Show All


Browse by Category:

Boat registration

Coastal shipping

Commercial fishing

Crisis management

Foreign charter vessels

General

Health & safety

Marine environment

Marine legislation, rules & codes

Maritime accidents

Vessel operations

Vessel sale & purchase

Dawson & Associates Ltd - Dawson & Associates, maritime and fisheries law specialists, Nelson New Zealand

Our Blog

Hartono & Others v MPI and Sajo Oyang Corporation

On 9 August 2017, the Supreme Court granted former crew members of Oyang 70 and Oyang 75 leave to appeal in respect of their claim for unpaid wages.  Oyang 70 sank on 18 August 2010, 740 kilometres east of Otago killing six men. The Supreme Court will consider if the appellants have an interest in a sister ship (Oyang 77) forfeited to the Crown for fisheries offences and whether they can apply under S 256 Fisheries Act 1996 for relief. The Ministry of Primary Industries and Sajo...
Read More »

Commerce (Cartels and Other Matters) Amendment Bill 2011 becomes law

The majority of provisions of the Commerce (Cartels and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2017 Act came into force on 15 August 2017.  The Act amends the Commerce Act 1996 to enable pro-competitive collaboration between firms, but deter hard core cartel behaviour. The amendments propose to provide further protection from anticompetitive behaviour by expanding the range of prohibited conduct to include price fixing, restricting output, and allocating markets.  Amendments include...
Read More »

Consultation closed on proposed changes to the regulation of the deposit of jettisoned material on the seabed from space vehicles

The Government’s consultation on how best to manage the effects of the deposit of jettisoned material on the seabed in New Zealand’s exclusive economic zone and on the extended continental shelf closed on 13 September 2017. After submissions have been considered, the Minister will decide whether to proceed with the proposed activity classification or revise the proposals.  If it goes ahead, regulations would likely be made before the end of 2017. Background to the...
Read More »

When is an owner not an owner?

On 16 August 2017, the Magistrates Court of Tasmania decision in Jo Goudie v Talley’s Longline Limited brought clarity to the question of where liability should rest when the registered owner of a vessel on demise charter is prosecuted for the actions of crew employed by the demise charterer. Talley’s are the registered owner of the vessel Janas and were charged under S 8(1) of the Pollution of Oily Waters by Oil and Noxious Substances Act 1987 (the Act) for an accidental...
Read More »

Vessels required to comply with Ballast Water Management Convention in 4 weeks

Vessels will need to comply with the Ballast Water Management Convention (BWMC) from 8 September 2017. The BWMC, adopted in 2004, set standards and procedures for the management and control of ships' ballast water and sediments, aimed at preventing the spread of harmful and invasive aquatic organisms from one region to another.  With Maritime New Zealand’s Marine Protection Rule Part 300: Ballast Water Management becoming effective on 8 September, all vessels will need to...
Read More »

Cargo vessel captain charged with high alcohol reading comes as a reminder and warning to seafarers

“A strong warning and reminder to seafarers” is what Maritime New Zealand’s Northern Regional Manager is calling the recent conviction of a cargo ship captain for an exceptionally high alcohol reading. Antony Baker, captain of the ship Shansi, was arrested and charged under the relatively new S 40 (c) of the Maritime Transport Act (MTA), after he was found to be over the 250mg alcohol limit.  A pilot who helped with the docking of the 40,000 tonne logging vessel...
Read More »

MPI consultation on draft circulars on digital monitoring of commercial fishing

This consultation has closed. The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is seeking feedback on draft circulars for the digital monitoring of commercial fishing.  These circulars will set the specifications and standards for the systems and processes used in digital monitoring. Draft circulars for consultation are: Fisheries (Geospatial Position Reporting Devices) Draft Circular 2017 Fisheries (Codes and Information) Draft Circular 2017 Fisheries (Event Reporting) Draft...
Read More »

Dawson & Associates assists with vessel registration for New TV series 'Over the Horizon'

Dawson & Associates recently assisted the Over the Horizon team with the structure of their operation and the flagging of the vessel used in the series. Over the Horizon is a new TV series, due to air in the US soon.  It begins with adventurer Ellis Emmett exploring the road less travelled, by yacht.  View this teaser of the series.
Read More »

Congratulations Team New Zealand

Congratulations to Team New Zealand for winning the America’s Cup this morning!
Read More »

Consultation on various amendments to Maritime and Marine Protection Rules, relating to conventions

This consultation closed on 22 June 2017. Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) is consulting on proposed amendments to various maritime and marine protection rules, to reflect changes to international conventions and codes that New Zealand is a party to. The rule amendments relate to: Operating in polar waters Low-flashpoint fuels Solid bulk cargoes Dangerous chemicals in bulk Marine environment protection Marine evacuation systems And reflect changes to three international...
Read More »

Future of our fisheries

Cabinet has approved that new regulations can be made to require fishing permit holders to use electronic catch reporting, geospatial position reporting and electronic (camera) monitoring of commercial fishing activity, and to enable the use of innovative trawl technologies. These proposals formed part of the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) consultation document - The Future of our Fisheries - released last year, as part of its review of the fisheries management...
Read More »

Marine protection proposals - more time needed to consider submissions

The South-East Marine Protection Forum (SEMPF) is extending the time it needs to consider the 2,800 submissions received on its MPA sites consultation for the south-east of the South Island.  The Forum was to have final recommendations to government by the end of April, however it has recognised that it needs more time to properly consider public feedback before forming recommendations. In its media release, the Forum states that government agencies supporting it are working with...
Read More »

Proposed reforms to the management of marine protected areas

Last year the Government consulted on its proposed changes to the way marine protected areas in New Zealand’s territorial sea are provided for and managed. The consultation document A New Marine Protected Areas Act set out the proposal for a new approach to marine protection, and if agreed, would form a new Marine Protected Areas Act, replacing the Marine Reserves Act 1971. Currently, marine reserves are created under the Marine Reserves Act 1971, which only allows no-take...
Read More »

STCW-F - maritime rule amendments signed

In 2015, the Government acceded to the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO’s) STCW-F convention.  This convention sets the training and certification standards for crew on seagoing vessels of 24 metres or more in length. Last year, Maritime New Zealand consulted on rule amendments to give effect to the STCW-F consultation document.  While the Maritime Rules were largely in alignment with STCW-F, some changes were required to meet the full requirements of this...
Read More »

Maritime Crimes Amendment Bill - select committee report recommendations on 'peaceful protest' and use of the term 'terrorism'

The Maritime Crimes Amendment Bill, currently before Parliament, sparked concerns that maritime protest activity could be classed as terrorism.  The select committee report, released on 7 December 2016, has recommended an ‘avoidance of doubt’ provision which would specify that peaceful protest would not be, by itself, sufficient basis for criminal liability under the Act. Some submitters were also concerned about the broad scope of terrorism offences in the bill, and...
Read More »

Cameras on fishing boats - an answer to commercial fish dumping?

The Fisheries Review currently underway includes a plan to install cameras on all fishing boats as an answer to fish dumping.  The idea is that the cameras will provide reassurance to the New Zealand public, and to overseas markets for our fish, that commercial fishers are abiding by the rules, set out in the Quota Management System (QMS). However, in recent media reports, inshore fishers have spoken out about how the QMS forces them to break the rules around fish dumping.  See...
Read More »

Helping the villagers of the small island of Siassi - a YWAM video

Watch this video from YWAM Ships PGN, which shows how the medical team is supporting the villagers of the tiny Papua New Guinea island of Siassi. Dawson & Associates is proud to be involved, on a pro-bono basis, in the YWAM medical ships operation in Papua New Guinea.
Read More »

Submissions closed on Maritime Transport Amendment Bill

Submissions have closed on proposed changes to the Maritime Transport Act 1994 (MTA). As well as changes relating to compensation for damage caused by oil spills and limitation of liability for maritime claims, the Bill will introduce new requirements for commercial maritime operators to have drug and alcohol management plans in place. Submissions received can be found on the NZ Parliament site. Background information can be found on the Ministry of Transport website and the...
Read More »

Taranaki seabed mining

The hearing into Trans-Tasman Resources Ltd (TTRL) application to mine iron sand in the South Taranaki Bight closed on 31 May 2017.  On 3 August 2017, the Decision-making Committee granted consent subject to conditions for TTR to extract and process iron sand within the South Taranaki Bight.  The decision was a split 2-2 decision with the Chairman exercising his casting vote to approve consent. The Fisheries Submitters, and other groups, have filed an appeal in the High Court...
Read More »

New Zealand Port and Harbour Marine Safety Code

A revised New Zealand Port and Harbour Marine Safety Code (the Code) was adopted in 2016, following consultation.  The Code provides a quality standard of practice for risk assessment and safety management in ports and harbours.  It is voluntary, and has been adopted by regional councils, Maritime NZ and port operators.  Achievement of the Code is a joint responsibility between the three primary stakeholders – MNZ, port operators, and regional councils.  To...
Read More »

Consultation on the Future of our Fisheries programme is now closed

Consultation on the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) new programme - Future of Our Fisheries - closed on 23 December.  A series of meetings and hui were held around the country prior to the consultation closing.  The consultation forms part of MPI’s review of the fisheries management system, which proposes 3 strategic and 2 regulatory changes, focused on improving information gathering and management, and on ways to further minimise the industry’s...
Read More »

Submissions closed on South-East Marine Protection Forum's proposed MPA sites

Around 2,800 submissions were received on the South-East Marine Protection Forum’s (SEMPF) proposed sites for possible inclusion in a network of marine protected areas from Timaru to Waipapa Point. Currently there is no marine protected area on this stretch of coast.  This has been recognised as a significant gap in New Zealand’s MPA network, and does not meet the protection standard set in government policy. Submissions will be analysed by an independent analyst and...
Read More »

13,733 submissions received on the Trans-Tasman Resources application for marine consents

13,733 submissions were received on the Trans-Tasman Resources (TTR) application for marine mining consent.  The submission period closed on 12 December 2016. The index of submissions can be viewed on the EPA website Submissions Received page. The Hearing is due to begin on 16 February 2017.
Read More »

Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 - how to manage an investigation

Peter Dawson was a speaker at the recent New Zealand Maritime Pilots Association conference.  The focus of the conference was safety culture and risk management, as well as the legal issues affecting pilotage operations. Peter’s presentation was on the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 and dealt specifically with how a maritime pilot should manage an investigation.
Read More »

Seafarer tickets - a reminder

With the year coming to an end, and many of us heading away on holidays, we would like to remind seafarers that your tickets must be registered with Maritime New Zealand before 1 September 2017.  Old or legacy tickets can be used until 1 September 2017 but they must either be ring-fenced, or MNZ must be informed that you plan to transition your ticket by 1 September 2017, or the tickets will expire on 2 September 2017. More information can be found on the MNZ website.
Read More »

Our Marine Environment - report

The recently released report, Our Marine Environment 2016, gives an overview of the pressures New Zealand's marine environment faces, how it is changing, and the impacts on our biodiversity, economy, and way of life. The report finds that New Zealand’s oceans, coasts and wildlife are under growing pressure, and highlights three main areas of concern: Ocean acidification and warming – due to global greenhouse gas emissions Many of native marine birds and many...
Read More »

Map showing wind, swell and weather patterns

Have a look at this interesting map which shows wind, pressure, clouds, waves and currents around the globe.
Read More »

Submissions open on proposed changes to Maritime Transport Act - oil pollution compensation, limitation liability, seafarer alcohol and drug management, and other miscellaneous matters

Submissions are open to the public on proposed changes to the Maritime Transport Act 1994 (MTA). The Maritime Transport Amendment Bill proposes to amend aspects of the MTA, including: Compensation for damage caused by oil spillage: The Bill will enable New Zealand to accede to the 2003 Protocol to the International Convention on the Establishment of an International Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage 1992 (Supplementary Fund Protocol).  This will allow an...
Read More »

Consultation open on the Future of our Fisheries programme

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has released a consultation document - The Future of our Fisheries - as part of its review of the fisheries management system.  Three strategic and 2 regulatory changes are proposed that focus on improving information gathering and management, and on ways to further minimise the industry’s environmental footprint. The consultation is broken down into 3 parts: Fisheries Management System Review – containing the 3...
Read More »

Trans-Tasman Resources told to unseal evidence

The Environment Court has ordered Trans-Tasman Resources Ltd (TTR) to make public large amounts of evidence that relate to the environmental impacts of its proposal to mine iron in the Taranaki region. TTR had redacted large chunks of new evidence it included in its second application for a marine mining consent.  The EPA’s Decision Making Committee (DMC) initially restricted the publication of this content. A further extension has also been granted to the submission...
Read More »

World's largest marine reserve to go ahead

The New Zealand and US proposal to create a marine protected area (MPA) in the Ross Sea, north of Antarctica, has finally been agreed.  The marine reserve will be 1.55m sq km, about the size of France, with 72% being a no fishing zone. However, the MPA has a ‘sunset clause’ which means it will be reviewed after 35 years – a limit which has caused concern. Agreement on the MPA was reached following talks at the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic...
Read More »

South-East Marine Protection Forum - consultation open on 20 proposed sites for marine protection

The South-East Marine Protection Forum (SEMPF) is calling for submissions on its initial proposals for 20 sites for possible inclusion in a network of marine protected areas along the South-East Coast of the South Island from Timaru to Waipapa Point. Currently there is no marine protected area on the coast south of Timaru to Waipapa Point (south of the Catlins).  This has been recognised as a significant gap in New Zealand’s MPA network, and does not meet the protection...
Read More »

Ship under investigation in Australia for violating international labour conventions

Indian crew on a cargo ship on Australia’s coast have not been paid for two months, and are living in squalor with only scraps of food and drinking water the colour of tea.  The Indian owned bulk carrier is flagged with the Marshall Islands, and operates under a temporary licence to operate in Australian waters.  Under the Australian shipping laws, foreign vessels can obtain temporary licences to operate on Australian trade routes without needing to pay their workers...
Read More »

Trans-Tasman Resources submission period extended

The period for public submissions on Trans-Tasman Resources Ltd’s (TTR) application for consents to mine iron sand in the South Taranaki Bight has been extended until 5pm, Monday, 14 November 2016. The Decision Making Committee (DMC) has granted the extension of a further 20 days in response to a request from Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Ruanui.  The reasons for the extension can be read in the DMC Minute 7 on the EPA website.
Read More »

Enslaved to catch our fish

A media story about Cambodians suffering brutal conditions for years at a time on Thai fishing boats comes only one month after a story about foreign fishermen confined to American boats for years at a time. Brutal seas: Meet the men enslaved to catch our fish gives a devastating account of the experiences of two Cambodian men who worked 20-23 hours a day for weeks on end, receiving little or no pay.  While these men lived to tell their story, many did not.  Many of the...
Read More »

Small maritime businesses are getting bigger

New Zealand’s small maritime businesses (0-19 employees) engaged in fishing, off-shore aquaculture, and water transport, are small but starting to get bigger.  These are the findings of the first report into the business structures of small commercial maritime operators. Maritime New Zealand said that the Ministry of Transport’s report shows a trend of decline in the sector until 3-4 years ago, then plateau, and now the sector is slowly picking up and becoming more...
Read More »

Six container shipping lines being raided by South African Competition Commission

The South African Competition Commission is conducting a search and seizure operation at the premises of six cargo shipping companies operating in the Western Cape and Kwazulu-Natal provinces. In its media release the Commission says it has reasonable grounds to suspect that Hamburg Sud South Africa (Pty) Ltd, Maersk South Africa (Pty) Ltd, Safmarine (Pty) Ltd, Mediterranean Shipping Company (Pty) Ltd, Pacific International Line South Africa (Pty) Ltd and CMA CGM Shipping Agencies South...
Read More »

Fish dumping report finds that MPI obstructed the prosecution process

MPI’s decision not to prosecute fish dumpers has been criticised.  The Heron report, released on 16 September, finds that the decision not to prosecute and the process leading up to it were both flawed.  MPI was found to have obstructed the prosecution process. In media statements MPI has accepted the findings of the independent review and has taken action to address some of the issues.  These key actions can be found on the MPI website.  However MPI says there...
Read More »

14 October the deadline for public submissions on the Trans-Tasman Resources application to mine iron sands

The public have until 5pm on Friday 14 October 2016 to lodge their submissions on the Trans-Tasman Resources Ltd (TTR) marine consent and marine discharges consent application to extract and process iron sands off the South Taranaki coast. The application area covers 65.76 square kilometres (km²) of seabed between 22-36 kilometres offshore in waters between 20-42 metres deep.  TTR propose to extract and export up to 5 million tonnes of iron sand per year, for up to 35...
Read More »

Will peaceful protest be classed as terrorism under the Maritime Crimes Amendment Bill?

