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Media

Below are links to news stories and media releases relevant to shipping in New Zealand and the work of the Federation.

Large cruise ship threads narrow and dangerous gap through Coromandel rocks

http://www.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times/news/77694078...

TOM HUNT

Last updated 21:48, March 11 2016

The area around Hole in the Wall, off Coromandel, lies in the busy shipping route between the ports of Auckland and Tauranga.

A captain threaded a cruise ship through a dangerous gap between rocks, seemingly so his passengers could get a better "tourist experience".

The incident, through an area called Hole in the Wall off Coromandel, which lies in the busy shipping route between the ports of Auckland and Tauranga, came to light thanks to a coastal navigation safety review carried out by Maritime NZ.

It highlighted specific risk areas in Hauraki Gulf, Colville Channel off Coromandel, and Cook Strait, which it described as "one of the more unpredictable waters in the world".

It was prompted by an expected increase in the number of ships visiting New Zealand, a trend toward larger ships, and technology changes in navigational aids, Maritime NZ said.

It found coastal shipping was largely well-managed and there was a "sound framework in place to manage the movement of ships around the New Zealand coast, with procedures in place to assess risk and adjust safety measures if required".

The Hole in the Wall, off Coromandel between "Sunk Rock" and "Old Man Rock", is identified by Maritime NZ and Environment Waikato as being unsafe for vessels weighing more than 500 gross tonnes.

But a "large" cruise ship in 2014 tracked through the gap.

While the ship's name or weight is not in the report, large cruise ships visiting New Zealand have been more than 120,000 tonnes – more than 24 times the recommended safe limit.

"There may be a temptation for cruise ships to take this route to enhance the tourist experience," the report said.

The decision to use the unsafe gap prompted a letter from Maritime NZ to the shipping company, which responded that it would not take the passage again "except in strict compliance with local requirements".

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Maritime NZ spokesman Steve Rendle said the ship came within 500 metres of rocks on one side and 600m on the other. While it was an "unusual" route fo the ship to take, it was not a breach of rules.

"It is fair to say the vessel was not in danger at any time," Rendle said.

Coromandel MP Scott Simpson welcomed the focus on the area, especially in light of the Rena grounding.

"There's an obvious concern following the Rena, which highlights concerns about coastal navigation in large vessels," Simpson said.

The report also highlighted an issue on a Panama-flagged bulk carrier that came from Fiji to Wellington, where it was found in 2013 to have a compasss eight degrees out. Maritime rules allow a deviation of up to five degrees.

It highlighted three areas of New Zealand which needed monitoring to see if more needed to be done to lessen risks.

Cook Strait, which had gale force winds 107 days per year and heavy swells, had New Zealand's highest volume of traffic when passenger ferries were included.

Yet, the Colville area – which the Hole in the Wall was in – is identified in a graph of risk as about twice as dangerous as Cook Strait, which came second.

Port representatives around New Zealand were "unanimous in their concern about logging ships", the report said.

"At one port it was observed that recently a log ship headed out into a storm when most of the crew must have been exhausted from lashing logs."

A change to maritime rules, which comes into effect in March next year, means Maritime NZ will have more power in stopping tired crew from leaving port.

Shipping Federation executive director Annabel Young said a growing economy as well as increasing numbers of cruise ships were the reasons shipping was forecast to increase.

"The report paints a picture of exhausted workers on international voyages making mistakes as they move around the New Zealand coast, going from port to port."

The report made it clear that some foreign ships may not have "working radios, an accurate compass, up-to date charts or up to date navigational information", she said.

- Stuff



Reacting To Rena

21 October 2011

The grounding of the Rena has naturally and quite rightly attracted a huge amount of media attention. Everybody wants to know what went wrong and who is responsible. That too, is natural but the search for the answers often brings its own set of problems. For example the media has been flooded with opinions. Some of these are expressed by experts who know what they are talking about but many are advanced by people who have little or no knowledge to support those opinions. As a result the landscape becomes awash with half-baked opinion often based more on prejudice than on informed insight. The interested bystander becomes confused as it is difficult to differentiate between sound and dubious information.

So, what do we know? A very serious, once in a generation event has occurred. Significant damage has been done to the marine ecology and beaches in the Bay of Plenty.

