Maritime New Zealand response to Kotuku safety recommendations

18 April 2008

As part of its ongoing commitment to improving maritime safety, Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) has accepted the safety recommendations arising out of the Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) report into the loss of the Kotuku.

MNZ’s specific response to the TAIC safety recommendations as they appear in the final report are attached below.

TAIC Report Safety Recommendations

On 20 March 2008, the Commission recommended to the Director of Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) that she: 

009/08: In conjunction with the Ministry of Transport, critically review the maritime rule-making process to identify if there are areas where the timeliness of new and amended rules can be improved. 

010/08: Review the policy and procedures for issuing exemptions from compliance with the rules to ensure that safety-critical standards are not compromised. 

011/08: Make the fitting of bilge alarms mandatory in all vessels. 

012/08: Require that where a secondary electrically driven electrical submersible bilge-pump is fitted, it meets the requirements as prescribed in Maritime Rule part 40D 28(6). 

013/08: Ensure that the current review of Safe Ship Management and, the amendments to Maritime Rules Part 21 and Part 46 results in:

  • safe ship management companies discharging their responsibilities to ensure their client vessels fully comply with the required standards
  • Maritime New Zealand discharging its own responsibilities for the oversight of the maritime industry standards in accordance with the Maritime Transport Act 1994
  • owners of vessels discharging their responsibilities to ensure their vessels remain in compliance with the rules at all times.

014/08: Ensure that RFD, and other liferaft manufacturers:

  • provide painter securing instructions that reflect the use of a weak link as part of a float-free system
  • issue clear and unequivocal installation instructions to accompany each liferaft
  • Maritime New Zealand to promote the use of manufacturer’s designed liferaft cradles where available Maritime New Zealand Response On 28 March 2008 the Director of Maritime New Zealand responded:

009/08: The nature of the rules contract between Ministry of Transport and Maritime New Zealand was independently reviewed in late 2007 to establish what opportunities there were to make the process more timely and effective. The results of that review are in the course of being implemented by the Ministry of Transport. The Ministry of Transport is also currently seeking Cabinet approval to implement several recommendations from recent independent reviews of the transport rules programme undertaken by Mary Scholtens QC and Richard Clarke QC. 

010/08: Policies and procedures for exemptions have been reviewed and are being finalised. These will be signed off and implemented by the end of April 2008. MNZ is currently using a dedicated resource to oversee the exemptions process and is providing administrative support. Exemptions will be analysed to identify any potential rule amendments and to ensure that safety-critical standards are not compromised. 

011/08: Policy work will be carried out during the 08/09 year to assess whether this recommendation meets the threshold for acceptance by the Ministry of Transport on to the rule development programme. 

012/08: MNZ will issue a safety bulletin by the end of May 2008, advising vessel owners, SSM companies and surveyors that where a secondary electrically driven electrical submersible bilge-pump is fitted, it meets the requirements as prescribed in Maritime Rule part 40D 28(6). 

013/08: Once the review is completed and its recommendations implemented, the results will be assessed against the goals and objectives. This is anticipated to take place in the second half of 2009. 

014/08: Liferaft service stations are currently addressing this issue through presentations at surveyors’ seminars. This will be completed by mid-April 2008. MNZ will also issue a safety bulletin by the end of May 2008 covering the matters raised in this recommendation. Liferaft service stations will be required to issue this service bulletin with all serviced liferafts. MNZ will monitor this process through our regular audits of liferaft service stations.

MEDIA NOTE: DUE TO SUPPRESSION ORDERS PREVENTING PUBLICATION OF THE TRANSPORT ACCIDENT INVESTIGATION COMMISSION REPORT INTO THE KOTUKU ACCIDENT UNTIL 1AM FRIDAY 18 APRIL, THIS MATERIAL IS ALSO SUBJECT TO EMBARGO UNTIL THAT TIME.

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