Environmental requirements for operators

Read about the environmental regulations that apply to commercial vessels operating in New Zealand waters, and accepted international practices operators are expected to follow.

Environmental regulations exist to ensure that the riches of the sea are managed in a sustainable manner; achieving a balance between environmental and commercial interests, in order to maintain an unpolluted, bountiful marine environment.

On this page:

Ship routeing measures

The routeing of ships operating in and around New Zealand’s coast is subject to a voluntary code, to prevent or reduce the risk of pollution or other damage to the marine environment. As well as voluntary routes around the New Zealand coast, there is one precautionary area (the extended Taranaki offshore) and two further areas to be avoided (Three Kings Islands and Poor Knights Islands areas).

Ship routeing

Tourist vessels in New Zealand waters

The requirements applying to operators of tourist vessels in New Zealand waters are available at the link below. Topics covered include:

  • who has jurisdiction in New Zealand waters
  • protected areas and marine reserves
  • waste management – oil, chemicals, garbage, sewage and other waste
  • marine biosecurity.

Tourist vessels in NZ waters

Certificates of insurance

A certificate of insurance provides evidence of owners and operators holding public liability insurance that will cover costs of potential damages caused by oil pollution.

Offshore installations in New Zealand continental waters and all ships of 400 gross tonnes and above that enter or leave any port in New Zealand or New Zealand marine waters are required to hold a certificate of insurance.

The types of certificate and requirements may be different for:

  • oil tankers carrying more than 2,000 tonnes of oil in bulk as cargo
  • ships of 1,000 gross tonnes and above
  • ships 400 gross tonnes to less than 1,000 gross tonnes
  • offshore installations in New Zealand Continental waters

Applying for a certificate of insurance

The application process for each certificate of insurance is the same.

You need to complete the certificate of insurance application form, providing evidence of:

  • insurance or alternative financial security for the required amount
  • the financial rating of the insurer or guarantor.

Certificate of insurance application form [PDF: 260kB, 8 pages]