Pacific Islands Responsibilities

New Zealand’s involvement in civil aviation in the Pacific region has resulted from New Zealand’s past and, in some cases present, political responsibilities for certain territories and its willingness to provide competent technical advice and assistance to its Pacific neighbours. The Authority or the Director provides aviation safety and security assistance and advice to Samoa, the Cook Islands, Tonga, and Niue. From time to time New Zealand is also requested by other Pacific States to provide civil aviation advice or assistance on a case-by-case basis.


The inter-government agreement on civil aviation of 1999 delegated to the New Zealand Director of Civil Aviation substantial aviation safety and security governance. During the past six years the CAA has assisted the Government of Samoa to modernise Samoa’s civil aviation legislation and regulatory accountabilities. A new Samoa Civil Aviation Act came into effect in the latter part of 1999, incorporating New Zealand Civil Aviation Rules into the Samoa aviation regulatory system by reference.

Cook Islands

The inter-government agreement of 1 April 1986 provided for the New Zealand Director of Civil Aviation to also have that role in the Cook Islands for a period of five years. With the assistance of the CAA the Cook Islands Civil Aviation Act was passed into law in May 2002. The legislation is similar to the Samoan legislation in that it incorporates New Zealand Civil Aviation Rules. On 4 April 2003 the Director was re-appointed pursuant to the provisions of the new Cook Islands Civil Aviation Act, and on 8 May 2003 an agreement for the provision of technical advice and assistance by New Zealand was signed. The Director’s appointment remains in effect until cancelled. The Cook Islands and New Zealand governments have an agreement for provision of services
the same as that in effect with Samoa. Niue

The 1986 inter-government agreement requires the New Zealand Director of Civil Aviation to provide advice to Niue on activities including administration of civil aviation; recruitment, training and conditions of staff for Niue airport; facilities and buildings; airworthiness; airport security; and emergency services. That agreement was replaced on 14 March 2000 Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand 17 with an agreement for the provision of advice and technical assistance on aviation safety and

With the CAA’s assistance Niue passed legislation in 1999 to modernise its aviation system and to incorporate New Zealand Civil Aviation Rules. The aviation industry in Niue (one international airport and support infrastructure) now implements safety and security processes with oversight provided by the CAA as required.

Pacific Aviation Safety Office

The Pacific Aviation Safety Office (PASO) is an initiative of Pacific Forum Ministers aimed at establishing a cooperative arrangement for the provision of safety regulatory oversight services to less developed States within the South Pacific region. It has been a difficult and protracted process to get the office established. A General Manager is now in place and the office has secured a promise, subject to conditions, of loan and grant funding from the Asia Development Bank. This will enable it to begin recruiting a limited number of technical staff. New Zealand, like Australia, is a member of the PASO council although we expect to be providing services, not seeking them. In time, we hope the PASO will be in a position to take over some or all of our present bilateral arrangements with individual States.
Civil aviation safety funding

At present the CAA recovers 88 percent of the costs associated with provision of its services to the aviation industry from two main sources: direct fees and charges for services, and aviation safety levies. Crown funding is provided for services specified in the Performance Agreement with the Minister, namely: policy advice, Rules development, and costs incurred
in meeting those international civil aviation obligations undertaken by the CAA on behalf of the Minister and the Government of New Zealand.

Those services provided to the industry that are client-specific — such as issue or renewal of personnel licences, aircraft certification, operational approvals, or the audit of an organisation — are recovered through direct fees and charges, making up 13 percent of total CAA revenue.

Those safety related services that cannot be billed to a specific client include services such as the provision of safety information and education, accident and incident investigation, law enforcement, and safety analysis. The costs associated with the provision of these services are recovered through Civil Aviation Safety Levies, making up 75 percent of total CAA
revenue. Staffing

Staff numbers In 1988 the Swedavia-McGregor review proposed a staff level for the CAA of 154. When the CAA was established in 1992 staff numbered 120. Pressure from the aviation industry for a further reduction, and concern within the CAA that it could not satisfactorily fulfil its safety functions at that level led to a full review of staffing during 1996. The review identified an optimum staff level of 148 but noted that the CAA could not employ extra staff within the existing budget. The government addressed the funding problems and the CAA recruited the extra staff required, particular emphasis being given to increasing the numbers of technical staff in the critical areas of safety certification, audit and monitoring, and safety investigation. The present maximum number of CAA staff permitted within budget limits is 181, with 171 “Full Time Equivalent” (FTE) staff currently employed. Terms and conditions of employment

As a Crown entity, the CAA is not subject to the State Sector Act 1988. However, various principles of the Act were carried over into the Civil Aviation Act, including provisions for the Chief Executive to undertake the role of employer, and related “good employer” and equal employment opportunities (EEO) requirements.