Jet ski information
A jet ski – also known as a personal water craft (PWC) or wet bike.
Before using a jet ski in the Gisborne district - Poverty Bay, Tolaga Bay, Tokomaru Bay and Hicks Bay; you must register the jet ski with us and display a unique identification number. This also includes visitors to our district.
The unique identification number must be shown clearly on both sides of the craft with a minimum letter height of 100mm.
You can create your own unique name or number (no more than 5 characters), provided it’s not already registered to another craft; or we can assign a unique ID for you. There’s no charge for registration.
If you change ownership or your contact details
It’s important that you let us know, so we can change our records. If a jet ski is sold, the new owner needs to fill in the registration form to change the contact details.
Areas designated for jet skiing
There are designated jet ski areas beyond Midway Beach; they are identified by orange posts and signs on the beach.
Other than within this area - jet skis can operate 200 metres or more from the waters edge. It is important that jet skis are not operated in swimming areas and are kept a safe distance from surfers at any of our surf beaches.
Access is available from ramps at:
- Harbour basin - opposite The Works cafe
- Marina – by the Marina restaurant
- Anzac Park
- An access lane from Waikanae Beach at the cut, this is marked by orange posts in the area where the Tauranganui River meets the ocean.
- Tolaga Bay - Uawa Parade
- Tokomaru Bay - opposite the Tavern
Important information for jet ski users
Police, surf lifesavers, coastguard, council staff and other trained water recreational personnel monitor for safety. If they approach you please listen to what they say – they are there to help you be safe.
Keep well away from surfers and swimmers if launched off a beach.
Make sure your jet ski is well maintained. Only ride on the seat – never ride on the bow.
Know the rules
A maximum 5 knot speed limit applies within:
- 200m of the shore
- 50m of any other craft
- 50m of a swimmer or other people in the water
- 200m of a dive flag
Wear a lifejacket
Wear a personal flotation device or lifejacket at all times. Don’t go on a jet ski unless you can swim.
Water skiing or towing
Jet skis should not be used to tow a water skier or anyone on an aquaplane or similar object unless the craft has 2 seats - regulations require both a driver and observer when towing.
Jet skis are sold complying with the standards required in respect of noise. If the craft has been modified by the removal of the silencer or if the exhaust is in a state of disrepair, the operator may be prosecuted.
The operator can also be prosecuted for making excessive noise by accelerating or racing the engine when stationary, without a good reason.
Accidents or incidents
You must report any accident or incident to Maritime New Zealand as soon as practicable after it occurs. This is a legal requirement and applies to all recreational vessels. Visit Maritime New Zealand website(external link) Also please contact our harbourmaster
Complaints of dangerous behaviour including speeding on any city river – please contact the Police 111