New Zealand Certificate Maritime Operations with Strands in Fishing and Watchkeeping (Level 4)

Also known as Officer of the Watch <500GT Near Coastal / Mate Fishing Vessel Limited (Level 4)

Programme highlights

Are you already working in the maritime industry?

Get the skills and knowledge you need to launch a career as an officer of the watch with this industry-leading qualification.

You will also learn how to work safely onboard and get familiar with navigational operations, compliance and legislative requirements and emergency response procedures.

Choose a strand

You can study watchkeeping, fishing or both.

Watchkeeping strand

Study watchkeeping if you want to get a Watchkeeper Deck Certificate of Competency working onboard commercial vessels less than 500GT operating close to shore in the near coastal limit.

Fishing strand

Study fishing if you want a Mate Fishing Vessel - Limited Certificate of Competency.

Key facts

Start Month(s) April
Study Location(s) New Zealand Maritime School; Online
Level 4
Domestic fees

Click here to see a list of domestic course fees

Youth Guarantee (fees-free*) Not available
Programme Code NZ2513

Watchkeeper strand: Five months (full-time)

Fishing strand: Six months (full-time)

Study Method Blended (on-the-job training, class time and online learning)
Credits 120
International Fees NZD$16,200 (approx.)
Māori and Pasifika Trades Training Scholarship (fees-free*) Not available
Qualification New Zealand Certificate

Entry requirements


Open entry for domestic students

There are no academic requirements that need to be met to enter this programme.

English language entry requirements

Applicants must have sufficient competence in the English language to undertake this programme, which is taught and assessed in English.

Any applicant whose first language is not English may be required to provide evidence of their English language competency.

International students: English language entry requirements

For the minimum English language requirements refer to the requirements set out in the NZQF Programme and Accreditation Rules

International students will generally be required to provide evidence of English language proficiency, for this programme an IELTS General or Academic score of 5.5 with no band score lower than 5 is required. Equivalent acceptable evidence can be seen at the following NZQA link:

Important information

Entry to this qualification is open but completion does not guarantee the award of a Maritime New Zealand license.

All persons wishing to qualify for a seafarer license must also check the Maritime New Zealand prior certification and minimum service requirements for that license. Also: Seafarers Framework which outlines medical fitness requirements and Maritime New Zealand Part 34:Medical Standards

Provisional entry

Students who have attained the age of 20 years and do not hold the minimum entry requirements for a programme will be eligible to be enrolled as a student where their previous educational, work or life experience indicates they have a reasonable likelihood of success. Students who have not attained the age of 20 years and do not hold the required minimum entry requirements for a programme may also be eligible to enrol in exceptional circumstances. Such decisions will be made by the Director/Head of School.

International students

Test your English level to help you plan.

Take our free online English test to get a basic indication of your English level. This will help you understand what programmes you can apply for and what preparation you may require before you start your programme of study.


Book your British Council IELTS test with us.

You will complete your test in one day, plus get free online tuition to help you succeed. We offer paper-based or computer-delivered IELTS. Choose computer-delivered IELTS and get your results in 3-5 days.

Career opportunities

Watchkeeping strand: Work as a watchkeeper deck <500GT in near coastal areas.

Fishing strand: On completion of this programme, you can apply to Maritime New Zealand for Mate Fishing Vessel – Limited certificate of competency.

Programme structure

You will need to complete 12 compulsory courses and the courses related to your chosen strand (120 credits):

Compulsory courses

Level 2

723.221 STCW Basic Safety Training – Basic First Aid (5 credits)

Apply safe work practices and contribute to effective communication and emergency response to first aid on board a vessel.

941.212 Proficiency in Security Awareness (2 credits)

Providing knowledge, understanding and proficiency to personnel intending to work on ships who will not have any designated security duties.

942.210 STCW Basic Safety Training – Basic Sea Survival (5 credits)

Apply safe and sustainable work practices and contribute to effective communication and emergency response on board a vessel.

942.211 STCW Basic Safety Training – Personal Safety and Social Responsibility (PSSR) (3 credits)

Apply safe and sustainable work practices, demonstrate effective communication and emergency response on board a vessel.

Level 4

941.401 Meteorology (5 credits)

Ability to use and interpret information obtained from shipborne meteorological instruments. Knowledge of the characteristics of the various weather systems, reporting procedures and recording systems. Ability to apply the meteorological information available.

941.402 STCW Basic Safety Training – Basic Fire Fighting (5 credits)

Apply safe work practices and contribute to effective communication and emergency response to fire on board a vessel.

942.451 Stability (15 credits)

To maintain vessel stability with a working knowledge and application of stability, trim and stress tables, diagrams and stress-calculating equipment; understanding of fundamental actions to be taken in the event of partial loss of intact buoyancy; understanding of the fundamentals of watertight integrity.

943.446 Controlling Ship Operations – Cargo/MARPOL/Power Plant (15 credits)

To manage the ship by the control of cargo, pollution prevention and power plant operations.

943.447 Navigational Aids and Equipment (10 credits)

Ability to operate safely and determine the ship’s position by use of all navigational aids and equipment commonly fitted on board the ships concerned.

943.448 Watchkeeping (Orals) (15 credits)

To demonstrate knowledge of watchkeeping and ship handling practices and utilize the International Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue (IAMSAR) Manual.

943.449 Navigation at the Operational Level (20 credits)

By the end of the course, the student will be able to plan and conduct a passage and determine a position.

943.450 Passage Planning OOW 500GT Near Coastal (5 credits)

Introduction to Voyage Planning and conducting a passage including position determination.

Courses related to your chosen strand

Fishing strand

943.451 Fishing Seamanship (15 credits)

Apply safe and sustainable seamanship practices on-board a fishing vessel.

Watchkeeping strand

942.452 Proficiency in Survival Craft (PISC) (5 credits)

Operate survival craft and rescue boats.

942.572 Medical First Aid (5 credits)

To enable appropriate medical response to be offered where professional care may be at least a week away.

942.630 Advanced Fire Fighting (5 credits)

To direct fire-fighting operations on board a vessel.

Key dates and timetables

To find the key dates and timetables of this programme, please view the maritime calendar.

Information is correct as at February 2021. Programme fees are based on a full-time student and may vary depending on your final selection of courses that make up your programme. To provide you with an indication of costs, the approximate fees quoted in this publication are based on the indicative 2021 fee structure. The indicative programme fees for 2021 do not include the Compulsory Student Services Fee (CSSF). The CSSF is an additional levy to your 2021 programme or course fees. Further information about the CSSF can be found here Programmes stated as eligible for free study in 2021 are based on the 2020 fee structure and subject to funding confirmation for 2021. All fees are in New Zealand Dollars. You will be advised of the current fees at the time of enrolment. All courses and programmes will proceed subject to numbers and academic approval. Manukau Institute of Technology Limited is accredited under the provisions of the Education Act 1989. International students must study in class and will not be able to enrol for online study options.