Message from the new Minister of Transport
Safe Seas Clean Seas Issue 39, March 2012
Recent developments in the maritime sector have certainly made for an interesting introduction to the transport portfolio.
MNZ’s ongoing response to the Rena grounding in the Bay of Plenty highlights the importance of New Zealand continuing to maintain a safe, secure, clean and sustainable maritime environment.
It also highlights the importance of MNZ’s role as the regulatory agency responsible for continuing to protect New Zealand’s interests and ensuring that maritime standards are maintained. The government remains committed to this goal.
MNZ also continues to have an integral role in other areas. For example, its work with industry on developing a new Qualifications and Operational Limits framework will provide New Zealand seafarers with relevant, appropriate and modern qualifications that meet their needs.
The introduction of the new Maritime Operator Safety System – or MOSS – will also help ensure New Zealand has a more robust domestic commercial vessel safety framework, which is simpler for operators to follow and provides the regulator with greater oversight.
The ever-increasing growth of recreational boat ownership and activity on the water is the focus of ongoing commitment from MNZ and other water safety agencies, with support from government, to promoting and enforcing good behaviour on the water. This is being achieved through various initiatives.
While the vast number of Kiwi boaties are responsible, the number of fatalities and accidents over the summer shows that some New Zealanders still aren’t getting the safety message. I urge all boaties to act responsibly on the water. As you will know, it is the skipper’s responsibility to ensure the safety of those aboard and to be aware of other water users.
We know that the majority of pleasure craft-related fatalities are the result of drinking alcohol, failure to carry lifejackets or emergency communication equipment on board, and failure to check weather conditions. It’s up to everyone to do their bit to help keep the number of boating fatalities down.
Gerry Brownlee, Minister of Transport