The New Zealand Law Society (NZLS) has suggested that the definition of terrorism in the Maritime Crimes Amendment Bill should match that in the Terrorism Suppression Act 2002, which excludes legitimate peaceful protest.  Under the Maritime Crimes Amendment Bill, peaceful protest could inadvertently be classified as terrorism. The NZLS would like to see an exclusion in the Bill specifically for ‘peaceful protest’.  They also recommend an amendment so that accidents...
Read More »

Prosecutions for fish dumping in New Zealand waters are much lower than thought

Earlier this year the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) claimed it was prosecuting 300 cases per year for fish dumping.  However figures released under the Official Information Act show that there have only been 28 prosecutions for fish dumping since 2004, with more than half against recreational fishers.  A Radio New Zealand News article quotes an MPI statement that "The number of government observers on-board commercial fishing vessels has more than doubled in the...
Read More »

Foreign fishermen confined to American boats for years at a time

Yet another report emerges of fishermen being exploited on western fishing boats – catching fish destined for restaurants and premium seafood counters, while suffering squalid conditions, insufficient food, little pay, and even human trafficking. A unique US fishing fleet of about 140 American flagged, American owned vessels is able to use a loophole in the federal American legal system to employ predominantly South East Asian and Pacific fishermen to work on boats without providing...
Read More »

New Zealand to discuss marine protection issues at Our Ocean Conference

New Zealand – regarded as a leader in ocean conservation – will be discussing marine protection issues like climate change, ocean acidification and sustainable fishing at the Our Ocean conference later this week. The New Zealand delegation will be promoting New Zealand’s commitment to the Kermadec/Rangitahua Ocean Sanctuary and the role of iwi in environmental management.  Minister Maggie Barry, who leads the delegation, will also spend some time learning about how...
Read More »

Marlborough District Council Proposed Marlborough Environment Plan - dredging and trawling ban sites

Marlborough District Council’s consultation on the Proposed Marlborough Environment Plan closed last week and received more than 1,000 submissions. The plan proposes to ban “Fishing activity that uses a technique that disturbs the seabed” within significant marine sites in the Marlborough Sounds.  However specific information about these sites was not obvious from the plan document.   A recent article in Stuff states “The sites are spread right...
Read More »

Failure to provide safe work systems results in fatality, and sentencing for shipping company

In Australia a shipping company has been sentenced for failing to ensure the safety of an employee as far as was reasonably practicable.  The company failed to provide a safe system of work, as well as adequate information, instruction, supervision, and training to the worker who was fatally crushed in a plant. In December 2012, a deck mechanic died while doing maintenance work on an iron ore trans-shipment barge managed by the company Inco Ships Pty Ltd.  Inco Ships pleaded not...
Read More »

Could the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill make it easier for seabed mining?

This is the claim by the Green Party.  Currently the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) appoints the panel to consider seabed mining applications.  This could change under the Bill to allow the Minister to appoint the panel.  The Green Party media release can be read here. This is particularly relevant with the second application by Trans-Tasman Resources (TTR) to mine the seabed off the South Taranaki coast for iron ore, despite its previous application being...
Read More »

SeaCert (transition) consultation - maritime rules amended

SeaCert amendments specific to parts of Maritime Rules part 32 (Seafarer Certification), part 31 (Crewing and Watchkeeping), and part 34 (Medical Standards) enter into force on 30 September 2016. In June this year, MNZ invited comment on proposed amendments to these rules, with the proposal to ring-fence specified old/legacy certificates being widely supported by seafarers.  The amendments to Maritime Rule Part 32 will enable seafarers holding specific old or legacy certificates...
Read More »

Trans-Tasman Resources Ltd again trying to mine iron sands off the South Taranaki coast

Trans-Tasman Resources Ltd released a media statement yesterday stating it has lodged a marine consent application with the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to mine iron sands off the South Taranaki coast.  The EPA has yet to list the application on their website. This application follows an earlier attempt in 2013, which was refused by the EPA.  The history of this earlier application can be viewed on the EPA website Trans-Tasman Resources: 2013 application to mine...
Read More »

Fish exporting nations will need to meet new US criteria for protecting marine mammals

Nations which export fish and fish products to America will have to meet fishing standards for protecting marine mammals which equals those followed by the US fishing industry.  A new rule, which implements requirements under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), means that US trade partners will need to show that injuring or killing marine mammals, incidental to fishing activities or bycatch, do not exceed US standards. America’s NOAA Fisheries expects that the rule...
Read More »

South China Sea EEZ decision backs the Philippines

The disputed waters of the South China Sea is one of the most contentious issues in East Asia, and now an international tribunal in the Hague has overwhelmingly backed the Philippines against China’s claim of an extended Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the South China Sea.  The South China Sea is a shipping route where nearly one third of the world’s shipping traffic passes though, and is also thought to have huge untapped oil reserves. This arbitration concerned the...
Read More »

How maritime law works - a video

Maritime law exists because over 70% of the world is ocean where there are no countries or governing bodies to tell us what is right or wrong.  The complexity of this situation is clearly explained in this instructive video.
Read More »

Clearwater Mussels operation showcased on Country Calendar

On Saturday night Clearwater Mussels, New Zealand’s second biggest mussel farming company, featured on Country Calendar. The programme can viewed here. Clearwater Mussels has been in operation in the Marlborough Sounds for 40 years, and last year shared the South Island Farmer of the Year award.  This made them the first marine farmers to win the award. We are proud to be associated with this innovative company.
Read More »

Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary Bill endorsed by parliamentary select committee

The Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary Bill, introduced to parliament in March this year, has been endorsed by a parliamentary select committee, despite submissions that opposed it.  Submissions closed in April.  Since then two cases are in court claiming breaches of fishing rights – one from iwi, the other from a group of commercial fishing companies.  All fishing will be banned in the area. While there will be no compensation paid to Maori or commercial fishing companies...
Read More »

Containers on ships carrying international cargo now need verified weights

As of 1 July 2016, an amendment to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) came into force that requires all ships carrying international cargo (that are subject to the Convention) to have verified weights for their containers. In March, Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) ran a consultation on changes to various maritime rules to ensure New Zealand law would reflect the changes to SOLAS.  Changes to Maritime Rule Part 24B for container weight verification, and...
Read More »

The importance of shipping for New Zealand in the transportation of trade

Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) has highlighted the importance to New Zealand of shipping to transport goods, stating that at least 97% of New Zealand’s trade is transported by sea.  And this figure is increasing. This increase is part of a global trend, with 80% of the world’s trade carried by ship.  This equates to more than 12 billion tonnes of goods, shipped by 1.5 million seafarers on 50,000 merchant ships, annually. Facts released by MNZ: 97% of New...
Read More »

Awaroa Beach to become part of the Abel Tasman National Park on 10 July

The Awaroa Beach, bought by New Zealanders (including ourselves) after a nationwide crowdfunding campaign earlier this year, is to become part of the Abel Tasman National Park on Sunday 10 July. The Awaroa Beach Gifting Ceremony and Celebration will take place on site, weather permitting. Updates can be found on the Gift Abel Tasman Beach Facebook page.
Read More »

Snapback caused by mooring lines and anchor chains

The Maritime Authority of the Cayman Islands has released a shipping notice outlining the investigation, to date, into a fatality during anchoring on board the superyacht Ocean Victory.  The accident occurred in March 2016 near the Similan Islands in Thailand, when the third officer was struck by the (bitter) loose end of anchor chain after the windlass break failed.  The cause(s) of the failure of the windlass brake are still under investigation. The notice includes safety...
Read More »

Marine protection in the south east of New Zealand - consultation beginning October 2016

In October 2016 a formal submission process will begin on the establishment of at least one marine protected area (MPA) in the south-east of the south island. Currently there is no MPA on the coast south of Timaru to Waipapa Point (south of the Catlins).  This has been recognised as a significant gap in New Zealand’s MPA network, and does not meet the protection standard set in government policy. In 2014 the Government established the South-East Marine Protection Forum...
Read More »

Reconstruction of New Zealand fisheries catch

A new controversial study on alleged under reporting of commercial catches over the past 40 years has been published by the University of British Columbia.  The study was led by well-known Auckland academic Dr Glenn Simmons and can be found here. Needless to say this is generating significant interest in local and international media.  See the TV 3 coverage of this report here.
Read More »

Maritime New Zealand's funding deficit to be met through increases in SeaCert fees and in maritime levies

Late last year Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) consulted on new proposals for the maritime levy as part of a review of the funding of MOSS and SeaCert.  Their mid-point funding review found that the funding deficit averaged at $1.62 million for each of the next three years. After consideration of submissions received public consultation meetings, and engagement with an industry reference group, prepared final recommendations for Cabinet. On 16 March 2016, Cabinet agreed that the...
Read More »

Deadline reached for foreign charter vessels to reflag

1 May 2016 was the deadline for foreign charter fishing vessels to switch their flags to the New Zealand flag.  Anecdotally, we are advised that most of the vessel owners have not chosen to incorporate New Zealand entities in which to own the vessels, but have qualified for the New Zealand flag through bareboat charter arrangements with local companies.  In a media statement, Maritime New Zealand (MNZ), state that 10 of the 19 vessels that were required to reflag to New Zealand...
Read More »

Seafood companies mount court challenge to Government's plan for Kermadec ocean sanctuary

A group of commercial fishing companies, representing about 80% of seafood quota, are mounting a court challenge against the Government’s plan to establish the Kermadec Ocean sanctuary.  Led by the Fishing Industry Association Sealord, Talley’s, Sanford, Solander, Aotearoa Fisheries, Independent Fisheries, Ngai Tahu Seafood Resources, Vela Fishing and KPF Investments (United) have jointly filed a statement of claim in the High Court. While the companies fully support...
Read More »

Seafarers' Rights International to study the effectiveness of the Maritime Labour Convention

As the third anniversary of the entry into force of the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC) approaches, Seafarers’ Rights International (SRI) will undertake a study into the effectiveness of the implementation and enforcement of the Convention. The study has been commissioned by the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF).  SRI is an independent research centre aimed at advancing the legal protection of seafarers, and has a number of advisory board members...
Read More »

The criminalization of seafarers - a video

This instructive video on the criminalization of seafarers, on the Seafarers’ Rights International (SRI) website, is worth a look. As seafarers travel from port to port they come into the jurisdiction of many different states, each with their own laws and regulations.  Increasingly, seafarers of all ranks are finding themselves at risk of criminal investigations or charges as a consequence of their professional activities, and often for incidents beyond their control.  A...
Read More »

Video of a near collision of two ships

Watch this video of a near collision between two ships - VIDEO: Near Collision Caught on Camera.
Read More »

Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary Bill - public submission period closed

The closing date for public submissions on the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary Bill was 28 April 2016. The Select Committee will now consider submissions and is scheduled to report to the House by 15 September 2016. Our previous blog items can be read here: Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary Bill passes first reading and is open for public submissions Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary Bill introduced to Parliament Announcement of the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary More information about the Bill...
Read More »

Human Rights at Sea releases new publication on UN guiding principles on business and human rights in the maritime environment

Human Rights at Sea (HRAS), the independent maritime human rights charity, has released the first in a series of new publications specifically focused on the implementation of the 2011 UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in the maritime environment. The publication looks at the emerging need in the maritime environment, examples and case studies, as well as suggested self-help guidance for all maritime business enterprises and their senior management. The publication -...
Read More »

Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary Bill passes first reading and is open for public submissions

The recently introduced Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary Bill passed its first reading in Parliament last week.  However the Māori fisheries trust Te Ohu Kaimoana is taking legal action, on the basis that the government has ignored the impact the sanctuary would have on iwi fishing interests. The public are now able to make submissions on the Bill until Thursday 28 April 2016.   Details of how to make a submission can be found on the Parliament website. The Select...
Read More »

New Zealand ratifies the Maritime Labour Convention

New Zealand has ratified the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC), following the Ministry of Transport’s consultation in July 2014 on the merits of New Zealand becoming party to the Convention, and the Cabinet decision to ratify the convention. The MLC will come into force on 9 March 2017 and will apply to about 890 foreign commercial cargo and cruise ships visiting New Zealand annually, and approximately 30 New Zealand ships. The MLC, known as the ‘seafarers bill of...
Read More »

Proposed reforms to the management of marine protected areas - consultation now closed

The consultation period on proposed changes to the way marine protected areas in New Zealand’s territorial sea are provided for and managed has closed.  If agreed the policy recommendations will form a new Marine Protected Areas Act which will replace the Marine Reserves Act 1971. Further information about the proposed reforms can be read in our earlier blog item Consultation open on proposed reforms to the management of marine protected areas.
Read More »

Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary Bill introduced to Parliament

The Bill to establish a new marine protected area in New Zealand's exclusive economic zone (EEZ) around the Kermadec Islands and to preserve it in its natural state was introduced to Parliament last week. Prime Minister John Key announced plans to establish the sanctuary while at the United Nations General Assembly last September. The Sanctuary will cover 15% of New Zealand’s EEZ and will be one of the world's largest fully protected areas.  The area contains the...
Read More »

Steps to combat lawlessness at sea

The US will sign legislation that bans American imports of fish caught by forced labour in Southeast Asia.  This is one of a recent range of actions by the US government, labour groups, the Thai government, and others to address lawlessness at sea. This relates to earlier articles in Outlaw Ocean, a series of articles by New York Times writer Ian Urbina, and in particular to an article last July about forced labour on Thai boats, many of which catch seafood which is turned into pet...
Read More »

Coastal Navigation Safety Review - Maritime NZ report released

Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) has released its report of findings on the coastal navigation safety review. The review began in April last year, and considered how coastal navigation safety risks are identified and managed within New Zealand’s territorial waters.  MNZ’s press release cites a “sound framework” to manage the movement of ships around New Zealand’s coast, and procedures in place to assess risk and adjust safety measures if necessary. With...
Read More »

Australian Senate rejects a change to Australia's coastal trade licensing regime

On 26 November 2015, Australia’s Senate rejected the Shipping Legislation Amendment Bill 2015.  The Bill sought to change Australia’s coastal trading (cabotage) regime by replacing the current 3-tiered licensing system with a single licensing system and reduced reporting requirements. Indications are that the Federal Government will revisit the legislative framework for coastal trading in the future, either by undertaking further negotiations with the crossbench early in...
Read More »

Consultation open on proposed reforms to the management of marine protected areas

The Government is seeking feedback on its proposed changes to the way marine protected areas in New Zealand’s territorial sea are provided for and managed. The consultation document A New Marine Protected Areas Act sets out the proposal for a new approach to marine protection, and if agreed, would form a new Marine Protected Areas Act, replacing the Marine Reserves Act 1971. Currently, marine reserves are created under the Marine Reserves Act 1971, which only allows no-take...
Read More »

Maritime NZ mid-point funding review - consultation closed

Maritime NZ’s consultation on proposed changes to fees and the maritime levy closed on 22 January.  Eight public workshops were also held around the country on the details of the review and proposed changes to the fees and levy. Our earlier blog item can be read here - New Zealand's maritime sector underfunded. Background information about the review can be found on Maritime NZ’s website.
Read More »

Seaweek 2016

Seaweek - New Zealand's annual, national week about the sea - will be happening across the country 27 February to 6 March 2016. Hosted by the NZ Association for Environmental Education (NZAEE), Seaweek focuses on learning from the sea.  It’s about exciting and inspiring all New Zealanders to renew their connections with the sea! Full details can be found at seaweek.org.nz.
Read More »

IRD clarifies that question of zero-rating of GST

The Inland Revenue Department (IRD) has produced a QWBA paper (Question We’ve Been Asked) that clarifies when a GST registered boat builder can zero-rate progress payments made by an overseas buyer for the construction of a boat that will be exported by the supplier. The general rule is that export must occur within 28 days from the day of supply, and that where progress payments are agreed during the term of the agreement, each payment has its own term of supply. Any extension to...
Read More »

Abuse of foreign fishermen continues - at a financial level

In an interview with Radio New Zealand National, Auckland researcher, Dr Glenn Simmons, states that while workers on foreign charter fishing vessels are receiving less of the kind of abuse uncovered in 2012, financial exploitation is still a problem. The interview can be played here.
Read More »

Fisheries management system review - industry feedback has been gathered

The first part of the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) fisheries management system review has ended. MPI has gathered feedback from interested parties via a questionnaire and drop-in information sessions.  From here, MPI will produce a report for the Minister of Primary Industries to consider.  This will be produced in early 2016.  A formal consultation process of proposals will take place in mid-2016. More information can be found on the MPI website Fisheries...
Read More »

'Full Speed Ahead' - NZ Shipping Federation's document that asks government to focus on the coastal maritime sector

The NZ Shipping Federation (NZSF) has published an “aspirational” document called Full Speed Ahead, which aims to put coastal shipping back into the transport equation. This is an issue that is regularly revisited by NZSF, and was the subject of a review in 2008 (Sea Change: Transforming Coastal Shipping in New Zealand). The NZSF media release and Full Speed Ahead document can be found on the NZSF website. The Maritime Union has backed the call for a boost to coastal...
Read More »

New Zealand's maritime sector underfunded

The Executive Director of the New Zealand Shipping Federation (NZSF), Annabel Young, has called for government to urgently address the underfunding of Maritime New Zealand’s operations. MNZ is currently consulting on new proposals for the maritime levy that are dumping costs into the marine sector, and these costs should be met by government funding, Annabel Young states.  More on this issue can be read in the article Mid-Point funding Review reveals Government yet again...
Read More »

Indonesian Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister seeks a policy to protect Indonesian migrant workers

The Indonesian Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister is seeking the help of the New Zealand Ambassador to Indonesia to urge the New Zealand government to issue a policy to protect Indonesian migrant workers. The Minister has reported previously that up to 61,000 Indonesian boat crewmembers were allegedly being treated as slaves on foreign fishing boats operating in New Zealand waters.  In her view, the requirement for foreign-chartered boats to apply for registration would help to...
Read More »

Nelson fisheries museum and marine education centre

The trust behind the proposed Nelson Fisheries Museum and Marine Education Centre is widening its search for a potential site.  Read more in the Nelson Mail article Wakefield Quay building might not suit marine education centre after all.
Read More »

Maritime New Zealand funding review - consultation open to 22 January 2016

Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) is undertaking a funding review and consulting on changes to fees and the Maritime Levy.  This review marks the mid-point between the last full review in 2012, and the next full funding review in 2018/19. In MNZ’s media release, Director Keith Manch indicated that the money received from fees and the Maritime Levy are not meeting the costs of delivery MOSS and SeaCert. The consultation will also cover proposed funding changes relating to work on...
Read More »

