The annual report outlines progress against the plans and measures detailed in the Statement of Intent and Statement of Performance Expectations.
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Our year in review...
Embedding Te Korowai o Kaitiakitanga to deliver our vision for Aotearoa New Zealand… preventing harm, saving lives, securing our future
This year we’ve continued on our journey to be a more effective regulator, given our role as a kaitiaki (guardian) of Aotearoa New Zealand’s oceans and waterways, with some pleasing results…
In 2022/23, we made tangible progress in embedding our organisational strategy, Te Korowai o Kaitiakitanga (Te Korowai), which broadly translates to the ‘Cloak of Stewardship’, in what was a transformative year for Maritime NZ.
Since 2021, we have been working on operating more efficiently, so it was rewarding this year to see all of that work start to shape our new direction and lead to changes that will hold the organisation in good stead in the years ahead.
The Board had changes during the year, with three members moving on and new members starting. We would like to thank in particular Belinda Vernon as Audit and Risk Committee Chair, Deputy Chair and Acting Chair on occasions, Denis O’Rourke and Mike Purchase for their considerable contributions. The Board has continued to ensure the organisation is well positioned to deliver its broad mandate and achieve its outcomes over the year and into the future. A significant contributor to this is Board members continuing to get out and about across New Zealand and engaging with a broad range of people who participate in and contribute to the maritime sector. This has given the Board the opportunity to hear from those at the coalface and respond to the variety of issues affecting the sector.
The main way we have responded to the sector is through Te Korowai, which has helped us to put in place solutions to deliver effective outcomes. Two important examples that show how we’ve responded to the sector include creating the Maritime Inspections Team to focus on poor-quality vessels, and enhancements to make certification processes easier for the sector. The latter has resulted in solid gains in improving our timeliness of response, and enabling the sector to interact more efficiently with us.
Rethinking who we are and what we stand for
As part of Te Korowai, we’ve refreshed our vision, outcomes, principles and values, after working with everyone in our organisation.
Our revised vision statement is encapsulated in three short but powerful sentences that outline what we aspire to be and how we will make a difference: Preventing harm. Saving Lives. Securing our future.
Our existing core outcomes – Safe, Secure and Clean – now include the addition of Sustainable. This deliberate addition reflects that, when we carry out our safe, clean and secure role we aspire to do this in a way that builds a sustainable maritime sector for the future. At times, this may mean leading where there is a void, like we are in the maritime workforce area. Together, these outcomes signal our high-level priorities, both internally and externally, so everyone knows what success looks like. They ensure a ‘line of sight’ exists that connects what we do day to day to the bigger picture.
Our principles, which shape the way we deliver our outcomes, describe what external parties expect from us: to be Intentional, Trusted, Influential and Adaptive.
Our values – Care, Connect and Courage – describe the desired behaviour of each of us within our organisation and contribute to our workplace culture.
Together, these values are important reminders of what we are here to do, why we do it and how we should act at all times.
Refining our regulatory approach
While our regulatory approach as a risk-based regulator remains focused on investigating incidents, as well as enforcing and holding people to account where necessary to manage risks, we are now being more proactive by working with the sector to prevent harm from occurring in the first place. We’ve identified three key sub-sectors to focus on – ports and harbours, recreational craft and domestic commercial. We have begun delivering our harm prevention programmes in each of these areas, which are at various stages of development.
With regard to ports and harbours, our ‘tripartite’ approach through the Port Health and Safety Leadership Group – where regulators, the port sector and unions work together to find shared solutions – saw the launch of a port insights and action plan to improve the safety of ports for workers. Good examples of proactive partnership work to improve safety on ports include detailed planning to smoothly transition the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 designation for ports from WorkSafe New Zealand to us, implementation of fatigue guidance, and the development of an approved code of practice on the loading and unloading of cargo. We also continue our tripartite work as part of the Ports and Harbours Marine Safety Code, which has involved ensuring the foundations of the Code are still robust.
Dame Jo Brosnahan, DNZM, QSO, Board Chair, Maritime NZ and Kirstie Hewlett, Chief Executive and Director, Maritime NZ.
We continue to focus on recreational craft safety as part of our harm prevention approach, which has included research, novel education campaigns and on-water observations. Our multi-year recreational craft strategy is also in development, with a strong, committed and diverse leadership group driving this work.
