From the ranges to the sea – meet your Harbourmaster

Profiles of people working for Watercare, Auckland Council and Auckland Transport

Publish Date : 28 Mar 2019
From the ranges to the sea – meet your Harbourmaster
Auckland’s Harbourmaster - Andrew Hayton

“One minute you can be dealing with a huge cruise ship and the next with a paddle boarder. It’s a bit of a cliché, but every day really is different,” says Auckland Harbourmaster Andrew Hayton.

Andrew’s role in our water future is focussed on Auckland’s harbours and the ocean. As Harbourmaster working for Auckland Transport, Andrew and his team are responsible for maintaining buoys and beacons, enforcing maritime rules and bylaws, dealing with navigational hazards, managing the region’s moorings and responding to marine oil spills – and all manner of other maritime-related matters.

“Our main base is at Mechanics Bay. We share our building with the Police Maritime Unit with whom we work extremely closely, especially when it comes to the on-water management of big events,” says Andrew.

“The America’s Cup is obviously going to be huge and we are already planning what we will be doing for that.”

For the boy who joined the Merchant Navy at just 16, his role of Harbourmaster could be seen as the pinnacle of a seafaring career.

“My first trip was from London to New Zealand and back on a container ship,” says Andrew. “I worked my way through the ranks, sailing all over the world and ended up as captain of the cruise ship Wind Surf.

"I’ve been Harbourmaster for the Auckland region for the past eight years – I’m still involved with ships on a daily basis but now I go home every night.”

We are lucky to live in such a beautiful region with so many opportunities to get out on the water, Andrew says. But does he have a favourite?

“I love it all,” he says, “but I have a special affinity for the Manukau Harbour.”

Our Harbourmaster would like to remind people that when they are out on the water enjoying themselves to please make sensible decisions. Have suitable lifejackets for everyone, check the weather forecast, tell someone your plans, carry a reliable means of communicating and don’t overload your boat.

Our Water Future

Clean, healthy water is essential to our future. As our region continues to grow and change, we need to look after this precious taonga. Visit to have your say on how we should waterproof our future. Feedback is open until 19 April.

Read more about the Our Water Future: Auckland's water discussion on OurAuckland.

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