Project supports Pacific safety improvements

The presentation of vital data on shipping hazards to Vanuatu, Tonga and the Cook Islands is an important first step toward significantly improving maritime safety in the South West Pacific, Land Information Minister Louise Upston said today.

“The risk maps – created by Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) – are a world first, combining a range of information to show where maritime safety improvements are most needed,” Ms Upston says.

LINZ and Pacific island countries will use the maps to help develop new navigational charts as part of a five-year programme for improving the region’s maritime safety in the region. New risk maps will also be created for Niue, Samoa and Tokelau.

“South Pacific countries rely heavily on shipping for trade and transport, and cruise tourism is of growing economic importance.

“Until recently, many of these countries had not been surveyed for shipping hazards, and lacked charts that meet the needs of modern shipping.  This information means that charts can be developed for where they’re needed most. Saving time and money while improving maritime safety.”

New Zealand Aid is investing $5 million in the five-year programme for improving maritime safety in the South Pacific.  The programme will be carried out by MFAT, LINZ and the Secretariat for the Pacific Community.