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Media Release

March 25, 2019


GME Float-Free EPIRB instrumental in successful rescue of commercial fisherman.

Three crew members from a commercial cray-fishing boat were rescued off the Chatham Islands thanks in part to their GME Float-Free Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB).

The GME MT603FG float-free EPIRB was activated on Friday the 22nd of March after the vessel, the Mary Ellen II, was swamped by a large wave. At 8.20am the Rescue Coordination Centre in NZ received the distress beacon alert from the vicinity of Western Reef, 32km northwest of the Chatham Islands.

The coordination centre staff spoke with the registered contact for the beacon who was on land. He confirmed that there were three crew on board the Mary Ellen II - a 10m commercial cray-fishing boat.

Upon establishing the details of the crew, the RCC used the local Chatham Islands VHF to request help from nearby vessels. The fishing boat Falcon II was the first on the scene and picked up the stricken crew at 9.45am and delivered them safely to land where they were treated for hypothermia, cuts and bruises.

The GME MT603FG float-free EPIRB was essential in saving the lives of the three men as the skipper attempted to dive down into the boat and retrieve the beacon but was unable to reach it. However, the float-free housing automatically deployed allowing the beacon to rise to the surface, resulting in the successful rescue of all on board.

This incident comes shortly after the carriage of Float-Free EPIRBs was made mandatory for commercial fishing vessels between 7.5m and 24m that operate outside enclosed waters in New Zealand, on January 1 2019.





Float-free emergency position indicating radio beacons (EPIRBs)

From 1 January 2019, fishing vessels between 7.5 and 24 metres in length that operate outside of enclosed waters, will be required to have a float-free EPIRB installed onboard.

Vessels this applies to

Commercial fishing vessels that:

  • are more than 7.5 metres in length and less than 24 metres in length, and
  • operate outside of enclosed waters (i.e. outside harbours, estuaries and other inland or sheltered waters).

EPIRB requirements for other commercial fishing vessels have not changed.

Meeting the requirements

To meet the requirements, you must have a suitable EPIRB and bracket installed on your vessel, and the EPIRB must be registered, all by 1 January 2019.

EPIRBs and brackets

You will need a class 2 EPIRB 1 with a category 1 bracket 2 that:

  • meet the performance standards of IMO Resolution A.810(19)
  • meet the Australian/New Zealand standard AS/NZS 4280.1
  • are coded for New Zealand
  • are labelled with the New Zealand radio label R-NZ or the RCM label

Class 2 EPIRBs can be activated manually or by an automatic water activation

Category 1 brackets are designed to automatically deploy the EPIRB when submerged at depth


Be aware that EPIRBs purchased outside of New Zealand may not meet the required standards outlined above, or be coded in New Zealand. EPIRBs must be coded so they can be registered in New Zealand.

If you have a class 2 EPIRB with a category 2 bracket (manually deployed), your local retailer will be able to advise if there’s a category 1 bracket for your model of EPIRB.

Remember a float-free EPIRB can also be manually removed from its bracket, and manually activated without being submerged.

If you are deciding whether to upgrade or replace your current EPIRB, it may help to consider:

  • if the battery will soon expire; and weigh up
  • the cost to upgrade (battery and/or new bracket) versus purchasing a float-free EPIRB combination with bracket.


When installing the EPIRB on your vessel, you must ensure it is mounted in a position:

  • on the outside of the vessel structure in a clear open space
  • where it can be reached in an emergency and protected from accidental damage and exposure to water
  • that allows it to float free (when auto-released) without becoming trapped by the sinking vessel or entangled by masts or rigging.

Remember to add the EPIRB and bracket including Hydrostatic Release Unit to your safety equipment list and maintenance plan.


You must register your EPIRB with the Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ).

Go to beacons.org.nz to register your EPIRB online:

Register now[http://www.beacons.org.nz]

Getting help

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

Contact now

Register your beacon for FREE

Submit your registration through post or email, or do it online now!
Register now

Contact us

If you have any questions about the new float-free EPIRB requirements, talk to our operator certification team.

+64 4 473-0111






Float-free distress beacons compulsory

for all commercial fishing vessels

by 1 January 2019

14 February 2018

‘Float-free’ distress beacons will soon become compulsory for commercial fishing vessels to improve safety in the sector.

Operators will need to install float-free EPIRBs on all applicable commercial fishing vessels by 1 January 2019, as one of five maritime rule changes to the Maritime Rules made recently by the Minister of Transport.

The new requirement was prompted by recommendations from Coroners and the Transport Accident and Investigation Commission, following the deaths of 24 people over the last 11 years on inshore fishing boats that sank. Float-free EPIRBs will automatically deploy and activate when submerged in water.

Maritime NZ General Manager Maritime Standards Sharyn Forsyth says crews in these incidents had manual EPIRBs on board, but were unable to activate them.

“We want to give people plenty of warning of the new requirement in the lead up to next January - we hope this notice period will assist operators who are replacing their old EPIRBs over the coming months. This new measure will save lives.”

The new rule was introduced following consultation, and applies to fishing vessels of between 7.5 metres and 24 metres operating outside enclosed waters (i.e. outside harbours, estuaries and other inland or sheltered waters).

New Zealand Federation of Commercial Fishermen President Doug Saunders-Loder supports making float-free EPIRBs compulsory.

“This is a practical change that will make commercial fishing safer and help save lives - a core business and priority for our organisation,” he says.

Other changes to the Maritime Rules, that come into effect on 15 March 2018, remove outdated requirements, allow for new technology, and reduce compliance costs:

• Tugs - allow the use of current international stability criteria set by “classification societies” for towing operations.
• Fishing boats - allow more modern satellite search and rescue technology as an alternative to radar transponders on fishing vessels operating beyond 200 nautical miles from the coast.
• Fishing boats - remove the requirement for fishing boats operating in some areas to carry a radio with narrow-band direct printing. This is an old technology which has been replaced by modern radio systems in many countries, including New Zealand.
• Sailing vessels - allowing for modern design, and removing the requirement that manual bilge pumps must be operable from above the deck.



A bar crossing safety video produced by the Waikato and Bay of Plenty regional councils have now cracked 200,000 YouTube views.

The clip gives boaties information on how to make safer bar crossings and has been viewed more than 212,000 views on YouTube alone, says WRC maritime services team leader Richard Barnett.

“It's excellent to see how seriously boaties are taking this issue by accessing the bar crossing video on YouTube.

“Bar crossing is one of our most hazardous boating activities so it's essential boaties equip themselves with the knowledge to cross bars safely.”

Richard says bar crossings at Tairua in the Coromandel and Raglan have the highest incident rate in the Waikato, which drove the regional council's desire to get involved in making bar crossing videos, available on YouTube and council websites.

The videos were released in 2014 after the Waikato council teamed up with their counterparts in the Bay of Plenty (which has the Bowentown and Kaituna bars), as well as Coastguard NZ, Maritime NZ and Water Safety NZ.

- See more at: http://www.sunlive.co.nz/news/141211-boat-safety-video-cracks-212k-views.html#sthash.2Gm27Oev.dpuf

- See more at: http://www.sunlive.co.nz/news/141211-boat-safety-video-cracks-212k-views.html#sthash.2Gm27Oev.dpuf



Access to Water

Access to Water Banner

New tidal stairs, pier and pontoon for city's waterfront

Latest Updates

In the next couple of weeks you can expect to see more work on the tidal stairs foundations, including pumping concrete grout into the ground under high pressure using a specialist excavator. For a short period of time the Hairy Maclary sculptures will be temporarily fenced off to ensure public safety. The works will not impact on the Hairy Maclary setting in a physical way. 

We have also built a new sandpit area with a digger so that you can come and help us build our new pier, pontoon and tidal stairs. Thanks to HEB Construction Ltd for their support of this extension to the play area. The waterfront area will be open all summer while the new facilities are being built. 

Child Access to Water

Watch the construction as it happens

This image is updated every half an hour.

Tidal stairs camera

Designing for safety

A comprehensive safety and risk review of the design has been undertaken, this review was led by Attwood Consulting. Attwood Consulting Ltd is one of New Zealand’s leading waterfront and marine environment safety and risk advisors. They have provided safety review and advice to Waterfront Auckland for the Wynyard Quarter and Westhaven Marina developments for a number of years. 