In relation to domestic operators, we have delivered a busy regulatory work programme. Highlights include New Zealand’s accession to the Cape Town Agreement, which seeks to improve the global safety standards for the design, construction and equipment of large ocean-going fishing vessels and the implementation of MARPOL Annex VI to address air pollution from shipping activities. We have also used a co-design approach with the sector to progress our work on the 40 series rules reform governing the design, construction and equipment in use on commercial maritime vessels.
We continued to work on improving our systems, processes and practice to make it easier to interface with us and improve transparency and consistency of our regulatory approach. This has included significant improvements in our licensing and certifications and the start-up of a new notifications and enquiries team.
In other areas, we have been missing vital capacity and capability to carry out our regulatory role effectively. We have undertaken organisational change to redirect resources and build capability in areas intended to make us an increasingly effective regulator that is better able to deliver outcomes for our people, the maritime sector and New Zealand. We’re on a multi-year journey, and we’re confident the steps we are taking will lead to much improved regulatory outcomes. We have also continued to make efficiencies in our business and in being smarter about how we do things.
Developing our regulatory approach means we are looking to the future for opportunities and risks, including: enhancing our resilience and response capability; supporting and embracing sector growth and productivity; operating safe, secure and efficient supply chains; and reducing inefficiency, complexity and cost for those in the maritime regulatory system.
Building strong foundations internally
Success as a regulator is as much about shaping our internal culture as it is working with the sector. This year, we’ve identified important ‘pillars’ to ‘weave our cloak’ as an organisation. Weaving the Cloak is part of the how on Te Korowai: delivering the foundations that enable us to deliver our guardianship role. Each feather of the cloak is not strong by itself, but when woven together they reflect beauty and strength.
We have made significant progress with our five pillars, which focus on diversity, equity and inclusion, our te ao Māori strategy (Tā Mātou Rautaki Māori), environmental sustainability, connecting as an organisation, and health safety and wellbeing.
Dealing with uncertainty
This year, we faced events we couldn’t have anticipated, including the North Island flooding events, particularly Cyclone Gabrielle, and the Kaitaki inter-island ferry and Shiling incidents. Our ability to respond quickly and in connection with other response agencies was impressive. However, it highlighted again how little redundancy we have and the uncertainties we face, particularly around funding. We strive to be a fit-for-purpose, adaptable agency that is as efficient as possible, but several areas remain where we still require capacity to be able to perform as we and the sector would like us to. As we carry out our funding review to return to cost recovery, we are mindful of the need for further funding in future so we can consolidate on the gains we have made as a regulator and address important regulatory risks. We are proud of the achievements of the people of Maritime NZ, and thank the martime partners with whom we worked collaboratively, to together ensure a sector that can support our position as a thriving maritime nation.
Ngā mihi nui
By the numbers
Rescue coordination outcomes2
2 Figures do not include Cyclone Gabrielle response.
Education and information
Marine pollution response
Our carbon emission reductions
The New Zealand Safer Boating Forum
The New Zealand Safer Boating Forum is committed to making the sector more effective in promoting recreational craft safety.
Sharyn Forsyth, Maritime NZ Deputy Chief Executive, Partnerships Group, is proud to chair the New Zealand Safer Boating Forum (comprising 24 boating and water safety organisations, the marine industry, and central and local government agencies). Following changes to pandemic restrictions, in September 2022, the Forum had its first kanohi ki te kanohi (face to face) hui in over a year. It made a series of decisions that have paved the way for a successful sector-wide harm prevention programme in the future. One of the main decisions involved establishing a smaller cross-organisational leadership group to guide the development of a new recreational craft strategy.
Sharyn was delighted at the members’ commitment to clear decisions about the Forum’s future focus and collaborative ways of working. “The collective passion and commitment to make the sector more effective in our work to promote recreational craft safety, was evident in the extensive discussions throughout the day,” she said.
Maritime NZ’s Harm Prevention Lead, Recreational Craft, Victoria Slade has been supporting the new leadership group over the past six months to develop the Recreational Craft Strategy 2023–25. Victoria says the strategy will align with Wai Ora Aotearoa (the New Zealand Water Safety Sector Strategy 2025) with the vision that people on recreational craft connect to and enjoy the water safely. The strategy will also guide future decisions in areas such as research direction, allocation of community grant funding, and communication awareness programmes run by member organisations.
