It is with regret that we report the deaths of two former members of our company.

Ian Mackay K.St.J., LLB,  Master Mariner, Barrister and Solicitor, passed away on 15 August. He obtained his Masters Certificate when with Port Line. On coming ashore he obtained his law degree and spent some time working for Chapman Tripp after which he founded P&I Services representing both the Standard and UK Clubs.

He was founder Chairman of the NZ Branch and Former President of the Maritime Law Association of Australia and New Zealand, Chief Arbitration Commissioner for New Zealand, and first Chairman of the Maritime Safety Authority of New Zealand. He was the founding Patron of the Merchant Navy Association

Captain Dudley Neill spent his whole working life at sea and passed away on 20 August. He came to New Zealand in the 1960’s and was a deck officer and master with Holm & Co. He was appointed first Marine Superintendent with New Zealand Railway when they took over the management of their ships. He later joined ABC Container Line as Marine Manager. When that company finished trading he went back to sea as master with Milburn Cement.  After retiring from that company he acted as pilot at the Manukau harbour for the LPG tankers until his final retirement.

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From Lloyds List Friday 23 September 2016

by Paul Slater

The Hanjin bankruptcy came as no surprise as its attempts to restructure and reduce its commitments to the very large number of chartered-in ships failed.

The complexity of the effects of the bankruptcy on its creditors, customers and other shipowners is immense and highlights the weakness of owners chartering ships to companies that don’t own or control the cargoes.

Intermediary companies have caused huge problems in the past mainly, in the dry bulk sector, but have been worsened by the alliance structures that the container operators have formed and endlessly reformed.

Hanjin is the tip of the iceberg for shipping in the container and dry bulk sectors as they service both ends of the manufacturing chain that is part of the global economy, which is deeply troubled.

The financial state of the shipping industry continues to decline in most sectors as the global economy itself is declining.

The problems the industry faces have been created by the shipping companies, both public and private, grossly over-ordering new ships in the false belief that the global economy would continue to grow at the rates seen in the last decade. The reality is the opposite and most of the new ships were delivered into a stagnant economy that has continued to decline.

Shipping continues to carry more than 90% of physical world trade but as this has declined, so have the freight rates of the ships that carry the trade. There is a chronic oversupply of ships in many sectors and the average age is historically low.

Most companies, whose ships do not have period charters with cargo owners, are now faced with freight income from the spot markets that barely covers ship operating expenses.

Debt service is not being covered and cash reserves for future maintenance and drydocking are also not being funded. Neither are the new requirements including ballast water and cleaner fuel systems.

Charterers and cargo owners need to respond to these issues and at least pay freight rates enabling shipowners to operate safe ships maintained properly with experienced crew.

It is patently ridiculous for cargo owners to charter ships from the spot markets that are creating insolvency and bankruptcy among shipowners. It is also absurd that shipowners should accept the low rates that don’t cover the costs of operating the ships when they know from past experience that cargo owners can afford to pay more.

Ship managers should not be forced to lower standards or reduce quality or safety and investors are ill-advised to push for cost reductions in these essential areas.

The present oversupply of ships will continue throughout this decade and into the next one until ship recycling removes the surpluses and shipyards resist the temptation to over-build again.

With the demise of most shipping banks, facing huge losses from their careless lending in the recent past, new debt will be very difficult to find. Also the new investors, comprised mostly of private equity, hedge funds and venture capital Funds, now face inevitable losses which cannot be avoided.

Wall Street investment banks continue to prop up struggling shipping companies with expensive debt that takes priority security and further undermines the existing equity and debt, but enables the company to pay the legal and bank fees.

There will be further collapses in the container sector as some companies that falsely believe “bigger is better”, have incurred huge debts and are losing money.

The rush to build super-sized container ships is a disaster, as there are not enough cargoes available to fill them and they have even fewer back-haul cargoes.

The previously large ships have been cascaded down into the feeder trades, for which they are too large, and numerous smaller ships await the scrapyard.

The depth of the global economic slowdown is clearly evident in Asia.

From China to South Korea, Vietnam into the Philippines and even into Japan the slowdown in the economies of the US and Europe and the ongoing wars in the Middle East have reduced the demand for manufactured goods and with it the demand for ships on both sides of the manufacturing chain.

Many of the new investors that have come into shipping in recent years had no understanding of the workings of the shipping industry but were simply focused on the false belief that ship values would rise, and they would make large profits quickly.

