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Level 11,1 Grey Street, PO Box 25620, Wellington 6140
31 March 2023
Our ref: F32201
[FYI request #21913 email]
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
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
• 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 www.ombudsman.parliament.nz 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
Yours sincerely Anna Dwen
Senior Advisor, Ministerial Services