Red X iconGreen tick iconYellow tick icon
CategoryHealth and Safety
Approved byVice-Chancellor, February 2006
Date policy took effect1 August 2023
Last approved revision25 September 2023
SponsorChief Operating Officer
Responsible officerDirector, Health, Safety and Wellbeing
Review date1 September 2025


The University of Otago is committed to providing a safe workplace for staff, students, and visitors. The use of boats is recognised as an area of high-risk operation.

This policy is designed to provide a framework for the safe operation of a vessel to protect the safety of those individuals involved and to ensure compliance with the Maritime New Zealand Legislation and requirements.

The operational requirements of small boats is further defined in the University of Otago Code of Practice for Small Boats (<7m).

Organisational scope

This policy applies to all boating operations for vessels owned, operated or chartered by the University for the purposes of research and teaching. This includes students who are authorised to operate small boats for the University.


For the purposes of this policy, means Code of Practice for the operation of small boats at the University of Otago (<7m)
Departmental Boat Officer
Maritime New Zealand
Marine Operation Safety System
Maritime Transport Operating Certificate
Maritime Transport Operating Plan
New Zealand Transport Agency
As defined by the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015
Person conducting a Business or Undertaking
Small boat
A motorised boat less than 7 metres in length
International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watch keeping for Seafarers
University Boat and Dive Officer


  1. Introduction

    1. To ensure that the University of Otago Safe Boating Policy is complied with, the following responsibilities and accountabilities are defined:
      1. All vessels are required to operate under the Marine Operations Safety System ( MOSS ), specifically the University of Otago MTOC .
      2. All vessels must have an individual Marine Transport Operating Plan (MTOP) approved under the Maritime Transport Operating Certificate ( MTOC ) requirements. All vessel MTOP s must be reviewed and updated at least annually and after any incident or near miss.
      3. All vessels used by University staff or students for University business must be operated under this policy the University Code of Practice for the operation of small boats ( COP ).
  2. Responsibilities and accountabilities

    1. The Officers of the University of Otago are responsible for:
      1. Knowledge and understanding that various sections of the University undertake boating activities in relation to research and teaching.
      2. Knowledge and understanding of the Health and Safety controls in place to manage the risks and hazards associated with boating activities for all vessels.
      3. Monitoring the University’s compliance with the controls in place by way of reports to Council.
      4. Identifying and requiring improvements and further information in relation to the operation of all boats.
    2. The University of Otago as the PCBU is responsible for:
      1. The provision of boats, associated equipment and resources to meet the requirements of the COP and Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) legislation, for the tasks and operations being undertaken.
      2. Compliance with the operating requirements as specified by the COP and MNZ legislation.
    3. The University of Otago Director of Health, Safety and Wellbeing and UBDO are responsible for:
      1. Maintaining the University of Otago Safe Boating Policy, COP , MTOC and MTOP to meet the requirements of the MNZ legislation and rules.
      2. Managing the COP certificates of competency issuing and authorisation.
      3. Providing training and support to departments on the safe operation of all boats.
      4. Reviewing and approving cruise plans and operational plans for all University boat operations.
      5. Conducting audits and investigations into boat operations and reporting to senior management on levels of compliance and safety.
      6. Notification and communication with MNZ in relation to any boat matters.
      The University of Otago Director of Health, Safety and Wellbeing and UBDO have the authority to revoke cruise plans and certifications of competency in order to cease at-risk operations.
    4. Pro-Vice-Chancellors and Heads of Service areas using small boats are responsible for:
      1. Ensuring Heads of Departments ( HOD s) have sufficient resources to achieve the standards required by the COP , MTOP and MTOC requirements.
      2. Receiving regular reports on boating activities and levels of compliance.
    5. HODs are responsible for:
      1. Providing the Departmental Boat Officer (DBO) with the support and resources for compliance with the COP , MTOP and MTOC requirements.
      2. Monitoring and reporting on levels of compliance with the requirements within their department.
    6. Departmental Boat Officers are responsible for:
      1. Maintaining departmental boats to the required COP , MTOP and MTOC requirements including inspections and auditing functions.
      2. Conducting the practical assessments of staff and students for boat operation as per the COP , for final authorisation by the University Boat Officer (UBDO).
      3. Maintaining the required documentation for MTOP and MTOC approvals.
      4. Reporting any incidents as soon as possible to the UBDO and participating in investigations as required.
      5. Submitting cruise plans to the UBDO prior to any boating activity.
      6. Completion of audits and reports as required by the UBDO .
    7. University staff and students are responsible for:
      1. Compliance with the MOSS , MTOC , MTOP , this policy and COP at all times.
      2. Following the instructions of the UBDO .
      3. Submitting cruise plans to the UBDO prior to field trips.
  3. Fatigue management

    1. Expedition voyages
      Voyages conducted over 14 consecutive hours or more, are classed as expedition voyages and must comply with the following fatigue management guidelines:
      1. A minimum of 10 hours rest in any 24-hour period. This must not be broken into more than three periods, one of which shall be at least 6 consecutive hours in length.
      2. A maximum of 80 hours working in any cumulative work period.*
      3. Within 14 days, a 48-hour consecutive rest period must be taken.
      4. All expedition voyage transits must have a separate cruise plan lodged and approved by the UBDO detailing crew rotation and fatigue management.
      *A cumulative work period is defined as the last 7 calendar days.
      • a cumulative work period is refreshed after a 24-hour break.
      • if a 24-hour break is not taken within 7 days of consecutive work, and 48-hour break will refresh the work period (up to a maximum of 14 days when a 48-hour break must be taken).
    2. Towing vessels
      1. In any cumulative work day (legally defined as no more than 24 hours) staff or students must limit their total working day (boating and driving) to a maximum of 13 hours when a portion of this work requires towing a vessel on public roads.
      2. After 13 hours of towing, a minimum break of 10 consecutive hours must be taken.
      3. When towing a vessel, drivers must take a 10-minute break every 2 hours or rotate between qualified drivers.
    3. The above requirements do not apply in the case of emergency or in other overriding operational conditions. These requirements are based on the STCW 2018 regulations and the NZTA work time requirements.

Related policies, procedures and forms

Contact for further information

If you have any queries regarding the content of this policy or need further clarification, contact:

University Boating and Diving Officer (UBDO)

Back to top