26 Dec 2014

Port Taranaki considers swipecard entry

1:18 pm on 26 December 2014

Port Taranaki is considering introducing swipecard entry to the popular Breakwater Bay area to solve congestion problems at New Plymouth's only recreational boat ramp.

Port chief executive, Roy Weaver said events such as regular market days and the Ironman World Cup, meant boaties had often found it difficult to access the boat ramp and park trailers.

Mr Weaver said the port was investigating its options, including restricting access to the lee breakwater.

If a gate with swipecard entry was introduced, boaties would be charged to recover costs.

President of the New Plymouth Sports Fishing Club Alan Melody said his members would be willing to pay a small fee if it helped solve the problem.

Call centres for boaties

Meanwhile, an around-the-clock call centre would ensure boaties and water users were safer on Bay of Plenty harbours and lakes this summer.

All phone calls to a duty officer will now be directed through the City of Tauranga call centre.

Regional Harbour Master Peter Buell said that would ensure every call was dealt with quickly, particularly during the summer season when it received up to 15 calls a day.

Mr Buell said calls to duty officers included reports of boaties in trouble, unsafe practices, damaged beacons, boat lights out or hazardous floating logs.

He was calling on people to wear lifejackets, stick to the speed rules and always have three people when water skiing.

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