Located in Nelson, the seafood capital of New Zealand, the Nelson Maritime School is part of NMIT. Since opening in 1976, the School has grown to become a leading provider of maritime and fisheries training.
Our staff are experienced seafarers with many years of combined experience between them. We offer a wide range of statutory and non-statutory courses for the fishing, marine tourism and marine transport industries, as well as customised training packages and consultancy services designed to suit the needs of national and international clients.
The seafood and maritime industry is a core industry for the Nelson-Marlborough region. Nelson-based companies control the largest share of New Zealand fishing quota and the region has New Zealand’s largest fishing fleet and significant tourist and merchant shipping operations. Port Nelson is a port of call for the merchant fleet and leisure yachts. A range of maritime support services are located close to Port Nelson.
Select a programme from below and then click on 'Apply Now'.
Programmes and Courses
Certificate in Local Launch Operator (LLO)
Certificate in Inshore Launch Master (ILM)
Certificate in NZ Offshore Watchkeeper (NZOW)
Certificate in NZ Offshore Master (NZOM)
Certificate in Marine Engineer Class 5 (MEC5)
Certificate in Marine Engineer Class 4 (MEC4)
Certificate in Marine Engineer Class 3 (MEC3)
Diploma in Mate of a Deep Sea Fishing Vessel (1MDSFV)
Diploma in Second Mate Foreign Going Ship
Certificate in Superyacht Crewing
Diploma in Master of a Deep Sea Fishing Vessel (MDSFV)
Certificate in Advanced Deckhand (Fishing) (ADH-F)
National Certificate in Seafood Processing with strands in Basic Processing Skills and Intermediate Processing Skills
Stuart Whitehouse, Maritime Tutor
RYA/MCA Ocean Yachtmaster, commercially endorsed, RYA Yachtmaster and Powerboat instructor, MNZ Inshore Launch Master
Maritime Tutor (Superyacht Crew)
Working on a super yacht might sound like one of those crazy ‘too good to be true’ jobs, but in fact it’s a realistic and potentially lucrative career option as Stuart Whitehouse can testify - having worked in the industry for ten years before taking up his current role at NMIT.
Born in the UK, Stuart grew up around the sea and was always a keen sailor, but it wasn’t until later that he started his career in the superyacht industry. He went back school at age 26, and after upgrading his qualifications, started work as crew and then first mate on round the world racing yachts, based out of the UK. This opened up the industry to him and following some yacht delivery work, Stuart went onto the Caribbean working on charter yachts where he met his future wife (who was also crewing on yachts). The couple worked together doing what they loved - sailing, exploring and sharing experiences with their guests. After six years in the Caribbean/Atlantic, the pair moved onto a private boat in New Zealand and got to explore New Zealand, the South Pacific and ended up sailing back to Europe via Thailand, Myanmar, The Maldives and the Red Sea (and yes dodging Pirates off Somalia)!
Stuart then worked for three years as an instructor at Outward Bound New Zealand before taking up his role coordinating the Superyacht programme at NMIT. He is currently completing the Certificate in Adult Teaching.
Stuart says working on a superyacht is a great career for those prepared to work hard and travel. “If you keep going, you’ll get a break and once you’ve got your first position on a boat and provided you’ve got a good work ethic, you’re in. The industry is huge – every marina in Europe has boats and they are always looking for good crew.”
Robert Browne, Maritime Tutor
Marine Engineer Class 1
Robert has 43 years’ experience in the maritime industry starting out as a Junior Engineering Officer and rising to Chief Engineering Officer. He spent eight years deep sea with BISN Co, which later became P&O, on general cargo, reefer, and heavy lift ships. After coming ashore he was Chief Engineer on the tugs for the Otago Harbour board then spent sixteen years on the Interisland Ferries before becoming a Ship Surveyor and inspector of boilers, lifts and cranes. The time spent as a Ship Surveyor has been very useful for teaching as he has had a wide experience of local vessel surveys and overseeing new ship builds.
