New Zealand High Commission Nuku'alofa, Tonga
Tonga and New Zealand Cement Maritime Safety Partnership
On 24 October 2013, Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, the Hon Samiu Vaipulu, and the New Zealand High Commissioner, Mark Talbot, announced a new maritime safety partnership.
“Maritime safety is a non-negotiable for Government,” said Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure Samiu Vaipulu. “I welcome this new partnership, which focuses on a series of practical initiatives to improve the safety of passengers travelling by sea.”
The partnership encompasses a range of initiatives identified by the Ministry of Infrastructure’s Marine and Ports Division (MPD). These include efforts to improve ship surveys, to enhance vessel compliance with safety requirements, to update maritime legislation, and to create an electronic ship registry.
“New Zealanders are sadly all too familiar with tragedies at sea”, said Mark Talbot. “So we are delighted to work alongside the Ministry of Infrastructure in seeking to improve the safety of passenger ferries. A special feature of this new partnership is that it creates linkages between the Ministry of Infrastructure and Maritime NZ, meaning the experts can support one another directly.”
The New Zealand Government is investing T$850,000 over the next two years to ensure the success of this new partnership.