Changes to pilotage in New Zealand

Integrated Marine Group is constantly rallying to make procedures easier for visiting yacht crews. One such matter has been the differing pilotage rules around the country, which made it almost impossible for Superyachts to visit some of the most spectacular areas of our country. With the recent announcement of a unified structure to this scheme the team at IMG are pretty happy and hope they can encourage more yacht owners to visit!

Bay of IslandsAuckland

In late 2010 Auckland adopted a new pilotage policy which has since been enforced around the country! In addition to the general scheme for commercial vessels there will be a new Superyacht class for vessels over 40M but up to 1000GT or 90 metres loa (and that do not carry more than 12 passengers or take cargo).


The new approach uses a two part assessment method. The first is the national (generic) assessment where the Captain proves their competence in ship handling, pilotage conditions and various other factors. This is a straight forward matter of submitting qualifications to Maritime New Zealand for assessment which should be commenced at least three months prior to arrival within New Zealand. There is then the local assessment taking place on two transits in the pilotage area (or just one in the Bay of Islands). A pilot and the local Harbourmaster will come on board and assess the Captain through practical demonstrations, plus written and oral components. The Captain will then be issued an exemption which is valid for six months whereby they can come and go freely without need for a pilot (although cannot be used in darkness or during period of restricted visibility.)


All this is fantastic news for Yachts and Superyachts coming to New Zealand. Not only will a universal process make the rules simpler it will save money and time in the long run, which should make those yachts owners and Captains very happy! Please contact us via  or on +64 9 377 2142 for an information pack.

Abel Tasman
Cathedral Cove