Antarctica ocean sanctuary plans thwarted again

A New Zealand and US bid to make Antarctica’s Ross Sea a marine reserve has failed for the fifth time, with Russia blocking the proposal. The European Union and 24 countries have been discussing the proposal at the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) meeting in Hobart.  All 25 members of the commission need to approve the proposal for the reserve to be created.  Previously, China and Russia have blocked the proposal, but this year...
Read More »

Coastal Navigation Safety Review - update on progress

In July, Maritime New Zealand announced a review of coastal navigation safety, to consider how coastal navigation safety risks are identified and managed within New Zealand’s territorial waters. The review commenced on 1 July.  MNZ has conducted its research and consultation phases, and expects to report its findings by the end of 2015. More information about the first phases of the review, and the terms of reference, can be found on the MNZ website.
Read More »

Modern day slavery on Irish fishing trawlers

In what is becoming a depressingly familiar story, the Guardian newspaper has now revealed labour abuses on fishing vessels operating out of Ireland. Confined to vessels, low wages, sleep deprivation and inhuman hours are some of the abuses reported by African and Asian migrant workers on Irish fishing trawlers.  A year-long investigation into the Irish prawn and whitefish sector has uncovered that migrant workers from Ghana, the Philippines, Egypt and India are routinely - and...
Read More »

Consultation closed on Marine Protection Rules Part 300: Ballast water management

Submissions closed on 30 October on draft new Marine Protection Rules Part 300: Ballast Water Management 2015.  Part 300 is required to reflect and implement the technical and procedural requirements contained in the International Maritime Organization’s International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments 2004 (Ballast Water Management Convention, or BWM Convention). MNZ’s new Rule, together with part 2 of the...
Read More »

The New York Times 'Outlaw Ocean' series - developments relating to past articles about lawlessness on the high seas

In an earlier blog item on fishermen abused at sea, we introduced readers to the ‘Outlaw Ocean’ series by New York Times writer Ian Urbina.  The series ran during the past summer in America and created dialogue about what can be done to end human trafficking and forced labour on the high seas. A number of recent small developments relate to topics reported in the Outlaw Ocean series.  Firstly, an article in Part 4 of the series - A Renegade Trawler, hunted...
Read More »

How to respond to a maritime incident - a case study

Peter Dawson hosted an interactive session at the recent Marine Transport Association conference in Auckland, on how to respond to a maritime incident.  For further information on this topic, or input in regards to the questions in the case study, please email Peter Dawson or phone 03 544 1967.
Read More »

Fisheries management system review - consultation open

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is reviewing the New Zealand fisheries management system. The review focuses on: sustainability benefits for all New Zealanders decision-making processes monitoring and enforcement responding effectively to future challenges At this early stage of the review, MPI is seeking views from interested parties via a questionnaire.  The questionnaire must be completed by 5pm, Friday 11 December 2015. Information about the...
Read More »

Our Ocean conference - speech by Nick Smith, Minister for the Environment

The speech by Nick Smith, Minister for the Environment, given at the Our Ocean conference in Valparaiso, Chile, can be read on the New Zealand Government website. Included in the speech was an announcement that New Zealand will contribute $1.8 million to help island nations build their resilience to slow-onset ocean acidification, as well as investment of $50 million over the next three years to support the development of a framework for a catch-based management system.
Read More »

Registering your yacht in the Cook Islands - new dual registration available

Maritime Cook Islands has introduced a new dual registration procedure for yachts, which allows a yacht to operate under both the private yacht and commerce yacht categories of registration. Registration requirements will be carried out on a dual registration yacht as normal, under the vessel type that has the highest safety requirements - commercial yacht registration.  This means that while a dual registered yacht is operating as a private yacht, it must: Maintain safety...
Read More »

Interlocutory Hearing on Crew Claims

Listen to Peter Dawson interviewed on Radio New Zealand on 6 October 2015 - Lawyer fights for Indonesian fishermen.
Read More »

Our Ocean Conference on now in Valparaiso, Chile

The second Our Ocean conference about the state of the world’s oceans is taking place in Valparaiso, Chile. The conference is by no means lightweight – with over 400 leaders from government, academia and civil society, including Secretary of State of the United States John Kerry, and Prince Albert of Monaco.  New Zealand’s delegation is headed by Environment Minister Nick Smith. The conference aims to get voluntary commitment to protecting the ocean –...
Read More »

Marine Protection Rules Part 300: Ballast water management - consultation open

Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) is consulting on draft new Marine Protection Rules Part 300: Ballast Water Management 2015. Part 300 is required to reflect and implement the technical and procedural requirements contained in the International Maritime Organization’s International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments 2004 (Ballast Water Management Convention, or BWM Convention).  The BWM Convention, adopted in 2004, set standards and...
Read More »

Announcement of the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary

At the United Nations General Assembly last week Prime Minister John Key announced that an area of 620,000km2 in the seas north-east of New Zealand would become the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary. The Sanctuary will cover 15% of New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and will be one of the world's largest fully protected areas.  It includes the second deepest ocean trench at over 10kms, an arc of 30 underwater volcanoes, and is home to 39 different species of seabirds, over 150...
Read More »

Interisland ferry Arahura sold to overseas buyers

The Arahura has been sold to overseas buyers and left Wellington last Saturday bound for India.  Read more on the Stuff.co.nz article Overseas buyer snaps up ex-Interislander ferry Arahura, which includes an interview with Peter Dawson and reasons why the vessel may be heading for the scrap yard.
Read More »

World Maritime Day

Today is World Maritime Day with the theme this year of maritime education and training.  While the day will be celebrated internationally today (Thursday), here in New Zealand Maritime New Zealand is holding a week of activities.  Information about these activities can be found on the Maritime New Zealand website. The New Zealand maritime industry and Maritime New Zealand are jointly encouraging young people to train for maritime careers.  Information on maritime careers is...
Read More »

Changes ahead for Australia's cabotage regime

On 25 June 2015 Australia’s Federal Government released the Shipping Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 which seeks to change Australia’s shipping legislation, by implementing the Government's intended reform of the Australian cabotage regime.  See our earlier blog item Australian Cabotage Rules. The Bill would replace the current 3-tiered licensing system with a single permit system that would provide permit holders access to the Australian coast for a 12-month...
Read More »

New Zealand maritime sector statistics

Competenz have released a report on the New Zealand maritime sector containing employment data for 2014.  The report can be downloaded here.
Read More »

New superyacht support vessel concept

Have a look at this exciting new superyacht support concept vessel developed by our client, Auckland based Diverse Projects Ltd. The catamaran configuration provides a stable platform for deploying tenders, and gives a range of options for research work and offshore survey.
Read More »

Cloudy Bay Clams product showcased on MasterChef

Congratulations to Cloudy Bay Clams for allowing their wonderful clams to star on MasterChef NZ last night.  See the feedback on Cloudy Bay Clams website and the recipes on the TV3 website. Cloudy Bay Clams is a rapidly growing New Zealand company with an ambitious business plan, and a great product.  We are proud to be associated with them. 
Read More »

Health and safety legislation passed, and other changes afoot

There are several changes afoot in the legislative matrix governing health and safety on ships in New Zealand. As many of you will be aware, the Health and Safety Reform Bill has been passed by Parliament and will come into effect on 4 April 2016.  It will be named the 'Health and Safety at Work Act' and the Bill in its final form can be accessed here.  The new Health and Safety at Work Act is based on the Australian Law which has reportedly seen a 16% reduction in work...
Read More »

Consultation closed on Marine Protection Rules Part 132 relating to oil spills

The Maritime New Zealand consultation on Marine Protection Rules Part 132 relating to oil spills closed on 28 August. You can read our previous news item about the consultation here.
Read More »

The New York Times Outlaw Ocean series - sea slaves

‘Sea Slaves’: The Human Misery That Feeds Pets and Livestock is a shocking and heart breaking report into the lives of fishermen abused at sea.  This article is part 3 of the Outlaw Ocean series, a series of articles by New York Times writer Ian Urbina. The article is closely related to the work we are doing in defending crew on foreign charter fishing vessels.  For further information on our work for crew, please go to this link on our website, which is a...
Read More »

SOLAS lifting gear - convention amendment

International Maritime Organisation member states have agreed the need to amend the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) convention covering onboard lifting gear.  Maritime New Zealand led the proposal, after recording 334 incidents on foreign flagged vessels in New Zealand ports between 2000 and 2007; 64 of those involving lifting appliances.  This is an issue that has raised some concern in the restricted limits sector in that there are no clear guidelines as to the requirements for...
Read More »

Maritime safety to be assisted by charting assessment

Arising from some of the findings of the Transport Accident Investigation Commission, the Government has announced a project to improve maritime safety by mapping high risk areas of New Zealand waters in order to make charting improvements. Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) - who are responsible for charting and providing navigation services for New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone - will use location information on vessel traffic, environmentally and culturally sensitive sites, and...
Read More »

Consultation on Marine Protection Rules Part 132 relating to oil spills

Maritime New Zealand is consulting on proposed amendments and additions to the current Marine Protection Rule Part 132.  The rule sets out the conditions for, and process relating to, the Maritime New Zealand Director’s approval of oil spill control substances (OSCAs) to be used in dealing with oil spills. The Rule was last amended in 2009, and since then there have been developments in respect of OSCAs.  The review seeks to ensure that Rule Part 132 is...
Read More »

Maritime New Zealand cites the introduction of the maritime operator safety system (MOSS) as contributing to risk management awareness in the commercial fishing sector

The recently released 2014 Health and Safety Attitudes and Behaviours in the New Zealand Workforce survey - commissioned by WorkSafe with Maritime New Zealand part-funding - has provided a deeper understanding of employer and worker views of what happens in their workplaces.  The survey covered the high-risk sectors of agriculture, forestry, construction, manufacturing and commercial fishing.  The survey results indicate that while businesses care about worker welfare,...
Read More »

Crew working illegally due to visa mistake

“Foreign workers on a Philippine ship were allowed to work in Port Taranaki without the correct paperwork, leaked emails have revealed”. (source: Radio New Zealand News) A Radio New Zealand News item this morning states that 40 crew on board the Geo Resolution did not have the right visas.  While Immigration New Zealand has admitted the blunder, it cites ‘miscommunication’ as a factor, as well as the vessel’s agent, McKay Shipping, not understanding its...
Read More »

Deep seabed mining regulation in the Pacific region - paper by Robert Makgill and Ana Linhares

Barrister Robert Makgill and doctoral researcher Ana Linhares have published a paper on deep seabed mining regulation in the Pacific region.  The paper has been published in both Law Talk and the ocean issue of the France Forum.  A PDF copy can be downloaded here.
Read More »

Coroner's report on death of Indonesian deckhand finds that boat did not comply with NZ safety standards

A Coroner’s report into the death of Indonesian-born deckhand Triyono, on the foreign charter vessel GOM 379, has found that the vessel did not comply with New Zealand safety standards. Triyono died on board GOM 379 near the Auckland Islands in May last year after he was trapped by a rope being used to retrieve a trawl net.  Evidence from Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) found that management of the vessel did not comply with industry best practice, and that this was a contributing...
Read More »

Maritime Rules Various SOLAS Related Amendments 2015 in force

The Maritime Rules Various SOLAS Related Amendments 2015 came into force on 1 June 2015.  The amendments are to ensure that the Maritime Rules reflect amendments to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS).  More information, the amendments, and an explanation for the amendments can be found on the Maritime New Zealand website. For further information on SOLAS, the Maritime Rules, or any maritime matter, email Peter Dawson or phone 03 544 1967.
Read More »

Consultation closed on the Cape Town Agreement of 2012 and STCW-F Convention 1995

The Ministry of Transport consultation on the Cape Town Agreement of 2012 and STCW-F Convention 1995 closed on 6 May 2015. The Ministry will be incorporating feedback received into advice to the Government on whether to sign up to the treaties. Our earlier news item with information about the treaties can be read here.
Read More »

Improved employment rights for migrant workers in New Zealand - Immigration Amendment Bill (No 2)

The Immigration Amendment Bill (No 2) passed its final reading in parliament on 30 April.  The Bill makes a number of changes to current legislation to addresses the employment rights of migrant workers.  Under the new law, penalties include: A jail sentence of up to 7 years, a fine not exceeding $100,000, or both – for employers found to exploit migrant workers; A new offence of a jail sentence of up to 5 years, a fine not exceeding $100,000, or both – for...
Read More »

Consultation on options to reduce the risks of alcohol and drug related impairment in aviation, maritime and rail

Consultation is open on options to reduce the risks of alcohol and drug related impairment in aviation, maritime and rail (the Clear Heads consultation). The discussion paper invites readers to submit their views on a series of proposed options to manage alcohol and drug related impairment in aviation, maritime and rail.  The options have been developed as a response to the Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) report on the 2012 Carterton hot-air balloon accident, in which...
Read More »

Consultation on the Cape Town Agreement of 2012 and STCW-F Convention 1995

Consultation is open on the Cape Town Agreement of 2012 and STCW-F Convention 1995. The Ministry of Transport is seeking feedback on whether the New Zealand Government should sign up to these two international maritime treaties aimed at improving safety of the fishing industry globally. The Cape Town Agreement of 2012 sets international safety standards for the building of new ocean fishing vessels of 24 metres or more in length, as well as major conversions of existing fishing vessels 24...
Read More »

New Zealand Customs - overhaul of the Customs and Excise Act 1996 - discussion paper

New Zealand Customs (NZCS) have released a discussion paper as part of its public consultation process with submissions due by 5pm Friday, 1 May 2015. Anyone who has had the misfortune of having to review the Customs and Excise At 1996 will easily attest to the cumbersome and confusing nature of this important piece of legislation. NZCS are looking at a major overhaul of the Act with the intention being to simplify, clarify and future proof the agency. We have briefly reviewed the...
Read More »

Nairobi Wreck Removal Convention 2007 (WRC) to come into force in April 2015

The below is not intended to be a treatise on the ins and outs of the WRC, but merely to provide a basic overview thereof with some basic considerations for vessel owners to which the WRC may apply. In a nutshell the WRC provides a strict liability, compensation and compulsory insurance regime for States affected by a maritime casualty.  It makes the registered owner of a ship liable for locating, marking and removing a wreck deemed to be a hazard (which captures both...
Read More »

A Collection of Resources and Media Articles about Foreign Charter Vessels

On the issue of foreign charter vessels, we have developed an extensive library of resources and media articles on the operation of foreign flagged fishing vessels in New Zealand. Foreign-flagged fishing vessels have operated in the New Zealand EEZ since the 1980s.  Although required to comply with New Zealand’s marine safety standards and aspects of New Zealand’s employment legislation, the owners of many of these vessels have proved to be poor stewards of New...
Read More »

The Sunday Times Britain's Secret Slaves

Nine jump from Falklands boat    George Arbuthnott Published: 22 February 2015 In one incident, seven men swam ashore from a vessel in Stanley harbour (Robin Anderson/REX) ONE fisherman has drowned and another is missing after nine crew members jumped overboard from two Taiwanese vessels in the seas off the Falkland Islands, raising fears that they may have been working in poor conditions. Seven Vietnamese men disappeared from a boat in the harbour off the capital, Stanley,...
Read More »

Chatham Rock Phosphate marine consent application refused

The Environmental Protection Authority’s Decision Making Committee has refused consent on the application by Chatham Rock Phosphate Ltd (CRP) for a marine consent to mine phosphorite nodules in the Chatham Rise. The Seafood Industry’s media statement can be read here.
Read More »

UK Modern Slavery Bill - update

The UK Modern Slavery Bill was introduced to Parliament on 10 June 2014.  The Bill aims to provide stronger law enforcement tools to stamp out modern slavery, ensure suitable punishment, and enhance the protection of and support for victims. A current loophole in British law means that law enforcement officers cannot always act to prevent slavery offences at sea, but the Bill makes provision for checks on vessels at sea to take place. The Bill had its 4th sitting in the House of...
Read More »

Sur Este 707 officers fined for fish dumping

The Captain and Chief Officer of the Sur Este 707 have been fined $110,000.00 for fish dumping. Dawson & Associates represents the Indonesian crewmen who gave evidence in this matter.  These crew have claims against this vessel for unpaid wages totalling $4,468,839.19.  These claims are currently before the Employment Court. A copy of the Stuff article can be found here.  A copy of the Judgement in Sentencing can be found here.  
Read More »

NZ Navy takes action against Toothfish Pirates

Peter Dawson was asked to comment on National Radio on the actions taken by the NZ Navy against three vessels caught fishing illegally in the CCMLAR area.  The NZ Navy’s action raises interesting and complex questions of International Law particularly around the powers extended to the NZ Navy by the Equatorial Guinean Government to board the fishing vessels.  Peter Dawson’s interview can be heard here. To listen to Peter Dawson talk with Sean Plunket on this matter on...
Read More »

Pirate Fishing Vessels in Ross Sea - interview with Peter Dawson, and media articles

Click here to listen to a Newstalk ZB interview with Peter Dawson, on the subject of pirate fishing vessels in the Ross Sea.  Below are links to some of the media articles on this subject. Poachers tried to ram Sea Shepherd ship - captain, Radio New Zealand News, 3 February 2015 Navy should act like police to protect fisheries, The Nelson Mail, 23 January 2015 Antarctic poachers shrug off New Zealand naval patrol, Fayobserver.com, 23 January 2015 Antarctic...
Read More »

