Jet ski information
Before using a jet ski in the Gisborne district (Poverty Bay, Tolaga Bay, Tokomaru Bay and Hicks Bay) the jet ski must be registered with us and display a unique identification number. This also applies to visitors to our district.
The unique identification number must on both sides of the craft with a minimum letter height of 100mm so it's clear and easy to read.
Register your jet ski
There's no charge for registration.
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.
If you change ownership or contact details
It’s important you let us know if you change address so we can update our records. If you sell your jet ski, the new owner needs to fill in the registration form to change the contact details.
The rules for jet ski users in our district
Jet ski users should know the rules and regulations before heading out on a jet ski. See the Navigation Safety Bylaw
We recommend you download the free smartphone app MarineMate. It gives you local boating rules, VHF channels, tide times and any notices.
The speed rules
Keep to 5 knots within:
200m of the shore or any boat with a dive flag
50m of any other boat or person in the water
5 knots is a fast walking pace, or 9 km/hr.
Wear a life jacket
Wear a personal flotation device or life jacket at all times.
Don’t go on a jet ski unless you can swim.
Areas designated for jet skiing
An area off Midway Beach opposite Pacific Street is designated for jet ski, it's identified by orange posts with horizontal black bands, and signs on the beach. See the map below.
A jet ski must not exceed 5 knots in any river.
Jet skis can operate 200 metres or more from the waters edge.
Watch out for swimmers. Jet skis may only travel at 5 knots or less within 50m of a person in the water that includes surfers.
Ramp access is available at:
Harbour basin - The Esplanade
Marina, Vogel Street
Waikanae Beach, The Cut - access lane is marked by an orange post.
Tolaga Bay - Uawa Parade
Tokomaru Bay - opposite the Tavern
Police, surf lifesavers, coastguard and Council staff monitor for safety. If they approach you, listen to their advice – they're there to help you be safe.
Keep well away from surfers and swimmers if launching off a beach.
Water skiing or towing
If you're using your jet ski to water ski or tow, the jet ski must have 2 seats - you must have a second person as an observer spotting the person being towed.
If the jet ski has been modified by removing the silencer or 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 – contact the Police dial 111.
Jet ski area off Midway Beach