Port Taranaki is advising port users the company is carrying out an on-site security exercise this afternoon, which includes the use of vehicle checkpoints.
“Under the Maritime Security Act, every year we are required to hold an exercise, either as a table top theoretical exercise, or a live exercise, with our security and emergency procedures carried out as in a real event,” Port Taranaki chief executive Guy Roper said.
“This year’s exercise is being run live to test our Port Facility Security Plan at level two, which involves additional protective measures when there is a heightened risk of a security event, such as the threat of a terrorist attack to New Zealand.
“This requires every vehicle to be stopped, photo ID checked and vehicles inspected before entry to the port. There are several checkpoints near the main gates on Breakwater Road where this is being carried out,” Mr Roper said. “We apologise for any inconvenience this causes.”
To date, no New Zealand port has ever been asked to operate its security at level two.
“However, we are carrying out our security and emergency response exercise to ensure we meet this level of requirement should it ever occur – testing the proficiency and effectiveness of our plans,” Mr Roper said.
As well as a number of Port Taranaki security staff and management taking part, the Taranaki Regional Council harbour master, and representatives of Maritime New Zealand, the Royal New Zealand Navy, the New Zealand Customs Service and New Zealand Police are also involved in the exercise.
“Clear communication and coordination between all agencies is crucial in the event of a security threat or incident, or any other emergency. Having representatives of these agencies involved is valuable in building relationships and understanding responsibilities should an event occur,” Mr Roper said.