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Vera Auriga must be banned from NZ waters

NEW ZEALAND INDEPENDENT COALITION MEDIA RELEASE

Vera Auriga must be banned from NZ waters

“The Vega Auriga is a ticking timebomb that must be banned from New Zealand - it poses as great a risk as the Rena did when it sailed from Napier to the Astrolabe Reef,” said Brendan Horan.

The Vega Auriga is a container ship that has been banned from every port in Australia, and is now in the Port of Tauranga. It is operated by the Mediterranean Shipping Company - the same company that operated the Rena.

“The New Zealand Government should follow the lead of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority which prohibited the Vega Auriga from using or entering any Australian ports. There are serious issues around the welfare of the Filipino crew and of maintenance of the ship.

“Like the Rena, this ship was detained in Australia. It has a shocking track record, and we should not be putting the Bay of Plenty at risk again, especially with the prime example of the Rena catastrophe. The truth of the matter is this Government has done little to protect our shores from oil spillages. Their Rapid Response Unit is four small aluminium dinghies,” said Brendan Horan.

“I am calling on National to ban the Vega Auriga, and to ensure that every ship operating in New Zealand waters complies with New Zealand labour laws. Just four weeks ago, Parliament passed a law to ban slave-ship conditions on foreign chartered fishing vessels. That must be extended to cargo ships as well.


"Australia has very good legislation surrounding this as they recognise that an unhappy or impoverished crew exponentially increases the risk of accidents and catastrophes," he said.

The core values of NZ Independent Coalition include ensuring a relationship between the worker and employer that is fundamentally fair, flexible, open and transparent; and immediate, decisive and effective action to ensure workplace safety. For employers this means they will have workers skilled for the moment. This will apply to ships as well as workplaces on shore.

ends

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