Pilotage and Arrival Procedures

The approach by sea to Port Taranaki is safe and easily navigable, with an open roadstead and anchorage in 18-22 metres of water. Inside the harbour, the approach fairways provide a swinging basin of up to 418m, and a maximum port draft of 12.5m. Vessels can be berthed in most weathers, but ship drafts in excess of 9.5m depend on tide. Tidal range is 1.7m to 3.9m.

For information on Navigation Bylaws, click here

Information to assist Masters of ships visiting New Zealand in preparing their voyage plan, as required by SOLAS V Regulation 34, can be found here:

Maritime Instruction for Masters of Foreign Ships

New Zealand’s key border agencies, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Quarantine Service and the NZ Customs Service, work closely together to assist with arrival and departure formalities.

[email protected]

Biosecurity NZ Hotline:
0800 80 99 66


Night berthing operations may be restricted in wind of more than 20 knots and require the vessel’s radar and speed measuring devices to be operational.

Vessels over 9.0m draft require Dynamic Under Keel Clearance (DUKC) assessment. As such, the vessel arrival/departure conditions must be filled out accurately in the VIAS. Berth and/or POB time restrictions may apply.


The following table details the maximum dimensions allowed at each of the port's berths. Please refer to Port Guide here


Berth Depth Max LOA Max Beam Max Draft
Breakwater No 1 7.4m 78m 20.0m 6.9m
Breakwater No 2 9.5m 150m 25.0m 8.5m
Moturoa No 1 8.5m 69m 20.0m 7.5m
Moturoa No 2 13.5m 200m 35.0m 12.5m
Newton King No 1 13.5m 211m 35.0m 12.5m
Newton King No 2 13.5m 211m 35.0m 12.5m
Blyde No 1 11.5m 225m 35.m 10.5
Blyde No 2 13.5m 225m 35.0m 12.5m
Blyde No 3 7.5m 78m 20.0m 6.5m
Draft Transit Limits
Up to 9.0m May transit at any time
9.0m - 10.0m Requires height of tide equivalent to DRAFT minus 9.0m
10.0m - 12.5m Transits may only be undertaken under the DUKC system

Note 1: Severe weather may significantly modify these parameters, which define fair-weather conditions only.

Note 2: DUKC transits with vessels in the lower range of drafts in excess of 10.0m may well be undertaken at any time, particularly during neap tides, but otherwise some height of tide may be required to undertake the transit.

Note 3: Final DUKC transit drafts are dependent on real time calculations that can only be undertaken within 24-36 hours of the actual transit. METOCEAN modelling indicates that transits should be possible at 12.5m for 95%-97% of all high waters.

Pilotage is compulsory for all vessels of more than 100m in length or 500GT. The pilot ladder is required to be rigged as directed by New Plymouth Harbour Radio or the Pilot Vessel.

Generally, vessels are turned and berthed heading to sea unless prior arrangements are made. Because of possible surge movement in the harbour, Port Taranaki supplies ShoreTension when deemed appropriate. This is deployed as a supplement to ships’ lines to reduce loads on mooring lines.

The Taranaki Regional Council has responsibility for navigation and safety within Port Taranaki and has established navigation bylaws for the port and its approaches (Taranaki harbour).

The bylaws establish a safe area for swimmers and bathers, a dedicated ski access lane and boat mooring area, and a safe area within the shelter of the port breakwaters that can be used by water skiers, windsurfers and jet skis that need to travel at speeds faster than 5 knots.

The bylaws include Maritime Rules Part 91, enabling all the requirements under Part 91 relating to vessel speed, water skiing or towing, the wearing of personal flotation devices, etc, to be enforced by the Harbour Master and deputy harbour masters.

To view the Navigation Bylaws for Port Taranaki and approaches click on the link below which will redirect you to the Taranaki Regional Council website.

Navigation Bylaws for Port Taranaki and its Approaches

Information detailing the navigation bylaws and a map of the area lawfully occupied by Port Taranaki are available here:

Leaflet - Navigation and Safety Bylaws for Port Taranaki and its Approaches

Map - Port Taranaki Area of Licence to Occupy Coastal Marine Area