Harbour Masters Office

The ARC has just announced that superyacht captains in charge of vessels up to 1000 grt are now able to apply for a pilot’s exemption, to allow them to freely roam the NZ coastline.

Maritime Rule 90 (the Rule) prescribes the requirements for the training, examination and certification of pilots and the areas where the carriage of a pilot is mandatory. The Rule also prescribes the training and examination for the issue of a Master’s Pilotage Exemption. The issue of a Pilot’s Licence or Master’s Pilotage Exemption is the responsibility of the Director, Maritime New Zealand.

This training scheme provides a pathway for the master of a superyacht to undertake a training scheme, examination(s) and assessment(s) for the issue of a Master’s Pilotage Exemption for a named superyacht. Under this training scheme a Master’s Pilotage Exemption may be obtained for superyachts 1000 gross tonnage or less, and 90 metres length overall or less, and may be issued for the parts of each of the following pilotage areas:

  • Bay of Islands
  • Auckland
  • Marlborough Sounds
  • Fiordland
  • Stewart Island ( The internal waters of Stewart Island became a compulsory pilotage area following the review of MR Pt90 in 2010)

The training scheme manual sets out the required standards and is used to record the training, examination(s) and assessments(s) successfully completed by the applicant. It may be used to demonstrate completion of certain requirements for more than one of the pilotage areas.

Once issued the Master’s Pilotage Exemption will allow that master to operate the named superyacht in defined areas within the pilotage area(s) shown on the exemption. The operation of the vessel by the master will be subject to the privileges and conditions shown in this manual and those shown on the exemption. The master will be required to comply with relevant bylaws, harbour master directions, maritime rules and any navigation safety operating requirements issued by the harbour master.