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America's Cup

Look for the flag when going out to watch Cup

Issue date

Everyone wants to get close to the action but Maritime New Zealand are reminding people there are rules around who can operate commercially during the America’s Cup to ensure the event is safe and successful.

If you’re earning money or receiving any form of benefit from a third party from using your vessel, it’s likely to be commercial and you need to be in a safety system. Recreational boaties can take friends out to watch the Cup, but they can’t charge them.

Anyone wanting to operate commercially during the America's Cup will need to operate under MOSS – the Maritime Operator Safety System – or another recognised safety system unless they apply for and hold an exemption from doing so.

A simple way to tell if an operator is compliant is to look for the flag, the distinctive pink and yellow flag that helps the public choose legitimate operators and steer them away from unlawful operators.


Operators in MOSS and whose safe operator plan states they can carry passengers within Auckland inshore limits can continue operating within the limits of their maritime transport operator plan during the America’s Cup.

If you have questions or want to take paying passengers and don’t currently qualify, have a chat with a maritime officer who can walk you through what you need to do. Find your local maritime officer on Maritime NZ’s website here.

If you would like a flag to show your status or have questions, please email

The America's Cup have put together this good on-water safety video hosted by Emirates Team New Zealand's Ray Davies.

Anyone who is looking for accommodation in Auckland for the America's Cup, or any other time, should investigate Franklin 38, a luxury bed and breakfast only 15 minutes' walk from the Viaduct and downtown Auckland.

  • Main photo: America's Cup