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Review will make region’s water safer

MEDIA RELEASE

Review of harbours will make region’s water safer

For immediate release: Wednesday 16 March 2004

A review of safety procedures will help to make the region’s waters and one of New Zealand’s busiest ports safer for both people and the environment.

Environment Bay of Plenty’s maritime manager Jon Moore says the work follows on from a national review of port and harbour marine safety standards carried out by the Maritime Safety Authority. The MSA decided to re-examine existing legislation after four large commercial vessels ran aground in New Zealand ports in the space of just two years.

Environment Bay of Plenty’s review will involve risk assessments of the Bay of Plenty’s lakes, river mouths, estuaries and harbours, including Tauranga harbour. Staff will also work together with the Port of Tauranga to update risk assessment and safety management systems.

“We take pride in the region’s good safety record but, as ships get bigger and the amount of traffic increases, it is always helpful to take another look. It’s important we continue to do everything we can to minimise the risk of incident and accident.”

Mr Moore says the Maritime Safety Authority wants to fix any gaps, conflicts or deficiencies in the current legislation. New Zealand’s ports and harbours have “a clear need” for a national standard that formally defines the responsibilities and powers of individuals and organisations like regional councils, he says.

A draft of the revised code is now out for public consultation.

Environment Bay of Plenty is the statutory and regulatory harbour authority in Bay of Plenty waters. Its responsibilities involve navigation and safety, marine oil pollution response, and administering moorings.

ENDS

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