THE Australasian Institute of Marine Surveyors has appointed the first New Zealand-based board member in its 36-year history.

The new board member, Greg Marsden, is a Maritime New Zealand-recognised marine surveyor based in Wellington. He is the managing director of Marsden Marine.

AIMS chairman John Holden said New Zealand has active recreational and commercial marine sectors.

“Like many countries, New Zealand faces challenges attracting, training, and developing marine surveyors,” Mr Holden said.

“It is hoped that the appointment of a New Zealand based board member will enhance the ability of AIMS to support the NZ surveying sector more effectively, especially in the area of networking, training and continuous professional development.”

Mr Holden said Mr Marsden’s appointment would help develop and strengthen the links between AIMS, the NZ statutory bodies – including MNZ – and the wider surveyor network in New Zealand.

A boon for New Zealand surveyors

Mr Marsden said the AIMS is well positioned to support the marine survey and surveyor community within New Zealand.

“The education and training of marine surveyors is critically important to maintain sufficient capacity within the commercial sector as well as the growing recreational sector,” he said.

“As with many industry sectors in NZ, there are skill shortages, and I look forward to working with a range of stakeholders to build capacity, resilience and professional recognition within the industry, including the development of the next generation of marine surveyors.”

Mr Marsden came from outside the industry, having served as an engineer in the British Army and defence industry prior to immigrating with his family to New Zealand in 2012. 

“Having an engineering background and a passion for powerboat racing, I combined these to develop the next step in my professional development,” he said.

“Whilst there are several professional bodies and international organisations representing surveyors, I found the AIMS approachable, and keen to develop its network and support regionally.  I further recognised that I could support AIMS by providing NZ representation to champion the New Zealand sector.”

Mr Marsden said the commercial and recreational shipping industry faces ever-increasing challenges, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Within the recreational sector those involved in the sale and purchase of vessels are requesting enhanced due diligence with demand increasing for qualified and accredited marine surveyors,” Mr Marsden said.

“There is also growing requirement within the insurance industry for accurate reports to reflect the condition of vessels prior to underwriting. The AIMS is well placed to support the insurance industry around this important issue.”

Towards an international reach

The AIMS has seen a number of changes in recent times with the peak industry body for surveyors in Australasia moving from being an association to a company.

Mr Holden said ultimately the transition from a New South Wales-based association to an internationally recognised company is reflective of the growth of the AIMS over recent years and has allowed us to include wider board representation including New Zealand.

“This change will also allow us to look to and expand into other markets in the region including Singapore and Indonesia where we already have an AIMS membership base,” he said.

Change in leadership

The AIMS has also seen a change in leadership with CEO Susan Hull stepping down earlier this month after a nine-year tenure.

Mr Holden said AIMS general manager Stacey Taylor would be primary point of contact within the institute moving forward.

“Susan’s hard work has set the AIMS up for continued growth,” Mr Holden said.

“Stacey will take over as the face of the institute and she will drive our growth initiative with the support of the board. Stacey will also consolidate current and future projects.”

Ms Taylor said 2022 would be an important year of reconnecting with the AIMS membership base.

“The last two years have provided a challenge for everyone, but we are seeing a real enthusiasm from members who want to meet face to face once again,” she said.

“They want to be part of a community and strive for excellence across professional standards.

“We look forward to providing these opportunities and are hopeful for the return of our biennial conference this year as well as continuing to expand on our suite of educational courses in order to provide additional entry pathways for new surveyors.”