Most of the publicly traded companies they invested in are now barely solvent and have no hope of generating profits from either their operations or the sale of ships.

Faced with the inevitability that many of the shipping markets will not improve, the struggling companies should sell all their ships and close down their operations.

Paul Slater is chairman and chief executive of First International.

Maybe port companies in New Zealand who are spending large amounts of money to enable larger ships to berth should take note of these dire predictions.


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Merchant Navy Day,  03 September 2016, was celebrated at various ports around New Zealand. In Wellington, a service was held in the Hall of Memories, National War Memorial attended by 12o invited guests. Outside the New Zealand Red Ensign was flown together with the New Zealand National Flag. Twelve flags were paraded into the service including two from past NZ shipping companies. A number of wreaths were laid including one from the NZ Company of Master Mariners.

Merchant Navy Day 2 Merchant Navy Day 1

In the United Kingdom the Chamber Of Shipping CEO, Guy Platten has welcomed the announcement today of the recipients of the Merchant Navy Medal for Meritorious Service;  “I am delighted to congratulate all the recipients of this new national award. It is testament to the great dedication which they have shown throughout their careers and their commitment to the industry in which they work.

“That the medal is now a national award is recognition of the commitment and dedication of seafarers, and the contribution of the shipping and maritime industries to our island nation.”

Recipients of the medal have received the award for a range of meritorious service including: providing operational achievement through leadership, management and sensitivity in a migrant rescue in the Mediterranean in 2015; dedication to seafarer training and removing barriers for those entering the industry; devotion to welfare work and fundraising support to maritime charities and young seafarers.

Commenting on the announcement the Shipping Minister, John Hayes remarked “Merchant Navy seafarers and those serving in the fishing fleets give a tremendous service to our island nation and it is only right that they are recognised for the vital role they play, often in difficult and dangerous conditions. Coinciding with Merchant Navy Day, it provides an opportunity to remember the sacrifices of our brave seafarers of the past and to show our appreciation for British shipping today and in the future.”

David Dingle CBE, Chairman of Maritime UK remarked  “Congratulations to all the well deserving recipients – the new national award is fitting recognition of the dedication and achievements of the recipients and their service to the UK maritime industries. This national award is also testament to the importance of our sector and those who work within it, to our island nation as a vital part of our heritage and of our modern economy – supporting jobs, driving innovation and enabling trade.”

The recipients of the medals are:
· Captain R H Barker, for services to the Merchant Navy.
· Mr L A J Dalrymple, for services to the welfare of seafarers.
· Captain S Harrison, for services to the shipping and ports industries.
· Captain N J Jeffery, for services to the promotion of Merchant Navy careers.
· Mr G T Jones, for services to the Merchant Navy and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.
· Mr R J Jones, for services to the welfare of seafarers.
· Captain P J McArthur, for services to the Merchant Navy.
· Captain D S McCallum, for services to the Merchant Navy.
· Captain N McIntyre, for services in the rescue of refugees.
· Mr M F Morgan, for services to the Merchant Navy and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.
· Captain P D Peters, for services to the welfare of seafarers.
· Captain P Rentell, for services to the Merchant Navy.
· Captain R Towner, for services to seafarer certification and training.

The Merchant Navy Medal (MNM) has been awarded annually by the industry for meritorious service since it was established in 2005. This year following a campaign by the awarding committee, the medal has been elevated to become an official State Award, supported by a Royal Warrant and a ceremony for the recipients will take place in November at Trinity House.


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The Wellington Branch hold monthly meetings at Bay Plaza Hotel, Oriental Parade, commencing 1200, Speaker 1210 and light luncheon 1240 on the following WEDNESDAYS during 2016.

In the past year a number of meetings were attended by wives and guests of members where the speakers subject was of interest. We would extend the same invitation this coming year.

14 September             Commander Des Tiller who is the project director to build a $473m                                           ice capable tanker to replace HMNZS ENDEAVOUR.

12 October
9 November               Evening function

Please contact Secretary John Williamson   to confirm your attendance the previous day.


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Marine consultant / DPA

Good knowledge of MLC,ISM & ISPS systems and regulations
Would suit semi retired Master
part time / Full time

Call for a chat

Applicants for this position should have NZ residency or a valid NZ work visa.

Dennis Nisbet
Managing Director
(+64) 21 398 945


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A major collision over the weekend involving two containerships off Ningbo, China caused severe damage to both ships and fire on board one of them. No serious injuries to the crews of either vessel were reported.

