I think the main issue is that many organisations don't have unified idea of what "boating" is. To some boating is power boating, but of course legally any craft is a boat/ship.
Sport NZ have said for a while that paddlecraft are allowed: https://sportnz.org.nz/assets/Uploads/Play-Active-Recreation-and-Sport-at-Alert-Levels-4-4.pdf
Maritime say the same thing: https://maritimenz.govt.nz/recreational/default.asp
When there's a 1000 activities, businesses, and functions being considered, it seems likely exact wording and such isn't always going to be right straight away. Especially if cabinet/Police/MBIE/whoever go to the wrong people for advice...