Employment law changes

New Zealand employment law will change on 6 March 2015 when the Employment Relations Amendment Act 2014 comes into force. The changes fall into 6 main areas: Flexible working arrangements Rest and meal breaks Continuity of employment for specified employees Good faith Collective bargaining framework Employment Relations Authority Changes affect both employers and employees.  A detailed summary of these changes can be found on the Ministry of Business,...
Read More »

New Zealand to ratify the Maritime Labour Convention

At long last, the New Zealand Parliament has agreed to ratify what is arguably one of the important international Conventions for seafarers, the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC). The process for ratification of the MLC will inevitably take a period of time requiring (a) amendments to legislation, amongst others the Maritime Transport Act and applicable Maritime Rules and (b) provision of recommendations by a Parliamentary Select Committee. Whilst it is unclear as to whether there...
Read More »

Chatham Rock Phosphate marine consent application - hearing now closed

The Environmental Protection Authority’s (EPA) Decision Making Committee (DMC) closed the hearing on the marine consent application by Chatham Rock Phosphate Ltd (CRP) on 12 December.  The DMC has 20 working days to make its decision.  Due to the Christmas period, this decision is likely to be made early in the new year. More information can be found on the EPA website.
Read More »

New app a lifeline for seafarers

Seafarers’ Rights International (SRI), the centre dedicated to advancing the rights of seafarers, has launched a new app that allows seafarers facing legal problems to access information as to their rights, wherever they are in the world.  The app, with its ‘find a lawyer’ tool operates offline so that information can be accessed at all times.  More information is available from the SRI press release.
Read More »

Vessel Forfeitures

The past months have seen the culmination of a series of enforcement actions conducted by the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) against Korean foreign charter vessels.  In particular, the vessels Melilla 201, Sur Este 707, and Oyang 75 and 77 have been the subject of forfeiture for various offences under the Fisheries Act 1996, including dumping and misreporting. The consequence of forfeiture upon conviction is that the vessel becomes the property of the Crown, however interested...
Read More »

Deemed MTOC Audits

We have been approached by a range of operators in the marine industry as to the legal basis of the ‘deemed MTOC audits’ that are currently being conducted on vessels that are yet to enter into MOSS.  Several operators have expressed the view that these audits are a revenue generating exercise and are not anchored back in serious concerns in regard to the safety of specific vessels. On behalf of a number of operators, we wrote to Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) inviting comment...
Read More »

Boat Purchase - two key legal considerations for the unwary

We are approached on a regular basis by clients considering the purchase of a second-hand vessel, from small launches to superyachts, fishing vessels and passenger ships. However, there is no such thing as a 'normal' transaction. We are approached on a regular basis by clients considering the purchase of a second-hand vessel, from small launches to superyachts, fishing vessels and passenger ships. Some are very au fait with the nature of these types of transactions and others not...
Read More »

Investigation into claims of slavery in UK fishing fleet

Allegations of human trafficking and slavery in parts of Britain's fishing fleet are being investigated by police.  Exhaustion and malnutrition are among some of the claims made by foreign fishermen on UK-owned boats. A loophole in British law means that law enforcement officers cannot always act to prevent slavery offences at sea, but the British Government has announced plans in the Modern Slavery Bill to allow checks on vessels at sea to take place. We will keep you informed...
Read More »

Chatham Rock Phosphate marine consent application - update on hearing

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) Decision Making Committee (DMC) has adjourned the hearing on the application by Chatham Rock Phosphate (CRP) for a marine consent.  The DMC will formally close the hearing after considering whether it has sufficient information to do so. Once the hearing is formally closed, the DMC has 20 working days to make its decision.  A decision is currently scheduled to be made around 18 December, and would be released shortly...
Read More »

Polar Code is adopted by the International Maritime Organization

The international code of safety for ships operating in Polar waters (the Polar Code) has been adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).  Related amendments to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) have also been adopted. The Code is the first mandatory international framework to protect both the Arctic and Antarctic from maritime risks.  It will be mandatory under both SOLAS and the International Convention for the Prevention Pollution...
Read More »

Foreign Flags, New Zealand Operations, Temporary Import Approvals and MOSS

For readers new to New Zealand maritime operational requirements or to the industry, 1 July 2014 saw the entry into force of the Maritime Operators Safety System (MOSS). In previous articles we have followed and outlined the shift from the previous Safe Ship Management (SSM) regime to MOSS and the sea change (pardon the pun) this has brought to the maritime landscape. In a nutshell the SSM regime placed focus almost solely on the vessel and its safe operation whilst MOSS takes a more...
Read More »

New Zealand announces free trade agreement with Korea

While the recently announced free trade agreement with Korea includes some improved trading conditions for some seafood, Seafood New Zealand states the agreement is disappointing overall for seafood. Read Seafood New Zealand’s media release here.
Read More »

New Zealand Marine Oil Spill Response Strategy 2015-2019

Maritime New Zealand has completed it’s the update of the New Zealand Marine Oil Spill Response Strategy. Under the Maritime Transport Act 1994, MNZ is required to regularly update the Strategy, which was last updated in 2006.  The updated document - the New Zealand Marine Oil Spill Response Strategy 2015-2019 - is the fourth revision since it was first established. More information, including the updated Strategy, can be found on the MNZ website.
Read More »

Vaka to sail to Australia climate congress

Next month’s International Union for Conservation of Nature congress in Sydney will include 40 representatives from the Pacific who want to make sure the effects of climate change in the Pacific are heard. The Pacific representatives are travelling to Australia by four vaka. More information can be found on the Radio NZ International website.
Read More »

Safety Should Be Paramount

To what extent can you mitigate the effects of liability under the Health and Safety in Employment Act (HSEA) in the maritime environment? Murphy’s law is a popular adage in Western culture that broadly states that things will go wrong in any given situation, if you give them a chance. Despite the best safety culture, accidents leading to loss of life or injury will happen in the marine environment.  It is inherently dangerous.  Once the matter comes out of the realm of...
Read More »

Port Authorities and Salvage Within Port Limits - Oui or Non?

When does a port authority become a salvor?  Download a PDF copy of this article.
Read More »

Tisand (Pty) Ltd v the Owners of the Ship MV Cape Moreton

When does ownership transfer? At sale, on registration, or upon signature of the Bill of Sale? Introduction The process for the transfer of ownership in a vessel across jurisdictions takes time, and will normally follow a well trodden path.  So much so that a series of standard form agreements are normally used.  Where a vessel is arrested whilst the documentary processes are in progress in a jurisdiction remote from the domicile of the vendor or the purchaser, interesting...
Read More »

The Fit and Proper Person Test

This article provides information as to the matters Maritime New Zealand considers when making a fit and proper person assessment. Section 34 of the Maritime Transport Act 1994 (MTA) contains the power to make Maritime Rules relating to the requirement of persons to hold maritime documents.  Maritime documents are required in respect of a range of maritime activities; including gaining seafarer qualifications and entering into Safe Ship Management (SSM) (see Maritime Rule...
Read More »

I Love My ... Compliance System!

As fishers, you work in a highly regulated environment where there are significant consequences associated with getting things wrong. Your compliance system can be your best friend. One of my goals in life is to hear all my clients utter the above words (in a joyful and exuberant tone).  You may say I must have a very sad life.  You may be right, but please humour me and read on. Why Compliance Systems are Important I will admit that when I mention the words ‘compliance...
Read More »

Invitation to tender for fishing vessel Melilla 201 closes 20 November 2014

The Melilla 201 was recently forfeited to the Crown for offending under the Fisheries Act 1996. As a consequence, the vessel has been offered for tender and the tenders close on  20 November 2014.  A PDF copy of the tender documents can be downloaded here.  
Read More »

Nelson's proposed fisheries museum and marine education centre - Radio NZ Morning Report interview

Click here to listen to a news item on this morning’s Radio New Zealand Morning Report about the proposed fisheries museum and marine education centre for Nelson.
Read More »

Registering your vessel

As many of our readers are aware, we provide specialist ship registration advice to purchasers and sellers of vessels ranging from superyachts to coastal tugs. The choice of flag is a complex one, driven by a combination of factors, including: Fiscal, tax and structuring matters; Manning and applicable safety regulations and others. There are several pull and push factors and the vessel registry mark is constantly evolving. We came across a recent article on the Cayman...
Read More »

Update on Maritime New Zealand's Coastal Navigation Safety Review

In July, Maritime New Zealand announced a review of coastal navigation safety, to consider how coastal navigation safety risks are identified and managed within New Zealand’s territorial waters. The review commenced on 1 July and is intended to be completed by the end of August 2015. MNZ has recently made available the terms of reference for the review, which includes timeframes for each stage of the review.  Consultation with the maritime sector and with interested parties...
Read More »

International Law - Human Trafficking - Peter Dawson presentation to MLAANZ conference

A copy of Peter’s presentation, International Law – Human trafficking: Mistreatment of crew on foreign fishing vessels in NZ, can be downloaded here.  Peter presented this to the recent Maritime Law Association of Australia and New Zealand (MLAANZ) conference.
Read More »

Yachts, Temporary Imports and Security

In December of last year we reported that New Zealand Customs had increased the duration by which visiting yachts could remain in New Zealand from 12 months to 24 months. We have received some feedback from a few overseas friends and colleagues that suggests that Customs appear to be taking a more hard-lined approach when processing the Temporary Import Entry (TIE) and requiring applicants to provide security as opposed to the ‘business as usual’ written undertaking, prior to...
Read More »

1 Year Anniversary of the Maritime Labour Convention 2006

Last month (August) marked the first anniversary of the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC) coming into force. Presently, there are 64 member countries representing over 80% of the world’s fleet. We have previously reported on the MLC, 2006, but for those who missed out, in a nutshell: The Convention establishes comprehensive minimum requirements for almost all aspects of working and living conditions for seafarers including, minimum age, conditions of employment, hours of work...
Read More »

Operation Moana

In a proactive effort to ensure vessels and operators of fishing vessels are meeting safety and environmental standards, Maritime New Zealand, in a joint operation with the NZ Defence Force, recently boarded and inspected 16 fishing vessels operating off the West Coast of the South Island. The vessels inspected were a mix of foreign flagged charter vessels, New Zealand flagged factory trawlers, and a number of inshore fishing vessels. MNZ report that two foreign flagged charter vessels, the...
Read More »

New Zealand Fisheries Museum and Marine Education Centre proposed for Nelson

A new proposal to set up a fisheries museum and marine education centre in Nelson aims to educate people about the marine environment, sustainability and marine conservation, through hands on experience.  A newly formed trust will manage the museum project.  An article from the Waimea Weekly can be accessed here.
Read More »

Maritime transport augments economic development - SPC media release 20.8.14

To read the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) media release, please click here.
Read More »

Maritime Labour Convention comes into force for the United Kingdom

The Maritime Labour Convention came into force for the United Kingdom on 7 August 2014. All UK Registered vessels (with the exception of fishing vessels, traditional vessels and vessels operating solely on inland waterways) are now required to comply with the provisions of the Convention. Although pleasure yachts (being non-commercial vessels) are typically outside of the ambit of the MLC, the UK (and by extension the other members of the Red Ensign Group) appear to have adopted a...
Read More »

Peter Dawson comments on unverified video of fishermen shot dead at sea

Peter Dawson spoke to TV One’s Breakfast programme about the video footage, posted on YouTube yesterday, which appears to show a group of fishermen being shot dead at sea. The article and video can be accessed here.  Please note that the video images are graphic.
Read More »

Maritime New Zealand and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority advise of EPIRB product recall

As any boatie or operator will be aware, carrying an Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) is not only a legal requirement but an absolute must in the event that go wrong. Standard Communications Pty Ltd, manufacturers of the GME Accusat EPIRB, has identified a fault in the microprocessor of models MT400, MT401 and MT403 (with serial numbers between 50101000 and 80250722) manufactured between January 2005 and February 2008. The fault in the microprocessor effectively shuts...
Read More »

Update on Chatham Rock Phosphate marine consent application

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) Decision Making Committee (DMC) has granted Chatham Rock Phosphate (CRP) a three week extension of the period between submissions closing and the Hearing commencing. The new timetable of essential key dates is: 28 August 2014 – Hearing notice 25 September 2014 – Hearing begins 20 November 2014 – Last date for Hearing to close 18 December 2014 – Decision due A more detailed timetable outlining all key dates is available...
Read More »

Fisheries (Foreign Charter Vessels and Other Matters) Amendment Bill passes into law

On 31 July 2014, the Fisheries (Foreign Charter Vessels and Other Matters) Amendment Bill passed into law.  The implications of this are that all Foreign Flagged vessels fishing in New Zealand will be required to reflag to New Zealand by May 2016.  This will mean that they will be required to comply fully with New Zealand employment law, and the vessels will be subject to the full range of New Zealand’s maritime law in regard to the safety, operation and manning of the...
Read More »

Media reports on foreign charter vessels

The failure to pass the Fisheries (Foreign Charter Vessels and Other Matters) Amendment Bill has given rise to a number of media reports.  These and other reports on foreign charter vessels can be accessed below. Reserved Judgment of Judge JJD Strettell, in the case of MPI v Taejin Fisheries Ltd and United Fisheries Ltd Foreign charter rule changes, The Dominion Post
Read More »

Professional Skipper: Opinion on Foreign Charter Vessels

Attached please find an opinion piece that appeared in the August 2014 edition of Professional Skipper magazine authored by Sean McCann, the National President of the NZ Fishing Industry Guild.
Read More »

Milestone reached for Polar Code

In May we outlined the slow progress of the development of an international code of safety for ships operating in Polar waters (the Polar Code).  At its last session, the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) approved the draft of the new SOLAS chapter XIV ‘Safety measures for ships operating in polar waters’, which would make the Polar Code mandatory.  The MSC also approved (in principle) the draft Polar Code. The Marine...
Read More »

1 July 2014 - MOSS Regime commences

Marine operators should have commenced the process to transfer their Safe Ship Management (SSM) documentation to the Maritime Operators Safety System (MOSS) which commenced on 1 July 2014. MOSS replaces SSM and represents a major shift from a primarily vessel orientated safety system to an organic, holistic, operations based system. For those operators still confused about when they are required to enter MOSS, in a nutshell: For single vessel operators: Your entry into MOSS (proper) is...
Read More »

Spotlight on risks caused by coastal shipping

Maritime New Zealand has announced a review of coastal navigation safety, to identify risks and assess current and potential safety measures.  Director of MNZ, Keith Manch, says “We are seeing an increased number of ship visits to New Zealand, an international trend toward larger ships, and technology changes in the field of navigational aids – all these factors mean a review of coastal navigation risks is timely.” The review begins this month.  The first phase...
Read More »

Submissions close on Chatham Rock Phosphate marine consent application

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has closed submissions on Chatham Rock Phosphate’s (CRP’s) marine consent application to mine phosphate nodules from the Chatham Rise.  Read the EPA media release, or visit the EPA website.
Read More »

International Labour Organization (ILO) adopts new legally binding Protocol to strengthen global efforts to eliminate forced labour

The International Labour Organization (ILO) has adopted a new legally binding Protocol designed to strengthen global efforts to eliminate forced labour. The Protocol, supported by a Recommendation, supplements and modernises the 84 year old ILO Convention 29 on forced labour. The new Protocol includes provisions on protection and prevention of forced labour, as well as remedy for victims.  It also creates a clear link between forced labour and trafficking. The ILO press release,...
Read More »

NZ Herald editorial - Seabed mining sets very high bar

Click here to read an article in today’s NZ Herald which takes a further look at the EPA decision to decline Trans-Tasman Resources (TTR) application for seabed mining.
Read More »

A selection of media reports on the EPA decision to refuse consent to seabed mining

A selection of media reports on the EPA decision can be found here:  http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11276589 http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/10172709/Ironsand-mining-rejected http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/247503/epa-rejects-mining-project
Read More »

Trans-Tasman Resources Ltd Seabed Mining Application Declined

Trans-Tasman Resources Ltd applied to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to excavate iron sands from the seabed in the EEZ of New Zealand.  The application sought consent to mine 65.76 square hectares, located between 22 and 36 kms offshore. After lengthy hearing, the Decision Making Committee (DMC) appointed by the EPA, refused the application.  Dawson & Associates acted for a group of commercial fishing interests in opposing the application.  The DMC found that...
Read More »

Human Rights at Sea: Resources

The Human Rights at Sea (HRAS) initiative has been developed by UK Barrister David Hammond, to highlight abuse of mariners in the maritime environment.  They have created an informative website and we would encourage readers to view their introductory video, which can be here.
Read More »

Guardian article on Human Trafficking at Sea

A provocative article, dealing with the abuse of workers on the Thai prawn trade can be found on the Guardian website.  This article has been the subject of comment in our local media and a link to a 'Scoop' article commenting on PM John Key’s involvement with the company concerned can be here. 
Read More »

Submissions open on Chatham Rock Phosphate marine consent application

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has opened the submission period on Chatham Rock Phosphate’s (CRP’s) marine consent application to conduct seabed mining. Submissions are open until 5pm on 10th July 2014.  Further information about CRP’s application and how to make a submission can be found on the EPA website.
Read More »

Safety and documentation - Peter Dawson presentation to the Marine Transport Association June 2014

Peter Dawson gave an industry update to the Marine Transport Association seminar on the subject of safety and documentation.  To view Peter’s presentation please click here.
Read More »

Easy Rider - the sentencing

The Invercargill District Court handed down sentencing in the matter of Maritime New Zealand v AZ1 Enterprises Ltd. AZ1 Enterprises was fined just over $200,000 and Gloria Davis sentenced to 350 hours community service with a fine of $3,000. A considerable amount of empathy has been shown toward Gloria Davis in the media particularly from the relatives of those lost in this tragic event, with many apparently questioning the decision to prosecute and the sentence. In our view, given the...
Read More »

Chatham Rock Phosphate Ltd lodges marine consent application with EPA for seabed mining

On 14 May Chatham Rock Phosphate Ltd (CRP) lodged an application for marine consent to mine phosphate nodules from the Chatham Rise with the Environment Protection Agency (EPA). On 6 December 2013 CRP was granted a 20 year permit to mine 820km2 seabed on Chatham Rise – the first permit to be granted under the amended Crown Minerals Act.  This marine consent application is the next step in CRP’s process to conduct seabed mining. The application is currently being processed...
Read More »

When to come into MOSS?

