Auckland Council’s Regulatory and Bylaws Committee agreed yesterday to separate the Lifejacket Bylaw consultation from that of the wider Navigation Safety Bylaw.
“We applaud the strategic thinking of the Committee, enabling a greater focus on such an important issue for our communities,” says WaterSafe Auckland CEO Sandy Harrop.
Otara-Local Board Member Tunumafono Ava Fa’amoe agrees and sees the benefits of such as decision as two-fold.
“Not only will give our community a greater say around how the new bylaw will look,” he says “it creates opportunities for greater education and awareness around lifejacket use. This has been a matter of urgency, in order to avoid further loss of lives on our waters.”
Sandy and member Fa’amoe presented to the Committee the results of extensive consultation with Auckland’s Pacific, aquatic and boating communities, Local Boards and community networks, supporting the introduction of a ‘stronger’ lifejacket regulation and requesting a stand-alone consultation process.
Auckland Council is currently reviewing all Navigation Safety Bylaws but it was hoped that the Committee consider the separation, a move supported by 18 of Auckland’s 21 Local Boards.
The current bylaw only requires lifejackets to be carried but worn at times of risk or when the skipper says so, but many of the boating-related drowning deaths we have suffered could have been avoided if the persons actually wore them [the lifejackets].
It is expected that following the independent consultation process, the lifejacket and wider bylaws will merge into one complete Navigation Safety Bylaw that will better serve the needs of our communities.
For more information / interviews contact:
Ph 027 271 5781
Tunumafono Ava Fa’amoe
Ph 027 680 7973