An exclusion zone has been established around Otangiwai Point, also known as Mailbox Point, in Lake Rotomā.
Pererika Makiha, the Harbour Master for the Rotorua Lakes, has closed boat access to an area of water within 75 metres of the shore around the point, which is a popular spot for diver training, between the hours of 10am and 6pm, seven days a week.
"Each year approximately 1000 divers use the area around Otangiwai Point for training," Mr Makiha said. "The area has the perfect depths and conditions for trainee divers who are able to access the water from land, rather than by boat, and we need to ensure their safety as best as we can."
Bay of Plenty Regional Council has positioned three buoys around the point to mark the area, which are approximately 75 metres from shore.
"Following feedback from local community representatives the exclusion zone was set up to cater for both commercial dive operators and recreational fisherman. Signage has been erected at both ramps indicating hours of operation for both divers and boaties. The exclusion zone is being trialled until 31 March 2013," Mr Makiha said.
After the trial the Regional Council will be seeking the views of the community on the future of the zone, during the review of the Bay of Plenty Navigation Safety Bylaw, which is scheduled for the 2013/14 financial year.
Read more about navigation safety bylaws.