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Maritime NZ Watchkeeper Deck Certificate of Competency (MNZ SeaCert & STCW) Requirements for New Zealand Seafarers

watchkeeper deck

This guideline is for new applicants for the Watchkeeper Deck and Watchkeeper Deck on ships less than 500 gross tonnes in near-coastal area (Watchkeeper Deck < 500GT NC) certificate of competency. It does not cover recognition of an equivalent certificate obtained outside New Zealand. This certificate is valid for five years. The Watchkeeper Deck certificate corresponds with a certificate issued under regulation 11/1 of the STCW and as amended (STCW 2010). Watchkeeper Deck < 500GT NC certificate corresponds with a certificate issued under regulation II/3 paragraphs 3-4 of the STCW as amended.

With Watchkeeper Deck certificate, you can perform the functions and duties of officer in charge of a navigational watch (navigational watchkeeper) on ships of any gross tonnage in any operating area and, with Watchkeeper Deck < 500GT NC certificate, you can perform the functions and duties of officer in charge of a navigational watch on ships less than 500 gross tonnes in the near-coastal area (which includes coastal and offshore limits).

watchkeeping officer

You may also read: International Maritime Organization (IMO) STCW requirements for OICNW

Maritime NZ Watchkeeper Deck General Requirements


  • Must have the minimum sea service requirements
  • Complete and pass the approved qualification
  • Must have the required STCW ancillary certificates
  • Pass Maritime NZ’s final exam
  • Proof of fit and proper person
  • Medically fit and have good eyesight
  • Minimum 18 years old

Maritime New Zealand Watchkeeper Deck Requirements

MNZ Watchkeeper Deck Prior Certification Requirements

  • Complete and pass the approved qualification for Watchkeeper Deck

MNZ Watchkeeper Deck Sea Service Requirements

  • Option 1: At least 12 months’ sea service as part of an approved training program (such as a cadet program) that includes on-board training documented in an approved training record book. The 12 months is to include at least six months of bridge watchkeeping duties under the supervision of the master or a qualified officer.
  • Option 2: At least 36 months’ sea service - the 36 months is to include at least six months of bridge watchkeeping duties under the supervision of the master or a qualified officer.
  • It is preferred that you complete your sea service on vessels of 500 GT or more, operating beyond restricted limits. However, sea service achieved outside of the criteria listed will be considered on a case by-case basis.

MNZ Watchkeeper Deck Training & Exam Requirements

MNZ Watchkeeper Deck Ancillary Certificates

mnz watchkeeper deck ancillary certificates
Table: Maritime NZ Watchkeeper Deck Ancillary Certificate Requirements - Credits: MNZ

Maritime NZ Watchkeeper Deck Less Than 500 Gross Tonnes in Near-Coastal Area Requirements

  • Minimum Age: 18 years

MNZ Watchkeeper Deck <500GT NC Prior Certification Requirements

  • None required

MNZ Watchkeeper Deck <500GT NC Sea Service Requirements

  • Your sea service must be relevant and appropriate to the requirements set out in the maritime rules. This means that it must be in a deck capacity on a commercial ship and include - at least 36 months in the deck department on a ship of 12 meters or more overall length and, at least 18 months voyaging beyond restricted limits on a non-fishing vessel.
  • Note: STCW provides the option of completing at least 12 months’ sea service as part of an approved structured training program.

MNZ Watchkeeper Deck <500GT NC Training & Examination Requirements

  • You must attend and pass a training course that is acceptable to the Director of MNZ to achieve all of the required competencies at the level for this certificate, as specified in section A-II/3 of the STCW Convention (for officers in charge of a navigational watch on ships of less than 500GT engaged on near coastal voyages).
  • You must pass a final exam to show you have met the standards of competency specified in section A-II/3 of the STCW Convention

MNZ Watchkeeper Deck <500GT NC Ancillary Certificates

mnz watchkeeper 500gt nc ancillary certificates
Table: Maritime NZ Watchkeeper Deck <500GT NC Ancillary Certificates

Disclaimer: For general information purpose - please check with Maritime NZ for the latest requirements and accurate info

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