Safety of users has been, and is being, considered throughout this project to build new tidal stairs, pier and pontoon at Tauranga’s waterfront. The following safety features are being incorporated into the facilities:

  • Information signs about the risks and water flows
  • Navigation signs for boat movements
  • Anti-slip treatment and regular maintenance and cleaning of the tidal stairs
  • Handrail and rescue equipment on the pier
  • Ladders from the water to the pontoon
  • Clearance of 2 metres from the jump platform to the pontoon
  • Lighting at night on the pier and pontoon
  • Safety gate to the pontoon and jump platform similar to a swimming pool gate to restrict access for young children
  • Motorised boats restricted to the outside areas only

A hydrological study of the water flows past the site has been completed by the University of Waikato. This study shows that the tidal flow in the vicinity of the shore where the tidal stairs will be is approximately half the speed of walking. At a point 30 metres out from the existing seawall  (the pier is 24 metres long) the tidal flow is a maximum of 1.8km/hr for the peak incoming and outgoing flows. This report is available online.

A jump platform has been designed to provide for controlled jumping activities from the pier. This has a safety gate on it and (based on survey information) will allow a maximum jump height of 3 metres into 2.3 metres of water.

Jump Platform at Waterfront


Elected Members gave the green light to the project at a Council meeting on 15 December 2015, following feedback from the community, iwi and water users on the proposed concept.

The indicative cost for building the proposed tidal stairs, Masonic pier and pontoon ranges between $2.6 million and $3.2 million. These costs will be refined once the detailed design is completed.  The detailed design stage will consider engineering, safety, ongoing maintenance and resource consent requirements, as well as how to reflect Tauranga’s unique identity.

Council’s Long Term Plan 2015-2025 allocated $8 million, to be spent in the first five years, for city centre and waterfront development to improve the streetscape, waterfront and open spaces in the heart of the city.

The access to water project has been developed in parallel with the Tauranga City Centre Spatial Framework – a visual representation of what we want our public spaces and streets, and waterfront to be. A big part of this is the reconnection with water and access to the water.

City Centre Spatial Framework

Mayor Stuart Crosby said being able to access the water was important to the community. “Feedback from the community on the concept via Facebook, our have your say email, at the Tauranga Marine Show and in conversations with Council staff and Elected Members was an overwhelming ‘yes please, go ahead and make it happen. This will be a new dimension for our waterfront. I am confident this is the right decision for our waterfront development.”

access to water artist impression

Timeframe for Access to Water construction

June/November 2015:  Design concepts for Access to Water 
November 2015: Form and function public engagement 
December 2015: Elected Members give green light at Council meeting 
January 2016: Detailed design stage begins 
August/September 2016: Physical works tender 
October 2016: Work begins
April 2017: Public enjoys access to water


- See more at: http://www.tauranga.govt.nz/projects/access-to-water.aspx#sthash.btZC7hRM.dpuf



Lifejackets save Whakatane fishermen

Mother Nature delivered a timely reminder about the importance of never overloading your boat on Monday when a vessel flipped while collecting crayfish pots off the Whakatane coast.

The two occupants were spotted bobbing in the water next to an overturned boat by the last vessel to return via the Whakatane bar for the day.

By the time they were found they had spent some time in the water.

Both were disorientated when pulled aboard and treated by an ambulance on site.

Senior Maritime Officer Isaac Tait says had they not both been wearing lifejackets it’s likely this would have been a different story.

“This was a close call but the moral of the story is to never overload your boat with people or equipment and to always carry two forms of communication that work when wet,” he says.

“In this instance they hadn’t told anyone where they were going and when they expected to be back and once their cell phone got wet they had no way to call for help.”

Isaac is thankful to all those who helped retrieve the vessel.

For information on how to be safe on the water visit www.boprc.govt.nz/harbourmaster 



Jack’s Ramp a step away from perfection

The dredging around the Jack’s Point boat ramp has been so successful there’s now access at the ramp three hours either side of high tide, says the Thames-Coromandel District Council.

The purpose of the dredging was to remove excess silt around the ramp located beside Patukirikiri Reserve in Coromandel Town, plus improve boat launching and retrieving.

We encourage recreational boaties and fishers to use this much-improved facility and we hope to make more improvements at Jack’s Point so it can be used more,” says a TCDC spokesperson.

“With that in mind, this summer we’re monitoring the usage of the ramp to determine whether it’s worth investing further in this facility over the next few years.”

The proposed improvements to the ramp and the budgets were submitted to the Coromandel-Colville Community Board this year, for which they approved $70,000 in funding, have since evolved into what council believes is a better design following more detailed work and discussions.

A 2017/18 Annual Plan submission has also been made and council hopes to commence with detailed design, consultation and consenting as the next major steps for the boat ramp.

“If we proceed with the development of Jack’s Point it’s estimated that 370m3 of soft material will need to be removed, plus 280m3 of deeper material.

“The 280m3 of deeper material, which may potentially be contaminated, could be moved to Hampton Downs or an approved landfill site depending on the test results.”

In the interim a new resource consent will need to be sought, which would include the additional dredging requirements.

“The current ramp acts as a silt trap, so the new ramp will provide a much-improved orientation, allowing natural water flow towards the harbour rather than perpendicular to it.

“This in itself will provide an element of self-cleaning.”

For more information visit the Thames-Coromandel District Council website at: www.tcdc.govt.nz/boatramps



Construction begins on the future marine hub of the Bay


The first sod was turned on the Tauranga Harbour Marine Precinct this morning, marking the beginning of the construction of the future marine hub of the Bay. 

A small group of representatives from Tauranga City Council, Bay of Plenty Regional Council, local iwi and marine businesses gathered at the precinct site at dawn.

Kaumatua Peri Kohu, representing local hapu Ngai Tamarawaho, delivered a karakia (blessing) wishing the project well going forward.

After a few short speeches, Tauranga City Mayor Stuart Crosby and Bay of Plenty Regional Councillor Philip Sherry broke the ground – trading the traditional spade for a sizeable excavator, which will soon be in operation at the site.

Construction is set to begin next week when HEB Construction (HEB) takes over the site for an 11-month programme of works.

HEB was selected as civil works contractors for the Marine Precinct primary works. HEB is one of the leading civil construction companies in New Zealand, headquartered in Mount Maunganui.

After being selected as the preferred contractor, HEB worked closely with Marine Precinct Project Director Phil Wardale to develop the best engineering design solutions for the project.

“We really enjoyed working with HEB to refine the tendered design. HEB provided us with value engineering solutions and alternatives, which will enable us to deliver a quality precinct within the project budget,” says Phil.

With HEB’s support Council selected a modern engineered solution for the hardstand, which will need to support the combined weight of New Zealand’s largest-capacity vessel hoist and a vessel of up to 350 tonnes.

“It was a challenge but we got there. We also did a lot of work with HEB to look at alternative solutions for the seawall and finishing elements for the lifting bay,” says Phil.

“HEB has a large pool of local resources and is able to manufacture construction elements in town which we would otherwise have to import. We will use precast concrete components to finish the lifting bay, providing a long lasting and attractive solution.”

HEB is very experienced in marine infrastructure, having worked on marinas and ports around the country, including the extension of Tauranga’s own port in 2013. HEB CEO Derrick Adams says the company has built more than 20 wharves throughout New Zealand, including four in Tauranga.

“We have a large steel fabrication workshop and the ability to manufacture our own precast. Our experience and our local resources mean we can really deliver for both the Council and the community,” says Derrick.

“It’s always great to be a part of local project that we know will benefit the city and the region we live and work in. We’re glad to have the opportunity to work with Tauranga City Council on this key infrastructure project.”

The contract awarded to HEB has a value of $6.5 million. Deliverables include the 6,300 square metre heavy-duty hardstand (pavement), a new concrete wharf, a lifting bay complete with runways for the vessel hoist, seawall armour rock protection, access roads and other core infrastructure services to the new lots.

Based on current construction timeframes, assuming no significant weather-related delays, construction would be completed in August 2017. The vessel-hoist would be delivered at the same time, prior to being assembled and tested on-site. Opening of the precinct is pencilled in for September 2017.

