Maritime NZ marks World Maritime Day with a focus on the Pacific

19 September 2018

Improving maritime safety in the Pacific is in the spotlight at an event being held in Auckland today (19 Sept) to celebrate World Maritime Day.

Maritime NZ Director Keith Manch said the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) 2018 World Maritime Day will be recognised at a lunch for organisations involved in maritime safety. Both Mr Manch and Maritime NZ’s Interim Chair Belinda Vernon will speak at the lunch.

“The IMO sets an annual theme for World Maritime Day and this year’s theme is: ‘our heritage – better shipping for a better future’,” Mr Manch said.

“We have chosen to use this theme to highlight the work New Zealand is doing on maritime safety capability and capacity in the Pacific, particularly collaborating with our Pacific neighbours to achieve sustainable growth in their maritime sectors.”

“We do this in recognition that we are a Pacific maritime nation, a good global citizen and a good neighbour.

“Across the Pacific region, people are heavily dependent on the sea for their food, transportation and economic development and we have strong historic, cultural, economic and strategic ties to our Pacific neighbours.”

The Pacific Maritime Safety Programme (PMSP) is a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade-administered programme, funded through the New Zealand Aid Programme, and developed and delivered in partnership with Maritime NZ.

The programme was established in 2012 following a number of significant maritime accidents in the Pacific including some, like the sinking of passenger ferries Princess Ashika in Tonga and the Uean Te Ruoi II in Kiribati, with tragic consequences. The programme’s long-term goal overall is reducing the risk of loss of life at sea.

Recently, Maritime NZ and MFAT signed an agreement to commit to at least three more years of initiatives and funding of up to $9.5 million for the next phase of the PMSP – bringing the total invested through the programme to $16 million.

Key initiatives that the programme is focused on include:

  • Building and bringing into service an inter-atoll emergency response boat for Tokelau, currently under construction at Christchurch’s ICON Custom Boats;
  • Maritime safety community education programmes in Kiribati and Niue; and
  • Development of a programme to assess the risk profile of Kiribati’s passenger ferry fleet and where necessary, conduct audits and support repair work.

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