The collision involved the Maersk Line-owned containership Safmarine Meru and the Northern Jasper, a German-owned containership.

Maersk Line confirmed in a statement provided to gCaptain that the incident occurred early Sunday morning (May 8 local time) approximately 120 nautical east of Ningbo. The collision caused severe damage to the Safmarine Meru and a fire broke out. Its crew of 22 people abandoned the vessel shortly afterwards.

A review of the both ships actions before the collision shows a complete lack of understanding of the Collision Regulations probably caused by inexperience. When will the regulators realize that experience can only be gained at sea with a long apprenticeship and all the BRM waffle and time spent at Nautical Colleges will not replace on the job training.

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The legal position of the ship’s Master when tackling the day-to-day pressures of today’s shipping industry, will be the subject of this year’s Cadwallader Debate, organised by the London Shipping Law Centre, Maritime Business Forum.

The debate, to be held at the Lloyd’s Building in the last week of October, will be chaired by the Lord Clarke of Stonecum-Ebony and will be attended by over 400 delegates from across ship owning, ship management, insurance, law, class and regulation.

Entitled: The Master Under Attack –What is the Legal Position?, the debate will discuss the problems Masters face and suggest possible solutions. The problems include:

Erosion of the Master’s Authority

Increase of the Master’s responsibility

The Master as a legal ‘hostage’

The powerful position of charterers

The global vulnerability of the Master

External interference

Bullying and harassment by authorities in the port

The demands of modern technology

Suggested solutions include the need to support the Master; the need to reinforce his authority – or reduce the liabilities; and the need to consider carefully, the consequences of maintaining the status quo by doing nothing.

Professor Cadwallader was a teacher of maritime law to many international students at University College London (UCL) between 1963 and 1982. In tribute to his memory and his contribution to the advancement of knowledge in maritime law, the Cadwallader Lecture was established by London Shipping Law Centre (LSLC) Founder and Chairman, Dr Aleka Sheppard in 1998. Over the years, these prestigious occasions have brought the key maritime players together in a neutral forum for open discussion of the concerns of the industry regarding legislation, thus enabling the sharing of ideas within a friendly intellectual debate. These debates have directly or indirectly engendered further dialogue and have led to action being taken on matters affecting the interests of the industry and the protection of the marine environment. The Cad Lectures and the London Shipping Law Centre’s monthly events have raised the awareness of shipping professionals in safety matters and corporate responsibility beyond mere compliance with regulations.

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Volume 2 No 2 Dec 1938

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This item appeared on gCaptain website 29 January 2016


The sinking of the Greek tanker released an estimated 63,000 tones of foul-smelling black fuel along the Galicia coast and forced the closure of the country’s richest fishing grounds.
As gCaptain reported earlier this week, Spain’s Supreme Court on Tuesday sentenced former captain Apostolos Mangouras to two years in prison over the disaster, overturning a previous ruling clearing him of criminal responsibility. Tuesday’s ruling found Mangouras guilty of recklessness resulting in catastrophic environmental damage and opens the door for damage claims against both the captain and the insurer.

The Greek tanker sank off Spain’s northwestern coast in 2002, causing the release of some 63,000 tons of oil into the sea and fouling thousands of miles of coastline in Spain, France and Portugal.

“This decision represents the dying gasps of a 14 year old attempt to deflect blame onto the shoulders of an octogenarian man, who has been cleared in the court of world opinion and by his peers,” commented ITF seafarers’ section chair Dave Heindel. “Thankfully it is likely to be as unenforceable as it is illogical. This innocent man cannot again be made to sit needlessly in jail.”

Heindel concluded: “The Mangouras case was one of the worst examples of the kneejerk criminalisation of seafarers. The ITF, like many other organisations and individuals, was able to support him during that ordeal. This latest piece of victimisation reminds us that we must all remain vigilant to protect seafarers from these injustices.”

Over the years, the main point of contention in the ongoing case has been the poor state of the 26-year-old tanker and the refusal by Spanish authorities to allow the ship to dock after it was damaged in a storm – the ship broke up and sank within days of the refusal.

In 2012, classification society ABS, which certified the seaworthiness of the vessel, was cleared of any liability in connections to the disaster. The suit was considered by many a “precedent-setting” case that would determine whether classification societies can be held responsible by third parties in an incident such as this.

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ON DECK Volume 2 No 1 September 1938

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