This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Official Information request 'Surf Life Saving Approval'.


TEL +64 4 473 0111   FAX +64 4 494 1263 
Level 11,1 Grey Street, PO Box 25620, Wellington 6140 
New Zealand 
31 March 2023 
Mike Andrews 
Our ref:  F32201    
[FYI request #21913 email]  
By email 
Dear Mike 
Official Information Act request: information regarding Surf Life Saving NZ (SLSNZ) approval 
Thank you for your email of 25 February 2023, in which you requested the following: 
“Can you supply a copy of the current document/s that: 
1. Authorizes Surf Life Saving NZ to operate motorized craft (i.e. IRB) outside of 
patrolled beaches including on any other water ways (inland or otherwise). 

2. Provides an exemption to Surf Lifes Saving NZ to have a Maritime Operator Safety 
System (MOSS), outlining any caveats for such (i.e. Directors 
Exemption/MOU/Agreement etc). 

This is to establish any regulatory conditions imposed on Surf Life Saving New 
Zealand in operating IRBs for purposes other than patrolling beaches and related 
recreational life saving competitions.” 

We have considered your request in accordance with the Official Information Act 1982 (the 
In regard to question 1, we do not hold a document that specifically authorises SLSNZ to 
operate motorised craft outside of patrolled beaches, including other waterways, therefore we 
are refusing this part of your request pursuant to section 18(e) of the Act on the grounds that 
the requested information does not exist. However, we note that circumstances such as the 
recent emergencies associated with flooding events might occur that require SLSNZ to 
operate outside their specified limits. In addition, in the event SLSNZ IRBs (or jetskis) are 
required for a specific event outside the prescribed limits of the SLSNZ’s Safety Case 
document, such as for SLSNZ internal events, or as a support vessel for an aquatic event etc, 
an exemption must be applied for and issued, in order for the IRBs to be used for this 
Other circumstances where SLSNZ may travel out of a marked patrol area or the immediate 
surrounding area (zone bounded/marked by flags) are: 
•  That SLSNZ have specific concerns/want to ensure safety for swimmers further down 
the beach. 
•  As part of a response or placing the IRB/RWC in a position for more effective 
observation of activities.

Maritime Rule (MR) Part 91.6(1) does not allow for any vessel, without reasonable excuse, to 
exceed 5 knots within 50m of another vessel or person in the water, 200m of the shore or any 
structure, however there are exceptions to this: 
•  MR 91.6(5)(d) allows certain vessels (e.g. emergency response craft) to exceed 
those speed requirements if their duties cannot be performed in compliance with 
those speed requirements. 
•  MR 91.6(6)(e) allows the abovementioned types of vessels to travel within 200m from 
shore or any structure in emergency situations. 
In regard to SLSNZ, duties would include the action of breaking through surf, rescue, and 
also rapidly moving from one position to another to better observe a specific concern. These 
aspects of their duties can be considered as reasonable excuse not to comply with 91.6(1).  
Attached is the document you requested at question 2, which exempts SLSNZ from the 
•  The requirements in Maritime Rules 19.3, 19.41, 19.42, 19.43, 19.45, 19.62 
(Maritime Operator Safety System), 40G.5(1)(2)(3) and 40G.6(1) 
You have the right to seek an investigation and review by the Ombudsman of this decision. 
Information about how to make a complaint is available at or 
freephone 0800 802 602. 
Please note that this response (with your personal details removed) may be published on 
Maritime New Zealand’s website. 
If you wish to discuss this decision with us, please feel free to email 
[email address]  
Yours sincerely 
Anna Dwen 
Senior Advisor, Ministerial Services 

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