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More Money For Foreign Crews In NZ Waters

More Money For Foreign Crews In NZ Waters

Immigration Minister David Cunliffe

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Foreign fishing crews look set to see an improvement in their pay packets after the government announced a range of measures aimed at improving the conditions of foreign crew's working in New Zealand waters.

Previously the pay for foreign charter crew was the minimum wage. Cabinet has decided to require foreign charter fishing companies to pay crew at a level more comparable with New Zealand crew.

This move has been welcomed by the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions.

"The CTU has supported the industry and Government work to set standards
to address the low wages and poor conditions which have been highlighted
by a number of high profile cases of blatant exploitation."

"We acknowledge the concerns that iwi fishing groups have over the
impact this decision may have on their economic viability," CTU Ross Wilson
said.

Someone very concerned about the economic viability of paying foreign workers a decent wage is Maori Party Co-leader Tariana Turia.

Ms Turia pointed out in a NZPA report in the New Zealand Herald last week that foreign crews were able to earn more in New Zealand waters than in their country of origin.

"The wages are negotiated and set according to current New Zealand legislative criteria," explained Ms Turia.

The fact that many Iwi had enetered the deepwater fisheries quota later than other New Zealand Fishing companies was a concer for Ms Turia as the Maori fishing industry was still building up their business infrastructure.

Earlier this year however the Maori Party was right behind a Bill that aimed at increasing the minimum wage for New Zealanders.

Maori party MP Hone Harawira pointed out that the Maori Party supported the Minimum Wage and Remuneration Amendment Bill "because it is part of our campaign against the wages of poverty and the deprivation that poor people suffer."

Listen to David Cunliffe explaining the government's attempts to improve the lot of crew on foreign fishing vessels and concerns raised by some in the media that it will impact negatively on the Maori fishing industry

Scoop Audio.Scoop Streaming Audio: Cunliffe fisheries conference


Click here to download file (mp3)

ENDS

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