Delaware / Wakapuaka Estuary vehicle access

24/01/2020 4:40am
Map of  approved boat launching ramps in Nelson.
Map of approved boat launching ramps in Nelson.

​From late January, Nelson City Council enforcement officers will be monitoring boat launching activity at Delaware Bay, advising people that under the Nelson Resource Management Plan (NRMP), driving vehicles on the estuary to launch and retrieve boats, and disturbance of the foreshore by vehicles, is not permitted.

Delaware (Wakapuaka) Bay is of deep historic and cultural significance. 

The area from Delaware Bay to Glenduan became a taia-pure (traditional fishery reserve) in 2002, established under the Fisheries Act 1993, and is managed by a committee of iwi, community and marine group representatives.

Historically, the Bay is famous for Huria Mātenga’s rescue of the crew of the Delaware, which ran onto rocks at Wakapuaka in September 1863. 

From pre-European times to today, the estuary has always been an important site for gathering of kai moana within the estuary. It is also an important source for the Māori values of manaakitanga (hospitality) and kaitiakitanga (stewardship/guardianship).

The estuary has significant ecological values as its seagrass and cockle beds provide important spawning grounds for fish. 

Loss of, or damage to, this important estuary habitat is likely to reduce the variety and number of juvenile fish in the area. Damage to the estuary will also impact on species of shorebird such as the rare banded rail, variable oyster catcher and occasional visitors such as the royal spoonbill.

The launching or retrieving of recreational or commercial vessels can occur at the main authorised boat launching ramps in the Nelson region at Monaco, the Nelson Marina and Cable Bay. The safest all-weather launch site is the slipway at Nelson Marina.
Council’s enforcement officers will advise people about the rules and provide information about alternative launching locations.