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Old 19-06-2013, 02:06   #1
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New Zealand Immigration Officer Making Wild Claims

I am preparing to leave New Zealand and I went to check out.

I have had the immigration officer here tell me that my vessel maybe unsafe because the bolts in the chainplates are stainless and stainless can fail at any time. He explained that racing boats in sydney to hobart race had problems, and somehow that means mine is likely to.

While I believe stainless can fail at any time, I don't think this is a fair claim to make unless there is an xray performed. Almost every boat has stainless steel bolts somewhere, are they all unsafe?

I am also told my boat is unseaworthy because I have potted plants in the cockpit, and bamboo on the deck. Is this really relevant or even true?

Also, this officer informed me he is not a sailor, but does commercial fishing, he knows boats.

Next, they want me to haul out so they can look for cracks in the hull. Obviously I cannot allow it as they may take the boat hostage. Is it common practice to be required to have a fiberglass boat's hull checked with haulout for cracks prior to departure?

I have sailed from california, then all around new zealand and even in 60 knot winds and cook strait. I am a US flagged vessel..

Are these guys pulling my leg because they are bored and have nothing to do, or are they genuinely up to no good? Any experience with customs and immigration in bay of islands new zealand?
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Old 19-06-2013, 02:23   #2
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Re: New Zealand Immigration Officer making wild claims

no they're not bored and no they're not up to no good - unfortunately we're only getting your side of the story. So you're intending to set out into the Tasman sea - one of the toughest seas in the world - in mid winter - with potplants in your cockpit and bamboo on your deck? Maybe they're trying to save you from a Darwin award mate.
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Old 19-06-2013, 02:34   #3
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Re: New Zealand Immigration Officer making wild claims

I don't believe immigration has any jurisdiction here. Customs possibly do and MNZ can certainly perform a Port & Flag State inspection and detain the vessel until it is deemed fit for passage.
What sort of "pot" plants are in the cockpit, I sense some paranoia here.
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Old 19-06-2013, 03:04   #4
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Re: New Zealand Immigration Officer making wild claims

Garden plants only (see picture)

I am not going into the tasman sea, but I have sailed there a lot. I do not mind winter or high winds. I only have one piece of bamboo 6ft long, and it's going below anyway.

As for being deemed fit.. are there guidelines for this? It sounds very subjective to me. I tried to explain that because of endurance limit the metal will not fail due to enough wave cycles, but he didn't even know what endurance limit was.

How can they detain a someone who sailed there on a foreign vessel and has broken no laws from leaving considering my vessel is in better sailing shape than ever? I am foreign and I believe it is up to captain to decide what is safe/unsafe under international laws.

Also, if an inspector hurts themselves inspecting my vessel am I liable?
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Old 19-06-2013, 03:39   #5
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Re: New Zealand Immigration Officer making wild claims

Safety inspections are only required for NZ registered vessels. see UNZUD Customs Fact Sheet
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Old 19-06-2013, 03:54   #6
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Re: New Zealand Immigration Officer making wild claims

I believe they are going by some ships law that says they can inspect foreign ships as well as domestic. There are many more laws than on that yacht list, there are many lists of rules for ships.
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Old 19-06-2013, 04:04   #7
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Re: New Zealand Immigration Officer making wild claims

Neither immigration nor customs have any jurisdiction over foreign flagged vessels departing New Zealand...it was played out in a court case some years ago.
If you want to sink with your cracked fibreglass and bamboo decks...go ahead..
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Old 19-06-2013, 04:12   #8
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Re: New Zealand Immigration Officer making wild claims

Australia is now looking a better option for cruisers
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Old 19-06-2013, 04:42   #9
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Re: New Zealand Immigration Officer making wild claims

Crossing New Zealand (and their nutty rules) off my bucket list.
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Old 19-06-2013, 05:06   #10
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Re: New Zealand Immigration Officer making wild claims

NZ is a fantastic place with great people, well worth a look
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Old 19-06-2013, 05:12   #11
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Re: New Zealand Immigration Officer making wild claims

I think you will find that Australian bureaucracy is much more difficult to deal with than NZ...and more expensive.....
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Old 19-06-2013, 05:23   #12
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Re: New Zealand Immigration Officer making wild claims

I'm sorry but this sound very odd,Were are you departing from and going to ?
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Old 19-06-2013, 05:32   #13
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Re: New Zealand Immigration Officer making wild claims

Quote:
Originally Posted by Albro359 View Post
Neither immigration nor customs have any jurisdiction over foreign flagged vessels departing New Zealand...it was played out in a court case some years ago.
If you want to sink with your cracked fibreglass and bamboo decks...go ahead..
Do you know the case by any chance?

Also, I love NZ, many nice people. The particular official is unfortunate in this case.
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Old 19-06-2013, 06:11   #14
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Re: New Zealand Immigration Officer making wild claims

Quote:
Originally Posted by boat_alexandra View Post
Do you know the case by any chance?

Also, I love NZ, many nice people. The particular official is unfortunate in this case.


get a coastal clearance and check out from somewhere else,sounds like they only have your safety in mind whilst making your life difficult,lots of people with zero experince in unseaworthy boats that these guys normally have to contend with.
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Old 19-06-2013, 06:43   #15
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Re: New Zealand Immigration Officer making wild claims

Quote:
How can they detain a someone who sailed there on a foreign vessel and has broken no laws from leaving considering my vessel is in better sailing shape than ever? I am foreign and I believe it is up to captain to decide what is safe/unsafe under international laws.

Also, if an inspector hurts themselves inspecting my vessel am I liable?
As a general comment, your boats flag in NO way protects you from the application of local laws. You are in their territory , its their rules.

Yes you could liable if the accident was as a result of something negligent on your boat or done by you, up to a court of ( if exists) an infury board to decide.

Most countries have maritime law, that allows boats ( ships) to be detained where there are serious safety concerns. This has nothing to do with NZ certificate of safety for leisure craft.
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