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Supporting councils against maritime disaster costs

Pita Paraone MP
Whangarei-based List MP

23 September 2015

Supporting councils against maritime disaster costs

New Zealand First is calling on the government to limit regional councils’ potential exposure to liability for maritime disaster costs.

“Under the Maritime Transport Act councils have unlimited liability for a maritime disaster that happens within their coastal waters and, as seen with the Rena disaster, this could be upward of $275 million,” says New Zealand First’s Whangarei-based List MP Pita Paraone.

“Councils are being forced to gamble on how much insurance is needed to cover these unlimited costs. This means rates are being over collected by $400,000 each year in coastal regions.

“New Zealand First supports government intervention to either cap the amount of liability for councils or for government to facilitate a joint insurance scheme between central and local government to pool the risk of disaster to all parties, including ratepayers.

“It is common sense to reduce this unnecessary burden on ratepayers in the regions and government needs to show some leadership and take action in this area,” says Mr Paraone.


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