Presiding at the presentation of an operator safety
certificate for Real Journeys TSS Earnslaw in Queenstown
yesterday are the company's chief executive Richard Lauder
(left) and Maritime New Zealand director Keith Manch. Photo
by Guy Williams.
has become the first passenger vessel
in New Zealand to be certified under a new national safety
After two months out of the water for maintenance and another
week to her test her engines, the ''Lady of the Lake'' will
resume passenger operations today, the day after being
officially certified under the new Maritime Operator Safety
In what is being described as the biggest change in New
Zealand commercial shipping in 15 years, operators must now
develop a safety system covering not only their vessels, but
their entire operations.
Maritime New Zealand director Keith Manch said the system was
expected to increase safety and reduce the number of
boating-related injuries and fatalities in the commercial and
The new regime came into effect on July 1, and about 2000
commercial operators would make the transition to MOSS over
the next four years.
Under the former Safe Ship Management system, operators were
required to use a third party to develop a safety system for
their vessels, Mr Manch said. The new system removed that
requirement and placed the onus on operators to take direct
control of their safety operating practices on a day-to-day
''It enables Maritime New Zealand to ensure that the level of
safety standards are consistent around the country, and it
gives us a much stronger connection with operators.''
Richard Lauder, chief executive of Earnslaw operator
Real Journeys, said it was a ''neat twist of fate'' that the
oldest of its 23 vessels was the first to be certified under
the new system.
The transition to MOSS had resulted in changes to management
systems, rather than physical changes on the vessel.
The new system struck the right balance between ensuring
operators took control of developing and implementing their
own safety system, and Maritime New Zealand having the right
amount of regulatory oversight, he said.
Earnslaw has spent the past two months on its Kelvin
Heights slipway as part of an annual maintenance survey
unrelated to the new safety system. As part of the survey, 22
tonnes of new marine steel has been welded to the vessel's
hull to replace old plating.