The largest ever review of marine qualifications and operational limits conducted by Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) has begun.
Director of MNZ, Catherine Taylor, says the review – a first for the New Zealand maritime sector – aims to ensure that its qualifications continue to meet the needs of the modern maritime sector.
“This will be a wide-ranging review taking 2 years. It will make recommendations for improvements across maritime rules that impact upon seafarer qualifications and operational limits.
“We want our qualifications structure to be simpler, and without barriers to those seeking employment in the industry, to ensure that New Zealand can attract skilled people to the industry, which is suffering from a worldwide skills shortage.
“People in the industry can be assured that their existing qualifications will be recognised as they are integrated into the new framework, and that the high standard of qualifications for which New Zealand is known will continue.”
Facilitating the review will be Project Manager Bridget Carter, whose background includes managing significant projects for various organisations in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.
Bridget says the review will form the basis for proposing changes to:
- Maritime Rule Part 32 (ship’s personnel – qualifications)
- Rule Part 20 (operating limits)
- Rule Parts 31A, 31B, 31C (crewing and watchkeeping)
- Rule Part 34 (medical standards)
- Rule Part 35 (training and examinations).
She says any proposed changes that emerge from the review should contribute to the following outcomes:
- Qualifications that are trusted and respected, both domestically and internationally.
- Alignment between qualifications and operational limits.
- Efficient and effective pathways for attaining maritime qualifications.
- A framework of qualifications that avoid creating any unnecessary barriers to employment, and which facilitate the advancement of personnel with the appropriate skills and competencies.
“Critical to the success of the review will be input from the industry and other interested parties,” Bridget says.
“Whatever options are put before the industry must be robust and well-thought-through. There will be a lengthy consultation process, which will be underway by July. I will be keeping in touch with interested parties on our progress, so that those affected are kept fully informed.”