Government Action on Foreign Charter Vessels
The Council of Trade Unions welcomes the latest announcement by the Government on Foreign Charter Vessels in our fishing industry.
Peter Conway, CTU Secretary, says that the Government has taken a strong stance to fully phase out the use of charters and this is fully justified.
Union submissions to the Foreign Charter Vessels Inquiry highlighted the shocking treatment of workers, the need for more investment in on-shore processing and local jobs, and the harm to New Zealand’s international reputation.
“A lot of the focus has been on procedures that could be put into place for observers, or immigration rules, revised Codes, and other measures that would improve the working conditions for these workers. But what we also need is a structural change so that reliance of foreign charter vessels is removed,” says Peter Conway.
Peter Conway, says, “Unions proposed the phasing out of Foreign Charter Vessels so that all ships catching our quota were flagged in New Zealand and therefore subject to full compliance with our maritime and employment laws. The Government has now taken that step.”
Peter Conway said that unions also advocated for more training and an industry development project so that the economic returns from fishing could result in more jobs for Kiwis, including value-added on-shore processing.
“We want to work with the Government and the industry to make sure that this occurs alongside the phasing out of Foreign Charter Vessels.”