The Marine Legislation Bill was split into two Bills after the Committee of the Whole House, to give effect to amendments to the Maritime Transport Act and the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act.

The Maritime Transport Amendment Bill 2013 promotes maritime safety and marine environment protection through the enhancement of existing measures in the Maritime Transport Act 1994 (external link) , amendments to the Act to implement three international maritime conventions, and amendments relating to maritime conventions that the Act already gives effect to.

The Bill had its first reading in Parliament on 11 September 2012. 

The Transport and Industrial Relations Committee reported back to Parliament on 27 February 2013. 

The Bill had its second reading in Parliament on 20 March 2013.

The Bill went through the Committee of the Whole House on 24 September 2013.

The Bill had its third reading and was passed by the House on Tuesday 15 October 2013.

You can follow progress of the Bill on the Parliament website: 


 The Bill received Royal Assent on Tuesday 22 October 2013.

View Minister Brownlee's media statement on the beehive website
(external link)

 (first reading)

View the Maritime Transport Amendment Bill (external link)

View the Questions and Answers on the Maritime Transport Amendment Bill

Accession to the Protocol of 1996 to Amend the International Convention on the Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims 1976 (LLMC) and accession to the International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage 2001 (the Bunker Convention)

The amendments support New Zealand's accession to LLMC and accession to the Bunker Convention.

The Protocol doubles shipowners’ maximum liability under the LLMC. 

The Bunkers Convention separates claims for damage from ships fuel oil from general maritime claims under the LLMC and for this purpose adopts the increased liability limit of the LLMC Protocol.

Protocol relating to Intervention on the High Seas in Cases of Pollution by Substances other than Oil 1973 (the Intervention Protocol)

In addition, the Bill supports accession to the Intervention Protocol, which authorises a state to take actions necessary to prevent pollution of its waters and coastline by hazardous and noxious substances in the event of a shipping accident.

Introduction of a blood alcohol limit for on-duty seafarers

The Bill also implements recent amendments to the International Convention on Standards for Training, Certification and Watchkeeping 1978 that establish an internationally applicable alcohol limit for merchant seafarers.

Port and Harbour Navigation Safety

Maritime safety in ports and harbours is promoted by amendments to augment existing provisions of the Maritime Transport Act to provide clear authority for the Director of Maritime New Zealand to take action in situations where port management poses a significant risk to the safety of shipping and, potentially, to the marine environment. 

The objective of these provisions is to enable decisive, legally enforceable intervention, should such action prove necessary, and to support the voluntary New Zealand Port and Harbour Marine Safety Code 2004, which provides best practice guidelines for management of maritime safety risks in New Zealand ports and harbours. The Bill does not change the Code’s voluntary status. 

As part of an ongoing process of transferring residual local authority responsibilities under the Local Government Act 1974 to other relevant statutes, the Bill incorporates the relevant provisions of Parts 39A and 43 of the Local Government Act 1974, which govern the local regulation of navigation by regional councils, in the Maritime Transport Act. Regional councils retain their existing functions and powers under Parts 39A and 43. The Bill includes a description of regional councils’ and harbour masters’ roles in respect of maritime safety, neither of which are explicitly stated in the existing legislation, but which are an important aspect of the maritime safety regime for New Zealand’s ports and harbours.

Miscellaneous Amendments

The Bill contains miscellaneous amendments relating to application, interpretation, offence, penalty, procedural and regulation-making provisions, and to the structure and organisation of certain provisions relating to maritime liability.

Cabinet paper

Port Harbour and Navigation Safety Amendments Cabinet Paper June 2008 (PDF, 1.5 mb)

The following Regulatory Impact Statements (RIS) have been prepared for the proposed changes to the Maritime Transport Act:

Maritime Transport Amendment Bill Miscellaneous Amendments - Regulatory Impact Statement

Maritime Transport Amendment Bill Port and Harbour and Navigation Safety

Introducing a Blood Alcohol Limit for on-duty Seafarers

The following National Interest Analysis (NIA) reports have been prepared:

International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage (Bunkers Convention)

Protocol of 1996 to Amend the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims 1976 (LLMC Protocol)

Protocol Relating to Intervention on the High Seas in Cases of Pollution by Substances other than Oil, 1973 (the Intervention Protocol)

Related Links

The Foreign Affairs Defence and Trade Select Committee reports on the three treaties that the NIAs relate to are:

International treaty examination of the International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage (external link)

International treaty examination of the Protocol of 1996 to Amend the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims 1976 (external link)

International treaty examination of the Protocol Relating to Intervention on the High Seas in Cases of Pollution by Substances other than Oil, 1973 (external link)