Mayor Stuart Crosby and Cr Phillip Sherry Image

Breaking ground: Mayor Stuart Crosby and Regional Councillor Philip Sherry

Ngati Tamarawaho Kaumatua Peri Kohu Delivering the karakia Image
Ngai Tamarawaho Kaumatua Peri Kohu delivers the karakia

About the Marine Precinct project

The Tauranga Harbour Marine Precinct is an $11.4m project to deliver a purpose-built marine servicing facility at Sulphur Point. The precinct will provide a base for boat building and refit businesses in Tauranga and will be managed by Tauranga City Council under the Vessel Works brand.

By mid-2017 (stage 1 development), the precinct will include lots in a range of sizes for marine businesses, a 6,300m2 vessel storage area (hardstand), deep-water marina berths for large vessels and New Zealand’s largest vessel hoist (350-tonne haulage capacity and extra-wide).

Further development (more lots, extension to the hardstand) will be undertaken in stages, based on demand from the industry.

The Bay of Plenty Regional Council is the funding partner for the Marine Precinct project, contributing $5 million through the Regional Infrastructure Fund. Tauranga City Council’s $6.4 million contribution will be partially offset by the sale of properties on and near the site.

- See more at: http://www.tauranga.govt.nz/news/tabid/667/aid/45490/tctl/1435_ViewAnnouncement/Default.aspx#sthash.NBquFgWk.dpuf


Tauranga Harbour Marine Precinct

The Tauranga Harbour Marine Precinct (the “Marine Precinct”) is a $11.4m project to deliver a purpose-built marine servicing facility at Sulphur Point. The precinct will provide a base for boat building and refit businesses in Tauranga City, and will be managed by Tauranga City Council (TCC) under the Vessel Works brand. The project is funded by TCC ($6.4m to be partially recovered through land sales) and BOP Regional Council ($5m provided through the Regional Infrastructure Fund).The Marine Precinct site is currently zoned as Port Industry and owned by Tauranga City Council. 

The future marine hub of the Bay

By mid-2017 (stage 1 development), the Marine Precinct will include lots in a range of sizes for marine businesses, a 6300-square metre vessel storage area (hardstand), deep-water marina berths for large vessels and New Zealand’s largest vessel hoist / travel-lift (350 tonne haulage capacity and extra-wide). Construction began early October 2016.

The development of the Marine Precinct will support and boost a marine sector already leading the way internationally in craftsmanship, composites and especially innovation. Tauranga has the capacity to become a regional hub for marine activities, with world-class facilities and services. Having the largest capacity vessel hoist/travel-lift in New Zealand will bring unprecedented opportunities to the local marine industry. The central location of the precinct and its direct connection to the strategic transport network are an added bonus, making it the ideal spot for marine businesses large and small.

Artist impression - Tauranga Harbour Marine Precinct

Occupiers of the Marine Precinct

After a successful tender process, six marine businesses acquired lots in the Marine Precinct, signing sale and purchase agreements with the Council on 30 June 2016. The owners of lots within stage 1 development of the precinct are Hutcheson Boatbuilders (lots 9 &10), Pachoud Yachts (lot 5), Pacific 7 (lot 4), RMD Marine (lots 2 & 3), SMF Engineering (lot 12) and Super Yacht Coatings International (lot 7). Profiles of the new precinct owners are available in the release below.

Local industry buys in to the Tauranga Harbour Marine Precinct

Together these businesses cover a wide spread of specialities, from fibre-glassing to marine engineering, vessel painting and timber decking to composite building, a specialised workboat fleet and a fishing fleet. This means increased potential for collaboration among precinct occupiers and with other marine businesses in the area. This is the first step in the Marine Precinct’s strategy of providing a one-stop-shop for customers getting their vessels serviced in Tauranga. 

plan - Tauranga Harbour Marine Precinct and lot owners


Mount Maunganui-based HEB Construction is leading the Marine Precinct primary works. HEB is one of the leading civil construction companies in New Zealand, and is very experienced in marine infrastructure, having worked on marinas and ports around the country, including the extension of Tauranga’s own port in 2013. HEB will deliver the 6,300 square metre heavy-duty hardstand (pavement), a new concrete wharf, a lifting bay complete with runways for the vessel hoist, seawall armour rock protection, access roads and other core infrastructure services to the new lots. HEB took over the site early October 2016. More information on the works ahead in the media release below.

Construction begins on the future marine hub of the Bay

Marine Precinct news and information:

Subscribe to future Tauranga Marine Precinct updates

Marine Precinct Information Memorandum – sale of Stage 1 lots (3mb pdf)

For more information on the Marine Precinct contact Phil Wardale the Project Director on phil.wardale@tauranga.govt.nz or by calling Tauranga City Council on 07 577 7000.

Detailed information on the Marine Precinct is available on the project website www.vesselworks.co.nz 

- See more at: https://www.tauranga.govt.nz/projects/tauranga-harbour-marine-precinct.aspx#sthash.yonNFNRY.dpuf



Tauranga Harbour Marine Precinct

  • Procurement of New Zealand’s largest vessel hoist / travel-lift with a lift capacity of 350 tonnes

  • Opening of the land sales tender for Stage 1 lots - running until Monday 21 December

The Tauranga Harbour Marine Precinct project has hit several major milestones over the past week.

On Wednesday Tauranga City Council and the Bay of Plenty Regional Council signed the agreement providing $5 million funding to the Marine Precinct through the Regional Infrastructure Fund.

Project Director Phil Wardale is pleased to see a number of components fall into place.

“Signing of the funding agreement with the Bay of Plenty Regional Council gives us the assurance we needed to enter into a contract with a supplier for the travel-lift, and consequently to open the tender for the sale of Stage 1 lots within the Marine Precinct.

“We are also progressing the civil works part of the project and have issued a request for tender to the six shortlisted contractors. It’s all go!”

Travel-lift procurement

Tauranga City Council have confirmed the acquisition of a travel-lift capable of lifting vessels of 350 tonnes and up to 12m wide, instead of the 200 to 300 tonne machine initially sought. The Tauranga Harbour Marine Precinct will be equipped with the largest travel-lift in New Zealand.

Mayor Stuart Crosby welcomed this as excellent news for the precinct and its future occupiers.

“We are very excited about the opportunities that this opens us up to”, he said. “We were already proud to be leading the development of a leading-edge facility able to revitalise the regional marine industry. This makes it even better. It opens the door to even larger commercial vessels, inner-harbour fast ferries and the likes – and will provide unique business opportunities to the companies that decide to set up shop at the precinct.”

Cimolai Technology, an Italian company, won the tender process to supply the travel-lift. The machine’s parts will be built at their premises in Carmignano di Brenta, north-west of Venice. The parts will then be shipped to New Zealand in containers, for final assembly at the Marine Precinct. Mr. Roberto Cimolai, the CEO of Cimolai Technology said the company is proud of having been selected as preferred supplier.

“We are thrilled and excited about this new challenge. The Tauranga Harbour Marine Precinct project will have a critical role in boosting the area’s marine activities, and it will give us the opportunity to spread our company’s name in New Zealand. We look forward to working with Tauranga City Council in the year ahead and to seeing our vessel hoist up and working in Tauranga.”

The increased capacity travel-lift was procured within the initial total project budget of $10m. Project Director Phil Wardale said that four international companies participated in the tender and provided a variety of machine configurations and sizes.

“Cimolai Technology was selected as the preferred supplier due to their willingness to propose intuitive alternatives to Council, along with very competitive pricing for the preferred machine.”

Vessel hoist

Image: A 350-tonne Cimolai mobile vessel hoist in operation. For scale note the people in the left of the image.

Tender open for sale of Stage 1 lots

A tender process is now open for the sale of eight lots within Stage 1 of the Marine Precinct’s development. The tender will run until Monday 21 December 2015.

Throughout the past year, 40 marine-related companies expressed their interest in the acquisition of freehold sites at the precinct. Today we sent these companies detailed information on how to participate in the tender process, plans for the future precinct, key features and proposed services, and details on the lots up for sale. This includes an Information Memorandum that is also available on Council’s website www.tauranga.govt.nz/projects/tauranga-harbour-marine-precinct

The tender process will be managed by Tauranga law firm Cooney Lees Morgan. Consideration will be given to the tender price offered by submitters, but also to the expected growth of their business within the precinct, and the employment opportunities they will provide.

