Māori Party Welcomes Legislation on Foreign Charter Vessels
Māori Party Welcomes Legislation on Foreign Charter Fishing Vessels
The Māori Party are pleased that the Fisheries (Foreign Charter Vessels and Other Matters) Amendment Bill has passed its first reading and welcomes the legislation that moves to address human rights and other issues related to foreign charter vessels. The Bill aims to bring foreign ships under the same responsibility and controls that other New Zealand vessels are held to – it is a step towards implementing recommendations by the Ministerial Inquiry into the issue.
“The Māori Party has been watching this issue very closely, with an eye on ensuring that there are more effective controls in place to hold foreign charter vessels to the same standards as New Zealand ships,” said Te Ururoa Flavell.
“The legislation that was introduced tonight certainly provides for this by moving that all fishing vessels are to be flagged as New Zealand vessels from the first of May 2016.”
“It also ensures that criminal law applies in full to New Zealand flagged vessels and holds domestic operators accountable for the employment of crew and vessel.”
“This is a huge victory for those who have advocated for the rights of employees aboard these ships. It should also give peace of mind to New Zealanders that we do not condone human rights violations or employment rights violations within our territories.”
“Iwi are major participants in the fishing industry and we believe that ‘reflagging’ can help to ensure iwi are able to watch over and monitor the operation of foreign-owned vessels they are working with in important ways such as the fair treatment of fishing crews, the safety of vessels and compliance with ethical and sustainable fishing practices.”
“We are pleased to support this bill, and look forward to it moving through the passage of legislation.”