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Maritime NZ: Sea Change February 2022 newsletter

by Maritime NZ 29 Mar 2022 19:00 NZDT 29 March 2022
In 2020/21 they issued 3,365 maritime or marine protection documents, certificates and permits © Maritime NZ
Latest issue of SeaChange February 2022
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Issue 86

February 2022

SeaChange brings you news you can use to stay safe on the water, plus updates from Maritime NZ and the maritime sector. Remember to 'view in browser' to see all the images below. 

Putting safety first

Kia ora

Welcome to our first issue for 2022. It has been a tough start to the year for many, with new COVID-19 phases to adjust to, as well as Omicron disrupting business continuity and impacting on tourism and other operators' viability.

We really feel for the sector, and supporting you while maintaining safe operation of the industry continues to be a big focus of our work. We also face some of the same challenges as an employer with our own people and business continuity, and ask for your patience and respect if some of our services are disrupted.

Another key focus for us over 2022 continues to be Te Korowai o Kaitiakitanga, a programme of work which centres on the ongoing improvement of how we perform some of our frontline regulatory functions. We've carried out an exercise on what we think good looks like and priorities for action and will be testing this with some maritime sector participants over the next couple of months.

We aim to ensure we're clear about our regulatory approach, we're as effective as we can be when engaging with people, we focus on areas of highest risk, and we partner well with others to deliver safe, secure and clean outcomes for New Zealand.

I wish your companies, workers and families well over the next few months as we grapple with this stage of the pandemic, and we look forward to working collaboratively with you throughout 2022.

Here's the list of this month's articles:
  • COVID-19 update
  • How a "kill switch" could save your life
  • Meet our crew
  • Initiatives to reduce marine plastic litter
  • New marine protection rules to come in to effect soon
  • 40-Series Reform team welcomes your feedback 
  • Maritime Rules Part 82 delegation
  • Annual Report out now 
  • Skipper failed responsibilities after crew member's fingertips severed
  • Commercial vessels warned against operating without valid certificates of survey
  • Safety improvements urged following excavator case
  • Maritime NZ milestone

Ng mihi

Kirstie Hewlett
Director and Chief Executive 

COVID-19 update

There have been many developments since our last COVID-19 update, the most significant of which is the outbreak of Omicron in our community.

Our COVID-19 Response and Recovery team is currently working closely with other government agencies to support the Government's 'Omicron Phase 3' approach. There is now more focus on self-management and health services directed towards families and communities with the highest needs. Read more about operating under Phase 3.

Other important developments include:
  • The Close Contact Exemption Scheme is now underway to allow vaccinated asymptomatic critical workers who are close contacts, to take a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) to return to work. This has been introduced to ensure businesses can still operate during periods of high worker absenteeism.
  • Changes to testing border workers are now following their normal testing routine using RAT kits rather than PCR tests to help with the spike in testing over the past few weeks. Find out more about RATs
  • New Extended Notice of Arrival form  for vessels arriving in New Zealand. See here
  • Steps to reconnect New Zealand  crew changes are continuing, however, New Zealand seafarers returning home can now self-isolate rather than go into a Managed Isolation Quarantine facility. From 13 March, certain critical and skilled workers will be eligible to enter New Zealand. Check 5-step plan to re-open borders
  • New PPE requirements  all workers covered by a vaccine mandate are now required to wear a surgical-grade or N95 face mask. Get detailed PPE Guidance
Stay up to date with the latest information

Remember, you'll find regularly updated COVID-19 information on our website, including the Maritime Industry Update. If you have any questions, please contact us at 

How a kill switch could save your life

George Booth with his dad, the day after the accident
A young Aucklander who suffered life-changing injuries during a fishing trip says safety lanyards or engine kill switches, are vital in preventing further, potentially fatal, accidents.

Now, George Booth wants all boaties to know about the importance of kill switches.

George, 21, received horrific injuries to his right leg when the skipper of the boat he was a passenger in hit a wave at speed and lost control near Mangawhai Heads on January 17, 2021.

Tossed over the side of the boat and into the water, George was struck by the propeller of the inflatable motor boat but in a stroke of good luck that probably saved his life, his hoodie became stuck in the propeller, preventing further injuries.


Meet our crew

Jessie Ward-Thomas  Certification Advisor   
I enjoy talking to seafarers, hearing their stories, and getting to know more about the industry we regulate.

Certification Advisor, Jessie Ward-Thomas, has only been with Maritime NZ for close to a year, but in that time has supported many people getting into the industry, a process she finds really rewarding. Shes driven by empathy and understanding and believes these values are crucial for dealing with seafarers and their livelihoods. 


Initiatives to reduce marine plastic litter

Of the many challenging marine pollution issues today, reducing and, ultimately, eliminating marine plastic litter tops many peoples list. 

