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HBRC to increase its harbourmaster liability insurance

Media Release
20 March 2013
HBRC to increase its harbourmaster liability insurance

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council has approved in principle increasing the amount of Harbourmaster Liability insurance cover for the region in light of the lessons learnt from the grounding of the container ship the Rena off Tauranga nearly two years ago.

The MV Rena struck Tauranga’s Astrolabe Reef in October 2011 and the cleanup has so far cost in excess of $275 million.

A report to today’s Council meeting said given the costs of recent shipping incidents worldwide and specifically the Rena, staff did not consider HBRC’s current $25 million cover adequate to manage Council’s risk should it be found at fault in a shipping incident.

The report says Napier Port is considered one of the more risky ports in New Zealand in terms of risk of a significant incident occurring.

It says HBRC’s insurance cover has been historically aligned with other councils’ cover and recent enquiries show Wellington & Northland Regional Councils have $100 million Harbourmaster Liability insurance and $20 million and $10 million wreck removal respectively.

The report says HBRC’s Wreck Removal insurance is adequate at $10 million.

Council has agreed in principle to spending $80,000 to increase its Harbourmaster Liability Insurance by $75 million to $100 million. It has also instructed staff to discuss with Napier Port the possibility of payment of a contribution to the costs of the insurance.
A decision on how the extra insurance will be funded will be determined prior to the adoption of the 2013/14 Annual Plan.

ENDS

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