Cabinet decisions and consultation process around new regime to increase insurance requirements for offshore oil & gas installations announced

Cabinet decisions to strengthen requirements for offshore oil and gas installations to hold increased levels of insurance have been announced by the Associate Minister for Transport, Hon Julie Anne Genter.

Access a copy of Hon Julie Anne Genter’s announcement here(external link).

Maritime Transport (Offshore Installations) Amendment Bill

As part of the proposed new regime, Minister Genter has introduced the Maritime Transport (Offshore Installations) Amendment Bill to provide certainty in relation to the liability of insurers (or, in the case of financial security, the persons providing the financial security) to the Crown, and to other third parties who are affected by the pollution.

The Bill also clarifies that marine protection rules may specify the types of liability that will need to be insured against, and may provide for the insurance or other financial security to cover the cost of well control measures and other costs of implementing marine oil spill contingency plans.

The Bill will be referred to the Transport and Infrastructure Committee following its first reading.

You can find a copy of the Bill and the Departmental Disclosure Statement here(external link).

Amendments to Marine Protection Rules

Changes to the regime will also be made through amendments to the relevant Marine Protection Rules (Marine Protection (Parts 102 and 131) Amendment Rules 2019), specifically: 

  • Working draft of Marine Protection Rule Part 102, which sets out the requirements operators must meet for the Director of Maritime New Zealand to issue a Certificate of Insurance; and
  • Working draft of Marine Protection Rule Part 131, which ensures operators have marine oil spill contingency plans (OSCP) that will support an efficient and effective response to an oil spill.

 Amongst other things, amendments to these Marine Protection Rules will provide for the implementation of a risk-based scaled framework for determining the level of insurance an offshore operator must hold. The amended rules will also set out the increased limits to the maximum amount of insurance or financial security that may be required to be held (i.e. the increased limits will not be provided for in the Bill).

The working drafts of these rules can be found here [PDF, 762 KB].

The current version of these rules are available on Maritime New Zealand’s website.

Maritime New Zealand guidance for industry

The regime will be further supported by industry guidance developed by Maritime New Zealand, which will be finalised once the Bill and the changes to the rules are completed.

Marine Protection Rules Part 102 Guidance:

These guidelines provide practical guidance on applying for issue or recognition of certificates of insurance for regulated offshore installations to meet the requirements of Marine Protection Rules Part 102 (Part 102).

A working draft of this guidance can be found here [PDF, 3.9 MB].

Marine Protection Rules Part 131 Guidance:

These guidelines are for owners of offshore installations that are subject to the requirements of Marine Protection Rules Part 131: Offshore Installations – Oil Spill Contingency Plans and Oil Pollution Prevention Certification (Part 131). They aim to help owners understand expectations of them in areas where the rules leave certain matters to the Director’s discretion or administrative elaboration. Owners should read the guidelines as an aid to achieving compliance with specific areas of the rules, not as a comprehensive guide to compliance with all aspects of Part 131.

A working draft of this guidance can be found here [PDF, 1.8 MB].

Process for consideration of the Bill, Marine Protection Rules and Maritime New Zealand guidance

Consideration of the Bill (by Parliament) and consideration of the relevant rules (by the Minister) are distinct processes and need to be separated.

For this reason, formal consultation on Marine Protection Rules Part 102 and 131 will start after the deadline for submissions on the Bill has passed.

To support those wishing to make a submission on the Bill, however, working drafts of Marine Protection Rules Parts 102 and 131, as well as Maritime New Zealand’s draft industry guidance have been provided: 

  • Working draft of Marine Protection Rule Part 102
  • Working draft of Marine Protection Rule Part 131
  • Working draft of Maritime New Zealand’s industry guidance

If you have any questions about this process please email

Previous amendment and consultation documents February 2017 - January 2018)

Previous consultation documents (December 2016 - February 2017)