Our standards of service

This page describes the standards of service you can expect from us. It also describes our complaints process.

About our standards of service

Under section 437 of the Maritime Transport Act 1994, Maritime NZ is required to have a Service Charter. The Service Charter clearly defines the standards of service you can expect from us, and outlines the process if we fail to meet those standards.

When you deal with us, we will uphold our values of respect, integrity and commitment. We will:

  1. treat you with courtesy and respect
  2. be helpful, accurate, professional and respond within agreed times
  3. identify ourselves by name and, where appropriate, provide evidence that we are employees of Maritime New Zealand
  4. acknowledge all written correspondence and inquiries from you within 10 working days of receiving it
  5. answer all inquiries within 20 working days of receiving them, or give you regular updates for inquiries that we need more time to deal with.


How to make a complaint

If you think we have not met our standards of service, you can make a complaint to us.

But before starting the complaint process, we recommend you first refer to the section below When our standards of service do not apply to see if making a complaint is applicable.

To make a complaint to us

  1. You need to write to us about your complaint, describing the standard(s) of service that you think we have not met. Remember to include your contact details eg name, address, telephone number and email address.
  2. Send your complaint to us by post or email. Address it to:

The Director of Maritime New Zealand,
Level 11, 1 Grey Street,
PO Box 25620,

What we will then do

  1. We will write to you within five working days of getting your complaint – letting you know we have received it and giving you the name of our staff person (or an independent person) who is handling your complaint.
  2. This person will deal with your complaint as quickly as possible but if they need more time, they will send you regular updates
  3. When the person who is handling your complaint has made a decision about it, they will write to you explaining their decision. If they decide that we are at fault because we did not meet our standards of service, the letter will also explain what we will do (remedies) to put things right.


Our remedies

Remedies are the things we can do to put things right if we have not met our standards of service. We will work hard to find a remedy that suits both you and us.

Remedies may include:

  • sending you a formal apology
  • providing you with a response, or information that is accurate and complete, to satisfy your original request
  • identifying an issue and then making changes or improvements, for example, changing our policies or procedures to prevent a similar issue from happening again.


If you are not satisfied

If you are unhappy about how we have dealt with your complaint, or the remedy we chose, you can write to the Chair of our Board asking for your complaint to be reviewed. Send your complaint review request to us by post or email. Address it to:

The Chairperson
c/o The Director of Maritime New Zealand,
Level 11, 1 Grey Street,
PO Box 25620,

If our Chair agrees to your complaint being reviewed, we will do the following:

  1. our Chair will decide who will review your complaint – either our Board or an independent person chosen by our Board
  2. our Chair and Board will decide the terms of reference for the review – this is the purpose of the review and how it will be done
  3. we will invite you to comment about your Service Charter complaint and the remedy we offered
  4. our Board or the independent person will think about your comments and make a recommendation to our Chair
  5. our Chair will consider the recommendation and decide what action to take
  6. we will then write to you explaining what the recommendations are and what action our Chair has decided to take.


When our standards of service do not apply

Sometimes our standards of service and remedies do not apply because the law requires that they are dealt with in some other way.

Examples of when our standards of service may not apply include:

  • the assessment, issue, suspension and revocation (reversal or cancellation) of maritime documents
  • the assessment of applications for exemptions
  • enforcement of the provisions of the Maritime Transport Act 1994, including the decision to issue infringement notices or to prosecute people for offences committed under the Act
  • the handling or release of private or official information – as defined under the Privacy Act 2020 and the Official Information Act 1982.


Conflicts of interest

The following describes Maritime NZ’s approach to identifying and managing potential or actual conflicts of interest any organizational member may have.

Any member of our organisation, who engages in any activity which may impact their ability to carry out their responsibilities towards Maritime NZ, or which potentially puts them in competition with Maritime NZ, is considered to have a conflict of interest.

Sometimes a conflict of interest may be more perceived than actual.  Perception is an important factor in the public sector as the processes of government must be fair and ethical, and must be seen to be so. Maritime NZ is bound by the Crown Entities Act 2004 regarding conflict of interest disclosure rules and definitions.

A potential conflict of interest is not confined to a situation where the exercise of decision-making powers is likely to provide pecuniary (financial) advantage to the individual concerned.  It is concerned also with: exercising decision-making powers in an open and impartial manner, that the conduct of activities is free of bias, and with behaviour which ensures that the information gained in the performance of certain duties will not be used to further personal or other outside interests.

Whether an activity has the potential to be a conflict of interest can be a grey area.  To protect both Maritime NZ and its employees from any misinterpretation or perceived conflicts of interest, a Register of Interests is maintained by Maritime NZ.

Our Approach

Maritime NZ employees must disclose details of their relevant actual and/or potential conflicting interest.
Employees are required to disclose the following details relating to each activity/interest:

  • the nature of the interest and the monetary value of the interest (if the monetary value can be quantified); or
  • the nature and extent of the interest (if the monetary value cannot be quantified).

In line with Audit New Zealand requirements Maritime NZ’s Register of Conflict of Interests is updated at least once a year or whenever there is a change in a staff member’s Conflict of Interest status.

A summary report of all disclosures by employees is reviewed and assessed for potential conflicts by the Chief Executive each quarter, with the exception that disclosures by the Chief Executive will be assessed by the Maritime NZ Authority. The Chief Executive/Authority will assess how to manage any conflict or potential conflict and involve managers as appropriate.

Managing Potential Conflicts of Interest

If the Chief Executive/Authority believes there is no potential conflict arising from the activity disclosed, no action will be taken other than to have the declaration retained on file.

If there is a potential for conflict to exist, the actions to be taken will be discussed with the employee concerned, with the Chief Executive/Authority being the decision maker.  Each situation will be assessed based on the information available.

Related information:

Service charter

Our Service Charter outlines our standards of service and complaints process.

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