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Foreign fishing crews forgotten by Government

Immigration and Labour Spokesperson

Foreign fishing crews forgotten by Government

Fishing crew from scandal-hit foreign chartered fishing vessels that sparked a Ministerial Inquiry have still not been paid - more than a year after they brought their concerns to the Government says Darien Fenton, Labour’s spokesperson for labour and immigration issues.

Almost 100 crew from the vessels Oyang 70, 95, 75, and 77 have still not been paid the minimum wage despite the Inquiry and separate investigations by PwC and KPMG. This includes the 32 crew of the Oyang 75 and the Shin Ji, whose appalling treatment led to international accusations of slave labour in New Zealand waters.

“Shockingly, the widows of six men who died when the Oyang 70 sank in New Zealand waters in 2010 have still not received the wages owed to their dead husbands.

“The Ministers of Labour and Primary Industries made a big song and dance about the Ministerial Inquiry and their announcement that foreign chartered vessels would have to be New Zealand flagged in four years’ time.

“They both said that inhumane conditions would be taken very, very seriously by this Government. But here we have the innocent victims of appalling treatment and slave labour pay rates who were brave enough to come forward still not being paid.

“All of the crew have now been sent home. They’re sitting in Indonesia, unpaid and poor, with no resolution in sight.

“The money the Government wasted on hiring PwC and KPMG to investigate could have been better spent on ensuring that victims of one of the biggest scandals in New Zealand waters in years are compensated and taken care of.

“The Government has absolved itself from responsibility. They’ve had the inquiry, made some decisions and turned their back on the victims.

“The crew could be forgiven for thinking that they were used by the Government to give evidence to the inquiry and then abandoned,” says Darien Fenton.

© Scoop Media

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