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Empowered for development

Steve Rushbrook Harbour Master New Zealand

Steve Rushbrook never predicted he would become a Harbour Master, let alone in one of the southernmost ports in the world. His career pathway to becoming a Harbour Master for New Zealand’s Otago Regional Council shows what is possible for those with less conventional backgrounds.

The Englishman, who has played and worked on the water his whole life, spent 10 years in the Royal Navy ‘lower deck’ before joining the Port of London Authority.

“I was empowered by people who gave me an opportunity to develop myself. Harbour Master David Phillips in London was one in particular I’m indebted to.”
 

Stever Rushbrook

Steve completed the Lloyds Maritime Academy’s Diploma in Harbour Masters, an international course for Harbour Masters developed in partnership with the IHMA and the UKHMA.

Developing his skills went hand in hand with a determination to adapt and learn from those around him.

“I’ve always prided myself on getting to know the work of mariners and pilots, on understanding what the day-to-day role is and what they face. Not having been a master of a vessel is not a reason not to be good at my role.”

He worked his way up to become a Deputy Harbour Master at the Port of London Authority. Then the opportunity in New Zealand arose.

In 2017 Steve became Harbour Master based in Dunedin at the bottom of New Zealand’s South Island.

He is responsible for a big piece of seawater up to 12 miles off the coast, plus Otago Harbour, a 13-mile-long navigable inlet, the drowned remnants of a giant volcano. The harbour leads to the city of Dunedin as well as Port Otago, one of the country’s largest export ports.
 

Steve Rushbrook

Otago Harbour also welcomes up to 130 cruise ships a year, some of the largest in the world as well as Antarctic expedition ships.

“Otago Harbour is tricky navigationally,” Steve says. “It’s a tidal arena with tight turns and narrow points, not unlike the Thames really.

“Maritime traffic in London is off the scale compared to Dunedin, but the technical challenges are similar. Everywhere has its own anomalies, but most things I learned in London have held me in good stead here.”

He also oversees many waterways, bar crossings and inland lakes popular with recreational users.

“A huge percentage of people own a boat in New Zealand, way higher than I was used to previously. Kiwis have a different approach to using the water compared to your average Brit. Jet boating in New Zealand is a bit different than jet boating in the UK.”

Engaging with all those ‘boaties’ has been a big part of Steve’s role.

“Building up education and getting the safety messages across with the public are really key and take up quite a bit of our time.

Social media is an avenue to reach the public that has proved successful for us the last 6 years. My daughter says I should be on TikTok as well, but that might be a step too far for the time being!”

Stever Rushbrook

Steve has brought the role a long way since his arrival.

As is common in New Zealand, he works for the regional council – there is no dedicated port authority. Otago was one of the last areas in New Zealand to appoint a Harbour Master.

“We had a lot of work to refresh safety by-laws, building a team of 3 people, and developing a safety management system. I’m happy that we have also acquired a couple of vessels. You can’t be a Harbour Master without on-water capability.”

He says there is a good network of maritime professionals in New Zealand including the 15 other Harbour Masters. He never feels out of touch with his global network.

“I joined the UK Harbour Master Association and from there I got into the international network and maintained that from here.

“The IHMA is a great way to connect and reach out to like-minded colleagues. I also use it to keep up to date on what’s happening around the world.”

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Latest News & Events

18 June 2024

The International Harbour Masters Association (IHMA) is pleased to announce this year’s award winners, celebrated at the 14th IHMA Congress in May.

The key theme of the 2024 event was The Marine Adventure – Evolving and adapting to change in today’s ports. Tanger Med Port Authority hosted the congress at the Tanger Med Port Center.

Steve Rushbrook never predicted he would become a Harbour Master, let alone in one of the southernmost ports in the world. His career pathway to becoming a Harbour Master for New Zealand’s Otago Regional Council shows what is possible for those with less conventional backgrounds.

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Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, Lagos, Nigeria
OceanWise Charting Water Workshop

Brought to you by OceanWise and Brewzone Africa - Join the first Charting Water Workshop entitled “Harnessing Environmental Data for Hydrography" which is running on the 15th - 16th April 2024 at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel Lagos, Nigeria.

Bringing hydrography professionals together from all over West Africa, this intimate 2-day workshop will provide you with practical knowledge, guidance and best practice. You will enjoy a mix of presentations, round table discussions and training. Our expert speakers will guide you through the latest developments, technologies and methodologies used in hydrography, helping you understand the importance of accurate marine environmental monitoring data to support marine operations and national infrastructure. We will also have a number of key real-world case studies and local experts in attendance to provide some best practice and recent hands-on experiences.

Full details of the developing programme and registration can be found here on our Eventbrite page

Registration is now open. Spaces are limited so please register now to secure your place.

What will it cover?
This workshop will provide you with practical knowledge, guidance and best practice. You will enjoy a mix of presentations, round table discussions and training. Our expert speakers will guide you through the latest developments, technologies and methodologies used in hydrography, helping you understand the importance of accurate marine environmental monitoring data to support marine operations and national infrastructure.

Who is it for and why should I attend?
This is for professionals with an interest in Hydrography based in, or working in, West Africa.
Ideal for individuals from a variety of industries including Ports, Harbours, Inland Waterways, Oil and Gas, Education, Navy, Maritime Authorities, Research and Development etc etc
It offers a friendly and interactive environment to expand your knowledge, network with fellow professionals and collaborate on real-world case studies.

Gain valuable insights from industry experts, share your experiences, and receive a certification of completion on day two

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QE2, Port Rashid, Dubai - Grand Foyer

Harbour Master & Towgae Conference

Hollywood Beach Marriott
Navtech Conference, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Navtech Conference 2023

Attention deep water and ocean towing masters, pilots, fleet management administrators, regulators and navigation operations professionals!