What do we not know? We don't yet know why the ship hit the reef. We don't know the true cause of the accident. We don't know if there were underlying factors that may have contributed to the cause of the accident. We don't know if the response could have been quicker. We don't know if the response so far has been the best it could have been. We don't know what the weather will do. We don't know if more damage is yet to be done. In short we don't know a great deal.

It is common when a serious event becomes shrouded in a thick fog of confusion for people to hit the 'blame' button. This is not a good thing to do and it is important that we don't rush into the 'blame game ' here. Blame the government, blame the officials, blame the crew, blame the regulatory environment, blame the rescue attempt, blame the owners, blame the shipping company, blame foreigners, blame the media. The list of suspects is endless.

A large container ship has hit a reef. Damage has been done. Salvage work is underway. When that and the clean-up is complete there will be time to consider the causes of the accident (both immediate and underlying), as well as the effectiveness of the response to the event. It is imperative that the focus of that work is kept on what can be learned from the experience rather than looking for someone to blame. If we focus too much on the blame aspect we run the risk of learning very little from the experience. In any event there are legal processes in place which are designed to establish culpability.

Despite the obvious damage done by the Rena grounding, the fact remains that such events are extremely rare and shipping remains the cleanest and most cost-effective mode of transport for freight. We would do well to remember that.

In the meantime we should concentrate our minds on (a) what can be learned from this disaster and establish what can be done to reduce the possibility of a similar event occurring and (b) how we can improve our responses when something like this happens again.

The New Shipping Federation looks forward to participating in that process. In the meantime there exists within the membership of the Federation a wide range of expertise and capability which is available to assist.

Jim Doyle

Executive Director

NZ Shipping Federation

Merchant Navy Day

A commemorative service was held on Saturday 3 September at the National War Memorial, Wellington to remember all of those people who served in the merchant navy during wartime. The day itself is significant as it marks the sinking of the first merchant ship during World War II, the very day Britain declared war on Germany, 3 September 1939. The vessel sunk was the Athena a passenger liner torpedoed by U30 off the northwest coast of Ireland for the loss of 117 lives.

The service, however, was to remember all of those merchant seafarers who served in wartime, especially in both world wars. More than 15,000 lost their lives in WW I and a staggering 60,000 in WWII, 30,000 of whom were serving under British flagged ships.

The official party at the Service included the Minister of Defence Hon Dr Wayne Mapp, Rear Admiral David Ledson ONZM (rtd, Chair of the Nationbal War memorial Advisory Council and Mr Brodie Stubbs, Manager Heritage Operations, Ministry for Culture and Heritage.

Sheryl Ellison, President of the NZ Shipping Federation participated in the formal proceedings by reading an extract from an official history describing the torpedoing of the SS Rotorua by U96 in the North Atlantic on 11 December 1940 with the loss of 21 lives.

Sheryl described the entire ceremony as 'very moving'.

The Service will held each year on the same day and Rear Admiral Ledson hopes that it will grow in importance as it marks the great contribution and sacrifice made by thousands of seafarers in a sector that is extremely important to New Zealand.

Education and Training: Meeting the Needs of the Logistics and Transport Sector

Key skills development across the transport sector is in real danger of going backwards.

Jim Doyle

Executive Director

NZ Shipping Federation

The prosperity of any firm or industry or country depends to a large extent on productivity, i.e the relationship between the value of goods or services produced and the number of labour hours needed to produce those goods or services . The experts tell us that productivity gains are achieved by a mix of factors. A report produced a few years back by the Industry Training Federation and the Dept. of Labour had this to say on the topic:

Improved productivity and organisational performance has been attributed to a number of interventions: better training, enhanced managerial capability, employee engagement, employee recognition and reward, innovative productive practices etc *

The report went on to make the point that no one intervention in itself will make a significant impact but it is the combination of factors that achieve the productivity gains. Be that as it may, it is certain that whatever combination of factors is used, education and training will be a critical component.

If productivity is a key success factor and education and training is a key component of productivity then we should all take education and training seriously. Right now, in the transport sector, in New Zealand, education and training are not performing. Everybody in a leadership position across the transport sector should be seriously concerned.

So, what is the problem?

