We translate policy and legal requirements into practical easy-to-understand information for the maritime community.

Commercial operations

We provide guidance and advice to support people who work with and in the domestic and international maritime community. We support all types of commercial operations including adventure tourism (eg white-water rafting and jet boat) operations and offshore installations in New Zealand waters.

We develop a range of guidance material, work instructions, procedures, safety bulletins, safety alerts and more, and we give advice over the telephone.

Our legislative guidance and advice is not limited to the maritime and marine protection laws. We also help with other legislation that impacts the maritime sector, like the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.

Our guidance and advice is focused on the following four areas, however, we may provide support for anything our organisation deals with.

Certification of people

We support people by providing guidance and advice about SeaCert, our seafarer licensing framework for national and international certificates of competency and proficiency and endorsements. As well as helping learners to get certified, we also work with and regulate training providers and examiners.

Certification of operations

We provide advice and guidance about vessel operations, maintenance requirements, safety management systems, ship registration and surveys, port safety and security, accidents and incidents, environmental requirements and other activities that affect commercial operations.

Technical advice

We clarify the rules and regulations for our staff and the maritime community, by providing the technical details that the law doesn’t include. We make sure that our technical advice is of a high quality, consistent across our organisation, uses international best practice, and keeps up with technological advances.

Systems thinking

Within our organisation and the maritime industry, we work to lift our performance through innovation, continuous improvement, and operating in the most effective and efficient manner.


Recreational boating

We promote safe recreational boating on the water – sea, river or lake. Whether you have a kayak, personal water craft, waka, sail or power-boat, jet boat, jet ski or dinghy, you must know the rules, have the right equipment, and be a responsible skipper.

Our safety information is available in a range of formats, for example, publications, stickers and other free resources, television campaigns, safe boating education and training, videos, safety guidelines, smartphone apps, and resources for schools.

We cover a wide range of recreational boating topics, for example:

  • skipper responsibilities
  • planning and preparing before you go
  • rules and legislation
  • safety and communications equipment like life jackets, distress beacons and flares, and VHF radio
  • weather guides and forecasts
  • issues with alcohol
  • boating education courses
  • protecting the environment
  • reporting accidents or incidents.

Almost all rules about behaviour on the water apply to both recreational and commercial vessels alike, with additional requirements for skipper qualifications and vessel standards applied to craft operating commercially.


Consultation – have your say

Our advisors work with our in-house legal, policy and compliance experts to develop our guidance information and advice. We also consult you, our maritime community and general public.