Marine pests prompts hull cleaning rule rethink

Published: Thu 21 Mar 2019 02:54 PM
Wednesday 20 March 2019
The Bay of Plenty public are being asked for their views on whether a single set of vessel hull cleaning rules should be developed to help stop the spread of marine pests across New Zealand’s four busiest boating regions.
For several years, the Bay of Plenty, Northland, Auckland, and Waikato regions – alongside the Ministry for Primary Industries and boaties from all over – have been working together to stop the spread of unwanted marine pests like Mediterranean fan worm hitchhiking on vessel hulls.
Greg Corbett, Bay of Plenty Regional Council Biosecurity Manager says while Biosecurity New Zealand manages national rules to minimise the risk of new pest species arriving on vessels from overseas, the regulations for (mainly Kiwi-based) vessels moving around within coastal waters vary from region to region.
“Given our four northern-most regional councils (Northland, Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty Toi Moana) are also collectively home to the country’s biggest boating populations, we think creating better, consistent rules across them is a crucial part of how we respond to the growing threat of marine pests,” he says.
Corbett says New Zealand’s coastline and rich, diverse marine life has long been at the heart of our shared national identity, but as the population – and an associated increase in boat movements – grew, so too did the risks of marine pest spread.
“These pests threaten our incredible coastal playground and its underwater life, including kaimoana. They also pose considerable risks to our tourism and aquaculture industries.”
Corbett said there are a number of potential options ranging from a requirement for a clean hull at all times, only when moving or only when moving to specially identified places, and each option has its pros and cons.
The four northern councils believe there are good reasons for shared local rules governing vessel movements and pests and it’s important they hear what their respective local communities think before advancing the initiative further.
“We’d like to encourage as many people as possible to take this unusual opportunity to have a say on a local authority issue that traverses several different regional boundaries,” says Corbett.
A discussion document outlining the different options, including their pros and cons, can be found on the Bionet website, along with the opportunity to give feedback online:
The two-month feedback period runs from Monday 18 March until Friday 24 May 2019.
Corbett says all the feedback will be reported back to each of the four councils around the middle of 2019 and guide future decisions on whether a single set of vessel hull cleaning rules should be developed.
“Before going down that road, any such proposal for new rules would need to be agreed to by each council, and would follow a formal public process to provide an opportunity for public input.”
Background information about a variety of marine – and other pests – is available online via or

Next in New Zealand politics

National supporting primary sector growth
By: New Zealand National Party
Government supports collective bargaining for film and screen
By: New Zealand Council of Trade Unions
WTF? There’s a giant oil rig on the horizon
By: Greenpeace
Housing Minister says unpublished meeting 'not a secret'
Auckland Council declares climate emergency
By: Auckland Council
Insurance taskforce to deal with skyrocketing premiums
Speech: Primary Sector Discussion Document
By: New Zealand National Party
Mobile Health Clinic for healthier rural communities
By: New Zealand National Party
Primary Sector Visa to provide certainty for rural employers
By: New Zealand National Party
National proposes increased penalties for biosecurity risks
By: New Zealand National Party
Shane Jones writing cheques the regions can’t cash
By: New Zealand National Party
Supporting a vibrant forestry workforce
By: New Zealand Government
Feds finds useful policy ideas in National’s paper
By: Federated Farmers
Feds applauds Budget’s farming investments
By: Federated Farmers
NZ primary industry exports seen rising 7.1% this year
By: BusinessDesk
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media