Before answering that question it may pay to think about the transport sector for a moment. The fact is that the education and training landscape in the sector is a bit of a jungle. There are dozens of 'standards-based' national qualifications (mainly certificates) and a wide range of 'provider' qualifications ranging from certificates, graduate certificates, post graduate certificates, diplomas, national diplomas, graduate diplomas, post graduate diplomas, bachelor's degrees, masters and doctorate qualifications. With respect to the coastal shipping industry a key qualification is the International Maritime Organisation's (IMO) Standards of Training, Certification and Watching (STCW). And then there is of course the CILT UK Professional Diploma and Certificate in Logistics and Transport.

It would be misleading and quite incorrect to claim that every part of the education and training function across the transport sector is broken. It isn't, but significant parts of it are. As each part of the transport sector is 'connected' in some way to at least one other part, everybody in the sector should be concerned if any one part is broken. And it is.

The biggest single worry currently in education and training across the transport sector has to be in the industry training area. This involves dozens of qualifications covering mainly road transport, marine, ports and stevedoring and freight forwarding and logistics. These qualifications come under two Industry Training Organisations (ITOs), Competenz which covers marine qualifications and Tranzqual which covers the rest. At the time of writing (early August) Tranzqual is staring into oblivion. The organisation has shed 80% of its staff over the past six months and is currently almost moribund. The entire transport sector under their mandate is in a vacuum when it comes to training.

For its part, Competenz is also facing challenges, albeit a lot less critical than those confronting Tranzqual. It is fairly clear that as far as Competenz is concerned their marine qualifications are along way down their list of priorities.

It is time for the transport industry, preferably all of it, to step up and deal with this major problem. It is opportune that the New Zealand Qualifications Authority is currently in the process of implementing a major rationalisation of all national qualifications at certificate and diploma levels. This process is intended to reduce the number of such qualifications and in doing so, bring industry, providers and ITOs much closer together when it comes to developing these qualifications. It is also propitious that the government is keen on reducing the number of ITOs. This development will, by definition have to engage the relevant industries in that process. This will provide a rich opportunity for the industry.

While significant parts of the education and training situation across the transport sector may be in a sorry state, perhaps the planets are in alignment when it comes to dealing with these problems. It is up to the leadership across the transport sector itself, however, to seize this opportunity and take ownership of the process. Opportunities such as this don't come too often.

* The Skills-Productivity Nexus: connecting industry training and business performance. Industry Training Federation/Dept of Labour (2008)

Coastal Shipping pivotal in relief effort

Coastal shipping role pivotal in relief effort

Iain Macintyre - New Zealand Shipping Gazette

New Zealand's coastal shipping infrastructure has played a vital role in the prompt delivery of emergency equipment, personnel and relief supplies to Canterbury following the February 22 earthquake.

Speaking on behalf of the New Zealand Shipping Federation's seven member companies, head Sheryl Ellison said the existing domestic suppy chain was fully utilised within hours of the disaster.

'Our members made shipping earthquake-related emergency services and relief-related equipment an absolute priority immediately following the event", Ms Ellison told the Shipping Gazette.

This relief effort has included:

Pacifica Shipping becoming the first container ship operator to berth at Lyttelton following the earthquake, delivering 100,000 litres of bottled water and vital medical supplies;

Silver Fern Shipping making two fuel deliveries to the port of Timaru to cater for shortages after high demand in the Christchurch area - aviation fuel was also delivered as soon as access had been gained to the port of Lyttelton;

Both the Interislander and Strait Shipping prioritising the movement of emergency services such as ambulance, army, fire service, police and search and rescue, to enable them to get across Cook Strait and onto the ground in Christchurch by daylight the morning after the disaster;

The Interislander and Strait Shipping continuing to give precedence to earthquake-related equipment, with dozens of trucks containing machinery, generators, portaloos, food, water tanks and building supplies being carried on each of their southbound sailings.

Holcim New Zealand and Golden Bay cement are now expected to play an important role in the rebuilding process.

Ms Ellison said it was "extremely reassuring" to know the existing domestic coastal shipping route worked quickly and efficiently to provide essential links in a crisis.

She expressed hope that the Government would give appropriate consideration to the needs of the industry in its current review of the National Infrastructure Plan.

