate for limited light vehicle use, but each vehicle must be considered on a case-by-case basis and a specific vehicle-to-structure assessment.
• A case-by-case basis and a specific vehicle-to-structure assessment will also evaluate the need for a vehicle to be present on a wharf or jetty and may be granted or refused at the Authorising Officer’s discretion.

(B) Authorised vehicles on wharves

(1) No person may drive or park an Authorised Vehicle on a wharf unless that vehicle is actively involved in servicing a business, or servicing any structure or machinery associated with or forming part of the wharf.

(2) No person may leave an Authorised Vehicle unattended on a wharf.

Explanatory note: A wharf is not a parking facility, and is primarily intended for pedestrian use. Vehicle use of wharves is only permitted when a vehicle is actively required for servicing. Permission for the commercial use of a wharf does not infer a right to unlimited vehicle access to the wharf, or an unlimited right to park on the wharf.

(3) No person may park an Authorised Vehicle on a wharf in such a way as to unreasonably obstruct access to, or the use of, the wharf, including access points from the water.

Explanatory note: Authorised Vehicles must be driven and parked with the utmost care for the facility and for other users of the facility, and any parking should be considerate of other users and not unnecessarily prevent or block access.

(4) Written permission may be sought from an Authorised Officer for parking vehicles for longer time limits.

(5) An Authorised Officer may prohibit a person from driving one or more specified vehicles onto a wharf, if, in the opinion of the Authorised Officer, that person has:

(a) driven or parked in an unsafe manner; or
(b) breached this bylaw.

(6) Nothing in this clause applies to an emergency services vehicle in an emergency situation

8. Mooring vessels at wharves or jetties

(A) Location, time limits and attendance requirements

(1) No person may moor a vessel to or alongside an access point at Akaroa Wharf, Daly’s Wharf, Wainui Wharf or Diamond Harbour Wharf, other than for the purposes of using that access point for loading and unloading, or maintenance or servicing, of the vessel.
(2) No person may moor to an access point in clause 8(A)(1) for more than one hour at a time, unless prior written permission has been granted by an Authorised Officer. 

Explanatory note: Mooring alongside access points is appropriate while servicing is occurring (loading, unloading, or undertaking maintenance), but once completed, a vessel should be moved to another part of the wharf or jetty, or elsewhere. Wharves and jetties can be in high demand, especially over summer, and use and access should be balanced to allow for both commercial and recreational users.

(3) No person may moor a vessel to any other part of the wharves listed in clause 8(A)(1) for more than two hours at a time, and must moor the vessel in a position that does not block access points.

(4) No person may leave a vessel unattended when it is moored to any wharf or jetty, without written permission from an Authorised Officer.

(5) Written permission may be sought from an Authorised Officer for mooring vessels at any wharf or jetty for longer time limits, including overnight.

Explanatory note: The Council has some berthing areas that are designed for long-term stay and are managed through licencing or leasing agreements (such as Naval Point Marina). Such agreements are a form of written permission under this bylaw.

(B) Size of vessels

(1) Where tidal conditions allow for the mooring of vessels to a wharf or jetty, the following size conditions apply:

(a) any yacht may be moored, provided it is no more than 15 metres in length; and
(b) any other vessel may be moored, provided it is no more than 10 metres in length.

(2) If a vessel is larger than those set out in clause 8(B)(1), prior written permission must be given by an Authorised Officer who has assessed the vessel in relation to the structure of the wharf or jetty.

(C) Adverse weather conditions

(1) No person may moor a vessel to a wharf or jetty if it may cause damage to the wharf or jetty due to adverse weather conditions.

9. Refuelling vessels from facilities

(A) General requirements for refuelling a vessel from a facility

(1) No person may refuel a vessel from a facility unless all reasonably practicable steps are taken to ensure refuelling:

(a) is undertaken safely and does not endanger other facility users; and
(b) does not damage or contaminate the facility.

(B) Refuelling a commercial vessel from a wharf

Explanatory note: Commercial refuelling from a public wharf needs to be undertaken with the utmost care, as a wharf is a narrow space with open public access, and fuel presents a serious safety hazard. Commercial refuelling presents a high risk due to the volume of fuel involved and the likely frequency of refuelling.

(1) No person may undertake the refuelling of a vessel used for commercial purposes from a facility, unless:

(a) written permission has been given by an Authorised Officer; and
(b) all risks associated with refuelling have been identified and are effectively managed.

Explanatory note: Refuelling must not occur unless all relevant legislation is adhered to, best practice guidelines are followed, and all equipment is fit for purpose. Legislative requirements include:

  • the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, which requires taking all reasonably practicable steps to eliminate, minimise or manage risk, and places responsibility on the business operator to protect themselves and those that may be affected; and 
  • an approved Site Marine Oil Spill Contingency Plan (approved by the Harbour Master).

Commercial refuelling will only be permitted at some facilities, and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Any application for permission should contain a refuelling plan, setting out how refuelling will occur, and how the requirements in this bylaw will be met. It should identify risks and set out how they will be managed, including how safe access and egress of the facility will be achieved for other facility users.

Businesses operating from the Akaroa Main Wharf should be organised and prepare in advance on cruise ship days and over the peak Christmas and New Year holiday period. Commercial operators should endeavour to plan for refuelling at off-peak times to minimise the risk to other facility users.