For those operators that have fleets coming into the Marine Operators Safety System (MOSS), the transitional provisions of Maritime Rule Part 19 (Maritime Transport Operator Certification and Responsibilities) and Maritime Rule 44 (Surveys, Certification and Maintenance) can be confusing. Maritime Rule 19.81(2) anticipates that where a fleet of vessels is commonly owned, the New Zealand SSM Certificates on the vessels as at 1 July 2014 will be ‘deemed in combination to be one Maritime...
Read More »

Offshore Iron Sands Mining

Trans-Tasman Resources Ltd (TTR) has made application to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) for a marine consent to undertake the mining of iron sands in the South Taranaki Bight.  TTR propose to use a FPSO to process iron ore mined from the seabed for export to China.  Dawson & Associates, led by experienced environmental law counsel Robert Makgill opposed the application on behalf of a group of fisheries submitters, including Fisheries Inshore NZ, The Federation of...
Read More »

Australian Competition Policy Review

The Australian Government is undertaking a comprehensive review of competition laws and policy, the first review in 20 years.  The review panel running the review recently released its Issues Paper which is open for consultation until 10 June 2014. The review aims to address regulatory impediments to competition, and to understand where competition can provide further benefits to Australian consumers and businesses.  This includes a review of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010...
Read More »

Slow progress on the Polar Code

Development of the international code of safety for ships operating in Polar waters (the Polar Code) is making slow progress. The Code, currently being considered by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), proposes a mandatory international framework to protect both the Arctic and Antarctic from maritime risks.  It will cover the full range of shipping related matters including design, construction, equipment, operational, training, search and rescue, and environmental protection...
Read More »

Australian Cabotage Rules

The Australian government is investigating options to change the country’s cabotage rules.  Released on 8 April 2014, the Options Paper Approaches to Regulating Coastal Shipping in Australia states that the regulation is damaging the Australian economy due to increased shipping costs and by restricting access to timely and flexible services.  If recommendations in the paper are adopted, laws protecting local ship operators from competition from foreign owners could be...
Read More »

How new technology and innovation is driving changes in the fishing industry

Peter Dawson gave a presentation to the Maritime Law Association of Australia and New Zealand (MLAANZ) conference on the subject of how new technology and innovation is driving changes in the fishing industry. A copy of Peter’s presentation can be downloaded here.
Read More »

MNZ v AZ1 Enterprises Ltd & Davis-Karetai (the Easy Rider decision) - a brief summary

The tragic yet arguably preventable sinking of the Easy Rider, acts as a timely and sobering reminder of the need for constant diligence in respect of the management and safe operation of vessels. Although to be superseded by the Maritime Operators Safety System (MOSS), all commercial vessels operating in New Zealand are required to be in Safe Ship Management (SSM).  For the uninitiated, in very general terms, SSM is a comprehensive certification/audit process which looks at the...
Read More »

Second Reading of the Fisheries (Foreign Charter Vessels and Other Matters) Amendment Bill

The Second Reading of the FCV Bill took place on 15 April 2014.  Minister Guy’s introduction of the Bill can be read on the Government website.
Read More »

Court battle looms over wages for crew on Foreign Charter Vessels

Click here to read Michael Field's article.
Read More »

Iron sands mining hearing: a quick glance at the concerns

Click here to read the NZ Herald article.
Read More »

Fish-dumping trawler the Oyang 75 is likely to be seized

“New Zealand could end up owning a controversial South Korean fishing boat after a court judgment.” To read the Stuff article of 7 March 2014, click here.
Read More »

Winston Peters suggests ban foreign boats and crews from fishing New Zealand waters

Click here to read NZ Herald article.
Read More »

Customs Revoke Duty Concession on Vessels <40m

It has recently come to our attention that a long standing concession allowing used fishing vessels to claim the benefit of a concession not to pay a 5% duty on the value of an imported fishing vessel, was revoked in 2012. As such, importers of used fishing vessels <40m will now be required (in addition to the payment of GST) to pay a duty of 5%. For further information contact Peter Dawson.
Read More »

Changes to MOSS Fees

Cabinet has approved new fees for MOSS, which will take effect on 1 April 2014. The new fees can be viewed on the MOSS page of Maritime New Zealand’s website.  
Read More »

Fees announced for SeaCert

Cabinet has approved new fees for SeaCert, which will take effect on 1 April 2014. The new fees can be viewed on the Maritime New Zealand website.
Read More »

Important Court of Appeal Judgment on Forfeiture

The Court of Appeal recently handed down a Judgment in the matter of the Ministry for Primary Industries v Sajo Oyang and others.  Where there are parties who have an interest in the vessel (Oyang/Charterer) but who are not party to the criminal offending and criminal process (Captain and officers), the court found (as a matter of interpretation of the Fisheries Act 1996) they were not able to address the court, or intervene in the criminal process unless specifically authorised to do so...
Read More »

New information for SeaCert now available on the Maritime New Zealand website

The Seafarer licensing framework (SeaCert) comes into effect on 1 April 2014.  Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) have updated the SeaCert page on their website with information about the changes SeaCert will bring.  This information can be accessed here.
Read More »

Iron Sands Mining

We have been involved in drafting submissions on the marine consent application to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) for a permit to extract iron sands in the South Taranaki Bite.  On 21 November 2013, the EPA notified Trans-Tasman Resources (TTR’s) application for consents.  The current timetabling for the consent application is as follows: The applicant (TTR) evidence was due with the EPA on 17 February 2014; Submitter’s evidence is due with the EPA by...
Read More »

Legacy Certificates and Sea Time

We have been consulted by a number of people who have expressed their concern about the effect of transitioning their pre-STCW95 Legacy Certificates of Competency (e.g. Skipper Deepsea fishing boat or Mate Deepsea fishing boat) to the new equivalent Certificate, namely the MFV-U(STCW-F) Certificate. In some cases, mariners with substantial sea time on fishing vessels, who wish to transition to the new non-fishing certificate, have been told that their sea time will not be recognised. ...
Read More »

Another Initiative to Revive Coastal Shipping

We regularly come across initiatives by coastal states to revive coastal shipping through amending their domestic maritime legislation, to make it more attractive for vessels to register within their jurisdiction.  We recently saw Australia establish its ‘International Register’, and we have now seen a similar initiative underway in South Africa, through attractive new shipping provisions in South Africa’s new Taxation Laws Amendment Bill. The position in South Africa...
Read More »

Application to Mine Ironsands in the South Taranaki Bight

Trans-Tasman Resources Limited (TTR) has applied to undertake the mining of Ironsands in the South Taranaki Bight. In brief, it proposes to mine Iron Ore from the seabed and process it aboard a production and storage facility. Accordingly, they have applied to the Environmental Protection Authority for permits to conduct this activity. The EPA in its turn has delegated the decision making responsibility for the Marine Consent Application to a Decision Making Committee (DMC). ...
Read More »

Tokelau Ferry Contract to Bangladesh Shipyard

Peter Dawson commented on a recent editorial in the NZ Herald endorsing the grant of a contract to build a new ferry for Tokelau, using NZ funding.  He said: “It troubles me when I read editorials that skim the surface of a complex issue and draw unsupported conclusions by reference unrelated industries.  New Zealand is has an enviable international reputation for building high quality commercial and pleasure vessels. This has been achieved by skilled artisans working in...
Read More »

Customs Extend Period for Visiting Yachts

The Minister of Customs announced on 11 December 2013 that the Temporary Import Entry (TIE) period for super yachts, yachts and other small craft that arrived in New Zealand has been changed from 12 months to 24 months.  This is a welcome change, as it is not unusual for foreign owned and flagged vessels to stay in New Zealand for periods of longer than a year, particularly when they are undergoing extensive refits.  It is important to note that under the terms of a TIE there is a...
Read More »

Permit Granted for Mining Near Chathams

Chatham Islands mayor Alfred Preece is concerned that mining in nearby waters will not bring economic benefits to residents. Chatham Rock Phosphate has been given a 20-year permit to mine 820 square kilometers of seabed on the Chatham Rise.  It is the first permit to be awarded under the amended Crown Minerals Act, which came into force earlier this year.  Phosphate from the Chatham Rise can be used as direct application fertiliser and will reduce the need to import phosphate from...
Read More »

South Korean Fish Exports to Face EU Ban

A significant portion of New Zealand's $1.4 billion annual fish exports face a European Union ban if it has been caught by South Korean vessels. The EU last week warned they would designate South Korea as an illegal fishing nation, partly in response to illegal fishing and extensive human rights and labour abuses aboard Korean boats in New Zealand waters. EU Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki said it had to change or end up on the blacklist.  "We continue to put pressure...
Read More »

Update on MOSS Operator Workshops

We recently attended a Maritime Operator Safety System (MOSS) briefing in Auckland and report back briefly on the matters outlined by Maritime New Zealand (MNZ). The purpose of the briefing was not to provide detailed technical advice in respect of the Maritime Transport Operators Certificate (MTOC) or how to complete/draft a Maritime Transport Operators Plan (MTOP), but merely to provide a basic outline covering the key points of MOSS and providing a timeline in respect of when...
Read More »

Drowning in a Sea of Paper

A feature article that appeared in February 2013 Seaways magazine, struck me as relevant given the current move to re-document vessels under MOSS. The author, Captain Singhal, stated that “The existing practice of equating the safety standard of a company with the size and volume of its documentation is a trend which is generating more paper and dangerously eroding the actual safety onboard ships”. A copy of this provocative article can be downloaded here.
Read More »

Maritime Operator Safety System (MOSS) - developing MTOPs

With the forthcoming implementation of MOSS, we have been approached for input on developing MTOPs.  Guidelines for the development of MTOPs have been placed on the MNZ website. Given the forthcoming changes to the Health and Safety in Employment Act, operators should incorporate the change in emphasis signalled by the exposure draft of the Health and Safety Reform Bill, into their MTOP plans. If you need any input or guidance on this, please email Peter Dawson, or phone 027 229...
Read More »

Health and Safety Reform Bill Exposure Drafts (Part 1-3)

During October 2013 the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) released an 'exposure draft' of what constitutes the most significant reform of New Zealand’s workplace Health and Safety system in 20 years.  The exposure draft provided an opportunity for feedback, by 15 November 2013 and this feedback will be published on the MBIE website. The approach taken by the Government in the exposure draft is to follow the Australian Model Work Health and Safety Act...
Read More »

Australian Fair Work Ombudsman Prosecution (Oil Rig Workers)

In June 2011, the Australian Fair Work Ombudsman launched a prosecution in the Federal Court in Perth, alleging that 3 companies and a director of a company were involved in underpaying 4 Filipino workers, employed on a Woodside Rig on the north-west shelf of Australia.  The Fair Work Ombudsman alleged that Hong Kong-based company Pocomwell Ltd hired the 4 workers who were paid US$32 per day for working 12-hour days, 7-days per week.  The total amount alleged to be underpaid was...
Read More »

Human Trafficking Reported in Cape Town

Seventy-five Indonesian fishermen have been abandoned in Cape Town, working in slave like conditions on 7 Taiwanese-owned vessels.  An article on their plight can be found here.
Read More »

When is a Shipping Broker Entitled to Broker Commission?

If a contract is cancelled ... are you still obliged to pay a broker's commission? I came across a recent Judgment in the Danish Supreme Court in which the court found that a shipping broker was entitled to the loss of commission even though the underlying contract had been cancelled. The Danish Court found that the vessel owner had incurred a liability to the shipping broker for commission on a contract made, which was cancelled and then subsequently replaced by a new contract...
Read More »

Australian Fair Work Ombudsman Prosecution (Oil Rig Workers)

An Australian Fair Work Ombudsman prosecution relating to underpayment of Filipino workers on an oil rig in the Australian EEZ, has recently found in favour of the employers of the crew. In June 2011, the Australian Fair Work Ombudsman launched a prosecution in the Federal Court in Perth, alleging that 3 companies and a director of a company were involved in underpaying 4 Filipino workers, employed on a Woodside Rig on the north-west shelf of Australia.  The Fair Work Ombudsman alleged...
Read More »

Svitzer Salvage v Seafuels Ltd & Z Energy Ltd - the Rena aftermath continues

In a recent interlocutory decision, the High Court in Wellington held that Svitzer Salvage BV (Svitzer) could continue its challenge to the fees it paid to Seafuels Ltd (Seafuels) in hiring the tanker Awanuia during the salvage operations of the Rena. In the initial maelstrom of the Rena grounding, Svitzer, who were appointed as salvors, required a vessel to pump the oil off the stricken vessel.  The only tanker in New Zealand with the ability and capacity to assist with the job was the...
Read More »

Indonesian Fishermen Claim Exploitation

Journalist Michael Field speaks about his investigation into two EU-flagged fishing vessels currently under repair in Whangarei.   We have previously highlighted the plight of Indonesian fishermen on vessel operating in New Zealand.  It appears that the exploitation of Indonesian fishermen extends beyond New Zealand to European Union flagged fishing vessels. A copy of the article (with video) can be found here.
Read More »

Trafficked: Human Rights in the Fishing Industry

A new paper published by FishWise comments on human rights abuses in the fishing industry.  A copy can be found here.
Read More »

MOSS Fees and Charges Consultation

On 3 October the MOSS rules were signed into law by the Minister of Transport. Maritime New Zealand is now consulting on proposed MOSS fees and charges.  The consultation runs from 14 October – 11 November 2013. There are significant changes proposed to fees and charging that will come into being with the new MOSS regime.  Operators can begin transitioning from 1 April 2014 and, with fees increasing over a 6 year period. New fees will apply to the following MNZ...
Read More »

Maritime Labour Convention - Update - 1 month on

 Last month we outlined in general terms the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC), its scope and its inevitable effect on New Zealand flagged commercial vessels trading internationally. The MLC has been in force for little over a month and has already resulted in detention of 8 vessels inter alia for non-compliance with the requirements of the Convention. According to a Paris MoU press release the detentions were imposed by 4 different port states being Canada (3 ships), Spain (3...
Read More »

Regulation of coastal shipping trades between Australian states

At the recent MLAANZ Federal Conference, Peter Dawson was particularly interested in the report back on the impact of the new Australian Navigation Act 2012 which came into force on 1 July 2012.  This Act introduced a regime to regulate the coastal shipping trades between Australian states.  To engage in coastal trade, three types of licence are now available, namely a general licence, a temporary licence or an emergency licence. Given the ongoing interest in the revival of New...
Read More »

Our Aging Inshore Fishing Fleet

In the July/August 2013 edition of Professional Skipper magazine, editor Keith Ingram wrote an article about the plight of New Zealand’s aging inshore fishing fleet.  He referred to an initiative to design and build a cost effective, efficient inshore fishing vessel.  Since this article was written, we have heard from a variety of sources (fishermen, naval architects, boat builders etc) of the increasing interest in the design and build of a cost effective inshore fishing...
Read More »

What is the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC 2006)?

The Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC) is an international labour Convention adopted by the International Labour Organization (ILO) which came into effect on 20 August 2013. The MLC was adopted at a ILO conference in February 2006, is colloquially referred to as the ‘seafarers’ bill of rights’ and is set to become the ‘fourth pillar’ of the international regulatory regime for quality shipping (the others being MARPOL, SOLAS and STCW). We understand from...
Read More »

Health and Safety Update

There are some changes and trends in the health and safety sector of which businesses need to be aware. MOSS The Maritime Operator Safety System (‘MOSS’) is the new system Maritime New Zealand is proposing to replace the existing Safe Ship Management system (‘SSM’).  The MOSS rules have not yet received Ministerial sign-off, but it is expected the new system will be in place by 1 July 2014. A key difference between SSM and MOSS is that whilst SSM is focused...
Read More »

Banning

Three strikes and you're out (of fishing) - a brief overview of the banning provisions of the Fisheries Act 1996. Most people are aware that fisheries offending can result in penalties such as fines, community work, even imprisonment as well as forfeiture of property used in the commission of the offence (which can include vessels and vehicles).  There is another penalty that is not as well-known but which can be very serious - banning. Section 257 of the Fisheries Act 1996...
Read More »

Deemed Values - Watch Out for the Fine Print!

Having a total Deemed Value balance of over $1,000 beyond the final date for payment will result in suspension of your fishing permit. Suspension occurs automatically, so don't rely on FishServe advising it is about to happen. As you will no doubt be aware, if you incur deemed values, the total owing must be brought below $1,000 following demand being made.  The demand requires deemed values to be paid within 20 days.  If the total owing remains above $1,000 after that period,...
Read More »

FCV Bill - Significant Changes Recommended by the Select Committee

On 25 July 2013 the Select Committee reported back on the Fisheries (Foreign Charter Vessels and Other Matters) Amendment Bill (FCV Bill).  The Committee’s Report, and the revised Bill, can be accessed here. The Bill has undergone some significant changes, and the Bill as reported back is very different from the Bill on which people submitted.   The most striking changes relate to exemptions from the requirement to reflag as New Zealand vessels by 2016, non-application...
Read More »

Second Marine Consent for Seabed Mining in the Pipeline

The National Business Review has reported that another application for Marine Consent for seabed mining is likely to be filed this year.  It reports that Australian owned TransTasman Resources has lodged an application for a mining permit and expects to apply for marine consent under the newly enacted Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act 2012 (EEZ Act) in October.  The venture relates to mining of ironsands within the Southern Taranaki Bight, using...
Read More »

How Do Good Operators Prevent Incidents?