"New Zealand as a nation is reliant on shipping for both the domestic and international supply chains to function efficiently."

Pacifica History Celebrates 25 Years

Coastal operator Pacifica Shipping marked its 25th anniversary in late 2010 by publishing a candid and incident-filled book "Spirit Of The Coast."

The book tells the company's history through the eyes and ears of its owners, staff, customers and suppliers, charting fleet growth to four ships by the late 1990's. Pacifica's former CEO, Rod Grout, says the team that built and ran the operation were fervent believers in the coastal mode, having to compete in an often difficult market. The company's story is told in a refreshingly honest and entertaining style through its many colourful characters, both at sea and on shore.

With 150 photos, charts and diagrams, the 138-page hardcover book is available from Pacifica for $49.90, including GST, packaging and postage.

Wellington's new ferry may be painted blue and white but it is really quite green.

Bluebridge's Cook Strait ferry cruised into Wellington Harbour yesterday, under a fountain of sea spray from a guiding tug.

The five-year-old Straitsman, which weighs almost 14,000 gross tonnes, can carry cargo and up to 400 passengers in a high level of comfort.

But its standout feature is the fuel consumption – burning 15 per cent less fuel than its predecessor, the Monte Stello.

The vessel also uses waste heat for heating hot water and passenger areas.

Strait Shipping managing director Sheryl Ellison said the vessel offered a perfect mix of space and sustainability.

"It will provide us with 50 per cent increased freight and vehicle capacity and space for a third more passengers than the vessel it replaces – while burning significantly less fuel. We're delighted to have the vessel here in time to meet peak passenger and freight demand through summer and also next year's Rugby World Cup."

Manufactured in a Dutch shipyard in 2005, the ship has modern cabins, reclining seating, a cafeteria, reception area, shop, a family area, viewing lounge and allergy free zone. Big screens will be installed to allow for free movies.

The vessel, which will begin crossing the Cook Strait around the middle of this month, is equipped with high-tech navigation aids and two powerful bow thrusters and "in-line high lift flap rudders" to ensure efficient manoeuvrability.

The Straitsman will be open to the public from 11am to 3pm on December 11 to raise funds for Wellington Children's Hospital through a gold coin donation entry.

Resources

Below are links to information and documents relevant to shipping in New Zealand and the work of the Federation.

Government Releases National Infrastructure Plan

The Government has released its National Infrastructure Plan - HERE.

NZ Shipping Federation History - "A Voice for Shipping"

In 2007, the NZ Shipping Federation celebrated 100 years representing NZ shipping companies. To mark the milestone and to capture that history, we commissioned well known historian, Gavin Mclean, to write a book on the Federation's history.

His book, "A Voice for Shipping" is now available. It is hard copy, and includes many pictures, some colour and some black and white.

Distribution of "A Voice for Shipping" will be handled by Paul Nicholas on behalf of the NZ Shipping Federation.

The purchase price is NZ$35 (incl GST) plus $4.50 packing and fast-post within NZ per book, or 1.50 packing and airmail per book to Australia.

Orders and payment can be made to:

Paul Nicholas, 8A Malone Road, Lower Hutt 5011 (cheques made payable to "NZ Shipping Federation").

For internet banking contact Paul at paul.nicholas@clear.net.nz for account details. There is no facility for credit card transactions.

NZ Shipping Federation History - "A Voice for Shipping"

In 2007, the NZ Shipping Federation celebrated 100 years representing NZ shipping companies. To mark the milestone and to capture that history, we commissioned well known historian, Gavin Mclean, to write a book on the Federation's history.

His book, "A Voice for Shipping" is now available. It is hard copy, and includes many pictures, some colour and some black and white.

Distribution of "A Voice for Shipping" will be handled by Paul Nicholas on behalf of the NZ Shipping Federation.

The purchase price is NZ$35 (incl GST) plus $4.50 packing and fast-post within NZ per book, or 1.50 packing and airmail per book to Australia.

Orders and payment can be made to:

Paul Nicholas, 8A Malone Road, Lower Hutt 5011 (cheques made payable to "NZ Shipping Federation").

For internet banking contact Paul at jim.doyle@shipfed.co.nz for account details. There is no facility for credit card transactions.