MNZ Opens New Office in Port Taranaki

By George Backwell
Thursday, July 31, 2014
Port Taranaki: Photo CCL 3

Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) informs that for the first time in 5 years it has a permanent presence in New Plymouth on the opening of a new office at Port Taranaki staffed by full-time maritime officer Michael Vredenburg.

Opening the office, MNZ Director Keith Manch said the move reflected the significant role of the port and region in New Zealand’s maritime sector.
 The previous office closed in July 2009, following the retirement of the sole staff member.

“Port Taranaki is at the centre of New Zealand’s offshore petroleum industry and is also a key import and export port,” he said. “Maritime New Zealand’s vision is for a safe, secure and clean maritime environment and it makes good sense to have a permanent maritime officer based in New Plymouth to help deliver on that vision in this area.”

While based at Port Taranaki, new Maritime Officer Michael Vredenburg’s focus will be the wider Taranaki region, ranging north up to Mokau and as far south as Wanganui, for both commercial and recreational water users.

Born in California and raised in Texas, Michael is a former US Marine and US Navy special warfare boat operator, has worked in the offshore oil industry in the Gulf of Mexico, and has experience as a commercial diver and ship’s engineer. Most recently he was flag state inspector and port state control officer for the Marshall Islands.

MNZ General Manager Maritime Compliance Harry Hawthorn said having a maritime officer would help deliver on key new initiatives, such as the Maritime Operator Safety System (MOSS), which came into force on 1 July, 2014.

“MOSS represents the biggest change in the maritime sector for 15 years, and we want to ensure we are supporting the sector as operators move to the new system,” he said. “There will also be a focus on ensuring recreational boaties are doing the right thing in terms of keeping themselves safe. “We want our compliance and regulatory activities to be evidence-based, intelligence-led and risk-focused. Having an office in New Plymouth will enhance our capability to achieve that.”


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