KiwiRail charged for Kaitaki ferry loss of engine propulsion

The national regulatory agency Maritime New Zealand has filed one charge against KiwiRail last week in relation to the January 2023 loss of propulsion incident involving the Interislander ferry, Kaitaki.

The Kaitaki lost power on its approach into Wellington Harbour on 28 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, as Maritime NZ said in its statement.

Kirstie Hewlett, Maritime NZ director, said: “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.”

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