Join us in Fort Lauderdale for the maritime industry’s premier annual navigation forum!

Navtech, 5th and 6th December 2023, Hollywood Beach Marriott, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

  • Learn about developments in navigational best practices, technology and regulation.

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Tanger Med Port Centre, Morocco
IHMA Congress 2024

Join us on a marine adventure in Morocco. The 14th International Harbour Master Congress will take place at Tanger Med Port Centre from 21-24 May 2024. This year’s theme is The Marine Adventure – Evolving and Adapting to Change in Today’s Ports. You are welcome to come along for three days of presentations, deliberations and discussions covering every step of the port call process. On the fourth day, you can enjoy a guided tour of the Port of Tranger Med. To learn more, or to register for the event, please visit the IHMA Congress Website.

 

INTRODUCING TANGER MED

Tanger Med is the 1st port in Africa and in the Mediterranean.

It’s a global logistics gateway located on the Strait of Gibraltar and connected to more than 180 ports worldwide with handling capacities of: 9 million containers, exports of 1 million new vehicles, transit of 7 million passengers and 700,000 trucks on an annual basis.

CARGOES HANDLED

CONTAINER TRAFFIC: SURPASSING TEH 8 MILLION MARK

In 2023, Tanger Med Port processed 8,617,410 TEUs*, marking a growth of 13.4% compared to 2022. This remarkable achievement, equivalent to 95% of the port's nominal capacity, was accomplished 4 years ahead of targets.

The outstanding performance is attributed to the successful operations of terminals TC1 and TC4, managed by Maersk-APM, and the continuous development of terminal TC3, operated by Tanger Alliance (A joint venture owned by Marsa Maroc with a 50% stake, in partnership with Eurogate holding 40% and Hapag Lloyd holding 10%). Additionally, 2023 witnessed record productivity levels, surpassing monthly peaks of 800,000 TEUs handled.

RO-RO TRAFFIC ON THE RISE
In 2023, 477,993 trucks were processed, representing a 4.1% increase from 2022. Industrial product traffic saw a significant surge of 14.3% compared to the previous year, offsetting a 7.7% decrease in agribusiness product traffic.

INCREASE IN NEW VEHICLE TRAFFIC
The two vehicle terminals in the port complex handled 578,446 vehicles in 2023, reflecting a 21% increase from 2022. This traffic primarily includes 341,758 vehicles for export, produced by Renault factories in Melloussa and SOMACA in Casablanca, along with 176,208 vehicles exported by the Stellantis plant in Kénitra.

RISE IN SOLID AND LIQUID BULK TRAFFIC
Liquid bulk traffic experienced a 6% growth compared to 2022, a total of 9,838,157 tons of handled hydrocarbons. Simultaneously, solid bulk traffic witnessed a 44% increase from the previous year, totalling 581,042 tons processed.

PASSENGER TRAFFIC: RETURN TO NORMAL
In 2023, Tanger Med Port Complex welcomed 2,700,747 passengers, marking a 30% growth from 2022. This traffic has returned to pre-COVID-19 crisis levels.

GLOBAL TONNAGE: SUBSTANTIAL GROWTH
Tanger Med Port Complex handled 122 million tons of goods in 2023, reflecting a 13.6% increase from 2022, with 21% in Import/Export. This recorded global traffic is highest at the Strait of Gibraltar and across the Mediterranean. This traffic also represents more than half of the total tonnage handled by all ports in Morocco.

MARITIME TRAFFIC ON THE RISE
In 2023, a total of 16,900 ships called at Tanger Med Port Complex, marking a 17% growth from 2022, including 1,113 mega-ships (over 290 meters), representing a 16% increase from the previous year.

These results underscore the relevance of the vision of His Majesty King Mohammed VI for this strategic project.
Tanger Med remains firmly focused on the future, ready to face new challenges and strengthen its position as a major logistics hub in Morocco and the Euro-Mediterranean region.

Crown Towers, Perth, Australia
AMPI

For 25 years AMPI has been recognised as the professional body for developing, setting and leading in the evolution of industry standards, safety management protocols and advising regulatory bodies on matters related to Marine Pilotage.

As a globally recognised organisation and partner of the International Maritime Pilots Association (IMPA), we directly contribute to the work of the International Maritime Organisation. With over 260 active pilot members, we have the experience and know-how to develop widely recognised industry guidelines including initial and continual pilotage training standards. AMPI continues to influence the development of world-leading practice and in doing so brings a higher level of safety to the ports and regions where our members operate.

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Latest News & Events

IHMA Congress Award Winners 2024 IHMA announces 2024 Congress award winners

18 June 2024

The International Harbour Masters Association (IHMA) is pleased to announce this year’s award winners,… FIND OUT MORE

Steve Rushbrook Harbour Master New Zealand Empowered for development

Steve Rushbrook never predicted he would become a Harbour Master, let alone in one of the southernmost ports in the world. His career pathway to becoming a Harbour Master for New Zealand’s Otago… FIND OUT MORE

Latest News & Events

18 June 2024

The International Harbour Masters Association (IHMA) is pleased to announce this year’s award winners, celebrated at the 14th IHMA Congress in May.

The key theme of the 2024 event was The Marine Adventure – Evolving and adapting to change in today’s ports. Tanger Med Port Authority hosted the congress at the Tanger Med Port Center.

Steve Rushbrook never predicted he would become a Harbour Master, let alone in one of the southernmost ports in the world. His career pathway to becoming a Harbour Master for New Zealand’s Otago Regional Council shows what is possible for those with less conventional backgrounds.