Part of Maritime NZ’s commitment to improving recreational craft safety outcomes includes leading collaboration between Forum partners during Safer Boating Week. This annual event highlights safe and responsible behaviour for recreational craft users to ensure they come home safe and sound. During the week, media releases, interviews on radio and television, and numerous social media posts were made, including several examples clearly showing how personal locator beacons and lifejackets had saved lives.
Sharyn says “The first Safer Boating Week was held in 2014 and has always been a vital opportunity for us to engage with the community and raise awareness about the importance of safe practices on the water. By adopting simple practices like wearing lifejackets, checking the marine forecast and taking two waterproof ways to call for help, we can prevent tragedies and ensure a memorable experience for everyone involved.”
Photo: At the launch of Safer Boating Week, the ‘Boaties Safety Line’ was launched, which shows the ‘location’ where people need to take action – the shoreline – before they head out. This is the place where the known (land) and unknown (sea) meet and was shown at the launch event with our Safer Boating Forum partners.
Ports and Harbours Harm Prevention Programme
Maritime NZ sector leadership is reflected in its collaborative approach to reducing harm in and around New Zealand’s ports.
The Director of Maritime NZ chairs the Port Health and Safety Leadership Group whose membership includes: chief executives representing the ports, the Chief Executive of WorkSafe New Zealand, the Chair of the Port Industry Association, the National Secretary of the Maritime Union of New Zealand, the National President of the Rail and Maritime Transport Union, and chief executives from some of New Zealand’s biggest stevedoring representatives.
After the tragic deaths of two port workers in 2022, the Minister of Transport asked the group for advice on improving health and safety on ports. Maritime NZ led the group’s response with the Port Sector Insights Picture and Action Plan – the first ever comprehensive picture of what drives serious harm on ports – who it is happening to and why.
Kirstie Hewlett, Maritime NZ Director and Chief Executive, says “ports are complex, dynamic and high-risk environments where there are a number of drivers of harm. This change will allow us to take a wider view of how port operations are conducted, and alongside port businesses, take the required multifaceted approach to preventing harm”.
In March this year, the Port Health and Safety Leadership Group published a ground-breaking plan to make New Zealand ports safer. The plan sets out six important interventions where changes can have a significant impact:
- implementing the Fatigue Risk Management System: Good Practice Guidelines
- putting in place an approved code of practice around loading and unloading of cargo on ports
- recommending the Government extend the Maritime NZ designation to cover the whole port
- working to improve incident reporting, notifications, insights and learning across the ports
- improving training and workforce issues
- ensuring there are easier ways of sharing good practice to encourage continuous improvement on ports.
The Leadership Group has already made significant progress on implementing the action plan.
The fatigue risk management system good practice has been published, training and education has begun and organisations employing workers on ports were starting development of a fatigue risk management system in September.
One of the main issues identified in the action plan was a lack of consistency of safety practice and standards across the ports. Maritime NZ has been working on an approved code of practice, which is being co-designed with the sector. Following extensive consultation, it is expected to be published in January 2024.
We were also successful in our recommendation to the Government to extend Maritime NZ’s Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 designation. From July 2024, our designation across the 13 commercial ports will be extended to the port gate, allowing us to take a holistic, systemwide view of the harm occurring.
“We will be able to more effectively work with, and regulate, businesses that carry out high-risk port-based activities to improve health and safety on ports. The extended designation also comes with resourcing to enable a greater presence on ports over time. Ultimately, it’s about supporting those who work on ports to go home safe to their families,” said Kirstie.
Download the full reportAnnual report 2022-2023 [PDF: 11.2Mb, 158 pages]
Annual report archives
The Statement of Intent (SOI) has two primary purposes:
- to promote the public accountability of Maritime NZ through the development, progression and measurement of its work programme, and
- to provide a strategic context and focus - aligned with the Government’s transport policy objectives - for the work that Maritime NZ undertakes in both the short and medium terms.
Statement of Intent archives
The Statement of Performance Expectations reflects our proposed performance targets and forecast financial information for the year ahead. It is produced in accordance with section 149E of the Crown Entities Act 2004.
The forecast financial statements and underlying assumptions in this document have been authorised as appropriate for issue by the Authority of Maritime NZ in accordance with its role under the Crown Entities Act 2004.