The inaugural annual national forum on the 2016 New Zealand Port and Harbour Marine Safety Code took place in July 2017 in Wellington. The 2016 code replaced a code originally put in place in 2004. Participants in the forum included the 2016 code partners: port companies, regional councils/unitary authorities, Maritime New Zealand, as well as maritime industry representatives, and other government agencies with an interest in maritime safety.
The forum represented an important waypoint in the journey from the development, implementation and review of the 2004 code, to the development and implementation of the 2016 code as a key part of the regulatory system that seeks to manage port and harbour risks.
This article is a case study of the journey that led to the forum. It introduces co-regulation as a regulatory mechanism, canvasses why ports and harbours need to be regulated and identifies the key players in the regulatory system. It describes the journey to the development of a coregulatory approach in which there is active acceptance of shared accountability for delivering agreed outcomes. It concludes with reference to the key design features of the co-regulatory mechanism and views of its effectiveness in the context of good regulatory practice. In addition to being a case study of the journey to co-regulation, it is a story of central and local government agencies working together effectively to address risks of national significance.