Maritime Officers

Find out about our Maritime Officers (MOs), their roles and how they can help you with operational compliance.

Contact a maritime officer

Operators should talk to their Maritime officers (MO) about what their vessel and/or operation needs to stay safe and meet regulatory requirements.

Maritime Officers 7

About our maritime officers

MOs work in three regional teams - northern, central and southern - and are based at all of New Zealand’s major ports. MOs have a broad range of backgrounds and experiences within the maritime and compliance sector.

Their backgrounds range from the New Zealand Police, the domestic and foreign fishing industry, other domestic maritime sectors such as commercial rafting, passengers and non passenger vessels, and international shipping such as foreign going master mariners and chief engineers.

MOs work to improve safety outcomes within the maritime industry. Their role is to inspect, audit and investigate all vessels and maritime operations for safety and seaworthiness, and to liaise with and educate all vessel users to operate safely on New Zealand waters.

MOs also inspect foreign ships in New Zealand as part of what is known as port state control (PSC). PSC is one of the ways that our Government ensures the protection of life and property at sea and the preservation of New Zealand’s marine environment.

Read more about port state control

With commercial vessels now moving into the Maritime Operator Safety System (MOSS), MOs have a key role in advising and supporting operators to develop their operator plans and submit their applications for a Maritime Transport Operator Certificate (MTOC). Maritime operators preparing their MTOC application are encouraged to enlist their local MO’s help and expertise, to make sure their application more closely meets requirements and can be more quickly assessed.

Ship safety inspections are a pivotal part of the work of MOs. They check for anything that could endanger the lives of a ship’s crew or other people, or put the marine environment at risk. This includes checking a ship’s structure, the certification of its officers and crew, and operating practices such as the maintenance of lifesaving and firefighting equipment.

If a vessel fails to meet safety standards, an MO has the power to detain it in port until repairs are made to make it seaworthy.

MOs also attend the scene of any maritime accidents or incidents in New Zealand waters, and provide safety advice to recreational boaties and the wider public.

Related information:

Careers centre

View our current vacancies, find out what it is like to work for MNZ and the diverse roles of those who work for us.

Read more