Surf Lifesaving and Coastguard New Zealand are teaming up with the Accident Compensation Corporation to assess the risk of boats capsizing while crossing river bars.
The Coastguard says about 65% of fatal incidents on the open water are caused by boats capsizing. It says there is a heightened risk of capsizing while crossing bars or emerging from rivers to open sea.
The chief executive of Coastguard New Zealand, Bruce Reid, says ACC has already invested $100,000 in the project. He says 30 bars will be assessed in the next 12 months.
He says the knowledge of local people will be important in gathering data about each bar crossing.