The submissions to the tender process will close before Christmas and it is expected the sale of Stage 1 lots will be announced early in the new year.

- See more at: https://www.tauranga.govt.nz/news/tabid/667/aid/41874/tctl/1435_ViewAnnouncement/Default.aspx#sthash.rewwgqWO.dpuf



 Our own Sponge Bob (aka Simon Marshall) will make an appearance at the Tauranga Boat Show.

About The Marine Show - 2015 Vision

Imagine an event that truly showcases our marine environment. A three day event that allows boaties, fisherman, families, those who love to play on our water, those who care for what lives under our water and the landscapes that surround our waterways and those who love the bounty from our seas to all come together and showcase our lucrative marine industry and our rich, precious and bountiful marine world.

Welcome to the 2015 Tauranga Marine Show

Boats, fishing, seafood, water sports and marine life all on show for you to enjoy. This year’s show is all about understanding, appreciating, respecting, learning, enjoying and growing our marine industry sector. Join us for what will be an exciting and action packed three days on the Tauranga Waterfront.

The Tauranga Marine Show is proudly brought to you by the Tauranga Marine Industry Association (TMIA). TMIA is Tauranga’s experienced marine service sector. Providing a comprehensive range of services and products to owners and skippers from all parts of the world, in addition to clients across New Zealand.

Delighting our boaties!

See the latest from our leading boat builders and industry leaders. Leading brands and the latest technology and innovation will be on show for all boaties to enjoy! Discover the new trends in fishing. Attend our fishing zone seminars. Talk to fishing experts. Get the low-down on everything you need to know to find those fish!


Savoring the bounty from our ocean!

Tempt your taste buds while enjoying this year’s show. The Seafood Fest will ensure a good offering of the tastiest delicacies from our ocean. Enjoy a mouth-watering array of seafood delicacies as we showcase the rich and plentiful bounty from our ocean.


Showcasing our water sports environment!

There is entertainment galore on the water too! Local clubs and organisations, Coastguard, Surf Lifesaving and more will provide on the water entertainment and activities for all to enjoy. Education, understanding, awareness and entertainment will be the benchmarks of the Water Sports section of the show for 2015.


Celebrating our marine life!

Find out from industry experts, all about our marine life and how we are working hard to protect and nurture this world for all to enjoy. The Coastal Marine Field Station has become a major centre of marine research excellence in the Bay of Plenty region and will be joined by other industry experts at this showcase event.

Just a taster of what’s happening at this years show…

Hawaiki Rising

Be sure to arrive at 9:30am as Saturday’s festivities are launched in truly special style, with the Hawaiki Rising leading the open ceremony. We are truly privileged and honored to have this Waka, steeped in history as part of this years show and can’t think of a better way to get the ball rolling on the Saturday. This is a sensational and not to be missed opportunity to see a Waka in action, celebrate the heritage behind the marine industry.

Free Jet Ski Rides

What’s better than a ride on a jet ski? How about a free ride on a jet ski! This year thanks to Action Sports Direct you can do just that! You can find the Jet Ski launch location on the site map. (14th & 15th only)

Free Dragon Boat Rides

Jet Ski’s a bit too fast & furious? Not to worry, enjoy a change of pace with our free Dragon Boat rides courtesy of BOP Dragon Boat Club and travel in authentic and vintage style. You can also locate the Dragon Boat launch location on the site map. (15th only)

Who Lives in a Pineapple Under the Sea?…

SpongeBob SquarePants!!! Be sure to keep an eye out this year for everyone’s favourite sponge riding a sea biscuit! on Saturday 14th. That’s something you don’t see everyday!

Ted the Surf Lifesaving Dog

Dogs are said to be man’s best friend and in the case of Ted, that has never been truer. Trained as a surf lifesaver Ted is quite simply brilliant and will showcase his unbelievable array of skills as part of a simulated surf and rescue demonstration on Saturday 14th bringing a whole new meaning to the term ‘doggy paddle’!

Marine Life

The true stars of the marine world have to be the wild life. In celebration of this, we are offering you the opportunity to get up close and personal with a whole host of marine creatures including Sharks, Pufferfish and Seahorses and much more, this is perfect for all ages, kids or adults.


Keep the kids entertained and give yourselves a breather/time out with our Kidzone. With a pirate ship bouncy castle on the 14th & 15th that will leave the little ones arrready for bed!



A Tauranga kayaker has landed a place in the Guinness Book of World Records

A Tauranga kayaker has landed a place in the Guinness Book of World Records after his 24-hour sea kayak effort was confirmed this week.

Kayak fishing guide Tim Taylor took on the endurance record having already secured records for being the youngest and the quickest to kayak around New Zealand in a solo voyage.

The 24-hour record was secured on April 16 this year after Tim paddled from Salisbury Wharf in Mount Maunganui to Cathedral Cove and back again overnight.

In all the trip covered a distance of 214km – well beyond the previous record of 194.1km set by American Randy Fine in 1986.

Fine also holds the world record for continuous Eskimo rolls, but Tim's now moving in a different direction altogether, seeking new records in K1 paddling.

“I've decided to move over to K1 racing because there's not really any New Zealand males that are doing any good at the moment,” says Tim.

“You've got the girls, such as Lisa Carrington, going to the Olympics, but none of the boys are doing any good, so I thought it might be something I could handle.”

Bay of Plenty kayaker Lisa Carrington won gold at the 2012 Olympics in the K1 200m, and is currently world champion in the K1 200 and 500m.

“It's a completely different style of paddling to go into,” says Tim, “so I'm having to re-learn everything and start from the bottom again.”

Tim is currently training on the Wairoa, and racing on the blue lake (Lake Tikitapu) near Rotorua.

He had his first race last weekend, in a kayak he's had only three weeks, and came last in the open men's division.

“It's a lot harder to paddle than anything else I have ever done,” admits Tim.

His years of sea kayaking experience, endurance fitness and reading waves, currents and open water conditions doesn't prepare him for any of the 1000m, 500m or 250m K1 disciplines.

“I'm having to change from endurance fitness to explosive fitness and power-based stuff,” says Tim. “I'm having to re-build the whole body, so it's a lot of time in the gym.

“I've got to put on a lot of muscle mass. If you see the boys they are just massive, pure power.

“I was about 83 kg when I did that world record and my trainer says I have to put on at least 15kg, getting up towards 100kg.”

News that the world record is official was received in an email from Guinness at 6am on Thursday, and Tim is also expecting a certificate later.

Asked if he's going to defend his record, he answer is an emphatic “no”. “They are welcome to it,” he says. “If they are better, then great. I'm sure someone will [beat it].

“You could go a lot bigger if you got the perfect conditions – paddling in those sorts of conditions at night time is really difficult, and that's why I wanted a nice easy ride more than anything.”

Tim's record attempt was accompanied by a group of people on board the 13.2 metre Tauranga-based charter vessel Klingon, which supplied Tim with food and drink during the 24-hour paddle up and down the coast.

There were seven people on the boat because of the strict Guinness requirements for evidence of record attempts, including independent witnesses and timekeepers.





Frigate helps stricken yacht

Posted at 8:53am Tuesday 15 Sep, 2015

A New Zealand Defence Force frigate has come to the aid of a yacht in the north Tasman Sea.

The yacht, skippered by a 78-year-old man, was on a two-week sailing trip out of Brisbane.

Crew from HMNZ Te Kaha approach the stricken vessel Mahi in the north Tasman Sea. Photo: Supplied.

Commander (CDR) Simon Griffiths, Commanding Officer of HMNZS Te Kaha, says the yacht Mahi got into difficulty recently when it suffered a leak around its rudder stock and started to take on water.

The yacht's skipper activated the boat's emergency beacon, and Australia's Joint Rescue Coordination Centre picked up the distress call and relayed it to vessels in the yacht's vicinity.

Te Kaha, which is sailing to Southeast Asia to participate in an international maritime warfare exercise, was around 180 nautical miles south of the yacht when she received the distress message.

The stricken vessel was drifting around 490 miles east-north-east of Brisbane and 250 miles southwest of Noumea at that time.

CDR Griffiths says the ship raced towards the yacht's location at best speed soon after they received the message.

The frigate's Seasprite helicopter was launched to locate the yacht and establish communications with its skipper.

