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MP To Meet Police Over Fatal Fishing Boat Accident

New Zealand First MP To Meet Police Over Fatal Fishing Boat Accident

New Zealand First transport spokesperson Peter Brown and his advisors are to meet two senior Wellington police officers tomorrow (Thursday, 30 January) to discuss reopening the investigation into the fatal collision between the Sydney Express and the fishing boat, Maria Luisa in December 1996.

“Five of the six crew died on the Maria Luisa and evidence has been brought to our attention that shows that the case was mishandled at the time of the accident,” said Mr Brown.

Mr Brown, a master mariner, said that after studying files given to him by a former Wellington Harbour Master Captain Richard Culleton, that there were too many unanswered questions and incorrect interpretation of findings to have closed this case in the first place.

“Not only was there no formal inquiry into the collision but no inquest was held by the coroner into the deaths of the five crewmen. The rationale given for this is totally unacceptable.

“I believe, that due to incorrect conclusions drawn at the time, that the captain of Maria Luisa was attributed far too much blame for the accident. His family and the families of the other crew members who died, would like to see a fair and thorough investigation into the collision.

“I will be calling on the police to look at the evidence again and to reopen the investigation into what appears to have been an inconclusive and unjust case,” said Mr Brown.

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