Our transparency statement

This transparency statement explains how Maritime NZ collects, uses and shares information for regulatory compliance, law enforcement and protective security purposes.

Maritime NZ collects information in order to ensure the safety, security and environmental protection of New Zealand’s coastal and inland waterways and the health and safety of our staff by:

  • maximising compliance with the regulatory frameworks that apply in the maritime environment (for example, by ensuring commercial operators have a safety system in place before commencing operations and by auditing and monitoring those safety systems to ensure they are effective)
  • detecting, investigating and prosecuting offences, primarily under the Maritime Transport Act 1994 (MTA) and the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA)
  • preventing, investigating or responding to regulatory non – compliance (for example, breaches relating to maritime safety, environmental protection, or health and safety at work)
  • determining safety lessons learned through investigations
  • taking appropriate steps to respond to, and mitigate, threats to the physical security or staff, or the security of information or places (for example, a physical security breach or web hacking)
  • taking measures, through the Maritime Security Act 2004 (MSA), that contribute to the security of New Zealand ports and shipping should there be potential or actual terrorist activity.

We take care to collect information lawfully and appropriately and to meet our obligations under the Privacy Act 2020, Search and Surveillance Act 2012, State Sector Code of Conduct, Maritime NZ’s Code of Conduct and the State Services Commission’s Model Standards on Information Gathering and Public Trust.

We will regularly review our information gathering practices to ensure those practices comply with these measures and our risk management requirements.

This Transparency Statement applies to information gathered by our staff, contractors or any third parties engaged by us. We require any third party that is collecting information on our behalf to comply with the same obligations of our employees.

This Transparency Statement should be read in conjunction with:


How and why do we collect information?

This section explains how we collect information. When collecting information, we will take care to:

  • collect only the information that is necessary for the exercise of our lawful functions
  • use that information only in ways that are consistent with the reasons for which it was collected
  • disclose only the information that is necessary to give effect to our legislative responsibilities; to support other government agencies’ law enforcement and regulatory compliance activities; or otherwise in accordance with the law.

How do we collect information?

To perform our functions under the MTA, HSWA, the MSA, the Ship Registration Act 1992 and the relevant maritime rules and regulations, Maritime NZ is authorised to collect, use and disclose information. For example, we are empowered to require the production of information from individuals and entities in order to give effect to; ensure compliance with; and investigate potential non-compliance with; the relevant legislation and regulations.

Maritime NZ collects information from a wide variety of sources. These include:

  • information that is provided to us by individuals (for example in person, via online forms, during audits and monitoring visits with Maritime NZ staff, during interviews, telephone conversations and observation);
  • information that is available from online sources (including websites, social media and public registers)
  • information from physical sources and locations (for example, paper records, site visits and audits and inspections)
  • information from other agencies and entities (for example, New Zealand government agencies, international governments, agencies and entities).

Maritime NZ will take all practicable steps to verify information received from third parties.

Information provided by individuals or entities

Most of the information collected by Maritime NZ is information that is provided to us by individuals or entities, or an authorised representative, in order to fulfill statutory obligations and according to our powers as a regulator.

Maritime NZ also collects information provided by third parties about the individuals and entities that we regulate. For example, we receive information from members of the public who may have witnessed a maritime incident or potential regulatory breaches.

Other information collected directly by Maritime NZ

In situations where Maritime NZ is either monitoring or auditing regulatory compliance or investigating potential offences or regulatory non-compliance, we may collect information from people or entities, using our statutory powers. For example, we may:

  • require the production of specified documents
  • conduct and record interviews conducted in person or via telephone
  • take photographs and / or videos during site visits or inspections
  • take or make visual drawings and sketches during site visits, inspections or interviews
  • collect publicly available information, for example from social media, news reporting, advertising material, press releases and vessel tracking databases, where this would assist Maritime NZ to carry out its functions
  • in limited circumstances, collect information through surveillance activities in accordance with the Search and Surveillance Act 2012.

Information collected from other agencies

Maritime NZ may request the assistance of another government agency in relation to the exercising of our statutory powers, including, but not limited to, the New Zealand Police, the Ministry for Primary Industries and WorkSafe New Zealand.

This may include Maritime NZ receiving or requesting information from other agencies. Any such information will be gathered in accordance with our statutory powers and in compliance with the relevant legislation and memoranda of understanding (MOU) or similar. Maritime NZ may also collect and receive information about potential regulatory non-compliance from other governments and international agencies, regulatory bodies and entities, such as the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).

Maritime NZ is the responsible agency for the MSA which was established to enhance ship and port security and mitigate the threat of maritime terrorism. We are provided with intelligence information from the New Zealand intelligence community to carry out these functions under the MSA. The intelligence received may warrant an escalation in maritime security levels and security measures in New Zealand ports.

Information collected by third parties on behalf of Maritime NZ

Where information gathering requires specialist capability that Maritime NZ does not possess, we may engage a third party to collect information for it. Such information gathering is subject to the standard legal limits relating to privacy, access to private property, and the privacy / security of communications by individuals among other things.

We take care to exercise our information gathering powers lawfully and appropriately and meet our obligations under the Privacy Act 2020, State Sector Code of Conduct, Maritime NZ’s Code of Conduct and Information Gathering Model Standards.

For example, we may engage a third party investigator or security consultant to collect information to support our regulatory compliance activities. Any engagement of a third party investigator or security consultant will be approved by a Deputy Director or Deputy Chief Executive and subject to regular review in accordance with our Policy on the Use and Management of Third Party Investigators and Security Consultants.

Any third party investigator or security consultant engaged by Maritime NZ to collect information for the purposes of investigating potential regulatory breaches will be a licensed private investigator and will be required to comply with Maritime NZ’s policies and procedures.


What do we do with the information we collect?

How do we use the information we collect?

In order to carry out our regulatory compliance and protective security functions, we may use the information we hold for audit, monitoring, analysis and risk assessment purposes.

If we identify that we need to use the information we hold for additional purposes, for example to investigate compliance breaches or complaints, we will do so only if permitted by law.

Maritime NZ may also use unidentified, summative, information for the purposes of analysis, reporting and to inform its wider compliance and regulatory activities.

When do we share information?

We may share information where necessary to properly carry out our legislative functions or to assist another state sector agency in fulfilling its regulatory compliance, law enforcement or protective security responsibilities.

Information will be shared in accordance with our statutory powers and in compliance with the relevant legislation and any information sharing agreements, MOUs or similar with the other agency. This may include when Maritime NZ is investigating complaints about regulatory non-compliance. Maritime NZ will take all practicable steps to verify information it provides to third parties.

Maritime NZ may, for example, share information with:

  • another regulator, oversight agency or complaints body
  • the other party to a complaint, for the purpose of investigating and resolving the complaint
  • anyone Maritime NZ’s believes could provide information that is relevant to an investigation, including witnesses to matters that the subject of the investigation
  • the Police, Transport Accident Investigation Commission or another government agency, if required or authorised by law (for example, to assist with the investigation of a criminal offence)

If Maritime NZ staff are threatened or abused, or information appears to us to have been collected unlawfully, we may refer this to the Police.

How do we protect the information we hold?

Information is stored and retained in accordance our Privacy Policy and Information Records Policy and in compliance with the Privacy Act 2020 and the Public Records Act 2005.


Enquiries and complaints

If you have any queries about our information gathering activities, or you believe we have not acted in accordance with this statement, please contact:

The Director, Maritime NZ
Level 11, 1 Grey Street
PO Box 25620, Wellington 6140