Once Te Kaha arrived on the scene, a team of three personnel including an engineer and a medic visited the stricken vessel using one of the frigate's rigid hull inflatable boats.

“What was supposed to be a two-week trip for the skipper had turned into five weeks,” explains Simon. “During that time, the yacht had been both becalmed and battered by storms.

“The yacht's two masts were damaged during the storm and it was down to its last set of useable sails.

“By the time our team got on board, the skipper had run out of food, though he managed to get the leak under control.

“Our engineer managed to repair the leak. We also stocked him up with 10 days' worth of food including military ration packs, fruits, milk and even some Weetbix and Marmite. We also filled his fuel tanks with 80 litres of diesel.”

The ship's medic also checked the yacht's skipper.

“Despite his recent ordeal, he was in good health and very good spirits,” he adds. “He was extremely grateful for the assistance we gave him and was confident he could now get himself and his yacht back to Brisbane.”

Te Kaha provided the skipper with the latest weather forecast and information from Joint Rescue Coordination Centre before leaving the yacht.



Vessels breach fishing laws

Posted at 4:12pm Wednesday 05 Aug, 2015 

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) have completed almost five weeks of fisheries patrols in the high seas of the South Pacific.

Compliance off3icers from MPI boarded and inspected 19 vessels during the operation, which was supported by Navy patrol vessel HMNZS OTAGO and a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion surveillance aircraft.

Tuna is targeted by many foreign flagged vessels between June and September each year. 

Half-a-dozen of the 19 vessels inspected were found to be in breach of the conservation and management measures set by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC).

These breaches mostly related to vessels not reporting their catch properly. The WCPFC put in place these measures so fish stocks and the associated marine environment are protected for years to come.

“These patrols support the management and safeguarding of the Pacific region's valuable fisheries resources,” says MPI Compliance Director Dean Baigent.

“Both the NZDF and the MPI are very pleased with the successful outcome of these patrols,” adds Maritime Component Commander Commodore John Campbell.

“By patrolling these waters, we are helping to clamp down on illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing which helps to protect the livelihoods of communities in Pacific Island countries as well as in New Zealand.”

As the vessels were inspected in international waters, New Zealand had no authority to detain or arrest them.

However, MPI reported any breaches back to the country the vessel is flagged to and the country is then required to investigate these breaches and report back to New Zealand and the WCPFC.

This year's patrols covered international waters adjacent to the exclusive economic zones of Australia, New Caledonia, Fiji, Matthew and Hunter Islands, Tonga, Niue, the Cook Islands and New Zealand.

The first phase of the patrols involved Australia, France and New Zealand and marked the first time the three countries have conducted fisheries patrols together.

The second stage was conducted in the high seas south of the Cook Islands and involved New Zealand only.

Between June and September each year, many foreign-flagged vessels target the highly migratory fish species, predominantly tuna, in the waters adjacent to member-countries of the WCPFC.

The main target for many of the vessels that were inspected was albacore tuna, which fetches approximately USD$1,200/tonne.

They also land smaller amounts of yellowfin and bigeye, which fetch higher market prices.



$12m waterfront revamp plan look set to polarise opinion

Simon Marshall, owner of Maui Ocean Products, would like to see investment in the waterways before improving the Tauranga Waterfront. Photo / George Novak

Simon Marshall, owner of Maui Ocean Products, would like to see investment in the waterways before improving the Tauranga Waterfront.  Photo / George Novak

The backers of a planned tertiary campus in Tauranga have welcomed the announcement that $12 million could be spent improving the waterfront and beautifying city streets.

The plan has been welcomed by new city tenants Trustpower, which will be moving into its new offices, currently under construction, this year.

But a local business owner says for the waterfront to be vibrant improvements first need to be made to the waterways.

On Wednesday, Tauranga City Council's elected members voted 6-3 to invest $12 million in the waterfront, subject to consultation.

Projects include creating three public accesses to the water from The Strand, either steps or pontoons, turning the Northern Reclamation carpark into an empty green space suitable for events, and beautifying the streets, particularly in Durham St where the new tertiary campus and Trustpower buildings will be situated.

Each of these projects is subject to consultation separately and will have to go through a detailed business analysis.

Suzi Luff, Trustpower's community relations co-ordinator, said the company was supportive of future development of the waterfront.

"It will inject some vibrancy into the city that will attract people, talent and the solid business that comes with it."

But Maui Ocean Products owner Simon Marshall disagreed.

His business had been located on the waterfront for 13 years and he said the waterways needed to be utilised before any developments to the land were made.

Water events brought a city alive with participants and spectators, he said.

Mr Marshall said he would like the council to remove the moorings off The Strand so regattas, waka ama events and other water-based sports could take place.

"You don't just throw $12 million at a park and create a need for it."

University of Waikato deputy vice-chancellor Professor Alister Jones said the proposal would be great for people attending the new university campus.

"It will bring people and businesses into the CBD, it is a good move.

"The better environment we create, the more connected the people are and the more we have for the students to do, it becomes an interactive place."

Maori oppose plan to delay building of waka house

Tauranga Maori are expected to unite in opposition to the council's plan to further delay construction of the waka house on the downtown waterfront.

"It's not going anywhere fast," said Peri Kohu of Judea-based hapu Ngaitamarawaho.

The council this week decided to spend $12 million to continue the revamp of the waterfront but pushed back the starting date for the waka house by five years to 2021-22.

Mr Kohu said he was disappointed, particularly after the council last year postponed the project by a year, to a new completion date of 2017. The latest council decision pushes back completion of the waka house to 2023 in its draft 10-year plan, with the waterfront's priority for the next three years being the planning, consenting and construction needed to give people access to the water. "We have been disappointed over the last 20 years - it's moving at a backward pace," Mr Kohu said of previous councils' stop-start approach to development of the waterfront.

He said the council's balance sheet mentality was doing the community an injustice. "There is still an element of visionary thinking that needs to happen."

Mr Kohu and other leading Maori want to find a new home for Tauranga's "hidden" waka. The waterfront waka house would replace the obscure Te Urunga (shelter) at the end of The Strand that holds Te Awanui, a waka carved in 1972 from a 300-year-old kauri. He said the council was still learning the ropes.

Mr Kohu was confident they would get support from Maori "right across the board" for a submission to the 10-year plan seeking to bring back the date for construction of the waka house.

Street View: What would you like to see at the waterfront?

"They might need more than $12 million but if they could do what Cairns has done and create a real focus from a sports point of view. I think we need to utilise the water."
- Ross Morgan, 60s, Avenues

"I'd want to see that $12 million put somewhere else. How about a train that goes to the Mount? That would be great, especially with the cruise ships coming."
-  Helen Kensington, 63, Merivale

"Maybe some paddle boats or something. It would be good to get the dolphin tour from the Mount here as well."
- Jasmine Richards, 20, Mount Maunganui

"My concern is where is everyone going to park that uses it? I'd like being able to access the water."
- Sarah Mills, 23, Cherrywood

"Townsville has rock pools with somewhere to swim in, it works really well there and I think that could work here too."
-Rebekah Binns, 26, Judea

"I like the playground down there, anything like that would be good. Maybe another shop or something else a bit more child-friendly like an ice cream shop."
- Eru Piwari, 24, Gate Pa

"I think we need more parking, there's not much down there anyway. There's already a playground there. It's a lot of money to spend."
- Janelle Kerslake, 17, Greerton

"Some sort of water activities down there, like a water Zorb, or kayaks, or a paddle boat."
- Arna Stacey, 18, Te Puna

"I think that's a whole heap of money that could be put somewhere else. I think it's cool as it is, I don't think it needs anything else."
- Olive Rydlova, 37, Mount Maunganui

"Surely there's something better they can do with that money. I'd rather see them using that money for something else, rather than pumping up the waterfront.
- Georga Lyons, 21, Bureta

- additional reporting John Cousins

- Bay of Plenty Times



Pause of Rena salvage work allows ship 'owners to walk'                               


Last updated 05:00, February 5 2015
On hold: A move to pause salvage work on the Rena has upset community groups, some who want the wreck cleaned up.
On hold: A move to pause salvage work on the Rena has upset community groups, some who want the wreck cleaned up.
A decision by Maritime New Zealand to approve a request by the owners of the Rena wreck to temporarily halt salvage efforts has sparked fears it will allow the owners and insurers to walk.

