Largest ship simulator in the Southern Hemisphere launched

New Zealand Maritime School (NZMS) has upgraded its simulation centre to help students and industry prepare for the future of shipping in the region.

Transport Minister Michael Wood opened the new facility at the school in Auckland’s CBD that operates a total of seven bridges:

  • Two Full Mission Tug and Dynamic Positioning simulators
  • A Full Mission Bridge Simulator
  • Four Part Task Bridges

The new additions to the school’s setup making it the largest Det Norske Veritas-certified ship simulator in the Southern Hemisphere.

At the launch, Minister Wood spoke of the major reliance New Zealand has on the maritime sector, its resilience when faced with COVID-19 and how the introduction of exciting new technology in education helps build a strong talent pipeline.

“We do have an ageing workforce and it is critical we work together across vocational education, Government and the sector itself to make sure we have the offerings that are attractive for people to come into this sector. The kinds of investments that we are here today to get going are a really important part of helping people understand there is a dynamic sector here that they can be involved in,” he says.

The new simulators guarantee a realistic range of experiences are available for trainees.

“It enables increasingly larger ships to enter New Zealand and Australian ports. The ports are building larger and more powerful tug boats, resulting in significant growth of the tugboat fleet in Australasia. The new Full Mission Tug simulators are critical in the training programmes for both new and experienced tug masters,” says NZMS Industry Engagement and Simulation Manager Kees Buckens.

The two additional Part-Task Tug simulators mean NZMS can plan emergency tow jobs for up to four tugs working on one vessel.

The Simulation Centre is the only Nautical Institute-accredited training facility for dynamic positioning training in the country.

Dynamic Positioning is a computer-controlled system that uses a vessel’s propellers and thrusters to maintain its position.

The simulators are also used by the Royal New Zealand Navy for simulation of the new HMNZS Manawanui for type-specific, podded propulsion, ship-handling and dynamic positioning training.

The school acknowledges the valuable contribution of our industry partners in delivering the centre for students.

Dutch tugboat construction company Damen and global technology corporation Kongsberg have generously donated two sets of Rolls Royce control handles.

The control handles match those found in modern tugs, including Sparky, the new electric tug to be delivered to the Port of Auckland later this year.

The consoles in the full mission tug and dynamic positioning simulators were designed in cooperation with the school’s tugmaster training partner Seaways with help from experienced trainers to develop realistic and user-friendly controls.

Transport Minister Michael Wood pilots the simulator under the guidance of Aaron Honis from Seaways while MIT Chief Executive Gus Gilmore watches on.

“Maritime School has partnered with industry to create a leading facility. Our students train on the systems they’ll use in industry so they can make a significant contribution to this vital sector in our economy,” says Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) Chief Executive Gus Gilmore. MIT operates NZMS.

The Full Mission Bridge Simulator is in high demand by the maritime industry too for marine pilot training and pilot- Continuous Professional Development (CPD) for research, port development projects and maritime risk assessment studies.

Since 1924, NZMS has established itself as the premier provider of maritime and logistics training in New Zealand. The school provides a range of short courses, diploma programmes, in-house training services and consultancies throughout the region.

The school offers training programmes for nautical and engineering programmes to the international Standards of Training Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers codes, accepting up to 20 students per strand a year.

NZMS also offers training for yacht masters and for all domestic maritime qualifications under NZ Maritime Rules.

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