Some promising initiatives from States and environmental Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) will be discussed at the International Maritime Organizations (IMO) ship-focussed Pollution Prevention and Response Sub-Committee meeting in April. New Zealand is engaging (virtually) and supporting this work. The agenda includes:
  • Minimising pollution from abandoned, lost and discarded fishing gear by requiring gear to be labelled, broadening the requirements for reporting lost gear, and building up an international database. Theres work to be done here. For example, how low do you go with labelling individual pieces of gear? And how do you safeguard commercially sensitive information when reporting incidents into an international database. Maritime NZ and the Ministry for Primary Industries are working together to develop New Zealand's position on this.
  • Amending international standards and classifications for shipping containers of plastic nurdles, granules, pellets, flakes, powders and other feedstock to be stowed underdeck or in sheltered areas where theyre less likely to be lost overboard during heavy weather.
  • Developing international guidance on how best to respond to spills of plastic feedstock. When accidents happen, and plastics strand on foreshores and beaches, it makes sense to be prepared to remove them efficiently and effectively.
All these are practical and doable initiatives for the shipping and fishing sectors and all will produce results in the short term. But as noted in Novembers SeaChange, the problem is bigger than vessel operations. In light of this, New Zealand is supporting coordinated global action through discussions towards a new global agreement to tackle the impacts of plastic pollution at the United Nations Environment Assembly later this year. Keep an eye out for more information. 

New marine protection rules to come in to effect soon

New Zealand plans to join its main trading partners by signing up to MARPOL Annex VI, the International Maritime Organization convention for the prevention of air pollution from ships, in the next few months.

New marine protection rules that reflect Annex VI will come into force three months after the treaty is signed. By complying with these new rules you'll be benefiting the marine and costal environment as well as human health. 

As soon as the new rules come into effect, New Zealand ships will join ships from many other countries in using either low sulphur fuels or an approved way of reducing emissions from using higher sulphur fuels. This will have an immediate positive impact. Petrol and diesel already meet the low sulphur level.

Other requirements include limits on nitrogen oxide emissions from many installed ship engines over 130 kW, controls on ozone depleting substances and restrictions on the incineration of waste. Ships 400 GT or more are required to reduce overall carbon emissions through more energy efficient ship design and operations. Implementing these changes will be good for our coastal communities and the marine and coastal environment.

The rules will be available soon and we'll publish guidance on how to comply with them on our website. You'll find another update in the next issue of SeaChange

40-Series Reform team welcomes your feedback 

Maritime NZs 40-Series Reform team is currently exploring changes to rules for surveys and certificates of survey, electrical rules, and fire protection.

We're seeking stakeholder feedback on proposed changes  before 4 April 2022. See here for a summary of the key ideas and questions. All feedback is welcome.

The 40-Series Reform project is a multi-year initiative that will reshape the design, construction and equipment rules for domestic commercial vessels currently covered in a number of different rule parts. 

Feedback in this exploring change stage is not formal public consultation. It will be used to help inform the proposals that will then be publicly consulted on in 2024.

Maritime Rules Part 82 delegation

Part 82 relates to operators and drivers of commercial jet boats that operate on rivers and carry passengers.

The Director may delegate their responsibilities under Maritime Rules Part 82. This means a person with delegated authority will be able to provide oral and practical testing of jet boat drivers and/or vessel inspections for jet boat operations on behalf of the Director.

Apply for delegation
You dont need to work for Maritime NZ to apply for this delegation. You'll need to have relevant commercial jet boat industry experience, relevant engineering experience and jet boat driver experience. Jet boat driver training experience may also be considered as part of the process. These are limited positions, so please check our website for further information, including the application form and criteria.


Annual Report out now

Maritime NZs Annual Report for 2020/21 is now available.

Our Annual Report covers Maritime NZs financial and non-financial performance for the period between 1 July 2020 and 30 June 2021, a period in which COVID-19 continued to significantly impact the maritime sector. Read about this impact, how weve adapted, and what weve done to achieve safe, secure and clean outcomes in what was a very challenging year.

Read or download here

Skipper failed responsibilities after crew members fingertips severed

Maritime NZ is reminding skippers they are required to report incidents on board vessels.

This comes after a skipper was fined for failing to notify Maritime NZ of a serious injury on board a ship.

On 10 January 2021 a crew member had two fingertips severed in a pulley while working aboard the FV Remus.

Under maritime law, skippers have a responsibility to report all accidents.


Commercial vessels warned against operating without valid certificates of survey

The importance of a commercial fishing vessel having a valid certificate of survey before beginning operations has been highlighted in a recent court finding.

The vessel, Northern Odyssey, was imported by The Tuna Fishing Company from Fiji into New Zealand on 1 January 2020.

A certificate of survey for the vessel was issued on 15 June 2020.

However, before the certificate of survey was issued, the company decided to use the vessel for commercial fishing activity, over several weeks, off the east coast of the Coromandel Peninsula, the Bay of Plenty and East Cape of the North Island.


Safety improvements urged following excavator case

Maritime NZ wants a recent judgement against a stevedoring company to help improve safety when working with heavy machinery on board.

The Tauranga-based company, C3 Limited has been fined and ordered to pay costs for safety failings which resulted in an excavator getting dropped overboard from a logging ship in 2018 at Wellingtons Centreport.

Maritime NZs Central Compliance Manager Blair Simmons says incidents like these are potentially disastrous.


Maritime NZ milestone

Maritime NZ hit a milestone last week when we issued our 3000th Part B Certificate of Registration.

Part B is a form of registration mainly for recreational vessels that want to travel overseas. Like a passport, registration provides a ship with New Zealand nationality and gives it the right to fly the New Zealand flag.

Ship registration in New Zealand began in 1840. Originally part of the Commonwealth system, New Zealand introduced its own Register of Ships in 1992. The oldest continuously registered ship is the Rona, which was first registered in 1886.  

Read more about Part B ship registration
Are there any particular topics or safety issues you'd like us to explore? We want to make sure our content is as relevant and interesting as possible, so if there's something you'd like to read about, we'd love to know.
Please email us at with 'SeaChange suggestions' as the subject line.

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