Maritime NZ Director Keith Manch said the IMO 2018 World Maritime Day will be recognised at a lunch for organisations involved in maritime safety.

This year's World Maritime Day theme is ‘Our heritage – better shipping for a better future’.

Mr. Manch noted:

We have chosen to use this theme to highlight the work New Zealand is doing on maritime safety capability and capacity in the Pacific, particularly collaborating with our Pacific neighbours to achieve sustainable growth in their maritime sectors.

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The Pacific Maritime Safety Programme (PMSP) is a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade-administered programme, funded through the New Zealand Aid Programme, and developed and delivered along with Maritime NZ.

The programme was established in 2012 after a number of important maritime accidents in the Pacific including some, like the sinking of passenger ferries Princess Ashika in Tonga and the Uean Te Ruoi II in Kiribati. The programme’s long-term goal overall is reducing the risk of loss of life at sea.

Recently, Maritime NZ and MFAT agreed to commit to at least three more years of initiatives and funding of up to $9.5 million for the next phase of the PMSP. This will bring the total invested through the programme to $16 million.

Key initiatives of the programme include:

  • Building and bringing into service an inter-atoll emergency response boat for Tokelau, currently under construction at Christchurch’s ICON Custom Boats;
  • Maritime safety community education programmes in Kiribati and Niue;
  • Development of a programme to assess the risk profile of Kiribati’s passenger ferry fleet and where necessary, conduct audits and support repair work.