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Harbours ‘Safety Audit’ says OK

Wellington

New Zealand

23 February 2006

Harbours ‘Safety Audit’ says OK but shows way forward

Marico Marine New Zealand Limited today released its harbour risk assessment report. The current Wellington Harbourmaster system was found to be well-managed and effective.

Unsurprisingly passenger and freight ferries were identified as presenting the greatest risks - making up over 80 percent of the harbour’s shipping movements. However, they still fall within the "as low as reasonably practicable" range because of the significant risk-control measures already in place as part of the Harbourmaster system.

Captain Mike Pryce, Regional Harbourmaster says the report contains a huge amount of information and detail on Wellington’s port and harbour, and is the first such comprehensive report ever compiled for Wellington. Mike says an important part of the process was the level of extensive consultation with port and harbour users. “It’s the commitment of so many harbour users that has helped provide such a complete overview of activities on the harbour.”

The report concluded that although the current Wellington Harbourmaster system was well-managed and effective, it was operating at minimal resource levels to provide 24-7 coverage. The value of the Beacon Hill Harbour Communications Station was recognised – but upgrading of its electronic equipment and on-going staff training would ensure the provision of better information services.

As a maritime country, New Zealand needs to demonstrate international best practice is being followed. Maritime New Zealand, port companies, ferry and shipping companies and Councils – have all worked collaboratively together to review port and harbour safety systems. This commitment is demonstrated by the agreement of all regional councils to complete harbour risk assessments.

Overall, the Port and Harbour Risk Assessment report is comprehensive and provides a good basis for Greater Wellington to begin developing a safety management system that will enhance Wellington’s reputation as a safe and well run port.

The summary and full report can be found on www.gw.govt.nz. Copies of the summary report are available from Pat Dixon, T 04 381 7760. Copies of the full report can also be ordered from Pat Dixon.

ENDS

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