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Heightened international security requirements

4 June 2004

Lyttelton Port responds to heightened international security requirements

Responding to legislation that requires all New Zealand ports to increase security by 1 July 2004, Lyttelton Port Company has appointed an experienced security manager to oversee and implement its security plan.

Paula Allen brings 11 years experience with the British Airports Authority to the newly created role. She is the former security manager for Heathrow's busiest passenger terminal, Terminal 4. Her most recent position at Heathrow was overall terminal manager for Terminal 4.

Under the Maritime Security Act 2004, which was passed in April, all New Zealand ports are required to approach security with an increased level of seriousness and develop an auditable plan to manage security risks.

The new Act is a response to the International Maritime Organisation (the United Nations agency responsible for the safety of international shipping) establishing a new security framework, following terrorist attacks in the United States on 11 September 2001.

The new framework "the International Shipping and Port Security Code (ISPS)" is an amendment to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS). As a contracting party to SOLAS, New Zealand is required to enact legislation to implement the ISPS code.

This is part of a global initiative to make it difficult for terrorists to move arms, bombs or drugs around the world,�h says Lyttelton Port chief executive Peter Davie. We are an international business and we have become a border for a large number of other countries

New security manager Paula Allen says, We have been working closely with New Zealand's Maritime Safety Authority to meet our international obligations under the new Act and the port's operations have been fully assessed to identify critical risks.

Our overall aim is to cause as little disruption to the business as possible. The port will have three levels of security that it will operate under at all times. Level 1 is minimum security with appropriate protective measures. When intelligence indicates a heightened security risk, the Government will order an increase in security to Level 2 or 3 and there will be increased restrictions on access.

New security measures will mean some changes for people using the port. Over the next month we will meet with all stakeholders and explain how these changes may impact on them. For example, from July 1, everyone entering the port will be required to have an approved photo ID visible at all times, there will be increased surveillance of boundary and storage areas, additional fencing around the tank farm area, and access to the port will be restricted to those people needed for business or expected to be on site.

"Like all New Zealand ports we have no choice but to take a very proactive approach to security. United States Customs will be conducting random security audits from the beginning of July and if Lyttelton Port does not meet the standards, international trading could be severely restricted," said Paula.


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