30 Nov 2013

New call for boaties to wear lifejackets

7:20 am on 30 November 2013

National MP Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has renewed his call for boaties to wear lifejackets, after a skipper was sentenced over the deaths of two men a year ago.

Two men, who weren't wearing lifejackets, drowned when a five-metre boat capsized during a fishing trip off Waiheke Island last November. Te Karare Tapaanga, 57, was on Friday sentenced to three months' home detention and 150 hours of community service for operating a boat in a manner that caused danger to people.

The MP for Maungakiekie put a member's bill in the ballot in September which proposes to make lifejackets compulsory for people aged under 15 on vessels less than six metres long. At present the law requires lifejackets to be on board a boat.

Mr Lotu-Iiga said the deaths are a tragic reminder the law needs to change.