Peter Dawson gave a presentation in Queenstown on 22 July 2013 on how good operators prevent incidents. A copy of Peter's presentation can be downloaded here.  
Read More »

New Zealand Marine Export Group - China Market Seminar: Entering China - Lessons Learnt

As New Zealand’s second largest trading partner the possibilities inherent in the Chinese market are very attractive.  Industry participants may be looking to break out what may be a stagnant domestic market or focus solely on what is arguably one of the largest economies in the world.  New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and the New Zealand Government have been working tirelessly to part the Bamboo curtain and provide New Zealand businesses with the opportunity to engage with the...
Read More »

NZ's First Marine Consent Application Submitted

The Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act 2012 (the EEZ Act) came into force on 28 June 2013.  The purpose of the EEZ Act is to manage the environmental effects of activities occurring in New Zealand’s EEZ, such as exploration for petroleum and minerals, seabed mining, marine energy generation, carbon capture and storage, and aquaculture. Under the EEZ Act, seabed mining is classed as a discretionary activity, requiring a Marine Consent....
Read More »

Biggest Consumer Legislation Overhaul in 20 years Stands to Affect Carriers/Shippers Dealing Directly with Consumers

As part of the largest overhaul of Consumer legislation in the last 20 years, the Consumer Law Reform Bill seeks to amend a number of acts from the Fair Trading Act and Consumer Guarantees Act to the Carriage of Goods Act and others. The Bill, driven by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs is aimed at amending consumer law to make it: Principles based; Allowing consumers to transact with confidence; Protects suppliers and consumers from inappropriate market conduct; Is easily...
Read More »

MPI Consultation: Fish Stocks - ends 23 August 2013

The Ministry for Primary Industries is currently consulting on fish stocks for Bluenose and Snapper.  Consultation for these fish stocks ends at 4pm on 23 August. Consultation for fish stocks including Kingfish, Leatherjacket, Oyster, Sea Perch, Scampi, Hoki, Ling and Orange Roughy has already closed. The Letter to Stakeholders and the Initial Position Papers are available on the MPI website.  
Read More »

Fisheries Notices in the New Zealand Gazette

Fisheries Act and Regulation Notices in the New Zealand Gazette for the period 2 May through 4 July are set out below. Publication date   Title and Link to Gazette Online 4 July 2013             Fisheries (Aquaculture Decision - Resource Consent U120380) ... (04 Jul 2013) 6 June 2013           Te Arawa Lakes (Fisheries) Notice (No. 1) 2013 (Notice No....
Read More »

SRI Announces New Legal Charter

Seafarers Rights International, a non-governmental organisation dedicated to protecting and advancing the rights of seafarers, has announced the launch of its Charter of Good Practice for the Provision of Legal Services to Seafarers.  Deirdre Fitzpatrick, Executive Director of SRI, states: “The Charter is a set of professional ethics to bind lawyers working in any jurisdiction around the world, taking into account the particular concerns of seafarers. It provides reassurance that...
Read More »

MNZ Announces Changes to Ship Registration Fees,Marine Safety Charges and Oil Pollution Levies

In previous news items we have covered changes to the Oil Pollution levies along with those related to Ship Registration and Marine Safety Charges.  This article will address changes to the Shipping (Charges) Regulations 2000 (the Regulations). As part of the wider funding review, changes to various fees, charges and levies were proposed, opened for public consultation and passed into law in May of this year.  The Shipping (Charges) Amendment Regulations 2013 amends the Regulations...
Read More »

Renewed Interest in Coastal Shipping

Coastal Bulk Shipping Ltd, the owner of the 500 GRT bulk cargo vessel Anatoki, announced recently that it has reached a milestone of 200,000 tonnes of cargo carried since commencing operation in 2008.  This was achieved in the face of several headwinds from Maritime New Zealand.  This well-run vessel demonstrates that it is feasible to engage in coastal shipping on the New Zealand flag. More recently, Chatham Islands Shipping Ltd announced the replacement of its vessel Buldur...
Read More »

Why Do Fishers Leave Fishing?

Norwegian research suggests there are many reasons why fishers leave fishing and that integrated policies are needed to support fishing as a viable career path. A recent research paper published in the Maritime Studies journal notes the number of fishers in Norway has been declining for a long time and asks whether fishers are forced out of fishing by difficult circumstances or whether other factors draw them out of the industry. The research notes that changes from managing fisheries as...
Read More »

Forfeiture

Under the Fisheries Act 1996, forfeiture is a penalty for a wide range of offences and results in a range of penalties. The Fisheries Act 1996 provides that forfeiture is a penalty for a wide range of offences, including many Regulation offences.  In some cases property may be seized prior to being forfeit, but forfeiture occurs whether or not property has first been seized. The table below is a guide to which offences attract forfeiture penalties.  Forfeiture occurs in the...
Read More »

Wharf Sales

Wharf sales are a great way for locals to access fresh fish but there are some rules around them that commercial fishers must adhere to. The usual rules around sale of fish that require all fish taken by a commercial fisher is sold to a Licensed Fish Receiver.  There is an exception in the law that allows what are commonly known as ‘wharf sales’, whereby commercial fishers can sell fish to the public directly from their vessel (section 191(2) Fisheries Act 1996). Wharf...
Read More »

Westpark Boat Builders Ltd V the Ship Bayliner 38 and Hills

NZ High Court rejects application to set aside vessel arrest on the basis that subsequent agreement between the owner and yard deferring payment over time did not extinguish the yard's right to arrest the vessel. In a recent decision the High Court rejected an application to set aside the arrest of a boat on the basis that inter alia a subsequent agreement between the boat owner and the yard wherein the owner agreed to pay the boat yard over time did not extinguish the yard’s right...
Read More »

Guilty Plea in Health and Safety Prosecution

The New Zealand Defence Force filed a guilty plea in a health and safety prosecution arising from the death of Private Michael Ross during a training exercise at Lake Moawhango. Private Michael Ross died during a New Zealand Defence Force training exercise at Lake Moawhango on 25 September 2012. The New Zealand Defence Force filed a guilty plea in a health and safety prosecution and the Court will publish a written judgment in which the Defence Force’s culpability and sentence will...
Read More »

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Announce New Controls over Antifoul Paints

The EPA has announced new controls over the use, importation and manufacture of anti-foul paints.  Anti-foul paints are applied to the hulls of vessels to prevent the build-up of aquatic organisms on the hull acting as a bio-security ‘barrier’, reducing the transfer of local and foreign water borne pests in and around New Zealand waters. The EPA conducted an assessment of the current range of anti-fouling products and concluded that the potential levels of risk to the...
Read More »

Guide to Registration of Your Pleasure Vessel (1) in New Zealand

To register your pleasure vessel or not to register your pleasure vessel, that is the question! If you’re reading this guide you will no doubt either have recently purchased or be contemplating purchasing a new vessel2 .  You may have started investigating how and whether you need to register your vessel and either put it into the ‘too hard’ basket or simply given up dealing with the authorities. This article is not intended to be an exhaustive treatise on how to...
Read More »

New Offence for Exploitation of Migrant Workers

What would appear to be a response to a negative report on New Zealand by the UN Agency concerned with the trafficking and persons, the Government has announced that it will introduce a new offence, through a proposed amendment of the Immigration Act, relating to the unlawful exploitation of migrants.  It is suggested that imprisonment of up to 7 years and fine of not exceeding NZ$10,000 or both has been mooted.  This will run in parallel with the Fisheries (Foreign Charter Vessels...
Read More »

The French VAT Changes for Charter Vessels

With effect from 15 July 2013, VAT on any charters beginning from a French port will become a reality.  This will require yacht owners to register and to declare any French origin chartering activity, and to remit the VAT to the French authorities. For further information contact Peter Dawson or phone 027 229 9624.  
Read More »

Compulsory Wearing of Life Jackets on Pleasure Craft

The National Pleasure Boat Safety Forum is seeking support from the Minister of Transport for the introduction of a new maritime rule making the wearing of life jackets compulsory on-board under 6m pleasure craft.  The current rule makes it compulsory for these craft to have sufficient life jackets on-board, however wearing them is at the discretion of the Skipper if he/she considers that the safety risk is high. Download a PDF copy of the Forum’s letter to Gerry Brownlee. For...
Read More »

MNZ Announces Changes to Vessel Registration Fees, Charges & Oil Pollution Levies

In previous news items we have covered changes to the Oil Pollution levies along with those related to vessel registration.  This article will address changes to the Marine Safety Charges Regulations 2000. The Regulations and obligation on the master/owner/operator/charterer/agent/ship manager to pay Marine Safety Charges apply to every commercial ship/river raft entering into or operating in New Zealand waters, with the exception of vessels seeking a ‘port of refuge’...
Read More »

EEZ Act 2012 Now in Force

New laws are now in place to allow environmental effects of activities occurring in New Zealand’s oceans (such as petroleum exploration, seabed mining, cabling, marine energy generation and carbon capture developments) to be managed. The Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act 2012 (the EEZ Act) was enacted in September 2012 but only came into force on 28 June 2013, along with related regulations. The EEZ Act allows the Minister for the Environment...
Read More »

Rangitaawa v Police: Name on Charging Document, Maori Sovereignty

A charge laid in a name different to that a defendant currently uses is not a barrier to prosecution where the defendant is proven to be the person who committed the offence. The case of Rangitaawa v Police was heard in the High Court in Whangarei on 3 May 2013.  Mr Rangitaawa appealed charges under the Fisheries Act 1996, to which he had pleaded guilty in the District Court.  The Ministry for Primary Industries had charged “Graham Colin Rangitaawa” in respect of...
Read More »

Your Crew - Independent Contractors or Employees?

Do you engage your crew as independent contractors or employees? Here are some points to consider. Due to the nature of fishing, it can be impracticable for smaller operators to maintain crew as employees year round.  You need crew available for when you are fishing but for some operations it’s just not financially viable to pay fulltime employees for times when you are unable to fish. To solve this problem, many operators want to engage crew as ‘independent...
Read More »

Maori Aquaculture Settlement

Extension of Consultation Period for Minister's Plan This consultation period has been extended indefinitely until the Minister provides 60 days’ notice that consultation will close. For further information, follow this link to the MPI website.
Read More »

Proposed Changes to Fisheries Regulations to Effect Decisions Relating to Foreign Charter Vessel Review

Proposed changes to fisheries regulations to effect decisions relating to Foreign Charter Vessel Review - new closing date for submissions: 30 August 2013. New closing date for submissions: 30 August 2013 The Ministry for Primary Industries is proposing a number of changes to fisheries regulations in order to give effect to decisions relating to the Foreign Charter Vessel (FCV) review.  These changes relate to charging for observer services.  To extend the charging regime to...
Read More »

MNZ Announces Increase in Vessel Registration Fees

Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) has recently posted to its website the Ship Registration (Fees) Regulations 2013 (SRFG).  The SRFG is part of the wider Maritime New Zealand Funding Review and is due to commence on 1 July 2013.  The SRFG 2013 will affect all fees relating to vessel registration under the Ship Registration Act 1992 from initial registrations to requests for Certified Transcripts of a vessel’s entry on the New Zealand Register of Ships. The SRFG is set to increase...
Read More »

Oil Pollution Levies - New regulations

The Maritime Transport Oil Pollution Levies Order 2013 is the result of Maritime New Zealand’s Review of the Oil Pollution Levy. Who does it affect? Levies are payable in respect of ships over 100 gross tons whose principle propulsion method is mechanical but NOT ships 24 metres or less in length or ships operating only in fresh water. How much is the levy? Levy costs are set out in the Order (See Schedule at page 11).
Read More »

Managing Environmental Effects within NZ's EEZ

New laws will soon come into force to allow environmental effects of activities occurring in New Zealand’s oceans (such as petroleum exploration, seabed mining, marine energy generation and carbon capture developments) to be managed. The Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act 2012 (the EEZ Act) was enacted in September 2012 but is not yet in force. The regulations needed to bring the EEZ Act into force are expected to be promulgated by the end of June...
Read More »

Discharge of Garbage at Sea - Consultation on Changes to RM

The Resource Management (Marine Pollution) Regulations 1998 are in the process of being amended and consultation is occurring now.  Consultation closes on Friday 14 June 2013 and any submissions must be in by then.  Follow this link to the Ministry for the Environment’s consultation document. The RM Marine Pollution Regulations govern the discharge of waste (including food, fishing gear, cooking oil, glass bottles, plastics etc) into the Coastal Marine Area (CMA).  The...
Read More »

MOSS Update

We have recently been informed that the MOSS Rules (Rules 19 and 44) are currently with the Ministry of Transport and awaiting approval from the Minister.  This is expected to occur as soon as the Minister’s diary allows. Once the Rule is approved, MNZ intends running a series of workshops planned for September/October 2013 to communicate the roll-out of MOSS to industry. The 'go live' date of 1 July 2014 is supported by a workplan. Input is being received from the...
Read More »

New National Standards for Australian Seafarers

AMSA announced on the 14th May 2013 that new National Standards for Commercial vessels (NSCV) covering crew competencies and operations will come into effect on 1 July 2013. The new standards rationalise the 8 different systems that currently apply in Australia and seafarers will be able to use their new certificates to work anywhere in Australia. The National Standards for Commercial Vessels (NSCV) include new risk focused obligations for vessel owners/operators, placing an onus on vessel...
Read More »

China's Subsidies Threaten Viability of Fishing Industry

China’s fishing subsidies threaten viability of fishing industry in the Western and Central Pacific. The Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) has expressed concerns at fishing subsidies and incentives the People’s Republic of China provides to its distant water fishing fleet (DWF).  A FFA briefing paper presented at a FFA meeting in Honiara, Solomon Islands in May 2013 states it is “official policy of the Chinese government to assist in the growth, expansion...
Read More »

Marine Legislation Bill

The Marine Legislation Bill aims to promote maritime safety and marine environment protection through the enhancement of existing measures in the Maritime Transport Act 1994, amendments to the Act to implement three international maritime conventions, and amendments relating to maritime conventions that the Act already gives effect to. The Bill also transfers responsibility for regulating certain discharges and dumping of waste from Maritime NZ to the Environmental Protection...
Read More »

Commerce (Cartels and Other Matters) Amendment Bill

The Commerce (Cartels and Other Matters) Amendment Bill is before the Commerce Select Committee. The aim of the Bill is to bring global shipping lines under the jurisdiction of the Commerce Act, to ensure “effective oversight” of the shipping industry. The Bill “promotes economic growth by enabling pro-competitive collaboration between firms, whilst also deterring hard core cartel conduct” (Commerce Minister, Craig Foss). The effect of the Bill would be to make...
Read More »

Submissions close 30 April - Fishing Vessel Risk Assessment

Ministry for Primary Industries; Maritime New Zealand; Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment The Fisheries (Foreign Charter Vessels and Other Matters) Amendment Bill – as drafted as at 22 April 2013 – removes all distinctions between foreign owned and New Zealand owned fishing vessels.  There is a transition period provided for in the Bill, but the end result is that all fishing vessels will be subject to the same legal regime. In the interests of utilising...
Read More »

Submission on Fisheries (FCV & other matters) Amendment Bill

Dawson & Associates Ltd has lodged written and oral submissions in respect of the Fisheries (Foreign Charter Vessels and Other Matters) Amendment Bill. A copy of our written submissions can be obtained here. Further, a copy of our oral submissions can be obtained here. For further information email Peter Dawson, or phone 027 229 9624.
Read More »

Progress of Fisheries (FCV and Other Matters) Amendment Bill

The Fisheries (Foreign Charter Vessels and Other Matters) Amendment Bill has been referred to the Primary Production Committee for consideration.  The first oral submissions on the Bill were held on the 11 April 2013. Parliament will be in recess during the school holidays (22nd April to 3rd May). It is anticipated that there will be a further two sittings of the Select Committee on this Bill. The Committee must report back to Parliament on the Bill by 21 June 2013.
Read More »

Australia's successful Antarctic blue whale voyage

A recent charter of the Talley’s ship Amaltal Explorer by the Australian Antarctic Division has been a resounding success with extensive information and data being obtained on the behaviour of blue whales.  An Australian Government press release on the voyage can be found here.  We were privileged to be involved in setting up the contractual arrangements for this successful scientific charter.  For further details please contact Peter Dawson.
Read More »

Sea Shepherd accused of being pirates

In a pithy Judgment of the Ninth Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals, Chief Judge Kozinski described the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society as being pirates.  The first paragraph of his Judgment is worth quoting. “You don’t need a peg leg or an eye patch. When you ram ships; hurl glass containers of acid; drag metal-reinforced ropes in the water to damage propellers and rudders; launch smoke bombs and flares with hooks; and point high-powered lasers at other ships,...
Read More »

Thirteen near misses since Rena

A recent article in the NZ Herald highlights several near misses since the container vessel Rena ran aground on the 5th October 2011. The article can be read here. There have been ongoing calls to create compulsory shipping lanes, sometimes referred to as Traffic Separation Schemes, off the New Zealand coast.  Whilst this proposition is initially attractive, other industry commentators suggest that the volume of shipping around New Zealand does not warrant the cost of the...
Read More »

