A brand new Whangārei-registered fishing boat has played an important milestone in New Zealand's maritime industry.

The Karearea is the last boat owned by New Zealand's almost 1200 commercial operators to transfer to the new Maritime Operator Safety System (MOSS).

MOSS was introduced on July 1, 2014, with Maritime NZ running a gradual process to help make the change from the old safety system to the new as smooth as possible for the industry.

"It has been a successful, five-year process," Maritime NZ deputy director of compliance, Pelin Fantham, said.

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This week, Fantham presented Karearea owner Penwarden Holdings Ltd with its certification in a small ceremony on Whangārei Harbour.

She congratulated Penwarden for completing the transition and bringing its fishing vessels, the Bilyara and the new Karearea, into MOSS.

"MOSS was designed to make it clear that an entire maritime operation, not just the vessel, needs to be examined to ensure all the safety risks are identified and managed.

"As a result it has helped to improve safety in the maritime industry and has strengthened the relationship between Maritime NZ and operators,'' she said.

"Transitioning from the old system has been one of the most significant changes in the maritime sector for in the past 15 years.

"We recognise that this has been no small feat for operators, we greatly appreciate their efforts and have worked closely with them to help the transition process be as straightforward as possible.''

Penwarden Holdings Ltd general manager Sam Penwarden said the task first seemed daunting but proved to be smooth sailing.

"I'd like to thank our local Maritime Officer, Juan Schulz, and Heather Allen at Maritime NZ's head office for all their support," Penwarden said.

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"Our MOSS entry was a swift and efficient process, as was registering the new vessel into the ship registry.

"As a maritime operator we know our operations best. MOSS allows us to develop our own safety systems specific to our operations, while having good oversight from Maritime NZ. It has the balance right and helps us operate more safely."

Karearea, a trawler designed to fish the cold-water scampi fields off New Zealand's deep south, was built in Adelaide and arrived in Whangārei in February. It is registered with Whangārei as its home port.