MNZ yesterday announced it had granted a "pause" on salvage operations pending the outcome of the resource consent application made by the ship's owners, Daina Shipping, to leave parts of the wreck on Astrolabe (Otaiti) Reef. Salvage could be suspended only after the wreck reaches the "benign and practicable" as set out in the application.

Mt Maunganui business owner Nevan Lancaster said pausing salvage was "opening the door" for the ship's owners and insurers to walk.

"Once they have gone, they will never, ever come back. This is what the Government is doing, they are making it easy for them to walk away."

The application under the Resource Management Act is due to be heard later this year.

Lancaster, who owns Cats and Yaks at Pilot Bay, said the Government had shown "incompetency" in dealing with the issue.

"What they should have done three years ago is make the insurance company get rid of the wreck."

He said NZ would be left with a "toxic legacy" while the ship's liability insurers, the Swedish Club, saved millions.

The Rena struck the reef, off the coast of Tauranga, on October 5, 2011. It subsequently broke up, spilling containers and more than 300 tonnes of heavy fuel oil.

MNZ director Keith Manch said the pause was a temporary measure to allow the owners to go through the resource consent application process.

The Government still requires the removal of debris and copper cargo down to a depth of 30 metres.

Tangata whenua representative Awanui Black said ideally salvage would continue until the environment was back to its pre-Rena state.

"That has been what tangata whenua have wanted right from the beginning."

Simon Marshall, from Maui Ocean Products, said stopping salvage work now would be costly for the local economy.

"A lot of New Zealand companies did pretty well out of the grounding, we do get income, which makes up for some of the losses at the start."

Rena owners and insurers spokesperson Hugo Shanahan said Resolve Salvage would be handing over operations to a local firm to engage a NZ-based operator to complete the final stage, using commercial divers to remove debris by hand.

"This work will bring the wreck site to its proposed consented state. The appointment of a local firm is expected by the end of February, at which time Resolve will provide a handover briefing before departing from Tauranga."

- Waikato Times


Temporary pause allowed for Rena salvage                                


Last updated 13:48, February 4 2015
Salvors work on the wrecked container ship Rena on Astrolabe/Otaiti Reef off Tauranga.

Salvors work on the wrecked container ship Rena on Astrolabe/Otaiti Reef off Tauranga.

Tauranga business owners and iwi are disappointed Maritime NZ (MNZ) has supported a request to pause salvage work on the wreck of the Rena.

MNZ today said it had granted the ship's owners a temporary pause on salvage operations pending the outcome of their resource consent application to allow parts of the wrecked container ship to remain on the Astrolabe (Otaiti) Reef.

The pause would only take affect after the wreck reached the state set out in the application, which says the wreck will be left in a "benign and practicable" state.

Mount Maunganui business owner Nevan Lancaster said allowing a pause in salvage was "opening the door" for the ship's owners and insurers to walk away.

"Once they have gone, they will never, ever come back, he said.

"If they are allowed to walk out, that's it, they won't be back and we will never see them again. This is what the Government is doing, they are making it easy for them to walk away."

The application made under the Resource Management Act is due to be heard this year by commissioners appointed by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.

Lancaster, who owns Cats and Yaks at Mt Maunganui's Pilot Bay, said the Government had shown "incompetency" in dealing with the issue.

"What they should of done three years ago is make the insurance company to get rid of the wreck, no ifs, no buts," he said.

"New Zealand is the only country in the world that feels we need to save the insurance company $500 million. Why? I have no idea. We are getting no benefit to this."

"For some reason we have to do what the owners say, it is just pathetic," he said.

The Rena struck the reef, about 25 kilometres off the coast of Tauranga, on October 5, 2011. It subsequently broke up, spilling containers and more than 300 tonnes of heavy fuel oil into the sea.

MNZ said that in allowing a temporary pause, two notices it had imposed would remain in place declaring the wreck a "hazardous ship" (under section 47 of the Maritime Transport Act) and a "hazard to navigation" (under section 100A of the MTA).

The notices – which have recently been updated to reflect the state of the salvage operation – require debris removal, and removal of all known copper cargo, to be completed to a depth of 30 metres, and any release of hazardous substances to be monitored.

Lancaster believed the wreckage will continue to leak toxins into the maritime environment.

"We know there are toxic paints out there that will continue to be released, a heap of rubbish out there that will continue to go into the environment, there are oil spills happening from the wreck," he said.

Pausing the salvage also meant a loss of millions to the local economy, he added.

"We know it's going to come to an end one day, but let's not rush out and let the Kiwis working for this company get fired sooner rather than later - kiss goodbye to a $200 million investment in the region."

Tangata whenua representative Awanui Black said there would be concern over leaving the salvage unfinished.

"When things are left in the air there will always be concern from the community, especially as the grounding and subsequent fallout has had such a huge and wide ranging impact on the community," he said.

Ideally salvage would continue until the environment was back to it's pre-Rena state, he said.

"That has been what tangata whenua have wanted right from the beginning and we have never shifted from that."

Simon Marshall, from Tauranga's marine business Maui Ocean Products, said stopping salvage work now would be costly.

"The best weather we have is in January, February and March, so their best bet would be to do as much as they can during those months," he said.

"They don't achieve a lot in winter due to the swells at the reef."

Marshall's company provided products and services for the salvage operation and had recently settled with the insurers for compensation over loss of income due to the grounding.

"A lot of New Zealand companies did pretty well out of the grounding, we do get income, which makes up for some of the loss of income at the start," he said.

But Hugo Shanahan, a spokesperson for the ship's owners and insurers, said salvors had spent seven months using salvage equipment and divers to clear cargo and other debris from the reef.

"This operation has reached the stage where the scale and type of operation is no longer an efficient or practicable way of recovering debris," he said.

Resolve Salvage would be handing over operations to a local firm to engage a NZ-based operator to complete the final salvage stage using commercial divers to remove debris by hand.

"This work will bring the wreck site to its proposed consented state, which will be assessed as part of the resource consent application process later this year," Shanahan said.

"The appointment of a local firm is expected by the end of February, at which time Resolve will provide a handover briefing before departing from Tauranga."

Shanahan said the wreck site and the reef environment would be monitored in accordance with the requirements of the Regional Council and other agencies.

"There will be measures in place to respond to any release of flotsam or other material from the wreck site," he said.

"This will continue throughout the period required to finally determine the owner's resource consent application and if it is granted, this monitoring would continue for a further 10 years."

Maritime NZ Director Keith Manch said the pause was a temporary measure to allow the owners to go through the resource consent application process.

"Maritime NZ accepts that it is not reasonable to require further salvage work to be carried out, beyond what is required to reach the wreck state set out in the application, until resolution of that process," Manch said.

 - Stuff


Crew largely responsible for Rena grounding - report

Published: 5:00PM Thursday December 18, 2014 Source: ONE News

Human error was to blame for the grounding of the cargo ship Rena off the coast of Tauranga, a final report says.

New Zealand's worst maritime environmental disaster occurred when the ship struck the Astrolabe Reef in October 2011, spilling 350 tonnes of oil from its ruptured hull. It later broke in two and the aft section moved off the reef and sank.

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) today released its final report and investigator Rob Thompson says "a number of acts and omissions on the crew's part directly attributed to the grounding".

At the time it seemed inexplicable that a ship sailing on calm waters in an area familiar to crews could run aground at full speed.

Chief commissioner John Marshall says "the Rena's passage plan from Napier to Tauranga did not meet required standards or best industry practice".

The grounding was not in any way attributable to equipment failures and crew deviated from the planned route to save time, "directly contributing to the grounding", the report says.

"The Rena's crew were not strictly following company procedures with respect to monitoring the progress of the ship, in relation to known dangers to navigation," says Mr Marshall.

And the report says the failure of the crew was not an isolated case with similar omissions made before.

Questions have been raised about the maritime education and training of the Filipino crew.

Transport Minister Simon Bridges says there were certainly practices that were substandard and needed to be lifted.


Businesses settle with Rena owners

Updated at 7:21 am on 18 June 2014

The Rena hit the Astrolabe Reef off the coast of Tauranga and sank in October 2011, sparking one of New Zealand's worst environmental and maritime disasters.

