Chartering superyachts in NZ waters

Find out how to apply for exemptions from complying with a maritime or marine protection rule.

How to apply

Vessel owners and operators should always contact their surveyor or local Maritime Officer to get advice about what they need to do before applying for an exemption.

For your application to be approved, it must meet all the specific criteria laid out in the relevant section of the Maritime Transport Act 1994.

Criteria for maritime rules [Maritime Transport Act 1994 section 40AA] Criteria for marine protection rules [Maritime Transport Act 1994 section 395]

Vessel owners can apply in writing, giving full details of the ship/operation and the reason the exemption is requested.

  • Your application must provide sufficient ‘technical’ reasons for it to be granted and show that the risk to safety (or the marine environment) is not increased.
  • Your application must state the legal criterion under which you are applying.

Maritime Rules Part 19

You will need to apply to be exempted from the requirement of this rule to have an operator plan.

When applying, you need to provide the following documents:

  • completed application form
  • copies of the vessel’s certificates for verification
  • certificate from Class Society that states that a safety management system is in operation (if applicable)
  • survey report and check sheets showing equivalent standards of Maritime Rules Part 44

Marine Protection Rules Part 190

If you are planning on entering the Poor Knights Islands area, you will need to apply for an exemption from Marine Protection Rules Part 190.3.

When applying, you need to provide the following documents:

  • a detailed itinerary and passage plan (overlaid on a chart), including anchorages if applicable
  • details about how the vessel will maintain zero discharge while inside the marine reserve
  • fuel type and capacity
  • sign-off from the Department of Conservation (DOC) - see below
  • evidence that a guide who is experienced with safe navigation in the restricted area will be on board while inside the marine reserve

For additional information about applying for an exemption refer to the following guidelines:

Guidelines for chartering superyachts in NZ waters [PDF: 225kB, 1 page]


Application forms

To apply for an exemption, you will need to complete the relevant form(s).

Exemption request form - marine protection rules [PDF: 70kB, 3 pages] Exemption request form - maritime rules [PDF: 70kB, 3 pages]


Exemption fees

  • These fees are effective from 1 July 2019.
  • All charges are in New Zealand currency and include goods and services tax (GST).
  Hourly rate
Maritime rules  
Marine protection rules  


Contact us

If you need further information about exemptions, please contact our Exemptions Officer.


Related information:

Getting help

Contact a Maritime Officer for help with your operational and health and safety requirements.

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