The Waikato Regional Council-developed MarineMate mobile phone app, which is hugely popular with boaties nationally, has been given a funding boost by Maritime NZ.

The national body announced today that it is providing $23,000 to the council for a range of activities, including to refresh and add to the app, which has had at least 35,000 downloads since it was launched in 2014.

MarineMate contains a range of very useful safety information for boaties and some of the $23,000 will be used to improve functionality.

The rest of the grant, funded by the fuel excise duty on petrol, will go towards producing fish measurement stickers and waterproof cellphone bags with safety messages printed on them. The stickers help ensure only legal size fish are kept, while the cellphone bags are part of a drive to get boaties to carry two waterproof forms of communication with them.

The council’s maritime services team leader Richard Barnett said the Maritime NZ funding was very welcome.

“Developing MarineMate further and distributing more waterproof cellphone bags will help boaties stay safe on the water, something we at the regional council are very passionate about.

“We want boaties to come home to their families after being out on the water.”

To download, vist your app store and search for MarineMate.