Robert has been teaching Marine Engineering for the last six years at NMIT this includes all statutory certificates from Local Launch Operator to Marine Engineering Class 3 (MEC3) including the Sciences for MEC3 and Second Mates.
“The more you teach the more you learn - this expands your knowledge and can be imparted back to the students. The enjoyment of teaching is to see students engaged and gaining knowledge that they can then use in their workplace,” says Robert.
Robert is a Maritime New Zealand-recognised Ship Surveyor and examiner.
Roger Wincer, Maritime Tutor
Maritime Tutor and Technician
Roger Wincer went to sea at the age of 19 and spent 28 years working as a Radio/Electronics Officer. He started out with the British Merchant Navy before moving to New Zealand where he worked for the Union Steam Ship Company and later, with New Zealand Rail on the Cook Strait ferries.
He is a Government-appointed examiner of marine radio operators and is able to teach and examine radio qualifications to the very highest level. Roger has been teaching at NMIT since 1999 and teaches radio operator certificates, radar operator certificates and electronic navigation aids. He is also a technician responsible for upgrading and maintenance of the maritime school’s ship simulator facility.
As an expert in a niche area, Roger enjoys sharing his in-depth knowledge with students. While technology has changed hugely since he began his career, radio remains an essential tool on today’s vessels. “Radio communication on large ships is still essential for safety as well as for keeping in contact with owners. When I started out, we did two and a half year’s training, knew how to fix all of the equipment on board and communicated by radio in morse code! Today, the training takes just six days and uses satellite equipment as well as conventional radio equipment. However the basic principles remain the same - and I enjoy teaching students to do things the right way,” he says.
Roger also enjoys keeping up to date with technological changes and is currently involved with a research project looking at using the virtual world game ‘Second Life’ as a way of teaching Bridge Resource Management for ships crews remotely.
Tim Gallagher, Certificate in Superyacht Crewing
“Getting qualified to work in the superyacht industry is probably the best choice I’ve made in my life,” says 20 year old Tim Gallagher of Nelson.
And it’s not hard to see why. Instead of having to work and save to do his ‘Big OE’, Tim gets paid to travel to some of the world’s most amazing destinations. His most recent trip was working as a deckhand on board a 60 metre motor yacht with 12 crew. “We started off in Monaco in the South of France and made our way through to Spain and ended up in Miami. The crew were all fantastic people from all walks of life - all different ages and from all around the world. We had fantastic guests and awesome owners. It was amazing. I got to see some of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen in my life,” he says.
As a deckhand, Tim’s role included looking after guests and ensuring the boat was kept in pristine condition through cleaning and detailing (extremely thorough cleaning and polishing). Some of the perks of the job included being able to use the jet-skis and the tender (the small boat used to ferry passengers) as well as utilising the boat when there were no owners or guests on board.
A keen sailor from a young age, Tim completed the 12-week Certificate in Superyacht Crewing at Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT) after leaving Garin College and doing an outdoor recreation course in Christchurch. Tim says everything he learnt on the NMIT programme was directly applicable to the big boats he now works on. He also had a fun class and enjoyed the practical nature of the training.
“My classmates were really cool. Everyone was about the same age and had the same goals. Everyone was energetic about everything we did.”
“We weren’t in the classroom a lot. We were out on the boulder bank, or on board boats sailing or doing lifesaving courses or fighting fires – things like that. The tutors were absolutely fantastic. Our main tutor had a lot of contacts and he brought in lots of people to talk to us. He was very knowledgeable and had a lot of sea-time. We still keep in contact.”
Tim was able to live at home while studying which meant he was able to keep his costs down. Long-term, he plans to work his way up in the superyacht industry.
“Now, I’m a deckhand, I want to become a bosun, then a first mate and maybe a captain in the long-run. But before then I need a lot more sea-time and more certificates. I’ll work towards that.”
Tim says he would recommend the course to anyone. “It’s a great way to go out and see the world.”
For more information visit our Scholarships page.