Summer sailing set to get safer with free official ENC charts

1 December 2020

Land Information New Zealand has launched a free electronic navigational charts (ENC) service to help keep New Zealanders safe on the water this summer. ENC are sometimes referred to as nautical or marine charts.

The NZ ENC Service is a subscription service that requires a navigation system which is configurable and compatible with International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) S-63 encryption. Once subscribed, users will receive regular updates drawn from LINZ official data.

The New Zealand Hydrographic Authority within LINZ has responsibilities under the International Convention for safety of life at sea to produce nautical information for safe navigation.

LINZ Chief Executive Gaye Searancke says the NZ ENC Service has been developed in response to mariners increasingly using electronic charts and plotters for navigation.

“By using the NZ ENC Service, recreational and commercial mariners will have the very best and most up-to-date data available to sail safely in New Zealand waters,” Ms Searancke says.

Mariners can choose from six chart pack regions covering the North and South Islands with specific packs for the Auckland area, Bay of Islands, Cook Strait and the inland water of Lakes Wakatipu and Taupō.

LINZ and Maritime NZ have worked closely together on this project.

“Free access to navigational charts makes New Zealand water’s safer for boaties and commercial shipping,” Maritime NZ Principal Nautical Advisor, Matt Dean says.

“I encourage everyone who can use electronic charts to take advantage of this excellent offer.

“Up-to-date navigational charts are crucial to the safety of boats and ships, the people on them and our environment. The easier they are to access, the safer we are.

“LINZ and Maritime NZ are keen to continue developing improved navigational products to help keep New Zealanders safe,” says Mr Dean.

Ports of Auckland Senior Pilot Captain John Barker was involved in the NZ ENC Service’s trial and now has twelve Ports of Auckland pilots using it on their Portable Piloting Units.

“LINZ has taken a great step forward with online electronic navigational charts.”

“The subscription and downloading process is very simple, logical and user friendly. Everybody should use LINZ authoritative charts and now their electronic charts are so easily available there’s no excuse not to use them,” says Captain Barker.

For technical information about the NZ ENC Service and to download, visit encservice.linz.govt.nz.

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