The Rena's bow was dismantled in February 2013.

The Rena's bow was dismantled in February 2013.

Photo: RNZ

Fifty-three businesses formed the Business Action Group Rena and on Monday went into two days of negotiations with The Swedish Club, the insurers for the Rena owners Diana Shipping Company. The group was trying to avoid taking their claim to court.

Business Action Group Rena spokesperson Bruce Crosby said after the negotiations they had reached a satisfactory settlement.

He said the deal was confidential and would not disclose how much the 53 businesses would receive.

It is also understood a number of individual claimants, including businesses and iwi, have also reached a settlement.

Mr Crosby said before the negotiations began Monday morning that whatever he was given, after costs, it probably would not amount to a fifth of his claim.

Maui Ocean Products owner Simon Marshall wants the Rena's insurers to pay him for the business he lost.

Maui Ocean Products owner Simon Marshall

Photo: RNZ / Natalie Mankelow

Another business owner, Simon Marshall from Maui Ocean Products, said he did not expect to be offered anywhere near what he actually lost.

He was claiming $120,000 after his customers stopped buying goods for their commercial and recreational boats.

The number of businesses involved in the Business Action Group Rena claim was much larger but many have given up due to the time and money involved.

Mr Marshall estimated he had spent about 400 hours preparing financial information for the claim.

The wreck of the Rena is still on the Astrolabe Reef, and the Bay of Plenty Regional Council is taking submissions on a Resource Consent application to leave the wreck and its debris there.

Businesses fight for Rena payout

Updated at  9:06 pm on 16 June 2014

The container ship hit the Astrolabe Reef and sunk off the coast of Tauranga in 2011, creating a significant oil spill rated as one of New Zealand's worst environmental and maritime disasters.

The Rena - aground on Astrolabe Reef.

The Rena - aground on Astrolabe Reef.


Almost three years on from the sinking, 53 marine and tourism businesses who formed the Business Action Group Rena are still trying to get money they say they are owed.

Maui Ocean Products owner, Simon Marshall, said they expected the insurers to offer a small amount of compensation - but it wouldn't be anywhere near what they actually lost.

The Rena's owner Costamare said it had set up an $11 million limitation fund for compensation, which was the highest amount allowed under New Zealand law. It said it had gone beyond its strict legal obligations.

Mr Marshall, who supplies commercial and recreational boaties with equipment, claimed $120,000 in direct losses, and was expecting a David and Goliath battle.

The Business Action Group Rena alleged the Swedish Club wanted to have all land-based insurance claims struck out.

And it said this meant that only businesses who could prove they were directly affected by the oil would retain standing in the action.

Caption: Maui Ocean Products owner Simon Marshall wants the Rena's insurers to pay him for the business he lost.

Maui Ocean Products owner Simon Marshall wants the Rena's insurers to pay him for the business he lost.

Photo: RNZ / Natalie Mankelow

Nevan Lancaster, who owns kayaking business Mount Cats and Yaks, claimed up to $7000 after he had to shut down for two months.

He said getting the information and money together to go forward with the claim had been difficult.

But Mr Lancaster said he can't give up.

At another of the small businesses seeking a payout, Papamoa Beach Holiday Park, owner, Bruce Crosby, told Morning Report that whatever he was given, after costs, probably wouldn't amount to a fifth of his claim.



Businesses hurt by Rena

By John Cousins

2:00 PM Wednesday May 28, 2014

Maui Ocean Products owner Simon Marshall.


Maui Ocean Products owner Simon Marshall.

Business owners have been effected by the Rena grounding in 2011.

Papamoa Beach Top 10 Holiday Park
ParkOne of Tauranga's biggest holiday parks lost hundreds of thousands of dollars when TV pictures of oil-covered beaches caused a massive drop in business.

Papamoa Beach Top 10 Holiday Park spokesman Bruce Crosby said their phones went nuts from people cancelling their Christmas bookings as soon as news of the grounding came out.

The flow-on effects from the Rena disaster, including lost follow-up bookings from holidaymakers, meant they were only now getting back to where they should be, he said.

He said it was the attitude being shown by the Rena insurer that got up his nose. "I can't believe why they are playing hard ball with us ... we suffered honest losses."

He said that no matter what they ended up getting back from the ship's insurer they would still lose because of all the stress and effort that went into trying to persuade people not to cancel their bookings and reversing the impact of the publicity.

"We are not down massively, but why should we suffer."

They were able to back up their compensation claim using records going back many years, he said.

Fishing 4 Less
A Tauranga bait and tackle retailer was forced to put his business onto wheels rather than go bankrupt because of the Rena disaster.

Ash Douch was trading as Fishing 4 Less in Newton St, Mount Maunganui, when the grounding threw his business into a downward spiral.

"It was like someone had thrown a switch," he said of the suddenness of the impact.

All the money and time he had invested in the business since 2009 was "lost absolutely" when customers stopped coming through the doors because no one was taking their boats out.

Sales dropped two-thirds to only $8000 for October after Rena grounded on October 5, 2011. The figures were similarly bleak for November when turnover was down $12,000 on a year earlier, and bottomed out in December when sales dropped $19,000. By February 2012 he was still trading $9000 behind the previous year and, as the slowdown hit in winter, Mr Douch opted to cut his overheads and become a mobile trader rather than go bankrupt, branding himself as Centurion Fishing Supplies.

A competitor at the other end of Newton St, Big Fish, closed up within 12 weeks of the Rena hitting Astrolabe Reef. And the jitters continued long after the grounding. News reports of containers falling into the sea had a knock-on effect because boaties could not claim on their insurance policies if they hit a container, he said.

Fat Boy Charters
A Tauranga charter boat operator watched helplessly as his business dropped by half in the aftermath of the Rena grounding.

It was lean pickings for Russ Hawkins of Fat Boy Charters as a flood of cancellations came in and he was forced off the water because of insurance problems if he hit a container or his engine sucked up floating oil.

"People were cancelling way in advance," he said.

Mr Hawkins is claiming $25,000 compensation through the High Court when his earnings dropped by 50 per cent in the four months following October 5.

The unknown factor was how much better his balance sheet would have looked if the Rena had not taken a shortcut. It grounded during the Rugby World Cup match when the country was packed with visitors. "When people are on holiday they want to spend money, but they didn't come here."

The impact on his and other charter boat operators' businesses was also felt during what was traditionally their busiest time of the year.

Maui Ocean Products
The tap turned off Maui Ocean Products when commercial and recreational fishermen abandoned the Bay's offshore waters after the Rena ploughed into Astrolabe Reef.

Owner Simon Marshall said he was about $150,000 out of pocket from the grounding when nearly all Tauranga's commercial fleet headed for other New Zealand ports, well away from floating oil and containers. Only a couple of boats were left fishing around the Rena exclusion zone.

"It turned off the tap for our business," he said.

Selling to the recreational boating market also took a big hit because of insurance risks if they ventured out into the Bay.

"The whole industry came to a standstill for the summer."

Mr Marshall said the drop in turnover was huge for the first three months and "$150,000 was a hard pill to swallow. It took nearly 12 months to get turnover back to where it used to be. It affected us massively".

Measures to combat the downtown included extra advertising and selling seasonal goods at cost or below cost.

The long-term consequence was that some people who left the area had never returned and trawlers were still encountering debris that ripped their nets along areas of the coast where nothing used to be, he said.


Rena grounding: Failures revealed

Picture: Wikipedia

New Zealand's maritime authority is investigating how shipping around our coasts can be made safer, as a high-level report into the grounding of the Rena reveals an alarming catalogue of issues. The findings of the Transport Accident Investigation Commission's investigation into the catastrophic grounding of the MV Rena, released today, detailed a list of concerns, including those around crew training and international conventions. The TAIC launched its inquiry shortly after the Liberian-flagged containership struck the Astrolabe Reef off the coast of Tauranga at 2.14am on October 5, 2011.

The grounding resulted in the spill of 350 tonnes of heavy fuel oil and hundreds of containers into the sea, temporarily polluting Bay of Plenty beaches and killing wildlife. The Liberian-flag ship's master, Captain Mauro Balomaga, and second mate, Leonil Relon - both trained in the Philippines - were each sentenced to seven months' jail in 2012 but served half the sentence. Delivering the findings today, TAIC Commissioner John Marshall QC said the grounding was not attributable to any equipment malfunction, but rather poor planning and execution.

