Ian Howden Cross-examined About Report That Wasn’t Published
& regarding the official report which should’ve been prepared for TAIC – Transport Accident Investigation Commission.
Ian Howden states – “Well there was no official report. There was an internal memo that was circulated within Maritime New Zealand to Wellington that would’ve been ultimately put to the director of Maritime New Zealand to determine whether or not charges should be laid in relation to this matter but that was purely an internal memo.” The Report That Wasn’t Published
Bolton – “So I’m led to believe there is normally a proper official report made & it usually is in a severe case which has caused a fatality or actual damage & the decision of Maritime New Zealand is published, whether it’s going to be a censure or it’s going to be a prosecution?”
According to the Law as set out in MTA 60, it would appear Ian Howden & the Director of Maritime New Zealand at the time, Catherine Taylor, were uninformed as to their legal obligations. She did get an internal memo & confirmed directly to Bolton that a decision had been made to prosecute regardless of all the evidence he had presented that he might not be guilty & “if media came asking questions, they would be told that there would be no comment as the matter was before the Court.” She was apparently unaware of her legal obligation to notify TAIC – one would expect TAIC to have some say as to whether there was any substance to M Pigneguy’s claim & if it warranted prosecution. In this case obviously not & the boating public have been deprived of a clarification of Maritime Rules applying in areas where ferries have Regular Runs – something Judge Davis appears to be completely led astray on by MNZ.
As this incident had no contact between vessels, no damage to vessels or injury to persons, this incident had no chance of TAIC escalating it to prosecution – even the guidelines of Maritime New Zealand mention there has to be an incident of a serious nature before they would extend themselves as far as an investigation. Just how serious the incident has to be before that happens is unknown if the sinking of Gypsy by Antaeus is considered.
Antaeus was motoring up the harbour on Auckland Anniversary Regatta Day & T-boned into classic sailing yacht Gypsy, sinking her out from Princes Wharf. An elderly lady crew was struck & thrown into the water unconscious, with broken bones – luckily rescued before drowning. A launch soon after ran over Gypsy’s mast under the water & damaged his propellers etc. Antaeus got a Harbour master’s fine of $200 & Maritime New Zealand didn’t bother to investigate.
So here’s 2 examples of selective vigilante-ism.
1: M Pigneguy ignores recreational boaters inconveniencing him 6 times every hour, he says, on every trip but when he sees Classique on a peaceful passage, takes the opportunity to steer in towards it, taking photos as he creates a close quarters to complain about .
2: Maritime New Zealand with alacrity in spite of all the violations of M Pigneguy in causing it, by- pass TAIC to prosecute Bolton – the wrong skipper.
He got the highest fine & costs in NZ Maritime history for a non-event, about $6000 plus a criminal conviction for operating a vessel dangerously. This was said by Crown Law, Mark Davies to be a deterrent to others – as if he knew anything about Maritime matters & Judge Davis admitted to knowing even less.
Facts of the situation were irrelevant & thus was perpetrated a modern day case of Waterfront Vigilante-ism – an abuse of New Zealand’s Court process.
Motoring Antaeus more or less unscathed. Gypsy crunched & sunk with crew severely injured – almost drowned. Antaeus given a $200 fine. No Maritime New Zealand investigation ensued & no prosecution – thought to be unwarranted .