Safer Boating Forum

The New Zealand Safer Boating Forum (formerly the National Pleasure Boat Safety Forum) is a formal network representing a cross-section of national and regional government agencies, local body groups, organisations and the marine industry, involved in promoting recreational boating safety in New Zealand.

The purpose of the Forum is to work together to develop and implement a common safety recreational boating strategy for New Zealand and to support agreed boating safety policy, communications, education, compliance and regulation. Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) leads the Forum and works with Forum members to coordinate safe boating activities.

About the forum

The Forum was set up in 2000 to coordinate and implement the recommendations of the Pleasure Boat Safety Advisory Group final report released in 1999.

The report’s recommendations provided the framework to build an integrated New Zealand Pleasure Boat Safety Strategy. The strategy uses a combination of education and targeted legislation to address the key risk factors in recreational boating fatalities.

The four key risk factors identified and targeted by the Forum are:

  • failure to wear lifejackets in small craft that are statistically over represented in fatalities (those less than 6 metres in length)
  • inability to communicate distress following an immersion-type accident
  • bad weather and sea conditions
  • alcohol (a significant cause of accidents and fatalities but underreported as a causal factor)