Before each refuelling event, a situational risk analysis must be undertaken to ensure that any other (new) risks have been identified and are managed.

10. Obstruction of facilities

(A) Obstruction of access to facilities

(1) No person may leave any vessel, watercraft, trailer, motor vehicle, or any other thing, in, on or near a facility in such a way as to obstruct the reasonable use of that facility.

Explanatory note: Vehicles and trailers should be parked considerately, safely and legally. Dangerous parking of vehicles may also result in instant fines under parking-related legislation, such as the Land Transport Road User Rule or the Council’s Traffic and Parking Bylaw.

(B) Storage in, on, around or near facilities

Explanatory note: Some storage facilities are managed via licencing agreements (e.g. dinghy storage sheds, the boat storage compound or club equipment storage). These agreements count as permission under this bylaw. The clauses below cover situations where things are being stored without any discussion with or approval by the Council.

(1) No person may store any trailer, vessel, watercraft, equipment or any other thing in, on or around a facility in a way that obstructs access, or presents a health and safety issue, without the written permission of an Authorised Officer. 

Explanatory note: Ideally, dinghies, kayaks, etc, should be stored on private land. However, in some areas, watercraft have traditionally been stored out of the way on banks or other unused areas near the waterfront, and this has not presented an issue. Whether such storage presents an issue or not will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

A similar clause about storage is contained within the Council’s Parks and Reserves Bylaw, and generally applies to reserve land, greenspace under the Council’s control, and the foreshore area and prevents storage for more than seven days without permission.

(2) Any trailer, vessel, watercraft or any other thing found to be stored in, on or around a facility and causing an obstruction or nuisance may be removed by the Council.

Explanatory note: If a trailer, vessel or any other thing is deemed to be obstructing access to a facility, and the owner does not remove it when asked, the Council may remove it and recover the costs of removing the obstruction from the owner under sections 164-168 of the Local Government Act 2002.

11. Closing or restricting access to facilities

(1) No person may enter or remain upon a facility where a Council sign indicates that the facility is closed to the public, in whole or in part, temporarily or permanently, without the written permission of an Authorised Officer.

Explanatory note: A facility will be open to the public at all times, except when the Council has determined that it is necessary to temporarily or permanently close the facility, or part of it, and has provided appropriate signage to inform the public of the closure.

(2) Where a facility is closed to the public, but is undergoing repairs, access is restricted to those involved in undertaking any assessments, repairs or maintenance.

12. Damage to facilities

(1) No person may destroy, damage, deface, or otherwise interfere with any facility or part of a facility.

13. Fishing from a council facility

(1) When fishing from a facility, a person:

(a) must not leave rubbish or fishing-related by-products behind (such as fish guts/scales/bait, fishing line, hooks or other sharp objects, or any other rubbish); and
(b) must rinse down the facility with water to remove blood, scales, fish guts or other fishing waste; and
(c) must not unreasonably obstruct or prevent access for other people; and
(d) must not endanger other people (such as casting without warning, or casting when a facility is busy).

Explanatory note: Fishing needs to take into consideration other users and not unduly obstruct or endanger them, and Council facilities should be left in a good state.

Clause (b) rinsing - can be achieved quickly and easily by using a bottle of water to rinse the surface of the facility.

In addition to breaching this bylaw, a breach of the behaviour set out in this bylaw may also result in penalties under other legislation. For example, leaving rubbish behind may result in an infringement notice (instant fine) issued under the Litter Act 1979. Any combination of failing to comply with the above clauses may result in the Council issuing a trespass notice under the Trespass Act 1980.

Also note that fishing must comply with national recreational fishing rules relating to licences, species, size, quotas, etc.

14. No fishing zones

(1) No person may fish from a Council facility where that facility, or part of it, has signage indicating that it is a ‘no fishing zone’.

(2) A temporary no fishing zone may be put in place by an Authorised Officer to protect the facility from damage, to protect health and safety, or to protect against nuisance.

(3) A permanent no fishing zone may be put in place by Council resolution to protect the facility from damage, to protect health and safety, or to protect against nuisance.

INSERT: At the same time as considering the proposed bylaw, the Council will consider possible new clause wording (or a resolution to be made simultaneously with the new bylaw under the fishing clause above): 

(1) No person may fish from a Council river facility within the central city area, from where the Avon River crosses under Harper Avenue / Bealey Avenue (where they meet Park Terrace), to where the river flows under Fitzgerald Avenue (at Kilmore Street and Avonside Drive).

Explanatory note: ‘Fish’ refers to all fish species present in the river, including eels. This clause applies only to Council facilities (built structures, such as punting landings and steps), and not to the riverbank in its entirety.

15. Permission under this bylaw

(1) Where this bylaw requires written permission, that permission may be:

(a) a permit or licence issued by an Authorised Officer
(b) given through a leasing, licencing or other commercial agreement between the Council and another party
(c) set out in this bylaw, an explanatory note to this bylaw, or schedule to this bylaw
(d) in an electronic form
(e) included in a park or reserve management or master plan
(f) given by a sign installed by the Council on or at the entrance to a facility
(g) given under a different Council bylaw.

Explanatory note: Permission for a commercial activity undertaken in a public place, for example, may be give