MNZ v Stephen George Page and Flinders Fisheries Company Ltd

In a recent decision in the Wellington District Court, Judge Hastings held that section 68 (Acting without necessary maritime document) of the Maritime Transport Act 1994 had extra-territorial effect and applied to New Zealand ships outside 12nm. A copy of this judgment can be obtained from the New Zealand Maritime Law website
Read More »

Foreign Charter Vessels Amendment Bill submissions by 28 Mar

We draw to your attention that the closing date for submissions on the Fisheries (Foreign Charter Vessels and other Matters) Amendment Bill (“FCV Bill”) is 28 March 2013. Please see the below text from the NZ Parliament website. Fisheries (Foreign Charter Vessels and Other Matters) Amendment Bill Public submissions are now being invited on the Fisheries (Foreign Charter Vessels and Other Matters) Amendment Bill. The closing date for submissions is Thursday, 28 March...
Read More »

Garbage Rules UPDATE

The new Marine Protection Rules parts 170 and 200 came into force on 17 January 2013.  Links to the new rules can be found below: Marine Protection Rules Part 170: Prevention of Pollution by Garbage from Ships Marine Protection Rules Part 200: Offshore Installations – Discharges Advisory Circulars will provide guidance as to the application of the new rules. Ships Part 170 of the marine protection rules gives effect to the requirements in Annex V of MARPOL...
Read More »

Prevention of Pollution by Garbage from Ships

The international and domestic laws around the prevention of pollution from ships are changing.  As a result of concerns internationally that the current legal measures were not achieving their aim of reducing the amount of garbage entering the marine environment from ships, new, stricter laws are in the process of being implemented. The general effect of these changes will be that ships will only be allowed to discharge garbage into the sea if the law expressly says they can.  ...
Read More »

MNZ Release new Rules for Public Consultation

Clients and interested parties should be aware that Maritime New Zealand as part of the Qualifications and Operational Limits (now renamed SeaCert) have released 4 Rules for Public Consultation. The Rules released and open for consultation can be accessed from the Maritime New Zealand website.  They are: Rule Part 20 (Operational Limits): This defines new Operational Limits that affect: the boundaries at which competencies required to operate in one area change as move into a...
Read More »

Pilot's liability: joining the dots - Peter Dawson presentation to NZ Maritime Pilots Assocation

Peter Dawson gave a presentation to the NZ Maritime Pilots Association Conference on 23 November 2012 on the criminal liability of pilots.   A copy of Peter's presentation can be downloaded here.
Read More »

Wider Search & Seizure Powers for Immigration Officers

From 3 September 2012 immigration officers are able to exercise wider powers. The Immigration Act was amended in 2009, however several provisions were deferred to allow time for training of immigration officers.   From 3 September 2012 immigration officers will be able to exercise a suite of new powers, including increased powers to detain, enter and search buildings, inspection of records, the inspection of vessels in places in the territorial waters, and others. A PDF copy of...
Read More »

Duress (alleged) in the time of imminent oil spills

The grounding of the MV Rena on the Astrolabe reef was one of, if not the most significant marine casualties in New Zealand history.   Whilst most of the action on the salvage front appears to be nearing the inevitable conclusion the legal effects, claims and challenges may continue to be felt for quite some time. In a recent case Svitzer Salvage filed in personam claims in the Wellington High Court (Admiralty Division) against Z Energy Ltd (original charterers) and Seafuels Ltd (vessel...
Read More »

Foreign Arbitration & Jurisdiction Clauses in Voyage Charter

Foreign arbitration and jurisdiction clauses in voyage charters valid and enforceable in Australia?  Federal Court says No, Nein, Non and Nyet! In a recent decision the Federal Court of Australia held that London arbitration awards obtained by vessel owners against an Australian voyage charterer as unenforceable in Australia by reason of section 11 of the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act 1991 (Cth) (COGSA).  Vessel Owners and charterers entering into voyage charter arrangements to ship...
Read More »

Dismissal of Maritime Transport Charges

Dismissal of Maritime Transport charges on jurisdictional point sets an unhealthy precedent. Uncertainty around prosecuting offenders outside the 12nm jurisdictional limit has led to charges against Elvis Teddy dismissed.  Peter Dawson suggests that this creates an unhealthy precedent.  Follow this link to TV One video commentary.
Read More »

Australian Commercial Shipping Law Revamp

In July 2012, major new legislation will come in effect in Australia that is designed to stem the decline of the Australian Merchant Marine.   The new legislation includes amendments of the Navigation Act 1912 (now Navigation Act 2012) and the introduction of the Shipping Reform (Tax Incentives) Act 2012, and further the Maritime Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Act 2012. The effect of the new suite of legislation is to: Establish the Australian International Ship...
Read More »

Greenpeace v Minister of Energy - Judgment 6 June 2012

Gas and petroleum contained in Crown-owned land may only be prospected explored or mined by a body that holds a permit granted by the Minister under s25 of the Crown Minerals Act 1991.   The Crown holds sovereign rights to own, explore and exploit all natural resources beneath the seabed in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).  On 1 June 2010, the then Minister of Energy issued a permit granting exploration rights over an area of an offshore basin area (known as the Raukumara Basin)...
Read More »

Australian Government Plans for Network of Marine Parks

Chris Thompson of Australian Law Firm Law Essentials comments as follows: Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke is announcing the world's largest marine protection area encompassing almost the whole of Australia's Commonwealth fishing waters. The Coral Sea for example, adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBRMP), will be closed entirely to trawling, absolutely decimate the tuna/billfish fishery and have economic impacts that will be irreparable without fair...
Read More »

Tougher Coastal Shipping Regulation?

We have noted in media reports that Labour is calling for tougher regulation of coastal shipping.  We have heard calls for traffic separation schemes, and a reintroduction of what is commonly referred to in the industry as ‘Cabotage’ in order to prevent casualties such as the Rena occurring. The Government’s move to regulate foreign charter vessels is being cited in support of a move to further regulate coastal shipping. The regulation of coastal shipping occurs...
Read More »

Time chartering - when is a vessel on-hire or off-hire?

Forrester Grant gave a presentation to the April 2012 Maritime Law Association of Australia and New Zealand (MLAANZ) conference on time chartering, specifically the question of when is a vessel on-hire or off-hire? A copy of Forrester's presentation, Osmium Shipping Corporation v Cargill International SA [2012] EWHC 571 (Comm), can be downloaded here.
Read More »

The Australian Navigation Bill 2012 & Civil Penalties

The Australian Navigation Bill 2012 and civil penalties: A breakthrough in the fight against environmental disasters at sea? On the 11th March 2009, an oil spill described as 'the worst environmental disaster Queensland had ever seen' caused millions of dollars’ worth of damage to the local economy whilst also having a profound environmental impact.  The cause of the spill was attributed to improperly secured cargo on a container ship, the MV Pacific Adventurer.  The...
Read More »

TAIC Report into Grounding of the MV Anatoki

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission recently published its Final Report on the grounding of MV Anatoki off Rangihaeata Head in May 2010.  The incident occurred whilst the cargo vessel was travelling from Nelson to Tarakohe. In its findings, the Commission found that on the night of the accident the mate on duty had not been sufficiently monitoring the progress of the Anatoki in relation to the passage plans and master’s night orders.  Furthermore, the report found...
Read More »

Foreign charter vessels: a confused legal regime - Peter Dawson presentation to MLAANZ conference

Peter Dawson spoke at the April 2012 Maritime Law Association of Australia and New Zealand (MLAANZ) conference on foreign charter vessels. A copy of Peter's speech, Foreign Charter Vessels: A Confused Legal Regime, can be downloaded here.
Read More »

Significant maritime events in 2011-12 - Peter Dawson presentation to Marine Operators' seminar

Peter Dawson gave a presentation to the NZ Marine Transport Association's Marine Vessel Operators' seminar on some of the significant maritime events in the 12 months prior to March 2012.   These include the grounding of the Rena, the issue of foreign charter vessels, and accidents involving recreational boaties. A copy of Peter's presentation, Some Reflections on the Past Year, can be downloaded here.
Read More »

Finalisation of new BIMCO Saleform 2012

A copy of the Explanatory Notes and a Side-by-Side comparison can be downloaded here.  This does not alter our findings in our initial analysis. In relation to our concern over uncertainty in the Drydocking/Diver’s Inspection clause outlined in our earlier posting, although the Buyer is required to declare its option to undertake a diver’s inspection with undue delay, a Seller would be well advised to ensure that either the original ’93 statement ‘The vessel...
Read More »

Coroner's Inquest - Waterski Death on Lake Taupo

On the 6th January 2009, Genevieve Maria Elizabeth Lewis, a nine year old girl, was water skiing at Lake Taupo with her family.   On this same day, another motor boat in the vicinity operated by John Curtis was travelling between 25 to 30mph.   He adjusted his course to avoid the family’s boat upon visual sighting of the Lewis’s boat.  However, at this time Genevieve had fallen into the water and was waiting to be picked up.  By the time John Curtis saw Genevieve...
Read More »

MV Rena: TAIC Interim Report

TAIC has released its interim report into the grounding of the MV Rena, on Astrolabe Reef on 5 October 2011.  TAIC is an independent body that conducts a 'no fault' inquiry into transport accidents. A copy of the report can be downloaded from the TAIC website.   The interim TAIC report does not make any findings or recommendations; however the grounding can be ascribed to errors on the part of the Master and the second officer, in shortening the track of the Rena around...
Read More »

Vaka of Hope

A fleet of Polynesian Vaka is developing technology for a new generation, using a hull design 1000 years old. A PDF copy of the Boating NZ, May 2011 article can be downloaded here.  Further information can be found on the Pacific Voyagers website.
Read More »

North P&I & SMMI - Strategic Alliance

SMMI is a well know insurer of commercial fishing vessels in New Zealand.  The 150 million GT ‘A' rated North P&I club has formed a strategic alliance with SMMI, one of the world's leading hull and machinery insurers of commercial fishing vessels.  A series of collaborative ventures is planned between the two north-east England based mutuals, starting with North reinsuring SMMI's P&I liability policies from 1 January 2012.  A copy of the press release...
Read More »

MV Rena: What Effect will the Master's Guilty Plea Have?

Listen to Peter Dawson’s comments on the guilty pleas entered by the Captain on 29 February 2012.
Read More »

BIMCO Draft Version of Long Awaited Saleform

The venerable BIMCO Norwegian Saleform 1993 has been in widespread use for nearly two decades.  BIMCO have circulated their new Draft Saleform 2012 for comment.  Our preliminary comments on the proposed changes can be downloaded here. A draft version of BIMCO 2012 can be found here.
Read More »

Granting of Oil / Gas Exploration Permits

Government takes a proactive approach to granting of oil/gas exploration permits. The Ministry of Economic Development has announced a departure from the traditional ‘first-in, first served’ process for allocation of permits for oil and gas exploration to be implemented this year. The new process takes the form of a ‘block offer’ annual competitive tender process to allocate permits for oil and gas exploration. Under the ‘first-in, first-served’...
Read More »

International Freight Draft Report Released

On 12 January 2012, the New Zealand Productivity Commission released its International Freight Draft Report.  This is a significant report, to be presented to the Ministers of Finance, the Minster of Commerce, the Minister of Transport, and the Minister for Regulatory Reform.  The report analyses the New Zealand freight and regulatory infrastructure and comments on a wide range of matters and makes sweeping recommendations for the freight sector. A PDF copy of the report can...
Read More »

Australia Ratifies the Maritime Labour Convention 2006

Crews working on commercial ships in Australian waters will have their working conditions protected after laws introduced by the Gillard Government passed through Parliament. Australia will be the 19th country which has ratified the laws to comply with a Maritime Labour Convention set by the International Labour Organization. Australia’s adoption of these laws means more than half the world’s shipping is now covered. The Convention sets standards for: Minimum...
Read More »

Marine Refit & Oil & Gas Support Sectors

Dawson & Associates are enthusiastic advocates of the Nelson Tasman region and see the region’s potential for the development of the marine Refit and Oil and Gas support sectors. Not only is there a very experienced marine workforce with a wide range of skills in the region, the Nelson port is centrally located and has the third largest slipway facility in New Zealand. Port Nelson has two brochures that showcase their capabilities in these sectors. A PDF copy of...
Read More »

Personal liability of pilots - Peter Dawson address to NZ Marine Managers' Forum

Peter Dawson addressed the November 2011 NZ Marine Managers' Forum on the Rena grounding and the personal liability of pilots as opposed to the liability of ports. Peter's presentation, MV Rena and Pilot's Liability: Joining the Dots, can be downloaded here.
Read More »

MV Rena: Pathway to Claiming

We have been approached by several entities for advice on claims against the operators of MV Rena, arising from the grounding of the vessel on the Astrolabe Reef. The legal matrix governing the oil pollution liability regime in New Zealand is complicated and outdated and we have drawn up a document entitled Pathway to Claim to assist potential claimants in forming a view as to their prospects of recovering any loss from the owner/operators of the vessel.  Each claim can only be...
Read More »

Media Release: Green Port, Black Boats Feasibility Study

The “Green Port, Black Boats” feasibility study findings were released at the beginning of September. The study was carried out as a result of discussions by key Nelson marine industry representatives.   In 2009, Port Nelson Ltd, Unimar Ltd and Kernohan Engineering Ltd formed a consortium to investigate major reorganisation and development in the port area around haul out facilities and adjacent infrastructure.  With the involvement of the Nelson Regional EDA, funding...
Read More »

Updates on the Rena Grounding

The grounding of the container vessel Rena on the Astrolabe Reef on 5 October 2011 has given rise to a range of interesting questions of law, on which Dawson & Associates has commented over the past weeks.  This casualty has highlighted a range of matters from the adequacy of New Zealand’s oil pollution legislation to the liability of the vessel’s charterer, Mediterranean Shipping Co Ltd. Peter Dawson has commented on a number of occasions in the media and links to his...
Read More »

Government Tightens up on Oil Exploration

The Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Bill was introduced in Parliament on the 24th August, by the Environment Minister, the Hon Dr Nick Smith. The Bill, intended to manage the environmental effects of activities in New Zealand’s EEZ and Extended Continental Shelf, is expected to be read the first time this month, and may be passed into legislation by July next year. The newly constituted Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) will be...
Read More »

High speed craft: the legal dilemma - Peter Dawson presentation to vessel operators' seminar

Peter Dawson spoke to the September 2011 NZ Marine Transport Associations' Vessel Operators' seminar on the issue of the lack of legal regime governing high speed thrill seeker craft, and the legal boundary between the risks associated with HSC and the HSEA. A copy of Peter's presentation, High Speed Craft: The Legal Dilemma, can be downloaded here.
Read More »

Aquaculture Reform Comes into Effect on 1 October 2011

On 16 August 2011, Parliament passed the Aquaculture Legislation Amendment Bill (No 3) 2011 (the Bill).  The new law will come into force on 1 October 2011 (with two exceptions).   The Bill is designed to “kick-start” aquaculture development to enable it to meet its economic potential by providing an “provide an efficient legislative and regulatory framework that enables the sustainable development of aquaculture within the coastal marine area” .   The...
Read More »

Duty-free Forum Shopping on Cruise Ships

In a recent case in the United States, the 11th Circuit Appellate Division, by split decision, upheld a clause in a cruise liner employee’s contract compelling the injured seaman to arbitrate his claim, and forego a jury-trial under the Jones Act. Mr Lindo, a Nicaraguan citizen, was employed onboard a Bahamanian flagged, but US operated cruise liner, the Norwegian Dawn.   He sustained injuries to his back as a result of being ordered to move heavy trash bags to the ship and sought...
Read More »

Coastal and Marine Area Bill

Despite the media fanfare surrounding the process of the Coastal and Marine Area Bill through Parliament, and the vehement opposition by various political parties and some Select Committee members with regards to the manner in which the Select Committee conducted its review, the Bill was read a third time on 24 March and enacted into legislation by Royal Assent on 31 March. While the Act goes some way to protect Fisheries, Fisheries Settlements, navigation rights and aquaculture, there are 3...
Read More »

Extension of Australian Fair Work Act (CTH) 2009

Extension of Australian Fair Work Act (CTH) 2009 to Vessels Operating within the Australian EEZ. A summary and comment on the new Act and regulation can be downloaded here.
Read More »

Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill

You may or may not be aware that submissions on the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill closed on the 19th November.  The Bill will repeal the notorious Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004 with the intention of ensuring access to the beaches for all New Zealanders.  Whether this aim will be achieved by the new Bill or not remains to be seen. We have reviewed the Bill and suggest that in a similar ‘knee-jerk’ political reaction to the Ngati Apa decision this piece of...
Read More »

Limited Partnerships: are they right for you?

