A new model for the role of harbourmaster for Otago
Harbour is being considered by the Otago Regional Council.
For many years, the council has operated the harbourmaster
role in-house, with corporate service director Wayne Scott
taking on the responsibility with backup from Port Otago.
However, the council was reassessing if that was the right
model and examining the option of contracting the service
out, Mr Scott said.
''We're in active discussions.''
Under the Local Government Act 1974, regional councils have
the power to regulate shipping movements for the purpose of
As part of that they were required to manage and maintain the
harbour, including managing any wrecks, and appoint a
A harbourmaster was responsible for ensuring the harbour
safety management system was functioning effectively
independent of commercial interests.
It also had principal operational responsibility for the
safety of navigation in the harbour, and exercising
operational powers with respect to the safety of marine
activities in the harbour and its approaches.
The regional council had advertised for a harbourmaster in
the past but only as a part-time role and had not been
successful in filling the role.
''It's hard to justify full-time employment,'' Mr Scott
saidThe New Zealand Port and Harbour Marine Safety Code said
regional councils could appoint a port company employee as
harbourmaster, as long as any conflicts of interest were
Environment Canterbury employs a harbourmaster, who as well
as covering the ports of Lyttelton and Timaru also manages
the coast and waterways safety section of the council and
acts as the regional on-scene commander for marine spills.
In Southland, the regional council employs a harbourmaster
and deputy harbourmaster, who are also part of the marine
spill response team, act as regional on-scene commander and
handle boating education.