News from the NZ Marine Transport Association
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NZMTA Newsletter
July 2018

MTA GoFuel 2018 Conference

We have now completed the timetable for this year's NZMTA Annual Conference (17–19 September in Auckland) and this can be viewed by clicking on this link: DOWNLOAD CONFERENCE TIMETABLE or the snapshot below.

Highlights — We are very fortunate to have Kauahi Ngapori from Whalewatch Kaikoura coming to present on tourism and regional issues post-earthquake.  Peter Busfield will also update us on progress with the America’s Cup and our usual high quality presenters will give us the latest news from the maritime training, legal, surveying and tourism portfolios.
The conference also includes an invitiation to Maritime NZ’s World Maritime Day event on the Tuesday night which is being held at the same venue.  
If anyone would like more information on specific topics, or assistance with their booking, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We look forward to seeing many of you in September.

Funding Review 2018/19

The MTA was recently invited to attend discussions on the upcoming Maritime NZ Funding Review 2018/19.  This is a very important issue for all commercial operators as it involves possible changes to fees and levies charged to you by Maritime NZ.  Whilst most of us accept that MNZ needs to be funded through  its users, we will be seeking your feedback on how the fees and levies are applied.  One of the views expressed by our Executive recently is the need for transparency by MNZ and some of this can be identified in their annual report (link  However, the policy decisions and cost of relentless prosecutions remains a concern for our sector.  Read more about this in the next MTA column in Professional Skipper magazine.
Of note, Maritime NZ has engaged long-time industry advocate and former NZMTA president Keith Ingram as an independent industry advisor during the funding review. Keith will offer a domestic maritime industry perspective to the process.

Loadlines/Freeboards on Aquaculture vessels

Maritime NZ recently asked for our views on whether marine harvesting vessels should carry a loadline or freeboard mark.  This is a constructive discussion and we appreciate being consulted in the process. 
Historically, under maritime rule part 47, marine farming vessels have not been required to have a load line if they are less than 24 metres in length and do not carry ‘cargo’.  Cargo is interpreted as ‘harvest carried for other marine farms’, not ones own harvest.  
The MTA submitted the following comments:
  1. The MNZ discussion document refers to the ‘Duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.  This Act can be beneficial for operators when assessing safety lessons and risks associated with their operation, however it can also be intimidating and force unnecessary compliance.  The MTA will be asking for information from Maritime NZ on how many accidents or incidents, involving overloading and lack of freeboard, have been recorded for the marine farming industry over the past 20 years.  In the event of an incident, an operator facing a Health and Safety charge must prove that he took all reasonable steps to ensure the safety of his crew and the vessel.  If there is no historical risk within this sector, then we would argue the need for additional compliance.  
  2. The document also defines what freeboard marking and load line assignment mean.  The document does not discuss the initial costs to have these markings calculated.  Only a recognised naval architect can do this calculation (and for load lines a more comprehensive computation) – there is a substantial cost for this.  For vessels with loadlines, the ongoing costs include an annual survey by a recognised surveyor, plus a five yearly application to MNZ for a new certificate.  These are all additional compliance costs.  If the annual survey does not apply to vessels with freeboard marks only, then this may be acceptable if operators were happy to pay the initial naval architect costs. The MTA would be seeking a cost/benefit analysis from Maritime NZ.  
  3. Marine farming vessel owners are experienced and understand the stability of their vessels,  They are designed with low freeboard to minimise the lifting height between the sea and deck to reduce the loss of mussels in the lifting process.  Whilst a lot of water comes onto the vessel during the lifting process, the vessels are generally flat decked ships and the water is not building up on deck.  A shorter lift is also safer from a stability point of view.  An oyster barge operator commented that at times, they start loading the oyster barges while they are sitting on the mud as the tide is coming in, they are working in water 1m deep at times and often these marks may get damaged as they come alongside the farms equipment etc.  Oyster barges are almost always operating in enclosed waters or restricted waters/limits.
If industry is to support this initiative, then we need more information about the inherent risks.  If the stability of vessels in this sector has historically caused safety concerns, then we would support the need for freeboard markings.   We request more information on this before considering the addition of further compliance costs to the sector.

International Maritime Update

Maritime NZ recently published this update which makes for interesting reading. If anyone is interested in this topic, refer to this download link: International Maritime Update.

Help with survey and MOSS?

Prompted by a number of calls each week from operators having 'issues' entering their vessels into MOSS, the MTA has decided to offer a new service to members to assist them with this.
Many of the issues relate to survey interpretations – in particular, electrical, fire and design. Advice given to surveyors by MNZ technical experts is often inconsistent and in some cases, proves to be incorrect.
Any operator wishing to get advice on these matters during the process of entering a vessel into MOSS should ring the MTA for clarification. 
SafeShip Ltd also offers a full package that includes the coordination of design, survey and MOSS entry – for those wishing to leave it to the experts. For details, contact 

Time to join the NZMTA

With the many industry issues facing operators, it is time for us to speak with one voice. Domestic fleet operators only have strength in numbers. If you would like to join our Association, and get the benefits, please get in touch with Margaret or or DOWNLOAD (here), PRINT, COMPLETE and SEND US THE MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION FORM.

Become a member today – please send this newsletter on to anyone you think might benefit from joining us – contact or download our membership form on 

We would love to have you on board.
Safe sailing…
Margaret Wind
Executive Officer

NZMTA Sponsor: Gofuel Fuel Cards

  • GOfuel Mobil card can be used at participating Mobil service stations, PAKn'SAVE and New World fuel outlets. Discounts are OFF PUMP PRICE.
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  • Discount offers include GST.
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  • Credit terms - direct debit 14th of the following month.
To join, email to  or visit
Sponsored by Professional Skipper magazine


The NZ Marine Transport Association (Inc) was formed in 1970 to represent the owners of restricted limits shipping. Large and small operators make up the membership and are active in passenger transport, charters, aquaculture, bare boat charter, work boat and fishing.
Phone: +64 9 577 4222  or 0274 818 360
Fax: +64 9 576 4222

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