KiwiRail charged over Kaitiaki breakdown

Maritime NZ files a charge against KiwiRail following Kaitaki mayday call last year.

Maritime NZ has filed one charge against KiwiRail in relation to an incident involving the Interislander ferry, Kaitaki, which lost propulsion in January 2023.

The Kaitaki lost power on its approach into Wellington Harbour on the 28th of January last year, with more than 800 passengers and 80 crew on board. It then issued a mayday. After regaining limited power, the ferry made its way to port where its passengers were able to safely leave it and come ashore.

Maritime NZ, the maritime and designated health and safety regulator for such incidents, subsequently investigated the loss of power incident.

One charge was filed under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 in relation to the incident by Maritime NZ, against the operator, KiwiRail.

“The investigation took 12 months; it involved reviewing the operator’s organisational information relevant to processes and procedures connected to safety and maintenance management, undertaking interviews, and examining the Kaitaki after the incident occurred,” Maritime NZ director, Kirstie Hewlett says.

“Material was then comprehensively reviewed before the decision was made to prosecute.”


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