Why maritime matters to Aotearoa | New Zealand

As a nation of islands at the end of the world's trade routes, the maritime domain connects our motu with the globe.

Our trade is reliant on the maritime sector

NZ Exports by sea were $65.8 billion
NZ Imports by sea were $70.7 billion


New Zealand's trade is carried by sea

99.7 percent by volume
81 percent by value


Our Exclusive Economic Zone is

the size of the country

not including Tokelau, Niue, Cook Islands and Ross Dependency

NZ's exclusive economic zone


Our search and rescue region

spans over 30 million square kilometres, making it one of the largest in the world

NZ's search and rescue region is 30 million square kilometres


2022 - 2023 maritime industry numbers

Ship icons

43 passenger ships made 754 port visits
1137 non-passenger ships made 5178 port visits

The maritime economy contributed $6.5b to the local economy
About 39,500 people were employed in the sector

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Fishing boat icon

Commercial fishing exports totalled about $2.1b
and fisheries and seafood industries employed about 13,500 people on average over the past five years


A safe, secure, clean and sustainable maritime domain

Maritime NZ is the lead agency working across the maritime domain to shape a safe, secure, clean and sustainable maritime environment.

Rescue coordination outcomes

Life saver icon 42 Lives saved rescue helicopter icon 164 Lives rescued Hands reaching 366 Lives assisted


Education and guidance

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17 information and education campaigns delivered  


publications icon
19 industry and guidance publications delivered


Marine pollution response

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11 Maritime Incident Response Team exercises and workshops completed


maintenance icon
98% regional and national equipment stockpiles maintained and inspected


Maritime security

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0 significant security incidents 


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100% NZ trading ports 100% compliant with international Ship and Port Facility Security code



Certification icon  
3947 maritime or marine protection documents, certificates, permits issued; of which:


Seafarer icon  
2926 were for seafarers



Regulatory operations

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438 audits of active MOSS operators, and Health and Safety at Work Act assessments


Checklist 176 Port State Control inspections completed



documents icon  35 new MOSS operators



exclamation icon  1066 notified events



 prosecution icon 22 successful prosecutions



ship in port icon  47 HSWA assessments of persons conducting a business or undertaking



investigation icon 147 investigations completed



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 96% of prosecutions under HSWA and/or MTA resulted in parties being held to account