Latest issue of SeaChange - March 2017.
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Issue 39

March 2017

WELCOME to SeaChange – highlighting what's new and what's changing at Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) and in the maritime sector.

In this issue

‘New management’ for ballast water

New Zealand-flagged ships travelling internationally, and any ships visiting our waters, will soon have to manage their ballast water.
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim and High Commissioner to the UK, Lockwood Smith.
The main purpose of acceding to the IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention is to manage and control the risk posed by the biological materials in ballast water going out from and coming into New Zealand waters.
When it comes into force for New Zealand waters from September 8, the Convention will apply to New Zealand-flagged ships that carry ballast on international voyages, including fishing and pleasure craft, as well as these and foreign-flagged ships travelling to New Zealand.
Most ships currently manage the requirements of the Convention by exchanging ballast water mid-ocean, instead of coastal waters.  However, the intention is that eventually they will need to install a ballast water treatment system.

MLC for seafarers

The Maritime Labour Convention comes into force in New Zealand from March 9. It aims to improve and ensure the safety and wellbeing of the crew onboard foreign-flagged and New Zealand ships.

Read more about MLC on our website:

Maritime NZ surveys sectors

Three sector surveys have been completed since mid last year, and Maritime NZ will next survey the Passenger and Non-Passenger sector - which has around 600-800 operators.

Feedback has been generally positive from the sectors surveyed to date - the Foreign Shipping; Ports and Harbour; and the Offshore Petroleum, Gas and Minerals sector, says Stephanie Winson, Maritime NZ’s General Manager for Legal and Policy.

“The results are recognition that Maritime NZ is working well with these sectors and its current initiatives should have further beneficial effect.  Generally it seems Maritime NZ is well regarded and is considered fair and competent.”

Feedback has been similar to date across all sectors about the quality of services that Maritime NZ provides, with a further four to be surveyed on-line by early next year – including the Commercial Fishing sector, Domestic Coastal Transport Services, and Domestic Outdoor and Adventure sector.

Cruise ships central to Search and Rescues

Cruise ships in New Zealand’s Search and Rescue region have been involved in a range of incidents this summer.

A cruise ship doctor examined the victim of a seal pup bite in the Auckland Islands, that resulted in a long-distance helicopter rescue, and passengers suffering medical problems have been evacuated from cruise ships in the Antarctic with the help of McMurdo base.

A German cruise ship diverted in the Pacific to rescue six men off this fishing vessel.
Meanwhile passengers onboard the German ship Albatros witnessed first-hand last month the dramatic rescue of six Tongan fishermen in the Pacific, after their liner was diverted -  in another mission managed by the Rescue Coordination Centre of New Zealand.

Polar Code affects Antarctic vessels

Six New Zealand-flagged vessels including NIWA’s Tangaroa research ship (see picture), and two Russian cruise ships charted by a New Zealand company, are subject to the new IMO Polar Code now in force.

Maritime NZ is in the process of amending our Maritime Rules to reflect the requirements of the Code, that aims to protect the safety of crews and the environment.

“In practice some vessels need extra safety equipment and the addition of Polar Code requirements into management systems and operating procedures.  There are also new environmental rules – for example around the discharge of sewage, which is now 12 nautical miles from land-fixed ice as well as land,” says Ian Lancaster, Maritime NZ’s Principal Adviser International.

Big Angry Fish video contest winners

Aucklander Rhys Bullock won the $1500 epic prize pack competition run on the Safer Boating NZ Facebook Page. His creative entry featured his son Ollie and a clever rhyme about why you should always wear your lifejacket on the water.
“Push the clip, zip it up tight, this is the trick to save your life.” 

Watch Rhys Bullock’s winning entry now.

Congratulations also to our two runners up – Hugh Williams and Glenn Nicholson – who both scored Hutchwilco lifejackets.

Lake Kaniere consultation

Consultation on navigational safety on Lake Kaniere near Hokitika closed on February 10, and Maritime NZ is currently considering submissions.

Background on the consultation is available on our website:

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