Requirements for Jetties and Moorings

All moorings and structures, such as jetties, boatsheds or slipways in the Queenstown Lakes District are privately owned.

The Mooring /Structure owner must hold a valid permit and consent for the waterway feature.  The permit runs from 1 July to 30 June and must be renewed annually.   You can find forms and resources below.

All moorings and structures are subject to compliance under Navigation Safety Bylaw 2018, Resource Management Act 1991, and the Building Act 2004  to ensure the safety of  our community sharing the use and enjoyment of our waterways

Looking after your Mooring or Jetty

It’s important to maintain your Mooring or Jetty to ensure the safety of anyone using the structure.   We’ve included some important considerations here:

  • Regularly check for any damage or deterioration to ensure the structure is in good condition. Any substandard navigational aids or damaged buoys must be replaced.

  • Never relocate your Mooring without prior written approval from Queenstown Lakes District Council. Relocation will involve variations to your Resource Consent and Mooring Permit. If you move your mooring without permission enforcement action may be taken.

  • Always clearly display the identification number on the mooring buoy and jetty.

  • Never place a vessels larger than the consented length or weight on a mooring. This can cause a safety risk for others using our lakes and waterways.

  • As a permit holder you are responsible under the Navigation Safety Bylaw 2018, to keep vessels in a seaworthy condition at all times, unless granted an exemption.

  • Always let us know immediately if your contact details change.

Further information on construction and maintenance of your mooring can be read below:

Download the Swing Moorings booklet. 

Waterway consents

Requirements for Resource Consent came into effect with the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA). This replaced previous permissions and licenses under the Harbours Act 1950. 

For any jetty or mooring that obtained approval under the Harbours Act 1950, your permit under that Act will have expired in 2005 (if not before). After that, you would have required a Resource Consent under the RMA.

Jetties and Moorings need permissions under both the QLDC District Plan and the Otago Regional Council Water Plan. One application for both can be made directly to the Queenstown Lakes District Council.   

If you have previously obtained a resource consent, it’s important to check the conditions, which may include a timeframe for expiry.

Understanding your responsibilities

We're currently working through a project to validate existing information held on jetties and moorings across the district.  Part of this process is supporting jetty and mooring owners to understand their  responsibilities and ensure all waterways structures are safe and compliant.  

If you're a jetty or mooring owner, you should have heard from us via email.  If you haven't heard from us, we've provided a link to the latest communication and supporting frequently asked questions below.  

Mooring owner letter and FAQ document - June 2022

Frequently asked questions

  • All negotiations for the sale of moorings are between the mooring consent and permit holder and the purchaser. Queenstown Lakes District Council are not involved in the sale of Moorings of Jetties and are only involved for the purpose of ownership and consent transfers.  

  • You are required to transfer the ownership, there are two steps to this to this process 

    1) You will need to transfer your resource consent for your jetty/ mooring under the RMA, this is done through the QLDC Consents team, it’s a good idea to get this done first.

    2) You can then apply to transfer the permit.  This is done through the QLDC Property team and a transfer fee applies. You can download the transfer form below. Permit transfers will only be considered once the form and supporting documents are complete. 

    To transfer your jetty or mooring resource consent, you need to email us with the following details:     

    • Your resource consent number 

    • Location of your jetty/mooring 

    • Details for the current and new consent holder (this must be a legal person or entity).  

    Once we have that information and confirm your resource consent is valid, we will action the resource consent transfer and send you written confirmation that it is completed. An administration fee applies.   

    Please contact the duty planner for all RMA transfer requests.

  • QLDC’s Waterbased Activity Application Form (Form 9) includes what information you’re required to provide with your resource consent application. 

    You will also need to look at our District Plan to find the relevant rules to establish a mooring/jetty. Because our District Plan is currently being reviewed, you will need to look at both the Operative District Plan and the Proposed District Plan.  

    The lakes in our district are zoned “Rural General” under the Operative District Plan, and “Rural” under the Proposed District Plan. The exception being Queenstown Bay, where the bay is zoned “Queenstown Bay Waterfront Subzone” which is part of the “Queenstown Town Centre” zone.  You will also want to check the Otago Regional Council (ORC) Water Plan. 

    You can apply to QLDC for the resource consent required by both QLDC and ORC for your jetty/ mooring. QLDC will liaise with ORC on your behalf and unless ORC decide to process the application themselves, QLDC will process both the QLDC and ORC component of your application. 

    You can apply for resource consent yourself, or you may like to engage an independent resource management planner to assist in preparing your application. Whether you choose to apply yourself or seek assistance, once you have an application prepared you can also seek a pre- application meeting with us to help understand your resource consenting requirements.  

    Here are a number of links that may be helpful:  

  • All moorings/jetties in the Queenstown Lakes are privately owned. QLDC does not administer the sale or leasing of moorings. You may be able to find listings in the local newspaper, on trademe, through local boating clubs or on local noticeboards. 

  • No. You must have permission from the Mooring owner before attaching anything to a mooring that you do not own or lease. This would be equivalent to parking your car in someone else's driveway. 

  • There are many responsibilities as a mooring or jetty permit holder, these include those listed on your permit which is issued under the Navigation Safety Bylaw 2018 and the conditions of your consent issued under the Resource Management Act 1991, you may also hold responsibilities under the Building Act 2004. You can also find more information about construction and maintenance in our Moorings info booklet.

  • Queenstown Lakes District Council currently does not have preferred suppliers for servicing or maintaining your mooring or jetty at this time. A quick Google search should help you find profession suppliers for your needs. 

  • We may ask for details on your vessel, this helps us reunite vessels with their owners if they are recovered from our waterways. 

  • These have been installed by NIWA, on behalf of Wai  Wanaka.  They may look like buoys, but under the surface they are decked out to undertake scientific analysis of water flows and contaminants.   


Forms and resources

Contact us

Building Team

  • To check if your jetty requires a building consent

  •  To lodge an application for a building consent 

  • To check the conditions of your building consent if you are unsure

Visit our Building Services webpage.

Resource Consents Team

  • To check if your mooring or jetty has a current resource consent

  • To check the conditions or expiry of your resource consent if you are unsure

  • To understand requirements to lodge an applications for a resource consent

Visit our Duty Planner webpage.

Property Team

  • To apply for a new permit

  • Questions regarding your existing permit or fees

  • To lodge an application to transfer the ownership of a mooring or jetty

  • To advise if you wish to surrender your permit

Harbourmaster – Queenstown & Wānaka

For issues in regards to non-compliance of waterways rules such as not wearing life jackets, please contact the Harbourmaster:

  • For all urgent enquiries, please phone us on 03 441 0499

  • For all non-urgent enquires lodge a Request for Service on the QLDC website at

For Emergencies, always call 111

For enquires in regards to Waterways Regulatory Services or to discuss matters such as proposed events taking place on lakes and rivers in our district that require Harbourmaster approval, please contact QLDC.