Skip to main content

Reporting a maritime accident or incident

Section 31 of the Maritime Transport Act 1994 requires the master of any New Zealand ship, or of any foreign ship in New Zealand waters, (or the owner/operator of a ship in some instances) to notify Maritime New Zealand if the ship is involved in a mishap that results in serious harm to a person, or in an accident or incident.

Failing to comply with section 31 without reasonable excuse is an offence under the Maritime Transport Act.

Information collected may be used for improving the safety of maritime operations in New Zealand, and also to assess whether further action needs to be taken by Maritime New Zealand in relation to the mishap, incident or accident.  If another agency has a role in considering mishaps, incidents and accidents, Maritime New Zealand may share the information, for example with Regional Council Harbourmasters or New Zealand Police.

Maritime New Zealand is required to maintain a registry of notifications made under section 31.  Please be aware that non-identifying information about the notifications may be published on Maritime New Zealand’s website.

Maritime New Zealand will not disclose personal information other than when permitted or required by law. If you wish to access or correct personal information Maritime New Zealand holds about you, please contact the Privacy Officer at PO Box 25620, Wellington 6146 or on (04) 473 0111.

How do I report a maritime event?

Reporting a maritime event to Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) is an easy two-step process.

(1) First you need to report your event verbally as soon as possible.

Verbal reports can be made by:

phoning MNZ’s Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ). This service operates around the clock. Free phone 0508 222 433


contacting MNZ’s Maritime Operations Centre (MOC) on VHF Channel 16. This service also operates around the clock. Information will be transferred to RCCNZ immediately after it is received.


(2) Fill out an online event form as soon as you can.

Follow the easy to use, step by step form and submit. This will automatically send your information to MNZ.

If you do not wish to fill out an online notification, you can print the appropriate PDF form below and post or fax the form:


More information about accidents and reporting

Accident, incident and mishap reporting summaries
Frequently asked questions about accident reporting
Case study examples and the lessons learnt
Investigation reports – recreational