“Team Maritime” – Maritime NZ, councils and harbourmasters working together

Safe Seas Clean Seas Issue 53, July 2018

One big team working collaboratively is better than lots of small, individual teams. This is the philosophy that underpins the Common Compliance programme, bringing together Maritime NZ, councils and harbourmasters.

Maritime NZ General Manager Maritime Compliance, Kenny Crawford, says Maritime NZ and harbourmasters generally have the same objectives: safety of vessels and the people on them, and clean seas around New Zealand.

“Planning, training and working together is the best way to achieve those common aims,” Kenny says.

Maritime NZ is responsible for enforcement of maritime law and the Maritime Rules. Harbourmasters work for councils and enforce maritime law and Rules within their areas, and also apply their councils’ navigation safety bylaws.

Common Compliance began with recreational boating, with harbourmasters becoming key regional partners in the national Safer Boating campaign last summer.

Two people on a boat
Maritime NZ Maritime Officer, Andy Cox, and Compliance Business Operational Planner, Hannah Martis, delivering “No Excuses” with the Greater Wellington Regional Council on the Kapiti Coast.
Maritime New Zealand © 2019

Kenny says an example might be a Canterbury boatie hearing on the news and online national messages about wearing lifejackets and having waterproof communications. The Canterbury harbourmaster gives the same messages, tailored for local boaties. When the same boatie is on holiday in the Queenstown Lakes District, the harbourmaster there is promoting “Wear your lifejacket” and “If you can’t call for help, we can’t rescue you”.

“The same message heard many times, coming from different people strongly reinforces what we are saying.

“It also gives us much better bang for our buck – we can share resources and plan to support each other.”

Over summer, 10 councils worked with Maritime NZ on a “No Excuses” enforcement campaign for recreational boaties not carrying or wearing lifejackets and those who speed on the water.

Maritime NZ funded the councils to provide additional staff, time and resources to the campaign, on top of the Safer Boating work councils already do. During the campaign, harbourmasters and Maritime NZ’s maritime officers were on the water working together.

Maritime NZ also funded Marlborough Harbourmaster, Luke Grogan, to carry out a trial of speed guns on the water to show how they could be used by other councils.

“The speed guns proved to be a good additional tool. They gave solid evidence of a boat’s speed and save a lot of desk work,” Kenny says.

Procedures for issuing infringement notices are being coordinated and streamlined, so they are consistent.

In addition to working together on the Safer Boating campaign, harbourmasters and Maritime NZ staff are doing the same training about government regulation – the “G-Reg” course which provides credits towards additional formal qualifications.

“We are now regularly bringing harbourmasters together in the North and South Islands and nationally to raise issues with Maritime NZ and each other, and to work through them,” Kenny says.

Officers holding speed guns
Maritime New Zealand © 2019
Marlborough Harbourmaster, Luke Grogan (left), and Maritime NZ Maritime Officer, Matt Wood, testing speed guns.

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