Established in 1982, New Zealand Diving and Salvage Ltd (NZDS) have developed the reputation as a preeminent provider of innovative solutions and service excellence for offshore, inland water systems and the marine industry throughout New Zealand and the Pacific. NZDS has the ability to provide rapid response ability with a service range from project scoping to the design, construction and management of large-scale marine engineering projects.
“The company's been up and running for over 30 years,” says NZDS General Manager Sol Fergus. “There's no other marine contractor in New Zealand that's been going for that long. The experience and infrastructure that we've developed over that time, including the plant and equipment that we hold, is unique to our company and provides a point of difference.”
Accreditation Secures International Clientele
Another significant element that helps set NZDS apart from their competition is the demanding accreditation they’ve achieved. “From a commercial diving perspective, we are the only diving contractor in New Zealand to holds ISO 9001 and OHSAS 18001 accreditation,” says Fergus.
Fergus pointed out “For us to be competitive and meet client requirements, particularly international clients, it's essentially imperative that we have accredited management systems”. “Looking at the international players, such as the oil and gas operators here in New Zealand, most of those companies are involved with major offshore corporations, which have large compliance rules and regulations, and if you don't offer the complete package including service credibility with accredited systems then it is likely that you may not be considered."
“Those two particular ones [ISO 9001 and OHSAS 18001] from a health, safety and quality standing are essentially a must-have in my view as they represent a commitment to the delivery of safe quality service assurance. When you have a company like ours, with an employment staff of upwards of 20 full-time marine contractors, administrative and management, we've got to be competitive and have all the right things in place to secure the necessary volume of work,” says Fergus. “It's also about improving the company's own internal systems.”
Competitive Advantages and Strategic Alliances
The range of services that NZDS has undertaken and the innovation and methodologies that they've come up with over the years have not only had large cost-saving implications for their clients but have also enabled the company to be successful with every undertaking they've performed; from salvage to biosecurity responses to patented geotech investigation tooling. “The knowledge that we have internally in terms of the marine coastal area around New Zealand and certain parts of the South Pacific, I don't believe anyone else in New Zealand has that from a business perspective,” says Fergus.
To capitalise on that experience and optimise the scope of operations and number of projects NZDS has the opportunity to get involved with, the Company has formed alliances with two other international commercial dive companies; Subsea Global Solutions and Cal Dive (Australia). “Thus increasing our service capability and offer with access to an extended range of capabilities, plant and personnel”. This arrangement also utilizes the capabilities and local experience of NZDS with its infrastructure, suppliers and knowledge of the local clients.
Multi-role Vessels for Diving and ROV Support
Guardian Offshore New Zealand is a subsidiary of NZDS that was formed with the focus of offering new build multi-role vessels to the New Zealand market. “A recent example was the securement and operation of the 2014 NZ new build Guru which was we utilized for several hydrographical, geophysical and geotechnical projects."
This multi-role support range will include diving, ROV, oil field support, inclusive of off-take chase vessels. “Many of the international companies would now like the vessels they utilise for their projects to be less than 10 years old,” explains Fergus. “They would also like these vessels to have multi-role capabilities. While there are a lot of such vessels internationally, there's a large mobilisation cost involved to bring them to New Zealand for a short period.” NZDS expects that having multi-role vessels based in New Zealand will help bridge that gap.
There isn't always a guarantee that there will be work or projects that will require certain vessels or infrastructure elements that the Company attains or develops. Nevertheless, Fergus explains that part of the Company’s growth plan involves anticipating what the market will do and need. “There aren't always guarantees for the substantial investments that we make, but these are things we commit to in order to make sure we're ready to go operational when needed,” says Fergus.
Maintaining High Quality and Safety Standards
From a quality standpoint, the Company has maintained in-water survey approval for six of the major class societies and has maintained those approvals for over 25 years. “We were perhaps one of the first companies in New Zealand to pioneer these. To have maintained those approvals for more than 25 years is a great achievement that we're quite proud of,” says Fergus.
“We also have an excellent safety record. For more than 25 years, all of our operations have been prime-injury free.”
Moving forward, New Zealand Diving and Salvage is constantly looking forward and exploring options to provide service excellence across a range of marine activities. We have internal continuous improvement drivers that ensure safety and quality are at the forefront of our processes.