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Ports of Auckland gets tick for security measures

24 June 2004

Ports of Auckland gets big tick for new security measures

The Maritime Safety Authority announced today it has verified the Ports of Auckland as compliant with important new international security requirements, in time for an international deadline of 1 July.

Ports of Auckland has been working closely with the MSA during the past year to implement strict new security measures which better enable them to detect security threats and take preventive measures against security incidents.

MSA Acting Director Tony Martin says he commends Ports of Auckland for meeting the security requirements in time for 1 July. "The Port has exceeded our expectations in developing and implementing its security plan. As one of the largest ports in New Zealand, Ports of Auckland had a huge task to develop and implement its security measures by 1 July. They have taken a strong and professional focus to security, and a proactive and very detailed approach to the task. We have been extremely impressed," he said. Will Harvey, Ports of Auckland’s General Manager Port Services said: “Ports of Auckland takes security very seriously, particularly in the face of increased global terrorist risks. Complying with the new international security requirements is vitally important for the security of trade through Auckland and the protection of staff, port users and the community.

“Gaining compliance is a huge operation for Ports of Auckland. We have spent in excess of $1 million strengthening the border security management of the up to 2,500 vehicles and up to 4,500 people that visit the Port of Auckland each day.

“We’ve appointed a new Port Facility Security Officer, put in place new port access systems, new photo identity cards, upgraded four kilometres of perimeter fencing and significantly improved our electronic surveillance systems,” said Mr Harvey.

Mr Martin said: “New Zealand ports have ships coming and going from all over the world. While the likelihood of a terrorist threat remains low, the new security measures are essential to ensure we minimise, and are prepared for, any security threat.” said Mr Martin.

“As well as enhancing New Zealanders’ safety, the new security measures are economically important, as they form part of international obligations for increased security. If ports do not meet the new obligations, overseas ports could refuse entry to ships carrying New Zealand exports or refuse to send ships to New Zealand. Consequently our trade and cruise ship tourism could suffer,” he said.

Background The International Maritime Organization (IMO) responded to the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks by establishing a new framework for international maritime security. This included amendments to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) in December 2002 and the development of the International Ship and Port Security (ISPS) Code.

Under this new Code, New Zealand is required to put in place a new security framework and achieve full compliance by 1 July 2004. The Maritime Security Act and its regulations include the need for ports to have auditable plans to manage security risks. The Maritime Safety Authority is the designated authority to ensure New Zealand’s shipping and port companies comply.

ENDS

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