Maritime Bill protects crews and coastlines

  • Simon Bridges

Transport Minister Simon Bridges has introduced the Maritime Transport Amendment Bill to Parliament today.

The Bill addresses the risks associated with alcohol and drug use in the commercial maritime sector and takes steps to protect New Zealand’s coastline.

“Under the proposed changes, commercial maritime operators will be required to have drug and alcohol management plans, including random testing for staff carrying out safety sensitive activities,” Mr Bridges says.

“Maritime New Zealand will consider management plans, and have the power to undertake additional drug or alcohol testing, as part of their oversight and monitoring role.

“Many commercial maritime operators already have a drug and alcohol management plan. Making this a legal requirement will help ensure crews are consistently well protected.”

The Bill will also enact changes related to the Supplementary Fund Protocol, which helps protect New Zealand’s coastline by increasing legal liability for companies in the event of a major oil tanker spill.

In addition, the Bill exercises New Zealand’s right to exclude the costs of wreck removal, cargo removal and remediating damage from hazardous substances from liability limits.

The Bill also includes a number of technical amendments.