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Govt. Ship Insurance Policy Must Extend Beyond Oil

Govt. Ship Insurance Policy Must Extend Beyond Oil Pollution

Compulsory insurance provisions for ships in New Zealand waters must extend beyond just oil spill costs to include any costs for salvage or removal of wrecks, says National Environment spokesperson, Nick Smith.

"The costs of removing stricken vessels like the Jody F Millennium and their freight can amount to millions. If the uninsured rust buck in Port Nelson, Contek II, sinks, it would cost the port company huge sums to remove it from the Nelson haven.

"The Minister must extend the proposed provisions to ensure all costs associated with strandings are covered."

Dr Smith last May tabled a Members Bill to amend the Maritime Transport Act to require third party insurance because of Government inaction on the issue. He wrote again to the Minister in September calling for a change in policy, to no avail. On Tuesday, Labour blocked Dr Smith's Members Bill being introduced to Parliament.

"I welcome Mr Gosche's sudden change of heart in seeing that this issue needs to be addressed. The Government must do the job properly and ensure all costs are covered," says Dr Smith.

Ends

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