Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) announced it is undertaking a review of coastal navigation safety to identify risks and assess current and potential safety measures.
MNZ Director Keith Manch said the review, which begins July 2014, is part of a focus on developing an intelligence-led, risk-focused approach to maritime safety.
“In order to appropriately manage risks in the coastal environment we need an accurate and up-to-date picture of what those risks are,” he said. “We are seeing an increased number of ship visits to New Zealand, an international trend toward larger ships, and technology changes in the field of navigational aids – all these factors mean a review of coastal navigation risks is timely.”
The first phase is expected to last around 12 months and will involve assessing the nature of risks around coastal navigation and how they are being managed.
“We are taking an open-minded approach, so the first thing to do is establish what risks actually exist and what measures are in place to address them,” Manch said. “If changes are recommended as an outcome of the risk assessment, then the next step will involve consideration of options to improve coastal navigation safety.”
Manch said the review process would involve consultation with government agencies, local government and private sector interests, and it would consider such issues as the types of activity being carried out in the coastal environment, human factors and technology.
“The review is not a response to any particular incident, but obviously we will consider what can be learned from major incidents such as the grounding of the Rena,” Manch said.
The annual numbers of ships, voyages and port calls have continued to increase each year since 2009/10. In the 2010/11 year, 790 ships made 2,167 voyages and 5,386 port calls. In the 2012/13 year, 869 ships made 2,342 voyages and 5,622 port calls.