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Published: 2014-01-31 00:00:00

A free new smartphone app for water users has hit 11,000 downloads in its first two months and is ranking in the top three sports applications for iPhone and Android devices.

MarineMate has up-to-date tide information adjusted for daylight savings, boat ramp locations, safe boating checklists, and regulatory information on 5 knot zones, towing lanes and swimming areas. 

“We’re getting some really positive feedback from people who are finding it valuable for a wide range of activities on inland and coastal waterways across New Zealand,” said Waikato Regional Council's navigation safety programme manager, Nicole Botherway. 

“The application has been especially popular with water users in the Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions, and momentum is building in the South Island now too,” she said. 

Of the 89 per cent of people who have completed a five-question survey when they first log in to the application, the majority are jet ski, kayak or power boat users. 

“Knowing the types of activities app users are involved in gives us an opportunity to tailor information for these water users in particular,” said Mrs Botherway, who led a national project team to develop the application. 

“This app has been consistently ranking in the top three sports apps since its release, and often sits at number one. 

“We want the app to remain useful and relevant to its users, so we welcome suggestions or feedback on what we can do to update it and this can be emailed to marinemate@waikatoregion.govt.nz.” 

Mrs Botherway said the MetService’s new marine weather app, which was released in the past month in conjunction with Maritime New Zealand, provides a great boating partner to MarineMate.   

“Checking the weather is the first thing clever boaties do before making the decision to go on the water,” Mrs Botherway said. 

The MarineMate app was developed with funding from Maritime NZ, the ACC, Land Information NZ and regional council harbourmasters, with support from Water Safety New Zealand.