Rena grounding: Failures revealed

Fly-over shots of the M/V Rena grounded on the Astrolabe Reef on October 8, three days after grounding. Photo: Dudley Clemens via MNZ

The passage plan did not meet standards of best practice, and a shortcut that was taken to reach the Port of Tauranga by 3am - which instead led straight to the reef but only would have saved a minute had it not been there - increased the risk and "contributed directly".There were also failures in the standard of watch-keeping in almost all aspects, the navigating crew were not strictly following company procedures, and monitoring equipment also wasn't used adequately. By the time Mr Balomaga took control of the ship, shortly before the impact, he had received virtually no information about the course. Mr Marshall said fatigue was likely, at least, to have affected performance but there was insufficient evidence to determine if actions attributable to it.

The investigation further found that the navigating crew had not been following the safety management system for at least the six coastal voyages prior to the grounding; that deficiencies had been spotted on the Rena at previous ports overseas; and that international protocols for auditing training standards "lacked transparency".

An independent audit had found Philippines' maritime education, training and certification system did not meet mandatory standards enforced by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The commission recommended that the company which managed the Rena, CIEL Shipmanagement S.A, "evaluate the effectiveness" of its safety management system, and that Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) push, through the IMO, for greater transparency of the system for auditing countries' seafarer training systems.

"They had become routine'

The investigators found that the acts and omissions weren't one-offs, Mr Marshall said."They had become routine, that was the way they were operating and that is an indication of the safety system of which they were operating under, which goes back to the management of the shipping company as well." Of 12 vessels managed by CIEL, the average rate of deficiencies found per inspection under the Tokyo Memorandum of Understanding was 3.4, but the Rena's rate was 6.3. Only two others - the Konstantina (10) and the Garden (11) had higher rates of deficiencies.

"Looking at the wider system, there were issues found with the Philippines training system," he said."However, what we can say is that the International Maritime Organization is trying to address this problem at a global level, because it is a global thing." The commission further recommended that MNZ collect sufficient data on shipping movements around the New Zealand coast, and "monitor and control" the use of virtual aids to navigation around the coast.

A lack of data meant it wasn't possible to make any meaningful analysis to see whether there was any need for ship routing in some form around the coast. However, MNZ director Keith Manch told the Herald ship routing normally occurred in areas where there was a huge amount of traffic, "and there isn't a huge amount of traffic in New Zealand".

"It's not that there isn't enough traffic for ship routing, it's just that the conditions haven't been seen to exist previously for it. "MNZ would consider the option in a new review which would give a comprehensive analysis of factors contributing to risks around shipping. It would also consider the virtual aids suggested by TAIC. Mr Marshall said if a light on the reef "probably would have helped" avoid the grounding, but there were a number of such hazards around the country and the costs and advances in technology had to be considered. A simple chart plotter or plotter integrated with radar came with low cost, and would have visually alerted the bridge to the reef.

Virtual aids were an alternative, Mr Marshall said, but should not be introduced before proper research and a development of standards. Asked whether the investigation would stop a repeat of the Rena disaster happening, Mr Marshall said it would go "some way". "It is going to take time - it's not going to be fixed overnight, and that's why we say in the report that it's a lesson for ship owners."Mr Manch said he believed the grounding had had an impact on safety measures in the wider industry. "People, generally speaking, would have reacted quite carefully to seeing what had happened - this report adds to that." But he felt it was still time that a thorough review be taken of risk issues around the coast.

"You've just got to look at the developments in shipping, the size of ships, and the technology involved in keeping them safe - that's changing dramatically."It's really time to think, are the current regulatory safety settings appropriate, or should they be updated?"  

Recommendations dealt with: ownersResponding to the report, the Rena's owners, Daina Shipping Company, noted the findings had highlighted that CIEL had already dealt with the recommendations."The owners and managers had an extensive engagement with TAIC during its three year inquiry for which they are grateful," the owners said in a statement."It has been a productive exercise and they have already been invited to and did provide input to the commission on areas where they do not agree with the commission's approach."

Transport Minister Simon Bridges could not be contacted for comment. Labour's transport spokesperson, Megan Woods, said the findings showed some serious issues associated with the grounding."The report makes it clear that to adequately protect our environment we need to have strong safety management systems in place," she said."The Rena disaster revealed that we currently do not have adequate systems in place; we need to do more. "The Government needs to do all it can to ensure that disasters like this do not occur again and it needs to accept the recommendations of the report."

Ms Woods added that it took "too long" for authorities to respond to the oil spill, "and New Zealand does not have sufficient response capability if there was to be a larger spill". Green MP Gareth Hughes claimed the findings supported the Greens' call for shipping lanes, and if there had been some form of mandatory form of ship routing, the Rena would more than likely have avoided grounding. "The Rena captain himself has recommended the use of compulsory shipping lanes, and now the Government's inquiry now the Government's inquiry has signalled there is merit in the idea," he said.

"We need to stop delaying action and start taking the steps to prevent another major oil spill on our beaches." Shipping expert John Riding, a senior partner at marine and risk consultants Marico Marine, said the report backed his continuous calls for a GPS-routing system for New Zealand. "There is still in no doubt in my mind that traffic routing in my mind is needed on the East Coast of New Zealand, and that includes approaches to Tauranga and Auckland."He had previously tracked a passenger vessel - a cruise liner 280m long and capable of carrying 2500 people - going straight through the Mercury Islands.

Collision course The Rena had left the New Zealand port of Napier at 10.20pm on October 4, 2011, bound for the Port of Tauranga. The master, Mauro Balomaga, had given an estimated time of arrival at the Tauranga pilot station of 3am the next day. According to the TAIC report, Balomaga calculated the estimated time of arrival by dividing the distance to go by the Rena's normal service speed. The calculation did not account for the unfavourable currents that normally prevailed down that stretch of coastline.

After departure from Napier, he learned from notes on the chart of the unfavourable currents, and then authorised the watchkeepers to deviate from the planned course lines on the chart to shorten the distance, and to search for the least unfavourable currents.The Rena's second mate, Leonil Relon, took over the watch shortly after midnight on October 4. He calculated that the Rena would arrive at the port of Tauranga pilot station at 3am at the ship's then current speed. Times for ships entering and leaving Tauranga Harbour are limited by the depth of water and the strength of the tidal currents in the entrance channel.

Tauranga Harbour Control informed the second mate that the latest time the Rena could take the harbour pilot on board was 3am. The planned course to the Tauranga pilot station was to pass two nautical miles north of Astrolabe Reef before making the final adjustment in course to the pilot station.The second mate decided to reduce the two miles to one mile in order to save time. The second mate then made a series of small course adjustments towards Astrolabe Reef to make the shortcut. In doing so, he altered the course 5 degrees past the required track and did not make an allowance for any compass error or sideways "drift", and as a consequence the Rena was making a ground track directly for Astrolabe Reef.

Meanwhile, Balomaga had been woken and arrived on the bridge to prepare for arrival at the port. He and Relon discussed preparations for arrival at the pilot station. Balomaga then assumed control of the ship, having received virtually no information on where the ship was, where it was heading, and what immediate dangers to navigation he needed to consider. During this period of handover no-one was monitoring the position of the ship.

Rena grounding: Failures revealedAt 2.14am, the Rena ran aground at full speed on the reef. Picture: SafetyAtSea

The road ahead
An application by the owners to leave much of the wreck of the Rena will be heard by a panel of independent commissioners appointed by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council in the first half of next year. It had been earlier expected that the application for resource consent to leave what remains of the ship would be referred directly to court but, in an announcement earlier this month, the owners and insurers have opted to take a different path.

Rena grounding: Failures revealed

MV Rena after she split in two, January 8, 2012. image courtesy Maritime New Zealand Source: gCaptain

Part of the wreck, including its cargo and much of the surrounding debris, has been removed from the reef off the coast of Tauranga, in a costly salvage operation which began when the ship struck the reef.The owners' decision followed a review of the regional council's technical report, which outlines a number of conditions for consideration should consent be granted. Source : NZ Herald  SOURCE: DMNC