Port Taranaki achieves first in harbour safety

16 August 2007

Port Taranaki has become the first in the country to receive official recognition for its harbour safety management systems.

The Port and the Taranaki Regional Council (TRC) will tomorrow (Thursday 16 August) celebrate the major milestone, with presentation of certificates by Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) under the New Zealand Port and Harbour Marine Safety Code. The code was developed in response to concerns about port and harbour management following the groundings of the Jodi F Millennium at Gisborne and the Tai Ping at Bluff in 2002. “Maritime New Zealand is delighted to present this approval, which is the first in New Zealand to be attained under the New Zealand Port and Harbour Marine Safety Code. It is also the culmination of a significant amount of work over a long period by the port and the Taranaki Regional Council,” said MNZ Director Catherine Taylor.

Ms Taylor said the code promoted good safety practice in ports and harbours, and provided a national standard against which performance could be measured. 

“The fact that attaining this approval is a voluntary process demonstrates the commitment of the Council, Port Taranaki and the maritime industry to improve safety, and we fully endorse and applaud that.”

Taranaki Regional Council Chief Executive Basil Chamberlain said both Port Taranaki Ltd and the Council, as its 100% owner, were committed to absolute best practice in all aspects of port operations.

“The fact that the safety management system covers environmental protection is very important to the Taranaki Regional Council in our role as the region’s environmental watchdog.”

“The port is also a vital economic asset to Taranaki. This was highlighted in a recent report by Business and Economic Research Limited showing that it’s involved with 43% of the wealth created in the region, and a third of the jobs.”

Port Taranaki Ltd Chief Executive Roy Weaver said developing an accredited safety management system made good sense for the port company, particularly at a time when it was actively diversifying its business.

“As well as being valuable in its own right for port operations, having an accredited safety management system delivers a good, reassuring message to our customers, potential customers and the community.”

Taranaki Regional Council Harbourmaster Ray Barlow said the port company and the Council developed the safety management system because it was logical and represented an extension of existing navigation, safety and environmental management programmes. 

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