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Fishing Jobs Poached From Kiwis

Media Release
05 August 2004

Fishing Jobs Poached From Kiwis

New Zealand First has criticised the Nelson-based Sealord Fishing Company for electing to hire 20 Filipino workers to work on its trawlers.

Deputy Leader and transport spokesperson Peter Brown described it as a “nonsensical” arrangement which displayed a complete lack of commitment to New Zealand workers and to the opportunities for our own fishermen.

“While Sealord claims that they ‘invest’ in their employees, this practice of hiring overseas workers at bargain rates would suggest otherwise. It denies local workers the chance to gain employment and experience,” said Mr Brown.

“For years now, the maritime industry has suffered from a poor fiscal regime. New Zealand is an island nation which is largely dependent upon exports to expand our economy. Currently we have a coastal fleet which is struggling to survive. All other shipping servicing our exports and imports is foreign owned.

“The lack of commitment to maritime employment is now impacting adversely on many areas of our economy.

“The move to bring in foreign workers when there are a number of unemployed New Zealanders who could benefit from the opportunity to get a foothold into the fishing industry is ludicrous. The Immigration Service is going to have trouble justifying this,” concluded Mr Brown.


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