Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


GWRC supports efforts to reduce pollution from big ships

14 February 2019

For immediate release

Shipping costs: GWRC supports international efforts to reduce pollution from big ships

The natural attributes of Te Whanganui-a-Tara (Wellington Harbour) are attractive to tourists and commerce alike, but emissions remain after the vessels have headed off into the sunset.

Therefore Greater Wellington Regional Council is calling on the government to endorse the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) so we can regulate to reduce the pollution coming from ships in Wellington Harbour.

"Pollution from ship emissions is a significant issue that we must address urgently," says Councillor and Chair of GW's Environment Committee Sue Kedgley. "We need to join other nations in reducing the harmful pollutants such as sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides which adversely affect the health of populations and our marine environment."

GW's responsibilities include air, water, and discharges to land and the coastal marine area which is why the Council has made a submission to the Ministry of Transport to support New Zealand's accession to Annex VI (attached). In our submission we point out that significant gains could be made in environmental quality if we could regulate to require ships to use more refined fuels and technologies like scrubbing systems to reduce their emissions.

Shipping is largest source of sulphur dioxide in our region. Stack plumes from shipping are clearly visible and extensive on calm days. The number of log ships is increasing and container ship numbers rebounded following the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake, though not to the same level. Cruise ship frequency has increased significantly. Car carriers and tankers are likely to be about the same however the largest number of vessel movements are the five Cook Strait ferries. The overall increase in the number and size of ships moving on the harbour inevitably leads to greater fuel consumption and more emissions. According to the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ’s report Our air 2018, “the size of the median vessel visiting New Zealand nearly doubled between 2007 and 2013”.

Marine life

We share our harbour with a number of other species. Replacing heavy fuel oils with higher sulphur levels with lighter, more refined fuels and diesel that are less persistent in the environment in the event of a spill reduces the pollution risk from an incident and the clean-up operation required.


A national regulation would be more efficient and effective than a resource management plan or processes on a region-by-region basis for discharge resource consents for shipping.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

New Reports: Flood Risk From Rain And Sea Under Climate Change

One report looks at what would happen when rivers are flooded by heavy rain and storms, while the other examines flooding exposure in coastal and harbour areas and how that might change with sea-level rise.

Their findings show that across the country almost 700,000 people and 411,516 buildings worth $135 billion are presently exposed to river flooding in the event of extreme weather events...

There is near certainty that the sea will rise 20-30 cm by 2040. By the end of the century, depending on whether global greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, it could rise by between 0.5 to 1.1 m, which could add an additional 116,000 people exposed to extreme coastal storm flooding. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The Commerce Commission Fuel Report

The interim Commerce Commission report on the fuel industry will do nothing to endear the major oil companies to the New Zealand public... More>>


Emergency Govt Bill: Overriding Local Licensing For The Rugby

“It’s pretty clear some clubs are having difficulty persuading their district licensing committees to grant a special licence to extend their hours for this obviously special event, and so it makes sense for Parliament to allow clubs to meet a community desire." More>>


Leaving Contract Early: KiwiBuild Programme Losing Another Top Boss

Ms O'Sullivan began a six-month contract as head of KiwiBuild Commercial in February, but the Housing Ministry has confirmed she has resigned and will depart a month early to take up a new job. More>>


Proposed National Policy Statement: Helping Our Cities Grow Up And Out

“We need a new approach to planning that allows our cities to grow up, especially in city centres and around transport connections. We also have to allow cities to expand in a way that protects our special heritage areas, the natural environment and highly productive land." More>>


Ombudsman's Report: Ngāpuhi Elder 'Shocked' By Conditions At Ngawha Prison

A prominent Ngāpuhi elder is shocked to find inmates at Ngawha Prison are denied water and forced to relieve themselves in the exercise yard... Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier has released a report highly critical of conditions at the Northland prison. More>>


Promises: Independent Election Policy Costing Unit A Step Closer

The creation of an entity to provide political parties with independent and non-partisan policy costings is a step closer today, according to Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Associate Finance Minister James Shaw. More>>


School's In: Primary And Intermediate Principals Accept New Offer

Primary and intermediate school principals have voted to accept a new settlement from the Ministry of Education, which includes entrenched pay parity with secondary principals. More>>


IPCA On 'Rawshark' Investigation: Multiple Police Failings In Hager Searches Confirmed

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that the Police's unlawful search of Nicky Hager's property in October 2014 resulted from an unwitting neglect of duty and did not amount to misconduct by any individual officer... More>>


Broadcasting Standards: Decisions On Coverage Of Mosque Attacks

The Authority upheld one of these complaints, finding that the use of extensive excerpts from the alleged attacker’s livestream video on Sky News New Zealand had the potential to cause significant distress to audiences in New Zealand, and particularly to the family and friends of victims, and the wider Muslim community. More>>




InfoPages News Channels