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Oil washes up on New Zealand beaches from stricken ship

The ship is carrying 1,700 tonnes of heavy fuel oil Salvage experts were racing to secure a container ship which ran aground on a reef off New Zealand as oil started to wash up on Monday along beaches of a popular holiday resort.The 47,230-tonne Liberian-flagged Rena has been stuck on the reef, about 12 nautical miles from Tauranga on the east coast of the country's North Island, since running aground early on Wednesday.Maritime New Zealand said the weather was about to get worse."Seas are moderate but they will become rough later, there will be poor visibility and we are expecting showers," it said in a statement.The ship is carrying 1,700 tonnes of heavy fuel oil, which has been transferred to secure tanks at the rear of the vessel and is slowly being pumped into a barge. Containers are being lashed more tightly."Salvage experts and naval architects on board are very closely monitoring the ship and have got sensors in place that will provide advance warning if the vessel's structure is coming under too much stress," Maritime NZ said.The first oil from the ship has also been found on nearby beaches with clean up teams moving in to collect the fist-sized ...

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New Zealand oil ship leak raises questions

It has the potential to be a significant environmental impact Bruce Anderson, Maritime New Zealand: "It has the potential to be a significant environmental impact"New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key says "serious questions" must be answered about why a container ship ran aground on a reef off one of the country's most spectacular coastlines.Oil leaking from the Liberian-flagged Rena has created a 5-km (3-mile) slick.An all-out effort is under way to remove nearly 2,000 tonnes of oil from the vessel, which is stranded 12 nautical miles off the coast.Heavy swells and gale-force winds are forecast for the area from Monday.Officials say 20-30 tonnes of oil have spilled into the Bay of Plenty, one of the country's top tourist destinations, since the MV Rena ran aground on Wednesday.If the ship breaks up, it could release 1,700 tonnes of heavy fuel into an area that is home to whales, dolphins, seals, penguins and a variety of other birds. 'Working tirelessly'John Key, who flew over the scene in a helicopter on Sunday, said two inquiries to determine why the ship had collided with the Astrolabe Reef were already under way."People know about the reef, and for it to plough into it for no ...

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Container stuck on reef leaks oil near New Zealand

The leak appeared to be intermittent and coming from damaged pipes A large container ship stuck on a reef off the coast of New Zealand is leaking oil. Maritime New Zealand said on Thursday the leak appeared to be intermittent and coming from damaged pipes rather than from fuel tanks. It added the extent of the spillage was hard to assess given the extensive damage to the vessel.The 775-foot (236-metre) Liberia-flagged Rena struck the Astrolabe Reef, about 12 nautical miles from Tauranga Harbour, early on Wednesday. It has been floundering there since. Maritime New Zealand said the 25 crew on board of the Rena were safe and trying to stop more oil from leaking.The agency added that so far, four seabirds had died in the oil slick, which extends about three miles (five kilometres) from the ship.

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ICS urges New Zealand to retain anti-trust immunity for liner trades

The International Chamber of Shipping urges for changes to maritime competition regime The International Chamber of Shipping has urged the New Zealand government to consider practices in other parts of the world when it considers making changes to its maritime competition regime. The subject of carbon dioxide dominated the latest of Germanischer Lloyd traditional forums to recap the most recent session of the IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee.

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New Zealand backs Pacific-wide maritime safety

42nd Pacific Islands Forum Prime Minister John Key has announced New Zealand will support country-specific initiatives to strengthen maritime safety in the Pacific as part an on-going, region-wide effort."Following a number of serious accidents in 2009, both New Zealand and Australia offered to work with regional and national organisations to improve maritime safety in the region, and this assistance was accepted by fellow Forum leaders," Mr Key says."The sea is effectively the main highway for most island groups - it's the principal way for transporting supplies, and ferry services provide livelihoods and a means of contact for people within the region. It's important we work with local authorities to ensure these trade and transport lines are as safe as possible for those who use them every day."New Zealand has established a dedicated Pacific maritime safety advisor role, and new initiatives will include:Training for personnel operating Tonga's new inter-island ferry service, and support for staff at Tonga's Ministry of Transport;Assisting the Cook Islands establish new safety regulations, and funding a subsidy for safety equipment and personnel training; andAssisting Kiribati with search and rescue capability, including a locally-based search and rescue advisor and small vessel safety equipment."Our support in this area illustrates ...

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ICS surges New Zealand to retain anti trust immunity for liner trades

New Zealand should be consistent with the APEC Guidelines The International Chamber of Shipping has urged the New Zealand Government to consider the benefit of current practices in other parts of the world when it considers making changes to its maritime competition regime.In a paper submitted to the New Zealand Productivity Commission, ICS comments:"We believe that New Zealand should take full account of the recognition given by other competition authorities to the benefits of current practices, such as liner conferences and consortia, in terms of efficiency of world trade, and the implications for national economies and the interests of consumers. We respectfully suggest that this is especially important for nations such as New Zealand that have such a very high dependency on the availability of reliable maritime services in order to maintain their position as major trading economies."ICS highlights current practices in Australia, the United States, China and other Far Eastern countries, pointing out that "whatever might be decided for reasons of national competition policy, ship operators trading to and from New Zealand are part of a global shipping market, and that the various maritime competition rules that apply in the Asia Pacific are currently broadly in alignment."We suggest that ...

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New Zealand probes foreign fishing crew abuse claims

Crews faced physical and sexual abuse aboard vessels New Zealand announced an inquiry Tuesday into allegations that foreign fishing crews operating in its waters faced physical and sexual abuse aboard vessels likened to "slave ships".The government said it had ordered a "comprehensive" probe into the claims surrounding foreign flagged vessels chartered by New Zealand companies to fish in the country's vast exclusive economic zone (EEZ)."We must ensure the use of all fishing vessels operating in EEZ waters supports government objectives," Fisheries Minister Phil Heatley said."This includes protecting New Zealand?s international reputation as a world-leading fisheries manager."An Auckland University report released earlier this month alleged widespread human rights abuses of crew members, predominantly Indonesian, on foreign chartered vessels.The Maritime Union of New Zealand, which has long accused the government of turning a blind eye to the treatment of foreign crews, said the investigation was long overdue."This inquiry will need to shine a light into dark places... but we know in advance that it will confirm what we already know, that disgraceful practices have become the norm and accepted by the industry," union secretary Joe Fleetwood said.The Auckland University report said about 30 foreign-owned vessels operated in New Zealand waters, crewed by ...

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New Zealand Navy could join fight against pirates

Piracy is a growing issue that is of concern to everyone New Zealand navy ships could be deployed to help fight the "growing issue" of piracy in the Indian Ocean.Prime Minister John Key concluded talks with his Indian counterpart, Manmohan Singh, in Delhi yesterday, saying that naval co-operation with India was "always possible" as part of a closer defence relationship with the nuclear-armed superpower."It's a growing issue that is of concern to everyone. If the waterways of the world aren't safe, then that leads to a lot of different issues," Key said."We have a lot of goods that we want to send around the world by ship. It increases the insurance costs for our companies and it's a serious issue for all of us, so it is a place where we can be more vigilant and we can work together."Singh said the time had come for the two countries "to intensify co-operation and consultations on issues relating to the Asia Pacific region".New Zealand and India had a stake in ensuring the safety of sea lanes, of communications, and in combating piracy. Both countries had agreed to "explore possibilities for greater co-operation in these areas", Singh said.A joint statement issued after ...

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