When entering into a new business venture, whether it be an entirely new endeavour, or deciding how to structure the purchase of a vessel, one of the most important decisions will inevitably come down to the question; which corporate structure will best suit my needs? Traditionally corporate vehicles such as the Limited Liability Company, trading trust, or partnership are used because they are familiar and trusted, like a well worn oilskin. In 2008, the Limited Partnerships Act introduced a...
Read More »

The establishment of SPRFMO - Peter Dawson presentation to MLAANZ conference

Peter Dawson gave a presentation to the Maritime Law Association of Australia and New Zealand (MLAANZ) Federal Conference in Melbourne in October 2010 on the subject of the establishment of SPRFMO. A copy of Peter's presentation, The Establishment of the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (SPRFMO) and the Effect of Closures on the High Seas, can be downloaded here. 
Read More »

Southern Storm

The District Court in Nelson recently held that a time charterer can be deemed an owner of a vessel for the purposes of section 222(2)(a) of the Maritime Transport Act 1994 (‘the Act’).  This finding was understandable, yet somewhat at odds with the typical industry arrangement, in which the time charterer does not have the control, or possession of the vessel. In Nelson City Council v Southern Storm Fishing (2007) Ltd the Council laid charges against Southern Storm...
Read More »

Fisheries Act - Search and Seizure

Fisheries Act – search and seizure – what to do if you get the knock on the door? In the recent decision of The Chief Executive of the Ministry of Fisheries v United Fisheries Limited & Anor [2010] NZCA 356, the Court of Appeal provided greater clarity around the way Fisheries Officers are required to conduct searches of premises. The case involved unlawful ‘trucking’ of ling by operators of the charter vessel the Kapitan Rusak which was permitted to catch in...
Read More »

Preventing the Release from Arrest of a Vessel

In the recent High Court Judgment of General Marine Services Ltd v The Ship Luana (16 June 2010), the court (Woodhouse J) had little sympathy for a vexatious Plaintiff, who sought to prevent the release of a vessel from arrest on the grounds of frivolous and vexatious claims.  The Applicant (Yachts West Pty Ltd) was the owner of the Luana, a luxury motor yacht.  Yachts West applied to: Set aside a caveat against the release from arrest obtained by a third party; and For orders...
Read More »

Hearing on the proposed Marlborough Navigation Bylaw 2009

The hearing on the proposed Marlborough Navigation Bylaw 2009 (“the Bylaw”) was held in March this year.  The Committee (comprising John Marshall QC and Graeme Barsanti) that conducted the hearing has now provided its report to the Marlborough District Council (MDC).   The report is in the form of a series of recommendations to Council from the Committee. Of particular note is the Committee’s overall view that the new safety management system as contemplated by...
Read More »

Nelson City Council - Navigation Safety Bylaws 2010 released

The Nelson City Council has released a draft form of the ‘Navigation Safety Bylaws 2010’ (“the Draft Bylaws”) for public feedback.  The Draft Bylaws combine two existing bylaws, the ‘Navigation and Safety Bylaw 2002’ and the ‘Recreational Marine Bylaw 2005’. While the Draft Bylaws generally incorporate the key provisions from the two existing bylaws, some additional provisions have been included as a result of the findings of the Nelson...
Read More »

Nelson City Council v Diamond Offshore Netherlands BV

Diamond Offshore Netherlands BV (“Diamond Offshore”), a company that supplies drilling rigs, was charged with one offence under ss 338(1)(a) and 340(1)(a) of the Resource Management Act 1991 (“RMA”) for dumping waste (mussels and other sea organisms) in the coastal marine area near Farewell Spit.  The dumping, which occurred while one of Diamond Offshore’s drilling rigs, the Ocean Patriot, was being cleaned (defouled) before being sent to Australia, was not...
Read More »

Independent Fisheries Ltd v the Fishing Vessel Altair II

In the recent case of Independent Fisheries Ltd v the fishing vessel Altair II (2 July 2009) the vessel Altair II was arrested by Independent Fisheries Ltd (IFL) and an application was brought by Dalmor to set aside the arrest and obtain the release of the vessel on the grounds that the court lacked jurisdiction under the Admiralty Act 1973 to maintain the proceeding in REM. During the course of the dealings between the two companies, Dalmor provided a letter of guarantee to IFL securing all...
Read More »

The Lawfulness of Search and Seizure

The lawfulness of a search and the powers of the Ministry of Fisheries to seize, examine and access the information obtained in the search were the subject of a recent High Court judgment of United Fisheries Limited and UFL Charter Limited v The Chief Executive of Ministry of Fisheries, dated 16 December 2008. Fisheries officers had seized extensive documentary and computer records in the course of investigating alleged breaches of the Fisheries Act 1996.   The court granted an Interim...
Read More »

Vero Insurance NZ Ltd v Posa, (2008) 3 NZLR 701

This case highlights the importance of unambiguous drafting in respect of insurance policies and cautions insurers to take greater care in their choice of words used to indicate whether the policy is valued or unvalued. Marine insurers should take extra care when formulating their policies and the choice of words used to indicate whether the policy is valued or unvalued. In a recent High Court Judgment the Court had to consider whether a policy was an 'agreed value policy'....
Read More »

Dry Dock Bookings - Does a Contract Arise?

In the South African case of TRANSNET LIMITED t/a NATIONAL PORTS AUTHORITY/THE OWNER OF THE MV ‘SNOW CRYSTAL’, [2008] ZASCA 27, the Supreme Court of Appeal found that shipowners who book their vessels into dry docks in South Africa have contracts with Transnet together with rights and obligations on both sides. The owner of the MV Snow Crystal, a company registered in the Cayman Islands, was booked to enter the Sturrock dry dock in Cape Town harbour on 1 December 2002 and remain...
Read More »

Bunkers Convention Enters into Force

The International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution, 2001 (Bunkers Convention) enters into force on 21 November 2008. The Convention establishes strict liability on the ship owner for preventive measures and pollution damage arising from all types of oil used in the operation or propulsion of ships.   It applies exclusively to pollution damage caused in the territory, including the territorial sea, and the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of a State Party, and...
Read More »

Department of Labour v Wallace Investment Ltd

This case highlights that the Health and Safety in Employment Act (HSEA) test of taking 'all practicable steps' is a standard that can be reached. Employers will be relieved to know that although they have uncompromising and onerous obligations under the New Zealand Health and Safety in Employment Act (HSEA), these are not absolute.  This was confirmed in a recent unreported judgment in the District Court at Auckland where an employer was charged with failing to take 'all...
Read More »

Sea Change Strategy Funding Attracts Interest, and Criticism

Sea Change strategy funding attracts expressions of interest, as well as industry criticism. The Ministry of Transport is reported to have received 18 expressions of interest for funding under the Sea Change strategy for domestic sea freight.   These expressions of interest include new coastal shipping services, training and recruitment, and infrastructural support at ports (Shipping Gazette, 9 August). However there is also criticism from industry about the level of funding and the...
Read More »

Cook Islands becomes member of IMO

The Cook Islands has become the latest member of the International Maritime Organisation.  With its accession, the number of IMO member states stands at 168, with a further three associate members.  Since the Cook Islands is not a member state of the UN, its application to join IMO required the approval of two-thirds of the current IMO membership.  www.imo.org.
Read More »

Omunkete Fishing (Pty) Ltd v The Ministry of Fisheries

New Zealand Fisheries officers carried out an inspection of the vessel and examined computer records they obtained from the vessel during the inspection.   The Ministry concluded that there was evidence that the fishing vessel the Paloma V had been engaged in activities that breached conservation measures agreed to by a number of countries including New Zealand and Namibia. Omunkete Fishing (Pty) Ltd brought an application to Court to decide whether the conditions of the approval...
Read More »

Birchall v Maritime New Zealand, 29 May 2008

Mr Birchall was charged in the District Court in Wellington with three charges under the Maritime Transport Act arising from an incident aboard the ferry Santa Regina in the Tory Channel on 9 June 2005.   He was acquitted on two counts of operating a ship in a manner causing unnecessary risk to property but charged under s31(1) of the Maritime Transport Act for failing to notify Maritime New Zealand as soon as practicable of the incident.  He advanced a technical defence stating that...
Read More »

SPRFMO

Clients seeking to operate fishing vessels on the High Seas in the South Pacific need to take cognisance of the interim provisions of the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation.
Read More »

Recent Case Law

The last three cases listed on the New Zealand Maritime Law website were matters litigated by our firm.  These involved an opposed application for the sale of our client’s vessel, and an interesting jurisdictional argument surrounding the right to re-arrest. The first case (UAB Garant v the Ship Aleksandr Ksenofontov), 21 December 2007, was taken by our client to the Court of Appeal and judgment is expected by the end of the month.  A copy of this judgment can be obtained...
Read More »

Heilbrunn v Lightwood PLC (Australia), 3 October 2007

This case takes a detailed look at the jurisdiction of the Australian courts to deal with cargo claims. In this case Judge Allsop of the Federal Court examined the meaning of “a claim arising out of an agreement that relates to carriage of goods by sea”.   The court took an expansive view of the jurisdiction of the Australian courts to deal with a cargo claim, notwithstanding the existence of an exclusive jurisdiction clause.  Obtain a copy of this judgment from the...
Read More »

Port & Harbour & Navigation Safety Management Code

A PDF copy of our submission on the Port and Harbour and Navigation Safety Management Discussion Document can be downloaded here.  We welcome your comments.
Read More »

NZ China Clays Ltd & Ors v Tasman Orient Line, Birkenfield v Kendall

In the former case, cargo owners were entitled to judgment against the defendant charterer for breach of bailment and breach of contract.  The claim arose from the grounding of a Tasman Orient vessel off Japan, resulting in loss and damage to cargo.   The court implied into the Hague Visby Rules a requirement of good faith on the part of the Master in order to allow the carrier to rely upon an exemption of liability contained in the Hague Visby Rules. In the latter case, the High...
Read More »

Recent Cook Islands Prosecution

The High Court of the Cook Islands recently handed down a fine of $250,000 to the Master of a fishing vessel caught fishing illegally inside Cook Islands waters.   This is the fourth matter to come before the Cook Islands authorities in recent years and the level of the fine reflects the seriousness in which the offence of illegal fishing in Cook Islands waters is regarded.  For further details or a copy of the judgment please email Peter Dawson.
Read More »

Cook Islands Ship Registration

The Cook Islands Ship Registration Act 2007 was brought into force on 27 June 2007.  This Act streamlines the registration processes for vessels seeking to flag in the Cook Islands.  It facilitates the registration of superyachts and private pleasure vessels, and entrenches mortgagee rights.   For further information or a copy of the legislation email Peter Dawson.
Read More »

Professional Skipper - Interview with Peter Dawson

Professional Skipper magazine is a highly regarded, widely-read publication covering many aspects of the New Zealand maritime industry.  Carol Forsyth recently authored an interview with Peter Dawson in the 'Our People' section.  A PDF copy of this interview entitled Peter Dawson: Committed and Focused can be downloaded here.
Read More »

Peter Dawson comments on the Easy Rider charges

Listen to Peter Dawson's comments on the recent charges that have been lodged against the operator of the vessel Easy Rider, that sank with significant loss of life earlier this year.
Read More »

STCW-F 1995 entered into force on 29 September 2012

The STCW-F convention specifies the certification and minimum training requirements for crews of fishing vessels of above 24m. The Convention has been ratified by 15 states (not including New Zealand) and accordingly entered into force on 29 September. The IMO has also developed, in conjunction with the FAO and ILO, a number of voluntary instruments aimed at improving safety on fishing vessels, including the revised Code of Safety for Fisherman and Fishing Vessels 2005 and the voluntary...
Read More »

Expedition Yachts and Pugnatious Coastal States

In 1991, the newly declared Republic of Namibia sought to protect its abundant fisheries resources with its 200 mile fisheries zone and commenced concerted action to evict foreign fishing vessels fishing illegally within the zone.  Having no coastal enforcement vessel at that time, they elected to send a helicopter with seven armed soldiers to apprehend the vessels.  The idea was that they would lower troops down onto each vessel, seize the vessels and direct the master to return the...
Read More »

R v Teddy, a Case Note

The matter of R v Teddy recently decided in the Tauranga court whilst correct in law, may set a dangerous precedent. The Tauranga District Court recently dismissed charges laid against Mr Elvis Teddy under section 65(1)(a) of the Maritime Transport Act 1994, and under section 23(a) of the Summary Offences Act 1981.  Some commentators have described the decision as setting a ‘dangerous precedent’. The purpose of this article is to provide a very brief case summary and...
Read More »

Maritime incidents in NZ 2012 - Peter Dawson presentation to Marine Vessel Operators' seminar

Peter Dawson gave a presentation to the September 2012 NZ Marine Transport Association's Marine Vessel Operators' seminar on recent maritime incidents in New Zealand. A copy of Peter's presentation can be downloaded here.
Read More »

Third Incarnation of the Large Yacht Code (LY3)

The third incarnation of the MCA Large Yacht Code, being the organisation’s long-awaited successor to LY2, is due to be launched at the 2012 Monaco Yacht Show.  It has gone through a lengthy consultation process with the British Government and includes major amendments in the way of radio, polar specifications, submersible regulations and others.  Most notably there are a series of substantial amendments to align with the ratification of the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC)....
Read More »

What Drives the Decision to Re-flag a Vessel?

Peter Dawson sets out some of the interesting push and pull factors in the decision to reflag vessels that he has come across in his travels. His article, Reflections on Choice of Flag - A Pacific Perspective, can be downloaded here.
Read More »

Fuel For a Flagging Debate

Where should you flag your vessel? Some guidelines. "... the freedom of the open sea ... is the freedom of ships which fly, and are entitled to fly, the flag of a state which is within the comity of nations". Where to flag?  The flag flying on a vessel will immediately, in the minds of other mariners, cause the vessel concerned to be categorised and labelled in a manner that the vessel owner did not anticipate when the choice of flag was made. It is common knowledge that...
Read More »

Are Your Crew Trained For Their Jobs?

What is the effect of the Health and Safety in Employment Act on your vessel? In a recent report in the Loss Prevention newsletter 'Signals' produced by the North of England P&I Club, the dangers of using crew in unfamiliar roles was highlighted.  It noted that there was an increase in the number of cases where members of both the 'catering and engineering departments', working on deck suffered serious accidents.  The newsletter notes that if crew members from...
Read More »

Compulsory Pilotage: The Divided Command

Who is in command when a vessel is under compulsory pilotage? At the risk of suffering a similar fate as the messenger, given the recent discussion in this magazine, I thought it appropriate to make some legal observations regarding pilotage and more specific observations regarding the 'divided command' between a Pilot and the Master of a vessel.  I will also look at the statutory exclusion of liability for acts or omissions of pilots. A 1698 Dutch Ordinance sets out in...
Read More »

Salvage

The link below takes you to a brief summary of the requirements for a successful salvage. Introduction The ancient law of salvage aims to reduce the perils of the sea by providing a financial incentive to those who rescue vessels in distress, or which have been abandoned.  This is a complex area and each claim will depend on its own facts, but a general outline is set out below: Salvage has been defined as: “Service which saves or helps to save a recognised subject of...
Read More »

Liability of Classification Societies

There is an increasing trend in holding Class Societies and SSM companies liable for failure to discharge their flag state function. In May 2003, I commented on the case of Attorney General v Carter CA72/07 in which the Court of Appeal grappled with the potential liability of a surveyor or his or her employer, where the negligent discharge of the duties of the statutory surveyor results in economic loss to a vessel owner or third party.  I suggested (somewhat circumspectly) that there...
Read More »

Ship Registration: Some Practical Guidelines

The devil is in the detail. An in-depth knowledge of the practical process is vital to avoid delays. Lawyers are often accused of drowning what would appear to be simple issues in big words and layers of complexity.  This being designed to confuse the public and justify a large fee at the end of the issue.  In a faint attempt to redeem my profession, I thought I would follow on my suggestions in the previous Professional Skipper magazine (March/April 2005) (The Choice of a...
Read More »

Beware of Dry Rot

Pre-purchase inspections of vessels are fraught with risk for valuers. Read why. The Tod family and a Mr Meister had at least one thing in common.  They were both passionate about old wooden vessels.  Meister’s dream was realised when he came across a 65ft wooden two-masted ketch, built in 1975, with a triple-skin, mahogany-planked hull and teak frames.  She was, perhaps unfortunately, named the Enterprise.  The Tod’s dream took form in the Talua, a 45ft...
Read More »

Negligent Ship Survey?

How invasive should a pre-purchase inspection be? The recent judgment in Attorney General v Carter CA 72/07, handed down on 13 March 2003, grappled with a contentious branch of maritime law, namely the liability of a surveyor, or his or her employer, where the negligent discharge of a statutory survey results in economic loss to a vessel owner or third party. The debate in Carter is a microcosm of a larger debate surrounding the liability of classification societies to act responsibly and...
Read More »

Birkenfield v Kendall

This judgment deals with the vexed question of limitation of liability in the maritime context. The High Court stayed proceedings against Yachting New Zealand for a claim arising out of serious injuries incurred by the Plaintiff in a collision between a windsurfer and a Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB). A copy of this judgment can be obtained from the New Zealand Maritime Law website.
Read More »

The implications of the new draft Maritime Rule Part 19 - Peter Dawson presentation

Peter Dawson of Dawson & Associates and Margaret Wind of Maritime Management Services gave a joint presentation to the June 2010 NZ Marine Transport Association's Major Fleet Operators' Seminar on the implications of the new draft Maritime Rule Part 19. The new draft rule covers the proposed changes to the service delivery of Safe Ship Management and has been approved by the Minister of Transport for distribution.  Maritime New Zealand will be conducting...
Read More »

Coroner's Inquest Recommendations Arising From Water-ski Death on Lake Taupo

Is there a case for more regulation of recreational craft? On the 6th January 2009, Genevieve Maria Elizabeth Lewis, a nine year old girl, was water skiing at Lake Taupo with her family.  On this same day, another motor boat in the vicinity operated by John Curtis was travelling between 25 to 30mph.  He adjusted his course to avoid the family’s boat upon visual sighting of the Lewis’s boat.  However, at this time Genevieve had fallen into the water and was waiting...
Read More »

Maritime law issues and legislative changes 2009-10 - Peter Dawson presentation to NZFCF conference

Peter Dawson gave an overview of maritime law issues to the NZ Federation of Commercial Fishermen conference in May 2010.  These issues, relating to legislative changes in the year leading up to the conference, included the Marlborough District Council Bylaws, proposed changes to Maritime Rules Part 90, Part 21 and Part 31, and the Foreshore and Seabed Review. A copy of Peter's presentation, Legal Update, can be downloaded here.
Read More »