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Exclusion zones

Exclusion zones on the water will be part of the Tuia 250 events at the end of next week.

As well, the inner harbour area will be open to foot traffic only on two days.

The Ministry of Transport has designated the commemorations a Major Maritime Event which brings with it extra responsibility and regulations including exclusion zones for people wanting to put their boats on the water.

On Saturday, October 5, no commercial shipping movement will be permitted for a 24-hour period from midnight, in Turanganui-a-Kiwa/Poverty Bay between Tuahine Point and Te Kuri a Paoa (Young Nicks Head). No commercial vessels will be permitted to anchor inside the bay.

Open days at the inner harbour on Sunday, October 6, and Monday, October 9, will be accessible for foot traffic only. That also means no one can launch from the inner harbour boat ramp.

The alternatives are Anzac Park and Marina Park which are both tide dependent.

The 24-hour restriction in the bay comes back into play on Tuesday, October 8, when the tall ships are scheduled to arrive, with the same rules around exclusion zones.

Only official Tuia 250 vessels will be allowed to anchor within the designated area during the 24 hours and while they are at anchor, there is a 200m exclusion zone around them.

When the boats are moving, a 100m exclusion zone will apply around them.

Spectator vessels are allowed within the designated area but must not exceed five knots.

There will be no anchoring inside the bay for vessels that are not part of the official ceremonies.

Those planning to get out on the water over this time must follow the conditions.

Anyone flouting the rules could be liable for large fines.

As well, Maritime New Zealand officers will be at the city boat ramps ensuring all vessels have enough life jackets on board for each person on the boat.

There will be patrol vessels on the water enforcing the regulations.

The waka Haunui, Ngahiraka Mai Tawhiti and Tahitian va’a tipaerua Fa’afaite will be welcomed with a mass pohiri on Saturday, October 5.

The day will begin pre-dawn when the waka and va’a assemble for a blessing at Tuamotu Island and start their entry to the bay where the pohiri will take place.

They will travel from Tuahine Point, across the bay and sweep around to Te Waiohiharore (The Cut) for the pohiri.

The 24-hour exclusion zone will only apply when the flotilla is on the water. It is anticipated this will be between 6am and 1pm on the Saturday, and again on Tuesday for the second arrival. The weather is the unknown factor and could force a shift in the times, hence the 24-hour contingency.

“We want everyone to enjoy the day and be safe out there on the water,” Gisborne District Council harbourmaster, Salvatore Ali said.

“It is a legal requirement to have enough life jackets on board for each person — that could be on a waka, kayak or bigger vessel.”

SAFETY ZONES: The Ministry of Transport has designated next week’s Tuia 250 commemorations a major maritime event, and will be policing exclusion zones for the duration of the events. Image supplied