According to the association which represents international liners, cruise ships coming to New Zealand from January 2020 will have to meet new clean-burning standards.
Marlborough District Council has started a year-long study of air quality in Picton NZ, that is due to see an increase in shipping as well as a rise in tourism.
Image: Port of Picton (New Zealand)
It said that more cruise liners were expected, and New Zealand hadn't yet signed up to be part of the international treaty to reduce ship emissions.
The council has been urging New Zealand to sign the International Convention for Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), via its submission to a Ministry of Transport-led process. In November 2018, the ministry announced it was seeking public and sector input into the decision on whether the country should sign Annex VI of the treaty, that focused on the use of clean-burning fuels.
International Maritime Organisation treaty, Annex VI of MARPOL, regulated emissions harmful to public health, depleted the ozone layer and contributed to climate change.
A Ministry document said the aim was to reduce carbon emissions as well as improve air quality around NZ ports and harbors, provide investment certainty to domestic vessel owners and fuel suppliers and demonstrate a commitment to the 'level playing field' for international maritime regulation which the country benefited from as a trading and maritime nation.
It also said the new regulations would "impose costs on ship owners and operators, and their customers, because ships burning heavy fuel oil would need to switch to low sulfur fuel."