Press Release – Paul Bruce
Greater Wellington should take a fresh look at our Harbour risk assessment following the Rena disaster, Regional Councillor Paul Bruce said today. In conjunction with Marico Marine and Centreport, Greater Wellington has completed a risk assessment …Fresh look at Greater Wellington’s Harbour risk assessment needed
Greater Wellington should take a fresh look at our Harbour risk assessment following the Rena disaster, Regional Councillor Paul Bruce said today.
In conjunction with Marico Marine and Centreport, Greater Wellington has completed a risk assessment for Wellington harbour.
This is as a result of Maritime New Zealand recommending that NZ ports adopt similiar standards to those developed in the UK, known as the Port and Harbour Safety Code. The code is intended to assist port operators (Centreport) and regulators (Greater Wellington) identify real and potential risks to all users of the harbour and to manage these risks.
This was a lengthy process and the risk assessment was a significant first step. Following on from the risk assessment there is now a draft Wellington port and harbour safety management system (PHSMS) developed by both Greater Wellington and Centreport.
In 1994 the Bolger National Government removed cabotage (the restricting of coastal shipping to New Zealand vessels).
Deregulation opened the door to foreign vessels flying under flags of convenience – such as the Liberian flagged Rena – moving domestic freight around the country.
Councillor Bruce said that ships with flags of convenience often operate with below par labour standards, poor health and safety conditions, and have been implicated in far too many accidents leading to adverse effects on the environment.
“The Green Party considers coastal shipping to be an essential part of transporting goods around New Zealand,” according to Green Party Oceans spokesperson Gareth Hughes (www.greens.org.nz/press-releases/rena-inquiry-must-look-turning-back-90s-deregulation)
“We consider it is far safer if trained domestic crews operate in New Zealand waters. Too often overstressed and under paid foreign crews are working our dangerous coastlines.
“It’s time to improve New Zealand’s shipping regulations and plan for a safer, better system of New Zealand operated coastal shipping.”