Refresh for Port and Harbour Marine Safety Code

Safe Seas Clean Seas Issue 50, June 2016

Port companies, regional councils and Maritime NZ have collaborated on a revised New Zealand Port and Harbour Marine Safety Code (2004), which establishes a new governance structure with new expert panels to assess performance against the national standard.

The Code is a voluntary standard for the safe management of marine activities in ports and harbours, to support national and local legislation. It covers all activity associated with the movement of vessels entering, leaving and navigating within ports and harbours. It promotes a systems approach to safety management, based on risk assessment and ongoing monitoring of safety performance.

Maritime NZ led the Code’s development in 2004, and all relevant councils and ports have since adopted it.

Director Keith Manch says that in the past Maritime NZ has monitored compliance with the standard, and approved the safety management systems for ports and councils – but it’s now time for a “fresh approach”.

“The new tripartite steering group and assessment panels will focus on ensuring the current standard of safety management is sustained, and continuously improved over the longer term,” he says.

“Together we have explored new ways of working to ensure more consistent and effective risk management of New Zealand’s ports and harbours.”

A new secretariat position, jointly funded by ports, regional councils, and Maritime NZ, will support the steering and working groups in overseeing the ongoing implementation of the Code, and manage an agreed work programme. This position means a dedicated resource is allocated to the Code for the first time.

Review panels drawn from a general pool of experienced harbourmasters, marine managers and pilots – nominated by council and port chief executives, and supported by a Maritime NZ representative – will undertake a programme of safety management reviews and site visits.

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